10 Things to Do in Lisbon This Spring

March 6th, 2017 by Mario Fernandes - GoLisbon.com

Museu Berardo

SEE PICASSOS AND WARHOLS WHILE THEY’RE STILL FREE
The Berardo Museum of modern and contemporary art has always been free since it opened 10 years ago, but the free ride is over this May 1st, when the museum will start charging a €5 admission. Until then, you can see temporary exhibitions together with the permanent collection that includes works by Picasso and Warhol for free.

Global City, Lisbon

SEE THE FIRST DEPICTION OF THE FIRST GLOBAL CITY
It’s not free, but the exhibition you can’t miss is “The Global City – Lisbon in the Renaissance” at the Ancient Art Museum. It lasts until April 9th, and revolves around a painting of the main shopping street in 16th-century Lisbon, showing the Portuguese capital as the first global city, offering goods from all over the world.

GO TO THE EXHIBITION OF THE YEAR
The other major exhibition in town is one dedicated to one of Portugal’s most important painters, Almada Negreiros. It’s being shown at the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum until June 5th, and is already one of the museum’s most-visited exhibitions.

MAAT, Lisbon

FINALLY SEE THE NEW MAAT
If you were in Lisbon last fall, you may have already been to the new MAAT (Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology). It was inaugurated last October, but only a couple of the rooms were open and with very little to see inside. It is currently closed, as it gets ready to finally inaugurate the entire building on March 22nd. The building itself is an attraction, already one of Lisbon’s most iconic landmarks.

Cais do Sodré

RELAX AT THE NEW PEDESTRIAN-FRIENDLY WATERFRONT
After a visit to these current exhibitions, head to the waterfront and relax at the new Cais do Sodré. That riverfront district was under (re)construction over the last year, but it is now accessible to all, with more pedestrian space, new places to sit by the river, and new spots to eat and drink.

ENJOY THE FISH AT THE CITY’S BIGGEST GASTRONOMIC FESTIVAL
Lisbon’s biggest gastronomic festival takes place in the spring, and this year it’s happening from March 30th to April 9th, at a new location. The “Peixe em Lisboa – Lisbon Fish and Flavours” festival is obviously dedicated to fish, and the new location is the Carlos Lopes Pavilion, a century-old building in Edward VII Park, that was once a sports pavilion, and that was completely renovated earlier this year.

GO TO THE ANIMATED FILM FESTIVAL
Spring is also the start of the film festival season, and the first one is dedicated to animation. This is the 16th edition of the festival, and you may see which films are in competition here: www.monstrafestival.com

GO TO THE INTERNATIONAL INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL
The second film festival is all about independent features. The IndieLisboa – International Independent Film Festival takes place on May 3rd to the 14th, at four different venues, but mostly at the São Jorge Theater, right in the heart of the city, on Avenida da Liberdade. Check the festival’s website for more: www.indielisboa.com

Hotel 1908 Lisboa

SLEEP ON BRAND NEW BEDS
Several new hotels have opened in Lisbon over the last few months, but the newest are the Hotel 1908 Lisboa and the Star Inn Lisbon Airport. The first one is the result of a renovation of a beautiful building from 1908, and the second one is right at the airport.

RIB, Lisbon

RATE THE NEW RESTAURANTS
You can be among the first to rate the hottest new restaurants in town. One of them, the Infame, opened on the ground floor of the Hotel 1908 Lisboa, and serves an international menu inspired by its multiethnic neighborhood. Another is “Tapisco,” a casual Spanish tapas and Portuguese petiscos restaurant by local celebrity chef Henrique Sá Pessoa (Rua D. Pedro V, 81). Also from a well-known chef is “Absurdo,” a spot for faster meals on the waterfront serving only “absurd,” meaning unusual, sandwiches (Avenida Ribeira das Naus, 16). For a fancier place, head to “RIB – Beef & Wine” on the beautiful ground floor of Pousada de Lisboa.

10 New Reasons to Visit Lisbon in 2017

December 15th, 2016 by Mario Fernandes - GoLisbon.com

Botanical Garden, Lisbon

A NEW BOTANICAL GARDEN
The Botanical Garden in the Príncipe Real district, much neglected over the last several years, closed in 2016 but should reopen in the spring of 2017. In addition to cleaned-up green spaces, it will have a new café with outdoor seating and a small amphitheater.

Estação Sul e Sueste

A CONVERTED STATION
A ferry station from 1931, largely abandoned in the last few years, will finally be renovated and open as a leisure and tourist attraction. It will have restaurants with outdoor seating and be the starting point of sightseeing cruises. The 7-million-euro renovation should be completed by the end of 2017.

