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Europe’s most westerly and sunniest capital. It's a compact and intimate city, ideal for a short city break or a longer romantic stay, with a lively café culture and a nightlife. It has world-class restaurants, excelling in seafood, its reputation for style and long pedigree in art and culture.
Another real bonus is that is officially Western Europe's least expensive capital.
Portugal’s first city remains high on every discerning weekend-breaker’s hit-list. In this guide to their capital, your Getaway team have discovered the major attractions in Lisbon and also offer their insider’s tips on the essential things to do in the city that many visitors (and many non-resident guides) miss. Explore our guide to Lisbon’s best museums and attractions, restaurants and cafés, and clubs, bars and live music – along with the best shopping and some great hotels – and immerse yourself in their city.
Bafflingly, Lisbon didn’t take off as a tourist destination until after its World Expo in 1998. Hard to understand, as it’s Europe's second oldest capital after Athens predating Rome and London by hundreds of years.
Its glorious past can be felt in every street, just turn a corner and you’re face to face with a relic of its role as a big-hitting maritime power. This is a history reflected in its name – Lisbon comes from Allis Ubbo, Phoenician for ‘safe harbour’.
Home to some half a million residents, Portugal’s capital is built over a number of hills that provides stunning city vistas. The city is split into neighbourhoods called bairros. While some are more lively than others, each has its own charm, from the oldest Alfama, to Cais do Sodré, fast emerging as the hippest. Despite the city’s history – and its network of charming time-warp, vintage yellow trams Lisbon has a distinctly modern edge.
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