Posts About 'Parque das Nações'

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.

Stay at an Apartment in Lisbon’s Newest Neighborhood

Friday, June 26th, 2009

Lisbon Apartments in Parque dasNações, the former Expo site offers the most Lisbon accommodation choices online, including hotels, hostels, and apartments. Most of those apartments are found in the most central and historical neighborhoods, but now we’ve just added a few in the former Expo site, Parque Das Nações. That district was born in the last decade and that’s where you’ll find the most modern and futuristic architecture in the city. Many of those buildings offer apartments using the latest technology and many have fantastic river views. Some of them are available for tourists to enjoy, and range from 55 to 125 euros on low season. The center of the city is just a metro ride away, and the airport is reached in about 10 minutes. Check our Lisbon apartments page and click on “Near the Expo/Parque das Nações” on the menu you’ll see on the left: Lisbon Apartments

Lisbon in the Future: The IMOCOM Building

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

Edificio IMOCOM, Lisbon

Lisbon’s Parque das Nações district will soon have another daring piece of architecture. That’s the IMOCOM building, an environmentally-friendly project for a real estate company that will have its headquarters in one of the seven floors. The rest of the space will hold other offices, while the ground floor will be for street-level shops. In total this construction will cost 40 million euros and will include a multimedia façade on which those passing by will see audiovisual information.
The design is by Nuno Mateus and José Mateus, two Portuguese architects of ARX Portugal Arquitectos, and will be standing next to the Vasco da Gama mall behind the twin São Gabriel and São Rafael towers as pictured above.

See more projects for Lisbon in the future.

Lisbon in the Future: The Sana Torre Vasco da Gama Royal Hotel

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

Sana Torre Vasco da Gama Royal HotelLisbon’s Vasco da Gama Tower is being turned into a Dubai-like landmark. It was built as a viewing tower for the World Expo that took place in the city in 1998 but is now becoming a luxury hotel. When it was first being planned there was a rather nouveau riche idea of it being marketed as a 6-star service much like Dubai’s famous Burj Al Arab which it somewhat resembles, but the group behind it seems to have settled for a “traditional” 5-star rating. That group is Sana, and the hotel will be called Sana Torre Vasco da Gama Royal Hotel, opening in 2010 with 178 rooms (10 of them being suites) on 20 floors. The original observation deck will be maintained, and it will continue to offer a panoramic restaurant. Its base is being rebuilt and at the moment we can already see some of the floors going up. The final design is pictured on the right and was created by Portuguese architect Nuno Leónidas.  It looks a little less like a sailing ship as it was originally projected, and will be a “green hotel” making as much use of natural lighting and natural materials as possible.

For other projects planned for Lisbon in the future, come back to Go Lisbon Blog throughout the upcoming weeks.

From the Financial Times: Lisbon for a “Long Luxurious Weekend”

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

Lisbon on the Financial Times
The Financial Times’ monthly “How To Spend It” magazine highlights the most luxurious shopping and places to see in the world, and in its current February issue the city for the “The Long Luxurious Weekend” is Lisbon.

It notes that “Portugal’s capital city is fiercely protective of its heritage and traditions,” but “also embraces glamorous modern, high-concept developments.” The main photo is part of the Parque das Nações skyline, showing the distinctive São Gabriel and São Rafael Towers next to the Atlantic Pavilion.

The recommended places to stay were all boutique hotels (As Janelas Verdes, Bairro Alto Hotel, Solar do Castelo, and York House), in addition to one design hotel (Fontana Park) and one luxury hotel (Lapa Palace).

Eating and drinking suggestions were the Café A Brasileira, Bica do Sapato, Eleven, Tavares, and Terreiro do Paço, together with a night of Fado at Parreirinha de Alfama.

For shopping, two of the highlights were the Fabrico Infinito shop for home accessories and Sant’Anna for quality ceramics.

As sightseeing choices, it points to the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, the Ancient Art Museum, the Santa Justa Elevator, and the Fado Museum, along with two off-the-beaten path addresses, the Medeiros e Almeida Museum and the Mãe D’Água Reservoir that’s part of the landmark aqueduct.

It ends with a “Pessoa tour,” following the footsteps of famous 20th century poet Fernando Pessoa, with a visit to his house-museum and with the help of his guidebook “Lisbon: What the Tourist Should See” which the article found to be “an excellent guidebook – despite having been written in 1925.”

