Saturday, 16 September 2017

PORTUGAL: In Lisbon Be Aware Of ATM Muggings ,Violent Crimes And Scammers

The capital of Portugal, Lisbon has experienced a renaissance in recent years, with a contemporary culture that is alive and thriving and making its mark in today's Europe. Perched on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, Lisbon is one of the rare Western European cities that faces the ocean and uses water as an element that defines the city.

Lisbon enchants travelers with its white-bleached limestone buildings, intimate alleyways, and an easy-going charm that makes it a popular year-round destination.

Like İstanbul, Amman, Rome, Moscow, Besançon, San Francisco, Edinburgh, Bergen, Plovdiv, Sheffield, Washington, D.C., Ibadan and Turku, Lisbon is built on seven hills.

The sparkling new Lisboa Ask Me Centre Pç. do Comércio,will help you find accommodation and the staff are happy to dispense advice, maps and brochures. Smaller Ask Me Lisboa kiosks are dotted about the Rossio district and airport and their multilingual staff also have maps and brochures.

The Lisboa Card, which can be purchased from tourist information outlets, offers free use of all public transport in the city and free or reduced price tickets to many museums, galleries and tourist attractions. They can be purchased in 24-hour adult €18.50, 48 hour €31.50 and 72 hour €39 denominations,prices as of June 2014.

They are not a very good value unless you plan to visit a lot of museums. Especially if you are a holder of a student identification card international or national since the student discounts to these attractions are often the same as for the Lisboa Card.

Lisbon enjoys a warm climate with mild winters and very warm summers. Strongly influenced by the Gulf Stream, it is one of the mildest climates in Europe. Among all the metropolises in Europe, here are the warmest winters on the continent, with average temperatures around 15°C (59°F) during the day and 9°C (48°F) at night in the period from December to February.

Snow and frost are very rare. The typical summer season lasts about six months, from May to October, with an average temperature of 25°C (77°F) during the day and 16°C (61°F) at night. Although, sometimes in November, March and April there are temperatures above 20°C (68.0°F) with an average temperature of 18.5°C (65°F) during the day and 11.2°C (52.2°F) at night. Rain occurs mainly in winter and the summer is very dry.

Lisbon is very close to the ocean, which brings windy and fast-changing weather, so you'd better bring extra outerwear or an umbrella with you, at least in winter, spring and autumn.

The city stretches along the northern bank of the river Tejo as it flows into the Atlantic Ocean. As the terrain rises north away from the water, steep streets and stairways form the old tangled districts or give way to green parks in the western suburbs.

In the city centre, the vast Praça do Comércio, facing the river at the base of the pedestrianized grid of Baixa (lower town), occupies a central position. Further northwest from Baixa stretches Lisbon's Main Street, Avenida da Liberdade, a broad boulevard resplendent in leafy trees, chic hotels and upmarket shops, terminating at the circular Praça de Marques de Pombal.

To the east are old districs of Mouraria and Alfama, both relatively spared during the Great Earthquake,as they are on a firmer rock and therefore both retaining the charm of the winding alleys and azulejo-covered crumbling walls,further north lie relatively boring residential quarters.

To the west the hill rises steeply into Bairro Alto upper town; prepare to trek up, or take one of the elevadores, or funiculars; still further west are the rapidly gentrifying former docks of Alcantara, dominated on the western end by the supports of the gigantic new bridge over the river, and the suburbs of Santo Amaro and Belem.

The city of Lisbon is rich in architecture; Romanesque, Gothic, Manueline, Baroque, Modern and Postmodern constructions can be found all over Lisbon. The city is also crossed by historical boulevards and monuments along the main thoroughfares, particularly in the upper districts; notable among these are the Avenida da Liberdade (Avenue of Liberty), Avenida Fontes Pereira de Melo, Avenida Almirante Reis and Avenida da República (Avenue of the Republic).

There are several substantial museums in the city. The most famous ones are the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga (National Museum of Ancient Art), the National Azulejo Museum, the Museu Calouste Gulbenkian (Calouste Gulbenkian Museum), containing varied collections of ancient and modern art, the Museu Nacional do Traje e da Moda (National Museum of Costume and Fashion), the Berardo Collection Museum (Modern Art) at the Belém Cultural Center, the Museu da Electricidade (Electricity Museum), the Museu Nacional dos Coches (National Coach Museum, containing the largest collection of royal coaches in the world), the National Museum of Natural History and Science, Museum of the Orient, and the Lisbon City Museum.

Lisbon's Opera House, the Teatro Nacional de Sao Carlos, hosts a relatively active cultural agenda, mainly in autumn and winter. Other important theatres and musical houses are the Centro Cultural de Belém, the Teatro Nacional D. Maria II, the Gulbenkian Foundation, and the Teatro Camoes.

The monument to Christ the King (Cristo-Rei) stands on the southern bank of the Tagus River, in Almada. With open arms, overlooking the whole city, it resembles the Corcovado monument in Rio de Janeiro, and was built after World War II, as a memorial of thanksgiving for Portugal's being spared the horrors and destruction of the war.

13 June is Lisbon´s holiday in honour of the city's saint, Anthony of Lisbon (Portuguese: Santo António). Saint Anthony, also known as Saint Anthony of Padua, was a wealthy Portuguese bohemian who was canonised and made Doctor of the Church after a life preaching to the poor.

Although Lisbon’s patron saint is Saint Vincent of Saragossa, whose remains are housed in the Se Cathedral, there are no festivities associated with this saint.

Eduardo VII Park, the second largest park in the city following the Parque Florestal de Monsanto (Monsanto Forest Park), extends down the main avenue (Avenida da Liberdade), with many flowering plants and greenspaces, that includes the permanent collection of subtropical and tropical plants in the winter garden or Estufa Fria. Originally named Parque da Liberdade, it was renamed in honour of Edward VII of England who visited Lisbon in 1903.

Lisbon is home every year to the Lisbon Gay & Lesbian Film Festival,the Lisboarte, the DocLisboa – Lisbon International Documentary Film Festival,the Festival Internacional de Mascaras e Comediantes, the Lisboa Magica – Street Magic World Festival, the Monstra – Animated Film Festival, the Lisbon Book Fair,the Peixe em Lisboa – Lisbon Fish and Flavours, and many others.

Lisbon has two sites listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site: Belem Tower and Jerónimos Monastery. Furthermore, in 1994, Lisbon was the European Capital of Culture and in 1998 organised the Expo '98 (1998 Lisbon World Exposition)

Lisbon is also home to the Lisbon Architecture Triennial,the Moda Lisboa or Fashion Lisbon,ExperimentaDesign – Biennial of Design and LuzBoa – Biennial of Light.

In addition, the mosaic Portuguese pavement or Calçada Portuguesa was born in Lisbon, in the mid-1800s. The art has since spread to the rest of the Portuguese Speaking world. The city remains one of the most expansive examples of the technique, nearly all walkways and even many streets being created and maintained in this style.

In terms of Portuguese cities, Lisbon was considered the most livable in a survey of living conditions published yearly by Expresso.

In May 2018, the city will host the 63rd edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, after the victory of Salvador Sobral with the song "Amar pelos dois" in Kiyv on May 13, 2017.

Portugal's largest international airport is the Aeroporto da Portela located between Loures and Lisboa.

It is the main air hub for TAP Portugal, a Star Alliance member airline that covers an extensive network throughout Europe, Africa Morocco, Algeria, Senegal, Guinea Bissau, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Angola, Cape Verde, S. Tome e Principe and the Americas US, Canada starting June 2017), Venezuela and Brazil. SATA or Air Açores provides regular service to eastern North America,Boston, Montreal and Toronto.

There are also several other airlines flying into Lisbon, such as United Airlines, American Airlines, Emirates, Easyjet, British Airways, Brussels Airlines, Aigle Azur, Air Berlin, Air France, Air Transat, German Wings, TAAG Angolan Airways, STP Airways, Swiss, Transavia, Turkish Airlines, Lufthansa, Finnair, Iberia, Vueling and KLM, amongst others.

In general, if you are arriving by plane in Lisbon and it is still day time, it is almost always better to use public transport - buses or the metro system to your hotel or final destination. The airport information desk at Lisbon airport can provide you with all the required information.

Taxi drivers at the taxi stand at Lisbon are infamous for their dishonesty and unreliability and if they can rip you off, they will. If you do not speak Portuguese or if you don't know the shortest way to your destination, avoid using a taxi unless there is no other option. If your final destination is less than 1 mile from the airport, taxi drivers will refuse to take you although they are not allowed to refuse destinations.

If you are not carrying too much luggage and it is not late in the night, you are better off simply getting a bus or the metro to city center.

Aerobus operates two routes to main spots of the city. Aerobus 1 running every 20min follows Av. da Republica and Av. da Liberdade to the city center (Rossio, Praça do Comércio, and railway/ferry terminal at Cais do Sodré).

Aerobus 2 runs every 40min via the Entrecampos train station to the central bus station at Sete Rios and then to Av. José Malhoa Sul via Praça de Espanha. Tickets cost €3.50 (10% discount when bought online and printed). Note that Aerobus tickets no longer include unlimited public transportation, they are only valid for the Aerobus. Take note that the first Aerobus 1 trip from Cais do Sodre to the airport starts at 745am.

Metro costs about €1.90 from the airport to any place in the city centre. The daily pass costs €6.00 plus €0.50 for the reusable card and is valid for 24 hours after first activation, good on all public transportation metro, bus, and tram. The daily pass cannot be used for the commuter ferry and the bus from Cacilhas to Cristo Rei.

Lisbon Airport metro station opened in July 2012 and is the new final destination of Lisbon Red Line metro trains. The journey to Saldanha takes about 16 minutes and less than 25 minutes are enough to get from the Airport to Baixa-Chiado,Lisbon city centre.

You should avoid riding the metro late at night after 22:00 some stations are occasionally targeted by groups of muggers looking out for unsuspecting tourists, but in general the Metro system in Lisbon is very reliable and safe, and is usually the best way to quickly get around the city.

Bus lines 22, 44, 83, 705, 745, or night bus line 208. Bus 44 takes you to the Oriente railway station in about 10 minutes, where you can change for metro and continue to the city centre. Board fare is €1.75. 7 Colinas transport card can be used which can be bought at the airport post office. The bus service is moderately reliable the buses are modern and in good condition, but during rush hours you should expect delays.

Note that you are not allowed to take large pieces of luggage on these buses.

