Lisbon and its Region
Mainland Europe’s westernmost capital, Lisbon is a fascinating and
inspiring place to spend a few days, thanks to
its wonderful waterfront location, balmy climate and quirky range of
attractions that combine a place-that-time-forgot feel with a modern
vibrancy that few European cities can match.
A short way inland from Lisbon, the UNESCO heritage site of Sintra enjoys
a cool mountainside location, which made it a favoured summer destination
for Portugal’s Royals – their ornate and extravagant palaces make for a
fascinating day-trip. It is also just a short hop from Lisbon to some
fantastic Atlantic beaches: locals favour the southern coast, with miles
of sands along the Costa da Caparica or the small cove beaches between the
historic port of Setubal and the resort of Sesimbra. Easiest to reach,
however, are the town beaches of bustling Estoril and the former fishing
village of Cascais, both easily accessible by train.
Lisbon is Europe & Portugal’s new foreign investment “magnet”. The Lisbon
property and tourist market are experiencing an expected and deserved
exponential growth, with savvy investors and property owners experiencing
annual occupancy rates exceeding 90 % including private tourist
accommodation. Lisbon is currently Europe’s second most popular nightlife
The huge amount of public and private investment in Lisbon tourist related
infrastructures, which briefly slowed down during the recent crisis,
together with new concepts and events that have emerged and run
side-by-side with the traditional establishments, have made Lisbon much
more colourful and desirable as a lifestyle destination. Today, Lisbon
appeals to and has something to offer to each one of the millions of
tourists that visit the City every year. The number of tourists will
continue to grow for the foreseeable future, not only because Lisbon is an
exciting and colorful destination, but mainly due to planned major
infrastructures such as the new Lisbon International Airport and Cruise
Additionally, the government has recently put into place two strategic
laws aimed at stimulating the local real estate market. These are the
Golden Visa Lisbon and Non-Habitual Tax Resident. Those programs have
played a major role in the overwhelming demand for properties in Lisbon
(but not limited to), which we refer to as the “gold-rush”.
The Non-Habitual Tax Residency Portugal program grants citizens currently
domiciled in any country with a dual taxation treaty with Portugal, who
become fiscally resident in Portugal, a 10-year ZERO tax break on their
worldwide income. This program has appealed to the French and
Northern-European high net worth citizens in particular.
Top quality golf courses: Portugal is famous for its golf courses, and
there are twelve highly rated examples in the Lisbon area. Elected Best
European Golf Destination by the IAGTO organization, the Lisbon Golf Coast
offers quality, service, diversity and a real Portuguese flair, out of the
The Monastery of Santa Maria da Vitoria was built in answer to a vow made
by King John I to the Virgin, if the Castillian’s invader were defeated in
the Battle of Aljubarrota. Elected by UNESCO as World Heritage, it is a
grand monument to the closing phase of Portuguese Gothic whose building
began in 1388.
Stylish summer resort. Amongst the numerous restaurants, bars and
discotheques are the following historic places: Castro Guimaraes Museum
and Sea Museum, the 18th century churches of Nossa Senhora da Assuncão and
Nossa Senhora dos Navegantes; the chapels of Nossa Senhora da Guia (15th
century) and São Sebastiao (16th and 17th-centuries) and the 17th century
fortress. Just a few minutes away lies Guincho beach (a great place for
those who enjoy surfing and windsurfing).
Renowned worldwide as an important tourism spot (casino, golf course and
racing track). The beautiful Santo Antonio Church stands out in this
cosmopolitan resort, which also boasts an exciting nightlife.
One of the most important Marian centres of pilgrimage in the catholic
world. Basilica and Capelinha das Aparicoes, standing in the place where
it is said that Our Lady appeared to the three shepherds.
A striking medieval royal castle sits atop the graceful town of Leiria.
Other important monuments: the Cathedral (16th-17th centuries, with an
archaeology museum on its premises), São Pedro Church (Romanesque), Nossa
Senhora da Pena Church (Gothic), Nossa Senhora da Encarnacão Sanctuary
Spreading out along the right bank of the Tagus, its downtown, the ‘Baixa’,
is at the 18th century area of Rossio. East of the arcades of Praca do
Comercio, are the medieval quarters of Alfama and Mouraria, crowned by the
magnificent St. George’s Castle. To the west lies Bairro Alto and Madragoa,
with their typical streets, and on the western extreme lies Belem, with
the Belem tower, the Jeronimos monastery (masterpieces of Manueline
architecture and classified in UNESCO’s International Heritage list) and
the Cultural Center of Belem.
Ancient Art, Chiado, Tile Museum, Archaeology, Design Museum, Ethnology
Museum, Carriage Museum, Costume, Theatre, Maritime, Military, City,
Gulbenkian Museum, Modern Art Centre, and the Ricardo Espirito Santo Silva
open to the public: Pena, Ajuda and Fronteira.
