Lisbon (Lisboa in Portuguese) is an enchanting travel destination. The city is built on seven hills that rise from the north bank of the Tagus (Tejo) River. Its coastal suburbs overlook the sparkling sea. Lisbon is a city of contrasts. Though delightfully informal, it is the political, economic and cultural center of Portugal and has a population in city and suburbs of over two million.

Lisbon boasts one of the finest subway, bus and train systems anywhere, yet the local favorite is the Electrico. This is a system of antique trolley cars built in the style of days gone by. The cars are beautifully lined with wood panels, insulating them from the intense summer heat. One of the most popular trolley lines is number 28 which goes across the entire city, a trip that necessitates rolling around steep turns and up and down hills in roller coaster fashion. Though Electrico operates consistently at a loss, city residents wouldn’t hear of discontinuing it!

Sightseeing, surfing, sunbathing, golf, soccer matches, shopping, open air concerts and fado folk music are all part of the charm and vitality of this spirited city. The capital provides ample opportunity for seeing popular celebrations, for shopping, and for enjoying the nightlife along the river banks. Not far from the city lies the town of Sintra.

There, a horse-drawn carriage ride through streets lined with majestic trees and lush vegetation passes by ancient mansions on the way to the Palácio da Pena (Pena Palace) at the top of the hill. Its fabulous romantic architecture keeps vivid the atmosphere of a truly royal residence.

Lisbon has been the capital of Portugal since 1255. It is located on the Atlantic coast in the southwest part of the country. The Tagus River runs through the valley below the hills on which Lisbon is situated. The source of the river lies in Spain, but most of its journey to the sea occurs inside Portugal where it meets the Atlantic ocean. As it approaches Lisbon, the river bed widens to create a green and fertile plain.

The whole green river valley is like a stage setting upon which the deeply-rooted cultural traditions of the people continue to be presented day by day. There is popular music and dance, and horsemen in traditional costume can still be seen rounding up their cattle in rural pastures. High on a hill is the fortress around which the city originally sprang up, and which is now circled by neighborhoods whose architecture is reminiscent of medieval days. The facades of the houses are adorned with the ornate ceramic tiles that are a still a trademark of area craftsmen.

Dotting the hills can be found the ancient monasteries and convents of the religious orders which stand as witnesses to Portugal’s rich historical and cultural traditions. These are lands that were won back from the Moors by the first king of Portugal, Afonso Henriques, and the memory of that era lives on in the ancient castles that loom above Leiria, Tomar, Óbidos or Santarém.

The Atlantic coast, which stretches to the north and west of Lisbon, is of graceful beauty with the landscape swiftly changing from high, sweeping cliffs to beaches of white sand, backed by lagoons. There is a saying in Portugal “those who haven’t seen Lisbon don’t know what beauty is!”

Things to do

Before starting out to explore the city, it is interesting to note that there are:
44 Arches and archways in Lisbon; 56 fountains; 102 Catholic Churches; 67 public gardens; 51 museums; and 92 palaces! This means, of course, that the visitor will have an almost endless source of exploration and discovery.

It also points up the need to be selective and to budget one’s time and energy. Lisbon’s museums and other cultural attractions are usually open every day of the week, except for Mondays. The entrance fees are reasonable, and there are discounts for students.

Areas Within City of Lisbon

Barrio Alto and Estrela

Lisbon’s seven hills

Penha de França
S. Pedro de Alcântara
Santa Catarina

Hills Tour of Lisbon

Admission is charged. Children under 4 free.
Covers the seven main hills in a charming refurbished tram.

Tagus Boat Trip

From Terreiro do Paco ferry wharf
Fee charged
11am and 3pm daily. Two hour trip.


This is the area settled by the Moors around their fortified castle. Compact houses line steep streets and stairways. Restoration has begun of the houses that survived the earthquake of 1755 and have been largely neglected since.

Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian

Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian

Avenida de Berna 45A
Metro: São Sebastião, Espanha
Bus 16,26,31,41,46
The impressive Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian complex houses the astonishing treasure trove collected by the Lisbon oil magnate, from Egyptian and Oriental art to Lalique jewelry and the country’s finest collection of 20th century Portuguese art.

The foundation is committed to furthering public interest in music, dance, and song. Programs of classical music and dance, art exhibitions and open air summer jazz concerts are just a few of the foundation’s programs.

