5 New Restaurants in Lisbon for this Summer

July 3rd, 2014 by Mario Fernandes - GoLisbon.com

When it comes to eating and drinking, the big news this summer in Lisbon is the new food court in the old Ribeira Market. But there are other new spots in town where you can be among the first ones to try and tell others about. Here are five of the best:

The Insólito, Lisbon

THE INSÓLITO
Address: Rua de São Pedro Alcântara, 83
It took over the top of an 1800s building and now offers some of the best views in town. Perfect for the warmer days, it looks over the city’s most beautiful garden viewpoint out to the castle, and serves contemporary Portuguese cuisine.
It is reached through an old elevator and there’s also an interior dining area.

Fluid, Lisbon

FLUID
Address: Rua da Escola Politécnica, 42
Found inside one of Lisbon’s two new concept stores (“Entre Tanto”) in the trendy Principe Real district, this “eatery and bar” has a small patio in the back looking out to the botanical garden. The interior has a minimalist industrial style, and is open throughout the day, starting at noon. It serves light meals, and in the afternoon you may simply sit for a drink accompanied by cheeses and cold cuts. A DJ shows up at night for hours of drinking, with the apple vodka as the house specialty.

A Praça, Lisbon

A PRAÇA
Address: Rua Rodrigues Faria, 103
Lx Factory in the industrial neighborhood of Alcântara is a group of formerly abandoned warehouses and factories that are now home to several small companies and creative projects. It also has a handful of places to eat, and a few shops. The new kid on the block is “A Praça,” a restaurant with a vintage décor and a relaxed atmosphere, offering a variety of options for lunch or dinner, from Italian to Portuguese cuisine. It’s also open in the afternoon for snacks, and late at night for cocktails.
On the warmer summer days, you’ll want to sit outside.

Grei, Lisbon

GREI
Address: Rua Rodrigo da Fonseca, 87D
If you’re staying at one of the many hotels on or around Avenida da Liberdade, you may want to check out this new restaurant for lunch or dinner nearby. It serves Portuguese and Mediterranean-inspired cuisine, and there are reasonably-priced menus for lunch. The dining area is divided into three spaces, all with an attractive décor and a welcoming atmosphere.

MiniBar, Lisbon

MINI BAR
Address: Rua António Maria Cardoso, 58
José Avillez is Lisbon’s top top chef and one of the city’s Michelin stars. He now has a total of five restaurants, all in the same neighborhood (Chiado), and this is the latest one. It shares the building of São Luíz Theater, and is a “gastropub” with finger food or other more elaborate options in tasting menus. Because of its location, it has a theater-inspired décor and turns into a late-night spot from Thursday to Saturday, serving cocktails and craft beers.

10 Spots to Watch the World Cup in Lisbon

June 12th, 2014 by Mario Fernandes - GoLisbon.com

If you’re in Lisbon between June 12 and July 13, and want to join the rest of the world in watching the World Cup, there are a few spots in town where you may do that in the company of locals and other tourists — while having a couple of drinks. We’ve chosen ten of them, in different parts of the center of the city, so no matter where you are staying, there is a place close to your hotel or apartment:

Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara, Lisbon

1. QUIOSQUE DE SÃO PEDRO DE ALCÂNTARA
Neighborhood: Bairro Alto
Address: Rua de São Pedro de Alcântara

The kiosk café on Lisbon’s most romantic terrace viewpoint will be presenting more than just the usual city views. It will show all of the games and offer beer “happy hours.”

2. QUIOSQUES LIBERDADE
Neighborhood: Avenida da Liberdade
Address: Avenida da Liberdade

The several kiosk cafés found down Lisbon’s grand central boulevard will be showing Portugal’s games on large screens, with beer glasses going for just €1.50.

3. PARK
Neighborhood: Bairro Alto
Address: Calçada do Combro, 58

Found at the top of a parking garage, this is one of the city’s most popular bars. You’ll be able to watch the games (in the afternoon and at night) with a view of the 25 de Abril Bridge.

Ribeira das Naus, Lisbon

4. QUIOSQUE DA RIBEIRA DAS NAUS
Neighborhood: Cais do Sodré
Address: Ribeira das Naus

The waterfront promenade Ribeira das Naus, between downtown’s Comercio Square and the Cais do Sodré neighborhood, is the latest hotspot for some drinks in the sun, and during the World Cup it will also be the best waterfront spot to watch the games. It promises to show all of them, with “happy hours” offering beer at special prices.