You can read the entire article here where you can click on the February 2009 issue.


The Tacky Tourist’s Guide to Lisbon

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

Tacky Tourists' Guide to LisbonIf you’ve now packed your sandals and the white socks to wear with them during your trip to Lisbon, and are now planning what to see and do in the city, this is the guide for you. After all, prides itself in the fact that it’s a guide for everyone, for all kinds of people coming to Lisbon. Here’s a suggested itinerary:

When you arrive at the airport, take a taxi to your hotel. Don’t worry about the language barrier. Just say the name of the hotel and thank the driver with a “gracias.” It’s Spanish, but he’ll understand. After all, Spain is right next door.

It’s now probably past your hotel’s breakfast time, so do the next best thing — go to Starbucks in the Belem district. As GoLisbon has already told you here, that great American franchise is opening in that neighborhood soon.
After your muffin and frappuccino, hop on an open-top tour bus. After all, you’re already in the Belem district and that’s where most of the city’s sights are. You get to see the entire city from a moving vehicle and still get to take pictures! The city looks particularly beautiful by the water. It’s not the Mediterranean, by the way. It’s a river called Tagus or Tejo in Portuguese (the local language which looks like Spanish but sounds like Russian). Across the river is not Morocco or even the island of Madeira as many tourists in the past have guessed. It’s a suburb called Almada. No use going there unless you want to take a look at the Cristo Rei. It’s a replica of that big statue in Rio de Janeiro. It’s kinda cool because it’s big and made out of concrete. Plus, no need to go to Rio after that! It really saves you some money.

You’ve now seen the entire city on that bus tour, and it’s time for lunch. Did you know Lisbon has one of Europe’s biggest shopping malls? When it opened in 1998 it was the largest in Iberia. Iberia is the peninsula that makes up Spain and Portugal. It’s in Southern Europe. In case you arrived on a cruise, that’s where you are right now. Anyway, Colombo is the name of the shopping mall. It’s big. It has such a huge food court! You can choose from McDonald’s, Burger King, Pizza Hut, and so many other fast food places that are familiar to you! Yes, Lisbon’s got them too!
Take the opportunity to shop around the mall. It’s big. So many shops! There are even two Zaras! Try finding that at many other malls across Europe! To recover from all the shopping, it’s time to rest a while. Take the subway and head back to the center of the city. Take advantage of Happy Hour at one of the Irish pubs in Cais do Sodré. There are two of them within walking distance from each other! The drinks are cheap and you can even get Guinness! Yes, Lisbon’s got it too!

OK, back to the subway. You’ve probably read that most restaurants in Lisbon are in Bairro Alto. Don’t bother. That place has so much graffiti, it’s scary. Besides, you heard that Portuguese food is all made with cod and who likes that stinky bacalao? Head to Parque das Nações. It’s so modern! It’s got so many tall buildings. And restaurants too. There’s an entire row of international restaurants, and a couple of them even offer all-you-can-eat buffets! Man, you can really stuff yourself for less than 15 euros! If you don’t go for the buffets, you can still be sure to have a fulfilling meal because many of these are chain restaurants and serve big portions like you get back at home. Obviously you can’t go straight to bed in a full stomach, so walk around the neighborhood. Parque das Nações really has many cool modern buildings! And did we mention they’re tall?! Best of all, there’s a casino! It’s so awesome!  It has the roulette, and you can even play poker or blackjack! Best of all is playing the slot machines. Just like in Vegas! Of course you should not get too carried away and spend all your money there. Once you’ve seen the free acrobatics show at the rotating bar of the casino (it’s amazing, filled with flashing lights during the show, and the music is really pumping), head back to the subway and get off at Restauradores in the center of the city. That’s where you’ll find Lisbon’s very own Hard Rock Café. How cool is that?! There’s a car (a real one!) hanging from the ceiling! Have your drinks as you watch the pop videos on the screens, listen to the loud music, and mingle with other tourists. Who knows? — maybe you’ll even bump into someone from back home. That would be one hell of a coincidence, wouldn’t it? Don’t leave without passing by the gift shop. Get your very own “Hard Rock Café – Lisbon” key chain or shot glass! After all, getting such a cool souvenir is the best way to end your stay in Lisbon. Isn’t it such a cool city?! Tell your friends.

