Description of Lisbon

Lisbon is the capital of Portugal and the district of the same name Lisbon; with almost 600,000 inhabitants and 2.8 million inhabitants in the greater Lisbon area (as of 2019), it is one of the larger cities in the European Union. The Lisbon district had a population of 2,963,272 at the last census. The metropolis is located on a bay at the mouth of the Tagus River in the extreme southwest of Europe on the Atlantic coast of the Iberian Peninsula. Outside the city of Lisbon, a number of beaches on the Atlantic Ocean stretch between Cascais and Estoril.

The commercial port on the Tagus Bay was called Ali's Ubbo before the Roman rule. Lisbon, founded by the Phoenicians, received Roman city rights under the name Colonia Felicitas Iulia in the time of Julius Caesar. In 711, the place, like most of the Iberian Peninsula, fell to the Moors; in the context of the Second Crusade, Lisbon became Portuguese in 1147 and thus again under Christian rule. After the transfer of the royal seat of Coimbra, the city became the capital of the Kingdom of Portugal in 1256 under King Afonso III. Around 1500, Lisbon experienced a brilliant rise to one of the most brilliant trading and port cities of the time.

A huge earthquake in 1755 sealed the economic decline of the city, which had already begun to creep in decades earlier, and caused a sensation throughout Europe. In the 19th century, Lisbon experienced a resurgence.

Since the last quarter of the 20th century, however, the city has shrunk massively (from over 800,000 inhabitants around 1980 to about 500,000 around 2017); many people have moved to the surrounding area. Lisbon has to contend with considerable structural problems, among which the dilapidated structure of many buildings and the enormous road traffic stand out above all. However, due to large and smaller infrastructure projects, a modernization has already begun, which, among other things, has led to the development of a new infrastructure. in housing construction and renovation programs or also in a growing network of cycle paths and expansion of public transport. In 2020, Lisbon was named the environmental capital of Europe. The city has also become important as an IT location, with an increasing number of start-up companies, IT development departments of international companies, or since 2016 as the host of the Web Summit, an important international technology meeting.

As still the largest city in Portugal with the most important port, the seat of government, the highest state and government authorities, several universities and the Academy of Sciences (Academia das Ciências de Lisboa), the city is today the political, economic and cultural center of the country. in 1994, Lisbon was the European Capital of Culture, with Expo 98 the World Exhibition was held here in 1998, and with the Hieronymite Monastery and the Torre de Belém, the city houses UNESCO World Heritage Sites (entry 1983). The Fado, which is also located here, has also been a UNESCO-protected Intangible Cultural Heritage since 2011. Numerous major international events have often taken place in Lisbon, including the Eurovision Song Contest 2018, the MTV Europe Music Awards 2005, seven rock-in-Rio festivals or football finals such as the European Football Championship 2004, the UEFA Cup 2005 and the UEFA Champions League finals 2014 and 2020, in addition to a variety of other cultural and sporting events. Especially since the 2010s, a number of internationally known personalities have moved to Lisbon, especially actors, musicians and athletes. This further increased the growing attraction of the city to tourists. Meanwhile, cruise ships often call at the city. The city has won several international awards as a travel destination, such as the World Travel Awards in categories such as best City Trip Destination (2019) or best Cruise Destination (2020), among others.

It is the seat of several agencies of the European Union, including the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction and the European Maritime Safety Agency. The Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP) is also headquartered in Lisbon.

Lisbon was considered the safest capital of Europe in 2007.



Above all, the touristically relevant districts of the city are described here. Administratively, Lisbon is divided into 4 districts, the so-called bairros, and 53 municipalities, the Freguesias.

Baixa: The lower town of Baixa is the economic heart of the city, which was rebuilt like a checkerboard after the earthquake of 1755, with wide boulevards and spacious squares, the whole flanked by neoclassical magnificent buildings. The lower town is located between the hilly western old town districts of Bairro Alto and Chiado and the eastern old Moorish quarter of Alfama and the fortress of Castelo Sao Jorge. The northern boundary is the square Praça Dom Pedro IV (Rossio) and the southern boundary to the Rio Tejo is the Praça do Comércio with its arcades and the imposing archway as the entrance to Rua Augusta, which forms the shopping street as a pedestrian zone. From street paintings (from beautiful to the maximum tourist pop) to clothing and food, everything can be found here. On the west side of the Baixa, on Rua Aurea, stands Lisbon's famous elevator da Santa Justa. With it you can easily get to the Chiado district.
Alfama: The Alfama is still the most original district of the city. It had survived the great earthquake almost unscathed. Located east of the Baixo, this old quarter impresses with its narrow and winding streets. Here you will find numerous small cafés and shops. The Fado is at home here, which is also impressively represented by the Fado Museum (Casa de Fado). Towards the Baixo is the Cathedral of Santa Maria Maior da Sé, which was built in the 12th century as a Romanesque three-nave basilica instead of a probably five-nave mosque. Immediately below it, at the Largo de Santo Antonio (a few steps downhill from the main entrance), there is a Baroque chapel on the site of the birthplace of St. Anthony. The Castelo Sao Jorge, Lisbon's fortress, towers over the district. As a curiosity, there is an old public urinal nearby.
Bairro Alto: The Bairro Alto has two faces. During the day, the narrow streets of this old town district are almost deserted and quiet. Children play on the streets. The general car traffic is blocked out, only residents and suppliers are allowed in. Only in the afternoon trendy boutiques, record stores and shops open for all sorts of useful and useless design items. At night it is hardly recognizable again. Then the heavy wooden doors, locked during the day, open in the streets between Rua do Norte and Rua da Rosa. Music penetrates to the outside. The Bairro Alto is awakening. The Bairro Alto is the nightlife district of Lisbon. There is everything from the fado restaurant to the trendy disco and from the simple tasca, where the traditional Caldo Verde (a kind of cabbage soup) is served, to the noble restaurant.
Chiado: The Chiado district is located between the Baixa and the Bairro Alto. It is easily accessible by metro (Baixa-Chiado station). In a fire in 1989, part of the buildings, especially on Rua do Carmo, were destroyed. Fortunately, however, the historical facades were preserved and were later renovated. Inside, the buildings were completely redesigned and modernized according to the plans of the Portuguese architect Siza Vieira. The main artery of the Chiado district is Rua Garrett, partly a pedestrian zone. This is one of the most expensive shopping streets in Portugal. In addition to international fashion shops, you can also find shops of Portuguese silversmiths here. A special feature of Rua do Carmo is probably the smallest fashion store in Lisbon. Gloves are sold there on only a few square meters. Chiado was the quarter of the rich Lissbonets and Bohémiens at the turn of the penultimate century. Some plots of the novels of the writer Eça de Queiroz are set here.
Belém: Located in the west of Lisbon, the district is dominated by the building complex of the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos and the Praça do Imperio. The Padro dos Descobrimentos monument, which dates back to the 1960s, is located on the Tagus River, and a little to the west of it is the Torre de Belém, the now almostsilted-up complex that originally stood in the river. There are numerous bars, cafés and restaurants in the city centre on Rua de Belém. The Praça do Comércio can be reached by tram 15E or bus 714 within 20 - 30 minutes from Baixa.
Parque das Nações: The former exhibition grounds of Expo 98 have become a Park of Nations, an amusement park.



Sao Vicente de Fora

Praca do Comercio

Castelo de Sao Jorge

Belem Tower (Torre de Belem) . Historical tower on the Tagus River, which was the last seen by seafarers when leaving Lisbon. The symbol of the city in the Belém district. Open: October to April: 10 – 17:30, May to September: 10 – 18:30; waiting times are to be expected. Price: Admission: 6,- €, with Mosteiro dos Jerónimos: 10,- €, and Palácio Nacional da Ajuda: 13,- €, children up to 14 years free. Free on Sundays and public holidays before 14 o'clock.
Jerónimos Monastery (Mosteiro dos Jerónimos) . Monastery complex in Belém, also the starting backdrop for the Dakar Rally since 2006. Open: October to April: 10 – 17:30, May to September: 10 – 18. Price: Admission: 10,- €, children up to 12 years free. Very long queues and waiting times are to be expected.
Monument of the Discoveries (Padrão dos Descobrimentos) . The monument of the Discoveries of 1940 in Belém, shaped like the bow of a caravel. On the floor of the forecourt, the former colonies of Portugal are depicted on a world map. Pull-out or stairs to the platform at the very top. There is a good view, among other things, of the Hieronymus Monastery or the bridge of April 25th. Even if it is windy at the bottom, it can be very windless at the top. Open: Mon-Fri 11 - 17 o'clock, Sat-Sun 11 - 18 o'clock. Price: Admission: 10,- €, children up to 12 years free.
Castelo de São Jorge . The fortress stands above the city with the remains or the walls of the castle rebuilt in the 40s of the 20th century. The castle was built by the Moors, who lost it to Alfons the Conqueror in 1147. It was then used for centuries as a royal castle. A visit is worthwhile because of the excellent views in all directions. In addition to the courtyard, you can also get into the interior of the castle walls and can also climb them. In addition, excavations are shown. Despite sometimes quite long queues, the waiting time is rather short. Open: March to October 9:00 – 21:00, November to February 9 – 18. Price: Admission 15 €, children up to 10 years free.
Cathedral (Se de Lisboa) . originally a Romanesque church (12th century) with many later reconstructions, the seat of the Roman Empire.-cath. Archbishop (Patriarchs) of Lisbon)
Praça do Comércio . From the wide square you can enter Rua Augusta through an archway. The "Arco da Rua Augusta" can be climbed daily, admission 3 €.

Panteão Nacional (Igreja de Santa Engrácia). originally conceived as a church, it serves as a National Pantheon. The square floor plan and the large white dome, which can also be visited, are characteristic. Prices start from 4 € for the tower ascent, during which the imposing interior areas can also be seen. For the descent, you walk on the inside of the dome on a narrow path and should be reasonably free of dizziness.

Around the ferry. Around the ferry pier "Cais do Sodré" you can discover the following: Pink Street, Mercada da Ribeira market hall, river area with old wharf and square at Cais das Colunas (with statue of Joseph I), ferry to Almada (Cristo Rei statue), train to Belem/Cascais.
Botanical Garden (Jardim Botânico de Lisboa, Jardim Botanico da Universidade de Lisboa) . a quiet park to relax in. Another botanical garden in Belem at the same price. Open: 10 - 17 o'clock, open longer in the summer evenings. Price: without museum 5 €.
Parque Eduardo VII . Park with a view from the upper terrace over Avenida da Liberdade down to the Rio Tagus. Possibly festivals in the summer months.



Numerous museums attract the visitor. Free admission is often available on Sundays until 14:00, including the Ethnological Museum on Av. Ilha de Madeira above the Mosteiro dos Geronimos, the collections of the Mosteiro and some more.

Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, Avenida de Berna 45A (Metro: S. Sebastião/Praça de Espanha). Tel.: +351 21 782 30 00 . The collection of the billionaire Armenian Gulbenkian presents about 6000 works of art, ranging from Mesopotamian sculptures to paintings by French Impressionists. Open: Wed - Mon 10 – 18 o'clock. Price: Admission 10 €.
National Museum of Ancient Art (Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga), Rua das Janelas Verdes 1249 - 017. Tel.: +351 21 391 28 00 . Hieronymus Bosch, among others: The Temptation of Saint Anthony. Open: Tue - Sun 10 - 18 o'clock. Price: Admission 6 €.
National Museum of Azulejos (Museu Nacional do Azulejo) . The museum documents the development of Portuguese tile art. Open: Tue - Sun 10 - 18 o'clock. Price: Admission 5 €.
Museu do Chiado (Museu Nacional de Arte Contemporânea do Chiado), R. Serpa Pinto 4 (Rua Nova da Trindade / Rua Vitor Cordon; Metro Baixa-Chiado) . Museum of Contemporary Art. Open: Tue - Sun 10 - 18 o'clock. Price: 4,50 €.
Casa-Museu Dr. Anastácio Gonçalves
National Music Museum (Museu da Música)
National Archaeological Museum (Museu Nacional de Arqueologia)
National Carriage Museum (Museu Nacional dos Coches), Afonso de Albuquerque Square .
National Museum of Ethnology (Museu Nacional de Etnologia)
National Theatre and Dance Museum (Museu Nacional do Teatro e Museu Nacional do Traje e da Moda)
Tram Museum (Museu da Carries)
Museu do Oriente (Fundação Oriente Museu), Avenida Brasília, 1350-352 Lisboa (Doca de Alcântara (Norte)). Tel.: +351 213 585 200.
Pavilhão do Conhecimento . Pavilion of Knowledge. Open: Mon – Fri 10.00 – 18.00, on weekends 11.00 - 19.00. Price: Admission: 10 €, children 3-11 y.o. + seniors: 7 €, Children 12-17 y.o.: 8 €.
Oceanário de Lisboa, c/o Parque das Nações . The largest aquarium in Europe. Open: 10.00 – 20.00, in winter until 19.00. Price: Admission (without special exhibition): 19 €, Children (4-12 y.o.): 10 €, over 65 years: 13 €, Families: 47 €.


Scenic spots

Miradouros (Viewpoints) - In addition to the view from the Castelo de São Jorge, the following viewpoints offer a worthwhile perspective:

21 Miradouro São Pedro de Alcântara in Bairro Alto - View over the lower town to the castle.
22 Miradouro da Nossa Senhora do Monte - View to the west over the city (sunset!).
23 Miradouro Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen - View to the west over the city.
24 Miradouro de Monte Aguro - Small garden with café. View to the southwest over the city.
25 Miradouro de Santa Luzia - View over the Alfama district and the Tagus River to the other bank of the river.
26 Torre Vasco da Gama . At 145 m, it is Lisbon's tallest building with an observation deck.
27 Ponte Vasco da Gama . A little north of the Parque das Nações you have a good view of the longest bridge in Europe. Price: 2,85 € (car), 12,20 € (truck).


What to do

Guided tours and tours
Guided city walks and bike tours to well-known sights and hidden corners in Lisbon.
Whether guided or on your own, whether on foot or by boat - here you can choose your preferred tour of the capital of Portugal from a list of providers.
You can also let yourself drift through Lisbon by app and decide for yourself what you would like to see.
Guided tours in a different way: here you can conquer the city on a pirate ship or on the loading area of a jeep.
If you want to discover Lisbon and the surrounding area with a local guide, visit My Lisbon Holidays
Sightseeing tour with the Eléctrico 28 (tram line 28E). For 2,85 € you have a wonderful city tour with the historical (but technically refurbished) vehicle. The line runs through the old town districts, over hills in steep curves and through incredibly narrow streets up and down, past important sights. On the way, it goes through the Graça district, through the narrow streets of Alfama, past the Miradouro Santa Luzia and the cathedral. Continue through the center (Baixa) and up the mountain to the Chiado district. From here the line goes towards the Parliament and the Basilica da Estrela. It is a sight in itself. Often the tracks are well filled, it is recommended to use the morning hours because of the lower crowd.

Teleférico . Gondola lift in the Parque das Nações district. Open: June: 11 - 19 o'clock, July - mid-September: 11 - 20 o'clock, mid-September - October: 11 - 18 o'clock, November - March: 11 - 17 o'clock. Price: Adults 4,50 €, children 3,00 €.

For children
In the parks of Belém, opposite the Jeronimos Monastery, there is space for playing and romping. There is also a playground with modern playground equipment (in the park part to the left of the fountain part).

Newly created (2023) is the Infantil Park at Praça de Espanha Square.


Getting here

By plane
Lisbon-Humberto Delgado International Airport (IATA: LIS) is located about 6 km north of the city center. In addition to TAP Air Portugal, which is based here, the airport is served by all major scheduled airlines (including Lufthansa, etc.). Eurowings (to Cologne/ Bonn and Stuttgart) and easyJet (from Berlin) offer flights to and from Germany. Lufthansa and others also offer cheap offers from about 100, - € (full price) there and back. A price comparison is worthwhile in any case.

At the airport, the Lisbon Tourism Company Turismo de Lisboa has its own counter where you can get the first information material and taxi vouchers. This counter is open daily from 07:00 to 24:00.

The quickest way to reach the city centre is by metro (red line "verhelha"), the AeroBus (line 91) of the municipal transport company Carris or by bus line 44 to Rossio. At night between 01:00 and 06:00 the night bus 208 goes to the city center (1,75 €). Tickets are available at the post office (CTT) at the airport (after leaving the baggage claim to the right on the first floor) or at the metro station at the airport. There are several vending machines or counters there. The 7 colinas ticket is also available here. You can get to the bus and metro after leaving the airport building and the round entrance hall. The AeroBus runs about 1 time per hour, the metro about every 10 minutes. For tickets, see Via Viagem.

The trip by taxi costs (as of 05/2015) depending on the destination between 10.00 and 20.00 € (settled with taximeter). There is a taxi stand in front of the departure hall, in front of which a long queue may form, but it will be handled quickly. The basic price for the trip is € 3.80 and for luggage there is an additional € 1.80 (once, not per piece of luggage).

By train
The journey by train from Germany takes over 25 hours. Trains from Spain arrive in Lisbon at the Lisbon-Oriente and Lisbon-Santa Apolónia stations. From both stations you can reach the city center by metro. It should be noted that there is only one cross-border hotel train (Trenhotel / S) from Lisbon every day: one part of the train goes to Hendaye (France) (connection to Paris) and to Madrid. The train starts/ends at Santa Apolónia or at Oriente Station (East Station). Here there is a counter of the tourism company in the international arrivals hall, which is open from Wednesday to Saturday from 8 to 13 o'clock.

From Porto, the fastest connection takes 2 hours and 45 minutes to get to Santa Apolónia Train Station. The journey costs € 42 in first class and € 30 in 2nd class, including the seat reservation. The only advantage with the 1st class are the wider seats, so you can safely book the 2nd class.

By bus
International regular buses arrive at the Central Bus Station at Oriente Station. From here there are connections to the Portuguese bus network. The city center can be reached from here by metro.

The aerobus operates as a shuttle between the airport and the city center. He stops at the main railway stations.

On the street
Lisbon is easily accessible via the trunk road network. Lisbon can be reached relatively easily via the E 90 via Barcelona and Madrid. The most convenient way to get to Barcelona is via the E 15 via Lyon and Montpellier. Worth seeing the Ponte Vasco da Gama , it leads the A12 from Setúbal to Lisbon. When driving along the A2 from Almada to the capital, you can see the statue of Cristo-Rei before crossing the Tagus on the Ponte 25 de Abril.

By boat
Lisbon has a new cruise terminal, it is a regular destination of cruise ships.


Transport around city

The city center is relatively manageable, which is why your own feet can be the preferred means of transportation. For those who want to get around a little more comfortably, there is a well-developed network of public transport available. 78 Bus lines, six tram lines (Elétricos), 3 funiculars (Ascensor) and the elevator (Elevador de Santa Justa) are operated by the municipal company Carris. In addition, there are the Metro, the Transtejofähren (see below) and the suburban trains of the CP.

The payment of the tickets is made via the Via Viagem card and costs € 0.50. They are stopped at the turnstiles regarding the scanner in buses and trams. It can be purchased at all ticket offices and vending machines of Carris, Metro and the national train operator CP and charged with an amount between 3 and 40 €, but not in the trams and buses. The € 0.50 for a card will be refunded if you keep the blank card and the original receipt (!) within 5 days at a ticket office. To pay for tickets, you have to choose between the following options:
"Zapping": You pay € 1.47 per trip, i.e. from the starting point to the end point. Transfers within the barriers are not counted. Can be used for Carris, Metro and Transtejo ferries.
24-Hour ticket: € 6.60 will be attracted once. Valid for Carris and Metro, not for suburban trains or Transtejo ferries

So only either single tickets, credit or 24-hour tickets can be charged at the same time, i.e. if you have a card with a 24-hour ticket for Carris and Metro, for example, you need another smart card if you want to charge a single ticket for a suburban train to Belém.

A complete price overview information is available on the homepage of Metro (Portuguese and English).

The metro has four lines. The single ticket costs € 1.65 (as of 2023), there is the rechargeable Via Viagem card for a fee of € 0.50. Information on the accessibility of individual stations for the disabled and taking a bicycle with you (limited at rush hour) can be found in the Metro's FAQ.

Single tickets (it is not possible to change trains) can be purchased from the driver at a price of € 1.85. Holders of the Via Viagem card hold it against a reader at the driver's side until a short beep sounds and a green light comes on. Buses run at night until about 1.00 am, after which there is special night traffic on some lines. When you are waiting for a bus, you give it a hand signal to stop it. It may well happen that a bus, which is very crowded, stops a few meters in front of the stop to let passengers get off, and then continues. Due to the fast clock, this is usually not a problem, then you just take the next one.

The Lisbon Tourist Board offers the overpriced Lisboa, which also offers free travel on public transport in combination with reduced entrance fees to attractions (prices in 2019: € 20 for 24 hours, € 42 for 72 hours). In addition, there is the combined 24-hour ticket for € 6.60 to € 10.70 incl. Carris/Metro/CP for bus, tram, elevator, funiculars and Metro, which must be loaded on a 7 Colinas or Via-Viagem card (see below). The single trip without changing costs € 1.85 on the bus, € 2.90 on the tram and € 3.70 on the funiculars (ticket from the driver). The prices for monthly passes were greatly reduced in April 2014. Their prices correspond to about 6 day tickets. There are discounts for children and people of retirement age (over 65).

Eléctrico (Tram)
The old yellow vehicles of the Elétrico belong to Lisbon like Fado and Alfama. They are mostly from the 1930s, but were technically overhauled in the 90s. Modern trains run on line 15 to Belém / Algés. The same fares apply as on the bus. Single tickets can be purchased from the driver in the old trains at € 3.00 (as of 2019), in the modern ones at the vending machine. The line 28E (Prazeres–Martim Moniz) is often used. For the price of a single ticket, you get a city tour of historic Lisbon. Due to the popularity, the route is used a lot and therefore seats in the tram are rarely free. Evading the morning hours means that you then drive through almost empty streets.

Elevador and Ascensor
Lisbon has a historic elevator and three cable cars (Ascensor). All four have been national monuments since 2002. The most famous, Elevador de Santa Justa (Santa Justa elevator) costs for up and down: € 5.30. The cableways cost the driver for round trip: € 3.80 for every 1-2 minutes of travel. If you have a day ticket for € 6.40, you can also use it here without restrictions.