Cathedral (with treasury); Sao Vicente de Fora; Conceicao Velha (Manueline),
Sao Roque (with a sacred art museum); Madre Deus; Santa Engracia Pantheon
(Baroque), and Estrela Basilica.
Downtown; Avenida de Roma, Praca de Londres, Avenida Guerra Junqueiro and
shopping centers Amoreiras, Colombo and Vasco da Gama.
Bairro Alto and Avenida 24 de Julho, Alcantara and riverside discos and
bars. The area where the last World’s Fair of last century (EXPO 98) was
held is today called the Nations Park, and here are to be found the great
Lisbon aquarium, restaurants, leisure activities as well as shows and
Palace-Convent built in the 18th century, is the largest Portuguese
religious monument. It consists of royal apartments, magnificent library,
bell tower and basilica.
Completely enclosed by lofty medieval walls, this is a small town with
whitewashed houses brightened up by colourful bougainvilleas. The
massively-towered castle has now been converted into an elegant Pousada.
Churches: Nossa Senhora do Carmo (Romanesque-Gothic), Santa Maria
(Renaissance, housing an art collection by the Portuguese painter Josefa
d’Obidos), Misericordia (15th-18th centuries) and Sao Pedro (18th
century). Nearby, Senhor da Pedra Sanctuary.
Dominated by a magnificent castle, overlooking one of the most gorgeous
views of the plains of the Lisbon area, the ocean, Setubal and Arrabida
mountain range. The village of Palmela dates back to pre-Moorish times and
it is a quaint little village with cobbled stone streets, great food and
excellent wine. The castle houses the old Santiago convent where a Pousada
is now featured.
Located about 17km from downtown Lisbon. Queluz was the summer palace for
the kings of Portugal in the 18th century, it encloses a series of
rambling and beautiful gardens with lakes and sculptures, and houses an
important collection of furniture, paintings, tiles, and decorative arts.
Within the palace property stands the Pousada D. Maria.
Castle of Roman origin overlooking Portas do Sol (Sun Gates) and opening
on to a panoramic view of the Tagus river. Monuments: the Roman-Gothic
Church of Sao Joao de Alporao (with an archaeology museum); the Gothic
Convent of São Francisco and the Gothic churches of Graca and Santa Clara;
the Renaissance Chapel of Nossa Senhora do Monte; from later periods, the
churches of Santissimo Milagre and Seminario Patriarcal.
Picturesque small fishing town, with a medieval castle atop a hill. While
here, do not miss the Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora do Cabo, at Cabo Espichel,
and Lagoa de Albufeira, a favourite spot for windsurfers.
Setubal is located in the Sado estuary. Opposite to it is the peninsula of
Troia with 11 miles of beaches, new resorts and golf courses. Setubal
itself is just south of some nice beaches as well as the Arrabida
mountains natural reserve. Places of interest: museum, churches of Jesus
and Sao Joao (Manueline), Sao Domingos, Boa Hora, Santa Maria da Graca and
Sao Juliao. an abandoned fort sits atop a hill and is home to Pousada of
Sintra is a town classified by the UNESCO as World Heritage. At its centre
stands the National Palace, with its beautiful painted rooms and huge pair
of conical chimneys, the village’s ex-libris. Other palaces include: Pena
royal palace (19th century), Seteais palace (18th century) and Monserrate,
renowned for its gardens and water courses. The churches of Sao Martinho
(Romanesque origin), Santa Maria (Romanesque-Gothic) and Sao Pedro de
Penaferrim (15th-16th-centuries). Nearby are the church of Santo Antonio
do Penedo (16th-century) and Peninha Chapel (Baroque tile works). The Toy
Museum, over 20 000 pieces from the 16th to the 20th-century and the
Berardo Collection of Modern Art. In the suburbs: the Capuchos Convent
(16th-century) and Cabo da Roca (the westernmost point in continental
Christ Convent, classified in UNESCO’s International Heritage list
(12th-16th centuries). With its famous Manueline window, it is the town’s
supreme landmark. Other places to visit: Templars’ Castle (12th century);
churches of Santa Maria do Olival (Gothic), Nossa Senhora da Conceicão
(Renaissance) and São João Baptista (Manueline); and a 15th century
Other places of interest
Abrantes, Almeirim, Azeitão, Azenhas do Mar, Berlengas (islands), Caldas
da Rainha, Cartaxo, Chamusca, Colares, Constancia, Ericeira, Ferreira do
Zêzere, Golegã, Lourinhã, Macão, Minde, Peniche, Porto de Mos, Salvaterra
de Magos, Sardoal, Seixal (ecomuseum), Serra da Arrabida (beach and
convent), Torres Novas, Torres Vedras, Vila Nova da Barquinha, Vila de Rei,