Posts About 'Activities'

10 Refreshing Things to Do in Lisbon This Summer

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

If you’ll be in Lisbon this summer (that means until October) and are looking to cool off and relax, here is what you should do:

Find yourself walking in the heat in the middle of the city and wish to dive into the ocean or pool? Head to the NH Liberdade Hotel right on Avenida da Liberdade and you’ll have a rooftop pool available to cool off. It charges 20 euros and in addition to the pleasure of the refreshing waters you have a wonderful city view. You may also order a salad or sandwich for a light poolside meal.

Nata Lisboa

Although the originals still made using a secret recipe are found in Belém, Lisbon’s famous custard tarts can be sampled at any café or pastry shop in the city. And there’s a brand new one specializing in just that — the custard tarts. It’s found on a wonderful backyard of a gallery and bookshop in the Principe Real district, it’s called “Nata Lisboa” and in addition to the tarts it serves refreshing drinks as you sit in the sun or shade on the grass.

You can have a picnic at any of the city’s parks and gardens, but you’ll have to pack the food yourself. So if you want to lay on the grass for a full worry-free meal, head to Cantina da Estrela, a restaurant not far from Estrela Basilica (on Rua Saraiva de Carvalho, 35). Every day (except Sundays and Mondays) it’s offering picnic lunches for 17.50 per person, which includes a basket filled with foods that are easy to eat with your hands but not exactly the typical finger food. Only the drinks are not included in the price.

Although Lux is Lisbon’s coolest club at any time of the year, it’s even better in the summer because of its terrace. This year it’s offering something new and special, the “Luxini” cocktail. It uses ice cream of the beloved local Santini brand and makes interesting blends of flavors with Grey Goose vodka. Choose your favorites at 10 euros each and enjoy them on the moonlit terrace as others crowd the dancefloor below.

Sea Turtles, Lisbon

The big sea creatures have been living in Lisbon’s Oceanarium since 1998, but only recently have the fascinating sea turtles arrived, in a new annexed building. Not only is this a memorable learning experience it’s also cooling and relaxing as you escape into the underwater world.

Silk is Lisbon’s most exclusive club and you’ll understand why if you can actually make it inside. It has one of the most fantastic city views, and this summer it’s opening at 6PM and offering light meals in addition to the usual drinks. But if you can’t it make there, you’ll make it elsewhere, at the more recent Rooftop Bar of the Mundial Hotel. Relax as you watch the afternoon glow turn into night over Lisbon.

Lisbon’s favorite lemonade is found at the tiny hole-in-the-wall “Liquid” but you’ll want to go for something extra special this summer. Grab a refreshing all-natural drink of exotic fruits and other healthy ingredients and take it with you as you walk up through the trendy shops of Chiado.

One of Lisbon’s most underrated, often-forgotten attractions is Edward VII Park right in the center of the city. You’ll be surprised by how peaceful and uncrowded it is, even in the summer, and will be captivated by the wonderful greenhouse which will invite you to stay longer than you anticipated, cooling off in this little-known oasis.

If the greenhouse is a little-known oasis, the botanical garden is a secret forest. You’ll never guess from the entrance gate how big it is, and this summer it’s presenting new pavements and cleaned-up tracks, although it retains its charmingly wild somewhat-neglected feel. Best of all is its small butterfly greenhouse, the only one in Europe open to the public where you can step into a habitat of the colorful insects growing and spreading their wings around.

The Fragoleto ice cream shop downtown (on number 61 of Rua da Prata) is offering special flavors this summer, using traditions and ingredients from around the world. There’s a dozen of them, ranging from Morroccan tea to American lemon cheesecake to Italian cappuccino. But since you’re in Portugal, why not go for the Portuguese rice pudding (“Arroz Doce”) flavor? But hurry because they’re only available in July.

Time Magazine Highlights One Day in Lisbon

Friday, May 18th, 2012

Time Magazine - Lisbon

The latest issue of the weekly Time magazine (on sale worldwide) dedicates two full pages to Lisbon with a four-hour itinerary. It says “it’s surprising how much of Lisbon can be covered in a few hours, from eccentric bookstores to colorful flea markets and magnificent monuments,” then goes on to present a step-by-step guide to the center of the city, stopping mostly in off-the-beaten-path attractions.
Describing the Portuguese capital as “a stately white city, a scholars’ lair, a seafaring hub,” it starts in the Cais do Sodré station, going up the hill towards Chiado, stopping for a glass of Port Wine at Solar do Vinho do Porto. The author then suggests a “must-do” ride on tram 28 to the “magnificent vista of Lisbon’s splendor” from the Graça viewpoint.
Another curious stop recommended is the Fado Museum dedicated to Lisbon’s music “through highly imaginative and loving interactive displays.” That should be followed by another museum on the riverfront, the Orient Museum, “a glitzy showcase of Lisbon’s other heritage: the Portuguese colonies,” adding that “it’s the next best thing to a trip to Goa or Macau.”
The itinerary ends with a ferry ride across the river for views of “Lisbon’s gleaming urban topography and the 25th of April Bridge.”

