Posts About 'Activities'

10 Things to Do in Lisbon This Spring

Monday, March 6th, 2017

Museu Berardo

SEE PICASSOS AND WARHOLS WHILE THEY’RE STILL FREE
The Berardo Museum of modern and contemporary art has always been free since it opened 10 years ago, but the free ride is over this May 1st, when the museum will start charging a €5 admission. Until then, you can see temporary exhibitions together with the permanent collection that includes works by Picasso and Warhol for free.

Global City, Lisbon

SEE THE FIRST DEPICTION OF THE FIRST GLOBAL CITY
It’s not free, but the exhibition you can’t miss is “The Global City – Lisbon in the Renaissance” at the Ancient Art Museum. It lasts until April 9th, and revolves around a painting of the main shopping street in 16th-century Lisbon, showing the Portuguese capital as the first global city, offering goods from all over the world.

GO TO THE EXHIBITION OF THE YEAR
The other major exhibition in town is one dedicated to one of Portugal’s most important painters, Almada Negreiros. It’s being shown at the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum until June 5th, and is already one of the museum’s most-visited exhibitions.

MAAT, Lisbon

FINALLY SEE THE NEW MAAT
If you were in Lisbon last fall, you may have already been to the new MAAT (Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology). It was inaugurated last October, but only a couple of the rooms were open and with very little to see inside. It is currently closed, as it gets ready to finally inaugurate the entire building on March 22nd. The building itself is an attraction, already one of Lisbon’s most iconic landmarks.

Cais do Sodré

RELAX AT THE NEW PEDESTRIAN-FRIENDLY WATERFRONT
After a visit to these current exhibitions, head to the waterfront and relax at the new Cais do Sodré. That riverfront district was under (re)construction over the last year, but it is now accessible to all, with more pedestrian space, new places to sit by the river, and new spots to eat and drink.

ENJOY THE FISH AT THE CITY’S BIGGEST GASTRONOMIC FESTIVAL
Lisbon’s biggest gastronomic festival takes place in the spring, and this year it’s happening from March 30th to April 9th, at a new location. The “Peixe em Lisboa – Lisbon Fish and Flavours” festival is obviously dedicated to fish, and the new location is the Carlos Lopes Pavilion, a century-old building in Edward VII Park, that was once a sports pavilion, and that was completely renovated earlier this year.

GO TO THE ANIMATED FILM FESTIVAL
Spring is also the start of the film festival season, and the first one is dedicated to animation. This is the 16th edition of the festival, and you may see which films are in competition here: www.monstrafestival.com

GO TO THE INTERNATIONAL INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL
The second film festival is all about independent features. The IndieLisboa – International Independent Film Festival takes place on May 3rd to the 14th, at four different venues, but mostly at the São Jorge Theater, right in the heart of the city, on Avenida da Liberdade. Check the festival’s website for more: www.indielisboa.com

Hotel 1908 Lisboa

SLEEP ON BRAND NEW BEDS
Several new hotels have opened in Lisbon over the last few months, but the newest are the Hotel 1908 Lisboa and the Star Inn Lisbon Airport. The first one is the result of a renovation of a beautiful building from 1908, and the second one is right at the airport.

RIB, Lisbon

RATE THE NEW RESTAURANTS
You can be among the first to rate the hottest new restaurants in town. One of them, the Infame, opened on the ground floor of the Hotel 1908 Lisboa, and serves an international menu inspired by its multiethnic neighborhood. Another is “Tapisco,” a casual Spanish tapas and Portuguese petiscos restaurant by local celebrity chef Henrique Sá Pessoa (Rua D. Pedro V, 81). Also from a well-known chef is “Absurdo,” a spot for faster meals on the waterfront serving only “absurd,” meaning unusual, sandwiches (Avenida Ribeira das Naus, 16). For a fancier place, head to “RIB – Beef & Wine” on the beautiful ground floor of Pousada de Lisboa.

10 New Reasons to Visit Lisbon in 2017

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

Botanical Garden, Lisbon

A NEW BOTANICAL GARDEN
The Botanical Garden in the Príncipe Real district, much neglected over the last several years, closed in 2016 but should reopen in the spring of 2017. In addition to cleaned-up green spaces, it will have a new café with outdoor seating and a small amphitheater.

Estação Sul e Sueste

A CONVERTED STATION
A ferry station from 1931, largely abandoned in the last few years, will finally be renovated and open as a leisure and tourist attraction. It will have restaurants with outdoor seating and be the starting point of sightseeing cruises. The 7-million-euro renovation should be completed by the end of 2017.

