Posts About 'Chiado'

3 New Hotels in Lisbon

Monday, November 5th, 2012

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

Myriad Hotel, Lisbon

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

Mercy Hotel, Lisbon

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

Teatro B&B Hotel, Lisbon

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

5 New Spots to Taste Lisbon

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

P Chiado, Lisbon

Rua da Horta Seca, 9
Pastries called “travesseiros” are to the town of Sintra what the famous custard tarts are to Lisbon. But now you no longer have to go outside the capital to enjoy them. In fact, they’re now in the very center of the city, just around the corner from Camões Square. This new café/pastry shop serves them together with another Sintra specialty, the cheese tarts, and a different kind of custard pastries — with chocolate added!

Taberna da Rua das Flores, Lisbon

Rua das Flores, 103
There was a time when Lisbon was full of these types of “tabernas”, something like a mix of tavern and deli serving homestyle food. They’ve become nearly extinct but there’s recently been a revival. Instead of just catering to neighborhood patrons, they’re attracting locals and tourists, becoming destinations for doses of traditional meals with a certain modern twist. This one is next to Camões Square and uses old recipes in a menu of “petiscos” (tapas) available throughout the day.

The Old Pharmacy, Lisbon

Rua do Diário de Notícias, 73-83
The name remembers the old function of this space in Bairro Alto, a pharmacy that was in business for decades. Instead of medications, its cabinets are now filled with wine bottles, almost all from Portugal. Accompanying the glasses of wine are local cheeses and hams.

Wine Lover, Lisbon

Rua das Gáveas, 38
Another recent wine bar in Bairro Alto, this one has a nice interior but best of all is the possibility of sitting outside people-watching. It lists a good variety of Portuguese wines, always to the sound of music.

Maria do Carmo, Lisbon

Rua da Oliveira ao Carmo, 1
Carmo Square is one of Lisbon’s most charming, faced by the haunting ruins of the gothic Carmo Convent. Although it’s had terrace cafés for many years, they were essentially for tourists and of the quality expected for such places. Now a new spot has opened with tables on the square, of a quality that sets it apart from the others. The menu is limited and may be disappointing at first sight, but order a plate of Portuguese cheeses and sausages and enjoy the surrounding atmosphere.

Your Daily Bread in Lisbon

Monday, April 16th, 2012

The current business trend in Lisbon seems to be bakeries. Not ordinary bakeries but French-inspired or traditionally-Portuguese-inspired bakeries. Here are the five newest ones, especially perfect if you’re staying at an apartment and want to have bread for breakfast when you wake up:

La Boulangerie, Lisbon

Perfectly located around the corner from the famous Brasileira café, this is a bakery by the entrance and a café upstairs. You can grab the bread to go or stay at a table enjoying a light meal (we recommend the pancakes) at any time of the day.

The most attractive bakery-café downtown (Rua da Madalena, 57) opened recently and is already known for the quality of its French-style bread. The consensus is that the service could be a little friendlier and more welcoming, and that has also been our experience, but hopefully the attractive space and the quality of the products will make up for it in the long run.

Not far from La Boulangerie downtown (on Rua do Ouro, 175) is this new branch of Portuguese bakeries adapted to modern times. It has an attractive contemporary interior but serves the bread and pastries the Portuguese have been traditionally making for decades.

Found across the street from the Amoreiras shopping mall, this is Lisbon’s branch of the now-international French bakery. It has a rather spacious interior but also a few tables outside for you to enjoy a baguette in the sun.

This is not a bakery but a pastry shop. And we warn you that if you’re counting calories, this is not a place for you. Incredibly mouth-watering pastries will tempt you into getting more sugar than you should, but once in a while it’s actually a healthy stress-reliever to give in to temptation. So after a visit to the São Pedro de Alcântara viewpoint, continue up the hill to this French patisserie and relax with a tea and something sweet. And you may take some croissants with you as well.

10 Places for the Health-Conscious to Eat in Lisbon

Monday, April 9th, 2012

Being on vacation doesn’t have to mean taking a break from your diet. Here are ten places in Lisbon serving veggie, organic, or simply healthy meals:

Bake the Difference
This vegan bakery/café is a convenient stop on weekdays for breakfast, brunch, lunch or afternoon snacks. It’s found on a street parallel to Avenida da Liberdade close to Restauradores Square and has soups, salads and even desserts free of animal products.

