Overview & Brief History

Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal, stands as a captivating blend of history, culture, and modern vibrancy. Perched on the western edge of the Iberian Peninsula, Lisbon is renowned for its scenic hills, historic neighborhoods, and a lively atmosphere along the banks of the Tagus River. As one of Europe’s oldest cities, Lisbon seamlessly integrates its rich past with contemporary allure, offering visitors a diverse range of experiences.


A Brief History
Lisbon has ancient origins dating back to Phoenician and Greek settlements, but it was the Romans who established the city as “Felicitas Julia Olissipo.” Over the centuries, it became a vital trading hub in the Roman Empire.


Lisbon was recaptured from the Moors in 1147 during the Christian Reconquest. The city flourished as a maritime center during the Age of Discovery in the 15th and 16th centuries, with explorers like Vasco da Gama setting sail from its shores. Lisbon played a pivotal role in the Age of Exploration, serving as the starting point for voyages that led to the discovery of new trade routes and territories. The wealth generated from these expeditions contributed to the city’s cultural and economic prosperity.


In 1755, a catastrophic earthquake, followed by a tsunami and fires, struck Lisbon, causing widespread destruction. The Marquis of Pombal, then prime minister, led efforts to rebuild the city with a modern and organized layout, shaping the Lisbon we see today. Lisbon experienced a cultural renaissance in the 19th and 20th centuries, with literary figures like Fernando Pessoa contributing to its intellectual scene. The city’s iconic neighborhoods, such as Alfama and Bairro Alto, showcase a unique blend of tradition and creativity.


In recent decades, Lisbon has emerged as a cosmopolitan capital, attracting visitors with its historic sites, vibrant street life, and a burgeoning arts scene. The city’s resilience, friendly ambiance, and stunning vistas continue to make it a popular destination in Europe. Lisbon’s history is etched in its streets, monuments, and cultural fabric, making it a captivating destination for those eager to explore the layers of its past and embrace the energy of its present.

Things to See & Do

Jerónimos Monastery and Belém Tower

This UNESCO World Heritage site is a must-see for any visitor to Lisbon. The Jerónimos Monastery is a stunning example of Manueline architecture, while the Belém Tower is a 16th-century fortress that offers panoramic views of the city.


São Jorge Castle

Perched atop a hill overlooking the city, São Jorge Castle offers stunning views of Lisbon and the Tagus River. Explore the castle’s ramparts and towers, learn about its history, and enjoy the panoramic vistas.


Praça do Comércio and Terreiro do Paço

This grand square is located on the waterfront and is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. Enjoy the views of the river, admire the 18th-century architecture, and watch people go by.



This historic neighborhood is a maze of narrow streets, charming squares, and colorful houses. Wander through the Alfama, soak up the atmosphere, listen to the sounds of Fado music, and discover hidden gems.

Local Dining

Make Sure You Check Out…the Mercado da Ribeira. This bustling market boasts a plethora of fresh seafood vendors. Choose your catch and have it cooked to your liking at one of the on-site restaurants.


Discover the magic of …“pastel de nata”. These iconic custard tarts are a must-try in Lisbon. Enjoy their crispy pastry and creamy custard filling, best paired with a cup of espresso.

Insider Tips

Embrace the “tranquilo” pace. Lisbon life is slower and more relaxed than in many other European capitals. Don’t rush, take your time, and savor the moments.


Learn a few basic Portuguese phrases. Locals appreciate the effort and it can be helpful in navigating everyday situations.


Purchase the Lisboa Card. This card offers free entry to numerous museums and attractions, unlimited travel on public transportation, and discounts at shops and restaurants.

Virtual Tours

Alfama 4K Walking Tour

Ajuda Palace

Lisbon Sea Aquarium


Interactive Maps

Explore the São Jorge Castle

Wander around Bairro Alto

Play around the Lisbon Botanical Garden


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