Posts About 'Parque das Nações'

Spring Break in Lisbon: 5 Things To Do

Monday, February 24th, 2014

Parque das Nações, Lisbon

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

Pena Palace, Sintra

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

Miradouro da Graça, Lisbon

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

Comercio Square, Lisbon

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

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

10 Spots to Dine by the Water in Lisbon

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

The image most associated with Lisbon is probably water, whether it’s that of the Atlantic beaches nearby, the history of its explorers’ ships at sea, or where the famous seafood comes from. Those visiting the city often do it with the beach in mind, but during the colder months you may also have a pleasant outdoors experience on the waterfront. In the summer or in winter, here are ten places to enjoy a meal in relaxing scenery.

River Lounge

Opened in late 2012, this lounge/bar/restaurant is literally on the water. It’s inside the Vasco da Gama Tower which is now the Myriad Hotel and serves contemporary Portuguese cuisine.

Darwin's Café

On the opposite edge of town (Belém), this café-restaurant is inside one of the city’s newest contemporary architecture landmarks, the Champalimaud Foundation building. It’s just a short walk from Belem Tower which can be seen from the terrace. It serves meals throughout the day.

À Margem

Also close to the tower and right on the river’s edge, this café in a white glass rectangle serves light meals, and although it’s best experienced when the sun is out, it’s also pleasant at night.

Nosolo Italia

With a terrace floating on water, this is a favorite of families for pizza, pastas and ice cream. The Discoveries Monument stands right outside.


Many of the restaurants in the docks are tourist traps but this more recent addition comes with a history and reputation as one of Lisbon’s favorite pizzerias. It was originally in a big space nearby but the new location by the marina is much more attractive.

Doca de Santo

It’s the most attractive of all the restaurants at the docks but as a tourist magnet you can either have a memorable experience or one to forget. Even so, it’s worth a stop, even if just for a drink and a lighter meal in a beautiful setting.

Doca Peixe

With one of the most beautiful locations in the city, this restaurant doesn’t have to work very hard to attract customers. That’s reflected in the service which doesn’t always meet expectations but it’s still a nice spot for fresh fish by the water.

Bica do Sapato

It’s one of the best restaurants in the city, both in food and in service, matching the wonderful riverfront location and the hype as the restaurant of a Hollywood star (John Malkovich). It has a terrace outside but you’ll also have views of the Tagus from many of the tables in the stylish interior.

Alma Lusitana

In a central location by the water (Cais do Sodré), it could be a restaurant just for tourists but it’s not. It’s an unpretentious place for traditional Portuguese cuisine, mostly fish, especially grilled.

Meninos do Rio

A short walk along the waterfront from Cais do Sodré is this café that’s especially popular in the summertime. Serving refreshing drinks and light meals, it’s a pleasant stop after sightseeing.

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.

The New and Bigger Lisbon Oceanarium

Monday, April 25th, 2011

Lisbon Aquarium

It’s one of Lisbon’s most-visited attractions and one of the world’s biggest aquariums — and it just got bigger. A recently-inaugurated 4.8-million-euro extension added space for temporary exhibitions (at the moment you can see sea turtles), a new auditorium and a new restaurant.
It reinforces the mega-aquarium‘s mission to alert its nearly 1-million visitors each year to near-extinct species and a cleaner environment, while also providing other services such as family-friendly programs in the auditorium and extra space to relax with a meal.
The new all-white restaurant is open from 10AM to 7PM and serves a kid-friendly menu: pastas, hamburgers, soups, salads, snacks.
The Oceanarium is one of only a couple of attractions in the city that never close. It’s open throughout the year, even on Christmas day. It’s an especially good destination to include in your itinerary if you’re in the city on a Monday when most of the museums and monuments are closed. It’s also perhaps the attraction most enjoyed by all age groups, and the Lisboa Card gives you reduced admission.