MuDe, Lisbon

A NEW AND BIGGER DESIGN AND FASHION MUSEUM
Also scheduled for late 2017 (sometime in the fall) is the reopening of the Design and Fashion Museum (MuDe). It will actually be a brand new museum, as it will expand beyond its two floors to an entire building covering an entire block. It will have more space for the entire international design and fashion collection, plus a new design store and a rooftop bar and restaurant.

Convento da Graça

THE OPENING OF A BAROQUE CONVENT FOR THE FIRST TIME
It’s said to be one of the biggest renovations of a historical building in the last few years. It’s the Graça Convent, next to a landmark church opening to one of the city’s favorite viewpoints, that was never open to the public throughout the centuries. It will be free and open for visits in the spring. In addition to the baroque architecture in several tiled rooms, you’ll be able to enjoy an interior garden.

Campo das Cebolas

A NEW LANDSCAPED SQUARE
The new cruise terminal will finally be completed, and so will a new landscaped square across the road. The new “Campo das Cebolas” has had a few delays due to archaeological finds, but should be completed by the summer. You’ll then be able to picnic under pine trees, looking out to the cathedral and the historic Casa dos Bicos.

Jewish Museum, Lisbon

THE NEW JEWISH MUSEUM
Not far from the cathedral will also be the new Jewish Museum. It will be at the center of one of the city’s Jewish quarters (it used to have two), and will tell the story of the Jewish community in Lisbon throughout the centuries. The controversial new building (due to its modern façade in a historic little square), should be completed by the end of the year.

Pavilhão Carlos Lopes

THE NEW “PAVILHÃO CARLOS LOPES”
A beautifully tiled building in Edward VII Park, “Pavilhão Carlos Lopes,” originally used for sports events, is currently being cleaned up and will reopen in the spring for all sorts of activities. One of them is the city’s biggest gastronomic event, the “Peixe em Lisboa” festival, already scheduled for March 30th to April 9th.

Berardo Art Deco and Art Nouveau Museum

A NEW ART DECO AND ART NOUVEAU MUSEUM
There is the Berardo Museum of modern and contemporary art since 2007, and in 2017 there will also be the Berardo Museum of art deco and art nouveau. Collector Joe Berardo found a tile-covered building below 25 de Abril Bridge to house his collection of international art deco and art nouveau pieces, including paintings, sculpture, ceramics and crystals dating back to the early 1900s from different international artists, and shall open it in the first half of the year.

25 de Abril Bridge observation deck

THE 25 DE ABRIL BRIDGE OBSERVATION DECK
Not far from the new Berardo museum will be a new exhibition space telling the story of the city’s landmark bridge. You’ll be able to take an elevator to the top of Lisbon’s “Golden Gate,” enjoy the views from the observation deck, and then learn everything about this fascinating construction that recently celebrated its 50th anniversary.

MAAT

THE MAAT
It was officially unveiled last October, but the new building of the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT), will only be fully operational in March of 2017. All of its exhibition rooms will finally be open and have temporary exhibitions to show, but it will no longer be free. However, you don’t need to pay anything to access its rooftop, which offers a view over the river and the bridge.

10 Cool New Hotels in Lisbon

October 15th, 2016 by Mario Fernandes - GoLisbon.com

Memmo Principe Real Hotel, Lisbon

MEMMO PRÍNCIPE REAL

This is a 5-star design hotel in the city’s trendiest neighborhood. It has a wonderful view from the rooms (some of them with small balconies) and from the restaurant and small pool.

See more details and booking info ›

Alma Lusa Hotel, Lisbon

ALMALUSA BAIXA/CHIADO

It faces one of the main central squares, home to the city hall palace. It has a nice restaurant with outdoor seating, and places you within walking distance of most downtown attractions.

See more details and booking info ›

Palácio do Governador Hotel, Lisbon

PALÁCIO DO GOVERNADOR

Facing the city’s most iconic landmark (the Belém Tower), this 5-star hotel is the former 16th-century home of the tower’s governor. It has a wonderful spa, an even more wonderful outdoor swimming pool and another indoor pool, a refined restaurant and a décor inspired by the city’s famous blue-and-white tiles.

See more details and booking info ›

PortoBay Marquês Hotel, Lisbon

PORTOBAY MARQUÊS HOTEL

With a small rooftop swimming pool and terrace, this hotel is in a good central location, just around the corner from Avenida da Liberdade, Lisbon’s main shopping street. It also has a gym and a good restaurant.

See more details and booking info ›

Pestana CR7 Lisboa Hotel, Lisbon

PESTANA CR7 LISBOA HOTEL

The CR7 in the name refers to world-famous soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo, who teamed up with the Pestana chain to offer this sports and fashion-inspired hotel right in the heart of Lisbon. The bar and bistro on the ground level is open to everyone, and serves good cocktails as big screen TV show different sports events.