5. LE CHAT
Neighborhood: Santos
Address: Rua das Janelas Verdes/Jardim 9 de Abril

Right at the doorstep of the Ancient Art Museum is this café terrace looking out to the port. During the World Cup games it will offer special menus, such as steak sandwiches and beer at special prices.

6. ELÉCTRICO BANANA CAFÉ
Neighborhood: Belém
Address: Largo dos Jerónimos

If you’re in Lisbon’s most monumental district, look for an old tram now converted into a café parked across the street from the famous Jeronimos Monastery. It will show the games on a 2-meter screen.

7. QUIOSQUE DO OLIVEIRA
Neighborhood: Príncipe Real
Address: Praça do Príncipe Real

Across the street from the city’s trendiest shopping gallery (“Embaixada”), at a corner of the neighborhood park of Príncipe Real, is this kiosk café that’s popular for late-afternoon drinks. It will show the games on a TV as it serves cheap beers.

8. CLUBE FERROVIÁRIO
Neighborhood: Alfama
Address: Rua de Santa Apolónia, 59

Hidden on a street behind Santa Apolónia train station by Alfama, this bar offers a terrace overlooking the river. It will project the games on the stage where it usually presents DJs and live music.

Mercado de Fusão, Lisbon

9. MERCADO DE FUSÃO
Neighborhood: Mouraria
Address: Praça de Martim Moniz

The big square in Lisbon’s most multiethnic neighborhood which usually serves foods from different parts of the world, will have a 42-inch LED screen showing the World Cup matches. Given the size of the square, that is not huge, so make sure you show up early to find a spot up close to the screen.

10. JARDIM DA ESTRELA
Neighborhood: Estrela
Address: Largo da Estrela
The café by the entrance of Estrela’s park across from the basilica will be showing every World Cup game except those that start at 11PM. In addition to its regular menu, it will have special finger food for you to enjoy as you watch the games on a plasma screen.

Lisbon for Drinkers: The Spots for Different Kinds of Drinks

May 8th, 2014 by Mario Fernandes - GoLisbon.com

One of Lisbon’s most popular activities is bar-hopping through Bairro Alto or standing outside the bars of Cais do Sodré. As one of the top wine-producing countries in the world, Portugal also attracts tourists looking to discover its wines, so when in Lisbon, where to go for the local (and some international) drinks? Here are some suggestions:

BEER

Museu da Cerveja, Lisbon

MUSEU DA CERVEJA
Comercio Square
It’s one of the several restaurants in Comércio Square, and it’s also a museum. Up the stairs by the entrance is a small space presenting the history of beer, from its production to consumption. The ground level is spacious and attractive, but most people look for the tables outside for a refreshing beer in the sun.

SERVAJARIA
Restauradores Square, 64
With tables outside looking out to Restauradores Square, this beer house also specializes in steaks and traditional Portuguese foods that usually accompany the beer. There are international and Portuguese labels.

CHAMPAGNE

Champanharia do Cais, Lisbon

CHAMPANHARIA DO CAIS
Rua Nova do Carvalho
The new trend in town is champagne bars. A popular one is found on one of the most popular nightlife streets, serving champagne cocktails together with snacks.

CHAMPANHERIA DO LARGO
Largo da Anunciada, 20
This is reputedly the best champagne bar in Lisbon, located in a quiet corner by the Lavra funicular and Avenida da Liberdade. Along with the champagne and other sparkling wines, it also serves meals throughout the day, inside or outside.

GIN
LISBONITA GIN BAR
Rua dos Bacalhoeiros, 18
Sharing the space of a restaurant serving Iberia food (“Taberna Moderna”), this bar by the famous Casa dos Bicos was the first to focus exclusively on gin. There are almost 70 varieties, mixed with different and exotic ingredients, from fruits to flowers.

VESTIGIUS WINE & GIN
Rua da Cintura do Porto de Lisboa, Armazém A, 17
It’s one of the city’s best and most attractive wine bars, but this former warehouse on the waterfront is now also a gin bar. Together with a huge list of all kinds of wines, there is now also gin to be enjoyed late into the night.

