Archive for July, 2010

Lisbon’s Oceans Festival This Year Presenting Lauryn Hill and Estelle Concerts, Free Museum Visits and Other Free Events

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Festival dos Oceanos

This year’s edition of Lisbon’s Oceans Festivals starts this weekend and will last until August 14, with a rich schedule of free events throughout the city. Many of them take place in the city’s main squares and as close to the river as possible. This is, after all, an event meant to celebrate water, the oceans and the cultures around them, although this year it will also mark the centenary of the Portuguese Republic.
The festival starts with a concert by singer Lauryn Hill and will go on with performances by Estelle, special Fado nights, street entertainment, special museum activities, and a fireworks show synchronized with music by the river on the final night.

The opening shows this Saturday are in Comercio Square at 9PM with a stage for Lauryn Hill and Estelle. The Fado nights will begin on the following night in Municipal Square, and continue on the 2nd, 5th, 8th, 9th, 12th and 13th of August at 10PM. Some of Fado’s top-selling artists will be performing, including Mafalda Arnauth, Cristina Branco, Kátia Guerreiro and Joana Amendoeira.
Another square in the center of the city with special activities is Camões Square which will be transformed into an “aquarium” and a venue for poetry recitals and other events.
From the 5th to the 12th of August the city’s museums will also open at night, offering special exhibitions and events, also free like everything else related to this festival.
For the complete schedule of events see the festival’s official website:


Festival dos Oceanos

“The Greatness of Little Portugal” – Portugal 100 Years Ago – A Free National Geographic Exhibition in Lisbon this Summer

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

National Geographic - Lisbon, Portugal 100 years ago

When Portugal’s King Carlos was assassinated in 1908 it marked the end of monarchy and the beginning of a republic for the Portuguese government. That finaly happened in 1910 so this year the country is celebrating 100 years of presidents and not kings. There will be several special events and exhibitions until the end of the year, and one of them is starting at the end of this month.
From July 31st to August 14th you can see a free exhibition of images of Portugal taken by National Geographic magazine over the decades. They’ll be on display inside the city’s Oceanario and can be seen from 10AM to 8PM.
Called “The Greatness of Little Portugal,” the exhibit starts with 100-year-old photos of Portugal and there’s a special focus on the Lisbon of the 1920s. These images come from articles and photojournalistic reports published in the American magazine, with the Lisbon photos reproduced from a 1922 article titled “Lisbon, the City of the Friendly Bay.”
This will be of interest to locals, but also to tourists who’ll be able to compare the city they see now to what it used to look like then. It’s interesting to note that many of the façades and trams remain the same.

The New “Santini”: Lisbon’s Favorite Ice Creams Now in the Center of the City

Friday, July 16th, 2010

Santini, Chiado, Lisbon

There are many great ice cream shops in Lisbon, but ask anyone which is their favorite and they’ll most likely name one outside the city. That’s Santini in the suburb of Cascais which has been serving tempting Italian ice creams since the late 1940s. But starting today everyone can also find it in the center of Lisbon, in the Chiado district.
It opens its doors at 10AM and unlike the shop in Cascais, it will not close in winter. So from now on there will be Santini ice creams throughout the year and so much more accessible.
What makes these ice creams so special? There are no artificial flavorings (if it says it’s of a certain fruit, it really is) and they’re all made on that same day. For the Lisbon branch there will be new flavors such as ginger and purple passion fruit to add to the cinnamon, green tea, and other old favorites such as raspberry and mango. Another great news is that it will also serve the Best Chocolate Cake in the World which will perhaps become the most popular choice on the colder days. On those winter days it will also likely be accompanied by the Nespresso coffee available.
You can have it all at any time, as doors will only close at midnight every day.