See more details and booking info ›

Lisboa Pessoa Hotel, Lisbon

LISBOA PESSOA HOTEL

This hotel is just a few feet from a charming square in the city’s most elegant central district, Chiado. It has a nice rooftop terrace serving drinks and views throughout the day.

See more details and booking info ›

Hotel Riverside Alfama, Lisbon

HOTEL RIVERSIDE ALFAMA

It’s right next door to one of the city’s most historic landmarks, the curious “house of spikes” Casa dos Bicos, today celebrating the life and work of Nobel Prize author José Saramago. It’s a nicely renovated traditional building, facing the riverfront, with simple contemporary-style rooms.

See more details and booking info ›

Martinhal Family Suites, Lisbon

MARTINHAL FAMILY SUITES

This hotel is made up of 37 apartments, catering to families that want to spend several days in Lisbon. It’s in a very central location, and it offers a “kids club” for parents who wish to leave the kids behind as they explore the city’s cultural attractions.

See more details and booking info ›

Hotel White Lisboa, Lisbon

HOTEL WHITE LISBOA

This hotel is down the street from one of the city’s businest squares in a central business district. A Metro station is right outside, taking you downtown in just a few minutes. A rooftop terrace with pool lets you relax as you overlook the city.

See more details and booking info ›

Turim Terreiro do Paço Hotel, Lisbon

TURIM TERREIRO DO PAÇO HOTEL

Just a short walk from the city’s grandest square and the waterfront, this 4-star hotel has rooms of different sizes. Although it has an 18th-century façade, it’s entirely new inside, featuring a contemporary décor.

See more details and booking info ›

10 New Reasons to Be in Lisbon This Fall

August 31st, 2016 by Mario Fernandes - GoLisbon.com

Autumn is one of the best times to visit Lisbon. The weather is still pleasant, the biggest tourist crowds are gone, and the sunsets are more beautiful. And in 2016 there are several new and exciting reasons to be in the city at this time of the year. Here are ten of them:

MAAT
THE NEW MUSEUM OF ART, ARCHITECTURE AND TECHNOLOGY
The Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT) has already opened in the former Electricity Museum, in a former power plant. But the main building — an iconic piece of modern architecture on the waterfront — is only opening its doors on October 5th. On that date you’ll also be able to see three new major exhibitions, together with a series of events, celebrating this new cultural attraction.

Ancient Art Museum
THE NEW HOME OF PORTUGUESE ART
For another dose of art and culture, head to the Ancient Art Museum. It just reopened its entire 3rd floor after years of renovation, now taken over by Portuguese painting and sculpture. Many of the pieces have never been shown before, including new acquisitions. Its famous “Panels of St. Vincent” can also now be literally seen in a new light.

Maritime Museum
THE NEW “DISCOVERIES HALL”
Another museum with a new exhibition space is the Maritime Museum, which this summer unveiled its new “Discoveries Hall,” which now better shows and explains how Portugal explored the seas and reached so many lands.

Bairro do Avillez
“BAIRRO DO AVILLEZ”
Lisbon’s most famous (and Michelin-starred) chef already had half a dozen restaurants, so he decided that his next project wouldn’t be just another dining spot, it would be an entire neighborhood. He’s just taken over a huge space and divided it into different areas, from a “tavern” at the entrance, to a “grocery store,” to a traditional “Lisbon patio.” The interior mixes contemporary and traditional design, and depending on where you can get a table, you’ll be served traditional petiscos (tapas) or finer dining, strong on fish and seafood.
Address: Rua Nova da Trindade, 18
Phone: 21 583 0290

Pestana CR7 Lisboa
PESTANA CR7 HOTEL
World-famous soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo has gotten into the hotel business, and the first ones to open were in his home country. The very first one was in his home city of Funchal, and the second in Lisbon. Pestana CR7 Lisboa Hotel is not just for those who book a room, as the “CR7 Corner” bar downstairs is open to everyone, offering drinks and meals, as TV screens show sports and fashion events.

Memmo Príncipe Real
A NEW 5-STAR DESIGN HOTEL
A new 5-star design hotel opens in Lisbon’s trendiest neighborhood this fall, overlooking the city. The completely modern building with a terrace and swimming pool will also have a restaurant with views open to all, serving “lusophone cuisine,” meaning food from Portuguese-speaking countries. You may book it now: Memmo Príncipe Real

Money Museum
THE FREE “MONEY MUSEUM”
Good news for those who travel on a budget — there’s a major new attraction in town that’s completely free: the Money Museum. Accessed through a former church, it allows you to touch a 12kg gold bar in a vault that used to belong to the Bank of Portugal, and presents the history of money in the world, in a surprisingly engaging display of coins and banknotes.