GINGINHA
GINGINHA DO CARMO
Calçada do Carmo, 37
Hidden in a corner by Rossio Station, this is one of several tiny spots in the city serving the cherry liqueur known as “ginginha.” Locals and tourists pass by day and night for a shot of this sweet and strong drink, sometimes served in a small chocolate cup.

PORT
SOLAR DO VINHO DO PORTO
Rua de São Pedro de Alcântara, 45
For many people, Portuguese wine is synonymous with Port. Of course Portugal is a major wine-producing country with all kinds of wines, but Port remains its most famous. Although it’s a product from the city of Porto, you may sample the different types in Lisbon, at this mansion from the 1700s facing one of the city’s most beautiful terraces, Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara.

PONCHA

Sabores da Madeira, Lisbon

SABORES DA MADEIRA
Rua do Outro, 279
After Port, Portugal’s second most-internationally-known wine is probably that of Madeira. But that Portuguese island also offers another alcoholic specialty, the “poncha.” It’s a mix of brandy, lemon and honey, and in Lisbon you may try it at this spot downtown offering all that is special from Madeira to eat and drink.

HOT WINE
OS TROBADORES
Rua de São Julião, 27
If you’re in Lisbon on a colder day, why not have a glass of hot wine? It’s served at this bar recreating medieval Lisbon, offering drinks and snacks such as Portuguese sausages and cheeses on candle-lit wooden tables.

LOCAL WINES
ARTIS
Rua do Diário de Notícias, 95
For different types of Portuguese wines, from red to “green,” head to this very popular bar in Bairro Alto. In business since the 1980s, its tables get filled up quickly, so show up early at night, for glasses or bottles of the national labels.

Bebedouro bar, Lisbon

BEBEDOURO
Rua de São Nicolau, 24
Here it’s all about the wines from Portugal’s Douro Valley, the world’s first demarcated wine region. The interior is small but attractive, and there are also tables outside. Cheeses, sausages and bruschettas accompany the drinks.

WINE BAR DO CASTELO
Rua Bartolomeu Gusmão, 13
This is a favorite of tourists, since it’s found by the castle. The staff invites you to relax, recommending dozens of choices of Portuguese reds and whites served by the glass.

5 Restaurants to Dine for Less than 20 Euros in Lisbon

April 14th, 2014 by Mario Fernandes - GoLisbon.com

Lisbon is known for its excellent-value restaurants, with decent portions at prices no longer found in other Western European capitals. But it’s not the bargain it used to be, and most places are now reaching the European average. So where can you still find those places where you can eat for less than 20 euros, including a drink (and often a dessert as well)? There are still many, but the five below offer some of the best local traditions:

Toma Lá Dá Cá

TOMA LÁ DÁ CÁ
Travessa do Sequeiro, 38
Found not far from the Santa Catarina terrace, this could very well be the best value restaurant in Lisbon. It’s a “tasca-style” restaurant, meaning it’s a classic family-owned neighborhood restaurant with home-style food at reasonable prices. The fresh fish and meat are of excellent quality, and everyone seems to know it by now, judging from the long lines at the door. Locals and tourists are willing to wait, and it is really worth waiting, as the portions are generous, and so are the prices. The service is rushed but friendly. It’s possible to spend less than 20 euros per person, even with one of the excellent desserts.

Prego da Peixaria

O PREGO DA PEIXARIA
Rua da Escola Politécnica, 40
A “prego” is a steak sandwich but the current trend is to make it more than that. It’s now also all kinds of meat, and even salmon or cod. There are also veggie versions, and in most cases it’s served in “bolo de caco,” a traditional bread from the Portuguese island of Madeira. At this trendy spot in the neighborhood of Principe Real they’re served with fries, and although there are now several restaurants also specializing in “pregos,” this is the most attractive and with a relaxed ambience. It’s quite popular, so expect to wait a while at the door (it doesn’t take reservations).

Taberna da Rua das Flores

A TABERNA DA RUA DAS FLORES
Rua das Flores, 103
There was a time when most restaurants in Lisbon were like this. They were something of a neighborhood kitchen or living room, where people gathered to talk while having a few “petiscos” (tapas). This restaurant in Chiado recreates those times in the décor and food, listing several traditional “petiscos” that change daily and that are served throughout the day. They range in price from 6 to 9 euros, so if you order more than a couple, it will still come out to less than 20 euros per person, including a drink.