The Santa Justa Elevator is the only vertical elevator in Lisbon and was built by a student of Gustave Eiffel. There is a lower entrance to go up, as well as an upper entrance, which can be reached via a few higher side streets and the bridge visible from below over the pedestrian zone. The lower entrance is located just behind the Rossio on Rua Aurea (another name for the same street is also Rua do Ouro). From the observation deck (with café) you have a beautiful view over the Baixa to the Castello and over the Tagus. The upper access is at the Largo do Carmo (right past the Convento do Carmo). If you just want to enjoy the view, you can also reach the observation deck from here.

The Ascensor da Glória connects the Lower Town (Baixa) with the Bairro Alto and the Prinçipe Real district. The valley station of this inclined lift is located right next to the tourist information office at Praça dos Restauradores in Calçada da Glória. If you want to leave from Bairro Alto, you will find the mountain station at Rua de São Pedro de Alcântara.

The Ascensor da Bica also leads to the Bairro Alto. This ascensor even has its own small building for the valley station on Rua de São Paulo near the Cais metro station of the Sodré.

The Ascensor do Lavra is the only lift that does not lead to the Bairro Alto, but to the Campo Sant'ana. It is located somewhat hidden in Rua das Portas de Santo Antão, a parallel street to Avenida da Liberdade. Those who have to visit the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany can make the walk easier by using the ascensor.

Numerous ferries cross the Rio Tagus, which are now also part of the network. This means that they can also be used easily with this or the Via Viagem ticket. Ferry docks are Belém, Cais de Sodré and Terreiro do Paço. The bike ride is free of charge. Further information is provided by the company Transtejo (only in Portuguese).

On the street
Free parking spaces are in short supply in the city center. Parking tickets often have little effect, which is why parking claws are attached faster than, for example, in Germany or, in the worst case, the vehicle is towed away. Parking garages are available for short-term parking (approx. € 1.00 per hour). For example, a 24-hour parking garage can be found in Baixa at Praça Figueira. In addition, driving is not easy for people who are not familiar with the location due to the many one-way streets. So if you are arriving by your own car or with a rental car, it is best to park your vehicle outside near a metro station and take public transport to the center. There are plenty of free parking spaces in Belém on the Tagus between Torre de Belém and the Monument Padro dos Descobrimentos. Motorhomes can also be accommodated here (without the appropriate infrastructure).

The motorcycle is much more suitable, because you can get through the traffic relatively easily and also have no such parking problems. In addition to the "easy parking", there are specially designated motorcycle parking spaces, for example at the Largo Chiado at the metro exit vis-à-vis of the A Brasileira.

By bike
Cycling in Lisbon is difficult due to the topography and exhausting due to the many cobblestones. However, if you stick to the big roads and know the city a little better, you can avoid most of the hills.

Motorists are not used to the few bicycles, so you should drive around the city with great attention. Cyclists are regularly overlooked by local motorists when turning right. Parking spaces are almost non-existent. On the ferries across the Tagus, it is possible to take a bicycle free of charge.

If you want to have dinner and repair your bike yourself, you can go to the Cicloficina on Wednesday evening, where there is a meal at cost price and a workshop with tools and helpful people.
Cicloficina dos Anjos

In addition, there is also a Massa Crítica (Critical Mass) on the last Friday of each month.

Other stuff
Sightseeing buses: Yellow Bus Tours Hop on Hop off (€ 25 for 48 hours validity).
An unusual idea, but one that is well received: round trips with a tuk tuk. The fun is offered by Colortrip. Well, you get the fine dust pollution directly and then you know why tuk tuks are frowned upon elsewhere. In the meantime (as of 06/2018), a large part of Tuk Tuk's has switched to electric drive.



The main shopping street is certainly the Rua Augusta from the Praça do Comércio (also called Terreiro do Paço) to the Restauradores. Everything from Nepp to Top is represented here in the pedestrian zone. In general, Baixa is considered the best shopping district in the city.

In Belém there is a flea market on Sundays in the park opposite the monastery. All kinds of antiques and ceramics are offered here.



Coffee and café

Although a Portuguese princess from the house of Bragança taught the English to drink tea, coffee is more commonly drunk in Portugal these days. Filter coffee is rather unknown. Coffee is cheap in Portugal. A café costs between € 0.50 and € 0.70 at the counter. You rarely pay more than € 1.00 for a standing milk coffee. In cafés with service on the square or on a terrace everything is a bit more expensive. If the Portuguese orders a café, he expects an espresso. The traditional expression bica is disappearing more and more from the use of the language, especially among young people.

Café or Bica: espresso cup filled with about 3/4 of espresso
Café curto or Italiano: espresso cup filled about halfway with espresso
Café cheio or Carioca: full (espresso) cup
Café pingado: small milk coffee (espresso cup)
Meia de leite (de máquina): normal coffee cup with espresso and hot milk. The addition "de máquina" is often recommended, as some cafés otherwise use soluble coffee (Nescafé) instead of espresso.
Galão (de máquina): Milk coffee in a glass

There is usually no menu in simple cafés. It is also not worth it, because there is the same in (almost) every café. But the café includes pastelari, like the pastéis de Nata, the small puff pastry particles filled with pudding. You can get this and also a hearty variant in every café. Probably the best ones can be found at Pasteis de Belém.

Pastéis de Belém, Rua de Belém 84-92. The seductive pastéis de nata, available everywhere in Portugal, were invented here in 1837 and still taste very delicious with cinnamon and powdered sugar. It's worth standing in line for that. Unit price 1,5 €. Of course, there are also other treats (in the center of Belém, follow the tram tracks from the monastery towards the city, here on the left side). Open: 8.00 – 23.00.
Fabrica da Nata, Praça dos Restauradores 62-68. If the road to Belém is too far for you, you will also find Pastéis de Nata in the city center. Open: 9.00 – 19.00.

A Brasileira, R. Garrett 120-122. One of the still preserved coffee houses of Lisbon. There is a restaurant in the basement. Inside, not much has changed since the renovation in the 20s of the last century. Allegedly, A Brasileira was the favorite place of Fernando Pessoa. A bronze monument was erected to him on the terrace in front of the café. There are three different prices depending on where you take your drink. It is cheapest while standing at the counter and most expensive on the terrace. For example, the price for a Bica (espresso) varies between € 0.50 and € 1.00. Open: daily 8.00 – 2.00.
Mar Adentro Café, Rua do Alecrim 35. Modernly designed trendy café where small dishes are also served. It impresses with its interesting bar architecture. The prices are moderate (espresso 0,80 €, salad 4,20 €). The only meeting place for gays and lesbians that is also open during the day. Open: Mon – Sat 10.00 - 23.00.



Restaurants and smaller bars are numerous and can be found in all price ranges. For the hunger in between, the snacks are available. Omelettes and other little things like sandas (sandwiches) or sopas (soups) like w:Caldo verde and others are an integral part of the fast cuisine. The prices range from 0.90 to 1.50 € for the soup and about 3 to 4 € for a sanda.

Numerous fish and meat dishes are offered in the restaurants. The fish is fresh and of very good quality. Prices vary greatly. For a simple fish dish you pay about 6 €, for a more upscale menu 18 to 20 € per person. At the docas at the bridge of April 25, € 87 is also possible for a kilogram of lobster. Speaking of fish, a national dish is dried cod (bacalau). Friends of international American cuisine are also catered for (e.g. at the Rossio and in Belém).

Faca & Garfo, Rua da Condessa 2. Cozy and very affordable restaurant that offers delicious Portuguese grill specialties (meat and fish). Open: Mon - Sat at noon + in the evening. Price: Main dishes 6 – 8 €.
Casa do Alentejo, Rua the Portas de Santo Antão 58th restaurant with specialties from the Alentejo, housed in the impressive Alverca Palace from the 17th century. The main dishes around the 15 € are fine, but partly cold. The service is average at best. There are better restaurants (especially in the price range). Open: 12.00 – 15.00 + 19.00 – 22.30.
Refeições Rápidas Tascardoso, Rua Dom Pedro V 137. Standing restaurant with simple and very cheap (around 3 €) Portuguese dishes (eg grilled sardines). There is a toilet. Open: Mon - Fri until 20.00.
Mercado da Ribeira, Avenida 24 de Julho 50 . A market hall where fresh fish, vegetables and fruits have been sold since the 19th century. It can be reached by all public transport of the Carris via the stop Cais do Sodré. In 2014, the west wing of the market hall was completely redesigned. In this you will find fast food, nouvelle cuisine as well as traditional Portuguese cuisine with 35 food stalls. The main products on offer are regional products such as sheep's cheese, ham platters, fish and custard tarts. Open: Sun - Wed 10.00 – 0.00, Thu – Sat 10.00 - 2.00.
Pap'açorda, R. da Atalaia 37. Tel.: +351 213464811. Certainly one of the best restaurants in the city. New Portuguese cuisine, which, however, also has its price. Open: Mon - Sat. Price: Main courses from 25,00 €.
Sinal Vermelho, R. das Gáveas 89. Tel.: +351 213431281. Good traditional Portuguese cuisine at acceptable prices. Open: Mon - Sat. Price: Main courses 8-12 €.

In the winter season, the sellers of roasted chestnuts appear everywhere in Lisbon with their mobile roasting machines. They can be recognized by the smoke of the charcoal fire rising, which is sometimes thick in the streets. This hard-earned delicacy, whose tradition dates back a few hundred years, belongs to the city like the Tagus River.



Lisbon offers a wide range for an extensive nightlife. From the traditional fado restaurant to the techno club. Most of the bars and fado restaurants are located in the Bairro Alto district. The bars are usually quite small, which is why the actual nightlife takes place on the street in front of it, which is closed to normal car traffic. Most bars fill up, especially on weekends, usually not before 22.00. And the "Lisboeta" likes to go to the disco only at 2.00 o'clock or 3.00 o'clock in the morning. So it is recommended to prefer to have an extended afternoon nap in order to be fit for the nightlife.

Bars in the Bairro Alto
Most of the bars are located between Rua do Norte and Rua da Rosa. Here you will find both the fado restaurant and the student pub, where the small beer (called Imperial) is already available for 1 €. The Bairro Alto is best reached by metro (station Baixa-Chiado. If you want to avoid the ascent on foot, you should use the Chiado exit and take the escalator up). If you want to dance (House) go to Fragil (not to be confused with Lux-Fragil see below), Rua da Atalaia (corner Tv. da Queimada). The Rock & Nubbe (Rua do Diário de Notícias 34, 20.00 AM - 3.00 AM) is a cozy rock and metal bar.

Bars Docas de Alcântara
In the mid-1990s, a new nightlife district grew up in the former warehouse buildings. The location directly on the Tagus River and below the Tagus Bridge (Bridge of April 25) compensate for the mostly very conventionally designed and often franchised bars and restaurants.

The hottest club in Lisbon (and perhaps all of Portugal) has been the Lux-Frag for years. There are two floors with different music and a roof terrace with a view over the old town and the Tagus River. It is located near the Santa Apolónia train station, right on the Tagus River. It is open from Wed. until Sat. from 22.00. The entrance / minimum consumption is still rather cheap on a European scale at € 12. Water and beer cost 3 €, for long drinks you pay 6 €. Partly international DJs (house) and live concerts. Before 2.00 am it is usually still very quiet. It will be closed at 7.00 am.

If you like it a little harder - both in the colloquial tone and in the music - you prefer to go to the Kremlin, Escadinhas da Praia 5, Santos district. The prices are similar to the Lux-Fragile. Right next door is the plateau and on the nearby Av. 24 Julho is the capital.