10 Lisbon Outdoor Sightseeing Activities for the Summer

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

It’s now June which means that from now until October, Lisbon will be sunny about 90% of the time. When visiting the city at this time, touring museums feels less appealing and you’ll likely be drawn to the great outdoors. Lisbon is perfect for that, with a marvelous setting: It has a river that many mistaken for the ocean, hills creating an amphitheater-like landscape best admired from the top of its castle, and terraces scattered around offering panoramic vistas. In between you’ll discover charming gardens, monuments offering views, and the approaching breeze of the Atlantic. Here are 10 ideas for what to do in the open air this summer in Lisbon:

Principe Real, Lisbon

The Principe Real neighborhood is one of Lisbon’s most charming residential areas, and its main square has just reopened last week after months of renovation. That square is actually a garden and you can sit under a gigantic “umbrella tree,” try one of the city’s traditional drinks at a kiosk café, and admire the architectural details of the colorful buildings of the surroundings. Go down the hill and you reach Praça das Flores, perhaps Lisbon’s most romantic corner. It’s never mentioned in guidebooks, but this small, shaded square has a couple of the city’s most inviting cafés with outdoor tables, including the new “Novamesa Snack Bar,” an extention of the recent Nova Mesa restaurant. Back up the hill is the enchanting Botanical Garden.

Avenida da Liberdade, Lisbon

Avenida da Liberdade is Lisbon’s mile-long “Champs Elysées,” a boulevard know for its luxury shops, theaters, and cafés. A new Prada store is opening this week in one of its most beautiful buildings, and you can do some window-shopping as you go down the avenue admiring the city’s trademark mosaic pavements and stop to take a look at the many scattered statues, all the way to the city’s biggest park. Edward VII Park goes up a hill and once you reach the top you’re rewarded with a postcard-view of the city.

Praca do Comercio, Lisbon

As GoLisbon reported, Lisbon’s biggest and most monumental square has just been renovated. The planned cafés will only be open in September or October, but you can sit by the river, at Cais das Colunas, a quayside area with two large columns marking the entrance to the city from the Tagus. From here you can admire the square and its triumphal arch, and sit as you watch the ferries cross the river, and see the landmark 25 de Abril Bridge and the Monument to Christ in the distance.

Panteao Nacional, Lisboa

The National Pantheon and St. Vincent’s Monastery are both located in Alfama just steps from each other, and besides both being painted in shining white, they both offer rooftop terraces for city views. You can stop to check your guidebook or simply stay admiring the city as you work on your tan.

Portas do Sol, Lisbon

Alfama is Lisbon’s most picturesque neighborhood and it’s always best enjoyed outdoors. It forces even the laziest walkers to go up and down its cobbled streets, and the reward are its terrace viewpoints. Three of the most beautiful viewpoints in the city are located within walking distance from each other, and they allow you to do some sightseeing as you enjoy your sunny summer days. Start in Miradouro de Santa Luzia, go up to Miradouro das Portas do Sol (stop for a drink at its fantastic terrace café), and continue up the hill to Miradouro da Graça where you won’t be able to put your camera down.

Belém, Lisbon

Florida’s Cape Canaveral is the launch pad for the exploration of space today, but five centuries ago the launch pad for the exploration of planet Earth was Lisbon’s Belém district. That’s where you’ll find the city’s three biggest landmarks, the Discoveries Monument, the Belém Tower, and Jerónimos Monastery. Starting at the monastery, walk west along the waterfront to admire the architecture and stone work of the other two monuments, and picture Vasco da Gama departing on his way to discovering the maritime route to the East or Pedro Alvares Cabral on his way to discoverig South America.

Parque das Nações, Lisbon

Lisbon’s waterfront is not just about the voyages of the past. At the former site of 1998’s World Fair you now find a modern residential and business district with futuristic architecture. You may see all of it from a bird’s-eye perspective on a cable car ride, or walking along the riverfront from one of the world’s biggest aquariums all the way to a Dubai-like tower, Torre Vasco da Gama. In between you’ll see lawns and gardens inviting you for a picnic.

