Posts About 'Lisbon General'

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.

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

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

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

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

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

Best of 2012 in Lisbon: Year in Review

Friday, December 28th, 2012

Who’d have thought that a year of bailouts, rising unemployment and budget cuts would turn out to be so good for Lisbon? Taking a look back at the 10 main news and trends of 2012, we can only hope and expect a 2013 that will be just as good or better, at least for Lisbon in general.

Myriad Hotel, Lisbon

MYRIAD HOTEL

MAJOR NEW HOTELS
There were several hotels opening in the city, and not ordinary hotels. A couple of them are even true landmarks such as the Myriad in Vasco da Gama Tower, or the Cascais pousada outside the city in an old fortress by the sea. Another is the stylishly luxurious Fontecruz in the city’s main boulevard, while the always-buzzing Chiado district had not one, not two, but three new hotels — Mercy, Teatro and Lisboa Carmo — all featuring elegant interiors.

A NEW MAIN SQUARE
Rossio Square used to be the heart of the city, but that’s now moved closed to the river, to Comercio Square. The city’s grandest praça saw several new cafés and restaurants open under the arcades of its east wing, and this new leisure area with views of the river also has a club open on weekends (“Lust”) and a new cultural space, the Lisboa Story Centre.

NEW CULTURAL ATTRACTIONS
In addition to the Lisboa Story Centre which tells the history of the city through multimedia displays and recreates Lisbon’s different historical periods and atmospheres, there was the new Casa dos Bicos, the landmark house from the 1500s that is now home to the José Saramago Foundation remembering the Portuguese author who won the Nobel Prize.
Not very far is Martim Moniz, Lisbon’s most multiethnic neighborhood which was revitalized with a new weekend market and new kiosk cafés open every day, offering foods from all over the world.

NEW RESTAURANT TRENDS
Speaking of food, Lisbon’s restaurant scene is changing. In order to survive the economic crisis it had to be more creative so it went back to what never fails — the old traditions everyone loves. That meant “petiscos”, or what is often called “tapas” for international visitors, with restaurants now specializing exclusively in those small plates of food grandma used to make. Of course many of those are recreated and readapted to modern times, like the other new trend in the city — the new “tabernas.” What used to be simple family-owned places are now stylishly-decorated spaces but with the expected laid-back atmosphere.

BACK TO TRADITION
Restaurants weren’t the only ones looking at tradition as a means to escape the crisis. The best new shops also offered the best of “Made in Portugal,” including the first of the future chain of “Nata Lisboa”. Believing that “the world needs Nata,” this new café (there are currently two of them) specializes almost exclusively in Portugal’s famous custard tarts that almost no one can resist. Then there was the new P Chiado café offering the pastry specialties of Sintra in the center of Lisbon, the new Mercado 1143 which is a grocery store/market presenting only Portuguese products, and Loja da Burel with creative and top-quality handmade products from central Portugal. Finally, Portugal’s canned foods have become gourmet delicacies at yet another spot, the Can the Can restaurant in Comercio Square.

Lisbon airport metro

LISBON AIRPORT METRO STATION

AIRPORT METRO
The best Lisbon news for travelers was the extension of the metro which finally reached the airport. And the station is quite an attraction in itself, decorated with curious cartoon images of some of Portugal’s biggest personalities and cultural icons, making it an interesting new welcome to the city.

LUXURY AVENIDA DA LIBERDADE SHOPPING
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the year was the continuous opening of international luxury shops down Avenida da Liberdade. The luxury market is the only one booming during the current crisis, so there’s a new Gucci, a new Miu Miu, Officine Panerai, Emporio Armani, Hugo Boss… and a new Cartier and others will be joining them in 2013.

Tous, Lisbon

TOUS

RENOVATED CLASSICS
Another brand to open in central Lisbon was Tous jewelers which took over the city’s most beautiful shop, the former Ourivesaria Aliança in Chiado. Other classic spaces that had a makeover but kept much of the old look were Mimosa da Lapa, the 50s-style Sapataria do Carmo shoe store, Silva & Feijó, and the Old Pharmacy which is now a wine bar.

THE BAKERY INVASION
Petiscos and tabernas were not the only trends in Lisbon in 2012. Perhaps the biggest of all was the several high-profile bakeries opening in the center of the city. First was A Padaria Portuguesa downtown and in Chiado, then came Ratton next to Rossio Station, La Boulangerie with its French-style bread, and Tartine which makes a pastry that’s already a classic, the eggy “Chiado” cake.

SPECIAL ANNIVERSARIES
Speaking of pastries, 2012 was the 175th anniversary of Pastéis de Belém, and the 90th of the city’s most beautiful café, Pastelaria Versailles. Also celebrating was one of Lisbon’s most photographed icons, the Bica funicular which turned 120!