Lisbon Oasis, Beco da Bicha 9,. Tel.: +351 96 530 2727 , E-mail: . 9 Apartments in the restored old building, in the historic center, free WiFi. Teilw. Balcony, air conditioning, the landlord speaks some German.
Pensão Alegria, Praça de Alegria 12. Tel.: +351 21 3220670. small cozy guesthouse located on a nice little square, but right above the police station. Feature: Pension. Price: double room for 35 €.
Pensão Londres, Rua D. Pedro V. nice guesthouse at the highest point of Bairro Alto. Feature: Pension.
Shiado Hostel, Rua Anchieta, 5 - 3º Lisboa. Tel.: +351 21 3429227, E-Mail: . Open: open 24h. Check-in: 24h. Check-out: 24h. Price: 13 - 30 €. Accepted payment methods: Visa, Mastercard.
Down Town Guest House, Rua 1° de Dezembro 33. Tel.: +351 213462325. Quite chic and centrally located hostel with clean, modern rooms. The rooms at the back hardly get any daylight, but are quiet for that. Internet use is included. The staff speaks English. Price: Double room with bathroom 49,95 €.
Hostels Lisbon has several youth hostels pousadas juventude that offer overnight stays from 16 to 30 €.
Hostels the independent hostels are also numerous and some of them offer very good comfort. E.g. Lisbon Lounge Hostel, Lisbon Easy Hostel in the r. Sao Nicolau. Accommodation in a shared room is at 18 € in low season, including free Internet access.
lisbon lounge hostel, Rua sao Nicolau, 41st 1100-547 Lisboa (Baixa). Tel.: +351 21 3462061, Fax: +351 21 3462061, E-Mail: . Open: open 24h. Check-in: 24h. Check-out: 24h. Price: from 18 Euro. Accepted payment methods: Visa.
Residencial Florescente, Rua Portas de Santo Antão 99 (Baixa). Tel.: +351 21 3426609, Fax: +351 21 3427733, E-Mail: . beautiful old building in the pedestrian zone 300 m north of the Rossio (Baixa), rooms facing the pedestrian zone or the quiet backyard, WiFi in the room for a fee, lift, restaurant, bar, reception speaks English.
Lisboa Camping, Estr. da Circunvalação. Tel.: +351 21 762 8200. The campsite is located just outside in the Benfica district. Bus 750 leaves from Oriente Station in three quarters of an hour right in front of the entrance.

Hotel Britania, Rua Rodrigues Sampaio, 17, 1150-278 Lisboa. Tel.: +351 21 315 50 16 , E-mail:



Lisbon is a university city. The oldest university in the city and one of the oldest in Europe is the Universidade de Lisboa, founded in 1290 and re-established by decree in 1911. With a total of about 20,000 students, it is a very large university.

There are also the Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, the Universidade Nova de Lisboa, founded in 1973, as well as the Universidade Católica Portuguesa of the Catholic Church, the private University Lusíada Lisbon and the also private International University of Lisbon.



Lisbon is one of the safest cities in the world and is safer than the average European city. Of course, you should still be careful of pickpockets, especially in Tram 28 and the airport metro.

You should avoid the street "Ave. Pasture. Rice", as well as the metro stations along it (Martim Moniz, Intendente, Anjos). You should also be careful at night in dark corners and alleys in Barro Alto, Alfama and Mouraria. These are uncomfortable because of the many homeless people and dealers. Beggars are also a familiar image.



Lisbon has several hospitals spread over the city area. Pharmacies Farmacia are also numerous to find in the city area. The emergency service of hospitals should only be used in real emergencies. For EU citizens, the ID card is sufficient to legitimize a treatment. However, foreign health insurance is helpful.


Practical information

Office of tourism

In addition to the counter at the airport, the Lisbon Tourism Company has several kiosks throughout the city. These so-called Ask me Lisboa counters provide information on local transport, accommodation and attractions. An overview of the current kiosks can be found in English at . They are currently available at the airport (arrivals hall 7.00 - 0.00), at Praça do Comércio (Lisboa Welcome Center 9.00 - 20.00), at Sta. Apolónia Railway Station (Internacional Hall Wednesday to Saturday 8.00 - 13.00), in the r. Augusta (kiosk Augusta 10.00 - 13.00 and 14.00 - 18.00), in the Palácio Foz (Pr. Restauradores 9.00 - 20.00), at the Artesenato do Tejo (R. Arsenal 10.00 - 18.00) and in the Belém district at the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (Kiosk Belém Tuesday to Saturday from 10.00 - 13.00 and from 14.00 - 18.00).


Lisboa Card

With the Lisboa Card offered by the Lisbon Tourist Board, you have free travel on all buses, trams and elevators as well as the metro. Furthermore, admission to 25 museums and other sights is included. With this card you get up to 50% discount on the admission price of other touristically and culturally interesting institutions.

The Lisboa card costs € 20 for adults for 24 hours and € 13 for children. You can also buy the card for 2 or 3 days, then it costs 34 or 42 € for adults. The Lisboa Card is available, among other things, at the tourist information offices (including at the airport) and in hotels.

Whether it is worth it, everyone has to decide for himself. To take full advantage of them, a good level of interest and patience is certainly required.


Other stuff

Internet cafés can be found throughout the inner city area, directly at the Rossio, e.g. by PT Portugal Telecom. You can also make phone calls there. There are numerous public telephones at all places and stations.

If you are in Lisbon or Portugal for a longer period of time and want to be reachable, you can get cheap prepaid cards from the three mobile phone providers TMN, Optimus or Vodafone.

Postcards and letters can be thrown in at the red and blue mailbox columns. The red ones are for regular and the blue ones for express mail.



For Samuel Bochart, a seventeenth-century Frenchman who dedicated himself to the study of the Bible, the name Olissipo is a pre-Roman designation of "Lisbon" that would go back to the Phoenicians. According to him, the word “Olissipo” derives from "Allis Ubbo" or "Safe Harbor" in Phoenician, a port located on the Tagus estuary. There is no record that can substantiate such a theory, which is dismissed by recent scholars. According to Francisco Villar, "Olissipo" would be a word of tartessa origin being the IPO suffix used in territories of Turdetano-Tartessica influence. The prefix "Oli(s) "would not be unique since it is associated with another Lusitanian city of unknown location, which Pompônio Mela said was called"Olitingi".

The authors of antiquity knew a legend that attributed the foundation of Olissipo to the Greek hero Ulysses, probably based on Strabo: Ulysses would have founded in an uncertain place in the Iberian Peninsula a city called Olissipo (IBI oppidum Olisipone Ulixi conditum: ibi Tagus flumen). Later, the Latin name would have been corrupted to "Olissipona". Ptolemy gave Lisbon the name "Oliosipon". The Visigoths called it Ulishbon and the Moors, who conquered Lisbon in the year 714, gave it the Arabic name اليكسبونا (al-Lixbûnâ) or even لشبونة (Al-Ushbuna).

In popular slang, the natives or inhabitants of Lisbon are called "alfacinha". The origin of the word is unknown. It is assumed that the term is explained by the fact that there were vegetable gardens in the hills of the primitive City of Lisbon, where "horticultural plants used in cooking, perfumery and medicine" were Green, sold in the city. The word lettuce comes from Arabic and may indicate that the cultivation of the plant began during the occupation of the Iberian Peninsula by Muslims. There are also those who maintain that, in one of the sieges of which the city was the target, the inhabitants of the Portuguese capital had as their almost exclusive food the lettuces of their gardens. What is certain is that the word was consecrated and that the greats of Portuguese literature agreed to take a Lisbon for alfacinha.



The city has been hit by earthquakes, fires and epidemics several times in its history.


From the beginning to 1147

The Phoenicians founded bases in Portugal from 1000 BC, probably also on the site of today's Lisbon. They and later the Carthaginians are said to have called the place Ali's Ubbo (cheerful sea bay or funny sea bosom) and used it as the only large natural harbor on the Iberian Atlantic coast. Excavations from Phoenician times can already be visited in the Castelo de São Jorge; Greek traces of settlement are far more extensive. If there was not only a trading post here, but actually a Greek city (polis), then the Greek name of this settlement is unknown. According to Pliny the Elder, Lisbon was considered a foundation of Odysseus in later times.

Under Roman rule, from about 205 BC, the city was initially called Olisipo. Julius Caesar managed to break the last resistance of the native tribes from Lisbon in the Celtiberian War from 60 BC. Under Caesar, Roman veterans were later settled here to control the area; the village received Roman town status in 48 BC and subsequently became a larger town in the province of Lusitania as Colonia Felicitas Iulia. From 409 AD, barbarian tribes then invaded the Iberian Peninsula from Gaul. During the migration period in late Antiquity, Alans, Suebi, Vandals and Visigoths tried to occupy Lisbon. In 468, the Roman city commander Lusidius handed over the city to the Suevi, but shortly after the earthquake of 472, in which large parts of the old Roman city were destroyed, the rule of the Visigoths began. The Visigoths probably renewed the Roman fortress wall.

In 719, Lisbon was conquered by Muslim Moors and later became part of the emirate of Córdoba. After that, the city, which was now called al-Ushbuna, experienced its first major upsurge. Although Alfonso II was victorious at Lugo in the battle against the Moors, he advanced as far as the Tagus and captured the city for a short time in 798. However, Lisbon fell back to the Moors soon after. In the Caliphate of Córdoba, the city was one of the most important ports, at the same time Christian Galicians and Leonese repeatedly tried to take the place. In 955, Ordonho III de Leão sent his army as far as Lisbon in the fight against the Muslims. Vikings devastated the city and the surrounding area in the year 844.

In the 11th century, Lisbon belonged to the emirate of the Moorish Aftasids of Badajoz. From 1093 Count Raymond of Armous, a younger son of Duke William I of Burgundy, was given the lordship in Galicia by the Leonese king Alfonso VI. From there he made campaigns against the Moors in the south. He managed to temporarily move into Lisbon after the Muslim ruler of Badajoz submitted to King Alfonso. But even this conquest (until 1095), as well as the occupation of Lisbon by Norwegian crusaders under Sigurd in 1108 (until 1111), was not yet lasting.

Even when King Dom Afonso Henriques (Alfonso I) came to power, the south of the Iberian Peninsula was still held by the Moors. But in 1147, the siege of Lisbon finally led to the capture of the city by the Portuguese (reconquista, German "reconquest"). The decisive factor in this was foreign support for the attackers: the successful siege of the city by an army of crusaders of the Second Crusade secured the basis for Alfonso I's rule over the entire surrounding area. Around 1195, Saint Anthony of Padua, who is sometimes also called Anthony of Lisbon, was born in Lisbon.


As the capital of the Kingdom of Portugal until the Spanish occupation

Alfonso III moved his residence from Coimbra to Lisbon in 1256. The city thus became the capital of the Kingdom of Portugal. In 1344 an earthquake shook the city. The great plague, which probably killed more than a third of the country's population from September 1348 to the beginning of 1349, also radically decimated the population of the Portuguese capital.