The 5 Great Reasons to Visit Lisbon This Summer

Monday, May 14th, 2012

Cascais, Portugal

You’d think that summer would be high tourism season for the city of Lisbon. But it’s not. Most locals go on vacation in August (many heading south to Algarve), and foreign tourists actually prefer to stay based by the beaches of Cascais and Estoril or in the refreshing hills of Sintra. In the summer Lisbon is much less of a city break destination and more of a gateway to beach-and-sun holidays.

Everything from international pop to jazz to rock will be playing somewhere in the open air in Lisbon throughout the summer. It starts later this month with Rock in Rio-Lisboa which will host Metallica, Evanescence, Linkin Park, Limp Bizkit, The Offspring, Lenny Kravitz, Maroon 5, Joss Stone, and Bruce Springsteen among many others. Then comes the annual Out Jazz which offers free jazz concerts throughout the summer every Friday and Sunday afternoon in different parks and gardens. In July, closer to the Atlantic beaches comes Optimus Alive, recently listed in “The Guardian” and “The Times” as one of Europe’s top festivals this year (some of the bands will include Radiohead and The Cure).

Throughout the month of June you’ll be able to participate in the annual “Festas de Lisboa,” a major street festival with lots of eating and drinking around every corner of the city’s historic neighborhoods. It’s as if Lisbon becomes one big village, with major feasts on the 12th and 13th, including a parade down Avenida da Liberdade with each of the city’s neighborhoods competing for best song and costume.

Where else in Europe can you spend the summer with plenty of sun, great urban attractions of a capital city mixed with resort vibe at the beach without spending a fortune and without traveling huge distances? Only in Lisbon. In the Portuguese capital you have mild weather, you can start your day at the beach in Cascais within minutes from the center, escape the heat to the fairytale palaces of Sintra, and end the day at a Michelin-starred or cheap-but-wonderful restaurant in Lisbon’s old center. Accommodation is also the cheapest of anywhere in Western Europe, allowing you to stay at a stylish central apartment for as little as 20 euros per night per person, or at a 5-star hotel often for less than 100 euros. You do the math and find out for yourself why Lisbon is the place to go this summer.

It seems that Lisbon’s biggest square, the riverfront Praça do Comercio has undergone renovation works every year throughout the last decade. From a new pavement to cleaning up the sewage system, there was always something preventing everyone from fully enjoying this grand and monumental space. It will finally be completely cleaned up by July (or so they say) and will offer several new cafés and a couple of shops on the east wing, joining the ones already found to the west. And because summer in Lisbon lasts until October, the end of the season will see the opening of a new major museum on this square, the Lisboa Story Center telling the story of the city’s post-1755-earthquake rebuilding.

Ancient Art in the Shopping Mall

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

Arte no ColomboTo some this sounds like cultural blasphemy, to others it’s a smart way to bring culture to the masses: The Ancient Art Museum has taken part of its collection to the Colombo mega-mall. Until the end of June a group of 31 pieces will be on display as a “mini museum” in an exhibition related to the art of medieval Portugal. A second group of pieces from the same museum will then be shown in July until October, this time relating to Portugal’s exploration of the world.
It’s free and open every day, making it a perfect excuse to go spend some money or to combine art and shopping on a rainy spring day.
If you can’t make it to the Ancient Art Museum to see its entire collection when you’re in town and prefer to go shopping instead, this is also a good way to get a sense of Portuguese culture for free.

Lisbon’s New Walking Tours

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Lisbon walking toursVisitors looking to get a greater insight into Lisbon’s culture and history will want to consider one of these recently-launched walking tours. Meant for small groups, both take you through the city’s oldest neighborhoods, pointing out the buildings, the views and the easily-overlooked details. The “Old Town Walking Tour” concentrates in Alfama and the castle hill, taking you places even many locals don’t know about. You go through the maze of twisting streets in a trip that lasts just over three hours and takes place in the morning.
The other tour, the “Lisbon Guided Walking Tour” starts downtown in the heart of the city, Rossio Square. From there it goes up the hill to Chiado, one of the most elegant and pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods, followed by a short ride on a tram to the Alfama district to visit the medieval cathedral. In that neighborhood you’ll also learn about the city’s Fado music before ending up on the riverfront in Comercio Square.
Both these tours are perfect for first-time visitors, allowing you to explore places you’d otherwise miss, and introducing neighborhoods you may then explore on your own, focusing on your more specific interests.
If walking is not for you, you may always consider other types of tours, including those that take you on daytrips to Sintra, Cascais or all the way to Fatima: Lisbon Tours

Lisboa Restaurant Week

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Lisboa Restaurant Week

We always strived to maintain you informed about the Lisboa Restaurant Week here on our blog, and this time is no exception.

But given that the Restaurant Week seems to have taken up a regular twice per year frequency, we thought it would merit a more permanent home on, and we’ve therefore created this page, which will be updated for each occurrence of this fine-dining, money-raising event.

Bon appetit!