Castelo de Sâo Jorge

Castelo de Sâo Jorge

Rua Costa do Castelo
Bus 37; Tram 2
Daily 9-7
Admission: Free.
The lofty, originally Moorish castle of Sâo Jorge (St. George’s Castle) is the best place to get a perspective on Lisbon’s history and its spectacular geography. It stands on the site of the earliest settlement. Fortified by the Romans, Visigoths and Moors, it was besieged in 1147 by Alfonso Enriques and his Christian army and fell after 17 weeks.

This battle was a turning point in the struggle to evict the Moors from Portugal. Extensive restoration has enhanced the grounds and gardens, making them a welcome oasis of beauty in the oldest part of Lisbon.

Sé Patriarchal

Largo da Sé, 1100
Tram 28
Tues.-Sat. 9-5
Admission charged to cloisters and treasury
The cathedral was built for the first bishop of Lisbon, Gilbert of Hastings, three years after Alfonse Henriques recaptured Lisbon from the Moors. It was built on the site of an old mosque and was named for Sedes Episcopales or the seat (see) of the bishop.

It was badly damaged by earthquakes over the years, and was repaired in various architectural styles. It contains a beautiful rose window.. It is Romanesque in its general lines though with nine Gothic chapels added in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Visitors should see the nave and the King Dinis cloisters, the Bartholomew Joanne’s Chapel and the Gothic Ambulatory and Chapels built in the reign of Afonso IV.

The tomb of the 14th century nobleman Lopo Fernandez Pacheco is on display and is adorned with unique wood carvings. The treasury houses silver, ecclesiastical robes, statues, early manuscripts and relics associated with St. Vincent including a casket containing his remains.

Santo António a` Sé

Tram 28 Bus 37
8am-7:30pm daily (Church) Museum: 10-1 and 2-6 Tues.-Sun.
The church is said to stand on the site where St. Anthony of Padua was born. It was designed by Mateus Vicente in the eighteenth century, and is like a miniature Italian church in the grand manner. It is the chief shrine of this popular Lisbon saint and is served by a community of Franciscan Friars Minors

The original church was destroyed in the earthquake of 1775t, except for the crypt, which remains. In 1995 the church received a facelift. It is traditional for newly married couples to visit the church and leave flowers on their wedding day. The Museu Antoniano houses artifacts all related to St. Anthony as well as gold and silverware that used to decorate the church.

Museu da Marioneta

(Puppet Museum)
Largo do Rodrigo Freitas 19A
1st Floor, Moraria, 1100
21 886-5794
Tram 28 Bus 12
Open 10-1 and 2-7 daily
Admission charged. Children under 12 and adults 65+ are free.
This is a small museum that displays about 800 puppets and has a charming 40 seat theater which hosts puppet shows for school groups. Check on availability of seating for visitors.

Miradouro de Santa Luzia

Rua do Limoeiro
Interior is presently closed.
Exterior features a viewing platform with a spectacular view. Two panels depict the conquest of Lisbon and the Royal Palace before the earthquake of 1755.

Museu das Artes Decorativas

2, largo das Portas do Sol, 1100
21 886 21 83
Tram 17,12,28 Bus 37
Tues..-Sun. 10-5
Admission charged. Under 12 Free.
Exhibits include everyday Portuguese furniture in exotic woods from the 17th and 18th centuries; collections of 18th century silver and Chinese porcelain; and Arrailos carpets. Workshops are housed in the building where visitors can watch artisans engaged in cabinet making, gilding, book binding, and other traditional crafts.

Museu Militar

Largo do Museu da Artihania
21 888 21 31
Tram 28 Bus 12,46,107
10-5 Tues.-Sun.
Admission charged.
This is the former Army Arsenal, now the Military or Artillery Museum packed with ancient weapons, armour, late medieval small arms, old bronze cannon: the whole range of firearms from sixteenth century to our own day. There is one room with the weapons of the first World War and another with those of the Spanish Civil War. Another area presents the development of weapons from primitive flints to spears and rifles.

Feira da Ladra

Campo de Santa Clara
Tram 28
Tues.,Sat 6-2 (winter) Tues.,Sat. 6-4 (summer)
This so called “Thieves’ Market” has existed in this same location for over a century. Bargains are hard to find, but it is interesting to walk through and look at the many items offered for sale. Be very careful to inspect the goods well before purchasing to be sure of authenticity and that the item is in working order.