Taxis cost about €10.00 from the airport to the city centre. Caution is required, since Lisbon taxi drivers are notoriously dishonest, rude and unprofessional - in general, you should avoid taxis at the airport unless you are in a hurry or have too much luggage to carry around. Charge is according to the meter, adding €1.20 per item of luggage. Taxis are required to have working meters,it is illegal to drive without one and fares posted to the window in the rear seat.

Be sure to ask the taxi driver if he has a working meter before getting into the taxi, and be careful of drivers trying to grab your luggage and usher you into the taxi before you can make these inquiries.

As with many cities, watch out for dishonesty and if you think you are being charged significantly more,paying €45 to get into the city but only €6 back to the airport is not unheard of, as are claims of broken meters or fixed fares ask for the driver's name, registration number and a receipt, take note of the car's license plate and make it clear you plan to complain.

Any policeman should take care of the situation if there are signs of fraud,if police officers are nearby, you should call them immediately. Lisbon people, in general, also hate dishonest taxi drivers, so you might also have a chance of a local citizen helping you out in case of a conflict.

To avoid fraud, you can buy a taxi-voucher in the airport at €18 a lot more than the average real meter price which is good to go anywhere in the centre, with luggage. Make sure to ask the driver how much he estimates the fare will be before getting in the taxi, which will diminish the chance for a surprise bounce in the price.

If you want to take a taxi, go to the Departures area where it is more likely to get an honest driver - never catch a taxi in the Arrivals area! Make sure the driver starts the meter only when the journey starts.

UBER is also available in Lisbon and can be a good alternative. The uberX fare from st George's castle to the airport is €8 in moderate traffic (8 kilometers in 20 minutes). Lots of cars seem to be available.

There are two main stations, Santa Apolonia in the city centre and the Gare do Oriente, a bit further out and used by the high-speed trains. However, if you are entering Lisbon from the south, you may want to get off at the smaller stations of Entrecampos or Sete Rios.

Their metro stations are a few stops closer to the central and old town. Also, local trains connecting with the resort Cascais on the Estoril coast use Cais do Sodré station. Train tickets may be booked directly with the train company, Comboios de Portugal.

Two international services are avalible, the overnight Sud Express leaves Irun on the border between Spain and France every day at 18:20 hours. There is no physical connection with the TGV train from Paris which only goes to Hendaya at the French border. The train calls at Oriente station 07:22AM the next morning before arriving in Apolónia just ten minutes later.

There is also a daily sleeper train from Madrid named Lusitania leaving Chamartin station at 10:25PM, arriving early next morning 7:30AM in Oriente and a few minutes later at Apolónia. Prices starts at €90 for a single-journey in Turista-class.

The domestic high-speed line Alfa Pendular connects Braga, Porto and Coimbra with Lisbon from the north and Faro from the south. Prices between the major cities starts at €40 in second class. All trains call at Oriente, only some in Apolonia.

Lisbon can be accessed from six main highways. Coming from the south (A2) or east A6 - the main route from Madrid, there are the two bridges:

- From/to south: The A2 goes all the way to the 25 de Abril bridge, which usually has lots of traffic getting into Lisbon, especially on weekday mornings. This is the best option if you want to go to the center of Lisbon or to the west (A5 - Estoril, Cascais, Sintra).

- To north / to east: If you branch from the A2 into the A12, you'll get to the Vasco da Gama bridge, the longest bridge in Europe, it usually has less traffic than the older 25 de Abril bridge (but a more expensive toll). This is the best option to go to the eastern/northern section of Lisbon (to the airport and to the Parque das Nações - the former Expo 98 site), and also to take the A1 or A8 going north.

- From/to north and the airport: Coming from the north, there is the A1, that connects Lisbon to Santarém, Fátima, Leiria, Coimbra, Aveiro, Porto. The A1 ends near the airport. There's also the A8, which goes to Torres Vedras, Caldas da Rainha, Alcobaça, Leiria.

- From the west, there is the A5, which connects to Estoril, Cascais, and the IC19 that crosses all the suburbs and ends near Sintra.

Lisbon has three ring roads: The 2ª circular, which connects the A1 to the IC19; the CRIL IC17 (still incomplete), which connects the Vasco da Gama bridge with the A1 and A8; and the CREL A9, which connects the A1 with the A8, IC19, A5, and goes all the way to the Estoril coast.

All nearby cities and most major cities in Portugal have direct buses to Lisbon. The main bus terminal is at Sete Rios metro: Jardim Zoológico. The main operator for long-course buses is Rede Nacional de Expressos.

If you want to go around the city in a easy way you can use the bus of Carris.

You can get a boat to Lisbon from the following stations: Barreiro; Trafaria; Montijo; and Cacilhas. It's an excellent sightseeing opportunity crossing the river Tagus to Lisbon.

Many cruise ships dock at several places along the river on the Lisbon side, with variably good access to public transport throughout the city. Many lines offer shuttles to key points nearby.

From airport: Due to the relative proximity of Lisbon's airport to the city center, it is quite easy to cycle from the airport to the center, and could be recommended if you arrive for a cycling trip.

After leaving the airport and negotiating a roundabout, merge onto the long and straight dual-carriageway Av. Almirante Gago Coutinho you should be able just to follow the "Centro" Downtown signs.After merging, the route to Baixa is simple and straight. This street later turns into Av. Almirante Reis, and then Rua de Palma, at the end of which you will be right in Baixa.

Cycling outside Lisbon can be a challenge, as Lisbon offers far easier cycling than what you may find outside of the city. The further you get from Lisbon however, the easier the cycling gets. You may wish to take advantage of certain regional trains that take bicycles in a separate luggage carriage, allowing you to start your cycling some 50 or 100km outside of the city.

Lisbon has a very efficient public transport network that covers the entire city in addition to the surrounding areas. Lisbon's recently refurbished metro system is clean, quick, and efficient. While metro announcements are made only in Portuguese, signs and ticketing machines are generally bilingual in Portuguese and English.

The extensive bus and electrico (tram) network is run by Carris.

The best and, in many cases, the sole way to pay for city transport is buying a rechargeable green-coloured card 7 Colinas (Viva Viagem). It's valid for metro, trams (electrico), urban trains, most buses and ferries.

The exception is buses not run by Carris—other bus companies have their own tickets. The card itself can be purchased for €0.50,this price doesn't include any trips—add as many trips as you want), and remains valid for a year.

The Viva Viagem card can be charged in three different modes. You choose the mode when you charge the card. For example, you can choose the "single ticket" mode, and put €1.40 on a card,the machine will give change, and ride the tram to your hotel. Next day you wake up, and put €6.15 on the same card and choose the Day pass mode, making your card "Day pass" now.

Be aware that by using the CP green colored terminals the day pass ticket is ONLY valid for the trains - which costs 6€;for the Metro/Tram/Busses look for a Carris terminal: here a day pass costs 6.15€ The modes are as follows:

Single tickets for bus (€1.40; €1.80 if bought on the bus) or metro (€1.40). You put this exact amount on this card. Unlike Zapping mode, this ticket allows free transfers within one hour.

Day pass for metro and buses (€6.15)

Zapping. This is a 'stored value' mode, similar to the Oyster card in London. The rates are also cheaper comparing to single ride: every journey costs €1.25, but the transfers are not free - although you get a small discount for two contiguous journeys, e.g., if you change from metro to bus. If you have a bit of unused money, it is wise to go to the ticket desk and there they do zapping for any amount.

This way you can fully utilize your money on the card before going back to your country. You won't be able to get the refund, so make sure you don't put way more than you intend to spend.

There are ticketing machines located at the train or metro stations, which also provide instructions in English. You can also buy the ticket from the driver or machines on board (the latter only available in some new trams. Tickets purchased from a driver will not include a Viva Viagem card, and will cost more (€1.80 for bus and €2.85 for trams instead of €1.25 if you use the rechargeable card), so it makes more sense to buy the ticket before starting the trip.

When using suburban trains, your tickets are charged onto the same kind of Viva Viagem cards. You cannot have more than one kind of ticket on one card, however, so you will probably need at least two of them, one for zapping,regular bus and metro use, one for suburban travel. The TransTejo (TT) ferries can make you buy yet another "Via Viagem" card with white stripe in the bottom, claiming that CP or Carris "Via Viagem" cards are not valid for them.

If you plan to be in Lisbon for an extended time,1 week and more, you can purchase an unlimited pass that covers buses, metro, and funiculars at the Carris station in Santo Amaro, or at the Metro stations Alameda, Marques do Pombal and Campo Grande. It's €12 for the Lisboa Viva card, plus €29 for a one-month unlimited pass. Bring a photo ID (passport) and cash.

Cycling within the city is now much easier because of the work the municipality has been putting in with bike lanes, slowing car traffic, changing car traffic patterns and adding speed bumps, etc, but of course parts of the town will always be part of the surprisingly hilly outlet of Lisbon.

If you plan to cycle these, some of these streets do have tram lines, potholes and an absence of designated bicycle lanes, so visitors wishing to venture into city traffic by bicycle should be used to urban riding. Riding on the footpath is not recommended. It is advisable to get advice at local bike shops.

Although better than in recent years there are still bike lanes in town the newest, nice and safe stretches from Baixa to Belem along the beautiful river Tejo water front aptly known as the Poetry Bike Lane

These days car drivers are often weekend cyclists and way more careful with cyclists, more than ever before. Good spots for anyone to cycle safe are along the flat river-front area stretching from Parque das Nacoes, to the central area of Cais Sodre, where you can rent bikes look below for bike Iberia, and particularly from here to Belem.

Must do for all travellers or cycling enthusiasts: A scenic and safe bike ride on bike lane from Baixa along waterfront to the historical area of Descobertas-Belem-Jeronimos.

Just outside of Lisbon - you can travel with a bike on trains or ferries - along the coast from Estoril towards the beautiful beach of Guincho, reach Sintra, Cascais or Costa da Caparica. Although there are some bikes for free use in Cascais they often in poor condition and are limited offer.

If travelling from Lisbon and back you should consider renting a bike before going as there are no restrictions, nor additional charges, on travelling with bicycles on commuting trains.

If you take a bicycle on public transport beware of the following:

Metro: During working days you are allowed to carry bicycles in the metro only after 20:00. On weekends, it's allowed and it's free of charge.
Commuting trains: You are allowed to carry bicycles in the trains for free, everyday of the week just be reasonable and avoid rush hour passenger patterns.

Ferries: Bicycles travel for free, you are allowed but there are strict limitations on the number of bikes allowed depending on ferry lines and ferry boat type, arrive early and you shall avoid disappointment.