September in Lisbon

Friday, August 26th, 2011

September is probably the best month to be in Lisbon. The big August tourist crowds are gone, the weather is still pleasant, and the prices for hotels and apartments go down. Locals also go back to work, meaning there’s much more going on. There are several annual events taking place, and below is what is happening this year:

MOTELx, Lisbon

Taking place in Avenida da Liberdade‘s Cinema São Jorge from the 7th to the 11th of the month, this horror film festival will screen features from the USA, Japan, UK, Belgium and Canada among other countries. There will also be international short films, including several from Portugal competing for the MOTELx Award.

There are several outdoor festivals and activities throughout the summer in Lisbon, and they don’t end in August. Until September 11 you’ll still find many outdoor activities throughout the city, from jazz concerts (on the 1st in Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcânatara or the 8th in Rossio Station) and other live performances (September 4th in Cais do Sodré and September 11 in Camões Square, both at 7PM).

Vogue magazine is organizing a special shopping event in the city. Stores (related to fashion, beauty and lifestyle) in the main shopping districts (Avenida da Liberdade, Chiado and Principe Real) will stay open from 7PM to 11PM, when it’s sort of after-hours happy hours. Some shops will have DJs and free drinks, inviting you to enter, browse, and perhaps buy something at special prices.

The 15th annual edition of the Gay and Lesbian Film Festival takes place between the 16th and 24th of the month. It continues to be one of the biggest gay film festivals in Europe, with dozens of films that were released within the last two years from all over the world. There are long and short features as well as documentaries, and the program includes other activities such as performing arts and installations.

This event happens every two years and is back in 2011. It’s the city’s design biennial, this year happening between September 28 and November 27. In addition to design, the special events also focus on architecture and “contemporary creativity.” For this edition there are 21 main events and around 50 related activities happening around the city. The headquarters will be a former courtroom building in Chiado (former Tribunal da Boa-Hora in Rua Nova do Almada).

Lisbon’s Avenida da Liberdade Invites You for a Stroll

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

Avenida da Liberdade, LisbonIt recently added half a dozen kiosk-cafés which together with the always-increasing number of sophisticated shops makes it one of Lisbon’s most attractive addresses. Now it’s introducing a number of activities and special events throughout the year, and especially during the summer. That’s Avenida da Liberdade, the grand central boulevard of the city, also home to many top hotels.
This is the result of a private organization made up of the local business owners, planning fashion shows, antique fairs, flower shows, and expanded opening times of the shops, especially on weekends.
Once a busy avenue where most of Lisbon went for a stroll, Avenida da Liberdade has been in decline in the past two decades, as everyone began to prefer the shopping malls. Now there is an evident rebirth of the area and these activities will help bring it back to its centuries-old place as the main meeting point of the city.
It all begins this Thursday with live music, then this weekend will bring an antiques and crafts fair which is to be repeated every second weekend of the month.
The following Thursday will be a night of Fado and the shops will remain open until 10PM, with some of them displaying precious pieces of art belonging to the collection of the Medeiros e Almeida Museum found nearby.
Also planned for the near future are classical music concerts, contemporary dance shows, photo exhibitions in the shops, and movie screenings in the open air on Mondays this August.
When the colder temperatures and the rain comes this winter the activities won’t end, meaning there is always a good reason to go down the avenue.

Lisbon to Become Beachier

Monday, June 13th, 2011

Ribeira, Lisbon

Apparently having beaches just a few minutes away from downtown is not enough for the people of Lisbon. Soon they’ll also have a beach right in the center of the city, by its largest square. By the end of this summer, work will begin to create a real urban beach by the river next to Comercio Square.
This area was in fact a beach in the 16th and 17th centuries, and it was where many of the ships used during Portugal’s Age of Discovery were built and docked. The name comes from that time — “Ribeira das Naus” (the “Ships’ Riverfront”).
This new urban space will cost close to 15 million euros, and will include plenty of shade from a 10-acre park.
Everything is supposed to be ready in just over a year from now, so if it all goes as planned, you can sunbathe by the Tagus at the end of next summer or early autumn.
Next year the Lisbon waterfront will also be in the spotlight during one of the stages of the worldwide 2012 Volvo Ocean Race, happening on the eastern waterfront of the city, where the river becomes the Atlantic.

Who’s Coming to Lisbon: Rihanna, Coldplay, Foo Fighters and More

Monday, April 4th, 2011

Lisbon Concerts

Rihanna, Within Temptation, Guano Apes

Lisbon’s Calendar of Events has just been updated with a list of concerts scheduled until the end December. Others will be announced throughout the year, but so far the names sure to attract the largest crowds are Bon Jovi and Rihanna. Other acts have also been announced to be part of the annual Optimus Alive Festival, which this year will have Coldplay, Foo Fighters, 30 Seconds to Mars and others on stage.
After the summer festivals the concerts continue, and there are already a few scheduled, including that of Within Temptation and Guano Apes.
For the list of all of Lisbon’s events (and ticket information) click here: Lisbon Events and Concerts.