Archive for February, 2011

“Capricciosa” – One of Lisbon’s Favorite Pizzerias Now Also Downtown

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Capricciosa - Rossio

Pizzerias rarely come recommended in travel guides (unless, of course, it’s an Italy guidebook), and that’s because they tend to be essentially the same everywhere. But while you certainly won’t come to Lisbon with pizza in mind, if you’re looking for a simple and inexpensive meal in the city without having to go to a fast food restaurant, a pizzeria sounds like a perfect choice.
One of Lisbon’s favorite seems to be Capricciosa. When it first opened in 2005 in the Alcântara neighborhood, its large dining area made it a popular choice for large groups or birthday dinners. The branch at the beach of Carcavelos is also always packed in the summer, but both these spots are found in non-touristy areas. A third Capricciosa facing the river in Parque das Nações is more within the tourist path, but the latest branch is finally in a very accessible and central location — downtown.
You’ll find it in a square next to the monumental Rossio Station with other eateries that are perfect for a quick stop on a sightseeing tour of the city. All have tables outside on the terrace, and are open throughout the day.
Capricciosa has a large variety of pizzas made in a wood oven, at prices that go from 8.20 to 10.50.

Phone: 213 432 399

Lisbon’s New Tourist Office is Also a Cultural Attraction

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Patio da Galé, Lisbon Tourism Office

Lisbon’s main tourism office is found in one of the arcaded buildings of Comercio Square and starting this Friday the 25th it is expanding to most of the building. That includes a courtyard that’s been closed for over a decade, but that’s just been renovated to become a cultural venue. Tourists and locals will now find two restaurants of contemporary Portuguese cuisine, a traditional ice cream shop, space for exhibitions and special events, a souvenir shop, and all the useful information about the city. It will also be the headquarters of ModaLisboa, the organization behind the local fashion industry’s regular events.
All this after an investment of over 4 million euros thought to be a vital addition to the ongoing revitalization of Lisbon’s biggest and most monumental square.

The 5 Most Fun Lisbon Tours

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Lisbon Segway Tours

SEGWAY TOURS
These two-wheelers are fun to ride anywhere but especially in Lisbon, allowing you to go through alleys and up hills that even the city’s famous trams don’t go through. You’ll tour the medieval district of Alfama in an experience that can be fun as a family and even romantic as a couple.
And if you book online you get a special discount: Lisbon Segway Tours

BUGGY TOURS
Allow these GPS-guided buggies to be your Lisbon tour guides. These vehicles are fun and easy to drive, and the audio guide won’t allow you to get lost. You can explore the center of the city of the historic Belém district in the company of one or three other people, making it a perfect experience if you’re traveling in a group.
Booking here gets you a special discount: Lisbon Buggy Tours

GOCARS
Called “one of the coolest inventions of the year” by TIME magazine, these funny-looking cars look like big toys. They’re very easy to drive and have pre-programmed tours on the GPS, describing the sights in several languages. The audio includes humorous commentary about the local culture and attractions but you can also tour at your own pace and make your own route.
GoLisbon offers you a discount: Lisbon GoCars Tours

SINTRA TOURS
The fun here lies not in the tour itself but on the destination: In Sintra you can imagine yourself in a fairytale, going through Disneyesque palaces and standing on the Westernmost point in Europe! No one can leave Lisbon without a daytrip to Sintra and going on a tour will take you places you may miss on your own.

PHOTOGRAPHY WALKING TOUR
Aspiring photographers will want to walk around the city and capture it forever through photos. Passing by picturesque corners often missed by tourists, this tour will also allow you to see aspects of Lisbon you’d otherwise overlook.

