Posts About 'Art'

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 Be in Lisbon This Fall

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

Autumn is one of the best times to visit Lisbon. The weather is still pleasant, the biggest tourist crowds are gone, and the sunsets are more beautiful. And in 2016 there are several new and exciting reasons to be in the city at this time of the year. Here are ten of them:

MAAT
THE NEW MUSEUM OF ART, ARCHITECTURE AND TECHNOLOGY
The Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT) has already opened in the former Electricity Museum, in a former power plant. But the main building — an iconic piece of modern architecture on the waterfront — is only opening its doors on October 5th. On that date you’ll also be able to see three new major exhibitions, together with a series of events, celebrating this new cultural attraction.

Ancient Art Museum
THE NEW HOME OF PORTUGUESE ART
For another dose of art and culture, head to the Ancient Art Museum. It just reopened its entire 3rd floor after years of renovation, now taken over by Portuguese painting and sculpture. Many of the pieces have never been shown before, including new acquisitions. Its famous “Panels of St. Vincent” can also now be literally seen in a new light.

Maritime Museum
THE NEW “DISCOVERIES HALL”
Another museum with a new exhibition space is the Maritime Museum, which this summer unveiled its new “Discoveries Hall,” which now better shows and explains how Portugal explored the seas and reached so many lands.

Bairro do Avillez
“BAIRRO DO AVILLEZ”
Lisbon’s most famous (and Michelin-starred) chef already had half a dozen restaurants, so he decided that his next project wouldn’t be just another dining spot, it would be an entire neighborhood. He’s just taken over a huge space and divided it into different areas, from a “tavern” at the entrance, to a “grocery store,” to a traditional “Lisbon patio.” The interior mixes contemporary and traditional design, and depending on where you can get a table, you’ll be served traditional petiscos (tapas) or finer dining, strong on fish and seafood.
Address: Rua Nova da Trindade, 18
Phone: 21 583 0290

Pestana CR7 Lisboa
PESTANA CR7 HOTEL
World-famous soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo has gotten into the hotel business, and the first ones to open were in his home country. The very first one was in his home city of Funchal, and the second in Lisbon. Pestana CR7 Lisboa Hotel is not just for those who book a room, as the “CR7 Corner” bar downstairs is open to everyone, offering drinks and meals, as TV screens show sports and fashion events.

Memmo Príncipe Real
A NEW 5-STAR DESIGN HOTEL
A new 5-star design hotel opens in Lisbon’s trendiest neighborhood this fall, overlooking the city. The completely modern building with a terrace and swimming pool will also have a restaurant with views open to all, serving “lusophone cuisine,” meaning food from Portuguese-speaking countries. You may book it now: Memmo Príncipe Real

Money Museum
THE FREE “MONEY MUSEUM”
Good news for those who travel on a budget — there’s a major new attraction in town that’s completely free: the Money Museum. Accessed through a former church, it allows you to touch a 12kg gold bar in a vault that used to belong to the Bank of Portugal, and presents the history of money in the world, in a surprisingly engaging display of coins and banknotes.

Amoreiras 360
A NEW OBSERVATION DECK
Lisbon’s first major shopping mall opened in 1985 in controversial postmodern glass towers, but only in 2016 did one of those towers open its terrace as an observation deck. Accessed through the mall, it offers a 360-degree panoramic view of the city.

Topo Chiado
A NEW ROOFTOP TERRACE
A huge terrace below the Gothic ruins of Carmo Church, right by one of the entrances to the landmark Santa Justa Elevator, finally became a public space in 2015, and this summer it became a bar open throughout the afternoon until late at night. Named “Topo Chiado,” it offers cocktails and tapas to the sound of chillout music, looking out the the castle and the elevator.

Rio Maravilha
…AND ANOTHER ROOFTOP TERRACE
Another terrace offering cocktails, but also some more creative and elaborate meals, is “Rio Maravilha,” facing the Monument to Christ and 25 de Abril Bridge. It’s at the top of one of the buildings of the trendy Lx Factory complex, and is currently one of the city’s hottest spots.

