Lisbon Tourist Attractions

Lisbon Airport is a gateway for millions of tourists in Portugal, and is the country’s largest airport, serving over 29 million passengers per annum. The airport lies within the major city of Lisboa, the capital city of Portugal, and is one of the most popular areas for tourism. Lisbon Airport is just a few minutes drive away from the wonderful attractions the city has to offer, and is also close by to Lisbon’s famous beaches, in areas such as Cascais, Estoril and Almada, which are often noted to be the best in Europe. Attractions in Lisbon suit all types of interest, as there are numerous lovely outings for families, and a wide variety of historical buildings and museums for those who like to explore the past.

Lisbon is found on the Tagus Estuary, which juts into the land from the European Atlantic Ocean. This provides Lisbon with wonderful waterfront areas, and numerous beaches nearby. The beaches on the southern side of the River Tagus, known as the Costa da Caparica are some of the most lovely, and more favourite areas lie around the Praia da Adraga. The Costa da Caparica is also a famous area for surfing championships, as the strong waves are considered as the best to surf by many. A couple of lovely marinas are found nearby Lisbon as well, including the Marina de Cascais, on the westerly coastline of Lisbon. This marina has become a particularly lively spot, with a number of restaurants, cafés and shops, many of which offer delicious seafood delicacies, and a peaceful place from where to enjoy the activities of the boats on the water. The Marina da Caparica is also one of the most expensive in the Lisbon area for boat owners.

The region of Lisbon, Portugal, covers an area of approximately 33 square miles, or 85 square kilometres, and has a population of around 580,000. The language spoken is Portuguese, but many of the local residents understand English or Spanish as well. Travelling the city has been made easy with several forms of public transport. Some of the options are even considered as part of the Lisbon attractions for tourist, in particular, the tram 28, which takes a scenic journey past some of the older buildings of interest in the city. Locally, the trams can be referred to as the Elevador de Bica, or the ‘electrico’, and are a convenient way to travel up and down the steep hills of Lisbon. They have been operational in Lisbon since the early 1890’s. Santa Justa’s Elevator is another of the popular ‘lifts’, and provides a connection between downtown Lisbon and the Trindade. Metro trains and buses also transport many local residents and tourists, to all areas within Lisbon, as well as to other cities in Portugal.

Lisbon attractions which are ideal for families include the Aquário Vasco da Gama, or the Lisbon Aquarium, and the Oceanário de Lisboa, the Oceanarium. The Lisbon Aquarium has been a pleasure to visit since the 1890’s, and is therefore a rather historic attraction. Children and adults, locals and tourists, all enjoy the many types of sea creatures who reside here, including seahorses, red-bellied piranhas and a preserved giant octopus, with a length of almost 9 metres. While the aquarium is ‘ancient’, the Oceanarium of Lisbon is a newer development, found in the popular tourist area of the Parque das Nacoes. It has become one of the cities best attractions, featuring a stylish building, in which thousands of creatures reside. The regular music sessions and backstage tours held for children are especially popular, as well as the ‘Terrible Sea Monsters’ exhibition. Children under three years of age may enter for free, and discounts are offered for senior visitors and older children.

Another two attractions well worth a visit are the Fiera Popular and the Jardim Zoológico, or the City Zoo and Zoological Gardens. The Fiera Popular is a theme park located in Avenida da República, Lisbon, and has been offering the most thrilling roller coaster rides and all types of well-loved fairground attractions for some years. There is a large Ferris wheel, and many restaurants and other inexpensive eateries to be enjoyed, along with kiosks selling kiddies favourites, such as popcorn and candy floss. The park covers an extensive area of almost 125 acres, or 50 hectares. The city of Lisbon also has a planetarium which is visited by thousands every year, and is a great place to learn more about the stars. Regular shows are held here, suitable for a variety of ages, and other highlights include solar system exhibitions and scale models. The Lisbon Planetarium is found alongside the Maritime Museum.

There are may other museums to browse in Lisbon as well. Information relating to the city’s history can be found at the Museu da Cidade, or the City Museum in Campo Grande, which is area just south of the Lisbon Airport, and is located in rather a grand palace building. Children will also enjoy the over 500 puppets on display at the Museu da Marioneta, and the Toy Museum, or the Museu do Brinquedo. There are waxwork figures at the Museu de Cera, and a children’s museum known as the Museu das Crianca.

An attraction of Lisbon not to be missed is the Castle of Sao Jorge, or the Castelo de Sao Jorge. This impressive and magnificent structure dates back to the 14th century, and features many architectural and medieval treasures. The castle also features an old moat and a stone bridge, and is a landmark in Lisbon, along with the Arco da Rua Augusta, the Biblioteca Nacional, the Casa dos Bicos and the Praca de Touros do Campo Pequeno, or the Campo Pequeno Bullring.

Further information regarding Lisbon attractions can be found at the tourist information offices at Lisbon Airport, or from the Lisbon Welcome Centre (Centre de Lisboa). Tourists can also buy the ‘Lisboa Card’ which allows free access to many of the museums and other attractions of the city.

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