MuDe, Lisbon

A NEW AND BIGGER DESIGN AND FASHION MUSEUM
Also scheduled for late 2017 (sometime in the fall) is the reopening of the Design and Fashion Museum (MuDe). It will actually be a brand new museum, as it will expand beyond its two floors to an entire building covering an entire block. It will have more space for the entire international design and fashion collection, plus a new design store and a rooftop bar and restaurant.

Convento da Graça

THE OPENING OF A BAROQUE CONVENT FOR THE FIRST TIME
It’s said to be one of the biggest renovations of a historical building in the last few years. It’s the Graça Convent, next to a landmark church opening to one of the city’s favorite viewpoints, that was never open to the public throughout the centuries. It will be free and open for visits in the spring. In addition to the baroque architecture in several tiled rooms, you’ll be able to enjoy an interior garden.

Campo das Cebolas

A NEW LANDSCAPED SQUARE
The new cruise terminal will finally be completed, and so will a new landscaped square across the road. The new “Campo das Cebolas” has had a few delays due to archaeological finds, but should be completed by the summer. You’ll then be able to picnic under pine trees, looking out to the cathedral and the historic Casa dos Bicos.

Jewish Museum, Lisbon

THE NEW JEWISH MUSEUM
Not far from the cathedral will also be the new Jewish Museum. It will be at the center of one of the city’s Jewish quarters (it used to have two), and will tell the story of the Jewish community in Lisbon throughout the centuries. The controversial new building (due to its modern façade in a historic little square), should be completed by the end of the year.

Pavilhão Carlos Lopes

THE NEW “PAVILHÃO CARLOS LOPES”
A beautifully tiled building in Edward VII Park, “Pavilhão Carlos Lopes,” originally used for sports events, is currently being cleaned up and will reopen in the spring for all sorts of activities. One of them is the city’s biggest gastronomic event, the “Peixe em Lisboa” festival, already scheduled for March 30th to April 9th.

Berardo Art Deco and Art Nouveau Museum

A NEW ART DECO AND ART NOUVEAU MUSEUM
There is the Berardo Museum of modern and contemporary art since 2007, and in 2017 there will also be the Berardo Museum of art deco and art nouveau. Collector Joe Berardo found a tile-covered building below 25 de Abril Bridge to house his collection of international art deco and art nouveau pieces, including paintings, sculpture, ceramics and crystals dating back to the early 1900s from different international artists, and shall open it in the first half of the year.

25 de Abril Bridge observation deck

THE 25 DE ABRIL BRIDGE OBSERVATION DECK
Not far from the new Berardo museum will be a new exhibition space telling the story of the city’s landmark bridge. You’ll be able to take an elevator to the top of Lisbon’s “Golden Gate,” enjoy the views from the observation deck, and then learn everything about this fascinating construction that recently celebrated its 50th anniversary.

MAAT

THE MAAT
It was officially unveiled last October, but the new building of the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT), will only be fully operational in March of 2017. All of its exhibition rooms will finally be open and have temporary exhibitions to show, but it will no longer be free. However, you don’t need to pay anything to access its rooftop, which offers a view over the river and the bridge.

10 New Reasons to Go to Lisbon in 2016

Monday, January 11th, 2016

MAAT, Lisbon

THE NEW MAAT – MUSEUM OF ART, ARCHITECTURE AND TECHNOLOGY
The major new attraction of the year is the MAAT, the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology, which will be found on the water’s edge in the Belém district. Directed by the former curator of contemporary architecture of New York’s MoMA, the first exhibition is scheduled for September, but you’ll be able to admire the exterior of the rather futuristic building before then.

THE NEW DISCOVERIES MUSEUM
It’s not being labeled a “museum” but rather a “museological space,” and it’s quite a space. It’s a replica of a ship from the 1500s, the type that left Lisbon for Asia, Brazil and around the world, and will explain the planning and process behind those voyages, together with all the different aspects (both positive and negative) of the Age of Discovery. It will be placed on the waterfront some time in the summer, by Ribeira das Naus, and will have a terrace at the top offering views of the Tagus flowing into the Atlantic, allowing you to imagine the ancient sailors heading into the unknown.

THE NEW MONEY MUSEUM
It’s been postponed year after year, but 2016 is said to be the year for the opening of the new Money Museum. It will be found in the mostly unlikely of places, a former church from the 1700s, but also extending to the building behind it, which belongs to the Bank of Portugal. Although the museum is said to open in the first half of the year, the former church is already open to visitors, showing traces of Lisbon’s medieval wall together with archaeological finds from the Roman and Moorish periods of the city.