Go NaturalGo Natural
This is a fast food restaurant found in almost all shopping malls, but also independently in the center of the city, facing Marquês de Pombal Square. Pastas, salads, wraps, soups and fruit juices are pre-packaged to grab and eat. Many are vegetarian options, but there are also chicken and salmon dishes.

Jardim dos Sentidos
Up the hill from Avenida da Liberdade is the best vegetarian lunch buffet in the city. It mixes world cuisines and even the biggest meat lovers will enjoy the vast selection of dishes available. For dinner it has an a la carte service.

Everything served at this restaurant grows from the ground. It’s all available in a varied buffet and can be enjoyed in the open air on a backyard terrace.

Open Brasserie
Sharing the building of the Inspira Santa Marta Hotel, this eco-friendly restaurant is also health-friendly, using organic products in its Mediterranean-inspired cuisine.

This tiny café is mostly a juice bar. Although it also has a couple of things to eat, its specialty is immunity-boosting smoothies made of fresh fruits in front of you.

Centrally-located in a Chiado courtyard, this café has healthy snacks and light meals throughout the day, but also a vegetarian lunch buffet every day. The only thing that will ruin your diet are the cakes but those can be avoided if you just concentrate on the rest of the menu.

Pimenta Laranja
Found not far from Jeronimos Monastery, this all-organic café has wraps, salads, and hamburgers. It also has pastries but you’ll likely skip those, especially if you can’t resist trying the famous custard tarts (“pasteis de Belém”) nearby.

The main attraction for locals is the organic bread but you may also sit for tea or for weekend brunch. It consists of all-natural juice, fresh fruit, granola with yogurt, eggs, croissants and more.

Found next to an organic supermarket in Chiado, this cafeteria has a pleasant terrace where you can enjoy a light lunch or snack of salads, quiches and sandwiches.

The 5 Best Ways to Save in Lisbon

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Lisbon, Portugal

Most of Lisbon’s national monuments and museums are free on Sunday mornings until 2PM. That means that if you’re in the city on a weekend, be sure to wake up early on Sunday and head to the Jeronimos Monastery. After a visit to the church and cloisters, head next door for the Archaeology Museum (currently with an exhibition of Portugal’s Celtic and Roman past and with the “sick mummy”), then next door again for the Maritime Museum (telling the story of Portugal’s history at sea).
Then cross the road using the underpass across from Jeronimos’ gardens and walk towards Belem Tower. It’s also free until 2PM. Then walk back again, past the Discoveries Monument and enter the Berardo Museum for its surprising collection of international modern art. This museum is always free, every day of the week.

Even if you take advantage of the free Sunday mornings for monuments and museums, you’ll still have to pay for transportation. So to avoid having to look for change and taking time buying tickets, acquire the Lisboa Card. It’s the city’s tourist card which provides free unlimited rides on all of the city’s buses, trams and metro except for the special airport bus. It saves you lots of money and time on getting around, but it also offers free admission to all the major attractions, even when it’s not Sunday. The few attractions that are not free with the card still have reduced admission with it. It’s really the best investment you can make in Lisbon.

You’ll find that eating out in Lisbon is much cheaper than in most other European capitals. However, prices have gone up and it’s probably a good idea if one of your meals is not at a restaurant. The best lunch options are often at cafés, especially in Chiado. Many offer great-value meals often with restaurant-sized portions. Those may includes pastas, salads or sandwiches. The same type of light meals are found at fast food restaurants in the shopping malls. Next to McDonald’s and other well-known names you’ll find local options such as “Go Natural,” “Vitaminas” and “H3” offering healthier choices. The Armazéns do Chiado mall in Chiado has a good food court with city views, with several of those fast-but-good restaurants.

Although Lisbon’s hotels are officially the best-value in Western Europe (especially 5-star accommodation according to annual surveys), you can really save by staying at an apartment. Many renovated houses in charming residential neighborhoods like medieval Alfama or in the heart of the city in Baixa are now used for tourist stays. GoLisbon has the most Lisbon apartment choices online, for as little as 20 euros per person per night. That means your own Lisbon home, with more privacy and even more space than a hotel room. It’s perfect for families or for those looking for the “living in Lisbon” experience.