10 New Attractions in Lisbon

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

2016 promises to bring several new attractions to Lisbon, from a major world-class art museum to renovated public spaces on the waterfront. But over the last year, from late 2014 to late 2015, there have also been several new openings that you won’t yet find in your guidebooks. Below are ten of them, which are either brand new or renewed or expanded sites in the city:

THE ROMAN “CASA DOS BICOS”

Casa dos Bicos

The curious Casa do Bicos, from the 1600s, had been hiding Roman remains for two millennia, but they’ve finally been uncovered and put on display. They’re now part of an exhibition on the ground level of the building, which serves as the headquarters of the José Saramago Foundation, or something of a museum dedicated to the Portuguese author who won the Nobel Prize. The archaeological space is part of the Lisbon Museum, and may be visited from Monday to Saturday. It’s free, but if you also want to visit the José Saramago exhibition upstairs, there’s an admission charge.

THE ROMAN THEATER MUSEUM

Roman Theater

Speaking of Roman sites, the most significant one is the former Roman Theater. It was only unearthed in the 1960s and there was a museum explaining it a few years ago, but it closed for a major renovation. It finally reopened this summer, much bigger and better, and you may now walk over the archaeological site of the former theater, then enter a building where it comes to life through pieces found on the site.

CONVENTO DE SÃO PEDRO DE ALCÂNTARA

Convento de São Pedro de Alcântara

This convent founded in 1670 had never been open to the public, despite its location facing one of the city’s most popular lookout terraces. Now that there are no more nuns living in it, it’s now a free attraction you may want to include in your itinerary when you visit the terrace. You’ll find an interior dating mostly from the late 1700s, which includes rich gilding, paintings by Portuguese and French artists, beautiful blue-and-white tile panels depicting the life of St. Peter of Alcantara, and lots of marble in the former funerary chapel.

TERRAÇOS DO CARMO

Terraços do Carmo

These terraces behind the ruins of Carmo Church were always closed, as they were part of the local police barracks. But they’re finally been turned into a public leisure space, offering a great view of the castle and Santa Justa Elevator. It has a cafe on the upper level, where you may sit and enjoy a drink or meal.

JARDIM DA CERCA DA GRAÇA

Jardim da Cerca da Graça

Also open for the first time ever is the park beneath Graça Church. Although it’s existed for centuries, it was used exclusively by the residents of the convent next to the church, and only now has it been turned into a public park. There’s a small children’s playground, a kiosk with terrace serving light meals, and lots of space for a picnic or to simply enjoy a view of the castle and of the old Mouraria neighborhood.

ST. ANTHONY MUSEUM

Museu de Santo António

The site where St. Anthony was born is now a church built in the 1700s. A small museum was created next to it a few years ago, but over the last year it has expanded and reopened completely new. There are new pieces and documents relating to the life and legacy of the saint, who ended up in Italy and died there. Despite usually thought of as an Italian saint, here you’ll understand why he’s such an iconic Lisbon figure. Admission is just €1.50.

MIRADOURO DO RECOLHIMENTO

Miradouro do Recolhimento

Yet another previously-inaccessible spot has been opened for locals and visitors to enjoy the view. This small terrace hidden on a street not far from the castle opens from morning to early in the evening as a tranquil spot to sit and relax, as you watch the trams go by below you. To find it you’ll have to turn on Rua do Recolhimento before you reach the castle’s ticket office, then turn on Beco do Recolhimento.

MUSEU DO ALJUBE

Museu do Aljube

A former ecclesiastical prison that was turned into an archbishops palace in the 1500s, became a prison once again in the early 20th century, to hold (and torture) political prisoners. Many of Portugal’s influential politicians and intellectuals were sent there at some point, until the revolution in 1974 that overthrew the right-wing regime. This year it was turned into a museum dedicated to the struggle for freedom and democracy. The permanent exhibition is spread over three floors, and includes documents about censorship, the fight for independence of the colonies, as well as archaeological remains explaining the origins of the building. You’ll find it on Rua de Augusto Rosa, 42, in Alfama.