Amoreiras Towers, Lisbon

“AMOREIRAS 360”
It may be hard to believe for many locals, but the Amoreiras Towers have just turned 30 years old. Quite controversial due to their postmodern architecture in a historic city, they’re now very much part of Lisbon’s skyline and house one of its favorite malls. In 2016 it will open its rooftop to visitors for the first time, a new attraction it’s calling “Amoreiras 360.” That’s because it will offer 360º-views over Lisbon, reportedly at a cost of 5 euros per person.

TALL SHIPS RACE
One of the biggest events of the year will happen in July. From the 22nd to the 25th, “Europe’s Atlantic Capital” will have several activities (from concerts to exhibitions) related to the famous sailing race. Many of the ships will be open to visitors, and there will be lots of photo opportunities as they go down the Tagus towards the Atlantic.

“HOSPITAL DO DESTERRO”
The same company that turned a group of abandoned warehouses, now collectively known as “Lx Factory,” into one of Lisbon’s trendiest spots, will now try to do the same for a former hospital. The 500-year-old building actually started out as a monastery, then became an orphanage, then it was turned into military barracks, and finally became a hospital until 2006. In the spring of 2016 it will have its 11,000 square meters divided into shops, cultural spaces, restaurants and a hotel.

NEW HOTELS
A larger number of tourists every year means that there’s still a need for new hotels. And the new ones try to stand out from the competition in any way they can. Studies show that Lisbon is one of the cities with the best-reviewed hotels in Europe, and the upcoming ones will make sure they keep it that way. There will be a new design hotel in the Príncipe Real district overlooking the city, a new hotel downtown from a new chain created by superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, and a new four stars in the central Figueira Square.

A NEW WATERFRONT
The final touches are scheduled for January of 2017, but by the end of 2016 you’ll already be able to enjoy a large part of the renewed waterfront between Cais do Sodré and Campo das Cebolas, by the cruise terminal.
Extending the promenade Ribeira das Naus, also used as an “urban beach” during the warmer months, the square across from Cais do Sodré station will be landscaped, and the square across from the famous Casa dos Bicos will be mostly car-free, so you’ll be able to enjoy a picnic or relax in the Atlantic breeze.

25 de Abril Bridge, Lisbon

THE NEW 25 DE ABRIL BRIDGE ELEVATOR
In the year that the landmark 25 de Abril Bridge celebrates 50 years, there are plans for the addition of an elevator to take tourists to the top. It’s still in the planning stages, so there’s no guarantee that it will open in its 50th year, but sooner or later you’ll be able to go up 70 meters (230ft) in the air. It will not only offer bird’s-eye views of Lisbon, it will also tell the story of the bridge, including why it looks so much like San Francisco’s Golden Gate.

A RENEWED ANCIENT ART MUSEUM
An entire floor of the Ancient Art Museum is currently closed and will only reopen in May. At that time it will have a (re)new(ed) space for the display of Portuguese paintings and sculpture that were rarely seen before. It will have around 200 new pieces, from the Middle Ages to the 1800s.
Until April you may also see the temporary exhibition “Great Spanish Masters”, with works by names like El Greco, Goya and Sorolla.

9 Things to Do in Lisbon in September

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

The ninth month of the year is still warm enough for plenty of outdoor activities, and that’s why there’s an outdoors festival throughout almost the entire month. It’s also the beginning of the film festival season, with two international film festivals in town. See the special events and activities that you may experience in Lisbon this September:

Roman Theater, Lisbon

THE NEW ROMAN THEATER MUSEUM
The Roman Theater Museum closed a couple of years ago for a major renovation, and will reopen some time in September. The few archaeological remains of the theater that survive have been cleaned up, and the new small museum will attempt to bring it back to life, through findings from the excavations and through multimedia displays.

JOSEFA DE ÓBIDOS AND THE INVENTION OF THE PORTUGUESE BAROQUE
During the first six days of the month you may still catch one of the biggest art exhibitions of the year in Lisbon. It’s in the Ancient Art Museum and shows more than 130 works (including paintings, sculptures and decorative arts), mostly by one of the very rare female artists from the 17th century, Josefa de Óbidos. They came from several Portuguese and international collections, and admission is 7 euros. If you want to see the museum’s permanent collection, you may do so for free if you get the Lisboa Card.

VOGUE’S FASHION’S NIGHT OUT
The sixth annual event dedicated to fashion and shopping will bring the usual crowds to the streets of Chiado, Príncipe Real, Baixa and down Avenida da Liberdade. Expect major discounts and special events both inside and outside the shops in the evening, until 11PM on September 10th.