Ferdinand I had a new city wall built after his accession to the throne in 1367. The construction work on the ring wall was completed around 1370. In the Peace of Alcoutim, Ferdinand I, among other things, undertook to marry a daughter of Henry II. However, he then fell in love with the Portuguese noblewoman Leonore Teles de Menezes and married her instead of the Castilian princess. Angered by the breach of the treaty, Henry II then attacked Portugal and plundered Lisbon in 1373. Ten years later, Lisbon was the scene of the first "bourgeois" revolution in Europe: after the death of Ferdinand I, his widow, Leonore Teles de Menezes, first took over power for six weeks together with a lover. The resulting tensions and disputes eventually led to the crisis or revolution of 1383. In Lisbon, there was an uprising of the artisan guilds. Based on large parts of the lower nobility and on the bourgeoisie of Porto and Lisbon, the future King John I presented himself. at the head of the uprising, killed Leonore's lover by hand and forced Leonore into exile in Castile. His son, Henry the Navigator, laid the foundations for Portugal's rise to naval power around 1430, with Lisbon as the most important port.

Under the reign of Manuel I, Lisbon developed into a leading center of world trade. On September 9, 1499, Vasco da Gama was given a triumphant reception here after his first trip to India. in 1503, the Casa da Índia was founded in Lisbon, whose activities formed the basis of Portuguese economic and trade policy in the following two centuries. Especially in Lisbon, trade and commerce grew, which was due in no small part to the exploitation of the Portuguese colonies in Africa, Asia and South America. Already around 1500 there was talk of a first flowering of Lisbon, which lasted until the middle of the 16th century. The Port of Lisbon was one of the largest on Earth at that time.

in 1506, at the time of Manuel I, a pogrom occurred in the city against the Jews (Marranos) who had been forcibly baptized in the previous years, which demanded high sacrifices, caused lasting damage to the commercial and financial relations of the city and set in motion a wave of emigration. The first census in Portugal was then conducted in the period from 1527 to 1532. At that time, Lisbon had 13,010 households or between 50,000 and 65,000 inhabitants. The city had developed into a European metropolis. However, in 1531 she was again shaken by an earthquake. An unknown number of residents were killed. The estimated numbers are between 1,000 and 30,000 people.

in 1536, the Inquisition was introduced under John III. Four years later, the first public executions of judgments took place in Lisbon. In 1569, a plague epidemic claimed the lives of up to 60,000 people in Lisbon and the surrounding area.


From the Spanish occupation to the Great Earthquake

In 1580, King Henry I died as part of a Portuguese campaign, and in the same year the Duke of Alba took possession of Lisbon for the Spanish crown. Two years later he died in Lisbon as the Portuguese Governor-General of the Spanish Habsburgs. From the day of the conquest, Lisbon remained occupied by the Spanish for the following 60 years; Portugal was united in personal union with Spain during this time. On May 28, 1588, the first ships of the Spanish Armada against England left the port of Lisbon. The departure of the war fleet with 130 ships dragged on until May 30. The ships were manned by about 27,000 soldiers and equipped with over 2,600 cannons.

On December 1, 1640, several Portuguese nobles joined forces to revolt against the Spanish government. France, the great adversary of the Habsburgs (and therefore also of Spain), saw this as an opportunity to weaken the Habsburgs and encouraged the Duke of Braganza to revolt. In a stroke of the hand, the Spanish governor, Margaret of Savoy, the Duchess of Mantua, was overthrown in Lisbon and the head of the Braganza family, Duke John II, was proclaimed King of Portugal on December 15, 1640 as John IV. A year-long war followed. It was not until 1668 that the Treaty of Lisbon ended the Spanish-Portuguese War and sealed the country's renewed independence.

in 1696, gold and later diamond finds in Brazil initiated a second flowering of the Portuguese capital. On December 27, 1703, the Treaty of Methuen was concluded between England and Portugal in Lisbon. The agreement tied Portugal even more closely to England economically, which in the following decades led to a slow economic decline of Lisbon, which now probably had more than 200,000 inhabitants and was thus a metropolis of Europe.

On November 1, 1755, two-thirds of Lisbon was destroyed by a very strong earthquake and a subsequent tsunami. According to today's estimates, it had a magnitude of 8.7 to 9.0 on the Richter scale. Contemporary sources give up to 60,000 deaths for Lisbon alone; the number is likely to be exaggerated, but modern estimates also assume up to 100,000 victims throughout Portugal. The tremors were felt throughout Europe and North Africa. The city was rebuilt according to plan by the Margrave of Pombal. Particularly typical for this reconstruction is the Baixa, the lower town, with its rectangular streets in the area around Rua Augusta. In addition to the physical damage caused by the earthquake, it also shook the enlightenment and theistic ways of thinking of many philosophers who could not recognize the cause of this natural disaster, asked the Theodicy question and abandoned their optimism. In response to the quake, Voltaire wrote his Poème sur le désastre de Lisbonne (1756).


Post-quake period until the First Portuguese Republic

Lisbon recovered in the following years and received its first street lighting with oil lanterns in 1780. The first post office in the city opened in 1800. In 1807, Portugal was occupied by French troops. The royal family, including the court, therefore fled to Brazil. At the end of November 1807, 36 ships with about 15,000 people and the country's aristocracy left the port of Lisbon. Prince Regent Johann VI reached Brazil in March 1808. Rio de Janeiro then became the new seat of government.

Typhus broke out in the city in 1811. Cholera followed in 1833. 13,522 people died from it within 9 months. In the Miguelist War, Lisbon, occupied by King Michael, was taken by Peter I's troops on July 24, 1833. During the September Revolution, Setembrist deputies from Porto, headed by Manuel da Silva Passos, arrived in the Portuguese capital on September 9, 1836. They were received triumphantly by the people of Lisbon.

In 1849, the first street lamps were illuminated with gas. Two years later, the Lisbon–Carregado railway line opened. On 20 April 1859, the Treaty of Lisbon decided on the division and exchange of Portuguese and Dutch possessions on the Solor and Timor Archipelago between Portugal and the Netherlands. In 1873 the horse tram, called "O Americano", was put into operation. The first electric street lamps were connected in 1878. The Rossio station officially opened on June 11, 1890. The Elevador do Município existed from 1897 to 1920.


From the First Portuguese Republic to the present

On October 5, 1910, the First Portuguese Republic was proclaimed on the balcony of the city Hall. King Emanuel II then fled into exile to England. Thus ended the 771-year history of the Portuguese monarchy. On October 19, 1921, the head of the Government António Joaquim Granjo and a number of other politicians were killed in the Lisbon Blood Night during an uprising of the Republican Guards. A military coup ended the First Portuguese Republic in 1926. Eight years later, the Prime Minister and dictator of Portugal António de Oliveira Salazar came to power. He proclaimed the Estado Novo, the "New State", a conservative-authoritarian dictatorship. During the period of the Estado Novo, from 1926 to 1974, the city continued to grow. It was expanded at the expense of the rest of the country.

During the Second World War, Portugal remained neutral; intelligence services from both sides were active here; men like Ian Fleming and Johnny Jebsen worked here, and prisoners like George F. Kennan were exchanged in Lisbon.

The statue of Cristo Rei in Almada, which turns to the city of Lisbon with its arms outstretched, was inaugurated on May 17, 1959 after about ten years of construction work. In December 1959, the first metro line opened in Lisbon. In 1966, a suspension bridge over the Tagus to Almada was completed, similar to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Named after António de Oliveira Salazar before the Carnation Revolution, it is now called Ponte 25 de Abril (English "Bridge of April 25th").

At the end of April 1974, Lisbon was the center of the carnation revolution. With the end of the colonial war in Africa in 1975, there was a wave of refugees from Angola and Mozambique, especially to the greater Lisbon area. A major fire in the old town district of Chiado destroyed various buildings in 1988. In 1994, Lisbon became the European Capital of Culture. Two years later, the Council of Europe and UNESCO adopted a new joint General Convention on Higher Education in Lisbon, the so-called "Lisbon Convention". in 1998, the Ponte Vasco da Gama motorway bridge over the Tagus River, which is more than 17 kilometres long in total, was completed on the occasion of the Expo 98 World's Fair.

In March 2000, the European heads of state and government adopted the Lisbon Strategy at a special summit. The Strategy aims to make the EU the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world by 2010. On 13 December 2007, the Treaty of Lisbon (also known as the EU Basic Treaty) was signed between the 27 Member States of the European Union under the Portuguese Presidency of the Council. At the NATO summit in Lisbon on 19-20 November 2010, NATO adopted a new strategic concept. The concept includes the construction of a missile defense shield to protect your entire territory.

Lisbon hosted the 63rd Eurovision Song Contest from 8 to 12 May 2018, after Salvador Sobral won the ESC 2017 in Kiev with Amar Pelos Dois.


Culture and sights


The current cityscape of Lisbon is mainly due to construction measures after the great earthquake in 1755. The center of Lisbon is the Baixa. The old town impresses with its tiled facades and medieval, narrow streets. After the earthquake, bricks were scarce and expensive. Facades could be covered faster and more cost-effectively with Azulejos. In the inner-city districts, building fabric problems also shape the cityscape. In 1994, the total number of buildings in Lisbon was reported as 62,041. Of these, 30.73% of the buildings were from the period before 1919 and 21.37% from the period between 1919 and 1945. According to surveys of the Center for Territorial Studies of the City of Lisbon from 1992, the estimated renovation costs of the existing living space fell on the buildings between 1850 and 1930 with one third.

Due to a ban on increasing rents, numerous property owners have stopped investing in their property since the late 1960s, as rental income no longer covered maintenance costs due to inflation. As a result, thousands of houses in Lisbon fell into disrepair. Only in the course of the reform program aimed at overcoming the economic crisis of Portugal, this law was repealed in 2012. As a result, tens of thousands of apartments were renovated; the abolition of fixed rental prices resulted in the gentrification of entire neighborhoods.


UNESCO World Heritage

In 1983, the Torre de Belém and the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (Jeronimos Monastery) were declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.[47] The Torre de Belém, located in the district of the same name at the mouth of the River Tejo, is one of Lisbon's most famous landmarks. The watchtower was destroyed during the Napoleonic invasion and reconstructed in 1846. In addition to the nearby Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, it is one of the few outstanding buildings of the "Manueline style" that survived the Lisbon earthquake. Mosteiro dos Jerónimos is located in the Belém district. In addition to the royal tombs, the burial place of the famous navigator Vasco da Gama is also located here. The monastery is considered the most important building of the Manueline, a Portuguese variant of the late Gothic, which also contains some elements of the Renaissance.



Sacred building

One of the most interesting buildings in Lisbon is the Monastery of São Vicente de Fora. It was founded in 1147 as an Augustinian monastery by Alfonso I outside the city walls and dedicated to Saint Vincent of Zaragoza. Under Philip II, the church and the monastery acquired the present appearance. Many members of the Portuguese royal Family from the House of Braganza were buried in the church.

The Castelo de São Jorge, a fortress with an integrated castle ruin, was used for centuries as a royal castle. In a tower of the castle, the Torre do Tombo, the royal collection of documents was located. The castle was largely destroyed in the great earthquake of 1755. After extensive renovation work, the facility is back in good condition.

The main church of the city of Lisbon and the Cathedral of the Patriarchate of Lisbon is the Catedral de Santa Maria Maior. Construction work on the oldest church in the city began in 1147. An earthquake damaged the structure in 1344. In 1380, the western facade was erected in the Romanesque style.

In the 17th century, the large Baroque church Igreja de Santa Engrácia was built. Church of Saint Engrácia). The church could only be completed in the 20th century. It was never used as a place of worship and now serves as the Panteão Nacional. National Pantheon). Several presidents and writers, and most recently football idol Eusébio, were buried in the building. In addition, there are still some cenotaphs for "Heroes of Portuguese History".