“Go Lisbon” Recommended as Booking Site In New “Lonely Planet” Guidebook

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

Lonely Planet LisbonGoLisbon.com is again recommended in the Lisbon guidebook of the Lonely Planet series. The latest edition has just been published and this time GoLisbon is listed as a “useful website” for bookings “before you go,” saying the site is where you can “book central apartments or search for hotels” (and let’s not forget hostels, tours or the must-get Lisboa Card).
This new series of books is pocket-sized and the name illustrates that: “Pocket Lisbon.” It focuses on the top sights and local life.
It seems to have been very well researched by the author, although there are the unavoidable recommendations of a couple of restaurants that have closed as the book went to press. But there is always the internet and sites like GoLisbon for you to double-check the information.
The guide really was written quite recently, pointing to the hottest neighborhoods of the moment, including the “grim-turned-glam” Cais do Sodré that only in the last few months did it become the place to be at night.
A curious feature is a two-page guide to Baixa’s “Back in Time” shopping with “old-school specialty shops” that never make it in guidebooks.
Another curious choice is the ruined Carmo Convent as one of the top sights in the city, as well as the selection of Sintra’s National Palace, when Pena Palace is the most famous and most fantastic of the two.
Overall this is probably the best guidebook to those coming on a short break to Lisbon. It’s divided by neighborhoods, the maps are good and is filled with useful tips.
As for the introduction to the city, we couldn’t have said it better ourselves:
“A roller-coaster city of seven hills, crowned by a Moorish castle and washed in an artist’s pure light, Lisbon is cinematically beautiful and historically compelling. This is a capital city of big skies and bigger vistas; of rumbling trams and Willy Wonka–like elevators; of melancholic fado song and live-to-party nightlife. Edge, charisma, postcard good looks – Lisbon has the lot.”

Lisbon Has one of Europe’s Best Tourist Cards, According to EuroTest

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Lisboa CardLisbon’s tourist card (the “Lisboa Card“) has been found to be one of Europe’s five best tourist passes according to a study by Eurotest. A total of sixteen cards from different European cities were analyzed, and Lisbon’s card was only topped by Vienna’s, Oslo’s, Ljubljana’s, and Amsterdam’s.

According to Eurotest, the Lisboa Card didn’t rank higher because it fails to provide priority admission but scored points for offering free access to public transportation (including the metro from the airport) and to a varied choice of attractions, including the main monuments and landmarks.

Many of these types of cards are often not worth the investment because they only offer small discounts and don’t include the main sights, but in Lisbon’s case it’s a must-get as it saves lots of money and time. Tourists have the option to buy it for as many as three days and have the opportunity to buy it online before they leave home, picking it up on arrival at the airport or at a tourist office.

At the bottom of the list were the tourist cards of Berlin and Paris.

Get Lost in Lisbon, Says Conde Nast Traveller Magazine

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

Conde Nast Traveller magazineThe latest issue of Condé Nast Traveller magazine on sale now (October 2012 – Special 15th Anniversary Issue) lists Lisbon on the cover, introducing a 6-page article which highlights the Portuguese capital as a “Short Break” destination. With the title “Get Lost in Lisbon,” it suggests that readers “stray from the grand avenues” of the city which will make them “find the still-beating heart of a country that once ruled the world.”
The article focuses mostly on Lisbon’s faded glory, a city of “ravaged beauty” and with “the most absurdly beautiful railway station” the author has “ever seen.”
While there are a few imprecisions resulting from the author’s personal impressions as an outside visitor, the article makes a decent job at describing Lisbon’s atmosphere. It mostly goes up and down the “shaded alleyways” of the “twisted old quarters” and only makes one of the usual tourist stops, the “glorious Jeronimos Monastery.”
The photos that accompany the text include a concept store in Chiado, the Portas do Sol viewpoint, a cocktail being stirred at Bistro 100 Maneiras, and shops and eateries at Lx Factory.
Among the few recommendations are the Heritage Avenida and Lisboa Plaza hotels, as well as the new Cascais pousada.

“Step away from the majestic façades of imperial Lisbon and you’ll find a city with a poetic soul”
–Conde Nast Traveller, Oct. 2012

Lisbon is a Top 10 Favorite City According to Tourist Survey

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Lisbon The latest survey conducted to tourists in Lisbon concludes that the Portuguese capital is a favorite destination. Close to 80% place it within the top 10 places to visit, and 91% say they wish to return. The city exceeded the expectations of those surveyed and the overall satisfaction rate is close to 90%.
The favorite aspects of the city were the weather and hospitality, as well as a “value for money” unrivaled in Europe. Security is another strong attribute (although at GoLisbon we remind you to be alert for pickpockets as in any major European city, and watch your wallet when riding the trams and metro).
A curious finding is that Americans and Brazilians were the ones who most enjoyed their stay (it was mostly Europeans in previous years), followed by the Italians, Germans, British and Irish.
Another conclusion was that 80% of tourists found Lisbon to be culturally unique and romantic, multicultural and tolerant. More than 70% of them also said they felt it was a peaceful and relaxing destination but also a lively place. Other adjectives included “modern,” “creative” and “trendy.” Many also said it was “well preserved”, most likely referring to its historic atmosphere and not to the state of the buildings in the oldest districts… In fact, history seems to be what is most associated with the city (96% say so), with 95% saying it should be appreciated outdoors and 92% finding that it offers a variety of experiences.
What makes Lisbon stand out from other cities according to those who visited is its “authenticity,” especially its relation to the river, sea and beach.

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.”

Lisbon – Startup City

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Are you an entrepreneur, or thinking of starting a business? Why not choose Lisbon as the location for your new company? In the video below, several entrepreneurs talk about why they chose Lisbon for their startup businesses, and what the city can offer such companies.

Lisbon … Startup City!

 

Survey Says Majority of Tourists Want to Return to Lisbon Soon

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Lisbon, Portugal

A survey conducted at the airports of Lisbon, Porto, Faro and Funchal showed that the vast majority of tourists (88%) left “very satisfied” with their experience in Portugal and want to return within the next three years. Close to half said their stay exceeded expectations, highlighting the landscapes, beaches and cultural attractions.
The tourists that most enjoyed Lisbon arrived from Spain, the Netherlands and Brazil, while the French preferred Porto.
With the highest satisfaction rate is “friendliness of locals” at 75%, while the reasons that led them to choose Portugal as a destination ranged from recommendation of friends or family (25%) to internet information (33%).