Archive for January, 2013

New Study Reconfirms Lisbon is One of Europe’s Most Affordable Destinations

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

Belem Tower, LisbonLisbon has been found yet again to be one of the most affordable destinations in Europe, according to the European Backpacker Index for 2013. This report focuses essentially on how much a low-cost traveler or backpacker spends in a total of 47 European cities, and the top 10 reveals that Eastern Europe is the place to go (number one is Bucharest, followed by nine other Eastern cities). Lisbon is in 19th place in this report and the Western European capital that follows it is Berlin at number 20.

The most expensive destination for backpackers was found to be Zurich followed by Oslo, Venice, Stockholm and Helsinki. That’s based on the price of a central hostel plus two tickets in public transportation, three budget meals, three beers or local wines a day, and admission to one cultural attraction. For all of that, it was concluded that you’d need 47.30 euros per day in Lisbon.

Lisbon is also known for having Europe’s best hostels but another alternative to a hotel is staying at a central apartment.

10 Spots to Dine by the Water in Lisbon

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

The image most associated with Lisbon is probably water, whether it’s that of the Atlantic beaches nearby, the history of its explorers’ ships at sea, or where the famous seafood comes from. Those visiting the city often do it with the beach in mind, but during the colder months you may also have a pleasant outdoors experience on the waterfront. In the summer or in winter, here are ten places to enjoy a meal in relaxing scenery.

River Lounge

Opened in late 2012, this lounge/bar/restaurant is literally on the water. It’s inside the Vasco da Gama Tower which is now the Myriad Hotel and serves contemporary Portuguese cuisine.

Darwin's Café

On the opposite edge of town (Belém), this café-restaurant is inside one of the city’s newest contemporary architecture landmarks, the Champalimaud Foundation building. It’s just a short walk from Belem Tower which can be seen from the terrace. It serves meals throughout the day.

À Margem

Also close to the tower and right on the river’s edge, this café in a white glass rectangle serves light meals, and although it’s best experienced when the sun is out, it’s also pleasant at night.

Nosolo Italia

With a terrace floating on water, this is a favorite of families for pizza, pastas and ice cream. The Discoveries Monument stands right outside.


Many of the restaurants in the docks are tourist traps but this more recent addition comes with a history and reputation as one of Lisbon’s favorite pizzerias. It was originally in a big space nearby but the new location by the marina is much more attractive.

Doca de Santo

It’s the most attractive of all the restaurants at the docks but as a tourist magnet you can either have a memorable experience or one to forget. Even so, it’s worth a stop, even if just for a drink and a lighter meal in a beautiful setting.

Doca Peixe

With one of the most beautiful locations in the city, this restaurant doesn’t have to work very hard to attract customers. That’s reflected in the service which doesn’t always meet expectations but it’s still a nice spot for fresh fish by the water.

Bica do Sapato

It’s one of the best restaurants in the city, both in food and in service, matching the wonderful riverfront location and the hype as the restaurant of a Hollywood star (John Malkovich). It has a terrace outside but you’ll also have views of the Tagus from many of the tables in the stylish interior.

Alma Lusitana

In a central location by the water (Cais do Sodré), it could be a restaurant just for tourists but it’s not. It’s an unpretentious place for traditional Portuguese cuisine, mostly fish, especially grilled.

Meninos do Rio

A short walk along the waterfront from Cais do Sodré is this café that’s especially popular in the summertime. Serving refreshing drinks and light meals, it’s a pleasant stop after sightseeing.

What and Who Is Coming to Lisbon in 2013

Friday, January 11th, 2013

Lisbon Concerts - Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Bon Jovi

If you’re coming to Lisbon in 2013, you may want to make your visit coincide with some of the city’s main events and concerts. To help you mark your calendar, here’s what you can expect to find (more events and shows will be announced throughout the year):

The major concert season starts in March and lasts through the summer. The first will be teen pop sensation Justin Bieber on March 11th (Tickets: Justin Bieber concert tickets), while the other big names will come later in May. On the 5th of that month will be The XX, while on the 26th will be boy band One Direction (tickets: One Direction concert tickets), Rihanna on the 28th (Tickets: Rihanna concert tickets), and Iron Maiden on the following day (tickets: Iron Maiden concert tickets).
In June comes Bon Jovi (on the 26th – tickets: Bon Jovi concert tickets) and Alicia Keys (on the 28th – tickets: Alicia Keys concert tickets). The biggest summer festival arrives in July, from the 12th to the 14th. It’s the Optimus Alive series of concerts which this year will include Green Day, Depeche Mode and Kings of Leon (Tickets: July 12, July 13, July 14).

As for the city’s main annual events, the gastronomic festival “Peixe em Lisboa” dedicated to the best talents and their creativity in fish happens in April, from the 4th to the 14th. That’s followed by IndieLisboa, a very popular international independent film festival (April 18 to 28).
The top sports event of the year is also in April (the 27th until May 5th), the Estoril Open, for fans of tennis.
In late May (the 29th, until June 2nd) comes Arte Lisboa, the contemporary art fair that reunites galleries, artists and collectors.

After the summer it’s time for Queer Lisboa, the 17th annual edition of the international gay and lesbian film festival (September 20-28th). Another festival happens in October, from the 27th to November 3rd, the international documentary film festival DocLisboa.

But the biggest events in 2013 take place in the later part of the year. The Architecture Triennial presents a number of exhibitions all over the city from September 12 to December 15. During that time (from November 7 to December 31st), you’ll also find the Experimenta Design biennial, a major event in several venues with design-related exhibitions, workshops and conferences.

Finally, in December, Lisbon’s famous Bairro Alto neighborhood turns 500 years old so if this is the main partying area of the city on any regular weekend, you can only imagine what will be planned for this major milestone…