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Lisbon is an interesting combination of the past and the present; modern and old-fashioned; modest and temperamental. Lisbon is located on seven low hills. In the previous centuries this city attracted many traders. Today, the city still receives many visitors.
Lisbon has almost 564,000 inhabitants, which is modest for a capital that is also the largest city in the country. Portugal has about 11 million inhabitants.
Lisbon is located just below the middle of the country on the east coast, which faces the Atlantic Ocean. The river Tagus (or Rio Tejo) flows through Lisbon. Lisbon itself is built on hills, which means that its surroundings are hilly.
After Portugal became a member of the European Commission in 1986, it started receiving subsidies, which gave the economy of Lisbon a major impulse. The city is constantly busy improving, among other things, its infrastructure.
Despite the afore-mentioned subsidies, there is still much poverty in Lisbon, especially in the suburbs. The city's main source of income is tourism. This is expressed in the old Portuguese proverb: Coimbra sings, Braga prays, Porto works and Lisbon performs.
Aeroporto de Lisboa is the airport of Lisbon, which processes international flights, as well as daily flights from Porto and Faro. The construction of a new airport is planned for 2010, in Ota, at 48 kilometers to the north of the city.
Lisbon is connected with all major Portuguese cities via a good train and bus network. Compared to the economic situation in Portugal, the public transport system is very advanced. Every 20 minutes, there is a bus from various locations in Lisbon to the airport. Lisbon has an extensive metro network. In short: Lisbon is a city with an extensive public transport network.
Lisbon isn't a very easy place to drive. It's difficult because of all the construction that is going on, and most drivers seem in a hurry, and it is all very difficult to keep track of if you're an outsider. Lisbon has two ring roads. The Cintura Regional Interna de Lisboa (CRIL) is the inner ring, the Cintura Regional Externa de Lisboa (CREL) is the outer ring. If you do decide to take the car into the center, it is likely that you will find it hard to find an affordable parking space. The best solution is to park your car just outside the center and use Lisbon's excellent public transport system.
Despite the arrival of many medium-range and top class hotels, available rooms in this category of hotels remain hard to find in Lisbon. In the peak season, May to September, we strongly recommend booking in advance.