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The iconic capital city of seven hills and immense blue skies is, like Portugal itself, not a place of the obvious. Situated on the banks of a river (Tagus), the charm of Lisbon exists in its strong links to the past. Its renovated palaces, magnificent churches and an impressive castle mirror the city’s rich cultural heritage. Its eclectic blend of neighbourhoods, culture and architecture make it a truly fascinating city to visit. Lisbon is a city shaped by the ambition of its urban designers (assisted by a massive earthquake in 1755) and by the enormous wealth of its empire, manifested in broad tree-lined avenues, regal squares and lavish palaces, golden baroque churches, and the sprawling estates of its titled gentry. The city is set on seven hills, with its cobble-stoned pavements and narrow streets full of Art Nouveau cafes promises a lot to discover. Discover 19th century pharmacies still in use, hidden courtyards, sprawling bookstores, local fado bars, artisanal workshops, full-to-the-brim antique stores, elegant villas, and local bakeries. Stroll the arcaded passageways and refined plazas of Baixa. Check out the edgy boutiques (or if you prefer, one or two of the 250 bars) lining the cobblestone streets of Bairro Alto. Tour the royal haunts at Belem, from which the Portuguese explorers embarked in search of gold. Climb the sloping labyrinthine streets of the Moorish Alfama and emerge at the Crusader Castle of St. George. Trams run up and down Lisbon’s narrow, winding streets and offer ever-changing views of its seven hills or you can take a river cruise along the broad Tagus River, which flows out into the Atlantic just 12 miles from the heart of Lisbon.