A Lisbon River Cruise

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008


If you’ll be in Lisbon until the end of this month, take the opportunity to see the city from the river.
Operating from April 1st to October 31st, a sightseeing cruise lets you admire Lisbon’s skyline and riverfront monuments from the Tagus just as the city’s famous explorers saw them in the 15th century. Sure most of the views have changed since that time, but many of the towers and rooftops you’ll look at are those that Vasco da Gama and others saw as they departed for their voyages.

Cruise past Belem Tower (itself rising from the river), under Lisbon’s Golden Gate Bridge twin, through the central waterfront with the triumphal arch in Comercio Square, all the way to Parque das Nações, where the city’s modern architecture brings you back to the 21st century.

The boat departs from a terminal by Comercio Square at 3PM, and the entire trip takes about three hours. A multilingual guide explains the sights which you may then explore closer when you’re back on land.
For additional information or to book your tour, click here.

The Lisbon Contemporary Art Fair

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

Lisbon Contemporary Art Fair The 8th edition of Lisbon’s Contemporary Art Fair will take place between the 19th and 24th of November in the FIL building located in the Parque das Nações district.

Around 70 galleries participate in the event (45 from Portugal, 25 from elsewhere), and there’s a special space for the presentation of ten projects by different artists and galleries.

A number of activities related to the event will happen simultaneously, including debates, a Collectors’ Club, and ARTE KIDS, hoping to attract a diverse group of visitors.

If you’re a fan of modern art and will be in Lisbon on those dates, pass by the fair which is open from 4 to 11PM. If you can’t make it to Lisbon on those days but still would like to admire modern and contemporary art when you’re in town, a visit to the Berardo Museum more than fulfils that need, as it is one of the city’s major cultural attractions.

Queens, Lisbon

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

Statue of Catherine of Braganza in Lisbon

Today being September 11, here’s something about New York, and Lisbon, of course.

The borough of Queens in New York City was named after Catherine of Bragança (often spelled “Braganza” in English), a Portuguese princess who became the Queen of England when she married Charles II.

Born in the city of Vila Viçosa in 1638, she was proposed as Charles’ bride by her father, the king of Portugal at the time, John IV. This solidified the old alliance between Portugal and England, and she moved to her new country in 1662. She took with her an old habit –- drinking tea at 5 o’clock, introducing that custom to English society.

But that wasn’t the only mark she left in the English world. Although it was an unhappy marriage, her husband dedicated the newly-taken-over land in the New World to her. New York was Dutch territory at the time, and was called New Amsterdam. Charles renamed it New York and a large piece of land within it was “the Queen’s borough.”

As a reminder of that, a 10m (33ft) statue was planned to stand by the Hudson in New York facing Queens, but protests from the local African-American community prevented that from ever happening. That’s because Catherine’s court had profited from the slave trade, and the local community was not comfortable honoring a person with such a past.

So a scale model (a quarter of the proposed size) used to build the final piece was instead shipped to Lisbon, where it stands today facing the Tagus River and the Atlantic towards Queens, New York. You will find it when you walk along the river in the Parque das Nações district in the direction of the Vasco da Gama Bridge.

For other historical personalities in Portuguese and world history, click here.

Throw Your Kids in the Ocean and Enjoy a Night Out in Lisbon

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

Inside Lisbon's Oceanarium
Are you coming to Lisbon on a family holiday? That doesn’t mean you have to go to bed as early as your kids, preventing you from enjoying a long, relaxed dinner and a night out in the city! Simply throw your kids in the ocean and have a great evening alone with your spouse!  

The Lisbon Oceanarium has a program where children are left sleeping with sharks as parents do whatever they want elsewhere. Kids are first introduced to the deep end of the ocean and its creatures, learning about underwater life and sharks. During this experience they even have the opportunity to touch samples of sharp teeth and shark skin, and understand why it’s important to preserve these animals and sea life.

After that it’s time for them to get inside their sleeping bags and sleep in the company of the creatures they just learned about, only to get up early in the morning for a tour of the entire Oceanarium.

In the meantime you’ll be checking out the restaurants in Bairro Alto, going to a concert at the Gulbenkian or CCB, perhaps to the opera in São Carlos Theater, or even go for a night of cocktails at Cinco Lounge. You may even choose not to sleep that night, but by 10AM you should be at the Oceanarium to pick up your child, who will have lots of stories to tell you about.

For details about the “Sleeping with the Sharks” workshop click here (then click on the British flag for the English version), and for information about the aquarium, see GoLisbon’s Oceanarium page.