The Park of Nations

Much of what makes Lisbon such a fabulous place is the wonderful, historic heart of the city. As I’ve written in these pages before, you can get lost for days on end in Alfama and other parts of the old city. But today, bathed in winter sunshine, I decided it was high time to see the new part of the city.

For the World Expo, which came to Lisbon in the late 1990’s, a whole new Expo centre was built at a place called Parque de Nações – Park of Nations at an, at the time run-down neighbourhood, called Oriente. After the Expo, it was retained as a centre of commerce & leisure and now houses the MEO Arena, a major concert venue.

So now, arriving there, you are greeted by the most modern of the city’s railway stations. Across the road is a huge shopping centre, with brand new avant garde designed apartment blocks and then the MEO arena itself. Just behind all that is the inland part of the river estuary and the colossal Vasco da Gama bridge stretching out across the water. They also have a cable car, much like the Airline, now located in London’s docklands, but running along a longer route.

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If you’re looking for heart and soul, this is miles away from that side of Lisbon, but if you feel like seeing something cutting edge in this ancient, and traditional city, it’s definitely worth a look.

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