THE NATIONAL CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM

Chiado Museum

Previously simply known as “Museu do Chiado”, this national museum dedicated to Portuguese contemporary art is now the National Museum of Contemporary Art of Chiado. In 2015 it expanded to a second building around the corner from the first one, and in addition to the previous permanent collection, it now also displays works from major Portuguese artists from 1960 to 1990.

THE NEW COACHES MUSEUM

Carriages Museum

After much controversy, the new Coaches Museum finally opened this summer, on the 110th anniversary of its original inauguration. The massive building is just across the street from the old one, and may now display many more carriages and related pieces. The most magnificent examples are still the ones used in an embassy to France’s Louis XIV and to Pope Clement XI.

8 Things to Do in Lisbon in August

Friday, July 31st, 2015

The eighth month of the year always attracts the biggest number of visitors to Lisbon. While many spend their days at the beach, there is a lot to do if you want to enjoy the city and its attractions. And if you enjoy art and culture you’re in luck, as there are some interesting exhibitions to allow you to escape the heat and take a break from the sun. Best of all, some of them are free, and if you still want to work on your tan, you may do so at a couple of new outdoor spots:

Berardo Museum

“THE COLLECTOR’S EYE”
It’s one of the city’s best exhibitions this year, and best of all it’s free. Collector Joe Berardo has selected his favorites works from his world-class collection of modern art, some of which had never been on display. There’s a total of 35 works by artists like Roy Lichtenstein and Marc Chagall, which can be seen together with the permanent display of works by Andy Warhol and Picasso among others. See more about the museum: Berardo Museum

CHRISTIAN LECROIX AT THE DESIGN AND FASHION MUSEUM
Another free exhibition is found at MuDe, the design and fashion museum. In addition to the permanent collection, it’s currently showing (until August 30th) sixteen haute couture pieces by the famous French designer, created between 1989 and 2000. Three of them had never been publicly shown before, and there are descriptions about each piece written by the designer, allowing you to understand his creative process.

“THE LIGHT OF LISBON”
2015 is the International Year of Light, and since Lisbon is known as one of the world’s most luminous cities, there’s an exhibition about its mythical light. It’s organized by the Lisbon Museum, and is being shown in the western turret of Comercio Square. It offers a scientific explanation for the city’s reflecting light and shows how it has inspired artists over time.

THE NEW NATIONAL MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART
The National Museum of Contemporary Art in Chiado (often simply referred to as the Chiado Museum) has finally expanded in July and has a new wing with plenty of space to show some of the best contemporary Portuguese art. The current exhibition shows works by the major Portuguese artists from 1960 to 1990.

Royal carriages museum

THE NEW COACHES MUSEUM
A controversial new building has opened to be able to display more vehicles than the previous 110-year-old Coaches Museum. The controversy comes not just for the multimillion-euro cost of the construction but also for the modern architecture now housing such a classic fairy tale collection. Go judge for yourself and see why this museum is one of Lisbon’s most visited attractions.

Terraços do Carmo

A NEW TERRACE
It still doesn’t have the planned cafe, but the terrace next to Carmo Church by the Santa Justa Elevator has already opened for the first time. It’s now a calm spot for you to relax and enjoy a view of the castle and of the elevator.

Jardim da Cerca da Graça

A NEW PARK
Also open for the first time is the park down the hill from Graça Church and its famous viewpoint. It’s been there for centuries, but was not open to the public. It’s now a public park faced by the castle, with a children’s playground, a cafe and lots of space to spread your towel and have a pic nic.

MULTIMEDIA SHOW
A multimedia show based on the legend of Lisbon’s foundation by Ulysses is being projected onto Comercio Square every night from August 7th to the 16th, at 9:30PM, 10:30PM and 11:30PM. It will feature 3D effects and DJ music, and the show lasts 15 minutes.