Amoreiras 360
A NEW OBSERVATION DECK
Lisbon’s first major shopping mall opened in 1985 in controversial postmodern glass towers, but only in 2016 did one of those towers open its terrace as an observation deck. Accessed through the mall, it offers a 360-degree panoramic view of the city.

Topo Chiado
A NEW ROOFTOP TERRACE
A huge terrace below the Gothic ruins of Carmo Church, right by one of the entrances to the landmark Santa Justa Elevator, finally became a public space in 2015, and this summer it became a bar open throughout the afternoon until late at night. Named “Topo Chiado,” it offers cocktails and tapas to the sound of chillout music, looking out the the castle and the elevator.

Rio Maravilha
…AND ANOTHER ROOFTOP TERRACE
Another terrace offering cocktails, but also some more creative and elaborate meals, is “Rio Maravilha,” facing the Monument to Christ and 25 de Abril Bridge. It’s at the top of one of the buildings of the trendy Lx Factory complex, and is currently one of the city’s hottest spots.

10 New Spots to Eat and Drink in Lisbon

May 5th, 2016 by Mario Fernandes - GoLisbon.com

Palácio Chiado, Lisbon

PALÁCIO CHIADO
Rua do Alecrim, 70
Tel: 210 101 184

A palace built in the 1700s now has its beautiful rooms divided into several dining options. Downstairs by the entrance is the bar and a room serving lighter meals, while upstairs is the finer dining, with sushi, meats and seafood. Open throughout the day, it’s already one of the city’s hottest spots.

Momento HB, Lisbon

MOMENTO HB
Rua da Rosa, 151
Tel: 213 420 765

An experienced young chef who has worked with some of the city’s top chefs has now ventured on his own with this new restaurant in Bairro Alto. Here he serves traditional Portuguese cuisine with his own personal modern twist. Prices are reasonable, but it’s worth splurging on the most expensive option on the menu, the delicious jumbo shrimp. There’s also an excellent chocolate mousse for dessert.

Monte Mar, Lisbon

MONTE MAR LISBOA
Rua da Cintura, Armazém 65
Tel: 213 220 160

One of the most famous seafood restaurants by the beach in Cascais has now opened in the center of Lisbon, right on the waterfront. The terrace is also open for drinks throughout the afternoon, and at dinner time it serves fresh fish and seafood. If you prefer to eat inside, there’s plenty of space in the former warehouse, also with views over the river.

Isco da Bica, Lisbon

ISCO DA BICA
Rua do Almada, 29
Tel: 213 461 376

Decorated like a fisherman’s hut, this very relaxed restaurant is found by the popular Santa Catarina viewpoint. It serves both traditional and creative fish dishes, but which fish you’ll get depends on what was caught in the Atlantic waters north and south of Lisbon on that day.

Fábrica da Nata, Lisbon

FÁBRICA DA NATA
Praça dos Restauradores, 62-68
Tel: 217 933 766

Lisbon’s famous custard tarts are found in every café and pastry shop in the city, but there are only a few places that specialize in it. This new spot in one of the city’s biggest central squares serves them warm, straight from the oven, inside or at the terrace facing the square.

Bread 4 U, Lisbon

BREAD 4 U
Rua dos Sapateiros, 41
Tel: 211 394 632

It’s a bakery and cafe, hidden on a quiet street downtown, offering a variety of bread and pastries. Decorated with antique pieces, it’s a nice spot for a break between sightseeing, either for just a drink, a light meal or a sugar rush.

Bacalhau com Todos, Lisbon

BACALHAU COM TODOS
Rua São Nicolau, 47-49
Tel: 213 420 745

Even if you don’t really like fish, you can’t leave Lisbon without trying one of its traditional salted cod dishes. At this new restaurant downtown you can choose from several options, and there almost isn’t anything else on the menu. To be enjoyed inside or at the sidewalk terrace.

Pizzaria do Bairro, Lisbon

PIZZARIA DO BAIRRO
Rua Nova da Trindade, 10
Tel: 213 951 843

The first Pizzaria do Bairro was a small spot by the Cais do Sodré ferry station serving pizza by the slice, and now it has expanded to this second spot in Chiado, as a full-blown restaurant. Decorated like a traditional Lisbon patio with orchard, its pizzas mix Portuguese and Italian flavors.

The Wine Cellar, Lisbon

THE WINE CELLAR
Rua de São Paulo, 49
Tel: 213 470 098

It’s right in the heart of the new nightlive quarter, Cais do Sodré, but it’s also open during the day. In addition to serving wine by the glass (there are nearly 200 labels to choose from), it also offers Portuguese petiscos (tapas) for a meal or as a snack to accompany the wine.