Baixa is the busiest area of Lisbon, especially around the squares of Rossio and Praça de Figueria. Decimated by the earthquake of 1755, the restoration of this part of the city has been a model throughout Europe in town planning. In the Middle Ages the streets in Baixa were named for the crafts practiced there. Thus: Rua da Prata (silver) Rua da Ouro (gold) Rua August (main)

Jardim Botanico

58, Rua da Escola Politécnica 1500
Bus 15,58,100
Metro: Avenida.
Museu de História Natural (Museum of Natural History) open for exhibitions only. Museu da Ciéncia (Museum of Science)
The 10 acres of gardens contain some examples of exotic vegetation that are seldom seen anywhere. The two levels of the ponds and gardens are connected by an avenue of magnificent palm trees. The complex is owned by the University. The history museum is used for temporary exhibits that are well advertised locally. The Science museum is a favorite with school children.

Avenida da Liberdade

Metro: Restauradores, Avenida
This was the first area to be restored following the earthquake of 1755. At that time, the Marqués de Pombal created the Passeio Público (public promenade) in the lower part of the present avenue. Contrary to its name, this street was only open to the highest echelon of Lisbon society.

Walls and gates kept others out. In 1821 the barriers were pulled down and the Avenida and square became open to all. It is now a seven lane thoroughfare extending over a mile in the style of the Champs-Elysées in Paris. It links the Praça dos Restauradores and Praça Marqués de Pombal.

Praça dos Restauradores

Praça dos Restauradores

Metro: Restauradores, Rossio
Bus 2,9,36,46
The obelisk that stands in the middle of the square commemorates the rebellion of 1640 which freed Portugal from 60 years of Spanish rule and brought the Duke of Bragança to power. To the southwest of the square stands the Rossio Station (Estação do Rossi). Trains to Sintra leave from this station. The Lisbon Tourist office is housed in the former palace residence of the Marqués de Castelo Melhor.

Praça Dom Pedro IV

Rossio Square
Metro: Rossio
This square is lined with souvenir, craft and jewelry shops and cafés. It has an ancient history and was the site of Inquisition burnings in the 16th century. It has also been the scene of bullfights, festivals and military parades.

Rossio and the waterfront form the borders of Baixa. The Teatro Nacional (National Theater) is also located there. In the center stands the statue of Dom Pedro IV the first emperor of independent Brazil. In the mid 19th century the square was paved with waved pattern mosaics. A small section of the gray and white hand cut inlaid stones survives.

Museu da Sociedade de Geographia

Rua das Portas de Santo Antão
Metro: Restauradores
Bus 9,80,90
11 and 3 Mon.,Wed.,Fri.
Located in the Geographical Society Building, this museum houses a collection brought back from Portugal’s former colonies. Items such as snake spears and musical instruments are included.

Elevator de Santa Justa

Metro: Restauradores, Rossio
Rua de Santa Justa and Largo do Camo
21 363 20 21
7am-11pm Mon.-Sat. 9am-11pm Sunday & holidays
This neo Gothic lift was built at the turn of the century by an apprentice of the architect who designed the Eiffel Tower. Originally powered by steam, it has been electrified since its construction in 1898.

When the tower and elevator opened in 1902 they were the talk of the town, much of it derogatory. It soon became a favorite attraction, however. It is made of iron and decorated with filigree and is still a working elevator. It is the most convenient way to reach the upper part of the town, and regular service is provided from Baixa to Barrio Alto 105 feet above.

Nossa Senhora da Conceição Velha Church

Nossa Senhora da Conceição Velha

Rua da Alfàndega
21 887 02 02
Bus 9,46,90 Tram 18
Daily 8-1 and 3:30-7
The elaborate south doorway is the only part of the church that survived the earthquake of 1755. It is decorated with angels, flowers, beasts, as well as the cross of the Order of Christ. The Virgin Mary spreads her mantle protectively over leading figures of the day.

Praça do Comércio

Bus 2,14,40,46 Tram 15,18
Overlooking the sparkling Tagus river, the Praça do Comércio is the centerpiece of Lisbon’s redesign following the 1755 earthquake. Commonly known as Terreiro do Paço (Palace Square) this huge open space was the site of the royal palace for over 400 years after King Manuel I transferred it from Castelo de São Jorge in 1511.