MOTELx
September is the start of the film festival season, and the first one is dedicated to horror movies. This is the 9th edition of the MOTELx international horror film festival, and it will last from the 8th to the 13th of the month at the São Jorge Theater.

QUEER LISBOA
The other film festival this month is one of the oldest in Lisbon and one of the biggest of its kind in Europe. Queer Lisboa is dedicated exclusively to screening gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender films, or a genre simply referred to as “queer cinema”. The festival lasts for just over a week, from September 18th to the 26th, in São Jorge Theater on Avenida da Liberdade.

“LISBOA NA RUA”
This outdoor festival lasting until September 20th turns different public spaces in the center of the city into stages for shows ranging from musical performances to movie screenings. A major show is happening on the last day, with the orchestra of the Gulbenkian Foundation offering a free concert in Municipal Square at 7PM. Another free show is a Fado concert on the 4th and 11th of the month in front of São Carlos Theater at 9:30PM. In between, don’t be surprised to come across other events and performances at different spaces around the city.

View from the Monument to Christ, Cristo Rei, Lisbon

CROSS THE BRIDGE AND OPEN YOUR ARMS TO THE CITY
A new tour takes you across Lisbon’s landmark 25 de Abril Bridge on an open-top bus and stops at the Monument to Christ where you have the city at your feet. Take a moment to admire the views and snap a few photos before heading to the top of the pedestal to stand by the statue looking over the bridge and the city. More tour information here: Bridge and Christ the King Tour from Lisbon

SKIP THE LINE
Also new is the chance to skip the line at the Jeronimos Monastery. The crowds won’t be as big as in August, but September is still a major tourist month, and you may want to save some time and your legs, and avoid standing in line. This after a guided walking tour of the neighborhood and of its most famous monuments. More info here: Skip the Line and Belem Walking Tour

NEW RESTAURANTS
Be among the first to try new restaurants serving everything from award-winning pizza to fresh Portuguese fish. Not far from the last stop of the popular tram 28 in Campo de Ourique/Prazeres is celebrity chef Vitor Sobral’s newest restaurant “Peixaria da Esquina”, specializing in fish and seafood. In the center of the city, in Chiado, is the new Mercantina, the only one in town certified by the “Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana”, meaning the city of Naples thinks this is one of the places in the world where “real Neapolitan pizzas” are served. Right next to the cathedral, with tables outside, is the new “Ao Pé da Sé”, a café-restaurant serving carpaccios, piadinas, tartare, sandwiches and salads throughout the day — perfect after sightseeing in the neighborhood.

The Most Romantic 24 Hours in Lisbon

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

Lisbon sunrise

PORTAS DO SOL

SUNRISE
Wake up before sunrise, and head to Portas do Sol (literally “The Sun Gate”). This terrace in the Alfama district is where you may sit and watch the sun rising, and admire the early morning glow over the city’s most postcard-perfect view. It’s a good idea to stay at one of the hotels nearby, and if you choose Palácio Belmonte, you may even have the Portas do Sol view from your room. Other choices are Memmo Alfama, Solar dos Mouros and Solar do Castelo. After the sun has risen, go for a stroll around the neighboring maze of picturesque streets until 9AM, the castle’s opening time.
Castle view, Lisbon

VIEW FROM THE CASTLE

MORNING
Get a bird’s-eye view over the city from its oldest monument. Feel like the king and queen of the castle as you walk around the ramparts in the company of peacocks. You’ll want to spend some time here, but there’s still plenty to see, so hop on an official tram tour, which goes around the old city.
You may then look for a place for lunch that best appeals to you, although you probably should head back up by the castle for a meal with a view over the city, at Chapitô à Mesa.

Chapitô à Mesa

CHAPITÔ À MESA

Coaches Museum, Lisbon

COACHES MUSEUM

AFTERNOON
You may want to wait a few minutes for dessert. Try the city’s famous custard tarts on the opposite side of town, the Belém district. Lisbon’s most famous and iconic landmarks are all found there on the waterfront, where the Tagus river becomes the Atlantic. This was from where explorers like Vasco da Gama departed for their voyages around the world during the Age of Discovery, and now you may see the magnificent architecture from that time. Start with the cloisters of the Jeronimos Monastery, take a photo by the Discoveries Monument, and relax by the beautiful Belém Tower. Be sure to also see the Cinderella-like carriages of the Coaches Museum, and if you’ve still got the energy, head up the hill to the royal palace of Ajuda, known for its romantic collection of decorative art.

