Archive for November, 2012

Christmas 2012 in Lisbon

Monday, November 26th, 2012

Christmas in Obidos

OBIDOS

The Tree on Comercio Square
The Christmas lights are already up on the main streets of Baixa and Chiado, and the tree will be lit up in Comercio Square throughout the month of December. This year it will be 28 meters tall (over 90 feet) and will be a “high-tech” tree with real-time video projections of passers-by. It can be seen until January 6.

“Confeitaria Nacional”
Just a short walk from Comercio Square, through Rua Augusta, you’ll reach Figueira Square where you’ll likely find people lined up outside Confeitaria Nacional throughout the month. That pastry shop sells the city’s most famous Christmas cake, “Bolo Rei.” You don’t necessarily have to go for that — you can simply enjoy a warm cup of coffee or tea and observe the festive ambience.

Free Christmas Concerts
December is the month of free Christmas concerts in several of Lisbon’s churches, and this year they’re taking place from the 7th to the 22nd. The first one (on the 7th) is at 9:30 PM in São Roque Church, then there’s one at 4PM at Marcês Church on the 8th, also at 4PM in São Nicolau Church on the 9th, at 9:30PM in Estrela Basilica on the 14th, at 4PM in Graça Church on the 16th, throughout the day at the São Jorge Cinema on the 21st, and at 4PM in São Domingos Church on the 22nd.

The Christmas Village
Many travelers to Lisbon also choose to visit medieval Obidos and in December there’s a big reason for that. It turns into a “Christmas Village” with snowmen, ice skating, Santa Claus and family activities. It’s happening from December 7 to January 2nd.

What’s New in Lisbon’s Restaurant Scene

Monday, November 12th, 2012

The end of the summer brought a few changes to some of Lisbon’s best-known restaurants, from new concepts and chefs to new addresses:

Meson Andaluz, Lisbon

MESON ANDALUZ
Travessa do Alecrim, 4 – Chiado
Tel: 214 600 659
For many years this was arguably Cascais’ favorite Spanish restaurant. It’s now moved to the center of the capital, down the hill from Chiado. The interior dates back to the 1700s with brick stone arches but you’ll likely prefer to sit outside on the terrace. Although the wine list includes Spanish and Portuguese wines, the food is all traditionally Spanish or what it advertises as “the best tapas in Lisbon.”

CHAPITÔ À MESA
Costa do Castelo, 7
Tel: 218 867 334
It’s one of the city’s most popular restaurants, always full of locals and tourists who are drawn to the spectacular views of Lisbon. It helps that it’s also just a short walk from the castle but the quality of the food has also kept it as a top choice in the city. Now it has a new chef (one of the most acclaimed after years at a few fine dining restaurants) and promises a more refined cuisine. That doesn’t necessarily mean more expensive, as this restaurant always had higher-than-average prices but more creative selections on the menu.

Estorias na Casa da Comida, Lisbon

ESTÓRIAS NA CASA DA COMIDA
Travessa das Amoreiras, 1
Tel: 213 860 889
It was the first restaurant in Portugal to get a Michelin star and after 35 years in service, it recently closed for a major renovation. Its three different dining areas (including a courtyard) now feature an elegant combination of classic furnishings and more contemporary design, and offer different dining experiences. You may now go just for a glass of wine and a lighter meal, or for the full menu of contemporary Portuguese cuisine.

UMAI
Rua da Misericórdia, 78 – Chiado
Rua da Cruz dos Poiais, 89 – Bairro Alto
Tel: 213 958 057
A small space hidden in a corner of Bairro Alto close to São Bento Palace quickly became known as Lisbon’s best Asian restaurant. The owner is actually Portuguese but an experienced specialist in the foods of the East, mixing the delicacies of Thailand, Vietnam, China, Japan, India… That small space still exists but now focus on just Japanese food (yes, sushi but also more than that), and a bigger space has opened in Chiado. That’s where all the Asian specialties will now be served, offering fine quality at reasonable prices.

Olivier Avenida, Lisbon

OLIVIER AVENIDA
Rua Júlio César Machado, 7
Tel: 213 174 105
Unashamedly pretentious, this restaurant was made to impress, both in ambiance and cuisine. Large teardrop chandeliers hang above a blingy décor that’s just had a small makeover. It’s now a combination of what it calls a mix of “French Romanticism and the New Gothic” but whatever that means it’s simply an excuse to attract those looking for a see-and-be-seen place where well-presented food is served. Late at night from Thursday to Saturday it becomes the “Avenida Cocktail Lounge” for after-dinner drinking and mingling.

3 New Hotels in Lisbon

Monday, November 5th, 2012

If you’re coming to Lisbon any time soon, be among the first to experience the brand-new facilities of these special new hotels. They’re all in privileged locations, either by the river or in the very heart of the city in the most elegant district of Chiado. Also take advantage of the special online prices:

Myriad Hotel, Lisbon

MYRIAD HOTEL
Lisbon’s tallest building is now a hotel. Built as a viewing tower for the World Fair in 1998, the monument was extended in 2012 and now allows visitors to Lisbon the opportunity to sleep literally on the river. The 176 rooms offer wonderful views of the Tagus and Europe’s longest bridge, and feature modern design and 5-star service. Facilities include indoor pool and spa, and conference center.

Mercy Hotel, Lisbon

MERCY HOTEL
With 47 rooms, this is a luxury boutique hotel in one of the city’s best locations. It’s in the heart of the city in Chiado, and faces the Bairro Alto district with its many bars and restaurants. Guests are at the doorstep of Lisbon’s best shopping and nightlife, and within walking distance of many city attractions.
Elegant design welcomes you into the rooms, while a 6th-floor terrace will offer you magnificent views over Lisbon’s rooftops.

Teatro B&B Hotel, Lisbon

TEATRO B&B
This small but beautiful hotel stands next to one of several theaters of the classy Chiado district and that was its inspiration. Elements of classic theater mix with contemporary style to create a unique atmosphere in all of the rooms. For its ambiance and location, it sets the stage for a memorable stay in Lisbon.