Lisbon basks in the sun reflecting off the Tejo River and quickly seduces most visitors. The mixture of history and modernity, of small town and metropolis, of the antiquated and the shining new is irresistible. Add to that excellent shopping, late but safe nightlife and restaurants with Europe’s best fish, and you have Lisbon in a nutshell.
Lisbon’s heart lies beside the river, even if the city has grown in all directions. Sit down at a pavement cafe on Rossio Square and you will see the Baiza, the flat city centre that dates from the 18th century, between yourself and the river bank. Look up in one direction and you will see the São Jorge on the top of a hill. Look in the other direction and you will see the ruin of the Carmo Church on another hill. Walk, or take a tram to one of them and you will discover the quarters of old Lisbon, most of them with a magnificent view of the rest of the city and the river.
Wander north from Rossio, you will soon end up on a stately 19th century avenue, in the part of the city which is still called "Avenidas Novas". Further north, the buildings become really new, with the city’s two large football grounds, Luz and Alvalade, and, lastly, the airport which is twenty traffic-jam-free minutes in a car from Rossio. Most of the best sights, restaurants and nightlife are situated along the river. Shopping is good along the Avenidas Novas, but otherwise the rule is to keep close to the river to get the best out of your visit.Read More