Belem Tower, Lisbon
BELEM TOWER

Ribeira das Naus, Lisbon

RIBEIRA DAS NAUS

SUNSET
Head back to the center of town, but stay by the waterfront. Head to the top of the triumphal arch for the beautiful view, and late in the afternoon there’s no better spot to be than Ribeira das Naus, the promenade next to Comercio Square. This is where many choose to stay for the sunset, either at the Cais das Colunas wharf, or sitting on the steps of the promenade.
Lisbon sunset

RIBEIRA DAS NAUS

Moon over Lisbon
MIRADOURO DE SÃO PEDRO DE ALCÂNTARA

NIGHT
After the sun disappears in the horizon, but before nightfall, head up to Bairro Alto for the city’s most romantic viewpoint, Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara. It’s the perfect backdrop for a selfie of the two of you, and you may sit for a while, as the moon shines above the castle.

Comercio Square, Lisbon

VIEW FROM THE TRIUMPHAL ARCH

Embaixada

EMBAIXADA

Continue heading up the hill and you’re now in the romantic district of Principe Real. Get yourselves a gift at the monumental Embaixada shopping gallery, and sit relaxing under the gigantic umbrella-like cedar tree at the garden across from it. It’s now dinner time, so choose one of the many restaurants in the popular nightlife district Bairro Alto nearby. Consider As Salgadeiras, a former bakery (the stone vaulted ceiling and old brick oven have been maintained) that serves excellent Portuguese cuisine, or try Lisboa à Noite. It’s a former stable for horses that has kept the ring chains and beautiful tile panels from the 1700s, serving some classic Portuguese dishes. A third option is Pap’Açorda, a chandeliered restaurant known for both its contemporary and traditional Portuguese cuisine, and yet another choice is The Insólito, found on a rooftop looking out to the castle.
The Insolito

THE INSOLITO

It’s now time to head back to your hotel, but you may also choose an apartment instead.
But why should you only have 24 romantic hours in Lisbon? Make this a 48-hour experience, and head to Sintra on the following day. This fairy tale town less than 40 minutes from the capital city was Europe’s first center of Romantic architecture, and is now a World Heritage Site. Of the many palaces and castles in town, the one you can’t miss is Pena Palace, but we also recommend the Regaleira Palace and the Moorish Castle, and Monserrate Palace. You can easily spend an entire day hopping around palaces and castles, and you may then relax in the oldest hotel in the Iberian Peninsula, Lawrence’s Hotel, or have the royal experience at Seteais Palace Hotel.

Pena Palace

PENA PALACE

Christmas and New Year’s in Lisbon 2014

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

Holidays in Lisbon, Portugal

The Christmas lights are now on, and the Christmas shopping has begun. Much like everywhere else, there’s plenty of Christmas spirit in Lisbon, and if you’ll be in town this month and until New Year’s Day, you’ll find special events around the city:

CHRISTMAS CONCERTS
From December 7th to the 21st, there will be free Christmas concerts in several of the city’s churches. Some of the highlights: In São Roque Church on the 12th at 9:30PM, in Graça Church on the 14th at 4PM, and in São Domingos Church on the 20th at 9:30PM. There will also be a special concert of the Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra on Sunday the 21st, at 5:30PM in São Luiz Theater.

CHRISTMAS MARKET
From the 12th to the 28th you’ll find a Christmas market in the city’s largest square, Praça do Comércio. It’s the perfect opportunity to find something special from Lisbon for a gift.

MULTIMEDIA SHOW
The market won’t be the only event in Comercio Square. From the 14th to the 23rd, there will be a multimedia show projected onto the façades every night at 7PM, 8PM and 9PM. It’s a family show, lasting for about 15 minutes, with the theme of “Christmas wishes.”

CHRISTMAS VILLAGE
Outside Lisbon, to the north of the city in the medieval village of Obidos, is the annual “Christmas Village.” It presents several shows and activities from December 5th to January 4th within the castle walls: See Facebook photos of the event here

NEW YEAR’S EVE
As always, the major New Year’s Eve celebrations will also take place in Comercio Square, with the usual fireworks at midnight. There will be plenty of live music before that, and you may grab a seat for a meal or drink at one of the many tables surrounding the square.

5 Things to Cool You Off in Lisbon this Summer

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

Although this summer has been a little cooler and less sunny than usual, remember that you may find summer weather in Lisbon until early October. In between sightseeing, you’ll want to take a few breaks to cool off, and these are five things you could do in different parts of town:

Cocktail bike, Lisbon

SIP A COCKTAIL AT RIBEIRA DAS NAUS
A bike serving cocktails has been recently added to the attractions of Ribeira das Naus, Lisbon’s unofficial “urban beach.” You may sip a mojito, a mint lemonade or gin as you sunbathe on the lawn or on the water’s edge.