The Berardo Museum mentioned above is not the only major attraction that’s always free. The Design and Fashion Museum is also free, and so are the most impressive churches: São Roque Church, Estrela Basilica and Santa Catarina Church. Also don’t forget that perhaps Lisbon’s main attraction is the city itself, its setting and scenery, so sitting at the terrace viewpoints will perhaps be your most memorable experiences, where you take the most beautiful photos, and it’s always free!

The 10 Grandest Baroque Attractions in Lisbon

Monday, October 24th, 2011

The word “Baroque” derives from the Portuguese word “barroco.” Portugal is renowned for this architectural style and although Lisbon is characterized by its architectural diversity, it’s essentially a baroque city. That’s because most of it was rebuilt following the earthquake of 1755 and now many of its grandest monuments are filled with baroque splendor. The magnificence of many of the city’s interiors is also the result of the discovery of gold in Brazil, giving Lisbon a profusion of golden decorations. Here we present the 10 baroque attractions you should not miss.

Sao Roque Church, Lisbon

Home to what is said to be “the world’s most expensive chapel,” this deceptively simple church outside has one of the city’s (and Europe’s) richest baroque interiors.

Estrela Basilica, Lisbon

This domed basilica is one of the city’s most monumental churches, covered with marble inside. It includes an impressive baroque nativity scene.

Menino de Deus Church, Lisbon

It’s usually closed, so this church hides one of the city’s most remarkable baroque interiors that mostly survived the 1755 earthquake.

Madre de Deus Church, Lisbon

The church of the convent that’s now home to the Tile Museum is truly magnificent. Covered in gold from floor to ceiling, it also has some outstanding tile panels and paintings.

Paulistas Church, Lisbon

Also known as Paulistas Church, this is one of Lisbon’s most impressive yet least-known churches, covered with baroque and rococo decorations.

Pena Church, Lisbon

Yet another church with an ordinary façade but with an extraordinary interior, covered in gilt.

Sao Miguel Church, Lisbon

One of the city’s many secrets is this church in the middle of Alfama’s maze of streets. It only opens for mass, revealing a rich baroque interior.

National Pantheon, Lisbon

The resting place of many of Portugal’s leading figures is a domed monument that took centuries to complete.

Martyrs Basilica, Lisbon

In addition to a beautiful ceiling painting, the interior of this basilica surprises for the well-preserved baroque details that fill the entire space.

Encarnacao Church, Lisbon

Found in the center of Chiado, this church has one of the city’s most elegant interiors, mixing the baroque and the neoclassical styles.

The Top 10 Shops in Lisbon’s Chiado

Monday, September 12th, 2011

Ourivesaria Aliança, Lisbon


Chiado is Lisbon’s most popular shopping area. While the luxury labels are located on Avenida da Liberdade and the more alternative choices are found in Bairro Alto and Príncipe Real, it is in Chiado that everyone finds their favorite international brands. Next to H&M, Nike, Zara, Levi’s, Foot Locker and other famous names are local business you should check out. Below are the ten best.

It’s the shop everyone says you should not miss in Lisbon. Filled with nostalgia, it offers irresistible retro products that make classic Portuguese gifts.

One of Portugal’s first major fashion designers has her main boutique here, filled with her latest creations in clothing and accessories.

Even if you have no intentions of buying the silver and gold available here, be sure to visit this shop for the jewel that is the interior. In true Louis XV style, it is one of Lisbon’s most beautiful shops.

It’s officially the world’s oldest bookstore, as confirmed by a Guinness World Records certificate on a wall. In business since 1732, there are periodicals and English-language books in addition to the latest Portuguese best-sellers.

A probable record holder for “world’s smallest shop”, enter one at a time for a trip to the 1920s and exclusive perfectly-fitted hand-made gloves.

It was here that this now-international brand was born. Created by an American, this children’s fashion label is for those looking for quality classic European styles, all beautifully handmade in Lisbon. You can now find it in the world’s biggest department stores, but this is the original shop.

During Portugal’s monarchy days, this shop had the privilege of providing the linen for the royal palace.

