Lisbon 2011

16 May 2011 – 7:30 am

Lisbon 3

Lisbon 2

Lisbon 1

This week I have been working in Lisbon, the historic Portuguese capital.

Increasingly keen to push itself as a conference destination, it is taking on Barcelona and other European cities as a place for corporates to have break outs and incentive trips. Good weather, food, entertainments and a mix of colonial and modern architecture make it a powerful proposition.

My last visit to Lisbon was over ten years ago for Expo ’98. An event which is widely agreed re-positioned Lisbon on the business and tourist map.

Part of Lisbon’s recent success following Expo, has been an excellent transport system around the City, using a range of vehicles. Travelling around the world, large infrastructure projects are often complained about while under development, but heavily used once completed. Think Eurostar and its success linking London, Paris and Brussels, and contrast this with the current opposition to the proposed London-Birmingham HS2 line.

Expo itself brought a whole new city of modern sky rises and large open public spaces, on the fringe of the old capital. A modern station in the area, pictured above, is as impressive as anything currently under construction globally.

Bridges, rail, commuter boats, trams, garish half green coloured taxis and a modern airport make access to and around the city straight forward.

Most charming and iconic of all the modes of transport have to be the abundant yellow trams. The 500 series we rode in was British built, and had been totally re-conditioned in recent years, although still retaining a historic aspect and charm. The steep streets of Lisbon mean the tram is helpfully equipped with several brakes of different configurations, for example, electric mechanical and gas. Should one fail, there is in theory a back up to prevent a catastrophe.

While not as large as Barcelona and some other European destinations, Lisbon offers plenty for the business host and traveller.

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