The Convento do Carmo is a convent of the Carmelite Order built between 1389 and 1423 by Nuno Álvares Pereira. The Carmelite Church was considered a magnificent specimen of Lisbon Gothic. Due to the earthquake of 1755, the monastery was severely destroyed. Today only the ruins can be visited.

The Convento de Santos-o-Novo is a former convent of the Order of Santiago.

The synagogue in the style of historicism was built from 1902 to 1904.


Technical buildings

The Aqueduto das Águas Livres has a length of 19 km and stretches from Queluz via Caneças to the Mãe d'Água das Amoreiras.[ This aqueduct is one of the largest buildings of its kind in the world. The most impressive is the aqueduct in the Alcântara Valley. The arch bridge has a total length of 941 m. The 66 m high bridge is supported by 109 arches.

The Santa Justa Elevator, also called the Carmo Elevator, is a 45-meter-high passenger elevator that connects the Baixa district in the city center of Lisbon with the higher Chiado district. In common parlance, the three tram-like Lisbon funiculars are sometimes also called Elevador, which is actually a vertically moving elevator.


Representative buildings

The Palácio de São Bento was initially a Benedictine monastery. It was built in 1598. The Benedictine monks lived in the monastery until 1820. In 1834, the Portuguese Parliament moved into the building. In the back of the building is the seat of the Prime Minister.

The Portuguese Foreign Minister is housed in the Palácio das Necessidades, the former royal palace from the 18th century. The palace became the official residence of the royal family under the regency of Queen Maria II. After the proclamation of the republic on October 5, 1910, the building was designated as the seat of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Palacete Lambertini is a former city villa in the city center.

António José Dias da Silva, a Portuguese architect, designed the Praça de Touros do Campo Pequeno. Bullring) at Campo Pequeno. The arena was built between 1890 and 1892, after the former Lisbon Bullring at the Campo de Santana, which was in operation between 1831 and 1891, had been demolished.



The Padrão dos Descobrimentos Discovery Monument is located in the Bélem district on the banks of the Tagus River. It was created in 1960 under the Salazar regime, exactly 500 years after the death of Henry the Navigator and is intended to glorify the old times of the seafaring nation of Portugal. The bow of a caravel is depicted, on which, led by Henry the Navigator, other significant people from the Age of Discoveries are depicted. The 54-meter-high tower, with stylized sails on the sides, symbolizes the mast of the caravel.

The Torre Vasco da Gama is a 145-meter-high observation tower in steel frame construction, which was built in 1998 for the World Exhibition. According to the plans of the Portuguese architect Nuno Leónidas, the Vasco da Gama Tower is to be converted into a luxury hotel with 178 rooms on 20 floors. The reconstruction was from 2007 to 2012 and is now called MyRiad. The Oceanário de Lisboa is also located in the area of the former exhibition grounds of Expo 98. It is the second largest oceanarium in the world and is located there in the Park of Nations.

The 113 m high Christ figure Cristo Rei (Almada), built in 1959, is located on the southern side of the Tagus River, but is considered a landmark of Lisbon.


Expo 98

The World Exhibition Expo 98 was held in Lisbon from May 22 to September 30, 1998. It was the first in Portugal and the fourth of five so far on the Iberian Peninsula (1888 Barcelona, 1929 Barcelona, 1992 Seville, 2008 Zaragoza) and was under the motto "Os oceanos: um património para o futuro", in English "The oceans: A legacy for the future". 143 countries and 14 international organizations took part in the expo. During the 132 opening days, 10.12 million people visited the 340-hectare World Exhibition. Today, the popular exhibition area is marketed under the name Parque das Nações.



Some of the cemeteries in Lisbon are worth seeing because of their artfully designed crypts, funerary monuments or the personalities buried there. The Cemitério dos Prazeres is located in the west of the city at the terminus of line 28 of the Lisbon tram. From the cemetery grounds, a view of the Ponte 25 de Abril and the Cristo Rei statue in Almada is possible. One of the largest cemeteries, the Cemitério do Alto de São João is located northeast of the city center on a slope sloping down to the Tagus River. The origins of the Cemitério dos Ingleses date back to the 17th century. It is located next to the Jardim da Estrela.


Theme parks

The Parque Florestal de Monsanto is the largest park in Lisbon. It is located in the west of the city and covers 800 hectares. It was only created in the 1930s. The largest park in the city center, on the other hand, is the Parque Eduardo VII at the upper end of the boulevard Avenida da Liberdade in the municipality of Avenidas Novas. The park was named after the British King Edward VII, who visited Portugal in 1903. The third largest park in the city is the Jardim da Estrela from 1852, it is located opposite the Basilica da Estrela. Officially, he is now called Jardim Guerra Junqueiro, but in everyday life he is still called Jardim da Estrela. The Jardim do Campo Grande, in English "Garden of the Big Field", is a park of over 12.5 hectares in the municipality of Campo Grande. Also in the north of Lisbon is the 11-hectare Botânico do Monteiro-Mor Park, which was built in the second half of the 18th century.


Streets, places

Avenida da Liberdade is a magnificent avenue in Lisbon based on the model of the Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris. It connects the Baixa (lower town), which was built after the earthquake of 1755, with the higher-lying districts in the north and continued in the Avenidas Novas from the beginning of the 20th century. A first section of the Avenida became the 100th avenue in 1882. The Marquês de Pombal and the circular square dedicated to him were inaugurated on the centenary of his death.

In Portuguese, "Miradouro" is generally used to refer to a viewpoint. The Miradouros are among the most beautiful places in the city. They are located on the hills all around and offer views of the old town or the Tagus River.

The Bairro Alto (Upper Town) is a district of Lisbon, which is located above the Baixa business district. It is mainly known for its nightlife. One of the oldest and most famous cafés in the city is the A Brasileira. The café in the Chiado district was founded on November 19, 1905 by Adriano Telles. It was a popular meeting place of intellectuals. Among others, the Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa and the writer Aquilino Ribeiro visited there. A bronze statue of Pessoa has been standing in front of the café since 1988.



There are many museums in Lisbon. The Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga (National Museum of Ancient Art) is one of the most important art museums in Portugal. A significant focus of the collection are works by Portuguese artists. It owns works by Hieronymus Bosch, Albrecht Dürer, Pieter Brueghel the Younger, Piero della Francesca, Hans Holbein the Elder and Raphael, among others. The building of the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum was built between 1964 and 1969. The permanent exhibition of the museum includes a wide range of art objects from all eras. In 1984 it was expanded to include the Museum of Modern Art. Probably the most famous exhibits of the museum include the works of Rembrandt (Portrait of an Old Man), Claude Monet (still life with melon) and Édouard Manet (The Soap Bubbles).

The Museu da Marinha (Naval Museum) is located in the Belém district. It is located in a part of the west wing of the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, together with the Museu Nacional de Arqueologia. The Museu de Etnologia (Ethnological Museum) has artifacts from all over the world. For the most part, they come from the former colonies. in 1904, the Museu Nacional dos Coches (Carriage Museum) was opened on the initiative of Queen Amalia. It houses a considerable collection of carriages. The oldest carriage on display is from the 16th century by the Spanish King Philip II. Century. Opened by the industrialist and art collector José Berardo in 2007, the Museu Colecção Berardo is housed in the Centro Cultural de Belém. The art collector has provided the museum with a considerable collection of modern and contemporary art of the 20th century from Europe and overseas.



in 1854 there were six theaters in Lisbon. Today, in addition to the state theaters, there are several independent festival theaters that offer a rich performance program. The Teatro Nacional D. Maria II (eng. The Dona Maria National Theatre is the oldest spoken theatre in Lisbon and is centrally located on the Rossio. Even older is the Lisbon Opera Teatro nacional de São Carlos, which was built in the Chiado district in the late 18th century. Right next to it is the municipal theater Teatro Municipal São Luiz. Also in the Chiado there is also the Teatro da Trindade from the second half of the 19th century. Century. The Teatro Aberto is located near the Praça de Espanha. In the Teatro Politeama, in the style of the 1920s, mostly successful musicals are performed. The ballet company Companhia Nacional de Bailado CBN moved into the Teatro Camões after the Expo. Other ballet ensembles also perform there. Other theatres include the Teatro da Cornucópia, co-founded by Luís Miguel Cintra, the Teatro da Comuna, the Teatro Municipal Maria Matos, the Teatro Taborda, the Teatro Tívoli, the Teatro Villaret, founded by Raul Solnado, and the Teatro Vasco Santana.

Of historical rank was the Cinema Roxy. Cinema São Jorge is a premiere cinema in the city center, which also hosts the Lisbon International film Festivals, including Queer Lisboa, IndieLisboa, Doclisboa and Monstra. Another old cinema was the Animatógrafo do Rossio.



Fado music

The most internationally known of the traditional types of music in Lisbon is fado, often sung with a wistful but also partly cheerful basic mood, and usually accompanied only by a classical guitar and a Portuguese guitar. Fado is performed in the evenings, especially in pubs of the districts of Bairro Alto and Alfama. In addition to the traditional fado bars such as O Faia, Café Luso, Senhor Vinho and many more, the Clube de Fado, which was only opened in 1995, has gained some importance in recent years. Internationally, the name of the most popular fado singer in Portugal, Amália Rodrigues, is particularly associated with fado. As the successor of the artist, who died in 1999, the singer Mariza is often called internationally, but even such different names as Ana Moura, Mísia, Carminho or Cristina Branco have already achieved some international fame. Among the male singers, Alfredo Marceneiro, who died in 1982, is one of the most influential names in style. Most recently, Carlos do Carmo, who died in 2021, was considered the most important contemporary singer, while Camané in particular has made a name for himself among the following generations.

Fado originated in the slums of Lisbon, where it first appeared in the disreputable pubs in the Mouraria district. Whether it originally developed from the songs of the Portuguese sailors or whether it originated from Brazilian musical genres such as lundum or Modinha can no longer be determined without doubt from today's point of view. The Museu do Fado in the traditional Alfama district is dedicated to the history of fado in detail.

Since 2011, fado has been on the list of the Intangible World Cultural Heritage of UNESCO.



The most important opera house in the city is the Teatro Nacional de São Carlos, which opened in 1793. In addition, concerts and performances are regularly held in a variety of other concert venues, such as the Centro Cultural de Belém. Among the most important orchestras in the city are the Orquestra Metropolitana de Lisboa, the Orquestra Sinfonietta de Lisboa, the Orchestra of the Gulbenkian Foundation, and the Orquestra do Conservatóro Nacional, the Orchestra of the National Conservatory in Lisbon, now part of the ESTC.


Jazz, Rock and Co.

Lisbon is home to a variety of clubs, concert venues and bars of all directions, including the Hot Clube de Portugal, the oldest jazz club in Europe that still exists. Thanks to its history as a metropolis of the Portuguese Empire, Lisbon is home to many African immigrants and therefore also a center of African music making in Europe, with concert venues, bars and a variety of musicians. In the internationally acclaimed sampler series of the New York Red Hot Organization, the CD Red Hot + Lisbon was released in 1998 for the Lisbon World Exhibition, which is dedicated to these diverse musical influences in Lisbon.

The most diverse subcultures such as punk, Gothic, rockabilly, heavy metal, hip-hop and much more are also present here. In the 1980s, the Rock Rendez-Vous concert club played a special role in the development of various subcultures and thus promoted the emergence of a multifaceted range of bands in the city.