UAU, Lisbon

UAU
Doca de Santo Amaro – Armazém 13
Tel: 211 384 812

The latest spot at the docks is a cafe and ice cream shop that also serves brunch on weekends and cocktails, always with a beautiful view of the marina and bridge. Before refreshing yourself with a popsicle made with fresh fruit, you may also enjoy a light meal of meat, fish or vegetarian kabobs, accompanied by freshly-squeezed juices or smoothies.

10 New Reasons to Go to Lisbon in 2016

January 11th, 2016 by Mario Fernandes - GoLisbon.com

MAAT, Lisbon

THE NEW MAAT – MUSEUM OF ART, ARCHITECTURE AND TECHNOLOGY
The major new attraction of the year is the MAAT, the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology, which will be found on the water’s edge in the Belém district. Directed by the former curator of contemporary architecture of New York’s MoMA, the first exhibition is scheduled for September, but you’ll be able to admire the exterior of the rather futuristic building before then.

THE NEW DISCOVERIES MUSEUM
It’s not being labeled a “museum” but rather a “museological space,” and it’s quite a space. It’s a replica of a ship from the 1500s, the type that left Lisbon for Asia, Brazil and around the world, and will explain the planning and process behind those voyages, together with all the different aspects (both positive and negative) of the Age of Discovery. It will be placed on the waterfront some time in the summer, by Ribeira das Naus, and will have a terrace at the top offering views of the Tagus flowing into the Atlantic, allowing you to imagine the ancient sailors heading into the unknown.

THE NEW MONEY MUSEUM
It’s been postponed year after year, but 2016 is said to be the year for the opening of the new Money Museum. It will be found in the mostly unlikely of places, a former church from the 1700s, but also extending to the building behind it, which belongs to the Bank of Portugal. Although the museum is said to open in the first half of the year, the former church is already open to visitors, showing traces of Lisbon’s medieval wall together with archaeological finds from the Roman and Moorish periods of the city.

Amoreiras Towers, Lisbon

“AMOREIRAS 360”
It may be hard to believe for many locals, but the Amoreiras Towers have just turned 30 years old. Quite controversial due to their postmodern architecture in a historic city, they’re now very much part of Lisbon’s skyline and house one of its favorite malls. In 2016 it will open its rooftop to visitors for the first time, a new attraction it’s calling “Amoreiras 360.” That’s because it will offer 360º-views over Lisbon, reportedly at a cost of 5 euros per person.

TALL SHIPS RACE
One of the biggest events of the year will happen in July. From the 22nd to the 25th, “Europe’s Atlantic Capital” will have several activities (from concerts to exhibitions) related to the famous sailing race. Many of the ships will be open to visitors, and there will be lots of photo opportunities as they go down the Tagus towards the Atlantic.

“HOSPITAL DO DESTERRO”
The same company that turned a group of abandoned warehouses, now collectively known as “Lx Factory,” into one of Lisbon’s trendiest spots, will now try to do the same for a former hospital. The 500-year-old building actually started out as a monastery, then became an orphanage, then it was turned into military barracks, and finally became a hospital until 2006. In the spring of 2016 it will have its 11,000 square meters divided into shops, cultural spaces, restaurants and a hotel.

NEW HOTELS
A larger number of tourists every year means that there’s still a need for new hotels. And the new ones try to stand out from the competition in any way they can. Studies show that Lisbon is one of the cities with the best-reviewed hotels in Europe, and the upcoming ones will make sure they keep it that way. There will be a new design hotel in the Príncipe Real district overlooking the city, a new hotel downtown from a new chain created by superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, and a new four stars in the central Figueira Square.

A NEW WATERFRONT
The final touches are scheduled for January of 2017, but by the end of 2016 you’ll already be able to enjoy a large part of the renewed waterfront between Cais do Sodré and Campo das Cebolas, by the cruise terminal.
Extending the promenade Ribeira das Naus, also used as an “urban beach” during the warmer months, the square across from Cais do Sodré station will be landscaped, and the square across from the famous Casa dos Bicos will be mostly car-free, so you’ll be able to enjoy a picnic or relax in the Atlantic breeze.

25 de Abril Bridge, Lisbon

THE NEW 25 DE ABRIL BRIDGE ELEVATOR
In the year that the landmark 25 de Abril Bridge celebrates 50 years, there are plans for the addition of an elevator to take tourists to the top. It’s still in the planning stages, so there’s no guarantee that it will open in its 50th year, but sooner or later you’ll be able to go up 70 meters (230ft) in the air. It will not only offer bird’s-eye views of Lisbon, it will also tell the story of the bridge, including why it looks so much like San Francisco’s Golden Gate.