With so many walks by the river you’ll probably end up wishing you were in it. You may do that by taking a sightseeing cruise which departs every afternoon from the center of the city and goes all the way to Belém and Parque das Nações. Be sure to take your camera, especially when you pass under 25 de Abril Bridge and see Vasco da Gama Bridge at the end of the journey. Get complete cruise details here: Tagus River Cruise

By now you probably already know that Lisbon is one of Europe’s most picturesque cities which is why it’s so loved by photographers. Even if you have very little talent and don’t aspire to become one, you’ll enjoy a walking tour where photographing the city is the theme. Your attention will be guided to all the details that make Lisbon so special, from the tiled façaded to the cobbled mosaics, to the surprising views along the way.
Complete tour details here: Lisbon Photography Walking Tour


Lisbon may have a Mediterranean look and feel, but this is actually a very Atlantic city. Its river opens to the ocean from the Belém district to the seaside towns of Cascais and Estoril. Known as “the Portuguese Riviera,” these are two chic resorts which are connected by a beachfront boardwalk. You’ll find pretty villas, marinas, small coves, and Europe’s largest casino but on a sunny day nothing will make you leave the boardwalk with occasional stops for a drink at a beachfront café or some sunbathing on the sand.

New Year’s Celebrations in Lisbon (They’re Free!)

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

New Year's Eve in LisbonLisbon’s biggest New Year’s Eve party usually takes place in Praça do Comércio, the large square that opens to the river. That’s where most go to see the fireworks at midnight, and stay for the music concerts. This year however, the party must be moved elsewhere, as that square is undergoing renovation until at least next April. So the chosen location was Jardim Vieira Portuense, the lawns by Jerónimos Monastery in the Belém district. Before the fireworks at midnight there will be a Beatles tribute concert (don’t ask), while in the first minutes of 2010 there will be a concert by Xutos & Pontapés which is one of Portugal’s biggest rock bands.
On the opposite side of the city, in the Eastern district of Parque das Nações there will also be a fireworks show, this time cascading down Vasco da Gama Tower. As GoLisbon previously told you about, that tower is being turned into a hotel, but despite all the works around it, it will still be able to continue its annual fireworks tradition for the sixth consecutive year.
If you’re not recovering from a champagne hangover on January 1st, head to the city’s cathedral in the afternoon. A free concert by the New Zealand Choir & Orchestra will take place at 5PM, with 50 performers who have offered concerts at most of the great cathedrals of the world since their first international tour in 1990 (check out their website at

Lisbon’s Metro Has Expanded

Monday, September 7th, 2009

Lisbon MetroLisbon’s Metro has expanded. Its four lines are now all connected, allowing better access to the city’s eastern districts. Until last week you often had to hop off and on at a couple of stations in order to connect to the red line that leads to Parque das Nações, but now that red line also connects with the yellow and blue lines at stations uptown. It is therefore much faster and easier to go from the Gulbenkian Museum to the Oceanarium for example, by getting on the train at the São Sebastião station around the corner from the museum, and ending at Oriente Station without having to reconnect to another line anywhere. We’ve updated the metro diagram on our Transport section, and it is a good idea to become familiar with it before you arrive in Lisbon, as it saves you some time in between sightseeing, allowing you to know exactly how you can reach your favorite attractions.

Lisbon’s Future Museum of the Discoveries

Monday, August 24th, 2009

Pavilhao de Portugal, Lisbon

Of the many striking structures built for Lisbon’s World Fair in 1998, the Portugal Pavillion is perhaps the one that remains the most talked about today. It was designed by Pritzker Award-winning architect Siza Vieira, and has a huge undulating roof that instantly catches the eye of everyone passing by. Yet it remains surprisingly empty inside, although there have been numerous ideas about what to do with it over the past decade. Many of those ideas were for museums, but they have never gone beyond the planning stages. That is until now, with the government announcing it is turning it into a contemporary museum relating to the world discoveries. The tentative name is the Museum of Voyages, and it is hoped to be able to open its doors in 2011.
The idea is for it to mix culture and science, showcasing pieces that are currently found in different museums around the country, while also incorporating multimedia displays. It won’t therefore be a traditional museum, but essentially a cultural center that will also include temporary attractions. A restaurant is also being planned, although everything that has been reported is still in the pre-planning stage, and the official project will only be revealed later this year.  Of course will tell you about it as soon as that happens.

