The futuristic architecture of Eastern Lisbon is a complete contrast to the city's old quarters. Most of it was built by innovative architects for Expo 98, the World Fair that took place in Portugal's capital between May and September of 1998.
Lisbon's World Fair was special because it hosted a record 130 countries and international organizations, was the 100th international exhibition since the Great Exhibition of London in 1851, the last one of the 20th century, and coincided with the 500th anniversary of Vasco da Gama's arrival in India and the United Nations' "Year of the Oceans." The theme was "The Oceans: A Heritage for the Future," and the entire area at the eastern end of the city's waterfront was rebuilt for the event. When it was over, the new urban district was dubbed Parque das Nações (Park of Nations), and became one of the largest urban redevelopment projects in Europe.
Most people arrive by metro, which stops at the stunning Oriente Station. From there, many are drawn to the Vasco da Gama Shopping Center or head straight to the several popular attractions in the area. The main highlight is the state-of-the-art Oceanarium, hailed as the world's most impressive aquarium.
Other attractions include a modern casino, water gardens, a viewing tower, a marina, and a number of bars and restaurants with outdoor seating overlooking one of the world's longest bridges. Two striking twin towers designed to look like giant sailboats are apartment and office buildings named after two of Vasco da Gama's ships, São Gabriel and São Rafael.
To tour the area, many visitors ride the cable car that runs the full length of the site, parallel to the river, while giving commanding views along the way.
See many of Parque das Nações' attractions and ride Lisbon's metro, buses, and trams for FREE with the Lisboa Card.
The area's top 3 sights: Oceanarium,
da Gama Bridge, Oriente
Don't forget to: Take a look at the eye-catching contemporary artwork and colorful tile murals of the stations on the red line of the metro that lead to Oriente Station.
Off the beaten path: Walk along the waterfront, past Vasco da Gama Tower, all the way to Vasco da Gama Bridge, where there are pleasant gardens and lawns to sit and admire the magnificence of the bridge and the river.
Transportation: Take the metro to Oriente station.
Oceanarium - An odyssey of sea creatures in a state-of-the-art building.
Oriente Station - A stunning modern station.
Portugal Pavillion - A gravity-defying structure.
Atlantic Pavillion - A UFO-like arena.
Lisbon Casino - A modern, stylish casino.
Interactive Science Museum - Scientific exhibits with cutting-edge technology.
Vasco da Gama Tower - The city's tallest building with a panoramic viewing platform.
Vasco da Gama Bridge - One of the world's longest bridges.
Broad squares, 18th century architecture, patterned pavements, popular
Bairro Alto & Chiado - Vibrant nightlife, picturesque streets, classic and alternative culture, chic shopping, restaurants
Belem - The Age of Discovery, grandiose monuments, museums
Alfama - Medieval maze, spectacular views, an imposing castle, the sounds of Fado
Uptown - Masterpieces and museum treasures, shopping malls
Parque das Nações - The 21st century by the Tagus; futuristic architecture
Book your room for free (no booking fees) and pay later at the hotel:HOTELS SEARCH
Central, stylishly furnished, and cheaper than many hotels:APARTMENTS SEARCH
Stylish, award-winning budget accommodation in the city center:HOSTELS SEARCH
Skip the long lines for taxis or the hassle of navigating public transportation when you arrive at the airport, and go straight to your hotel:AIRPORT TRANSFERS
Go on a day trip or on an organized tour around Lisbon:TOURS & TICKETS SEARCH
Planning to travel around Portugal? Save time and look for the best deals here:CAR RENTAL SEARCH
Save time and money: Get FREE or reduced admission to most of Lisbon's attractions and ride the city's metro, buses, and trams for free with the Lisboa Card:ORDER YOUR CARD
Join GoLisbon on Facebook for regular updates on what's happening in the city:GOLISBON FACEBOOK