Petiscaria Ideal

PETISCARIA IDEAL
Rua da Esperança 100
It was one of the first restaurants to bring back the all-“petiscos” concept, and remains quite a popular spot. The decor (with cooking utensils and antique pieces on the walls) makes you feel like you’re stepping into your grandmother’s kitchen, and the food (meant to be shared at the table) is in fact the type that most Portuguese grandmothers serve their guests. There are no reservations, so you may have to wait a while for a table, especially on weekends.

Oficina do Duque

OFICINA DO DUQUE
Calçada do Duque, 43A
A creative young chef offers a list of reinvented traditional Portuguese dishes at lower-than-average prices at this restaurant with an open kitchen. It includes about half a dozen “petiscos,” and in addition to the meat and fish, there are a couple of vegetarian options. The original desserts are worth a try, although they’ll likely put you over the 20-euro limit per person…

7 Terraces on Lisbon’s 7 Hills

March 26th, 2014 by Mario Fernandes - GoLisbon.com

At the top of monuments or at the top of hills, Lisbon is known as a photogenic city forcing you to stop to take photos or to simply admire the views. The city’s legendary seven hills are all topped by gardens or terraces meant for exactly that, and although there are many viewpoints that you’ll want to check out, these are the seven where you’ll get seven different perspectives of the city, perfect during spring and summer.

Parque Eduardo VII, Lisbon

PARQUE EDUARDO VII
Edward VII Park ascends a hill from downtown to uptown, and at the top you’ll find a terrace where tourists stop to take photos of the historic center framed by two hills. To the left is the hill topped by the castle, and to the right is Bairro Alto.

Miradouro do Torel, Lisbon

MIRADOURO DO TOREL
Most guidebooks forget this terrace which is a small garden on a hill above Avenida da Liberdade, reached with the help of the Lavra funicular or after a steep climb. So most people you’ll find here are locals, usually reading a book or enjoying a light meal at the café on the lower level. From here you get to see 20th-century Lisbon, as well as most of downtown all the way to the triumphal arch.

Miradouro da Graça, Lisbon

MIRADOURO DA GRAÇA
The local favorite for its kiosk café open until late, this shaded terrace across from a church rebuilt in the late 1700s offers a view often painted by artists. You’ll photograph the castle right in front of you, with the bridge seen behind the hill.

Miradouro da Senhora do Monte, Lisbon

MIRADOURO DA SENHORA DO MONTE
Not far from Graça is this terrace at the city’s highest point. It offers a huge panoramic view that goes from Lisbon’s oldest neighborhood to the east, to the modern neighborhoods to the west and north. It’s usually the calmest terrace of all, with very few tourists and only a few young couples.

Miradouro das Portas do Sol, Lisbon

MIRADOURO DAS PORTAS DO SOL
This is a postcard terrace, with views of white buildings, church towers and domes descending the hill towards the water. It’s a mix of old Mediterranean village, Portuguese fishing town and Santorini-like descent in the middle of the city, and there are cafés inviting you to sit for a while.

Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara, Lisbon

MIRADOURO DE SÃO PEDRO DE ALCÂNTARA
Many choose this as their favorite, and it’s easily the most romantic. Found at the doorstep of Bairro Alto’s grid of streets, it has an upper and lower level, with fountains and a landscaped garden. From here you can see the castle up on the hill across from you, and the towers of the cathedral. There are two kiosk cafés where you can have a drink as you admire it all.

Miradouro de Santa Catarina, Lisbon

MIRADOURO DE SANTA CATARINA
It doesn’t have the prettiest view (it looks out to the port of Lisbon), but this is a favorite at sunset. It attracts all kinds of people, young and older, local and tourist, bohemians and yuppies, to simply sit and chat among friends, or have a drink at the cafés.

Street Food in Lisbon

March 21st, 2014 by Mario Fernandes - GoLisbon.com

Enjoy street food and outdoor dining, or simply want quick inexpensive meals in Lisbon? Go here:

Martim Moniz, Lisbon
MARTIM MONIZ SQUARE

MARTIM MONIZ
Martim Moniz Square is the heart of the city’s most multi-ethnic neighborhood, home to immigrants from China, Bangladesh, Goa, and Mozambique. The square is overlooked by the castle, and offers a number of food stalls offering varied cuisines. They change from time to time, but currently there’s one for vegetarians, another for hamburgers, another for pizza, another for sushi, and another for hot dogs and cocktails. When the sun is shining, it’s a nice spot to relax with a drink or meal, surrounded by a multicultural ambience and the old trams passing by.

