A coastal capital city on the Mediterranean
Lisbon is a beautiful coastal capital city on the Mediterranean. It’s full of amazing architecture, narrow streets and old trams. Travelling through the old city is a delight with narrow cobbled streets flanked by buildings covered in Azulejo tiles.
Lisbon is Europe’s western most capital city and one of the oldest capitals in the world. It’s located on the Iberian Peninsula near the Atlantic Ocean and on the Tagus River. It’s classed as a global city due to it’s importance in finance, commerce, entertainment and culture.
Many great Portuguese explorers set off on their voyages of discovery from Belém. Vasco da Gama departed for India in 1497 from here.
One of Belém’s most famous feature is its tower, Torre de Belém. The tower was built as a fortified lighthouse to guard the entrance to the port. It stands on a little island on the side of the Tagus River.
Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (Jerónimos Monastery) is Belém’s other major historical building, which the Torre de Belém was built partly to defend.
Not far along the shore from the Torre de Belém is the Padrão dos Descobrimentos (Monument to the Discoveries) which was built for the Portuguese World Fair in 1940. You can get a great view of Belém from the top of this monument.
Not far from Lisbon is the picturesque small town of Sintra. The hills around Sintra are home to a number of extravagant palaces, castles and mansions. The most famous palace high up on the hill is the royal retreat of Pena Palace which is now an UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s a romanticist style castle which is sometimes used for state occations by the Portuguese President.
Visit our page on Lisbon for more information and beautiful pictures from our travels around the city of Lisbon and the surrounding area.