Bike Buses: There are 6 lines of the public bus company "Carris" in which you can put your bike inside. Up to 4 bicycles per bus can be carried.

Bike shops in Lisbon town centre are rare. You can find a SportZone near Rossio or in major shopping malls. Ask there for specialist shops, shop assistants are usually very helpful.

For guided bike the sights in Lisbon, Sintra, Arrabida or Cascais, and bike rentals, you can always check out Bike Iberia, located in Baixa-downtown, next to Cais Sodre and the Praca Comercio square; they are professional, friendly and very helpful on providing Lisbon Bike Tours, bike rentals with delivery to your hotel doorstep, touring equipment, mountain biking gear, very family friendly and native insider's knowledge.

Riding a scooter is always a great and affordable way to get around Lisbon, one of the "must do" things. You may also venture into beaches, riding around Caparica, Cascais, Sintra or Cabo da Roca. Also the only way to cross over the bridges in Lisbon on two wheels.

Quality scooters are available for renting at affordable prices,you need to be at least 18, have your passport and a valid driving licence. Riding around is generally safe, relaxed and lots of fun.

Companies operating in Lisbon include Scooter Lisbon located in Lisbon's city centre right off the train station of Cais Sodre - end of the line from Cascais train station on Largo Corpo Santo, 5. They're open Monday to Sunday from 09:30am offering quality 125cc vehicles with automatic transmission. Check with them for Scooter Guided Tours or Rentals from only a few hours to multi day rentals.

Think twice before using a car in the city unless you are prepared to spend hours in traffic jams and looking for parking space. The busy traffic and narrow streets with blind corners can be overwhelming to tourists.

Also, due to lack of space and overcrowding, parking is difficult and annoying, as well as potentially dangerous regarding potential problems with criminals and homeless people who stand near parking spaces to help you park your car and then attempt to extort money from you.

If you choose to return a hire car near your hotel, don't rely that the agent comes exactly at the agreed-upon time: for an agreed 12:00 return he can easily arrive at 09:00,and will come again upon your call.

If your accommodation is in the centre of the city, walking is a great alternative. Many of the attractions of the city, such as the Castelo and the Alfama and Bairro Alto districts, are within easy walking distance of the Baixa.

If you become lost or cannot find the location you are looking for, try to locate the nearest Carris bus or tram stop. Most of these stops not all,have a very good map of the city with your current location clearly marked on the map.

All the prominent tourist sites in Lisbon are also shown along with an index at the bottom of the map. A quick consultation with one of these Carris maps should point you back in the right direction.

You may also use the funiculars and elevadores or Santa Justa's. Day passes for public transportation are also valid for those.

Ferries connect Lisbon to the suburbs across the Tejo river in the south. Taking a ferry to Cacilhas is a good opportunity to see Lisbon from the water. A ferry is paid for just like a metro trip; you can even use your zapping, using this system will give you a €0.05 to €0.10 discount on the single ticket, Viva viagem card.

The ferry boat takes you to Cacilhas - the journey takes 10 minutes or Trafaria (Almada) (€1.15), Seixal (€2.30), Montijo (€2.6) or Barreiro (this journey takes half an hour) (€2.25). The boats are operated by Transtejo.

As with the rest of Portugal, Portuguese is the main language in Lisbon. However, most younger people know enough English for basic communication, and it is possible to get by speaking only English.

Because of its linguistic connections to Portuguese, Spanish is widely understood, though few are fluent in it, and many locals will respond more readily to English than to Spanish. It is also common for older people above 50 years of age to have some knowledge of French. Nevertheless, any attempt to speak Portuguese is always appreciated, and even simple things like basic greetings will often draw smiles and encouragement from locals.

Cristo Rei, Catch the ferry to Cacilhas from Cais do Sodre then grab Bus 101 - €1.40 one-way, €2 return. 09:00-18:00. Similar to the Christ statue in Rio de Janeiro, this statue stands over 100 meters tall on the opposite bank of the Tejo River from downtown Lisbon. Views from the top of the statue are breathtaking, although the elevator up will cost you €5. edit

Tram 28. Instead of paying for a ride on one of the costly tourist trams, try Tram 28. Tram or "Eléctrico" Line 28 is one of only three traditional tram lines that still operate in Lisbon. These trams, which until the late-1980's ran all through-out Lisbon, were manufactured between 1936 and 1947.

Tram 28 winds its way through the "Old Town" of Lisbon dating from the 17th century beginning in Graça then down to the Alfama and to the Baixa then up through Chiado to Bairro Alto and then down to Campo Ourique, taking you by many of Lisbon's most famous and interesting sites including monuments, churches and gardens. The trip is hilly, noisy and hectic but it affords many beautiful glimpses of the city.

And, although the tram can sometimes be overrun with tourists, you will definitely get a flavour of the locals, as many "Lisboetas" commute daily on these historical trams. Tickets cost €1.05 if paid by "Viva Viagem" card and €2.85 if purchased on-board or at a vending machine,note that these machines do not accept notes, and are sometime even out of change, so make sure you have the correct change. From start to finish the ride takes around 30 minutes. Beware of pickpockets.

Gloria Funicular, Praça dos Restauradores - Bairro Alto. Inaugurated on 24 October 1885, this funicular was the second to be placed in Lisbon. It is the most visited one in the city. In 2002 it was classified as a National Monument.

Bica Funicular, Rua de São Paulo (Rua Duarte Belo) - Largo de Calhariz. This funicular was inaugurated on 28 June 1892 and its route is known as the most typical of the city. In 2002 it was classified a National Monument. Ticket price is €3.50 for a round trip, however day cards are valid for it.

Lavra Funicular, Largo da Anunciada - Travessa Forno Torel. The oldest funicular of Lisbon was inaugurated on 19 April 1884 and on that day it worked for 16 consecutive hours, carrying more than 3,000 passengers free. In 2002 it was classified a National Monument.

Santa Justa Elevator, Rua Aurea & Rua de Santa Justa. Located downtown, this elevator was designed by a follower of French engineer Gustav Eiffel and connects downtown to Trinidade, located many metres uphill. 7 Colinas valid. Inaugurated on 10 July 1902, it is the only street lift in Lisbon for public service.

It was built by the architect Raoul Mesnier du Ponsard in cast iron enriched with filigrana details. In 2002 it was classified a National Monument. This monumental elevator is popular with tourists and has a nice viewpoint on the top. The fare is €5 however, and sometimes there are long lines of people wanting to take the ride up.

Realistically you can walk up faster than the queue clears and it would be cheaper to take a metered taxi if you don't want to wait or walk.

Castelo de Sao Jorge (St. George's Castle), Walk up the hill from Alfama or take bus 737. Mar-Oct daily 09:00-21:00 & Nov-Feb daily 09:00-18:00. Located up the hill, with a great view over the city and the river. If you have the energy, get there by walking from downtown, going through the fantastic old neighbourhood of Alfama. The ticket office is way before the entrance where the line is, make sure you buy the ticket first, or you'll be turned back when you eventually reach the entrance. €7 with student discount available.

Museu do Teatro Romano, Roman Theater Museum. Along the way from downtown to St. George's Castle.

Ponte 25 de Abril. This sister bridge of the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge was designed by the same architect in 1966 to connect Lisbon with the Setubal peninsula across the Tagus (Tejo) River. Formerly known as the Salazar Bridge, it was renamed after the Carnation Revolution, which on April 25, 1974 ended the dictatorship.

Ponte Vasco da Gama. It is the longest bridge in Europe (including viaducts), and ninth longest in the world, with a total length of 17.2 km (10.7 mi), including 0.829 km (0.5 mi) for the main bridge, 11.5 km (7.1 mi) in viaducts, and 4.8 km (3.0 mi) in dedicated access roads.

Aqueduto das Aguas Livres. This is a historic aqueduct in the city of Lisbon, Portugal. It is one of the most remarkable examples of 18th-century Portuguese engineering, including the largest stone arch in the world. The main course of the aqueduct covers 18 km, but the whole network of canals extends through nearly 58 km. The Mãe d'Água (Mother of the Water) reservoir of the Amoreiras, the largest of the water reservoirs, was finished in 1834. This reservoir, with a capacity of 5,500 m³ of water, was designed by Carlos Mardel. It is now deactivated and can be visited as part of the Museu da Água (Water Museum).

Rossio. Rossio is the main square in Lisbon, the equivalent of Madrid's Puerta del Sol, Tokyo's Shibuya or London's Trafalgar Square, which is a common meeting place for locals. This is a must visit for all visitors to Lisbon to experience city life.

Principe Real. The trendy district with all the fancy shops is just a 5 minutes walk from Bairro Alto.

Chiado. Take a stroll along the historical streets of this elegant shopping district, stopping for a cup of coffee with the statue of Fernando Pessoa, Portugal's great Modernist poet. Head uphill to Bairro Alto, for stunning views of the city and some wild partying in Lisbon's most popular nightclub district.

Downtown (Baixa). This part of the city was completely rebuilt after the 1755 earthquake by the Marquês de Pombal. The planned layout, greatly different from what you will see in the more ancient neighborhoods, is a testimony to the ideas of the Enlightenment.

Alfama. This neighborhood still bears signs of the Moorish presence in the city, with the buildings very close to each other, and very irregular streets. It's very atmospheric and a great spot in which to wander around.

Praça do Comércio, Take the metro to Terreiro do Paço Station. This magnificent plaza, facing the river, is the beginning of Lisboa's downtown. It is also known as 'Terreiro do Paço', meaning 'Grounds of the Palace', relating to its function before the Great Earthquake of 1755.

Belem - This monument-packed neighbourhood is a must-see place.

Take bus 28 to the west Restelo direction, which follows the coast line and provides an express service with few stops. Train Cascais suburban train line "Cascais todos" or "Oeiras"; the express trains don't stop in Belém to Belem and walk to the attractions. Tram 15 to the west Alges direction, which follows the Junqueira residencial line.

Check the route map inside the tram: it helps to find a right station for most famous of Belem attractions. The extensive bus network also serves Belem from various departure points around the city and can be less busy than the tram. The main monuments are well separated from each other and there is a road/rail highway between them that can only be crossed at a couple of places. In addition it is mostly open and unshaded, so be prepared for a lot of walking in the hot sun.

Belem Tower or Torre de Belem. Open 10AM-5:30PM in winter, 10AM-6:30PM in summer (with the last entry allowed 30 minutes before closure). A ticket package for both the Belem Tower and Jeronimos Monastery is offered for €12. Be aware that access to the top of the tower, and intermediate floors, is via a very narrow, steep spiral staircase. This is used in both directions and is potentially unsafe (also females may be groped in the crush). Entry fee for the tower only is €5.

