As European cities go Lisbon is as understated as it is elegant. And should a beauty contest of European cities ever be held, the Portuguese capital would be assured of its place on the podium. Built on many more hills than Rome along one bank of the River Tagus and with the Atlantic Ocean firmly in its sights, the combination of mountain, ocean and city makes Lisbon immediately likeable and enchantingly attractive.
Although a modern cosmopolitan capital, Lisbon likes to wear its heritage on its sleeve creting an entertaining marriage of past and presesnt. The catastrophic earthquake of 1755 might well have denied the city plethero of world class palaces, churches and monuments, but this more than compensated for by a graceful charm and easygoing friendliness. Alfa is the city's bustling medieval quarter, Belem the cultural heart and museum district and bairro da Lapa it's most elegant residential neighbourhood. Baixa is the arena in which to shop and and the Parqeue das Nacoes houses a high-tech entertainment park and the world's largest and finest aquarium, Oceanario de Lisboa.
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