Graça, Lisbon

HAVE A BEER IN GRAÇA
As you may know, there are several hilltop terraces in Lisbon with beautiful views. One of them is in the Graça district (reached by tram 28), and there’s a kiosk café on the site. Enjoy a cool beer as you look out to the castle and the city below you.

Ribeira market, Lisbon

HEAD INSIDE THE RIBEIRA MARKET
It’s currently Lisbon’s trendiest dining destination. The new food court of the Ribeira Market serves all kinds of food and drinks throughout the day. So whether you wish to escape the heat at lunch time, or want a refreshing drink or meal in the evening, this is the place to go.

Santini, Lisbon

ENJOY AN ICE CREAM AT SANTINI
As you shop around the elegant streets of Chiado, you may want to enjoy what many locals say is their city’s best ice cream. You be the judge, as you choose among a list of different flavors. You’ll find them at number 9 of Rua do Carmo.

Lisbon cruise

GO ON A CRUISE
See Lisbon’s monuments go by on a cruise. Take a few photos and relax as you go from historic to modern Lisbon, but remember that it’s always a little cool on the boat, even on the hottest days. Check out all the information about the city’s sightseeing cruises here: LISBON CRUISES

10 Spots to Watch the World Cup in Lisbon

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

If you’re in Lisbon between June 12 and July 13, and want to join the rest of the world in watching the World Cup, there are a few spots in town where you may do that in the company of locals and other tourists — while having a couple of drinks. We’ve chosen ten of them, in different parts of the center of the city, so no matter where you are staying, there is a place close to your hotel or apartment:

Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara, Lisbon

1. QUIOSQUE DE SÃO PEDRO DE ALCÂNTARA
Neighborhood: Bairro Alto
Address: Rua de São Pedro de Alcântara

The kiosk café on Lisbon’s most romantic terrace viewpoint will be presenting more than just the usual city views. It will show all of the games and offer beer “happy hours.”

2. QUIOSQUES LIBERDADE
Neighborhood: Avenida da Liberdade
Address: Avenida da Liberdade

The several kiosk cafés found down Lisbon’s grand central boulevard will be showing Portugal’s games on large screens, with beer glasses going for just €1.50.

3. PARK
Neighborhood: Bairro Alto
Address: Calçada do Combro, 58

Found at the top of a parking garage, this is one of the city’s most popular bars. You’ll be able to watch the games (in the afternoon and at night) with a view of the 25 de Abril Bridge.

Ribeira das Naus, Lisbon

4. QUIOSQUE DA RIBEIRA DAS NAUS
Neighborhood: Cais do Sodré
Address: Ribeira das Naus

The waterfront promenade Ribeira das Naus, between downtown’s Comercio Square and the Cais do Sodré neighborhood, is the latest hotspot for some drinks in the sun, and during the World Cup it will also be the best waterfront spot to watch the games. It promises to show all of them, with “happy hours” offering beer at special prices.

5. LE CHAT
Neighborhood: Santos
Address: Rua das Janelas Verdes/Jardim 9 de Abril

Right at the doorstep of the Ancient Art Museum is this café terrace looking out to the port. During the World Cup games it will offer special menus, such as steak sandwiches and beer at special prices.

6. ELÉCTRICO BANANA CAFÉ
Neighborhood: Belém
Address: Largo dos Jerónimos

If you’re in Lisbon’s most monumental district, look for an old tram now converted into a café parked across the street from the famous Jeronimos Monastery. It will show the games on a 2-meter screen.

7. QUIOSQUE DO OLIVEIRA
Neighborhood: Príncipe Real
Address: Praça do Príncipe Real

Across the street from the city’s trendiest shopping gallery (“Embaixada”), at a corner of the neighborhood park of Príncipe Real, is this kiosk café that’s popular for late-afternoon drinks. It will show the games on a TV as it serves cheap beers.

8. CLUBE FERROVIÁRIO
Neighborhood: Alfama
Address: Rua de Santa Apolónia, 59

Hidden on a street behind Santa Apolónia train station by Alfama, this bar offers a terrace overlooking the river. It will project the games on the stage where it usually presents DJs and live music.

Mercado de Fusão, Lisbon

9. MERCADO DE FUSÃO
Neighborhood: Mouraria
Address: Praça de Martim Moniz

The big square in Lisbon’s most multiethnic neighborhood which usually serves foods from different parts of the world, will have a 42-inch LED screen showing the World Cup matches. Given the size of the square, that is not huge, so make sure you show up early to find a spot up close to the screen.

