Lisbon is known as the white city, thanks to its unique light. The clear light and the kind climate allow for marvellous walks all over the city. The city has a beauty that extends beyond its famed monuments that can be experienced in the streets, embraced by all the senses.
The Bairro Alto is one of the most characterful and attractive neighbourhoods in the city. The Bairro Alto boasts boutiques and bars and is a place where people meet in an eclectic and multicultural atmosphere. Traditional restaurants nestle alongside cosy bookshops; tea rooms serving signature cakes vie for attention with funky design shops and the boutiques of the most respected Portuguese fashion designers.
The Carmo area has some of the most fascinating historical sites in the city, such as the Convent and Church of Carmo, which maintain their elegance and grandeur. Don't miss the Museu Arqueológico do Carmo, which houses a collection of artefacts from pre-historic, Roman, Medieval, Manueline, Renaissance and Baroque periods. Largo do Carmo was the site of important events in the 1974 Revolution. Carmo is connected to the Baixa by the Elevador de Santa Justa, another of Lisbon's icons. The Elevador, designed by a disciple of Gustave Eiffel, is open to the public and boasts impressive views over the Baixa Pombalina and the rest of Lisbon.
The Baixa (center) is the city's traditional shopping district where visitors can stroll around the streets and find dozens of shops offering a wide range of temptations. Rua Augusta is the main artery of the Baixa Pombalina leading north from Terreiro do Paço (known as Black Horse Square by the English), to the beautiful Praça do Rossio (Praça Dom Pedro V). Just north of Rossio, discover Avenida da Liberdade, which in the 19th century, was the favourite promenade for the Lisbon élite. Today, the Avenida is home to exclusive international boutiques to tempt and inspire.
Up the hill, after passing the viewpoints of Santa Luzia and Portas do Sol, there is the Castelo de São Jorge, where the history of the city began. This is one of the most visited monuments in the city, not only for its historical and cultural importance, but also for its magnificent views over Lisbon.
Strolling down to Santa Apolónia to explore the riverside neighbourhood. Next along the riverside is the neighbourhood with the largest number of heritage sites connected with the Portuguese voyages of discovery: Belém. It was from the beach in Belém that Vasco da Gama set sail to discover the sea route to India and the grandiosity of the former empire can be sensed throughout the area.
One of the most imposing symbols of the city is here - the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos. The monastery church, the Igreja de Santa Maria de Belém, is a magnificent church. The tombs of Vasco da Gama and the epic poet Luís de Camões can be found in the church.
Also in Belém, on the river bank, is another marvellous Manueline monument, the Torre de Belém. Much more recent, but still invoking the grandeur of the Age of Discovery, is the Padrão dos Descobrimentos in Belém.
The Parque das Nações - the riverside venue for Expo98 - is ideal for all ages. Located in the eastern part of Lisbon, this extensive cultural, entertainment, residential and corporate complex is a focus of the city's cultural life.
The Lisbon Docas - west of the city centre -, particularly Alcântara, are a favourite meeting place for the people of Lisbon. Families, friends and people of all ages enjoy the river views and the wide variety of places to walk and spend time with friends. Café terraces, bars and restaurants bustle with the hubbub of people enjoying themselves.