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Sights And Sounds Of Lisbon, Portugal

Posted by in Regional: Countries: Portugal  ~  March 26, 2012 05:04:48 PM

Lisbon is the capital and largest city of Portugal – and it is also by far the most vibrant city when it comes to nocturnal entertainment. Make no mistake about it; Lisbon is culturally rich with a huge diversity of people contributing to its art, cuisine and music heritage. It just seems like when people want a night out here, they mean night out!

If this is your first time visiting this wonderful city, we highly recommend you take the Lisbon trams and funiculars. This quaint mode of transport is an adventure in itself but can be a bit confusing to novice riders. If possible, you need someone more versed on how to buy tickets and passes to accompany you on your first few rides. After that, it gets easier with most directions displayed in English. Lisbon has a vast landscape that is very pleasing to watch on the rails. Try to catch a ride on one of these: Elevador de Bica, Elevador de Lavra, Elevador de Gloria, and the 1930’s trams.

While we are on the subject of rides, we highly recommend you visit the Orient Station or the Gare de Oriente. This is actually the main transportation hub of the city and if you plan to travel, this is the one location where you will find most buses, taxis and even the trains. The architecture alone of the Orient Station, especially when it is fully lit, is enough to make your jaw drop.

For walking tours, we highly recommend you visit the historic town of Belém along the Tagus River or Rio Tejo. The architecture in this region is reminiscent of Gothic, Manueline and Renaissance heritage. Belém’s two most popular attractions are of course, the grand monastery of 1501 called the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos and the Belém Tower. If you have children in tow, we highly recommend spending an educational time at the Lisbon Oceanarium within the Parque das Nacões. You can also segue into the Vasco de Gama Tower, as well as the ancient structure of the Santa Maria Maior de Lisboa (Sé de Lisboa) – the oldest cathedral in the city.

Other places of interest include: the Cathedral of Leiria, Portalegre and Viseu; the Chapel of Nossa Senhora da Conceicão in Tomar; Convent of Christ in Tomar; Graça Church at Évora; Mannerist Monastery of São Vicente de Fora; Mercy Church of Santarém; the Porta Especiosa of Coimbra Cathedral; São Roque Church; and the Santo Antão of Évora.

Bairro Alto, or the Upper Quarter of Lisbon is also a great place to visit, but definitely not as an architectural or cultural tour, although you can still consider it as that. Bairro Alto is a great place to find entertainment of the musical kind. The younger generations of Lisbon individuals congregate in this region to enjoy the various themed music clubs that are dedicated to Goth, hip hop, jazz, punk and even reggae. Food in these locations range anywhere from local to international cuisine and can be availed of with a reasonable price tag.

When it comes to shopping, there are a number of smaller malls and shops you can go to and prices here are relatively cheap. However, if you want something of the grander scale we recommend the malls within the Park of the Nations (or the Parque das Nacões) and the Vasco de Gama Mall.