10 Things to Do in Lisbon’s Avenidas Novas District

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

Although it’s home to a large number of hotels, Lisbon’s Avenidas Novas district is the least touristy in the city. Mostly dating from the the early-to-mid-20th-century, it’s mostly a business and residential area, but there are a couple of museums that top the list of must-see attractions for many tourists. If you’re staying in this part of town, or are simply passing by, consider these often-overlooked recommendations:

Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon

CALOUSTE GULBENKIAN MUSEUM
It’s the must-see museum in town, so many do end up here. But even those who don’t particularly enjoy museums will want to check it out, even if just to enjoy its wonderful gardens. Take advantage of Lisbon’s mostly-sunny weather throughout the spring, summer, and autumn months, and catch some sun or have a picnic on the lawns by the duck ponds. Once inside the museum, you’ll find a treasure trove of masterpieces from the East and West.

MODERN ART CENTER
Those who enjoy modern art will want to discover Portugal’s modern artists. Their work is on display in temporary and permanent collections at this museum on the grounds of the Gulbenkian museum and park. Managed by the same foundation, it also has a good collection of British works.

Versailles Cafe, Lisbon

VERSAILLES CAFÉ
This is the classic European café, with a mirrored interior that could very well be part of a royal palace. Admire the architecture as you enjoy a huge selection of sugary pastries that the café and Lisbon are famous for.

Medeiros e Almeida Museum, Lisbon

MEDEIROS E ALMEIDA MUSEUM
It doesn’t even come listed in many guidebooks so it just may be one of Lisbon’s most wonderfully surprising attractions. It’s the former private residence of a wealthy businessman from the late 1800s, who lived among the works of art he collected. Highlights of a visit include not just those precious pieces, but also the rooms themselves. There’s a Rembrandt portrait, paintings by Rubens and Tiepolo, and the beautiful “Lake Room” covered in tile panels from the 1700s and with a fountain that used to be at the gardens of Versailles.

Museu da Cidade, Lisbon

MUSEU DA CIDADE
Get to know Lisbon a little more by touring this museum that tells the story of its different periods in history. Housed in a palace built by the king for his mistress, it includes a pleasant garden with real peacocks roaming around other ceramic creatures.

Eleven restaurant, Lisbon

ELEVEN RESTAURANT
This Michelin-starred restaurant not only offers fine dining, but also views towards Edward VII Park and beyond. The food is mostly Mediterranean, and is a good choice for a dinner for two or for a larger group.

DeCastro Elias restaurant, Lisbon

DECASTRO ELIAS RESTAURANT
One of the top local chefs that concentrates on traditional Portuguese cuisine for modern tastes is Miguel Castro Silva. He’s behind a trio of restaurants in town, and at this one not far from the Gulbenkian, he specializes in “petiscos”, the tapas-like Portuguese dishes based on classic recipes.

El Corte Ingles, Lisbon

EL CORTE INGLÉS
Lisbon’s two big department stores in Chiado burned down in a major fire in 1988, so this Spanish giant is currently the only one in the city. Skip the malls and head here instead on a rainy day, and you’ll find everything you expect from a department store, but will also find a good food court on the lower level.

VARANDA RESTAURANT
It’s worth a splurge at one of the city’s most refined restaurants. It’s on the top floor of the Ritz Four Seasons Hotel, and offers buffet lunches and a la carte dinners with city views. The food mixes Portuguese and international flavors.

Panorama bar, Sheraton Hotel, Lisbon

PANORAMA BAR
End your day above Lisbon, at the top of the Sheraton Hotel. Have a drink in an elegant, relaxed space overlooking the city below.

10 Things to Do in Lisbon Before the End of 2013

Monday, November 11th, 2013

Christmas in Lisbon

THE PRADO IN LISBON
Spain’s biggest national museum, the Prado, is lending a few of its masterpieces to Portugal’s biggest national museum, the Ancient Art Museum. It’s part of a program of exchange of works between the two museums, and from Madrid to Lisbon will be brought around 60 paintings from masters like Rubens and Brueghel. The exhibition opens on December 3rd.