Jeronimos Monastery, Praça do Imperio, 1400-206 Lisboa. Open 10AM-5:30PM in winter, 10AM-6PM in summer. Try to avoid the morning rush of tour parties (with pushy tour guides) as admission is slow and you could queue for a while. Free entry to the church, €10 for the rest of the monastery.

Monument to the Discoveries (Padrao dos Descobrimentos). There is a well-concealed pedestrian subway in line between the Monastery and the Monument. Entry fee €4.

CCB or Belem Cultural Center. Open Tu-Su. The modern CCB holds a permanent contemporary art exhibition, from the Berardo Collection - it features works from Picasso, Dali, Duchamp, Magritte, Andy Warhol, among others.

Coach Museum or Museu dos Coches. Housed in the former riding school of the palace, don't miss the world's largest collection of coaches and royal vehicles

Statue to Afonso de Albuquerque. In front of the former Royal Palace of Belem, now the Presidential Palace, there is a massive statue looking out to sea, representing Afonso de Albuquerque, second ruler of Portuguese India in the early 16th century.

A stroll around its many gardens enjoying the river's bright blue is also a must.

Most of Lisbon's museums and monuments especially those in Belem close on Mondays.

Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, Rua das Janelas Verdes. Tu 14:00-18:00; W-Su 10:00-18:00. Portugal's impressive national art collection, including 14-19th century European painting, artefacts of Portuguese contact with the East and Africa and a collection of ecclesiastical treasures. Highlights include Dürer's St Jerome, Hieronymus Bosch's Temptations of St Antony, Nuno Gonçalves' Adoration of St Vincent, and 16th century Japanese paintings of Portuguese traders.

The Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Avenida de Berna, 45A,take the metro to São Sebastião or Praça de Espanha Stations. Tu-Su 10:00-17:45. Created from the personal collection of Calouste Gulbenkian, an Armenian who longed to see all his treasures displayed in a museum. A nice assortment of Egyptian artifacts, along with paintings by masters such as Rembrandt, Manet, Monet, Renoir, and Cassat.

The museum's gardens are worth a visit in and of themselves, as a little oasis in the middle of downtown Lisbon. €5 permanent and temporary exhibition; half price for students under 25 with ID, holders of the European Youth Card (Euro26) and those aged 65 or over; free entry on Sunday and any other day for those under 12.

Fundaçao Arpad Szenes / Vieira da Silva, Praça das Amoreiras, 56/58. M-Sa 11:00-19:00, Su 10:00-18:00. This museum is installed in the restored 18th-century former Royal Silk Factory. It permanent collection covers a wide time period of the works of 20th-century painters Arpad Szenes and Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, and regularly hosts exhibits by their contemporaries. Adults €2.50, students €1.25, kids under 14 free.

Museu da Electricidade (Electricity Museum), Av. de Brasília, Central Tejo. Tu-Su 10AM-6PM. Free. editExcellent interactive exposition in a building of former power station, an example how a perfect museum should look.

Museu da Água (Water Museum). Entrance fee of €1.5 to €2.5, depending on age or discount cards you may use.

Lisbon metro. Most of the metro system is a free art gallery. You'll find art by contemporary artists inspired by the stations' surrounding area. Check the subway webpage for more details on this curiosity. The red line is the newest one and has the best pieces of art.

Museu do Azulejo. Museu Nacional do Azulejo is one of the most important national museums, for its singular collection, Azulejo (Tile), an artistic expression which differentiates Portuguese culture, and for the unique building where its installed, former Madre de Deus Convent, founded in 1509 by Queen Dona Leonor.

Museu Colecção Berardo, Centro Cultural de Belem. 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM, closed Mondays. The Berardo Collection Museum is a museum that houses modern and contemporary art, together with modern, temporary exhibits.

The permanent collection of the museum consist of the Berardo Collection, which is made up of modern en contemporary art, with major art movements like abstract expressionism, Abstraction-Création, action painting, body Art, constructivism, cubism, De Stijl, digital art, experimental art, geometric abstraction, kinetic art, minimal art, neo-expressionism, neo-plasticism, neo-Realism, op art, photography, photorealism, pop art, realism, suprematism, surrealism.

The collection also consist of many important artists like Piet Mondrian, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Pablo Picasso and Jackson Pollock. Free admission.

CCB - Museu Colecção Berardo

Museu da Marinha, Centro Cultural de Belem. Open 10AM-5PM in winter, 10AM-6PM in summer. The interesting Maritime Museum is one of the most important in Europe, evoking Portugal's domination of the seas. Its colossal 17,000 items are installed in the west wing of Jeronimos Monastery, and include model ships from the Age of Discovery onward. The oldest exhibit is a wooden figure representing the Archangel Raphael that accompanied Vasco da Gama on his voyage to India. Entry fee €4.

Pavilhao do Conhecimento. The Pavilion of Knowledge - Ciência Viva is an interactive science and technology museum that aims to make science accessible to all, stimulating experimentation and exploration of the physical world.

Jardim Zoologico, Estrada de Benfica 158-160 Metro:Take the Blue Line to the Jardim Zoologico. Buses: A variety of buses stop here including 16, 31, 54, 58, 701 and 755. 10AM - 8PM (21st March - 30th Sept.) and 10AM - 6PM (1st Oct. - 20th March). A zoo that is fairly pricey, but has a variety of exotic animals featuring sea-lions and dolphins. €15.

Parque das Nações, On Av. Dom Joao II Metro: Oriente Station. Train: Gare do Oriente. Built for the 1998 World Expo, the eastern side of town (take the Metro to Oriente) is a change from downtown. It includes:

Oceanarium. One of the world's largest oceanariums. The oceanarium is divided between the permanent and temporary exhibition. The permanent exhibition is centered around a huge aquarium with a variety of fishes and surrounded by a number of smaller regionally-themed aquariums. Admission 16.00EUR.

Pavilhao do Conhecimento. Admission €3.00-€7.00.

Ajuda Botanical Gardens, Jardim Botânico da Ajuda or Ajuda. Daily 9AM - 8PM (Summer) 9AM - 6PM (Winter). The botanical garden of Ajuda is one of the oldest gardens in Europe and is considered the first in Portugal. After the earthquake that occurred in 1755, the homeless Portuguese royal family decided to build a new royal residence at Ajuda but also gardens around it. This 10 acre garden was laid out in from 1858-1873.

Lisbon Botanical Gardens (Jardim Botânico), Rua da Escola Politécnica, 58 (between the Avenida da Liberdade and Bairro Alto). A hidden gem.

It was created several hundred years ago, by a King of Portugal at the time of the Discoveries. The story goes that this King wanted one of every type of plant in the world, and although that's unlikely, there is a huge collection dating back by three or four centuries which is worth checking out.

Also some weird and wonderful bizarre grafted trees, the roots hang down like fingers and toes where one tree has been grafted onto another, sometimes completely different, species.

And there's something quite eerie about seeing plants or huge trees from completely different climates growing next to each other in apparent harmony. A great place to take a picnic, this green oasis is completely surrounded by city but even the city sounds filter out. Entrance 1.80EUR adults, discounts for kids, OAPS and students.

Armazéns do Chiado shopping mall (see details in Buy): top floor restaurants and cafes have fantastic city views.
There is a splendid view of the city from the castle. Jardim de Sao Pedro de Alcântara also provides a great view over the east of Lisbon, part of the Baixa district, and the south bank of the Tagus river.

Cine Theatro Gymnasium, Rua da Misericórdia nº 14, 2º Andar 1200-273 Lisboa. Fado In Chiado - Daily show except on Sundays with a duration of 40 minutes - A chance to become acquainted with Fado, a widely popular traditional Portuguese music style that has been declared World Heritage by UNESCO. The music is usually based on a vocalist accompanied by the sound of Portuguese guitar.

Have a picnic in Jardim Botanico

You cannot come to Lisbon without exploring Alfama - the city's oldest district. You will enjoy simply getting lost on its labyrinthine streets and alleys with architecture ranging from late medieval to 19th Century buildings. The area is old and slightly run down, although renovation efforts have been undertaken in the past two decades.

There is a wealth of small historical and cultural landmarks and pleasant restaurants, cafes and Fado clubs can be found all over the place. Highlights include the Castle of Sao Jorge, Santa Luzia scenic view point, and the medieval Lisbon Cathedral or Se de Lisboa.

Take a walk in the lush gardens of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, one of Europe's most respected cultural institutions. Check out the Gulbenkian Museum,which is also an architectural landmark in itself and its classical art collection; the newer Gulbenkian Modern Art Museum and the concert hall with a continuously ongoing programme of classical, jazz and world music. During the summer, concerts are held in the Gulbenkian gardens' open-air theatre.

If you are on a cultural trip and looking for more concerts, theatre, dance and arts, you can also check the Centro Cultural de Belem near Mosteiro dos Jeronimos, and the Culturgest arts center near the Campo Pequeno area.

Go clubbing! Check out Lux / Fragil one of the most stylish discos / night clubs in Europe, located in the docks in front of Santa Apolonia train station. House, techno, electro and other types of music, DJ's, occasional concerts, avant-garde decor, two dance floors and a terrace where you relax and enjoy the evening view.

Further clubbing and nights out go out at night to the central Bairro Alto, or 'High Neighborhood'. Just up the hill from Chiado, this is the place to go out in town. In the early evening, go to a fado-themed restaurant near the Praca Camoes, and head upwards as the evening goes on. If you're in Lisbon on the night preceding a Feriado or public holiday, you have to check this out.

Tiny little streets which are empty in the daytime become crammed walkways which are difficult to get through. For more of a clubbing or disco experience, try the Docas district along the marina overlooking the Ponte 25 de Abril, or the Cais do Sodre area just below Chiado and Bairro Alto, near the river, where, next to a couple of old dodgy sailors' bars and a prostitution area, new trendy night clubs have recently opened which are attracting new crowds,here you can also go clubbing and occasionally catch live music ranging from pop, rock and jazz to electronica.

Have lunch or dinner at LX Factory an abandoned industrial site,also near the docks, in the Alcantara area under the 25 de Abril bridge, it has recently been turned into a trendy creative and cultural hub: restaurants, offices, design shops, night clubs, one of the largest bookshops in Portugal Ler Devagar and weekly activities including parties, concerts, weekend street markets and exhibitions.