Lisbon’s New Multi-Million Euro Marina

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

Lisbon marina

Lisbon has a couple of marinas along its riverfront, with the most central found under 25 de Abril Bridge in Docas de Santo Amaro, and the other next to the Discoveries Monument. Now there is a new one in the Parque das Nações district, opened last Saturday after a 14 million-euro investment. This is not exactly a new marina, since there had been one on this spot during Expo 98, but it closed soon after that and had been boat-free for eight years. It now has space for 602 boats, allowing visitors to do some sailing, jet-skiing, or some recreational fishing on the Tagus, and a special nautical club is being planned for water and boat fans to get together.
Overlooking the marina is an apartment building shaped like a ship, which also includes space for businesses. That is where you’ll find a couple of cafes where you can get a refreshing drink as you look out to the river and the boats.
If you have a boat and think this is a marina to check out, note that it is closed between 8:30PM and 8:30AM, and any activity between those hours requires a special permission from the staff a day before.

Lisbon marina

5 Alternatives to Lisbon’s Beaches this Summer

Monday, August 10th, 2009

There are still a couple of good beach months left in Lisbon, but you don’t necessarily need to leave the city in order to catch some sun and escape to a more tranquil setting. By the riverfront, on top of one of the city’s hills, or in a green oasis, here is where to go when you want to enjoy the warm, sunny weather in the center of Lisbon.

Meninos do Rio, Lisbon

Meninos do Rio
This riverfront café is found right in the center of the city, but you can easily imagine yourself standing in a non-urban resort. Behind you are tall palm trees, the water is right in front, and you can sit or lie back on a long chair enjoying fresh juices or nibbling on some excellent snacks and light meals. It is open throughout the year, but it is an essential stop in the summer.

O Terraço, Lisbon

O Terraço
There are many terraces overlooking Lisbon, but this is “the” terrace. It’s found right below the Castle of St. George, and serves sandwiches, salads, and fruit juices as you overlook the city and the river. It’s open after the sun sets too, so you may also admire the city when the moon is shining on the Tagus.

Vasco da Gama Bridge in Parque das Nações, Lisbon

Parque das Nações Lawns
Parque das Nações is known for its contemporary and futuristic architecture, as well as a number of attractions left behind after the World Fair of 1998. But this is no concrete jungle, especially when you get closer to the riverfront, which is ideal for joggers, cyclists, and lovers. There are a number of gardens and lawns along the way, and the longest and sunnier green spaces are found past Vasco da Gama Tower towards Europe’s longest bridge. Put on your beachwear, spread your tower, and make that your suntanning area.

25 de Abril Bridge, Lisbon

Alcântara Riverfront
With the train tracks running along the riverfront from the center of the city to seaside Cascais, it is often forgotten that between those tracks and the river are miles of lawns, restaurants, and bars. It also includes a new cycling path, and on weekends it’s the preferred destination for joggers. By the Alcântara district, right by 25 de Abril Bridge and the Santo Amaro docks is a large green area where you can simply lay down or sit on a bench allowing the sun to hit your face, and where your only concern should be putting on some sunscreen.

Parque Eduardo VII, Lisbon

Edward VII Park
Unlike Londoners, New Yorkers, or Parisians, Lisboners rarely spend much time in their city’s parks. The beach is just too close by, and an outdoor café is also a better place to watch the world go by. But there are several wonderful green spaces in the city, and the “central park” is Edward VII Park. It separates downtown from uptown, and includes an attractive greenhouse, clipped box hedging, and plenty of space to lay down, catch some sun, and listen to the sounds of nature mixing with those of the city.