This attractive shop tempts you into buying quality products for the home, almost all “Made in Portugal.” Those include fragrances, textiles and ceramics.

This fairytale of a shop presents the collections of a duo of fashion designers who are arguably the country’s most creative, and the creativity is reflected in the décor of the boutique.

There are several Vista Alegre shops around Lisbon, but the Chiado branch is the most beautiful, looking almost like a museum of the famous Portuguese porcelain that has decorated royal palaces in Europe and the White House in the United States.

Off-the-Beaten-Path Lisbon by Author Philip Graham

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

Author Philip GrahamAmerican author Philip Graham has written this post for GoLisbon, sharing his off-the-beaten-path discoveries in Chiado, one of Lisbon’s most visited neighborhoods. His book “The Moon Come to Earth: Dispatches from Lisbon” (a collection of essays narrating the year he lived in Lisbon with his family) is on sale now.

Lisbon, as I’ve said many times to friends and family, will surprise you. Perhaps the best example is that, even in Chiado, one of the most heavily touristed areas in the city, you can still take a short walk a bit off the beaten path that will be filled with pleasant surprises.
Yes, Chiado’s Café a Brasileira, with its outdoor stand of umbrella-ed tables where you can sip and be seen by passing fellow travelers, is a worthy stop. The high-end shops down Rua Garrett deserve window—as well as actual shopping. And there’s nearly always some unusual street performance underway at the Praça Luís de Camões.
But if you’re inclined to make a brief escape from the gravitational pull of the usual tourist attraction, simply walk south from the Largo do Chiado, down the Rua do Alecrim. You’re just a block away from the lovely Largo do Barão de Quintella, a tiny green park centered around the dark marble statue celebrating one of Portugal’s greatest writers, the novelist Eça de Queiroz. He stands (fully clothed) beside the figure of a half naked woman, her arms spread in supplication. She’s meant to represent Truth, and at the base of this statue is a quote from Queiroz, the one that inspired the sculptor:

“Sobre a nudez forte de verdade
A manto diaphano da fantasia,”

which roughly translates into English as:

“Over the hard nakedness of truth
Lies a gauzy veil of fantasy.”

That’s as pithy a description of most people’s daily reality as can be found in literature, and it’s worth pausing to contemplate. You can continue your contemplations as you then make your way to the southeast corner of the park and walk across the street to Sant’anna (95-97 Rua do Alecrim), an excellent shop specializing in Portuguese azulejos. These are traditional colorful tiles, an art form that was originally influenced by the abstract patterned tiles of the Moors, who ruled over much of Portugal in the Middle Ages. The Portuguese versions, however, go much more for representation, the patterns featuring leaves, flowers, fruit, etc. You can also find pottery and dishes at the shop, though the tiles are the main attraction.
But be careful what you buy. Over ten years ago my wife and I purchased a couple boxes of azulejos from Sant’anna, and that initial purchase of about $150 turned into the basis of a very expensive—but satisfying—kitchen renovation.

Other azulejos tell a story, each square tile forming a small part of a larger illustrated drama: battle scenes, depictions of daily life from other centuries, religious miracles, all designed to be displayed in one’s home or on an exterior wall. One might say that Portuguese azulejos were one of the earliest forms of popular graphic art.

Once you’ve explored enough in Sant’anna, simply walk one block east, along the southern edge of the Largo do Barão de Quintella, and you’ll be in sight of BdMania (Rua das Flores, 71), a small shop where you can find another, more contemporary kind of graphic art; this place is stacked with all manner of graphic novels, comics, Japanese manga, you name it. Are you a fan of steam punk? This is the place for you. Each table is packed with an amazing range of merchandise. I once bought for my wife there a French graphic novel about a traveling band of klezmer musicians.
After your extended stint of exploring in these two shops, perhaps it’s time to think about lunch. Keep walking south on the Rua das Flores, in the direction of the Tejo river. You’re looking for Restaurant a Carvoaria (Rua das Flores, 6), but don’t look for a sign, there isn’t one. There isn’t a menu posted outside, either. Just look for the street number—6—and there you are, standing in front of what looks like a hole in the wall. Literally. Just a darkened open doorway beckons you to a not entirely welcoming darkened space. Have no fear, though—take a few steps inside, let your eyes adjust, and then head for the stairs on your left. You’ll enter a much better lit but still cavernous space, chock-a-block with long tables filled with Portuguese business people and workers enjoying their mid-day meal in a restaurant that only serves lunch, within a two-hour window, from noon to a little after 2 o’clock. The food in Carvoaria is simple but satisfying. Go for the seafood, though the chicken dishes are just as succulent. Y’know, the rack of pork is fine too. The house red wine, served in ceramic jars, goes down smoothly—be careful, it will creep up on you. The entire atmosphere is of a happy, noisy family.
But don’t order a dessert or coffee. Save that final course for your last stop on this little tour, the nearby pastelaria Quatro Estações (Praça de São Paulo 17). Simply continue walking south on Rua das Flores, make your first right, onto Rua de São Paulo, and then take your first left. There you’ll find Quatro Estações, located in the middle of the block at the eastern end of the Praça de São Paulo.