A RENEWED ANCIENT ART MUSEUM
An entire floor of the Ancient Art Museum is currently closed and will only reopen in May. At that time it will have a (re)new(ed) space for the display of Portuguese paintings and sculpture that were rarely seen before. It will have around 200 new pieces, from the Middle Ages to the 1800s.
Until April you may also see the temporary exhibition “Great Spanish Masters”, with works by names like El Greco, Goya and Sorolla.

5 Things to Do in Lisbon Before the End of 2015

November 25th, 2015 by Mario Fernandes - GoLisbon.com

Videomapping Terreiro do Paço

CHRISTMAS MULTIMEDIA SHOW IN COMERCIO SQUARE
It’s becoming an annual tradition — the multimedia Christmas show projected onto the triumphal arch in Comercio Square. Twelve projectors will present a 15-minute family-friendly show from December 11th to the 20th, at 7PM, 8PM and 9PM. As this is a public square, it’s a free event for all.

MNAA

Photo: Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga

GREAT SPANISH MASTERS AT THE ANCIENT ART MUSEUM
An extraordinary collection of works by Goya, El Greco and other great Spanish painters is now on display at the Ancient Art Museum until April 3rd, 2016. It’s a total of 60 paintings from the 15th to the 20th century, and tickets are 7 euros. This is also a great opportunity to check out the museum’s permanent collection of Portuguese treasures, which is free with the Lisboa Card.

Lusitania Romana

ROMAN LUSITANIA
Lusitania was the name of the Roman province in Western Iberia that is mostly modern Portugal, and Lisbon’s National Archaeology Museum is presenting the art and culture of that time. It’s showing around 200 pieces from several museums in Portugal and Spain, including mosaics and sculptures. The exhibition lasts until June.

Henrique Sá Pessoa

NEW RESTAURANTS
Check out two new restaurants from two of the city’s top chefs. The first one is Alma, from chef Henrique Sá Pessoa, which previously existed in the Santos district, but has now moved to Chiado (Rua Anchieta, 15 ). Only the name remains from the previous restaurant, although the chef’s innovation is still there. The menus and the decor have changed, now serving contemporary Portuguese cuisine with some Asian influences. The second restaurant, also of fine dining, is Loco, found facing the back of the Estrela Basilica (Rua dos Navegantes 53B). This is where chef Alexandre Silva expects to surprise you with his most creative dishes.

Obidos Vila Natal

THE CHRISTMAS VILLAGE
It happens every year — the medieval village of Obidos is turning into the “Christmas Village”. Just one hour north of Lisbon, it’s presenting several holiday-themed family activities around its castle and narrow streets, from December 4th to January 3rd.

10 New Attractions in Lisbon

November 4th, 2015 by Mario Fernandes - GoLisbon.com

2016 promises to bring several new attractions to Lisbon, from a major world-class art museum to renovated public spaces on the waterfront. But over the last year, from late 2014 to late 2015, there have also been several new openings that you won’t yet find in your guidebooks. Below are ten of them, which are either brand new or renewed or expanded sites in the city:

THE ROMAN “CASA DOS BICOS”

Casa dos Bicos

The curious Casa do Bicos, from the 1600s, had been hiding Roman remains for two millennia, but they’ve finally been uncovered and put on display. They’re now part of an exhibition on the ground level of the building, which serves as the headquarters of the José Saramago Foundation, or something of a museum dedicated to the Portuguese author who won the Nobel Prize. The archaeological space is part of the Lisbon Museum, and may be visited from Monday to Saturday. It’s free, but if you also want to visit the José Saramago exhibition upstairs, there’s an admission charge.

THE ROMAN THEATER MUSEUM

Roman Theater

Speaking of Roman sites, the most significant one is the former Roman Theater. It was only unearthed in the 1960s and there was a museum explaining it a few years ago, but it closed for a major renovation. It finally reopened this summer, much bigger and better, and you may now walk over the archaeological site of the former theater, then enter a building where it comes to life through pieces found on the site.

CONVENTO DE SÃO PEDRO DE ALCÂNTARA

Convento de São Pedro de Alcântara

This convent founded in 1670 had never been open to the public, despite its location facing one of the city’s most popular lookout terraces. Now that there are no more nuns living in it, it’s now a free attraction you may want to include in your itinerary when you visit the terrace. You’ll find an interior dating mostly from the late 1700s, which includes rich gilding, paintings by Portuguese and French artists, beautiful blue-and-white tile panels depicting the life of St. Peter of Alcantara, and lots of marble in the former funerary chapel.

TERRAÇOS DO CARMO

Terraços do Carmo

These terraces behind the ruins of Carmo Church were always closed, as they were part of the local police barracks. But they’re finally been turned into a public leisure space, offering a great view of the castle and Santa Justa Elevator. It has a cafe on the upper level, where you may sit and enjoy a drink or meal.

