The mood of Lisbon is a combination of melancholy music drifting from intimate cafes, traffic
racket and seaport clangs and whistles; its look is terraced, with distinct neighborhoods, steep
narrow streets, mostly white homes and plenty of green parkland and splendid river views.
The capital city of Portugal since 1256, Lisbon is the largest city in the country and has been the
country's major port city since the 15th century, although the explorer's vessels tied to the docks
have been replaced with freighters, ocean liners and ferries. The active harbor lies along the
of the Tagus River, about eight miles from the entrance to the Atlantic Ocean.
The city's Portuguese origin begins in 1147, when Afonso Henriques, the Portuguese king
conquered the Moors and established his presence in Coimbra, 100 miles east. Major attractions
include castles, museums and shopping for wicker, copper, lace and pottery. Weather is generally
mild and humid with an average temperature of 63 Fahrenheit.
Festivals of interest to the visitor include craft fairs in July, August, October and November and
the Sea Festival in September.