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Portugal is among the 20 most visited countries in the world, receiving an average of 13 million foreign tourists each year. Tourism is playing an increasingly important role in Portugal\'s economy, contributing to about 5% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Tourist hotspots in Portugal are Lisbon, Algarve and Madeira, but the Portuguese government continues to promote and develop new tourist destinations, such as the Douro Valley, the island of Porto Santo, and Alentejo.
Lisbon is recognised as a global city because of its importance in finance, commerce, media, entertainment, arts, international trade, education, and tourism. Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in the world, predating other modern European capitals such as London, Paris and Rome by hundreds of years. Lisbon has two sites listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site: BelĆ©m Tower and JerĆ³nimos Monastery. Furthermore, in 1994, Lisbon was the European Capital of Culture and in 1998 organised an Expo \'98 (1998 Lisbon World Exposition).
Porto, also known as Oporto in English, is the second-largest city in Portugal, after Lisbon, and one of the major urban areas in Southern Europe.In 2001, Porto shared the designation European Culture Capital. In the scope of these events, the construction of the major concert hall space Casa da MĆŗsica, designed by the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, was initiated and finished in 2005. Porto\'s most popular event is St. John (SĆ£o JoĆ£o Festival) on the night of 23ā€“24 June. In this season it\'s a tradition to have a vase with bush basil decorated with a small poem. During the dinner of the great day people usually eat sardines and boiled potatoes together with red wine.
Vila Nova de Gaia
Vila Nova de Gaia, or simply Gaia is a city in Vila Nova de Gaia Municipality, Portugal. It is located in the Porto District, south of the city of Porto on the other side of the Douro River. Vila Nova de Gaia is the Portuguese municipality with the biggest number of Blue Flag beaches in 2009 and in 2010: 17 beaches along 17 km of seaside. The city attracts a great number of tourists and the wine cellars are considered to be a must-see in any trip to area of Porto.
Amadora is a city and a municipality in Portugal, in the northwest of the Lisbon Metropolitan Area. Although major rehabilitation plans have been started, Amadora is still regarded as a city with a crime rate higher than the national average. The neighborhood of Cova da Moura, in Amadora, is an incredible example of what one might call lateral citizenship. Starting during the 1970s and 1980s, in less than 30 years, over 10,000 men and women, mostly from the Cape Verde (but also from the North of Portugal and Angola), built an illegal town inside the city.
Funchal is the largest city, the municipal seat and the capital of Portugal\'s Autonomous Region of Madeira. The city has a population of 111,892 and has been the capital of Madeira for more than five centuries. Today Funchal is a major tourist town, with hotels, port, and an international airport Funchal Airport (FNC), located in the nearby municipality of Santa Cruz.
Besides the city of Funchal, tourist destinations include: Ribeira Brava, Curral das Freiras, Porto Moniz, Santana, the Laurisilva forest, a UNESCO Natural Site, in the center of Madeira Island and the beaches in Porto Santo island. There is also a passenger gondola lift (Funchal Passenger Ropeway), that transports people from the lower section of the city to the suburb of Monte.