Enjoy a jazz concert and drinks at the Hot Clube de Portugal - Portugal has a thriving jazz scene, the center of which is the Hot Clube de Portugal - one of the oldest jazz clubs in the world, located in Praça da Alegria, near Avenida da Liberdade. The club's first location was lost in a fire in 2009 but it has since reopened literally next door. Shows and open jam sessions are always on, with both national and international jazz stars performing weekly.

International Charter Group: Yacht charter and sailing, one of the worlds largest yacht charter companies, can take care of all charter requirements, from bareboat to crewed in Lisbon. Operating from nine offices worldwide (USA, Spain, UK, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Switzerland, Caribbean, Honk Kong and Dubai).

EcoWanders Free Hiking Tours. Different hiking trails around Sintra Cascais Natural Park:Spend one day around nature, hiking in the UNESCO World Heritage Site – Sintra! You will walk through luxuriant forest achieving panoramic views of the coast, Lisbon, and all the Sintra Mountains and the palace. Based on tips and donations.

Halcyon I - Lisbon Boat Tours, Doca de Alcantara. 2. Enjoy a two hour charming and relaxing boat tour along the Lisbon coast, from two to eight guests. Departing from Alcantara harbour, Halcyon I sails between Belem tower and Alfama. Free welcome drinks. Book by email and pay onboard. € 45.

Members of the EU can work in Lisbon and the whole of Portugal without a work visa. Citizens of non-EU countries must obtain a work visa.

Shop

- Vasco Da Gama shopping mall

- Avenida da Liberdade

- Marques de Pombal roundabout, where Avenida da Liberdade starts

Shops are open a little later than other places in Europe, usually around 9:30AM-10PM, and the lunch breaks can be quite long, usually from 1PM to 3PM.

You can buy a Lisbon Shopping Card, which gives you 5% to 20% discounts at about 200 major stores in Baixa, Chiado and Av. Liberdade for a period of 24 hours (card costs EUR3.70) or 72 hours (card costs EUR5.70).

- Baixa: From Praça do Comércio (aka Terreiro do Paço) to the Restauradores, the Baixa is the old shopping district in the city. It includes pedestrian Rua Augusta which has the most boring and mass-visitor tourist stores, and several European chain clothing stores like Zara, H&M, Campers.

- Chiado: home to a number of independent shops and services and well known brands such as Hugo Boss, Vista Alegre, Tony & Guy, Benetton, Sisley, Pepe Jeans, Levi's and Colcci. The area is also teeming with cafes, restaurants, bookshops and a dedicated shopping area "Armazens do Chiado".

- Avenida da Liberdade: Louis Vuitton, Calvin Klein, Timberland, Massimo Dutti, Armani, Burberrys and Adolfo Dominguez are just some of the shops you'll find across this avenue, which is not just one of the most beautiful and wide in the city, but also one of the fanciest with splurge hotels and restaurants.

While most stores are closed on Sundays, many malls are open 7 days a week. They usually open around 9:30AM and close by 11PM or midnight, although the film theaters within them usually run a late session starting after midnight.

Centro Comercial Colombo, Av. Colegio Militar Metro: Take the Blue Line to Colegio Militar/Luz Station. 9AM - Midnight. One of the largest malls in Europe, this shopping and leisure complex also houses dozens of restaurants, a bowling alley, health club, multiplex cinema, funfair with rides including a roller coaster, and a go-cart track.

Armazens do Chiado, Rua do Carmo 2 Metro: Baixa-Chiado Station. A massive mall that draws a young hip crowd shopping for books, CDs, and DVD.

Centro Comercial Vasco da Gama, Metro: Oriente Station. A large mall in the Parque Expo.

Centro Comercial Amoreiras, Av. Eng. Duarte Pacheco Metro: Marquês de Pombal Station. The city's oldest mall in eye-catching post-modern towers housing international chains.

El Corte Ingles, Av. António Augusto Aguiar, 413 Metro: Sao Sebastiao Station. Big department store with cinema and supermarket, a bit pricey but with good quality items.

Dolce Vita Tejo, Avenida Cruzeiro Seixas,Amadora Metro: Take the Blue Line to Amadora Station, and take a bus from there as the mall is beyond walking distance. One of the biggest Shopping Mall in Europe.

Ramos & Silva / Optica do Chiado (André Ópticas chain), Rua Garrett 63/65. 10-19 ?Mon-Sat. A good selection of designer eyewear from a dozen of brands (Lindberg, DSquareD etc).

Rua Anchieta, 11 (Chiado). Vintage and nostalgic products and brands.

Azulejo Handmade By Us, Largo de S. Martinho, 4 (Rua Augysto Rosa) 1100-537; Rua Bartolomeu de Gusmão, 27. 1000-078; Rua Bartolomeu de Gusmão, 18. 1000-078 Rua Bartolomeu de Gusmao is near the main entrance of the castle. Locally handmade ceramics with beautiful designs and colors. Shop staff is friendly, helpful and speaks great English. 4 euros and up.

Feira da Ladra, Campo de Santa clara (Take Tram 28). 6AM-5PM Tuesday and Saturday. A lively out door market offering both new and used products. Markets of this type have pleased bargain hunters since the 12th century in Lisbon and the Feira da Ladra name has been around since the 17th century.

Portuguese dining rituals tend to follow the Mediterranean siesta body clock.

Most restaurants are very small, family run and generally cheap. Some of them have a sheet on the door with the "pratos do dia" (dishes of the day) written on it. These dishes are usually cheaper and fresher than the rest of menu there, and unless you're looking for something specific, they're the right choice.

During the dinner the waiter will probably bring you some starter dishes you did not request called couvert: as those are not free, feel free not to touch them and they will not be charged on your bill but check it.

Never ask a taxi driver about what restaurant you should go, they will take you to an expensive tourist-oriented restaurant, where they will receive a commission.

For Portuguese traditional cuisine at its finest, head to the area of Chiado.

Tourist traps with laminated menus and meal deals are mostly concentrated in the Baixa area.

It has an exception, however: Rua das Portas de Santo Antao north-east from Praca dos Restauradores, parallel to it, it's the seafood strip, and home to the best greasy spit-roasted chicken this side of Louisiana at the Bonjardim restaurant (Santo Antão, 11), appropriately nicknamed Rei dos Frangos.

For a familiar taste at one of the many chain eateries, head to Doca de Santo Amaro,train/tram 15 station Alcantara-Mar and Parque das Naçoes (metro Oriental).

All the culinary and clubbing kudos is right now concentrated in Doca de Jardim de Tabaco piece of river waterfront right under Castelo de Sao Jorge.

Quality dishes for a high price are in well-to-do Lapa.

Tour groups primarily feel at home in Alfama.

Traditional Portugese restaurants are in Bairro Alto, scattered abundantly through its quirky narrow streets.

Fado - Make sure that you dine at a restaurant that plays traditional fado music. Beware that you'll pay more than in normal restaurants, and the food and drink quality may not be up to the price, you're paying for the music experience. You could also consider attending Fado Vadio,vadio literally translates to bohemian or vagabond. It is typically free or quite cheap, and has several performers do 3-4 songs each. The performers are a mix of amateurs with the occasional professional, but all are passionate about the music.

Pastelarias - Try the magnificent pastéis de nata at any pastelaria; or better yet, visit the Antiga Confeitaria de Belem (Casa Pasteis De Belem) take electrico #15 from Praça do Comercio, or the Cascais suburban train line from Cais do Sodré station, to Belem stop. They are served right out of the oven there, with the side of confectioner's sugar and cinnamon; as you navigate through the azulejo-decorated labyrinthine passages of the expansive shop, stop to look at the workers behind glass panels turning the endless stream of these delicacies, just baked, each in its own little ramekin, over onto the waiting trays.

These are absolutely a must eat and you can't possibly regret it. It's good to accompany your treat with a cup of coffee. Cafe culture is a mainstay of Portugal but the local names are different. Cafe - Espresso, Cafe Pingado - Espresso with a few drops of milk (like a Macchiato), Meia de Leite - Half coffee, half milk.

You will find traditional meals served in small coffee shops/restaurants, especially in the old parts of town. Some will be better than others, just check if there are a lot of locals eating there! They will be very cheap (as low as €5 for a full meal) and home-style cooking. The owners probably wont speak English and the menu will probably be in Portuguese only,

Cafe Buenos Aires, Calçada Escadinhas do Duque No. A good and selected combination of cheap and mid range dishes. The owners are very friendly and speak English, as well as Portuguese. It is a good restaurant if you want to eat South American grilled meat.

Mestiço, Arco das Portas do Mar, 9 (Near Casa dos Bicos). What used to be a Nepalese curry house is now a very friendly African eatery with authentic food. In the evening musicians play for an even more atmospheric setting. Very reasonably priced - total of about about 8-12 euros per person.

Mercado da Ribeira, Cais do Sodre (Opposite the train station, on the Marginal). 10am - late. The west wing of this market is a food hall run by Time Out Lisboa, with around 30 dining outlets. There is a large selection of seafood, gastronomic dishes, desserts, and of course wine to choose from. Meals for 6-15 euros.

Rosa da Rua Restaurant, Rua da Rosa, 265, Bairro Alto (Metro: Rossio). 12:30pm to 3pm, and 7:30pm to 11:30pm. Closed all day Monday and lunchtimes Saturday and Sunday. A traditional restaurant offering an interesting mix of Portuguese, Indian, and Cape Verdean flavours. The lunch-time buffet offers excellent value for money and great quality food. Staff are patient with English speakers. 10 euros for buffet lunch; 25 euros for 3-course dinner.

Mamma Rosa Ristorante Pizzeria, Rua do Gremio Lusitano, 14 Bairro Alto. Great pizzas, cheap Portuguese wine and very helpful friendly staff who have given lots of tourist information to customers in the past. approx 9 euros a pizza.

Grocery stores are closed on Sundays after 1PM, except those smaller than 2000m2 .

Mercado da Ribeira, Avenida 24 de Julho (Cais do Sodre). 7AM-1PM except Sunday. A large indoor farmer's market open in the mornings. This is a great place to buy snacks for the day while traveling on a budget. Pick up nuts, fruit, veggies, cheese, bread or meat or delight your travel mate with some beautiful flowers. Go early! as the stands tend to close down in the early afternoon.