Avenida da Liberdade, Lisbon
AVENIDA DA LIBERDADE

AVENIDA DA LIBERDADE
Lisbon’s luxury shopping avenue is lined with a number of kiosks serving food and refreshments. They’re open throughout the day, and some only close late at night. Look for the one that best appeals to your taste buds: there’s one for pizza, another for hot dogs, another for salads and wraps, another for pastries.

Tram cafe, Lisbon
BANANA CAFÉ TRAM

THE TRAM CAFÉ
In the Belém district, across the street from the monastery, is an old tram now converted into a café. At the tables around it you may enjoy a drink or a variety of light meals, such as salads and other healthy choices.

Ribeira das Naus, Lisbon
RIBEIRA DAS NAUS

RIBEIRA DAS NAUS AND MUNICIPAL SQUARE
Watch the trams go by as you sit by the kiosk of Municipal Square. It serves drinks and light meals, perfect for before or after a stroll along the waterfront nearby. One of the most popular waterfront promenades is Ribeira das Naus, to the west of Comercio Square, and that’s where you’ll find another kiosk, quite busy in the afternoon as the sun goes down.

Praça do Município, Lisbon
MUNICIPAL SQUARE

THE LUNCH TRUCKS
New in town are the lunch trucks that are parked around the city from March to October. From Monday to Friday, from 10AM to 8PM, they may be found in the Cais do Sodré neighborhood, in the Amoreiras district or Saldanha Square uptown. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday, from 8PM to 2AM they’re also at the top of Edward VII Park overlooking the city. On Sundays, there’s one from 10AM to 7PM at the Monsanto forest park. Different types of foods will alternate between each location, so you may find the one serving burgers, or the one with hot dogs, another with traditional Portuguese food, another with sushi, and yet another for the healthier meals offered at the Municipal Square kiosk mentioned above.

Top 10 Fun Activities in Lisbon

March 7th, 2014 by Roger

Tours

 

In recent times, Lisbon has seen a veritable boom in fun activities for tourists. It’s now possible to visit the historic neighbourhoods of the centre of the city, and navigate the cobbled streets in a variety of ways, ranging from Segways, to jeeps, to sidecars and even aboard an amphibious vehicle which will then head straight to the river for a trip on the water! Here, then, and in no particular order, we list what we think are the Top 10 Fun Activities you can try out in Lisbon:

1. GPS-Guided GoCar Tour

Gocar Tours in LisbonIf you’ve been to Lisbon in the last couple of years, you’ve surely noticed the little yellow 3-wheeler GoCars whizzing around the centre of the city. These 2-seater cars were the first computer-guided storytelling car, originally in San Francisco and then in Lisbon before becoming available in a few other cities. The onboard GPS unit provides instructions so that the car knows where you’re going even if you don’t, allowing you to wander around the small streets and alleys of central Lisbon, investigating the city as you go. More info and bookings here.

2. Discover Lisbon by Sidecar

A relatively new addition to the stable of fun vehicles riding around Portugal’s capital, the motorbike with sidecar provides an entertaining way to tour and see the sights. Driven by a qualified guide, you’re taken around the old streets of Lisbon, with one person in the sidecar and another on the motorbike, and stop off on the way to take some great photos and learn some interesting facts about the city.

Sit back and enjoy the ride in this classic sidecar, taking you back in time to visit the historical areas of Old Lisbon. More info and bookings here.

3. Glide on a Segway

Small-Group Medieval Lisbon Tour by Segway

Segways are quite commonplace these days, and can be seen in airports, used by the police in some cities, and in many other situations. They’re a great way to get around and the perfect means of transport for Lisbon’s sometimes difficult to navigate hills and narrow streets. In just a few minutes you’ll easily learn to ride this self-balancing 2-wheeled vehicle, touring round the city as you stand on the Segway’s platform, allowing you to see the attractions of Lisbon as you glide comfortably on this novel transport. More info and bookings here.