10. JARDIM DA ESTRELA
Neighborhood: Estrela
Address: Largo da Estrela
The café by the entrance of Estrela’s park across from the basilica will be showing every World Cup game except those that start at 11PM. In addition to its regular menu, it will have special finger food for you to enjoy as you watch the games on a plasma screen.

Top 10 Fun Activities in Lisbon

Friday, March 7th, 2014

Tours

 

In recent times, Lisbon has seen a veritable boom in fun activities for tourists. It’s now possible to visit the historic neighbourhoods of the centre of the city, and navigate the cobbled streets in a variety of ways, ranging from Segways, to jeeps, to sidecars and even aboard an amphibious vehicle which will then head straight to the river for a trip on the water! Here, then, and in no particular order, we list what we think are the Top 10 Fun Activities you can try out in Lisbon:

1. GPS-Guided GoCar Tour

Gocar Tours in LisbonIf you’ve been to Lisbon in the last couple of years, you’ve surely noticed the little yellow 3-wheeler GoCars whizzing around the centre of the city. These 2-seater cars were the first computer-guided storytelling car, originally in San Francisco and then in Lisbon before becoming available in a few other cities. The onboard GPS unit provides instructions so that the car knows where you’re going even if you don’t, allowing you to wander around the small streets and alleys of central Lisbon, investigating the city as you go. More info and bookings here.

2. Discover Lisbon by Sidecar

A relatively new addition to the stable of fun vehicles riding around Portugal’s capital, the motorbike with sidecar provides an entertaining way to tour and see the sights. Driven by a qualified guide, you’re taken around the old streets of Lisbon, with one person in the sidecar and another on the motorbike, and stop off on the way to take some great photos and learn some interesting facts about the city.

Sit back and enjoy the ride in this classic sidecar, taking you back in time to visit the historical areas of Old Lisbon. More info and bookings here.

3. Glide on a Segway

Small-Group Medieval Lisbon Tour by Segway

Segways are quite commonplace these days, and can be seen in airports, used by the police in some cities, and in many other situations. They’re a great way to get around and the perfect means of transport for Lisbon’s sometimes difficult to navigate hills and narrow streets. In just a few minutes you’ll easily learn to ride this self-balancing 2-wheeled vehicle, touring round the city as you stand on the Segway’s platform, allowing you to see the attractions of Lisbon as you glide comfortably on this novel transport. More info and bookings here.

4. Hop-on, Hop-off Tram Tour

One of the first things everybody learns about Lisbon is that the old electric trams still run through the city. As they trundle past, heads turn and cameras flash, and some people even venture onboard to take a quick journey up one of the hills. But the red trams make this possibility even easier, allowing you to buy a ticket, hop-on to visit one part of the city, hop-off to investigate the area by foot, and hop-on again when the next tram comes by. You can start your tour at any of the 6 stops, and ride until you want to hop off, allowing you the flexibility to see the city at your own pace, but with some traditional transport to take you around! More info and bookings here.

 5. A Joyride by Jeep

We Hate Tourism Tours is a local tour company that tries to do things differently, as you might have guessed from the name. They’ve certainly achieved that aim with their King of the Hills tours, taken in what they call their “one of a kind vintage, seven-passenger convertible jeep”. The tour takes you up and down the hills of the city, getting to know the places “only the locals know”, in a “crazy ride” with one of the local drivers. The idea here, obviously, is not to take a typical tour, but to experience something a little different, and to enjoy the novel approach to tourism that this young company is so proud of. More info and bookings here.

 6. Electric Bike Tour

Lisbon Seven Hills Electric Bike TourIt’s certainly not unusual to see traditional bikes being ridden around Lisbon, but we sometimes feel sorry for the rider when he or she has to struggle to climb one of the steep hills the city is known for (and for which we should be grateful, because they give us such wonderful viewpoints at the top!). An electric bike makes such climbs much easier, though, and it’s now possible to hire one of these great inventions to quickly reach the best places for the most stunning views. A tour like this provides a fun way to see the sights and to get a little excercise at the same time – but not too much 🙂   Helmets and reflective vests are provided, and you can ride around the city on the morning, afternoon or night tours. More info and bookings here.

 

7. The HippoTrip Tour

Capture

Of all the tours mentioned on this page, this is certainly the only one that takes place on both land and water. The HippoTrip takes place aboard an amphibious vehicle, the first of its kind in Portugal, and provides a fun-filled guided city tour by a unique means of transport. The HippoTrip bus takes you round the city and on to the water in an entertaining 90-minute trip that will have heads turning and mouths dropping as the large vehicle drives in to the water and then simply keeps afloat to emulate the most seaworthy boats. This is a great way to tour the city and see Lisbon with a splash! More info and bookings here.

