Lisbon – the Enchanting Port

Lisbon – the Enchanting Port

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Palacio da Pena
It is the fourth most visited monument in Portugal. In 1839, when D. Fernando II acquired the ‘Our Lady of Pena Monastery’ ruins, he converted it into a palace. The original building was built in 1503. The main facade of the convent remains unchanged. The palace was inspired by Bavaria’s palaces and brings together Moorish, Gothic and Manueline influences. The yellow and pink exterior is the result of significant restoration works during the 90s, the original colors of Pena Palace!

Ponte 25 de Abril
This bridge is very similar to the Golden Gate in San Francisco and was designed by the same architect in 1966 to connect Lisbon with the Setubal peninsula across the Tagus River. The 25th of April Bridge, also known as Bridge over the Tagus (Ponte sobre o Tejo), was later renamed to commemorate the bloodless ‘Carnation Revolution’ that happened on the 25th of April 1974.

Cristo Rei
The statue of Christ, similar to the one in Rio de Janeiro, stands over 100 m tall on the bank of the river and offers breathtaking views of the city and its surroundings.

Red Tram, Lisbon

Red Tram, Lisbon

Lisbon Metro
Most of the metro system of Lisbon is basically a free art gallery. Wander around and step out at all the stations to look at the walls adorned by works of art. There are four routes—green, yellow, red or blue—any of which will be a journey through the history of the azulejo (a traditional decorative support) in the twentieth century. The idea was to alleviate the feeling of being underground.

Cascais
Located on the Portuguese Lisbon Coast, approximately 30 km from Lisbon, this is a great place to relax and have a good time. Within sight of the Sintra Mountains this picturesque town offers superb sandy beaches and rocky coves. Cascais began life as a fishing village and even today you will see fishermen setting out from the small quay with their colorful boats and pots. In 1870, King Luis I made this his summer residence attracting nobility and the fashionable in droves. It is now an elite summer escape.

Praia do Guincho
It is one of the best places for surfing and wind surfing, host to many national and international competitions, and is located directly after Cascais when heading out from Lisbon. The best time to visit here are the months of July and August. From here, you could go on to Cape Roca, the most western point on mainland Europe and then on to Sintra, home of wonderful palaces and gardens.

Eating Out
The Portuguese love to eat and drink. Their staple diet consists of fish, chicken, pork, goat, partridge, quail and rabbit apart from vegetables. Some of the local specialties are sardinhas assadas (charcoal-grilled sardines), pasteis de bacalhau (cod fishcakes) caracois (snails), cozido a Portuguesa (a traditional stew) and caldo verde (a soup of cabbage and potatoes). It is said that there are 365 ways to prepare codfish in Portugal…a different dish for each day of the year!

Portugal is a big wine producer and offers a very broad range of both whites and reds. A Portuguese specialty is the Vinho Verde or Green Wine indicating that the wine is young, giving a low-alcohol, light, sparkling, fruity and slightly acidic wine. Colares is a dry white wine produced since the 13th century. However, Portugal’s most famous wine is Port, sweet and syrupy, which can be either red or white, and is drunk as an aperitif or after a meal.

Fact File
Getting in: Portugal’s largest international air hub is the Aeroporto da Portela located about 4km from the Lisbon city center. There are two major train stations, S. Apolonia and Orient Station that connect the city to other parts of Europe.

Getting around
The recently refurbished metro system is quick and efficient, but you could also opt for the city’s extensive bus and electrico (street-car) network. You could also walk to most of the points in the city if you have the time.

Climate
Spring is cool with plenty of sunshine and some showers while summers are mostly sunny and dry. Autumn is typically rainy. During the winters it is relatively cold although snowfall is very rare.


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