Lisbon’s New Multi-Million Euro Marina

Lisbon marina

Lisbon has a couple of marinas along its riverfront, with the most central found under 25 de Abril Bridge in Docas de Santo Amaro, and the other next to the Discoveries Monument. Now there is a new one in the Parque das Nações district, opened last Saturday after a 14 million-euro investment. This is not exactly a new marina, since there had been one on this spot during Expo 98, but it closed soon after that and had been boat-free for eight years. It now has space for 602 boats, allowing visitors to do some sailing, jet-skiing, or some recreational fishing on the Tagus, and a special nautical club is being planned for water and boat fans to get together.
Overlooking the marina is an apartment building shaped like a ship, which also includes space for businesses. That is where you’ll find a couple of cafes where you can get a refreshing drink as you look out to the river and the boats.
If you have a boat and think this is a marina to check out, note that it is closed between 8:30PM and 8:30AM, and any activity between those hours requires a special permission from the staff a day before.

Lisbon marina

MOTELx: Lisbon’s Horror Film Festival

MOTELx, Lisbon Horror Film Festival

September marks the start of Lisbon’s film festival season, with a number of cinema-related events happening until the end of the year. The first one is the Lisbon International Horror Film Festival known as MOTELx, taking place in São Jorge Cinema between the 2nd and the 6th of September this year. There will be 14 short Portuguese features competing for the Best Portuguese Short prize, while all the other screenings will be films from several countries and are not competing. There will be big-budget features and small independent films, all meant to provide big thrills, scare, and excite viewers. The grand total is 36 films, and audiences will be able to interact with directors through master classes and/or workshops.
This is the third MOTELx, which is placing Lisbon on the map of international horror film festivals and stimulating the national production of the genre. The winner of the Best Short Feature prize will be announced on the 6th of September, during the last screening at 9:45PM. Tickets are 3.50 and can be bought at the São Jorge Cinema counter until the last minute before each film. For complete festival information check out the official website which includes information in English:

Lisbon in 48 Hours and 12 Stops

Edge BostonThe latest extensive article about Lisbon comes from “Edge,” a Boston publication for the gay and lesbian community. Although its travel section is obviously aimed at LGBT travelers, the article covers Lisbon hotspots that everyone will want to check out. It is written by Megan Smith, a travel writer based in Australia who has written for international publications such as the Let’s Go travel guides. She’s recently visited Lisbon with her partner, and has decided that the Portuguese capital is her “new favorite European city.” She stopped by the city’s most famous sights (the castle, the tower, and the monastery), but also didn’t miss the city’s newest major attraction, the Design and Fashion Museum which she concluded “embodies the edgy Euro attitude of Lisboa, combining the cool underground sensibility of Berlin with the flair of Parisian haute culture.” She then looked for some additional Lisbon style at the shops of Rua do Norte in Bairro Alto, and stayed in that lively district at night for some caipirinhas and to seek out the neighborhood’s best bars. She also highlights a meal at “O Faia,” a Fado restaurant with an “overwhelming” wine list and memorable Fado performances.
In the end, the author found the essence of Lisbon to be evidently “artistic, creative, laidback and engaging,” and to understand why, you can read the entire article: Lisbon in 48 Hours and 12 stops
And also be sure to see the other major article about Lisbon this month, found in Travel and Leisure magazine, as reported here: Where to Go Next: Lisbon

The 50th Anniversary Renovation of Lisbon’s Discoveries Monument

Padrão dos Descobrimentos, Lisbon

Lisbon’s Discoveries Monument will close for a few months after this summer in order to be renovated for its 50th anniversary. That will be in 2010, and when it reopens it will be revitalized with a new cultural program focusing even more on the Age of Discovery. This monument featuring gigantic sculptures of Portugal’s famous explorers was unveiled in 1960 on the 500th anniversary of Prince Henry the Navigator’s death (the leading figure on the monument), although an identical but temporary monument had already been standing on this site in 1940 when Portugal hosted a special exhibition called “The Portuguese World Expo.” In 1985 an elevator was added inside to take visitors to the top, a terrace offering bird’s-eye views of Lisbon’s most emblematic monuments and the river. Today it’s one of the city’s most visited and photographed landmarks, including the pavement around it which features a large map of the world showing the territories around the globe discovered and/or colonized by Portugal.

5 Alternatives to Lisbon’s Beaches this Summer

There are still a couple of good beach months left in Lisbon, but you don’t necessarily need to leave the city in order to catch some sun and escape to a more tranquil setting. By the riverfront, on top of one of the city’s hills, or in a green oasis, here is where to go when you want to enjoy the warm, sunny weather in the center of Lisbon.

Meninos do Rio, Lisbon

Meninos do Rio
This riverfront café is found right in the center of the city, but you can easily imagine yourself standing in a non-urban resort. Behind you are tall palm trees, the water is right in front, and you can sit or lie back on a long chair enjoying fresh juices or nibbling on some excellent snacks and light meals. It is open throughout the year, but it is an essential stop in the summer.

O Terraço, Lisbon

O Terraço
There are many terraces overlooking Lisbon, but this is “the” terrace. It’s found right below the Castle of St. George, and serves sandwiches, salads, and fruit juices as you overlook the city and the river. It’s open after the sun sets too, so you may also admire the city when the moon is shining on the Tagus.

Vasco da Gama Bridge in Parque das Nações, Lisbon

Parque das Nações Lawns
Parque das Nações is known for its contemporary and futuristic architecture, as well as a number of attractions left behind after the World Fair of 1998. But this is no concrete jungle, especially when you get closer to the riverfront, which is ideal for joggers, cyclists, and lovers. There are a number of gardens and lawns along the way, and the longest and sunnier green spaces are found past Vasco da Gama Tower towards Europe’s longest bridge. Put on your beachwear, spread your tower, and make that your suntanning area.

25 de Abril Bridge, Lisbon

Alcântara Riverfront
With the train tracks running along the riverfront from the center of the city to seaside Cascais, it is often forgotten that between those tracks and the river are miles of lawns, restaurants, and bars. It also includes a new cycling path, and on weekends it’s the preferred destination for joggers. By the Alcântara district, right by 25 de Abril Bridge and the Santo Amaro docks is a large green area where you can simply lay down or sit on a bench allowing the sun to hit your face, and where your only concern should be putting on some sunscreen.

Parque Eduardo VII, Lisbon

Edward VII Park
Unlike Londoners, New Yorkers, or Parisians, Lisboners rarely spend much time in their city’s parks. The beach is just too close by, and an outdoor café is also a better place to watch the world go by. But there are several wonderful green spaces in the city, and the “central park” is Edward VII Park. It separates downtown from uptown, and includes an attractive greenhouse, clipped box hedging, and plenty of space to lay down, catch some sun, and listen to the sounds of nature mixing with those of the city.