THE ROUTE OF THE TILE AT THE GULBENKIAN MUSEUM
From now until January 26th you can see “The Splendor of Cities: The Route of the Tile” at the Gulbenkian Museum. The collector that gave Lisbon’s most acclaimed museum its name was an admirer of tiled art, and this exhibition is a wonderful complement to a visit to the city’s Tile Museum. It remembers how tile is a feature of cities throughout the Mediterranean and beyond to central Asia, and on display are works from Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Persia and India.

FELIPE OLIVEIRA BAPTISTA AT THE DESIGN AND FASHION MUSEUM
He grew up in Lisbon and studied in London, but it was in Paris that Felipe Oliveira Baptista became a successful fashion designer. Lisbon’s Design and Fashion Museum now presents a retrospective exhibition of ten years of his creations, until February 16th. As always at this museum, admission is free.

THE DESIGN BIENNIAL
Lisbon’s design biennial is here, and until December 22nd you may see design-related exhibitions at several venues in the city. Complete info: www.experimentadesign.pt

THE ARCHITECTURE TRIENNIAL
It only happens every three years, but 2013 is a year of the architecture triennial. There are architecture-related exhibitions, debates, and special events until December 15th. More info: www.trienaldelisboa.com

500 YEARS OF THE PORTUGUESE IN CHINA
The Medeiros e Almeida Museum is Lisbon’s most surprising museum and still one of its most overlooked. Now and until December 31st, you may celebrate 500 years of the arrival of the Portuguese in China with the exhibition “Chins and Guo Yan Ta Xi.” It’s a collection of Chinese works of art, including textiles, porcelain, and furniture, spread around the works permanently displayed in the museum.

PLANET OCEAN AT THE OCEANARIUM
The Good Planet Foundation has set up a temporary exhibition (until January 6th) at Lisbon’s famous Oceanarium, presenting unique perspectives of the world’s oceans through aerial and underwater images. They’re accompanied by descriptions alerting to the threats that the oceans face today.

LISBON, WWII’S SAFE HAVEN
Until December 15th, one of the turrets of Comercio Square hosts an exhibition that takes you back to Lisbon during WWII. The images and objects on display show how the Portuguese capital was the European safe haven at the time, and how everyone from the lower to the upper classes of Europe used it to escape the war. The final destination was to be the Unites States, but as they waited for their documents, Lisbon became a strangely peaceful and free city.

THE CHRISTMAS VILLAGE
From November 29th to January 6th, Edward VII Park will be a “Christmas Village” where families can meet Santa Claus and real reindeer. Always with a view of Lisbon as a backdrop.

CHRISTMAS CONCERTS
As the Christmas season approaches there is a series of concerts in Lisbon’s churches. Every weekend evening until December 1st there are concerts in São Roque Church, and after that, throughout December, there are more in other churches downtown. For free.

April in Portugal

Saturday, March 30th, 2013

One of Portugal’s top international musical hits is a song called “April in Portugal,” originally sung by the great Fado diva Amalia Rodrigues but also performed by other big names like Eartha Kitt, Louis Armstrong, and Bing Crosby. The first version is from 1947 and was called “Coimbra” as an homage to Portugal’s old university city, but came to have yet another name, “The Whisp’ring Serenade.”
In the mid-20th-century the month of April came to be associated with tourism in Portugal, which promoted it as a great time to be in the country, with the temperatures rising and the flowers in bloom. This time of the year remains a great time to fly to Lisbon, especially in 2013. Here is what you’ll be able to experience this month:

Pena Palace in Sintra, Portugal

THE NEW JULIO POMAR MUSEUM
On April 5th, the new Julio Pomar Museum opens its doors. Julio Pomar is one of Portugal’s top contemporary artists, currently living between Lisbon and Paris but this will be the permanent home of dozens of his works. It’s an old building by Bairro Alto (Rua do Vale, 7) which has been refurbished by local Pritzker Prize architect Siza Vieira, and the first exhibition will be on display until September with free admission.

FOOD FESTIVAL
Lisbon’s biggest gastronomic festival is “Peixe em Lisboa,” the “Fish and Flavours” festival which this year happens from the 4th to the 14th in a courtyard of Comercio Square. Portuguese and international chefs will show off their art in preparing fish and you can try them and learn how to prepare them yourself.