“Virtuoso Life” Magazine Recommends: Portugal’s Algarve for Luxurious Holidays Now

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Virtuoso Life Magazine

The current issue of luxury travel magazine “Virtuoso Life” (available worldwide) is entirely dedicated to Europe and presents “50 Reasons to Go Now.”
One of the main cover articles is about Portugal’s southern Coast, the Algarve, which the magazine describes as being “saturated with color” and “flavor,” “from the landscape to the table” due to its “plunging cliffs and golden beaches, the vast Atlantic and the arid inland plains, roses and orange groves.”
It recommends a luxury resort but also describes the small towns with the best historical or cultural offerings, such as Tavira (“the Algarve’s prettiest town”), Silves (with its Moorish fortress), and Sagres (where the “inspiration” from Prince Henry the Navigator’s school is “unmissable”).
As a “side trip,” it recommends the province of Alentejo and there’s also a tip for a visit to the Vicentina Coast north of Sagres, “an unspoiled piece of Europe.”

Virtuoso Life Magazine - Algarve

Lisbon’s 5 Best Small Museums

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

Lisbon is essentially an outdoors city, so few visit it with a long list of museums to see. That’s despite some wonderful collections such as that of the Berardo or MuDe museums. Most who do go to a museum, often choose the Gulbenkian, the Ancient Art or even the Coaches Museum, overlooking other smaller spaces.
But if you’re coming to Lisbon with culture in mind, you’ll likely want to see quite a number of collections (the Tile Museum is especially magnificent).
Of the smaller or least-visited museums, these are five you may want to consider:

Museu do Fado, Lisbon

Fado Museum

Medeiros e Almeida Museum
After Gulbenkian’s, this is Lisbon’s best private art collection. Housed in a mansion where a rich local businessman used to live, it presents European paintings by names such as Tiepolo and Rubens, as well as a Rembrandt self-portrait, classic European decorative art, and Chinese porcelain.

Fado Museum
If you’ve never heard Fado or are not a fan, you’ll surely overlook this museum. However, you just may gain a new appreciation for Lisbon’s music after a visit, or at least will leave with a better sense of the local culture. This is a very well thought-out museum, with a multilingual audio guide and multimedia displays which place the music within the social and political context of 19th and 20th-century Portugal.

Chiado Museum
This museum suffers from lack of space. Its collection is the biggest of the country’s contemporary artists, but not everything can be displayed at the same time. So it arranges thematic exhibitions with a number of the works of the permanent collection together with other temporary ones. Once a planned expansion is finally completed, it will certainly become one of Lisbon’s best museums.

Arpad Szenes – Vieira da Silva Museum
Vieira da Silva was one of Portugal’s top contemporary artists, and Arpad Szenes was her Hungarian husband. Although they spent a large part of their artistic life in Paris, they had a studio in Lisbon close to where this museum is now found. It reunites many of the husband-and-wife’s works in a former silk factory, and should not be missed by anyone who enjoys contemporary art.

São Roque Museum
Created by the Jesuits in the 17th century, this museum has a small but very rich collection of sacred art, including sculptures, paintings, tapestries, and relics said to be unique in the world. Adjoining the museum is a church with a very plain façade but with an extraordinary interior, including “the world’s most expensive chapel,” built in Rome in the 18th century using only the most precious materials.

Lonely Planet Magazine Recommends Lisbon and Other Portugal Destinations for Easy Trips This Year

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

Lonely Planet MagazineThe February issue of Lonely Planet magazine (on sale worldwide) recommends “52 best weekends away.” One of them, in the category of “history and culture” is Sintra. It suggests that readers “take a trip back in time to imperial Portugal,” a place “blessed with palaces, villas and churches” and for more information it recommends the GoLisbon website. So here’s the direct link to our Sintra guide: Sintra, Portugal.

In another section of the magazine, it highlights Lisbon’s historic kiosks that have been recently restored. It says it’s one of the city’s “oldest street-drinking traditions” that has been revived, offering perfumed milk, iced tea, and traditional lemonade, “bringing an element of old-fashioned class” to the “hot” Chiado district.

But Portugal is featured a third time in this issue, in an article titled “10 Easy Trips You Can Book Now.” One of the ten is “the edge of the Old World,” Sagres. It was chosen for being a destination where you can “find a beach away from the crowds,” a place that’s Europe’s most southwestern point and with “Atlantic waves crashing onto the dramatically rugged beaches.” It’s also “a good base for exploring the rest of the Costa Vicentina Natural Park,” it concludes.