Lisbon Travel Guide

Understand

Like Amman, Rome, and San Francisco, Lisbon is built on seven hills.

The sparkling new Lisboa Ask Me Centre (Pç. do Comércio, Tel. +351 (21) 031-2815, open 9AM - 8PM daily) 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 €17, 48 hour €27 and 72 hour (€33 denominations. They are not very good value unless you plan to visit a lot of museums. Especially so 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.

Climate

Lisbon enjoys a Subtropical-Mediterranean 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 above 15.2 °C (59.4 °F) during the day and 8.9 °C (48.0 °F) at night in the period from December to February. Snow and frost are unknown. The typical summer's season lasts about 6 months, from May to October, with an average temperature of 25 °C (77 °F) during the day and 16.2 °C (61.2 °F) at night, although also in November, March and April sometimes there are temperature 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, the summer is very dry.

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

Orientation

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 neighborhoods or give way to green parks in the western suburbs.

Lisbon lacks a defined "downtown", but 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 upscale shops, terminating at the circular Praça de Marques de Pombal. To the east are old neighborhoods 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 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 Belém.

source: Wikivoyage

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