When the city was rebuilt after the earthquake this square became the centerpiece of Pombal’s design of the Baixa section of the city. The new palace was located in arcaded buildings that extended around three sides of the square. After the 1910 Revolution, these were converted to government buildings.

In the center of the square is a statue of King José I on a horse trampling serpents. The triumphal arch on the north side of the square leads to Rua Augusta. The arch is decorated with historical figures including that Vasco da Gama. On February 1, 1908, King Carlos and his young son Luís Felipe were assassinated as they were walking through the square. The square is currently filled with open air cafés and market stalls.

Bairro Alto

The Bairro Alto (high area) is a fascinating area of cobbled streets, old houses and tiny shops. Once considered a bohemian area, it is now residential and well regarded. The Chiado section contains elegant shops and fashionable night spots. Major renovation work has taken place since a major fire in 1988. At night it is one of the city’s liveliest areas. Fado houses offer Lisbon’s answer to the American Blues.

Museu and Igreja (Church) de São Roque

Largo Trinidade Coehlo
323 50 60
Bus 58,100 Tram 28
Metro: Restauradores, Chiado
9-5 daily. 9-1 on holidays
Museu de Arte Sacra
Tues.-Sun. 10-5
Admission charged. Students and under 18’s Free
Reservation required.
This church was founded toward the end of the 16th century by the Jesuits and was built by the craftsman who also built the monastery of São Vincente de Fora.

The outside is plain, but the interior decoration is magnificent. An Italianate painting by Francisco Venegas covers the wooden ceiling of the nave. It depicts the victory of the Holy Cross. Each of the chapels is a masterpiece of baroque art. The late baroque São Baptista chapel contains lapis lazuli columns, marble statues, and bronze statues that rise from a floor set with richly colored mosaic tiles. Even more amazing is the mode of construction!

The entire church was constructed in Rome at the request of João V. It was then dismantled and transported by boat to Lisbon where it was rebuilt in 1747. A small museum on premises houses treasures of the church and some works of art by 16th century Portuguese painters.

Igreja do Carmo

Largo do Carmo, 1200
Tram 28 and Santa Justa lift Metro: Restauradores, then the Santa Justa lift. 10-6 Tues.-Sun. (summer) 10-1 and 2-5 Tues.-Sun. (winter) The Gothic ruins of this Carmelite church are graphic reminders of the devastation caused by the 1755 earthquake. This was once the largest church in Lisbon. At present there is no roof, but the nave still stands.

The roof, arches and pillars caved in on the worshippers attending Mass on the day of the catastrophe. The chancel is now an archeological museum. There are finds from Mexico and South America as well as from Portugal. A large fountain decorated with four dolphins stands outside the remains of the church.


Located in the area of the main shopping street of the area. Rua Garrett, Chiado is known for its clothes shops, cafés and bookshops. A disastrous fire in 1988 destroyed many of the buildings.

There was a controversy following the fire as to how restoration should proceed. Some wanted a more contemporary style of architecture. A compromise was reached whereby the Pombaline style was restored with the addition of compatible features of a more contemporary nature.

Museu do Chiado

6 Rua Serpa Pinto, 1200
343 21 48
Fax 343 21 51
Metro: Chiado
Bus 24,28 Tram 58
2-6 Wed. 10-6 Wed.-Sun.
Portuguese works of art from the 19th and 20th centuries. The museum building was a former biscuit factory which was remodeled by the French architect, Jean-Michel Wilmotte.

Teatro Nacional de São Carlos

Rua Serpa Pinto 9
Tram 28
Bus 58
Open for performances only.
The building of the theater was begun in 1792 and finished in 1795. It was designed by José da Costa e Silva along the lines of La Scala in Milan and the San Carlo in Naples. It has a beautiful rococo interior. The opera season lasts from September to June. Concerts and ballets are also presented here.

Museu de Arte Antiga

Rua das Janelas Verdes
Bus 27,40,49,70
10-6 Wed.-Sun.. 2-6 Tues.
Portugal’s national art collection is housed in this 17th century palace built for the counts of Alvor. It was acquired in 1770 by the Marques de Pombal and remained in his family for over 100 years.

The museum was established in 1884. An annex was added in 1940. The ground floor displays 14th-19th century European paintings as well as some furniture and Oriental and African art. Chinese and Portuguese ceramics and silver and gold jewelry are displayed on the first floor. Portuguese art and sculpture are on the top floor.

