The Rossio, flanked by the Teatro Nacional Dona Maria II, and Rua Augusta, with its shops, offers a good introduction to the lower part of town. Not far from there, the famous Elevador de Santa Justa, with its beautiful Gothic Revival design is not to be missed, as is the Praça do Comércio.
Also must-see attractions include Lisbon's cathedral, the Sé Patriarcal, and the Castelo de São Jorge, which is the monument that is best known to Lisboans. Here you can also enjoy a wonderful view of the entire Alfama.
The Bairro Alto, originally home to palatial residences and later to more modest houses, has now become famous for its nightlife (family restaurants, fado taverns). To get there, take Rua do Carmo and Rua Garrett (which are well known for their elegant shops). These streets will take you to Largo do Chiado, where you'll find Lisbon's most famous café, A Brasileira, where poet Fernando Pessoa was once a regular customer.
If you like painting, you simply must visit the Galeria Nacional do Chiado, which displays paintings by major Portuguese artists. At the edge of the Chiado, the Igreja São Roque is not to be missed for the Capela de São João Baptista and its richly decorated interior. Nearby, you can enjoy a magnificent view from the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara.
To the north of Parque Eduardo VII, which offers a beautiful view of the Avenida da Liberdade, the "Champs-Élysées" of Lisbon, you will find the Museu Calouste Gulbenkian. It has a large collection of decorative objects mostly from Europe and the Orient.
Finally, the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos with its Igreja Santa Maria in the municipality of Belém, is an absolute masterpiece. It has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
On the opposite side the monastery stands the Padrão dos Descobrimentos monument, erected to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the death of Henry the Navigator. Further on, the Torre de Belémis, a handsome Manueline tower was built by order of King Manuel I, is definitely one of the capital's principal landmarks.
A neighbourhood of bars and restaurants, the Bairro Alto comes to life after dark, and is a favourite spot with the "in-crowd." The same is true of the quays in the Alcântara and Santo Amaro, whose old warehouses have been converted into lively discotheques.
Where on earth
Situated at the mouth of the majestic Tagus river, Lisbon is mainly concentrated on the top and along the slope of one of the seven hills which comprise the city's territory. Downtown Lisbon, for its part, is divided into upper and lower sections. On the western shore, the city stretches to the municipality of Belém.