Lisbon is a bustling, thriving, and cosmopolitan city that is worthy of standing alongside some of the greatest in Europe, if not the world. Visitors to Lisbon, Portugal, never fail to be surprised by its charming combination of urban chic and coastal beach culture. It is the only European capital to be located on the coast, adding a dimension to your Lisbon adventure that cannot be found in visits to other European capitals.
Culture and the people make up the backbone of Lisbon and with myriad iconic monuments, it’s a must visit destination. The Cristo Rei statue is one of the most iconic monuments in Portugal’s capital city, inspired by the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, following a visit by the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon to the Brazilian city in 1959.
Walking takes on a different meaning with much of Lisbon climbing steeply away from the Baixa (downtown area) and the banks of the Tagus River. With superb viewpoints from which to marvel at, reaching them can be a little bit of a challenge. If you find that too much for you, there is an excellent tram system such as The Lavra funicular, the world’s very first street funicular. It climbs from the eastern side of the Avenida da Liberdade, on the Largo da Anunciada, up a 25% gradient to the Torel district. However it’s certainly worth it.
Porto, a World Heritage city, is the gateway and departure point for a journey across the natural and cultural diversity of the region. It is known for the Port wine which is shipped from all over the world, and brings ancient churches and monuments together to create a stunning landscape. Shrines and churches set a stage for pilgrimages during the summer period and the Baroque architecture of Northern Portugal in its stone and gilded carvings side by side with rural chapels is truly inspiring.