Bistro4, Rua Rosa Araújo, 8 (30 metres from Avenida da Liberdade). Breakfast:. Under the French culinary concept of bistronomy, the restaurant combines bistro and haute cuisine into high-quality food at affordable prices. This innovative concept is served in a relaxed atmosphere, with a simple menu and market produce. Bistrô4 is the five-star PortoBay Liberdade hotel's restaurant

A Tasquinha from donwtown, turn left near Igreja de Santa Luzia to Rua do Limoeiro; then turn right to Rua de Santiago. Pass Camidas de Santiago. Look for outdoor red chairs and tables, white umbrellas, Largo Contador Mor 5/7. Great food; owner and guest signers perform fado on Fri evenings without charging extra for it; many outdoor tables; great red Sangria. Try bacalau with potatoes and onion in cream sauce--excellent change from ubiquitous rice/chips with grilled everything.

Chapito. Dinner: from 7:30pm. Great views are the main feature if you reserve terrace seat in advance. Good atmosphere; international-menu food is tasty but nothing special.

DeliDelux‎, Avenida Infante D. Henrique Armazém B - Loja 8 Tue-Fri: 12pm-12am; Sat 10am-12am; Sun 10am-8pm. Breakfasts in a contemporary setting; pleasant views. Average bill: 20eur.

Farol de Santa Luzia‎, Largo de Santa Luzia, 5 (near 28/12 tram stops). Mon-Sat: 11am-23pm. Great place to have typical Portuguese food before climbing to Castelo S.Jorge. ~ 20€/p.

Malmequer Bemmequer, Rua de Sao Miguel 23-25. Closed on Mon.. Friendly and inexpensive; long menu of traditional Portugese dishes.

Pois Cafe, Rua S. João da Praça N. 93-95 on the side street of cathedral Se. 11am-8pm, Tue-Sun. It's a place to relax, read a book, drink a coffee and plan you way around Lisbon. Also offers toasts, pastas, quiches and salads; features (late) breakfasts.

Cervejaria da Trindade, R. Nova da Trindade 20C (Chiado neighbourhood). Everyday : 10AM-1:30AM. Excellent restaurant-brewery that has several kinds of Sagres beer and also Guinness. Beware with the appetizer that is charged for each item that is consumed separately. Nice codfish plates. €15-25.

Leitaria Camponeza, Rua dos Sapateiros, 155 (Baixa neighbourhood, 1 minute off the main walking street). Everyday : 7PM-11:00PM. On the location of a historical cafe (the "leitaria"), this place focuses on only a short number of dishes (meats, fish & seafood) but makes up for this in quality and portion size. For an atmospheric presentation ask for one of their "espetada"s.

The wines compliment the dishes and you can end the meal with a dessert. For someone looking for great value for their buck (no compromises on quality), it's a good place to start (or end) an evening. €15-35.

Néctar WineBar, R. dos Douradores, 33 (Baixa Pombalina neighbourhood). Lunch: Mon-Sat 12:30pm-3pm; Dinner: Mon-Thu 6pm-11pm; Fri-Sat: 6pm-12am. Features daily lunch menu; Portuguese and Mediterranean cuisine. A place dedicated to the promotion of Portugal's wine and gastronomic culture.

The wine list comprises - in its vast majority - a selection of Portuguese wines which best represent the country. Wine can be bought by the glass, and it is served at the appropriate temperatures and in suitable glasses. Dishes - served in portions for 2 - easily replace a main course meal. Homemade-style desserts, for which sweet wines can be suggested. A modern and cosy atmosphere. €25-35.

Tamarind, Rua da Gloria 43-45 (near Elevador da Glória). Small Indian restaurant. Avg bill per person: 30EUR.

Os Tibetanos ("), Rua do Salitre, 117, Lisboa. Monday to Friday 12h15 to 14h15 and 19h30 to 22h00, Saturday 12.45h to 15h and 20h to 22.30h, closed Sunday. Vegetarian restaurant affiliated with a Buddhist center. Vegan friendly. Juice bar. Inexpensive.

Arroz Maria, Doca de Sto Amaro (take train from Cais do Sodre, ride to Alcantara-Mar station). Spanish food restaurant with fabulous seafood with a great view of the Tejo river and the Ponte de 25 Abril. Excellent service and really fresh food. Don't miss the tamboril (monkfish) with the tomato and asparagus sauce.

Really worth the effort to get there, the Docas area is fairly newly developed, and the railway line makes it hard to find a way across the main road, but with determination it's a great spot to go to. It's one of a number of restaurants of varying types along this stretch of the quayside, but it stands out for quality and value. Check it out before it gets 'trendy'. €25 (two courses with wine and port).

Come Prima, Rua do Olival, 258 near Museu de Arte Antiga» between the historic quarter of Madragoa and Docks of Lisbon.. Traditional style fresh pasta dishes, various starters, risottos, meats and wood-oven pizzas are produced from a wide selection of prime quality fresh ingredients. Extensive wine list procured from both national and Italian producers and a delightful choice of desserts carefully picked from the Italian classics. €18.

Terra, Rua da Palmeira 15near Jardim do Príncipe Real. Probably the best vegetarian restaurant in Lisbon and also the nicest in terms of ambiance and service. They have a menu in English and will help with vegan choices or people with other dietary restrictions. Reservations are recommended, especially on weekends but you will always be served even if you arrive with the place full and have to wait for a while. Weather permitting try to get a table "outside", which means a wonderful and secluded back terrace. €15-20 (Vegetarian Buffet plus drink and/or dessert).

Sul, Rua do Norte 13. Delicious Mediterranean and South American food. Good wine and drinks list. Helpful staff will translate the menu, which is written on the blackboard, and happily cater for vegetarians. Gets packed in the evenings so bookings recommended if you're eating from 9PM onwards. No outdoor tables. €30 2 courses with wine and cocktail.

Brasuca, Rua Joao Pereira da Rosa 7. Great Brazilian food served by friendly staff.

Lisboa a Noite, Rua as Gaveas, 69. A restaurant with a variety of traditional Portuguese dishes very appreciated by the tourists. Friendly environment, great service. Make sure you try the appetizers.

Ali a Papa, Rua da Atalaia 95. Dinner only: 7pm-4am. Mediocre quality and rude service, but has veggie options. €20 two courses with house wine.

Calcuta, Rua da Atalaia 28. Decent Indian food, but far from the best. The location is great though for starting a night out on the town. Ask for the shoot drinks! €25 (two courses with house wine).

Imperio dos sentidos, Rua da Atalaia, 35, Bairro Alto. A popular restaurant that offers a diverse menu of traditional Portuguese, international and vegetarian cuisine. The difficulty will be in choosing what to eat as this mid-range restaurant’s menu is both broad and deep in terms of tantalizing dishes on offer. The solution for a couple is to agree on the dishes and swap over half-way in order to double the gastronomic experience. Their specialty “Champagne” Sangria is a must do.

The opening hours accommodate those that like to eat before 9pm and for those that dinner is an after 10pm affair. The waiting staff speak English and will humorously and patiently (with one raised eyebrow) assist you navigate your attempts to order in Portuguese. If you have the funds, there are various works of art on the walls available for purchase. Open from 7:30pm to 2am; Closed on 2nd Wednesday

Bengaltandoori, Rua de Algeria, 23. Bengal tandoori is an excellent place for Indian dinning in Lisbon. the staff is very friendly and the restaurant is very romantic and they lit candle nights on the tables. €30 appetizer, main, wine and desert.

Sacramento, Calcada Do Sacramento 40. A popular locals place. The atmosphere and the food are excellent. Service was very good and the recommendations by the staff were outstanding. The writing on the menu is very small and difficult to read in the subdued lighting. €40 appetizer, main, wine and desert.

Alfaia, Travessa da Queimada, 22. Friendly staff and very good food (especially pigling). The restaurant is pretty full even on Sunday evening. €55-70 (Dinner for two with a bottle of wine and aperitif).

Sukhothai, Rua da Atalaia, 77 Bairro Alto. Small, but tasty Thai restaurant. Pad Thai and green curry are especially good. Inexpensive.

Eleven, Rua Marquês da Fronteira. If you really feel like splurging, this is the place. The restaurant was recently awarded a Michelin Star, although the basis on which the award was made are disputable.

Il Gattopardo, Av. Eng. Duarte Pacheco, 24 (3rd Floor of the Dom Pedro Palace hotel). Lunch: 12:20PM - 3:30PM, Dinner: 7:30PM-11:30PM. An elegant restaurant serving fashionable gourmet Italian with a big price tag.

Panorama, Rua Latino Coelho 1. Superb views over Lisbon and food with a good quality/price ratio.

Bica do Sapato, Avenida Infante Dom Henrique Armazém B, Cais da Pedra a Bica do Sapato. Superb views over Lisbon and food with a good quality/price ratio.

Chimera Brewpub, Rua Prior do Crato, 6 - Alcântara. Superb tunnel from 1740 that is is now turned into a brewery/Portuguese craft beer/NY Deli PUB Restaurant. A must see for history and beer lovers.

Gambrinus (restaurant / bar / brewery), Rua das Portas de Santo Antao, 23 Four Seasons Hotel Ritz.. 12:30pm-1:30am. One of the most chic places in the city. Highly recognized in Lisbon as something of an institution, it attracts an eclectic crowd where the appeal is food and a great selection of beers, wines and spirits. Features smoking room, private parking with a doorman.

Lisbon is known for its lively nightlife. For going out, stroll around the old neighborhood of Bairro Alto or high neighborhood for an after-dinner caipirinha or ginjinha and people-watching. Its small streets, full of people, are packed with a high variety of bars. On weeknights bars close at 2 am, weekends at 3 am. The party continues in a night-club after that. Just follow the hordes of people down the hill.

Alcantara, Santos, Parque das Naçoes, and the castle area are all neighborhoods with a thriving nightlife. The whole area near the river/Atlantic, known as the docas, is a huge hub for nightlife, as Lisbon has never lost its ties to the sea.

Chimera Brewpub, Rua Prior do Crato,6 - Alcantara- Lisboa. Craft Portuguese Beers, good PUB NY Deli food and games. A special place inside an 18th century Tunnel in original arquitecture and new modern decoration. A must go to have fun and history. And good beer.

Garrafeira Alfaia, Rua Diário de Notícias 125. Nice wine bar with an impressive selection of good wines and appetizers. Good place to spend the late afternoon, before going out to dinner.

Chafariz do Vinho, Rua da Mae d'Agua. Perfect place to linger over a glass of wine at this wine bar that is under the arches of the city's former acquaducts. With a great selection of appetizers that are matched perfectly with the wine, it's a pleasant way to spend an evening.

