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Why Lisbon?

Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in Europe, as well as the world. Some archeologists believe that the site of the city served as a Phoenician trading post as early 1200 BCE, approximately 1200 years before becoming a center of trade and commerce in the Roman province of Lusitania. Due to city’s extensive history, there are scores of landmarks in Lisbon that are integral to the identity and culture of Portugal. Some of the most important Lisbon attractions are St. George’s Castle, the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, the Tower of Belem and Jeronimos Monastery, the final resting place of the explorer Vasco da Gama. The final two landmarks are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and are necessary stops for all Lisbon tours. One of the more recent additions to the list of iconic structures in Lisbon is the Monument to the Discoveries, which celebrates the Age of Exploration. It was inaugurated in 1960 to mark the quincentennial of Henry the Navigator’s death.

Lisbon sightseeing is about far more than just monuments to the past, Gothic cathedrals, the Maritime Museum or even older neighborhoods like Alfama or the Baixa—the center of Lisbon, much of which dates back to the era following the 1755 Lisbon earthquake which leveled the city and served as one of the primary influences for Voltaire’s Candide. Some of the top things to do in Lisbon are to explore the vibrant neighborhoods that define the city as a modern cultural center, such as Alcântara and Bairro Alto. The latter has become known for its counter-cultural scene, as well as its many bars, cafés and restaurants. If you like clams and mussels, you may want to make sure to walk a few extra miles, as Portuguese cuisine relies heavily upon shellfish, not to mention sausages such as chouriço and linguica—which should not be confused with Spanish chorizo, even if the subtle distinctions between the three may not be discernible to the non-Iberian palate.

There are hundreds of Lisbon day trips. Many of these trips take less than an hour, as they only venture out as far as the Lisbon suburbs. Such towns include Estoril and Cascais, two picturesque beach communities; Sintra, which is home to Sintra Palace, the best preserved Royal Palace in Portugal dating from the medieval era; and Colares, which is a small parish to the north of Sintra, and the location of Cabo da Roca, the most western point in continental Europe. If you feel like taking longer day trips from Lisbon, there are several destinations further north, such as Nazare, a resort town on the Atlantic Ocean; the Monastery of Batalha, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site; and Porto, which is the second-largest city in Portugal. The latter is also one of the most unique wine producing regions in the world.

Gray Line Lisbon

Gray Line Lisbon offers a variety of tours through Lisbon, whether by bus, by boat, by Segway or even by Beetle. Our Lisbon Hop-On Hop-Off tours are some of our most popular. They combine the informative and educational aspects of our guided tours with the freedom to hop on and hop off as you wish. If you feel like exploring a neighborhood, you can just hop off—it’s that easy!

Some of our most popular tours are more comprehensive. They explore not just the city of Lisbon, but also travel up and down the Portuguese coast, stopping in several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, such as the Roman city of Evora, the Monastery of Batalha and the Alto Douro Wine Region. We also offer day trips to some of these individual locations, as well as tours that combine the best of Lisbon sightseeing with the most important attractions in the countryside.

Gray Line Lisbon is the leader in transportation services throughout Portugal. We pride ourselves on our professionalism, integrity and knowledge of the history and culture of Portugal. Whether you are looking for Lisbon airport transportation or a thorough tour of Lisbon and the Portuguese coast, there is no better choice than Gray Line Lisbon!

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