The chapel of St. Albert is what remains of the Carmelite monastery that was located on the site prior to the earthquake of 1755. The chapel has a Baroque interior dating from the 16th century. It is decorated exquisitely in blue and white tiles. The beauty and depth of the collections require that at least a day spent only in this museum.

Jardim da Estrela

Praça da Estrela
Bus 4,20,22,38
Tram 25,28
Laid out When Vasco da Gama had opened up the sea routes to India, he returned to Belém, and the grand Jerónimos monastery was built to thank the Virgin for his safety.

Local families come here on weekends to feed the ducks and the large carp on the lake. There is a waterside café and paths to explore among the flower beds, plants and trees. A wrought iron bandstand is the centerpiece of the park. There are summer open air concerts.

Henry Fielding is buried in the English cemetery to the north of the gardens. The English novelist and playwright died in his beloved Portugal at the age of 47. His last work was entitled The Journal of a Voyage to Lisbon.

Basílica da Estrela

Basílica da Estrela

Praça da Estrela
Bus 9,20,22,38
Tram 25,28
7:30am-1pm and 3-8 daily.
Maria I, daughter of José I promised God that she would build a church if she bore a son and heir to the throne. The male heir was born but,tragically, died of smallpox two years before the church was finished in 1790.

The huge domed basilica is one of Lisbon’s chief landmarks. It was built by architects from the Mafra School in late Baroque and Neo classical style. Twin bell towers stand in front. The interior is finished in pink, gray and yellow marble. Queen Maria’s tomb lies in the right transept.


This area of Lisbon is closely associated with the Portuguese golden age of discovery. It is located at the mouth of the Tagus River and it was from there that the ships set sail for voyages to the “new world.” In later years the river mouth filled with silt and the water receded giving it a very different look. Today, the region is known for its parks and gardens.

Palácio de Belém

Praça Afonso dew Albuquerque
21 361 46 00
Bus 14,28,43,49
Tram 15
Metro: Belém
This was once the glorious summer palace of the Conde de Averias. When it was built in the mid 1500’s the Tagus River had not yet receded and the palace gardens bordered the river banks. Today, the elegant pink building is the residence of the President of Portugal.

Museu Nacional dos Coches

(National Museum of Coaches)
Praça Alfonso de Albuquerque
Bus 14,28,43,49
Tram 15 Metro: Belém
10-5:30 Tues.-Sun.
Admission charged.
The museum contains the finest collection of coaches in Europe. From the gallery of the museum, the royal family used to watch their Lusitanian horses perform in an arena.

The riding school became a museum in 1905. The coaches represent three centuries of design and craftsmanship. The upper gallery has a collection of harnesses, court costumes and portraits of members of the royal family. This is one of the most visited museums in Belém.

Jardim Agrícola Tropical

Calçada do Galvão
Bus 27,28,43,51
Tram 15
Call to check on hours
A peaceful park with ponds, waterfowl and peacocks. Designed originally as a research center for the Institute for Tropical Sciences, the park is more of an arboretum than garden. Rare tropical and sub tropical trees and plants abound.

Many of the plantings are endangered species. The research buildings are housed in the Palacio dos Condes de Calheta. This is an 18th century mansion whose interior walls are covered with tiles covering three centuries of work.

Museu Nacional de Arqueologia

Praça do Império
Bus 28,43,49,51
Tram 15
10-6 Wed.-Sun. 2-6 Tues.
This museum has been located in a wing of the Monastery dos Jerónimos since 1893. It houses Portugal’s main archeological research center. Roman ornaments and Moorish artifacts are displayed along with a collection of coins and jewelry dating from 1800-500 BC.

Mosteiro dos Jerónimos

Mosteiro dos Jerónimos

(Monastery of St. Jerome)
Praça do Imperio
Bus 28,43,49,51
Tram 15
10-5 Tues.-Sun.
Admission charged.
When Vasco da Gama had opened up the sea routes to India, he returned to Belém, and the grand Jerónimos monastery was built to thank the Virgin for his safety. Begun in 1502, it took 50 years to complete.

The church and adjoining cloisters are a delightful blend of Gothic, Renaissance and Manueline (named for Manuel I who started the construction) styles. The Manueline style can be recognized by the use of stone ornamentation incorporating floral and marine motifs inspired by some of the distant civilizations to which the Portuguese were traveling in their voyages of discovery.

