Lisbon is the capital and largest city of Portugal. Has a population of 564.477 in 84.83 km2 (33 Sq mi) while the Lisbon Metropolitan Area has around 2.8 million inhabitants. Every year around 12 million visit this city.
Lisbon is rich in architecture: Romanesque, Gothic, Manueline, Baroque, Traditional Portuguese, Modern and Post-Modern constructions can be found all over the city. The most famous monuments are Torre de Belém and Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (Jerónimos Monastery) both classified by UNESCO has World Heritage. In this district, 6km (4 miles) from the city center can also be found the Centro Cultural de Belém, the Belém Palace (former royal residence and now occupied by the President of Portugal), National Coach Museum, containing the largest collection of royal coaches in the world, National Archaeological Museum or the Maritime Museum, among others.
Lisbon´s opera house, the Teatro Nacional de São Carlos, host a active cultural agenda, mainly in autumn and winter, other important theatres and musical houses are the Teatro Nacional Dª Maria II, the Lisbon Coliseum and Gulbenkian Foundation.
Alfama is the oldest quarter of Lisbon; it´s name comes from the Arabic Al-hamma, meaning fountains or baths. The Castle of São Jorge and the Lisbon Cathedral are located in this area.
Bairro Alto (literally “upper quarter” in Portuguese) is located in the central area of Lisbon. Is the heart of Lisbon´s youth and the Portuguese’s capital´s nightlife, due to the number of clubs, bars and restaurants. The crowd is a mix of local and tourist, straight or gay. The Fado, Portugal´s national song, still survives in this district.
The heart of the city is the Baixa (downtown or city centre). The Pombaline Baixa is an elegant district that includes the main boulevard (Avenida da Liberdade) Restauradores, Rossio and Chiado, is a traditional shopping area where can be found some of the most fashionable stores like Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Hugo Boss, Louis Vuitton, Dior or Mont Blanc. The Hard Rock Café is also located in this area.
The east region of Lisbon, site of the 1998 World Wide Exhibition, is now a modern district called Parque nas Nações (Park of Nations), here is located the Casino, Oceanarium and the multifunctional Atlantic Pavillion.
Over the years Lisbon has host several cultural events, ATP Tennis Masters Cup, the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Athletics, Lisbon-Dakar Rally Raid, Lisbon Half-Marathon, or the MTV Europe Music Awards. The biggest names of entertainment have also performed in Lisbon, like Madonna, U2, Alicia Keys, Robbie Williams, Metalica, Shakira, Pearl Jam, Michael Jackson, among many others. Lisbon is also home to Rock in Rio, one of the world´s largest pop/rock festivals which take place in Parque da Bela Vista and last for 5 days.
There are more than one hundred parks and gardens in the city. Among them the most well-known are Eduardo VII Park, Monsanto Forest Park, one of the largest urban parks in Europe with an area close to 10 km2 (4 sq mi), the Botanical Garden or the Zoological Park.
Football is the most popular sport in Portugal. In Lisbon plays two major clubs in the Europe, Sport Lisboa e Benfica (commonly “Benfica”) and Sporting Clube de Portugal (commonly “Sporting”). Both teams have UEFA Elite stadiums. Benfica that has won two UEFA Champion Leagues plays in Estádio da Luz (Stadium of Light) with 65.000 seats. Sporting that has won one UEFA Cup Winners Cup and was the UEFA Cup finalist in 2004/05 season, plays in Estádio José Alvalade, with 52.000 seats. Luis Figo and Cristiano Ronaldo, both former “FIFA World Player of the Year” started their careers in Sporting youth teams.
Bullfighting is rooted in Portuguese culture and has its main home in the Campo Pequeno Bullring.
Lisbon hosts two agencies of the European Union, namely, the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) and the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA). The Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) is also headquartered in Lisbon.
GPS: 38N 42´50” 09W 08´ 22” | Time Zone: GMT (UTC +0)