THE 10TH INTERNATIONAL INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL
The “IndieLisboa” festival is back, from April 18 to the 28th. In its 10th edition it will once again screen independent films from all over the world, and will close with the local premiere of “Before Midnight” starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Deply (it had its world premiere at Sundance and will be in theaters worldwide in late May).

BELEM ART FEST
On the 5th and 6th, four museums in the Belem district will host special events, from concerts to film screenings. The Coaches Museum, the Archaeology Museum, the Berardo Museum and the Museum of the Presidency will also provide access to their permanent collections through one single ticket valid for all spaces.

JAZZ FEST
The São Luiz Theater will host a special jazz fest on the 6th and 7th featuring national musicians in concerts and workshops. The events start at 4PM on both days, lasting until well past 1AM.

“MUSIC DAYS”
The Belem district will host yet another festival later in the month, the “Dias da Música” in Belem Cultural Center. The annual event takes place on the 19th, 20th and 21st, with over 60 concerts, debates and a special market. This year it will focus on the music of the late 1700s and early 1800s, with classics by Beethoven and Chopin.

RIVER SIGHTSEEING CRUISE
The river sightseeing cruises are back for another season. Available from April to October, it takes you on a two-hour tour of the city’s ancient and modern landmarks, from the old center to the Parque das Nações district and the Age of Discovery monuments of Belém.

VERDANT SINTRA
When in Lisbon, go to Sintra. Now that the colder and rainier season is coming to an end and that the bigger summer crowds haven’t yet arrived, it’s the best time to see Portugal’s romantic fairytale town. It’s also at its most verdant and colorful, and a palace you should make an effort to visit at this time of the year is the Monserrate Palace, recently renovated but still overlooked by those who only give themselves enough time to see the famous Pena Palace. After you visit the interior, be sure to relax at the beautiful gardens.

10 Things to Do in Lisbon in the Summer of 2013

Sunday, March 10th, 2013

Joana Vasconcelos at Ajuda Palace, Lisbon

SEE CONTEMPORARY ART IN A ROYAL PALACE
The most visited exhibition of the Palace of Versailles comes to Lisbon. The Ajuda Palace will show the works by Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos that were seen in France (including the famous shoes made of pans) and will add a few new pieces. You can see them from March 23rd to August 25th.

Lisbon waterfront

SUNBATHE ON THE NEW WATERFRONT
After several delays, Lisbon’s renovated waterfront next to Comercio Square is promised to be ready by the summer. Known as “Ribeira das Naus” (“Ships Riverfront”), this was where Lisbon’s explorers had their ships made. It will now be a public space to relax, to sit in the sun and enjoy the scenery.

JOIN A STREET PARTY
The main event is on the night of June 12 and on June 13th, but the “Festas de Lisboa” (“Lisbon Feasts”) really happen throughout the summer. You’ll find several outdoor events throughout the city from June to September, from free jazz concerts to street performances, especially downtown and in the squares of Chiado.

ROCK AND ROLL ON THE BEACH
Lisbon’s summers are always big on music festivals and 2013 will be no exception. While this year there is no Rock in Rio-Lisboa, there will be the Optimus Alive festival with names like Green Day, Depeche Mode, Kings of Leon, and Editors, and the Super Bock Super Rock festival with Arctic Monkeys, The Killers, Queens of the Stone Age, among others. Best of all is that these festivals take place by the coast, allowing you to get some beach days in between. Among other concerts happening in the city this summer are those of Bon Jovi and Alicia Keys.

DISCOVER NEW ART
One of Lisbon’s best-but-overlooked museums is the Chiado Museum, the national museum of contemporary art. It’s a great place to discover the art of Portugal’s best contemporary artists and it just unveiled its new permanent collection. You’ll see works from between 1850 to 1975 and the names to look for are Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso, Almada Negreiros and Paula Rego.