JARDIM DA CERCA DA GRAÇA

Jardim da Cerca da Graça

Also open for the first time ever is the park beneath Graça Church. Although it’s existed for centuries, it was used exclusively by the residents of the convent next to the church, and only now has it been turned into a public park. There’s a small children’s playground, a kiosk with terrace serving light meals, and lots of space for a picnic or to simply enjoy a view of the castle and of the old Mouraria neighborhood.

ST. ANTHONY MUSEUM

Museu de Santo António

The site where St. Anthony was born is now a church built in the 1700s. A small museum was created next to it a few years ago, but over the last year it has expanded and reopened completely new. There are new pieces and documents relating to the life and legacy of the saint, who ended up in Italy and died there. Despite usually thought of as an Italian saint, here you’ll understand why he’s such an iconic Lisbon figure. Admission is just €1.50.

MIRADOURO DO RECOLHIMENTO

Miradouro do Recolhimento

Yet another previously-inaccessible spot has been opened for locals and visitors to enjoy the view. This small terrace hidden on a street not far from the castle opens from morning to early in the evening as a tranquil spot to sit and relax, as you watch the trams go by below you. To find it you’ll have to turn on Rua do Recolhimento before you reach the castle’s ticket office, then turn on Beco do Recolhimento.

MUSEU DO ALJUBE

Museu do Aljube

A former ecclesiastical prison that was turned into an archbishops palace in the 1500s, became a prison once again in the early 20th century, to hold (and torture) political prisoners. Many of Portugal’s influential politicians and intellectuals were sent there at some point, until the revolution in 1974 that overthrew the right-wing regime. This year it was turned into a museum dedicated to the struggle for freedom and democracy. The permanent exhibition is spread over three floors, and includes documents about censorship, the fight for independence of the colonies, as well as archaeological remains explaining the origins of the building. You’ll find it on Rua de Augusto Rosa, 42, in Alfama.

THE NATIONAL CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM

Chiado Museum

Previously simply known as “Museu do Chiado”, this national museum dedicated to Portuguese contemporary art is now the National Museum of Contemporary Art of Chiado. In 2015 it expanded to a second building around the corner from the first one, and in addition to the previous permanent collection, it now also displays works from major Portuguese artists from 1960 to 1990.

THE NEW COACHES MUSEUM

Carriages Museum

After much controversy, the new Coaches Museum finally opened this summer, on the 110th anniversary of its original inauguration. The massive building is just across the street from the old one, and may now display many more carriages and related pieces. The most magnificent examples are still the ones used in an embassy to France’s Louis XIV and to Pope Clement XI.

10 New Places to Stay in Lisbon

October 11th, 2015 by Mario Fernandes - GoLisbon.com

Pousada de Lisboa, Lisbon
POUSADA DE LISBOA
Part of Portugal’s historic hotels chain, this magnificent hotel is right in Lisbon’s grandest square. It has a beautiful restaurant, elegant rooms, an indoor pool and a fitness center.
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Terrace Suites, Lisbon
LISBON TERRACE SUITES
Just up the street from the city’s main boulevard, this guesthouse comes with a wonderful sun terrace on the roof. If offers free wifi and there’s a shared kitchen where guests can prepare meals.
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Behotelisboa, Lisbon
BEHOTELISBOA
This independently-owned hotel is the result of a complete renovation of a building from the 1700s, just around the corner from the city’s main pedestrian street. All rooms have a simple, modern style and offer free wifi.
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Hotel Santiago de Alfama, Lisbon
HOTEL SANTIAGO DE ALFAMA
This 5-star boutique hotel is just down the street from the castle and is in a 15th-century building. It only has 19 rooms, each with its own special decor. There’s also a restaurant, a cafe, and a “beauty bar.”
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Hotel Convento do Salvador, Lisbon
HOTEL CONVENTO DO SALVADOR
This former convent is now a modern hotel, but in the city’s oldest and most charming neighborhood. The famous tram 28 stops right at its doorstep, and many of the city’s historic attractions are within walking distance.
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The 7 Hotel, Lisbon
THE 7 HOTEL
Located in the heart of downtown, this hotel places guests between the city’s main squares and with easy access to all public transportation. Some rooms have a kitchenette and all have wifi service.
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The 8 Downtown Suites, Lisbon
THE 8 DOWNTOWN SUITES
These suites in an 18th-century building are found downtown, and right across the street from an elevator that takes you up the hill to the castle. All of them have a minimalist modern design, and there’s a good restaurant downstairs.
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Jupiter Lisboa Hotel, Lisbon
JUPITER LISBOA HOTEL
This hotel is on one of the city’s main avenues, not very far from the airport, but in the city center. The subway takes you to the old town, but on sunny days guests may be tempted to stay by the pool on the terrace instead.
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Lux Lisboa Park Hotel, Lisbon
LUX LISBOA PARK
Found by the city’s main central park, this hotel has spacious rooms with plenty of natural light. There’s free wifi throughout the building.
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Flores Guest House, Lisbon
FLORES GUEST HOUSE
This guesthouse with comfortable, attractive rooms, is in one of the city’s trendiest neighborhoods. It’s on a quiet street but by many of the most popular restaurants, shops and cafes.
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9 Things to Do in Lisbon in September

