Lisbon has become increasingly modern and cosmopolitan , with the advantages and disadvantages that this brings. The city is well equipped to receive visitors, and has professional tourist services, particularly at the Lisboa Welcome Center in the Baixa area and the Ask Me Lisboa tourist Office in Restauradores. However , it has also become rather expensive and traffic-ridden. Visitors seeking the old Lisbon can still find it in the Alfama, or any of the citys smaller areas. One of the best ways to appreciate Lisbon is on foot, using trams for the steeper hills and pausing to enjoy the varied views.
What you need to Know before travel to Lisbon:
VISAS AND PASSPORTS Nationals of the EU need only a valid passport to enter Portugal, which is a signatory to the Schengen Convention; for stays longer than six months, a residence permit is required. Americans, Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders may stay for up to 90 days without a visa. All travellers from outside the EU should check with their nearest Portuguese embassy or consulate, as regulations may change. UK passport holders should note that lost or stolen passports can no longer be replaced by the British Embassy in Lisbon; instead, you will need to apply to the British Embassy in Madrid for a replacement.
TOURIST INFORMATION The opening hours of tourist offices in Lisbon are generally the same as those of local shops. Those that are more centrally located, such as Ask Me Lisboa and the Lisboa Welcome Center remain open throughout weekends.Offices in the centre of Lisbon and indicated on the street Finder Maps. Other offices may be found at Portela airport and at Santa ApolÃ³nia station. Addresses of offices in the Lisbon Coast area are given in the information at the top of each sight entry. Portuguese tourist offices outside Portugal, can provide you with useful information before you travel.
LANGUAGE Written Portuguese is fairly similar to Spanish, so if you know Spanish you should have little difficulty reading Portuguese text. Spoken Portuguese, however, sounds very different from Spanish. Although English is more widely spoken in Portugal than in neighboring Spain, the Portuguese are proud of their language and appreciate visitors efforts to communicate in Portuguese
TRAVELLERS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS Facilities in Lisbon have improved greatly. Some buses (marked with a blue-and- white wheelchair logo at the front) can carry wheelchair- bound passengers, and ramps and lifts are common in many public places, including shopping-centres, theaters, museums and across the rail and Metro network, though access to platforms is not always easy. Adapted toilets are available at airports and main train stations, and reserved car parking is clearly marked. The use of Braille to indicate directions and telephone numbers is on the increase. A number of tour companies, such as Accessible Portugal, Access at Last and Choose Portugal, offer specialist holiday packages to Lisbon, or give advice on accessible accommodation for travelers with limited mobility.
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