8. Lisbon & Sintra by convertible Beetle

Private Tour: Lisbon and Sintra Sightseeing Tour by Convertible BeetleThe old, original VW Beetle car is one of the most-loved and best-known cars of all time. Its instantly recognisable shape is synonymous with fun and adventure, and the restored, convertible models used for this tour certainly provide plenty of that! This 3-hour tour allows you to get to know Lisbon with your family or group of friends, and at the same time enjoy a comfortable drive in this classic car. A full-day tour is also possible, which includes the world heritage listed town of Sintra, a beautiful destination and a perfect place to complement the historical districts of the capital. More info and bookings here.

9. Tuk-Tuk Tours

Untitled-7An auto rickshaw is a three-wheeled cabin cycle used as an essential form of urban transport in many developing countries. So what’s that got to do with Lisbon? Well, the Tuk-Tuk, as it’s commonly known – due to the sound it makes when in motion – is now available as a means of seeing the city. This is a fun way to sit back and let yourself be driven around to see the sights, sitting on the back of this novelty transport to enjoy the warm weather and get a great view of the attractions of the old, historic quarters of Lisbon. These fun vehicles come in different colours and sizes, and are operated by two different companies, but all of them provide an entertaining tour and an experience to remember. More info and bookings here and here.

10. Sunset & Coastline Cruises

For the romantic among you, how about the chance to see the spectacular sunset in Lisbon from a sailboat on the expansive Tagus estuary? Sip a glass of champagne as you admire the city skyline from the deck of your sailboat as you pass by the Belém Tower, Monument to the Discoveries and under the 25th April Bridge, and as the crew point out the famous landmarks on shore, while you’re bathed in the light of the late-afternoon sun. Several different tours by boat are available in Lisbon, even including a hop-on, hop-off version allowing you to visit different shoreline neighbourhoods on a 24-hour ticket. We can’t promise you’ll tour on both land and water like the HippoTrip tour above, but we can promise you’ll end this tour with an unforgettably romantic experience! More info and bookings here.

Spring Break in Lisbon: 5 Things To Do

Monday, February 24th, 2014

Parque das Nações, Lisbon

RELAX ON THE WATERFRONT
Mild temperatures may tempt you to head to the beaches of Cascais, but the ocean may still be cold. So do the next best thing, and stay on the waterfront in the center of Lisbon. At Ribeira das Naus you can simply sit in the sun or enjoy a drink served by the kiosk café, in the Parque das Nações district you can walk along a boardwalk as you admire the city’s best contemporary architecture and Europe’s longest bridge, and by the landmark Belém Tower you may sit and imagine Vasco da Gama departing towards the Atlantic over five centuries ago.

Pena Palace, Sintra

SEE SINTRA AT ITS GREENEST
One of Europe’s great fairy tale towns is just minutes from Lisbon, a World Heritage Site of palaces and castles amid lush vegetation. Spring is the best time to see Sintra at its greenest, especially at Pena Park, home to the extraordinary Pena Palace. Also not to be missed at this time of year, the Monserrate Palace and gardens.

Miradouro da Graça, Lisbon

GO TERRACE-HOPPING
The terraces overlooking Lisbon from the hilltops make it a great outdoors city throughout the year, but it’s during spring that you may see it at its most colorful. In the sun or shade, take some time to enjoy the setting and the views from Lisbon’s many viewpoints (called “miradouros”). Don’t leave town without spending a great spring morning, afternoon or evening at Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara, Miradouro da Graça, Miradouro das Portas do Sol, or at several others in Lisbon’s seven hills.

Comercio Square, Lisbon

DINE OUTSIDE
The rest of Europe may still need heaters on its restaurant terraces at this time of the year, but in Lisbon you may have the summer outdoor dining experience in the spring. Do it at one of the restaurants of the Docks looking out to the marina and 25 de Abril Bridge, by the arcades of Comercio Square, or on the many streets of Bairro Alto.

CATCH A FESTIVAL
Several major festivals take place in the city from April to June. The “Dias da Música” is a classic music festival that usually marks the beginning of the season, with a marathon of concerts over a weekend at Belém Cultural Center. After that comes the biggest festival of all, the IndieLisboa independent film festival, and then there’s the city’s biggest gastronomic festival, “Peixe em Lisboa”, with several chefs presenting their talents in preparing fish and seafood.