The great City of the Discoveries, from which the Portuguese set out to open new sea routes to Africa, Asia, the Americas and beyond in the 14th century, Lisbon is one of the most beautiful capitals of the world, and Europe’s top tourist destination. A mixture of old and new world, it is a vibrant metropolis retaining echoes of six centuries of Islamic culture in its art, language and architecture. From imposing São Jorge Castle, the view encompasses the old city’s pastel-coloured buildings, Tagus Estuary and suspension bridge. Its compact, cobblestoned heart is easily explored on foot or via its old-fashioned trams and funiculars. The Moorish Alfama district has narrow, winding streets and taverns with fado singers. The Calouste Gulbenkian Museum complex, set amid serene gardens, displays noted art collections. On the waterfront are the ornate 16th-century Jerónimos Monastery and Belém Tower, and the massive Oceanário aquarium. Just outside Lisbon are a string of Atlantic beaches, from Cascais to Estoril.
Portugal has successfully branded itself as a bridge between East and West, North and South, and is now one of the most respected diplomatic actors of the world. It has become a magnet for investment and technological innovation, attracting many companies in the sector and hosting the annual Web Summit conference in Lisbon. Portugal has left an enduring presence across the world, in India particularly in Goa and Gujarat. It has a long-standing cultural connection with the Khojas.
Your hotel: the InterContinental
The InterContinental Lisbon fuses the cultural richness of the city with a vibrant international style – and it is famed for having one of the best views in Lisbon. Contemporary, cosmopolitan and luxurious, it also boasts a prime location in the heart of the city, facing Eduardo VII Park, by Marques de Pombal Square and a short stroll to the beautiful tree-lined shopping street Avenida da Liberdade. Sweeping vistas into the city and its monuments, down towards the Tagus River and beyond, are complemented by a calm atmosphere, sumptuous rooms and a 24-hour gym.