Myriad Hotel, Lisbon

BE ONE OF THE FIRST GUESTS
2013 has so far been huge on new hotel openings. This is the result of Lisbon being one of the rising stars of European travel and because it’s no longer just a seasonal low-cost destination, there are increasingly more upscale (yet still affordable) hotels. Recently-opened or about to be (and all centrally-located), there are new boutique and design hotels you’ll want to be among the first to experience. Check out the new Lisboa Carmo Hotel, Mercy Hotel, Myriad Hotel, Teatro Hotel, Beautique Hotel Figueira, Epic Sana Hotel and Memmo Alfama. Alternatively, you may choose one of the many new or renovated centrally-located apartments.

SAMPLE THE LATEST RESTAURANTS
Lisbon is currently going through a gastronomic revolution that will keep on growing. The New York Times called it the city’s “Culinary Golden Age,” with creative young chefs investing in new restaurant projects since 2010. This year is no different, with new star-chef restaurants opening in the center of the city. The new Honra by Olivier serves traditional Portuguese cuisine with a personal twist on Figueira Square, Michelin-star chef Jose Avillez is adding a pizzeria to Chiado which gives him a trio of restaurants in the neighborhood, and other spots are reinventing themselves with new menus like the beautiful Tacho à Mesa by Faz Gostos.

SEE A RENEWED ROYAL SQUARE
Comercio Square is one of Europe’s largest public squares, and the second biggest royal square after St. Petersburg’s Palace Square. The statue of king José I placed at the center in 1779 is currently being restored and will be unveiled like new in August. Also being cleaned up is the same square is the triumphal arch which should be completed by then as well.
In the meantime you may always enjoy the terraces of the new cafes and restaurants placed under the arches of the eastern and western wings.

Avenida da Liberdade, Lisbon

SPLURGE ON NEW LUXURY SHOPS
Lisbon’s Avenida da Liberdade has become a true luxury shopping destination, reinforced by new shops of international brands like Miu Miu and Officine Panerai, and a renewed Emporio Armani. Joining them this summer is a major new Cartier store and the less-luxurious-but-very-popular Guess.

Castelo dos Mouros, Sintra

GO BACK 1300 YEARS
Also given a new life is the 1300-year-old Moorish Castle in Sintra. Thanks to ticket sales from a growing number of tourists to the region, this ancient landmark has now added new facilities to accommodate visitors and restored parts of the monument in the process. While the fairytale Pena Palace nearby gets all the attention, the Moorish Castle should also be part of your itinerary in 2013 and beyond.

Three museums in Lisbon will be hosting the festival Belem Art Fest in September

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

 Belém Art FestThe National Museum of Archaeology, the National Coach Museum and the Museum of Folk Art will be the stage of the first edition of the Belém Art Fest festival, with concerts, exhibitions, workshops and theater, scheduled for September 22.

The concept is simple: with a single ticket, each participant can visit three museums and see part of their collections, participate in workshops, attend concerts or see a play.

Each museum will stage a different musical genre: In the National Coach Museum there will be a presentation of “three different approaches to the urban song – FADO,” with Pedro Moutinho, Maria Ana Bobone and Teresa Lopes Alves.

In the National Museum of Archaeology, the voices, melodies and rhythms of Elisa Rodriguez and Julio Resende, The Soaked Lamb and Selma Uamusse take guests on a retro journey within the Jazz and Blues genres.

At the Museum of Folk Art, the party starts with energy and good vibes with the Portuguese bands Nice Weather for Ducks, The Doups and Youthless and ending with a DJ set at 04.00.

Belem Art Fest aims to publicise different values of the Portuguese culture, combining tradition and modernity, history and innovation. Participants can visit part of the Museum’s collections, learn how to create urban handicraft with Bolo de Pano Lisboa, hear tips from L’Oréal makeup experts, enjoy an art exhibition from Pedro Madeira Pinto or watch the play “Made in China” from Grupo de Teatro da Nova. Visitors will also be surprised by an exhibition and fashion show from Lisbon Fashion School – EML.

The Belem Art Fest also has a message of sustainability. It encourages participants to travel on foot between the museums and to use the train as transport to the festival. To this end, a 1€ round-trip ticket will be available for holders of the festival pass.

More information: http://www.belem-art-fest.pt