Archive for August, 2009

A First Look at the New Paula Rego Museum

Friday, August 7th, 2009

Museu Paula Rego, Cascais was the first website to bring you a report from the opening of the Berardo Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art and also brought you regular updates about the Design and Fashion Museum until its recent opening in Lisbon. Now we’re bringing you a first look at the upcoming Paula Rego Museum, located just outside the Portuguese capital by the beaches of Cascais. It will open next month and will include paintings and drawings by Portugal’s most acclaimed living artist.

Paula Rego was born in Lisbon but has been living between Cascais and London since the 1970s. In the British capital she married artist Victor Willing and was appointed the first associate artist of England’s National Gallery. She’s also considered one of the best living painters in Britain, and her works can be seen in several museums around the world, from the British Museum in London to the MoMA in New York. Her most valuable work is 1994’s “Baying” which was sold by Sotheby’s last February for over one million dollars (just over 740,000 euros).

Her work has been described as “disturbing” and “surrealist,” usually depicting what are considered feminist ideas and comments on Portuguese culture and society. In Lisbon, you can see a couple of examples at the Berardo Museum and at the Modern Art Centre of the Gulbenkian Foundation, as well as in the Chiado Museum‘s current exhibition “Modern Art in Portugal – From Amadeo to Paula Rego.” In the past, there have been retrospective exhibitions of her work in Madrid’s Reina Sofia Museum, Porto‘s Serralves Museum, and at the Tate Britain.

Now there will be a permanent home for much of her art, with the upcoming museum housed in a brand-new building designed by the renowned architect Eduardo Souto Moura. It features two conical towers that bring to mind the famous gigantic chimneys of Sintra‘s National Palace, while inside it will show a total of 121 works by the artist. The 750 square meters of space will also include an area for temporary exhibitions, a cafeteria, a bookshop, and an auditorium.

Sintra’s New Natural History Museum

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

Museu História Natural, Sintra

Most travelers visiting Lisbon also go to Sintra to see its famous palaces, but starting this week they have another interesting museum to add to their sightseeing list. The Sintra Natural History Museum is found right in the center of town, in a 19th century building that used to be a market. It now houses a collection of fossils and pieces relating to the natural world, donated by a local collector who put it together over five decades. In addition to the permanent exhibition area, the museum includes space for temporary exhibits, as well as a shop and cafeteria.
Although many of the pieces of the permanent collection date back to millions of years, 21st -century technology has been used to bring them back to life. They show how the world has evolved to present times, and there are also some very curious findings such as a gigantic shark tooth found by the coast of Lisbon (don’t worry, sharks are not known to ever come close to Lisbon’s beaches). Other highlights include dinosaur eggs and meteorites, and the world’s only example of a flying reptile, the Braseodactylus sp which is not only a unique find but also completely intact.
You may visit this museum every day except Mondays, and it’s open from 10AM to 6PM. Best of all, it’s free!

Address: Rua do Paço, 20
Phone: 219 238 563

Go Natural When You Go Lisbon

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

Go Natural

Yesterday we told you how to save on accommodation in Lisbon by staying in the city’s new boutique hostels which are offering discounts through GoLisbon’s booking service. Today we can tell you where you can save on eating and drinking, and still have an excellent, quick, healthy meal. That’s at Go Natural, a fast(er) food service for the health-conscious 21st century. It is found in most of Lisbon’s shopping malls, as well as by the Marquês de Pombal Square in the center of the city, where it shares the same building as the BES bank. No matter which Go Natural you choose, you’ll always find fresh ingredients in salads, pastas, soups, sushi, sandwiches, desserts, and drinks. There are several chicken, tuna, and salmon options, but everything else also makes excellent choices for vegetarians. Most pastas and salads are less than 5 euros, while the soups average 2 euros each. The sandwiches and wraps are between 3 and 4 euros, with only the sushi going for anywhere from 5.75 to 12.50.
Desserts and pastries include a variety of fresh fruit and cheesecakes, brownies, and muffins.

Lisbon’s Hostels Are On Sale at

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

Lisbon Calling Hostel

As if visiting Lisbon wasn’t already inexpensive enough, several of the city’s hostels are now on sale if booked through’s booking service. And Lisbon’s hostels are no ordinary hostels, having topped lists of the world’s best in the past couple of years. This type of new budget boutique accommodation is mostly found in the very center of the city, and offers shared and private rooms, while also providing comfortable public spaces such as lounges and kitchens for guests to meet each other. Young travelers are the biggest fans of hostels, knowing that they’re no longer just a place with a bed and a shower, especially those in Lisbon.
You may take a look at all of Lisbon’s hostels here, or consider Alfama Patio Hostel which has been singled out with a “best staff” award last December. It is currently offering a 15% discount if booked through GoLisbon’s booking service, while an even bigger discount is offered by Costta Rooms, lowering their usual rate by 20%. The same discount is offered by Kitsch Hostel, while the relatively new Lisbon Calling is bringing down its prices by 10%. Another option is Olá Backpackers, offering a 15% lower rate if you book through GoLisbon.

Those travelers wishing to stay closer to the beach this summer should consider staying in the seaside town of Cascais, just a short train ride away from Lisbon.  That’s where Ana’s Cottage is currently offering a 20% discount, while its Ana’s Cottage Cobre has lowered its rates by 10%.

And because summer often means more than just a long weekend away, many travelers choose to move up north from Lisbon. The likely destination is usually Porto, and for complete information about that city, there’s our Go Oporto site. In Portugal’s second city it is also possible to stay in hostels at cheaper-than-usual prices when booked through our site. Oporto Vintage Studios and Oporto World Heritage Studios are both offering a 15% discount at the moment, or you may also consider Belomonte Apartments, which are now 20% cheaper.

Remade in Portugal: An Exhibition Of Environmentally-Friendly Art in Lisbon

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

Remade in PortugalDesign pieces using recycled materials make up a special (and free!) exhibition in Lisbon called “Remade in Portugal.” It takes place in the temporary exhibition space of the Electricity Museum until September 12, and is meant to show how art can be environmentally friendly. The first edition was in 2007, and this year’s show will feature works by some of Portugal’s top contemporary artists and fashion designers. More than just show creative pieces, the exhibition promotes the idea of rethinking materials and reminds visitors to be more environmentally-conscious. Just outside the exhibition area is a shop selling those very original pieces that are helping to create a healthier and more attractive world.