Lisbon
  Lisbon
Exploring

Lisbon's most famous monument, along with the Torre de Belém, is the Castelo de São Jorge (tel. 218.800.620). When King Afonso Henriques drove out the Moors and took over the fortress in 1147, he seized the very cradle of the city. It was here, and on the hillside now occupied by Alfama, that Lisbon first developed.

The cathedral Sé Patriarcal (Largo da Sé) was erected around 1147 under the orders of Afonso Henriques and is one of the capital's oldest monuments.

Located in the Alvor-Pombal Palace, the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga (Rua das Janelas Verdes 1249, tel.213.912.800, www.mnarteantiga-ipmuseus.pt) is one of Lisbon's (and even Portugal's) must-sees. Among its highlights are Hieronymus Bosch's stunning The Temptation of St. Anthony and a collection of Portuguese primitives.

If you're fascinated by azulejos, make sure you visit the Convento da Madre de Deus to see the Museu Nacional do Azulejo (Rua da Madre de Deus no. 4, tel. 218.100.340).

The Igreja São Roque (Largo Trindade Coelho) is one of the most lavishly decorated churches in the capital.

The Museu Calouste Gulbenkian (Avenida de Berna no. 45A, tel. 217.823.000, www.museu.gulbenkian.pt) has a large collection of decorative objects (paintings, sculptures, earthenware, bibelots), mostly from Europe and the Orient.

The neighbourhood of Belém, whose name is a contraction of Bethlehem, was once a suburb of Lisbon. As far as monuments and museums are concerned, it is one of the richest parts of the city. It was from here that the caravels once set out, and the area's development was mainly financed by treasures brought back from the Indies.

If there's one must-see while you're in Lisbon, it's the 16th-century Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (Praça do Império, tel. 213.620.034, www.mosteirojeronimos.pt). The Museu da Marinha (Praça do Império, tel. 213.620.019, http://museu.marinha.pt) is one of the most comprehensive maritime museums in the world. Of all of Lisbon's attractions, its most emblematic is definitely the Torre de Belém (Praça do Império), which has been listed as a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Located halfway between the capital and Sintra, the Palácio Nacional de Queluz (Largo do Paláciotel. 214.343.680) is considered by many to be Portugal's Versailles.

Another remarkable attraction in the area is the Palácio Nacional de Sintra (Largo Rainha D. Amélia, tel. 219.106.840), the wonderful former summer residence of several kings of Portugal.

Also in Sintra is the astonishing neo-Manueline-style Palácio e Quinta da Regaleira (Rua Barbosa du Bocage, tel. 219.106.650), which dates from the beginning of the 20th century.