Ritz Bar, Four Seasons Hotel, Rua Rodrigo da Fonseca. Designed by Pierre Yves-Rochon, you'll enjoy deep, sumptous sofas and an impressive collection of contemporary art displayed on the walls. And with decorated bartender Paulo Costa serving you drinks, its a great place to peruse a crowd of sophisticated clientele.

Bar Foxtrot, Travessa Santa Teresa 28 Half way between Principe Real Garden and Assembleia da República. 6pm to 3am. decoration "Art Deco", music; Cooking service until 3 am, which highlight the Foxtrot Steak and the delicious steak sandwich. 10€.

Bar Trobadores, Rua de São Julião, 27. Medieval bar in downtown with a cozy atmosphere and a diverse range of traditional Portuguese delicacies. National and international beers.

Museu da Cerveja, Praça do Comércio (Baixa) 1100. A rustic beer house with an outdoor patio on the city's iconic square, Praça do Comercio. The upper floor houses an exhibition on the history of Portuguese beer. Serves house beer on tap and bottled beers from all Portuguese-speaking countries, and a small selection of spirits. The snacks menu includes cod and Serra de Estrela cheese fishcakes. A must for beer lovers.

Finding a decent sleeping place in the centre should not be a big problem. There is a tourist service centre in the airport, where the nice ladies will book a room for you. Expect to pay between €45 and €60 for a double room.

Lisbon Old Town Hostel, Rua do Ataíde, 26A (5 minutes from Bairro Alto. Metro: Baixa/Chiado or Caiso do Sobre). A new hostel, opened in 2007, catering to the young hip crowd with event listings on their website, free computer and internet access in the lobby and WiFi through out the hostel. 15€-22€.

Shiado Hostel, Rua Anchieta 5 - 3º - 1200-023 Lisboa (2 mins walking from Baixa-Chiado Metro station). checkin: 14; checkout: 12. Located in the Chiado area, the very heart of Lisbon, a charming and relaxing hostel. Opened in march 2009 13€-30€.

Poets Hostel, Rua Nova da Trindade, 2 - 5º - 1200 Lisboa (30 seconds walk from Baixa-Chiado Metro station). checkin: 14; checkout: 11. The building is just next the Chiado exit of the Baixa-Chiado metro station. Very helpful staff, clean rooms, dinners and activities are organized by the hostel. Big common room with TV and free internet. Dorms and privtes available.

Hotel Borges, Rua Garret, 108. Spacious rooms with satellite TV. Very central, but somewhat expensive for the service. Rooms starting at €84.

Sé Guesthouse, Rua de Sao Joao da Praca, 97 - 1100-519 Lisboa. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. This 5 room guesthouse is a charming and affordable Alfama option, with a picturesque location, fantastic river views, and eclectic décor. Some rooms are bathrooms en suite, while others share the two, clean hall bathrooms. $49 - $87.

Alfama Patio Hostel, Escolas Gerais, 3, Patio dos Quintalinhos 1 - 1100-213 Lisboa. checkin: 15:00; checkout: 11:00. Great location, full amenities (from free WiFi to free pancake breakfast), and helpful staff, all at an affordable price. 17€ - 35€.

House4 Bairro Alto, Travessa de São Pedro, nº9 r/c Esquerdo. Their hotel in Lisboa offers rooms equipped with air conditioning, flat screen cable TV, DVD player, safety deposit box, minibar, private toilet and bath. House4 Bairro Alto also offers facilities which are living room and bar. Rates start at 120.00 EUR.

Holidayflat. A wide selection of holiday rentals. Competitive prices. Accommodation located in the historical district of Lisbon. Rates start at 57€ for 7 persons.

Bairro Alto house, Rua dos Mouros, nº18 (atached at Miradouro São Pedro de Alcantara). checkin: flexible; checkout: flexible. Retro design flat, combined with a rustic Portuguese building. from 55€/night.

Bed&Breakfast Lisboa, Travessa do Alcaide, nº7 (atached at Adamastor). Good rooms in a very central bed-and-breakfast with views all over Lisbon and the river. 30€ - €40.

Camoes, Travessa do Poço da Cidade 38 1E. Basic, clean and affordable. Single €20, Triple €60.

Casa na Bica, Largo de Santo Antoninho. Right next to Bica's funicular, the apartment Casa na Bica is in walking distance to Bairro Alto Baixa, Santos and Cais do Sodré. €40 - €50.

Oasis Backpackers' Mansion, Rua de Santa Catarina 24. Backpackers rave about this hotel, often noting the friendly staff, large clean rooms, fun atmosphere and great dinners. It is a great place for a budget traveler to meet up with other travelers and feel safe when they go to bed at night - if they go to bed.

Beira Minho, Praça da Figueira, 6. A great location at a good price, but with few amenities.

Bom Conforto Casa de Hospedes, Rua Dos Douradores, 83, 3.º DTO., 1100-204 Lisboa. Very clean, quiet, and comfortable. Helpful and sweet English-speaking staff. €20 singles.

Goodnight Backpackers Hostel, Rua dos Correeiros 113, 2nd. The interior design looks a bit like IKEA show-room, the staff know where the good places to go out dancing and drinking are and the location works for a budget traveler. €18-20.

Kitsch Hostel, Praça dos Restauradores 65, 2° esq Aerobus stop and metro stop restauradores. checkin: 14.00; checkout: 11.00. brand new hostel in central Lisbon. 10-minute walk from Bairro Alto. from €14.

Lisbon Story Guesthouse, Largo S. Domingos, 18 S/L (on the right hand-side of Teatro Nacional D. Maria II). A cozy Guesthouse with welcoming common areas and well-decorated small rooms at a budget price. Rooms Starting at €50.

Pensao Alegria, Praça de Alegria 12. Small cosy pension on a beautiful small square. €43,00 (Doubles).

Pensão Norte, Rua dos Douradores, 159. B&B style pension with friendly and accommodating staff in a quiet area.

Pensao Residencial Portuense, Rua das Portas de Santo Antao, 149-157, 1150-267 Lisboa (near Restauradores behind the Hard Rock Cafe). Varies from €35 to €85.

Restauradores, Praça dos Restauradores, 13.

Suiço Atlantico, Rua da Gloria 3-19. checkin: 2PM; checkout: 12PM. A comfortable, non-smoking, hotel on Restauradores Square with WiFi available in public areas. Starting at €40.

Travellers House, Rua Augusta, 89. Nice hostel with lots of extras. Friendly staff and easy to meet people with their nightly activities. Free WiFi, breakfast, coffee and tea, maps and city advice, lots of guide books to look at and a book exchange for travelers who are tired of reading the same book over and over again. Beds starting at €15.

Yes Hostel, Rua de Sao Juliao 148. Relaxed and comfortable hostel with an excellent location. One of the largest hostels in Lisbon; opened in July 2009. Comfortable beds in large dorms, key operated lockers, free computer access as well as WiFi in every room, free breakfast, complimentary coffee and tea, 24 hour bar, access to their professional kitchen. Very friendly and accomodating staff. 3-course Portuguese dinners for €8 by their in-house chef. 4 person dorms starting at €15.

Next Hostel, Avenida Almirante Reis n.4 - 5. Comfortable hostel with an central location. Comfortable beds in large dorms, key lockers, free computer access as well as WiFi, free breakfast, 24 hour reception, well equipped kitchen. Very friendly and helpful staff. Opened in July 2009. 4 person dorms starting at €12, can also go as low as 9 euros if booked early.

Rossio Hostel, Calçada do Carmo, 6. checkin: 2PM; checkout: 12PM. Great location, great staff, great free cooked breakfast, great hostel. The hostel offers dorms and privates. Free internet, TV room, lounge.

Johnies Place Hostel, Calcada da Graça no.18F (Right next to Graça's Belveder). Cosy hostel. No extra costs for internet, printing, breakfast. Dorms starting at €14.

Ibis Lisboa Saldanha, Avenida Casal Ribeiro 23. Travellers give this Ibis so-so reviews noting on the plus side the location only 5 min walk to the metro, and a good breakfast and on the minus side small rooms. €59-69.

Lisboa Central Hostel, Rua Rodrigues Sampaio nº160 On parallel street behind Av. da Liberdade. A fun, fresh and friendly place to stay. Located in the heart of city in Marques de Pombal and Avenida da Liberdade this international hostel provides a good base for sight-seeing by day and partying by night. All of Lisbon’s major night spots are easily accessible on foot. Dorms start at €16.

Music Hall Lisbon Hostel, Avenida Antonio Augusto Aguiar 66 R/C (From airport take metro to station 'Sao Sebastião' & walk downhill - it's on your left. From 'Santa Apolónia' rail station take metro to 'Parque' and go up the avenue, it's on your right. Original art and friendly staff - each dorm is themed with a different music genre (rock/jazz/electronica/etc.) In a quiet area with strong shutters mean a good night's sleep unlike many of the party hostels downtown. Beer on tap. Breakfast included. Low/high season prices: €10/13 (dorm) - €30/40 (private).

My Rainbow Rooms GAY Bed & Breakfast, Saldanha, 1 - 1000-007 Lisbon. Lisbon's only exclusively gay Bed & Breakfast is housed in a luxurious 6 bedroom, 3 bathroom apartment in a beautifully restored 1920's neo-art deco building. With three meter ceilings, rich hardwood floors, modern baths, elegant furnishing and sophisticated amenities, this gay hotel is centrally located in a quiet residential area in the heart of the capital, only two minutes walk from the Saldanha metro station. Breakfast and free wireless internet are included. $45 - $69.

Odisseo, Travessa Larga, 1, 3º-Esq 1150-207 Lisboa.

Pensao Londrina, Rua Castilho, 61 First Floor,5 minutes walk from Marques de Pombal underground station.

Pousada da Juventude - Youth Hostel, R. Andrade Corvo, 46.

Heritage Apartments, Rua da Atalaia, 205 - 1st floor. Gorgeous and luxury full-equipped apartments with free Wi-Fi in an 18th Century building typical of Bairro Alto that was renovated in 2012. The price includes free groceries welcome pack. Full-equipped apartments starting at €90.

NH Liberdade, Avenida da Liberdade, 180 B, 1250-146 Lisbon. Nice hotel located right in the center of the city.

Travelpark hotel, Avenida Almirante Reis nº 64, 1150-020 Lisboa. A brand new hotel that sits in the heart of Av. Almirante Reis. Just five minutes away from Lisbon International Airport and with underground station at doorstep. Online booking

Vila Gale Opera, Tv Conde da Ponte, 1300-141. The hotel basically stands right by the Tagus River. Adjoins Lisbon’s Congress Centre and the lively nightlife of Lisbon’s Docas area. Online booking

America Diamond's Hotel, Rua Tomás Ribeiro 47. Was totally reconstructed in 2006 on a historical building, keeping only its original façade, contrasting with its modern interior, equipped with 60 comfortable rooms of different typologies. Rooms starting at €50.