The soaring interior contains the simple tomb of Vasco da Gama. The two story cloisters are elaborately carved in a combination of strength and delicacy.

Museu da Marinha

(Maritime Museum)
Praça do Império, 1400
Fax 21-363-19-87
Tues.-Sat. 10-6 (summer) 10-5 (winter)
This museum is one of the best of its kind as befits a seafaring nation. It has a huge collection on display of full size boats and royal barges as well as paintings, uniforms, and navigational instruments.

Aqueduto das Aguas Livres

Contact the Museum da Agua
The aquaduct was constructed between 1729 and 1749 during Portugal’s second golden Age to supply the city with water. It has 35 arches, the highest of which measures over 200 feet. It is almost 40 miles long and carries water as far as Lisbon’s main reservoir.

Centro Cultural de Belém

Praço do Império
Fax 21-361-25-00
Bus 27,28,29,43,49,51
Tram 15
Performances Matinee 5pm, Evening 9pm
Ticket office open daily 1-7:30
The program of events is more popular here than at any of the other local cultural foundations. there are a variety of cultural events and exhibitions as well as concerts. Telephone for schedule of events.

Torre de Belém

Torre de Belém

Avenida de Brasilia
Tram 43
Tues.-Sun. 10-5
Admission charged.
Students and adults over 65 have a discount.
Built in the middle of the Tagus River from 1515 – 1520 to defend the mouth of the river from enemy attacks, the honey colored stone tower was joined to the mainland by a sandbank caused by the tidal wave that followed the earthquake of 1755.

It is an unusual example of military architecture. The work of Francisco de Arruda, the tower has five floors and a terrace on top with spectacular views over the Tagus. it exemplifies the Manueline architecture of the time with its Venetian galleries and Moorish domes. It was later used as a prison.

Jardim Botanico da Ajuda

Palácio Nacional da Ajuda
58, Rua da Escola Politécnica, 1500
Fax 21-397-08-82
Bus 58,100
Open daily 9-6 Summer: 9-8
Admission charged.
This complex contains one of the largest collections of subtropical vegetation in Europe. The pathways extend around man made lakes, up specially constructed staircases and over bridges and past sculptures. The Palace houses the Ministry of Culture and contains a display of the dinner service used by the kings of Portugal which was crafted by the French goldsmith Germain-Thomas. It is one of the few royal services to remain completely intact.

Parque das Naçoes

Metro: Oriente
Bus 28,81
Daily 10-6
Admission charged.
The Park of the nations was built for Expo 98 and is now used for trade fairs and exhibitions. Its impressive buildings, landscaped gardens and street cafés border the Tagus.

The Ocean Pavilion rises from the river. In it is a state of the art aquarium with a large central tank and four others surrounding it which represent the main oceans of the world. Marine mammals and seabirds thrive there as well as underwater creatures and vegetation.

The main Pavilion of the 1998 Expo was transformed into a huge mall, which features many movie theaters, fashion shops and restaurants. The pavilion is covered with a double glass ceiling. Water falls between the glass panels, giving the illusion of being inside a waterfall.

Suburban Attractions


Monastery of Santa Maria de Alcobaça, Alcobaça.
Cistercian Abbey of Santa Maria, founded in 1152. The church contains the beautiful Gothic tombs of King Pedro I and Inês de Castro. It is also possible to tour the cloisters; the chapter house and the enormous kitchen. Other churches in the area are: Misericórdia (Renaissance portal and 17th-century tiles) and Conceição (17th century).


This summer resort is located in the area of the Castro Guimarães Museum and Sea Museum, the 18th century churches of Nossa Senhora da Assunção and Nossa Senhora dos Navegantes; the chapels of Nossa Senhora da Guia (15th century) and São Sebastião (16th 17th-centuries) and a 17th century fortress.


Stylish summer resort. Just a few minutes away lies Guincho beach which is a great place for those who enjoy surfing and windsurfing.


Renowned worldwide as a resort, it offers a casino, golf courses and a race track. It is also the site of the beautiful old Santo António Church This cosmopolitan resort also boasts an exciting nightlife. Its sandy beach connects it to Cascais.


One of the most important Marian centers of pilgrimage in the Catholic world. Basilica and Capelinha das Aparições, stand in the place where it is said that Our Lady appeared to the three shepherds.