Above all, the Bairro Alto is transformed into a lively nightlife district every night by its many bars and clubs, but there are also a number of music venues for every taste in the old districts of Alfama and Mouraria, at the Cais do Sodré, or in the modern pub district in the former docks on the river in Alcântara, the Docas. The lively music scene of the city also includes a variety of music labels, such as the internationally renowned jazz label Clean Feed Records. The Super Bock Super Rock is a big rock festival taking place in Lisbon, and the internationally famous Rock-in-Rio Festival has also stopped here several times.


Regular events

Since 1984, jazz friends have been meeting annually at the Gulbenkian Foundation's international jazz festival Jazz em Agosto in the Portuguese capital. The rock music festival Rock in Rio was held in Lisbon in 2006 and 2008. In addition, in addition to other regular fairs, a tourism fair is held annually at the FIL fair.

The following Portuguese film festivals are held in Lisbon every year:
Doclisboa - International Documentary Film Festival
Queer Lisboa - the Festival of Gay and Lesbian Cinema (Festival de Cinema Gay e Lésbico de Lisboa)
IndieLisboa - International Festival of Independent Film (Festival internacional de cinema independente)
Monstra - international animated films
Hola Lisboa - Iberian and Latin American Films (Festival de Cinema Ibero-Americano)
MOTELX - Horror Films (Festival Internacional de Cinema de Terror de Lisboa)
FESTin - Films of the Portuguese-speaking world (Festival de Cinema Itinerante da Língua Portuguesa)
PLAY - Children's and youth films
LEFFEST Lisbon & Sintra Film Festival –formerly Lisbon & Estoril Film Fest) - international films

Annual Spring Tourism Fair in Lisbon.
Feira Internacional de Turismo

Feast for the celebration of the Patron Saint Anthony of Lisbon.
Festas de Lisboa, also simply Santo António, annually on June 13 in the old town districts such as Alfama, Graça, Mouraria, Bica or Madragoa, and with large parades on Avenida da Liberdade and other avenues

Feira da Ladra


Local recreation

The traditional seaside resorts of Cascais and Estoril are located in the surroundings of Lisbon. Estoril is considered a retreat of the rich upper class of Lisbon and is located on the edge of Estremadura. The place became famous because of its casino. Estoril is also home to the Autódromo, a race track where the Portuguese Grand Prix for motorcycles is held annually. The neighboring town of Cascais is located on a sandy bay of the Atlantic Ocean, about 25 kilometers west of Lisbon. From 1870, the royal family regularly spent the summer in Cascais, which also attracted the nobility and upper middle classes. The village has a marina with about 600 berths. The Serra da Arrábida Nature Reserve in the Lisboa e Vale do Tejo region stretches west of Setúbal on the coast facing away from the sea. There are a number of rare plants and animals there. The nature park covers an area of 10821 ha on a strip up to 8 km wide and 22 km long along the coast. Its boundaries are the towns and villages of Sesimbra and Santana to the west, Azeitão and Quinta do Anjo to the north, and Palmela and Setúbal to the east.


Culinary specialties

In the countless restaurants and restaurants and localities, dishes from international and local cuisine are served. However, there are only a few original Lisbon specialties that are not also offered elsewhere. Portuguese cuisine is based on hearty and traditionally prepared dishes using meat, fish, vegetables, rice, beans and potatoes. The stockfish is both a specialty and a national dish of Portugal. There are also countless recipes for salted and dried cod. Also popular are sardines, grilled as sardinhas assadas, as well as squid, crawfish, crayfish, tuna, swordfish, eel, shrimp and other marine animals. Also typical is Ameijoas na cataplana, a clam stew with pork, bacon and onions. In addition to beef, goat meat (cabrito) and lamb meat (borrego) are often eaten in Portugal.

The Portuguese port wine is internationally known, a liqueur wine that is mainly drunk with desserts. The specialties also include the Pastel de Nata or Pastel de Belém. The custard tartlet - consisting of cake or puff pastry, filled with creamy custard and dusted with cinnamon and powdered sugar – was probably already made by monks of the Jerome Monastery in the Santa Maria de Belém district of Lisbon before the 18th century. After the secularization of the monasteries, the monks decided in 1837 to produce delicacies to be sold to the people of Lisbon. Today, many locals and tourists visit the large cafeteria of the local factory to purchase the pastéis. Only a few pâtissiers know the original recipe.


Lisbon on film

The city is the center of Portuguese cinema. Since the beginning of film art, however, she has also repeatedly been the subject of international and national film productions, whether as a documentary or as a feature film. The focus is on the role of neutral Lisbon in the Second World War, the charm of its old quarters, and its role for Portuguese culture, especially fado and the writer Fernando Pessoa.



The urban area of Lisbon corresponds to the district of Lisbon and covers an area of 84.7 km2 with 506,654 inhabitants (as of 2018). Around 2,400,000 people live in the Lisbon District (as of 2015) and more than 30% of the Portuguese population live in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area with 3,200,414 people (as of 2015). The metropolitan area extends over Grande Lisboa on the northern bank of the Tagus River and the Península de Setúbal to the south.


Geographical location

Lisbon is located on the Iberian Peninsula. The city is located on a bay on the northern bank of the estuary of the Tagus River in the extreme southwest of Europe on the Atlantic coast. The Tagus River, spreading just before its mouth, narrows in the last kilometers to the Atlantic Ocean. There the city stretches along the shore. From the shore it rises in steps on several hills. There are high hills and deep valley cuts in Lisbon. The highest elevation in the urban area reaches 226 meters. For a long time, the city unfolded only along the Tagus River. Since the 20th century. In the XIX century, the capital is constantly spreading inland.



The city is located on seven hills, not counting the smaller hills. In the Atlantic Ocean at the height of Cádiz, a tectonic fault, the so-called Gloria sheet shift, runs in an east-west direction. Two other tectonic features, the Gorringe Bank and the Marquês de Pombal fault, are located at the level of the south coast of Portugal. Earthquakes are a consequence of the collision of the northward drifting African plate with the Iberian Peninsula (Eurasian plate). Furthermore, numerous active mud volcanoes in the Gulf of Cadiz indicate ongoing seismic activity in the region. Due to the past earthquakes, observation points were created on the seabed in 2004. They are designed to measure temperature and pressure fluctuations that indicate stresses in the Earth's crust, which can be discharged in an earthquake.



The climate classification according to Lauer and Frankenberg (1987) assigns the climate of Portugal to the maritime and semi-humid climate of the subtropical climatic zone. Due to its location directly on the Atlantic Ocean, it is characterized by the temperature behavior of the sea: not too hot summers and relatively mild winters. Temperatures rarely fall below 0 °C. Snowfall is even rarer.


Environment and green areas

Lisbon is a city full of green spaces, of varied dimensions. It was in this city that the first Portuguese Botanical Garden appeared: Jardim Botânico da Ajuda. Some of the city's gardens are in the process of recovery, in order to create a green corridor in the city, while other areas, previously concentrating high levels of traffic and pollution, are being requalified, the most recent being CRIL — 2ª Circular.

In terms of air quality, it presents progressively descending levels of atmospheric pollution, although still with NO2 particles clearly higher than the legal limit. These particle values arise from the use above the European average of car traffic, as opposed to the use of public transport, which distinguishes Lisbon from other European capitals. In recent years, improvements have been made inside and outside Lisbon in the planning of the rail and Road public transport network, allowing for more efficient and effective use and, consequently, less pollution emitted.

There are more than a hundred parks, gardens, farms and tapadas in Lisbon, among them Parque Eduardo VII, Parque Florestal De Monsanto, Jardim Botânico da Ajuda, Jardim Botânico de Lisboa, Jardim da Estrela, Tapada da Ajuda, among many others. The Monsanto Forest Park is the largest and most important Park in the city, called its "green lung", being the only large forest in Lisbon (the others closest are the Tapada de Mafra, the Tapada da Ajuda and the Serra de Sintra).



Population development

The population of the city proper is 545,796 (as of April 19, 2021); the population for the Lisbon metropolitan area is about 2,800,000 according to the Instituto Nacional de Estatística ("National Institute of Statistics"). The population density of the city itself is 6,658 inhabitants per km2. In 2007, 13% of the population was under the age of 15, and 24% was over the age of 65. By contrast, the national average in Portugal for people over the age of 65 was only 17%. At 54%, women make up more than half of Lisbon's population.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Lisbon experienced a dramatic population decline. Despite the influx of 53,000 people between 1996 and 2001, two more left the city in 2001 for every new resident who moved to Lisbon. The newcomers are primarily families who, thanks to their financial resources, can pay for the high housing costs; on the other hand, younger people and representatives of the middle class in particular have moved away. The trend towards suburbanization that can be observed in the city is counteracted by the gradual relocation of housing to the metropolitan area of Lisbon: this massively increases the number of commuters, so that mobility and transport problems have now become a critical factor in the everyday life of the city and in terms of the quality of life of its citizens.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Lisbon experienced a dramatic population decline. Despite the influx of 53,000 people between 1996 and 2001, two more left the city in 2001 for every new resident who moved to Lisbon. The newcomers are primarily families who, thanks to their financial resources, can pay for the high housing costs; on the other hand, younger people and representatives of the middle class in particular have moved away. The trend towards suburbanization that can be observed in the city is counteracted by the gradual relocation of housing to the metropolitan area of Lisbon: this massively increases the number of commuters, so that mobility and transport problems have now become a critical factor in the everyday life of the city and in terms of the quality of life of its citizens.

The majority of people in Lisbon profess the Roman Catholic faith. According to a 2018 survey, just over half of the population of Lisbon said they were Catholic (54.9%) and 35% said they had no religion (of which 13.1% were believers without belonging to a religious community, 10% atheists, 4.9% indifferent and 6.9% agnostics). 10% of the population claimed to belong to smaller religious communities, with half (5%) claiming to belong to the Protestant Church, and the remaining 5% were divided among Jehovah's Witnesses, Muslims, Buddhists, Orthodox and others. Only 11.4% of the population of Lisbon reported attending a church or other place of worship on a weekly basis.

In addition to its demographic presence, the Roman Catholic Church is also historically present in the city: the first bishopric of Lisbon was founded as early as the 4th century. When the city was conquered by the Moors, it continued to exist as a partially vacant titular bishopric of the Roman Catholic Church. In addition, there are references to Mozarabic bishops of Lisbon who are not known by name. After the reconquest by Alfonso I, it revived as a Roman Catholic bishopric under its bishop, the Norman Gilbert of Hastings (bishop from 1147 to 1166). During this period, the construction of the cathedral church Igreja de Santa Maria Maior also began, on the former site of a mosque, which is now considered the oldest church in the city. in 1394 the Bishopric of Lisbon was elevated to the status of an archbishopric, and in 1716 the Patriarchate of Lisbon was finally established. After the European Youth Meeting in 2004/2005, Lisbon organized another major church event in 2023, the 37th World Youth Day, which was attended by about 1.5 million people at the closing service with Pope Francis in Tejo Park.

The Cemitério Alemão cemetery of the German community is located in the municipality of Santo Condestável.


Local politics

City Council and Municipal Council
The municipal and municipal assembly are elected by the residents according to the proportional representation principle. The directly elected city council and the municipal council represent the local state authority. They are responsible to the respective assembly. Local self-government is financed from local revenues and own assets, as well as from the state financial compensation. The budget is prepared by the municipal or city council and submitted to the respective assembly for decision. In the greater Lisbon area, revenues of 40 to 50 percent, from real estate tax as well as vehicle and trade tax, have contributed to the local budget in recent years.

