Portugal’s capital is an 18th-century city - elegant, open to the sea and carefully planned. Most places of interest are within easy walking distance. Rossio Square, the heart of Lisbon since medieval times, is an ideal place to start exploring. Many rebuilt houses with original façades provide stores and restaurants with modern interiors. High above Baixa is Bairro Alto - with its teeming nightlife. There are many monuments and museums, such as San Jeronimos Monastery, Royal Coach Museum and Gulbenkian Museum. Two well-known landmarks are the Monument to the Discoveries and the Tower of Belem. A statue of Christ looms above Europe’s longest suspension bridge. Madragoa, Bica and Bairro Alto, Lisbon’s older sections, offer a variety of sights: the Church of Sao Roque, with its beautiful tiles; St. George Castle, which offers a splendid view from its location above the Alfama quarter; the botanical gardens, featuring an unusual, cold greenhouse; and the cathedral, stunning with its Moorish design. Renowned Gulbenkian Museum is the cultural center of Portugal.
Home of the famous Port wine and Portugal's second largest city, Oporto is situated on the banks of the Douro River and lies in the Costa Verde, a region steeped in history and ancient monuments with wide golden beaches and sprawling pine forests. Main attractions include its 12th century cathedral, the art museum containing some of Portugal's finest masterpieces and the Stock Exchange with its impressive Moorish hall. Try a visit inland to the heart of the Costa Verde with visits to historic Braga and the shrine of Bom Jesus and also to Guimeres, the ancient capital and birthplace of the first king of Portugal.
Coimbra is one of the most romantically beautiful cities in Portugal, and it's ancient and ornate buildings are rich in historical and cultural importance. Also, being a university town the city is inevitably dotted with cafe's, and lively night clubs. Beyond the university, Coimbra has much else to offer the visitor not least an array of medieval churches, ancient Roman archaeological sites, and Portugal's largest national park, the Serra da Estrela, a popular destination with all visitors.