A striking medieval royal castle is located above the graceful town of Leiria. Other important monuments: the Cathedral (16th-17th centuries, with an archeology museum on its premises), São Pedro Church (Romanesque), Nossa Senhora da Pena Church (Gothic), Nossa Senhora da Encarnação Sanctuary (16th century).


Palace-Convent, built in the 18th century, is the largest Portuguese religious monument. It consists of royal apartments, magnificent library, carillon and basilica.


Completely enclosed by lofty medieval walls, this is a small town with whitewashed houses brightened by colorful bougainvilleas. Churches: Nossa Senhora do Carmo (Romanesque-Gothic), Santa Maria (Renaissance, housing an art collection by the Portuguese painter Josefa d’Óbidos), Misericórdia (15th-18th centuries) and São Pedro (18th century). Nearby, Senhor da Pedra Sanctuary.


Dominated by a magnificent castle, which houses the ancient Santiago Convent.


Summer palace of the kings of Portugal in the 18th century is surrounded by a series of rambling and beautiful gardens with lakes and sculptures, and houses a collection of furniture, paintings, tiles, and decorative arts.



Castle of Roman origin overlooking Portas do Sol (Sun Gates) and opening onto a panoramic view of the Tagus river. Monuments: the Roman-Gothic Church of São João de Alporão (with an archeology museum); the Gothic Convent of São Francisco and the Gothic churches of Graça and Santa Clara; the Renaissance Chapel of Nossa Senhora do Monte; and from later periods, the churches of Santíssimo Milagre and Seminário Patriarcal.


Picturesque small fishing town, with a medieval castle atop a hill. While visiting, don’t miss the Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora do Cabo, at Cabo Espichel, and Lagoa de Albufeira, a favorite spot for windsurfers.


Opposite the Tróia peninsula (18 km of beaches and golf courses) lies this city on the Sado river. Places of interest: museum, churches of Jesus and São João (Manueline), São Domingos, Boa Hora, Santa Maria da Graça and São Julião. A castle overlooks Setúbal.


In the centre stands the National Palace, with its beautiful painted rooms and huge pair of conical chimneys. Other palaces: Pena (royal palace, 19th century), Seteais (18th century and currently a luxurious hotel) and Monserrate

Activities for Family and Kids

Note: Please remember that Lisbon is arranged on the slopes and summits of seven steep hills. The scenery is breathtaking, but the climb is difficult, especially in summer heat. What appears to be a short, relaxing walk on a non-topographic map may be straight up! There is public transportation available for travel to most attractions.

Visitors with children often prefer to travel the hills via tram or bus, thereby conserving energy for the walks through museums, castles, etc. Children under 4 ride free on buses, trains and metro (subway). Children are not allowed to ride in the front seat of automobiles for safety reasons.

Hills Tour of Lisbon

Leaves from the north side of Praça do Comércio 1:30 and 3:30
Admission is charged. Children under 4 free.
Covers the seven main hills in a charming, refurbished tram.

Castelo de Sao Jorge

Tram 12,28 Bus 37
Children enjoy exploring the ramparts and towers.

Tagus Boat Trip

From Terreiro do Paco ferry wharf
Fee charged
11am and 3pm daily. Two hour trip. This may be too long for small children

Museu das Crincas

(Children’s Museum)
Praca do Império, Belém, 1400. Top floor of the Museum
fax 388-4235
Tram 15 Bus 27,28,29.43,49,51
Open 10-5 weekdays for school groups and to the public on Sat., Sun., school holidays
Children under 3 free. Adults 65 and over free. No credit cards accepted. This is mainly a supervised interactive educational play experience for parents and children. Trained helpers guide families through the exhibits. Holds the interest of most children (6-12) from 11/2 – 2 hours.

Museu da Marioneta

(Puppet Museum)
Largo do Rodrigo Freitas 19A
1st Floor, Moraria, 1100
Tram 28 Bus 12
Open 10-1 and 2-7 daily
Admission charged. Children under 12 and adults 65+ are free.
This is a small museum that displays about 800 puppets and has a charming 40 seat theater which hosts puppet shows for school groups. Check on availability of seating for visitors.

