Things to Know When Visiting Lisbon

As the Capital of Portugal, Lisbon is the country’s biggest city with the central area containing about 500,000 inhabitants while the entire metropolitan area adds up to more than 2.5 million people. The main gateway to the city is the Lisbon International Airport which is only five miles away from the city.While visiting Lisbon you may notice the Latin language that is spoken by the inhabitants. It is actually Portuguese, the native language of all Portuguese people and of all Brazilians. Although similar to some extent the same as Spanish, the Portuguese language is quite unique. For a traveler the language can be somewhat a problem since few people understand or speak English. This problem can be solved if you carry a bilingual Portuguese-English map or a conversation guide with you. Portugal is a member of the European Union so the local currency is the same as in Europe, the Euro. If you look closely at the Euro you will notice that each one is different according to the country that you are visiting. Yet, all Euros are the same and can be used in every European Union member state without any problems. There are plenty of ATM’s located at all major hotels, banks, shopping centers and malls. All common VISA or MasterCard credit cards are accepted and welcomed all over the city. Whenever dining at a restaurant or enjoying a nice drink in a pub, remember to leave at least a 10% tip on the table. When paying for a cab it is not necessary to tip, but as all over the world a good tip is appreciated. Remember that in Lisbon tips are not mandatory although you may tip if you wish and you enjoy the services. During the summer season hotel rooms are quite expensive. Usually the breakfast is included in room price and is a standard international breakfast with cold meats, milk and cheese served at room temperature. Dining in Lisbon offers an excellent opportunity to experience a variety of cuisines from all over the world. Besides the common fast-food chains like McDonald or the Hard Rock Caf”, the city is filled with traditional restaurants from all over the world. The local cuisine includes a variety of dishes mainly based on grilled sardines, salted cod, smoked sausage and code cakes. All of the menu prices include tax.On Sunday mornings most of the local museums are open free of charge to visitors. Buying a local Lisbon Card will grant you access to most of the public transportation systems, museums, and many other services for the duration of your trip. This is a great deal these services can be much more expensive when purchased separately without the Card.Besides the modern public transportation system, you can travel across the city with a local cab. The cab prices are much more affordable then in other major cities across Europe. If your travel group is larger than two people, the cab is a cheaper alternative to public transportation.

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