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A capital break; Destination: Lisbon.

IT is the capital of Portugal, a city of bleached white limestone buildings and intimate alleyways, not to mention one of the world's best-known monuments.

Lisbon manages to carry off the trick of blending the past and the present, while looking to the future.

And although the beaches and marinas of the Algarve attract the crowds, there's plenty here for all the family.

Just exploring the city centre will take a few days out of a family holiday, with its eye-catching buildings, squares and churches.

Then there are panoramic views, the Cristo Rei - a huge statue of Christ which overlooks the city - superb gardens and art masterpieces.

And, yes, there are still beaches within easy reach if you want to top up your tan.

FACTFILE 1 PADRAO DOS DESCOBRIMENTOS, Praca da Boa Esperanca, Avenida de Brasilia ERECTED in honour of Portugal's Prince Henry the Navigator in 1960, this dramatic monument has become synonymous with the city and is one of the most photographed sights Lisbon has to offer.

The monument celebrates the Portuguese Age of Discovery during the 15th and 16th centuries, and the 33 statues on the caravel are monarchs, explorers, cartographers, artists, scientists and missionaries.

At the helm is Henry the Navigator, who watches the big cruise ships which now sail into port.

2 MIRADOURO DA SENHORA DO MONTE R. da Sra. do Monte 50 OF all the miradouros in Lisbon, this is the one that has the best view.

Located at the highest point of the city, you practically look out over the whole of downtown Lisbon, the Tagus and the iconic Ponte 25 de Abril. 3 It's also less crowded than the better-known Miradouro da Santa Luzia and Portas do Sol that you will pass along the way.

You can reach the miradouro by taking the famous Tram 28, a long and uncomfortable ride.

3 OCEANARIO DE LISBOA Esplanada D. Carlos I, Doca dos Olivais THE Oceanarium was built where Lisbon had its Expo 98, on a redeveloped area of the waterfront, and is one of the biggest aquariums in Europe.

The main tank is a huge size and can be viewed from many different levels. See if you can spot the 100 species from around the world here, including sharks, rays, tuna, barracudas, groupers and moray eels. One of the main attractions is a large sunfish.

Four different habitats from around the world are showcased here, and it's worth at least a couple of hours of your time.

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Lisbon basking in the sunshine
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUPR
Date:Apr 25, 2013
Words:420
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