The Moon Come to Earth: Dispatches from LisbonMake sure you grab a table near the window facing the praça—from there you’ll have a lovely view of the Church of São Paulo on the other side of the praça. I suggest this pastelaria not because the offerings of dessert or caffeinated beverages or freshly squeezed orange juice is better than any other of the myriad such pastelerias in Lisbon (though they are quite good here); instead I recommend it because of the clientele. The owners are a Brazilian couple that has created in their establishment a welcoming air to all and sundry, and the place is often swinging with an unusual cast of characters. I relaxed there several times during a year I spent in Lisbon, and while lingering over an espresso or the spongy goodness of a bolo de arroz, I could take in the informal rotating house entertainment of a pair of gypsies reading patrons’ palms for hints of the future, ancient veterans selling raffle tickets, and local characters who’d invented their own language or who imagined themselves powerful political figures. Strangers air-kiss other strangers, and for all the odd moments, the pastelaria maintains a mellow, happy mood. This is a real neighborhood gathering place, and as far from a den of tourists as you can get in downtown Lisbon.
Oh, right beside Quatros Estações is a dental clinic, but I doubt you’ll be eating that many sweets at the pastelaria.

Lonely Planet Magazine Recommends Lisbon and Other Portugal Destinations for Easy Trips This Year

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

Lonely Planet MagazineThe February issue of Lonely Planet magazine (on sale worldwide) recommends “52 best weekends away.” One of them, in the category of “history and culture” is Sintra. It suggests that readers “take a trip back in time to imperial Portugal,” a place “blessed with palaces, villas and churches” and for more information it recommends the GoLisbon website. So here’s the direct link to our Sintra guide: Sintra, Portugal.

In another section of the magazine, it highlights Lisbon’s historic kiosks that have been recently restored. It says it’s one of the city’s “oldest street-drinking traditions” that has been revived, offering perfumed milk, iced tea, and traditional lemonade, “bringing an element of old-fashioned class” to the “hot” Chiado district.

But Portugal is featured a third time in this issue, in an article titled “10 Easy Trips You Can Book Now.” One of the ten is “the edge of the Old World,” Sagres. It was chosen for being a destination where you can “find a beach away from the crowds,” a place that’s Europe’s most southwestern point and with “Atlantic waves crashing onto the dramatically rugged beaches.” It’s also “a good base for exploring the rest of the Costa Vicentina Natural Park,” it concludes.

From Algarve to Lisbon: The New “Faz Gostos” Restaurant

Friday, January 14th, 2011

Faz Gostos Restaurant, Lisbon

Born in Algarve a few years ago, the Faz Gostos restaurant has moved up to the capital. The new Lisbon space has a beautiful vaulted interior that’s part of a former convent, and features a simple but very elegant décor which includes a wall covered in randomly-arranged 18th-century tiles.
The menu lists traditional Portuguese cuisine given a personal touch and contemporary refinement by the chef, and perhaps best of all is the wine list with over 200 labels (Portuguese and international).
For a pre- or post-dinner drink, there’s the bar which mixes cocktails by the team of Cinco Lounge, one of the city’s best cocktail bars.
It’s open for lunch and dinner, and closes on Sundays and Mondays.

Address: Rua Nova da Trindade, 11 (Chiado)
Telephone: 21 347 22 49