August 25th, 2015 by Mario Fernandes - GoLisbon.com

The ninth month of the year is still warm enough for plenty of outdoor activities, and that’s why there’s an outdoors festival throughout almost the entire month. It’s also the beginning of the film festival season, with two international film festivals in town. See the special events and activities that you may experience in Lisbon this September:

Roman Theater, Lisbon

THE NEW ROMAN THEATER MUSEUM
The Roman Theater Museum closed a couple of years ago for a major renovation, and will reopen some time in September. The few archaeological remains of the theater that survive have been cleaned up, and the new small museum will attempt to bring it back to life, through findings from the excavations and through multimedia displays.

JOSEFA DE ÓBIDOS AND THE INVENTION OF THE PORTUGUESE BAROQUE
During the first six days of the month you may still catch one of the biggest art exhibitions of the year in Lisbon. It’s in the Ancient Art Museum and shows more than 130 works (including paintings, sculptures and decorative arts), mostly by one of the very rare female artists from the 17th century, Josefa de Óbidos. They came from several Portuguese and international collections, and admission is 7 euros. If you want to see the museum’s permanent collection, you may do so for free if you get the Lisboa Card.

VOGUE’S FASHION’S NIGHT OUT
The sixth annual event dedicated to fashion and shopping will bring the usual crowds to the streets of Chiado, Príncipe Real, Baixa and down Avenida da Liberdade. Expect major discounts and special events both inside and outside the shops in the evening, until 11PM on September 10th.

MOTELx
September is the start of the film festival season, and the first one is dedicated to horror movies. This is the 9th edition of the MOTELx international horror film festival, and it will last from the 8th to the 13th of the month at the São Jorge Theater.

QUEER LISBOA
The other film festival this month is one of the oldest in Lisbon and one of the biggest of its kind in Europe. Queer Lisboa is dedicated exclusively to screening gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender films, or a genre simply referred to as “queer cinema”. The festival lasts for just over a week, from September 18th to the 26th, in São Jorge Theater on Avenida da Liberdade.

“LISBOA NA RUA”
This outdoor festival lasting until September 20th turns different public spaces in the center of the city into stages for shows ranging from musical performances to movie screenings. A major show is happening on the last day, with the orchestra of the Gulbenkian Foundation offering a free concert in Municipal Square at 7PM. Another free show is a Fado concert on the 4th and 11th of the month in front of São Carlos Theater at 9:30PM. In between, don’t be surprised to come across other events and performances at different spaces around the city.

View from the Monument to Christ, Cristo Rei, Lisbon

CROSS THE BRIDGE AND OPEN YOUR ARMS TO THE CITY
A new tour takes you across Lisbon’s landmark 25 de Abril Bridge on an open-top bus and stops at the Monument to Christ where you have the city at your feet. Take a moment to admire the views and snap a few photos before heading to the top of the pedestal to stand by the statue looking over the bridge and the city. More tour information here: Bridge and Christ the King Tour from Lisbon

SKIP THE LINE
Also new is the chance to skip the line at the Jeronimos Monastery. The crowds won’t be as big as in August, but September is still a major tourist month, and you may want to save some time and your legs, and avoid standing in line. This after a guided walking tour of the neighborhood and of its most famous monuments. More info here: Skip the Line and Belem Walking Tour

NEW RESTAURANTS
Be among the first to try new restaurants serving everything from award-winning pizza to fresh Portuguese fish. Not far from the last stop of the popular tram 28 in Campo de Ourique/Prazeres is celebrity chef Vitor Sobral’s newest restaurant “Peixaria da Esquina”, specializing in fish and seafood. In the center of the city, in Chiado, is the new Mercantina, the only one in town certified by the “Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana”, meaning the city of Naples thinks this is one of the places in the world where “real Neapolitan pizzas” are served. Right next to the cathedral, with tables outside, is the new “Ao Pé da Sé”, a café-restaurant serving carpaccios, piadinas, tartare, sandwiches and salads throughout the day — perfect after sightseeing in the neighborhood.