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Gothic cathedrals and majestic monasteries

Lovely backstreets of Lisbon

Like the city of Rome, Lisbon is built on seven hills, and it is one of the few European important cities facing the Atlantic. Home for the great explorers, as Vasco da Gama, this city is the second oldest capital in Europe and an important place for you to start understanding this Continent.

The best place to start your trip around Lisbon is the Belem Tower, the most remarkable symbol of the city. Located in the riverside, the tower is facing the sea almost like welcoming the ships since the 16th century. Initially with a defensive purpose, the tower changed its use with the years, becoming a border registry, lighthouse and prison. Open for visitors from 10pm and the entrance fee is 5€.

In the Age of Discovery, the Jeronimos monastery took about a hundred years to be built, and Vasco da Gama and his crew spent their last night there praying before going to India. His tomb together with Luis Camoes tomb, are placed inside the building, sharing the monastery with other important names of Portugal's history. It is open from 10am and the entrance is 7€, though you can pay 10€ for the Monastery and the Belem Tower together.

No too fa away from down town, the Gulbenkian Museum has a collection of fine arts, like Chinese porcelain, rugs from the 15th century Middle East, Turkish tiles and many important paintings. Who once was the owner of all this, Calouste Gulbenkian, donated his collection when he died. The museum also hosts a section of Art Nouveau, containing glass and jewellery. The museum is closed on Mondays, and on the other week days it's open from 10am to 5:45pm.

Up one of the seven hills, on a residential district, there's a terrace where you can have a view of the centre of Lisbon. It's a magnificent place to relax and to take pictures, and, who knows when you are coming back, to say goodbye to this historical and important European capital.

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