About Lisbon


Legend has it that Lisboa was founded by Ulysses. The name comes from “Olissipo”, which has its origins in the Phoenician words “Allis Ubbo”, meaning “enchanting port”.

Most likely it was founded by the Phoenicians and styled by the Moors which shows in the strong Arabic influences. It was, after all, ruled by the Moors for 450 years. In the 12th century the Christians re conquered the city but it was not until the mid 13th century that Lisboa became the country’s capital.

With the beginning of the Portuguese Age of Discoveries, Lisboa enriched as a spice and jewelry trade center.

The breakthrough for Portuguese expansion came in 1498 when Vasco da Gama discovered the sea route to India. This was indeed the beginning of a golden age, characterized by the Manueline architectural style named after King Manuel I, with its typical decorative use of maritime motifs. Over the centuries Lisboa naturally grew and changed. When the city center was almost completely destroyed by the earthquake of 1755, it was rebuilt by Marquise de Pombal, who thus created the Baixa Pombalina, a commercial area that still retains much of its original lay out.

Lisboa is a historic capital, a potpourri of unusual character and charm, where 800 years of cultural influences mingle with modern trends and life styles creating spectacular contrasts.

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Turismo de Lisboa - Visitors & Convention Bureau - provides tourist information to the visitors.


(GMT/UTC GMT/UTC +1 in Summer)


>  Buses: Every day - 24 hours
>  Underground: Every day 6.30 a.m. - 1 a.m
>  Banks: Mon-Fri. 8.30 a.m. - 3 p.m
>  Shopping Centres: Every day 10 a.m. - 12 midnight
>  Shops: Mon -Fri. 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. - 7 p.m.
    Sat. 9 a.m. - 7 p.m.
>  Embassies: Mon. - Fri. 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
>  Post Offices: Mon. - Fri. 8.30 a.m. - 6.30 p.m.
>  Pharmacies: Mon. - Fri. 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. - 7 p. m.
    also: 24 hour (night) service
>  Meal times: Lunch: 12 mid-day - 2 p.m.
>  Dinner: 8 p.m. - 10 p.m


Opening hours in Portugal are similar to those in the rest of Europe.
The visitor has access to all normal services at any time of the day and on all days of the week - not only in Lisboa, but also in the rest of the country.
Pharmacies keep the same opening hours as the rest of the shops but, in order to guarantee 24-hour service, some stay open after 7 p.m. Generally speaking, restaurants are open for lunch from 12 mid-day to 3.p.m and for dinner from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Cinema showings begin at around lunch-time, and at some cinemas there are sessions until 2a.m.
Theatres and other shows usually start between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m.


In terms of telecommunications, Lisboa offers state-of-the-art technology and can supply a large number of phone lines and other communication equipment in the shortest possible time. Portugal Telecom, the Portuguese telecommunications group, operates with a wide range of technological networks for telephone services, data communications, international and satellite connections, mobile communications and cable TV, thus ensuring ease of contact with the rest of the world.


Portuguese is Latin in origin and the third most widely spoken European language in the world. It is the mother tongue of about 200 million people. Portuguese is the official language in several countries: Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, São Tomé e Príncipe in Africa, and Brazil in South America. In Portugal itself a considerable number of people can understand and communicate in foreign languages.


Portuguese culture is greatly influenced by religion. Although Catholicism predominates, other religions may be freely practiced.


Approximately 600,000 people live in Lisboa. However, if one includes the various satellite towns, the population of Greater Lisboa rises to approximately 1.9 million people.


Due to the influence of the Atlantic Ocean, Lisboa has a pleasant climate throughout the year. The agreeable temperatures in the summer months are an open invitation for a walk by the river, or to spend an afternoon in one of the many street cafés to be found all over the city. Although the temperatures may fall somewhat in the autumn and winter months, sunshine is almost always a constant feature.


The unit of currency in Portugal is the Euro €.


Bank services are available at the airport and throughout the city. Banks are open from 8h30-15h.


International credit cards are accepted at ATMs, hotels, restaurants and most shops, as well as car rental agencies. The most common credit cards are VISA, Euro card, MasterCard and American Express. Diners Club is not widely accepted.


The food in Portugal is very good and deserves its worldwide reputation. Prices could vary between 15€ (modest, traditional restaurant) to 50€ (luxury restaurant). Lisbon is renowned for its gastronomy, from the simplest and most typical fare to fine cuisine. There are restaurants for all tastes and pockets.


9h to 19h. Most of the shops are open on Saturday mornings. Several shopping centers are open from 10h to midnight, seven days a week.


This is customary in restaurants and taxis. Tipping up to 10% of the bill is acceptable.


Voltage: 220/380 volts at a frequency of 50 Hertz. All sockets follow European standards. To use American-type plugs, a 220-volt transformer should be used together with an adapter plug.