HF Fenix Music***, Rua Joaquim António de Aguiar, 5. Hotel that celebrates music right in the heart of Lisbon.Free Wi-Fi Stylish rooms from €65.

HF Fenix Garden***, Rua Joaquim António de Aguiar, 3. Voted as the best 3 star hotel in Lisbon . Stylish rooms from €57.

HF Fenix Lisboa****, Praça Marquês de Pombal, 8. Strategically located d in the centre of Lisbon near Praça Marquês de Pombal. Free Wi-Fi Stylish rooms from €67.

HF Fenix Urban****, Av. António Augusto de Aguiar, 14. Strategically located d in the centre of Lisbon near Praça Marquês de Pombal. Free Wi-Fi Stylish rooms from €55.

Mercy Hotel - Boutique Hotel Lisbon (Boutique Hotel Lisbon). Contemporary Cosmopolitan Charming Confortable and with Charisma ... This is the Mercy Hotel!A new 5 star hotel in Lisbon, with a premium location between the Chiado and Bairro Alto districts.This project is signed by Architect Miguel Saraiva. Quality, Design, Comfort and elegance define the Mercy Hotel.

Hotel Avenida Palace. Located in the emblematic Restauradores Square, in the heart of the city, The Avenida Palace Hotel is a symbol of charm and elegance in more than one hundred years of its story. This neoclassical, imposing building and its first class refined service turned it into one of the most selected destinations of high society and prominent individualities all over the world.

Lapa Palace, Rua do Pau de Bandeira, 4. Property of Orient-Express Hotels, Trains & Cruises. A luxury palace hotel in one of Lisbon's seven hills, with gardens and pools, heated all year long. Member of The Leading Hotels of the World. With one of the best spas in Lisbon, gourmet food (its restaurant is considered by the Zagat Guide as one of the best in Lisbon) and one of best Concierge services in the country.

Pestana Palace, Rua Jau, nº 54. Located in an old Palace, has a wonderful garden and luxury spa. Extremely comfortable, and well worth the €220 per night if you book in advance and online.

Eurostars Das Letras, Rua Castilho, 6-12. 1250 - 069. Lisboa. Portugal (Five minutes walk from Avenida metro station, ten minutes walk from the AirportBus stop at Marques de Pombal). checkin: 10:00H. A new, modern hotel situated in the central Rato district. Despite its five-star rating, double rooms can be had for a very reasonable rate if booked in advanced.

The hotel offers free wireless internet for guests along with two laptops with internet access. The hotel is very well situated - one street away from Avenida de Liberdad, a few minutes from the Avenida metro station and a short walk from Baixa / Chiado.

Lisbon is a fairly safe city but use common sense precautions, especially at train stations, on public transport and when going out at night.

The most common crime against tourists is pickpocketing and theft from rental cars or on public transport, i.e. crowded cable cars, trains or buses. Simple precautions are enough to maintain your safety while travelling on them.

Violent and/or drug related crimes are known to take place in areas such as Bairro Alto and Santos, especially at night. Chances are you'll be approached at least a few times by certain types offering hash or chocolate, especially in the downtown area on and around Rua Augusta, or near the Chiado Plaza.

If you are of fair complexion or obviously a tourist you are more likely to be approached,young tourists out for drinks are also very likely to be approached. These approaches are usually done by drug dealers and scammers and may degenerate into mugging. Also be aware that more often than not the substance they claim to be hash is just pressed bayleaf.

Due to soaring house prices caused by speculation, the "Baixa" area has become depopulated. Its back streets are often fair ground for muggers, although Terreiro do Paço and Chiado are relatively safe due to their status as night spots. The Intendente and Martim Moniz were formerly known for prostitution and drug trafficking, but after a recent renovation and the opening of several new bars and nightspots, they have become much safer.

ATM / bank machine muggings are commonplace in the city center. Groups of adolescents occasionally stay close to the ATM / multibanco and wait until you have entered your PIN. They then force you away from the machine and withdraw the maximum amount €200 maximum per withdrawal; however, two withdrawals of €200 per day per bank card are allowed. Try to withdraw money earlier in the day.

Car jacking is rare, but has increased in frequency. Usual targets are luxury/top brand vehicles or unescorted female drivers. Make sure your car doors are locked even during daytime.

Criminals in Lisbon are witty and continuously come up with new scams. Examples include: - someone approaches you for no apparent reason and distracts you with conversation or begging, while someone else pickpockets you;

- someone pretending they need to "borrow" money from you, promising to pay you back in a few hours;

- another well known scam involves one person offering you drugs, while a second person will suddenly approach you pretending to be a police officer, and asking you to pay a "fine" if you want to avoid "jail".

A firm 'no thank-you' or "nao, obrigado", if you're a male; "nao, obrigada", if you're female should be enough to deter them. Another possible option is simply walking away and avoiding any interaction from the first moment.

Car parking scammers - Finally, when driving, be on the lookout for one of Lisbon's greatest plagues: "arrumadores" - "ushers" or illegal parking "assistants". These are drug addicts, petty thieves or simply homeless people who stand near vacant car parking spaces and "help" you to park your car even though no help is obviously needed.

As soon as you step out of the vehicle, the "arrumador" will try to extort money from you as payment for the so-called "service", through begging at best or physical abuse in the worst situations though rare. They might also pretend to be official parking space guards or security and promise to keep an eye on your car - naturally, they will disappear as soon as you give them money.

If you are not in an isolated area i.e. other people / witnesses are around, and decide not to give them money at all you may simply ignore them and walk away after parking your car - should you do so, however, bear in mind there is a risk of having your car damaged or broken into once you are gone, but most times the "arrumador" will just move on to other targets.

Although "arrumadores" are not usually dangerous, caution is always needed: many have been known to use this scam to attack or rob people especially when they act in groups, and instances of car jacking have been reported, especially when unescorted female drivers are concerned.

Generally, the best course of action is to park somewhere else,preferably in areas that are not too isolated or just pay for a place in an official parking lot - a bit more expensive, but hassle-free.

Lisbon drivers are somewhat unreliable, with a tendency for speeding and disregarding basic traffic rules during rush hour or near night spots. Taxi drivers are notorious for aggressive and even violent behaviour towards other drivers. Motorbike riders also tend to indulge in speeding and skipping lanes without warning. Also, drinking and driving is a common offence in Portugal and Lisbon is no exception.

Although most Lisbon drivers will be cautious and polite with pedestrians, they are generally very disrespectful and intolerant towards cyclists and will frequently heckle them and display aggressive behaviour. Situations where cyclists are assaulted or even thrown off the road by car drivers are common.

Cycling in Lisbon is pleasant and danger-free in parks and near the river, but it is generally a dangerous activity elsewhere in the city centre and other areas where bike lanes are still not available.

In any case, there are still quite a few areas safe good for cycling and do not be put off by Lisbon's hills. For 7(Seven) EUR, a Lisbon Bike Map is available with valuable information, provided by some of the local and experienced cyclists.

Start by riding up hill on the pleasant Monsanto Forest Park and west part of the city. In some other areas you find the new city bike lanes, many of which are located along over the river waterfront.

Just outside Lisbon, Sintra, Cascais and Arrabida are all great and normally safe place where drivers are used to local cyclists often out riding.

In case of Emergency
Ambulance, fire brigade, police: call 112. English-speaking operators are available 24/7.

Same number is used with both land line and mobile phone. The number works on any mobile phone, whether it is keylocked or not and with or without SIM card.

Private international call centers and public telephone booths are common throughout Lisbon. Be warned, however, public phones can be less generous than slot machines: many times they'll swallow your change and give you no credit. You're better off purchasing a Portugal Telecom pre-paid card you can insert into the phone, or even a discount calling card which connects you via a toll-free number.

These can be purchased from street kiosks and convenience stores. Most payphones also allow you to pay by credit card, although support for this feature is somewhat expensive.

Internet cafes are also abundant in the Rossio and Restauradores districts as well as in the Bairro Alto (opening late there). Expect to pay between €2 - €3 per hour.

Visit places

Paço de Arcos — A fishing village, where you can find also the Marquis of Pombal Palace and Estate.

Mafra— A charming town with a monastery.

Ericeira— A gorgeous seaside resort near Mafra, well-known to surfers worldwide.

Sintra is a beautiful UNESCO World Heritage site town 40 minutes by car/train from Lisbon.

Cascais— A town on the bay of the same name,on the Estoril coast, 30 minutes by train from Lisbon (Cais do Sodré Station).

Praia das Maçãs is a small and surprisingly calm seaside resort about 30km to the west of Lisbon,near the towns of Colares & Sintra.
South of Lisbon(south of the Tagus river/rio Tejo):

Almada, a city connected to/from Lisbon via ferry boats at Cacilhas and connected by train at Pragal and roadway via 25 Abril bridge/ponte 25 de Abril. The Monument of Christ-King (Cristo-Rei) is located in Pragal, Almada.

Costa da Caparica, with beautiful beaches, easily reachable by bus

Setubal— Capital of the district, and starting point for visits to Arrabida mountain, Troia, and the Sado river. Dolphins can be spotted on the bay.

Palmela— A hill town with a castle, with amazing views, near the city of Setubal.

Sesimbra— A fisherman's village near the Arrábida mountain, good for scuba diving and fresh seafood, and starting point to visit the Espichel cape and sancturary.

Azeitao—,near Setubal, some 30km South of Lisbon, this small region consists of a series of lovely villages, of which Vila Nogueira de Azeitão and Vila Fresca de Azeitão are the most well known. Azeitao stands between the Arrabida Nature Park and the coast.

In the park you'll meet the last remains of the original Mediterranean flora. Also, there is the famous Convent of Arrábida to visit and the stunning views from its hills and at its peak.

Vila Nogueira de Azeitao— Visit the beautiful Winery and palace "Quinta da Bacalhoa". Also check out the grand estate and winery of Jose Maria da Fonseca. Igreja de São Lorenço with hand painted tile panels, gilded wood chapels and a Lucca Della Robbia medallion. Convent of S. Domingos.
Tróia— A lovely peninsula gifted with kms of wild unexplored beaches, and with a tourist resort being developed on one of its edges.


Tourism Observer
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