Address: Rua do Carmo, 9

“Cruzes Credo” – A New Café in Lisbon for a Sightseeing Break in Alfama

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Cruzes Credo Café, Lisbon

Those walking around Lisbon’s Alfama neighborhood, especially around the city’s cathedral on the way up to the castle often end up at “Pois,” an Austrian-inspired café. It’s a local favorite and it has reached the guidebooks as one of the best places for a quick meal in this part of town. That café now has a new competitor down the street, the new “Cruzes Credo,” found to the right of the cathedral.
Unlike Pois, it serves dinner, staying open until 2AM (doors open at 8AM). It has a very relaxed atmosphere and a well-preserved interior of stone walls and industrial lighting around which a menu of light meals is served. There are toasted sandwiches and hamburgers that can be accompanied by wine by the glass.
After dinner you can go for the mojitos and caipirinhas, in a dimly-lit ambience to the sounds of electro-jazz.

Address: Rua Cruzes da Sé, 29

Cruzes Credo Café, Lisbon

Cruzes Credo Café, Lisbon

Lisbon’s Special Summer Festivals Continue with Free Music and Dance Performaces

Friday, July 9th, 2010

Teatro São Carlos, Lisbon

If you’re in Lisbon this month and pass by its opera house (São Carlos Theater) you’ll notice that the square in front of it has been taken over by chairs and a stage. That’s because that’s where one of the city’s main summer festivals is taking place, offering concerts and ballet performances in the open air — free of charge.
It’s happening until the 27th at 10PM and it’s an event that attracts locals and tourists thanks to the international program.
Among the performing groups are the Portuguese Symphony Orchestra and São Carlos National Theater Choir which you usually have to pay admission to enjoy.
Next weekend (the 17th and 18th) is dedicated to Verdi, and the following weekdays are for dance performances by the National Ballet of Portugal.
The final night, the 27th, will be a special “Macau Night” dedicated to the former Portuguese colony that became part of China ten years ago with a performance by the Macau Youth Symphony Orchestra.
Complete festival information here: Festival ao Largo

“Temperamento”: A New Shop for Contemporary Portuguese Crafts and Gourmet Products in Lisbon

Monday, July 5th, 2010

Temperamento, Lisbon

Taking home a souvenir from Lisbon no longer has to be from the typical kitsch shops so common around the world. There are now several places in the city offering more authentic choices and original items, actually made in Portugal by local artists and companies.
The newest one is “Temperamento” downtown, a small space that’s big on the quality of the selection of crafts and gourmet products. These are products not just targeted at tourists but also at the local population, telling stories of Portuguese traditions and craftsmanship much appreciated by those with a more refined taste.
There are of course the famous Portuguese soaps and fragranced candles of the Portus Cale brand, together with the traditional biscuits, olive oils, jams, and ceramics and design pieces by young Portuguese artists.
Unlike many shops in the neighborhood, this one is open on Saturdays.

Temperamento, Lisbon

Temperamento, Lisbon

Address: Rua da Madalena, 182B (Baixa)
Telephone: (+351) 218 876 208

Temperamento, Lisbon

“Assinatura”: Lisbon’s New Restaurant by a Promising New Chef

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

Assinatura Restaurant, Lisbon

Lisbon’s top chefs have become local celebrities, and they now have a new competitor. Chef Henrique Mouro has worked at restaurants outside the city and his ambition to open his own in the capital has just become a reality. It’s located up the hill from Avenida da Liberdade, and that’s where he innovates traditional Portuguese cooking.
The interior was given a classy look mostly in red and beige and with a wall covered in images of Lisbon. On the lower level is a smaller dining area opening to the kitchen.
Although the inspiration are the traditional flavors of Portugal, they are reinterpreted and imaginatively presented by the chef, making them taste and look like a personal take on contemporary cuisine. Judging by the name (it means “signature”), this is a restaurant that promises a unique, authentic and creative gastronomic experience.
In addition to the regular a la carte service you may also choose one of the two tasting menus. There is a simpler menu (and at lower price) for lunch.
It’s closed on Sundays.

Address: Rua Vale do Pereiro 19
Phone: 21 386 7696