4. Hop-on, Hop-off Tram Tour

One of the first things everybody learns about Lisbon is that the old electric trams still run through the city. As they trundle past, heads turn and cameras flash, and some people even venture onboard to take a quick journey up one of the hills. But the red trams make this possibility even easier, allowing you to buy a ticket, hop-on to visit one part of the city, hop-off to investigate the area by foot, and hop-on again when the next tram comes by. You can start your tour at any of the 6 stops, and ride until you want to hop off, allowing you the flexibility to see the city at your own pace, but with some traditional transport to take you around! More info and bookings here.

 5. A Joyride by Jeep

We Hate Tourism Tours is a local tour company that tries to do things differently, as you might have guessed from the name. They’ve certainly achieved that aim with their King of the Hills tours, taken in what they call their “one of a kind vintage, seven-passenger convertible jeep”. The tour takes you up and down the hills of the city, getting to know the places “only the locals know”, in a “crazy ride” with one of the local drivers. The idea here, obviously, is not to take a typical tour, but to experience something a little different, and to enjoy the novel approach to tourism that this young company is so proud of. More info and bookings here.

 6. Electric Bike Tour

Lisbon Seven Hills Electric Bike TourIt’s certainly not unusual to see traditional bikes being ridden around Lisbon, but we sometimes feel sorry for the rider when he or she has to struggle to climb one of the steep hills the city is known for (and for which we should be grateful, because they give us such wonderful viewpoints at the top!). An electric bike makes such climbs much easier, though, and it’s now possible to hire one of these great inventions to quickly reach the best places for the most stunning views. A tour like this provides a fun way to see the sights and to get a little excercise at the same time – but not too much :-)   Helmets and reflective vests are provided, and you can ride around the city on the morning, afternoon or night tours. More info and bookings here.

 

7. The HippoTrip Tour

Capture

Of all the tours mentioned on this page, this is certainly the only one that takes place on both land and water. The HippoTrip takes place aboard an amphibious vehicle, the first of its kind in Portugal, and provides a fun-filled guided city tour by a unique means of transport. The HippoTrip bus takes you round the city and on to the water in an entertaining 90-minute trip that will have heads turning and mouths dropping as the large vehicle drives in to the water and then simply keeps afloat to emulate the most seaworthy boats. This is a great way to tour the city and see Lisbon with a splash! More info and bookings here.

8. Lisbon & Sintra by convertible Beetle

Private Tour: Lisbon and Sintra Sightseeing Tour by Convertible BeetleThe old, original VW Beetle car is one of the most-loved and best-known cars of all time. Its instantly recognisable shape is synonymous with fun and adventure, and the restored, convertible models used for this tour certainly provide plenty of that! This 3-hour tour allows you to get to know Lisbon with your family or group of friends, and at the same time enjoy a comfortable drive in this classic car. A full-day tour is also possible, which includes the world heritage listed town of Sintra, a beautiful destination and a perfect place to complement the historical districts of the capital. More info and bookings here.

9. Tuk-Tuk Tours

Untitled-7An auto rickshaw is a three-wheeled cabin cycle used as an essential form of urban transport in many developing countries. So what’s that got to do with Lisbon? Well, the Tuk-Tuk, as it’s commonly known – due to the sound it makes when in motion – is now available as a means of seeing the city. This is a fun way to sit back and let yourself be driven around to see the sights, sitting on the back of this novelty transport to enjoy the warm weather and get a great view of the attractions of the old, historic quarters of Lisbon. These fun vehicles come in different colours and sizes, and are operated by two different companies, but all of them provide an entertaining tour and an experience to remember. More info and bookings here and here.

10. Sunset & Coastline Cruises

For the romantic among you, how about the chance to see the spectacular sunset in Lisbon from a sailboat on the expansive Tagus estuary? Sip a glass of champagne as you admire the city skyline from the deck of your sailboat as you pass by the Belém Tower, Monument to the Discoveries and under the 25th April Bridge, and as the crew point out the famous landmarks on shore, while you’re bathed in the light of the late-afternoon sun. Several different tours by boat are available in Lisbon, even including a hop-on, hop-off version allowing you to visit different shoreline neighbourhoods on a 24-hour ticket. We can’t promise you’ll tour on both land and water like the HippoTrip tour above, but we can promise you’ll end this tour with an unforgettably romantic experience! More info and bookings here.