Planetário Calouste Gulbenkian

Praca de Imperio Belém, 1400.
fax 363-6005
Tram 15 Bus 27,28,29,43,49,51
Telephone for schedule. Remember to enquire about shows in English.
Shows are entitled: The Universe; Stellar Evolution; Voyage of Vasco da Gamma
Admission charged.

Estufa Fría

(Cold Greenhouse)
In Parque Eduardo VII
Metro: Parque
Open daily 9-5:30. Admission charged.
The complex consists of a greenhouse displaying rare botanical plants arrayed around ponds. The hothouse area is filled with lush, colorful, oversized tropical plants of many species. An added diversion to playing in the park.

Oceanarium/Virtual Reality


Pavilion of the Future
Metro: Estacão de Oriente
Call tourist information at 346-6307 for details.
Built during Expo 98, just east of the city, this was one of the most popular attractions. Children and parents can enjoy an adequate collection of sea life as they view sharks, sting rays and large fish in a walk through the Oceanarium.

The virtual reality exhibit provides a simulated journey to the ruins of the fabled lost city of Atlantis. Visitors travel at the controls of their own virtual mini submarine. At the pavilion of the future an IMAX type show requiring the use of 3D eye glasses features a film about earth’s inhabitants and the environment.

Sintra Trip

Take a train from Rossio Station to the ferry to cross to Sintra or take the underground metro. There are a number of opportunities there for low key, enjoyable family entertainment. Experience a step back into the past in this hilltop town of forests, picnic grounds, and even horse and carriage rides.

Museu do Brinquedo

(Museum of Toys)
Rua Visconde de Monserrate 2710 Sintra
Train to Cascais from Cais do Sodró, then bus 401.
10-6 Tues.-Sun.
Admission free.
A small collection of toys from the past and present.

Aquário Vasco da Gama

Rua Direita Algés from Casis do Sodré
Tram 15, Bus 23,29,50,51
Open daily 10-6
Admission 10-17 free 65+free, under 10 free
This quaint collection has a giant turtle, a pool of playful seals and a second floor display of stuffed mammals. Outside is a pond of giant carp.

Feira Popular

Avenida de la Republica
Campo Grande 1600
Metro: Campo Grande
Admission charged.
An amusement park with carousel and rides geared toward adults and older children. (For younger children see Lisbon Zoo below)

Metro Jardim Zoológico

(Lisbon Zoo)
Estrada da Benfica 158-160
Sete Rios 1500
Summer: 10-8 daily winter: 10-6
Admission charged. Children under 2 free.
Extensively upgraded in recent years through donations from corporate sponsors, the zoo is now comparable to others in major European capital cities. Favorite spots are the monkey village and the boating lake. There are rides designed especially for younger children.

Teatro Infantil Lisboa

(Lisbon Children’s Theater)
Avenida de Roma 1700
Metro Roma
Admission charged
Stage plays, pantomimes, and performances for children. Delightful performances of well known children’s stories with dance, humor, song. Audience participation encouraged.

Centro Artistico Infantil

Fundacão Calouste Gulbenkian
Rua Nicolau Bettencourt
Praca de España 1050
Metro: Palhava
Open 10-5 daily.
Admission free.
In the gardens of the Gilbenkian Foundation the center has a display of toys and musical instruments and facilities for drawing and painting. During part of the year interactive exhibits for children ages 4-12 are offered. Call for details.


Beaches and Watersports

The best beaches are said to be in the area of Caparica which is about 15 miles outside of Lisbon. Take bus 75 from Metro Campo Grande. Change there (Easter -October) to the Transpraia Beach bus and get off at your favorite beach spot.

Surfing Club de Portugal

Classes for all ages – 2-5 hours in length
Fee includes transport. English spoken.

Escola de Surf se Caparica

Daily two hour classes. Fee includes wet suit and board.
English spoken.

Cascais Watersport Center

John David’s Café at Cascais
Paddle boats, kayaks, rides on inflatable buoys pulled behind motorboats.


Alto de Serafina Adventure Playground

Monsanto Park 1500
Bus 2, 13
Open daily 9-8 (winter: 9:30-6:30)
Admission free
Located in the NE part of the huge Monsanto Park, the playground has an area of tepees, as well as swings, slides and climbing equipment. It also features an extensive area of mock city streets for cycling and walking.

Parque Eduardo VII

Metro: Marqués de Ponibal
9-5:30 daily.
Free admission.
Small playground with a wooden ship placed there for children who love to climb and explore.

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