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Lisbon Travel Guide

Lisbon Overview

The capital of Portugal has experienced a renaissance in recent years and has reclaimed its rightful place as the 'golden city' of southern Europe. After slumbering for decades, the city's modern, vibrant and cosmopolitan identity is today much similar to that which it enjoyed in the 15th and 16th centuries during the age of the great discoverers, when Lisbon was the centre of trade with the East and the starting point for maritime exploration of the globe.

The city fathers of Lisbon elected to invest in some rejuvenation in the 1990s, and this ongoing focus on the future has made the most of the city's attributes and attractions, both old and new. Infrastructure has also been improved, with additions like the impressive Vasco da Gama Bridge across the River Tagus, which links the city's airport to a network of national motorways and has facilitated access to other parts of Portugal. There is also a new showcase railway hub, the Gare de Oriente, which is the pride of a new modern suburb on the east bank of the Tagus, creating an even better link between Lisbon and the rest of Europe.

While much is new, there is plenty of the old left to charm visitors, giving the metropolis a slightly provincial air. The delightful, picturesque medieval section of Alfama skirts the city's Sao Jorge castle, and historic wooden trams ply noisily up and down steep hills past art deco cafes and mosaic-decorated pavements. Many of the relics of the city's golden age were destroyed in an earthquake in 1755, but some survived and are popular tourist attractions, complemented now by modern sights, like the futuristic Oceanarium.

Within easy reach of the city are the sandy beaches of several coastal resorts, such as Costa da Caparica, Estoril and Cascais, as well as the forested areas of Sintra and attractions like the extraordinary Mafra monastery. The mood of Lisbon is light and bright, confident, fresh and avante garde, ready to welcome the world to the doorstep as one of the great capitals of Europe.

Travel guide by (c) Globe Media Ltd. By its very nature much of the information in this travel guide is subject to change at short notice and travellers are urged to verify information on which they're relying with the relevant authorities. We cannot accept any responsibility for any loss or inconvenience to any person as a result of information contained above.

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