The Cámara Municipal (eng. The City Council) consists of 17 and the Assembleia Municipal (eng. The municipal council consists of 107 members. The members of the municipal council are elected by the municipal assembly. The candidate in the first place on the list of the strongest local party takes over the chairmanship of the municipal council. The mayor is the party with the highest percentage of seats in the city council.



Lisbon has various sports facilities. The Estádio da Luz and the José Alvalade Stadium are the largest stadiums in the city. Throughout its history, the city has repeatedly hosted world and European championships.

World, European and National championships
The 1947 World Fencing Championships, the 1991 World Junior Football Championship, the 1999 European Short Track Championships, the 2001 World Indoor Athletics Championships, the 2001 UCI Road World Championships, the 2002 World Fencing Championships and the 2003 World Men's Handball Championship were held in Lisbon.

In the period from 1938 to 1945, the Portuguese Football Cup was held annually in Lisbon. The International European Championships in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu have been held in Lisbon since 2004. In May 2014 and August 2020, the UEFA Champions League final took place at the Estádio da Luz in Lisbon.

The football club Benfica Lisbon is the Portuguese record champion and won the European Cup of the national champions in 1961 and 1962. The venue of the home matches is the Estádio da Luz. The stadium with a capacity of 65,000 seats was the venue for three group matches, a quarter-final and the final match of the 2004 European Football Championship. The stadium was completely rebuilt for the tournament.

The Lisbon football club Sporting Clube de Portugal (Sporting Lisbon) was the winner of the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1964. The Sporting football team plays its home matches at the Estádio José Alvalade XXI. The 52,000-seat stadium was the venue for the 2004 European Football Championship. The UEFA five-star stadium is located right next to the old facility.

The Estádio do Restelo is the football stadium of the Club Belenenses Lisbon and is located in the Belém district. The stadium was officially inaugurated on 23 September 1956 and holds around 32,500 spectators.

Other football clubs from Lisbon with a first league history are or were Atlético, Oriental, Casa Pia, Carcavelinhos and CF Unidos, which is now based in the suburb of Pontinha. In the greater Lisbon area, Estrela Amadora, Estoril Praia and FC Alverca are or were first-class, from the cities of Amora FC, Seixal F.C., Fabril Barreiro, FC Barreirense and CD Montijo, located on the opposite bank of the Tejo, are or were first-class.

The most successful representative of Lisbon in national women's football is CF Benfica.

Other sports
Four clubs from Lisbon play in the Handball League LPA: Sporting Clube de Portugal, Sport Lisboa e Benfica, Clube de Futebol Os Belenenses and Boa-Hora. The Lisbon clubs SL Benfica and União Lisboa play in the UZO basketball league. The Lisbon Half Marathon (pt. Meia Maratona de Lisboa) is one of the largest and most important half marathons in the world. It has been held in Lisbon since 1991, usually in March. The first Transeuropa run took place from 19 April to 21 June 2003 and ran from Lisbon to Moscow in 64 daily stages without a rest day. At the end of December 2005, the Dakar Rally (formerly Paris-Dakar) began for the first time in the capital of Portugal.


Economy and infrastructure


The Lisbon area is the most prosperous area in Portugal, whose gross domestic product is higher than the European average (Lisbon generates 45% of Portugal's GDP). 1,300,500 people are employed in the greater Lisbon area. The unemployment rate in the city was 8% in 2004. Lisbon's economy is based primarily on the service industry. The Lisbon seaport is of great economic importance as an interface of land and sea transport, as a maritime service center and as an industrial location. In the Lisbon metropolitan area, the south bank of the Tagus River in particular is highly industrialized. 7 of the 10 largest listed companies in Portugal are based in Lisbon. These include, among others, the companies Energias de Portugal, Portugal Telecom and Jerónimo Martins. The Lisbon Stock Exchange is part of the Euronext "multi-country stock Exchange" with the stock exchanges in Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris.

In a ranking of cities according to their quality of life, Lisbon ranked 38th out of 231 cities surveyed worldwide in 2018.


Road transport

Due to its location on the Tagus River, Lisbon was only directly accessible from the south by ferry for a long time. The first bridge was built in 1951 north of the city at a narrow point of the river in Vila Franca de Xira in the north. The Ponte 25 de Abril (1013 m span and 2287 m length) was completed in 1966 and connected Lisbon with Almada on the south side of the Tagus for the first time. Since 1999, there has also been a railway connection below the carriageway. The A2 then leads further into the eastern interior of the country or to Madrid / Spain. With the Ponte Vasco da Gama, one of the longest cable-stayed bridges in the world and the longest bridge in Europe, there has been a direct motorway connection (A12/IP1) over the bay since 1998 between Moscavide/Sacavém on the right and Montijo/Alcochete (Município)/Alcochete, or Setúbal with its industries on the left side of the Tagus.

To the north, the A8 motorway connects to Leiria, and the A1 runs along the coast to Porto, the second most important center of the country.


Rail transport

The Portuguese capital is the main hub of the Portuguese railway network, along with Porto. Four railway lines run towards Lisbon, which – connected by the Linha de Cintura ring line - end at various stations in the Lisbon metropolitan area. The most important station is the Santa Apolónia station on the Linha do Norte, where all international trains from Spain and France end, as well as the majority of the national high-speed Alfa Pendular trains. Furthermore, the Oriente railway station is located in the north-east of Lisbon, which in the future, with the construction of the standard-gauge high-speed RAVE network, is to become the new main railway station of the city. For suburban traffic, the two terminal stations Cais do Sodré (route to Cascais) and Rossio (route to Sintra) as well as the Sete Rios and Entrecampos stations located at the Linha de Cintura remain, among others. The line on the south side of the Tagus to Setúbal, which is operated by the private railway company Fertagus, also starts here.


Ferry traffic

There are several ferry connections across the Tagus to Barreiro, Cacilhas, Montijo, Porto Brandão, Seixal and Trafaria. Moorings on the right side of the Tejo are: Belem, Cais do Sodré and Terreiro do Paço. The operator of all lines is now Transtejo & Soflusa, the trademarks are the blue and white catamaran ferries, which have shortened the crossing on the Tagus to a third at 55 km / h.


Public transport

The public transport is mainly taken over by the two companies Carris (Companhia dos Carris de Ferro de Lisboa) and the Metropolitano de Lisboa. The Carris serves over 100 bus lines and six tram lines (12, 15, 18, 24, 25 and 28). The tram (pt. Eléctrico) operates partly with historic carriages, for example on line 28. In addition, it operates four elevadores (eng. Elevators), three of which are funiculars and one is a vertically moving elevator, the Elevador de Santa Justa. The three funiculars were built towards the end of the 19th century. It was built at the end of the XIX century, when it was started in Lisbon to replace the horse tram, which had been running since 1873, with cable trams from 1890, and later with electric trams. The Lisbon Metro comprises four lines, some of which run beyond the city area. The subway network, which is now 38 kilometers long, is being continuously expanded.



The Lisbon-Portela International Airport is located six kilometers north of the center and in the extension of the A12 motorway. For quite some time, there has been discussion about the construction of the new Novo Aeroporto Lisboa Airport. On 10 January 2008, the Prime Minister José Sócrates announced that it would be built on the Campo de Tiro Alcochete military site, north of Alcochete. The Portuguese airlines TAP Portugal, White Airways, Portugália Airlines and EuroAtlantic Airways are based in Lisbon.



The Lisbon Port runs along the city's waterfront for a length of over 10 km. In addition, there are numerous facilities on the south side of the Tagus in Trafaria, Porto Brandão, Almada, Seixal, Barreiro and Montijo, which belong to Porto de Lisboa and are operated by the port authority APL, even if they are located outside the city proper. These plants have specialized in grain and oil. On the north side in the urban area of Lisbon, on the other hand, containers are handled mainly. There are also direct connections to the train network in Alcântara and Santa Apolónia, where the two large container terminals of the city are located. The largest and deepest docks are located in Alcântara. In total, the docks of the Port of Lisbon enclose a water area of 430,000 m2.

Cruise ships often dock in Lisbon to make a stop on the way from northern Europe to the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands or South America. There are three terminals for you: Gare Marítima da Rocha Conde de Óbidos, Terminal de Cruzeiros de Santa Apolónia and in its vicinity the modern Terminal de Cruzeiros de Lisboa.

For private yachts there are four moorings with the Doca de Alcântara, Doca de Santo Amaro and Doca de Belém e Doca do Bom Sucesso available. A total of about 1,100 ships have space here.


Education and Science

Lisbon has several universities and is, next to Coimbra, the most important university city in Portugal.

The University of Lisbon was founded in 1288 and confirmed by the Pope in 1290. It is one of the oldest universities in Europe, but was only re-founded in 1911 after a break of more than 400 years. It is the largest university in Portugal with over 47,000 students in eight faculties. Since 1991, the National Archives (Arquivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo) has been located in a modern building on the university campus. The Lisbon Observatory (pt. Observatório Astronómico de Lisboa) was affiliated to the University of Lisbon in 1992 and integrated into the Faculty of Natural Sciences in 1995. As the largest clinic, the University Hospital Hospital de Santa Maria with 1500 beds also belongs to it. On 31 December 2012, the Technical University of Lisbon merged with the University of Lisbon to form the new University of Lisbon (Universidade de Lisboa).

The Catholic University of Portugal was founded in 1971 as a Catholic, public educational institution in Lisbon. Over 11,000 students study at 18 faculties at several regional centers. In 1988, the state Distance Learning University Universidade Aberta was founded. In addition to its headquarters in Lisbon, it also has two regional branches in Porto and Coimbra. In addition, there are 16 local study centers in Portugal and one in Mozambique. Other universities in Lisbon include the University of Lusíada, the Universidade Nova de Lisboa and the Autonomous University of Lisbon.

The German School Lisbon is the oldest German school on the Iberian Peninsula and the second oldest of all German schools abroad. It was founded in 1848 by a Protestant pastor of the German congregation in Lisbon. The school was forced to close in 1916 during the First World War. Its reopening took place in 1922. At the end of the Second World War, school operations ended again. This was resumed after reopening on 20 October 1952.

The Portuguese National Library, founded in 1796, is located in the Campo Grande district of Lisbon. It is affiliated with the Biblioteca da Ajuda, which goes back to the Royal Library (Biblioteca Real) and is housed in the Palácio Nacional da Ajuda.


Prominent figures

Lisbon is the birthplace of many well-known personalities. These include the poet Alcipe, the artist Helena Almeida, the UN Secretary General and former Portuguese Prime Minister António Guterres, the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso, the doctor and Pope John XXI., the singer Amália Rodrigues, as well as the former Prime Minister and State President Mário Soares.

In addition, a number of internationally renowned personalities moved to Lisbon, especially in the 2010s. The most famous names are probably the pop musician Madonna, the French fashion designer Christian Louboutin or the former football player Éric Cantona, also actors such as the German-Irish Michael Fassbender, the Italian Monica Bellucci, the American John Malkovich and a number of well-known Brazilian actors are among them.

Former residents of the greater Lisbon area also include the Canadian musician Bryan Adams, the Italian author Antonio Tabucchi, the German historian Vera Leisner and the British photojournalist Joshua Benoliel.