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Lisbon, Portugal

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Lisbon, Europe's second-oldest capital, was once home to the world's greatest explorers like Vasco da Gama, Magellan and Prince Henry the Navigator. Today it's a compact and intimate city, ideal for a short city break or a longer vacation holiday, with a lively café culture and a nightlife that is one of the most vibrant in Europe. It's a friendly city with a cosmopolitan population, welcoming to all visitors and families with children, and open to minorities and alternative lifestyles.

Lisbon is blessed as the only European capital located so close to sandy beaches. The Lisbon coast offers beautiful beaches that range from sheltered little coves to miles of dune-backed sands. The most well known beaches include Cascais; which attracts the locals especially in the summer, Estoril; which is popular for beach soccer, Guincho; a beautiful beach known world-wide for surfing. The best beaches are south of the city and include Costa da Caparica, Meco, Troia, or Adraga, ranked as one of the best beaches in Europe.

Lisbon is also one of the world's great historical cities, with surprising sights, cultural treasures set in a beautiful setting. from a price point of view, it is perhaps one of Europe's best values and least expensive capital cities. Its surroundings offer an incredible variety of tourist attractions, from fairytale palaces, to world-class golf, many, many high quality museums and fun in Europe's largest casino in Estoril. Lisbon also is home to one of the world's largest state-of-the-art aquariums.

As expected in a great European capital, Lisbon has a wealth of excellent museums, from the world-class Calouste Gubenkian Museum, to the outstanding Ancient Art Museum, The Design Museum and many more. There are dozens of public and private collections, many housed in former palaces and convents that would be worth a visit even without their museum displays.

Shopping Districts include Chiado; home of the world's oldest bookstore, Principie Real; home of Embaixada, the most beautiful shopping gallery in a palace, Avenida Da Liberdade, home of major luxury brands, Baixa; home of many souvenir shops, and many malls and department stores.

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