Spring Break in Lisbon: 5 Things To Do

February 24th, 2014 by Mario Fernandes - GoLisbon.com

Parque das Nações, Lisbon

RELAX ON THE WATERFRONT
Mild temperatures may tempt you to head to the beaches of Cascais, but the ocean may still be cold. So do the next best thing, and stay on the waterfront in the center of Lisbon. At Ribeira das Naus you can simply sit in the sun or enjoy a drink served by the kiosk café, in the Parque das Nações district you can walk along a boardwalk as you admire the city’s best contemporary architecture and Europe’s longest bridge, and by the landmark Belém Tower you may sit and imagine Vasco da Gama departing towards the Atlantic over five centuries ago.

Pena Palace, Sintra

SEE SINTRA AT ITS GREENEST
One of Europe’s great fairy tale towns is just minutes from Lisbon, a World Heritage Site of palaces and castles amid lush vegetation. Spring is the best time to see Sintra at its greenest, especially at Pena Park, home to the extraordinary Pena Palace. Also not to be missed at this time of year, the Monserrate Palace and gardens.

Miradouro da Graça, Lisbon

GO TERRACE-HOPPING
The terraces overlooking Lisbon from the hilltops make it a great outdoors city throughout the year, but it’s during spring that you may see it at its most colorful. In the sun or shade, take some time to enjoy the setting and the views from Lisbon’s many viewpoints (called “miradouros”). Don’t leave town without spending a great spring morning, afternoon or evening at Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara, Miradouro da Graça, Miradouro das Portas do Sol, or at several others in Lisbon’s seven hills.

Comercio Square, Lisbon

DINE OUTSIDE
The rest of Europe may still need heaters on its restaurant terraces at this time of the year, but in Lisbon you may have the summer outdoor dining experience in the spring. Do it at one of the restaurants of the Docks looking out to the marina and 25 de Abril Bridge, by the arcades of Comercio Square, or on the many streets of Bairro Alto.

CATCH A FESTIVAL
Several major festivals take place in the city from March to June. The “Dias da Música” is a classic music festival that usually marks the beginning of the season, with a marathon of concerts over a weekend at Belém Cultural Center. This year, however, it’s taking place a little later, on May 2nd, 3rd and 4th. Before that, starts the film festival season, with the Monstra animated film festival, from March 13 to 23rd. After that comes the biggest of them all, the IndieLisboa independent film festival, from April 24th to May 4th. Weeks before, from April 3rd to the 13th comes the city’s biggest gastronomic festival, “Peixe em Lisboa”, with several chefs presenting their talents in preparing fish and seafood.

10 Things to Do in Lisbon’s Avenidas Novas District

January 22nd, 2014 by Mario Fernandes - GoLisbon.com

Although it’s home to a large number of hotels, Lisbon’s Avenidas Novas district is the least touristy in the city. Mostly dating from the the early-to-mid-20th-century, it’s mostly a business and residential area, but there are a couple of museums that top the list of must-see attractions for many tourists. If you’re staying in this part of town, or are simply passing by, consider these often-overlooked recommendations:

Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon

CALOUSTE GULBENKIAN MUSEUM
It’s the must-see museum in town, so many do end up here. But even those who don’t particularly enjoy museums will want to check it out, even if just to enjoy its wonderful gardens. Take advantage of Lisbon’s mostly-sunny weather throughout the spring, summer, and autumn months, and catch some sun or have a picnic on the lawns by the duck ponds. Once inside the museum, you’ll find a treasure trove of masterpieces from the East and West.

MODERN ART CENTER
Those who enjoy modern art will want to discover Portugal’s modern artists. Their work is on display in temporary and permanent collections at this museum on the grounds of the Gulbenkian museum and park. Managed by the same foundation, it also has a good collection of British works.

Versailles Cafe, Lisbon

VERSAILLES CAFÉ
This is the classic European café, with a mirrored interior that could very well be part of a royal palace. Admire the architecture as you enjoy a huge selection of sugary pastries that the café and Lisbon are famous for.

Medeiros e Almeida Museum, Lisbon

MEDEIROS E ALMEIDA MUSEUM
It doesn’t even come listed in many guidebooks so it just may be one of Lisbon’s most wonderfully surprising attractions. It’s the former private residence of a wealthy businessman from the late 1800s, who lived among the works of art he collected. Highlights of a visit include not just those precious pieces, but also the rooms themselves. There’s a Rembrandt portrait, paintings by Rubens and Tiepolo, and the beautiful “Lake Room” covered in tile panels from the 1700s and with a fountain that used to be at the gardens of Versailles.

Museu da Cidade, Lisbon

MUSEU DA CIDADE
Get to know Lisbon a little more by touring this museum that tells the story of its different periods in history. Housed in a palace built by the king for his mistress, it includes a pleasant garden with real peacocks roaming around other ceramic creatures.

Eleven restaurant, Lisbon

ELEVEN RESTAURANT
This Michelin-starred restaurant not only offers fine dining, but also views towards Edward VII Park and beyond. The food is mostly Mediterranean, and is a good choice for a dinner for two or for a larger group.

DeCastro Elias restaurant, Lisbon

DECASTRO ELIAS RESTAURANT
One of the top local chefs that concentrates on traditional Portuguese cuisine for modern tastes is Miguel Castro Silva. He’s behind a trio of restaurants in town, and at this one not far from the Gulbenkian, he specializes in “petiscos”, the tapas-like Portuguese dishes based on classic recipes.

El Corte Ingles, Lisbon

EL CORTE INGLÉS
Lisbon’s two big department stores in Chiado burned down in a major fire in 1988, so this Spanish giant is currently the only one in the city. Skip the malls and head here instead on a rainy day, and you’ll find everything you expect from a department store, but will also find a good food court on the lower level.

VARANDA RESTAURANT
It’s worth a splurge at one of the city’s most refined restaurants. It’s on the top floor of the Ritz Four Seasons Hotel, and offers buffet lunches and a la carte dinners with city views. The food mixes Portuguese and international flavors.

Panorama bar, Sheraton Hotel, Lisbon

PANORAMA BAR
End your day above Lisbon, at the top of the Sheraton Hotel. Have a drink in an elegant, relaxed space overlooking the city below.

What’s Happening in Lisbon in 2014

January 9th, 2014 by Mario Fernandes - GoLisbon.com

Ribeira das Naus, Lisbon

NEW GREEN SPACES
Two projects that were supposed to have been completed in 2013 will only be ready in 2014. The creation of a big hilltop garden overlooking the city by the Graça viewpoint was stalled when skeletons of around 50 people were found. Believed to date back to the 1755 earthquake, they caused the archaeologists to head to the site, and the garden should now only be ready by the summer. That’s also when the final phase of the Ribeira das Naus waterfront promenade shall finally come to an end. While the steps leading down to the water is already a “beach” for many locals and tourists, the green space behind it is taking much longer than anticipated due to various issues, from unfavorable weather to archaeological finds.

MUSIC
Names like Michael Bublé (in February) and Beyoncé (in March) will make Lisbon part of their tour this year, and 2014 is also a year of Rock in Rio-Lisboa which happens every two years. Already announced for the festival (taking place from May 23rd to June 1st) are Justin Timberlake, Arcade Fire and Robbie Williams.
Another regular festival is Optimus Alive which so far has announced Arctic Monkeys, The Black Keys and Imagine Dragons (on June 10, 11 and 12).

SHOPPING
Avenida da Liberdade will see the opening of even more luxury stores, with the next one said to be Chanel. For something more local, look for the shoes of Portuguese designer Luis Onofre later this year on the same avenue.
For local flavor, you will find a rejuvenated Ribeira Market on the waterfront this summer. In addition to the fresh produce and fish already available, it will add new shops, a restaurant and bar, as well as around 20 kiosks for meals and drinks.

REGULAR EVENTS
The half marathon which crosses 25 de Abril Bridge is taking place on March 16th, the popular independent film festival IndieLisboa from April 24th to May 4th, the fish-themed gastronomic festival Peixe em Lisboa also in April, the Out Jazz festival which takes over several of the city’s gardens on weekends over the summer will be back, the international documentary film festival returns in October, as does the Lisbon & Estoril Film Festival in November. The biggest parties of the year happen, as always, in June, culminating on the night of the 12th with the street feasts.

NEW HOTELS
For the last couple of decades, most hotels in Lisbon opened in the more modern and soulless parts of the city, but the trend is now to renovate old buildings in the old town and downtown. Opening in 2014 are three around Avenida da Liberdade, and two in the Baixa district. We’ll have more details when they open, but in the meantime you may look for a room in Lisbon here: Hotels, apartments or hostels.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...