10 Things to Do in Lisbon This Spring

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 Be in Lisbon This Fall

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 Spots to Eat and Drink in Lisbon

Palácio Chiado, Lisbon

PALÁCIO CHIADO
Rua do Alecrim, 70
Tel: 210 101 184

A palace built in the 1700s now has its beautiful rooms divided into several dining options. Downstairs by the entrance is the bar and a room serving lighter meals, while upstairs is the finer dining, with sushi, meats and seafood. Open throughout the day, it’s already one of the city’s hottest spots.

Momento HB, Lisbon

MOMENTO HB
Rua da Rosa, 151
Tel: 213 420 765

An experienced young chef who has worked with some of the city’s top chefs has now ventured on his own with this new restaurant in Bairro Alto. Here he serves traditional Portuguese cuisine with his own personal modern twist. Prices are reasonable, but it’s worth splurging on the most expensive option on the menu, the delicious jumbo shrimp. There’s also an excellent chocolate mousse for dessert.

Monte Mar, Lisbon

MONTE MAR LISBOA
Rua da Cintura, Armazém 65
Tel: 213 220 160

One of the most famous seafood restaurants by the beach in Cascais has now opened in the center of Lisbon, right on the waterfront. The terrace is also open for drinks throughout the afternoon, and at dinner time it serves fresh fish and seafood. If you prefer to eat inside, there’s plenty of space in the former warehouse, also with views over the river.

Isco da Bica, Lisbon

ISCO DA BICA
Rua do Almada, 29
Tel: 213 461 376

Decorated like a fisherman’s hut, this very relaxed restaurant is found by the popular Santa Catarina viewpoint. It serves both traditional and creative fish dishes, but which fish you’ll get depends on what was caught in the Atlantic waters north and south of Lisbon on that day.

Fábrica da Nata, Lisbon

FÁBRICA DA NATA
Praça dos Restauradores, 62-68
Tel: 217 933 766

Lisbon’s famous custard tarts are found in every café and pastry shop in the city, but there are only a few places that specialize in it. This new spot in one of the city’s biggest central squares serves them warm, straight from the oven, inside or at the terrace facing the square.

Bread 4 U, Lisbon

BREAD 4 U
Rua dos Sapateiros, 41
Tel: 211 394 632

It’s a bakery and cafe, hidden on a quiet street downtown, offering a variety of bread and pastries. Decorated with antique pieces, it’s a nice spot for a break between sightseeing, either for just a drink, a light meal or a sugar rush.

Bacalhau com Todos, Lisbon

BACALHAU COM TODOS
Rua São Nicolau, 47-49
Tel: 213 420 745

Even if you don’t really like fish, you can’t leave Lisbon without trying one of its traditional salted cod dishes. At this new restaurant downtown you can choose from several options, and there almost isn’t anything else on the menu. To be enjoyed inside or at the sidewalk terrace.

Pizzaria do Bairro, Lisbon

PIZZARIA DO BAIRRO
Rua Nova da Trindade, 10
Tel: 213 951 843

The first Pizzaria do Bairro was a small spot by the Cais do Sodré ferry station serving pizza by the slice, and now it has expanded to this second spot in Chiado, as a full-blown restaurant. Decorated like a traditional Lisbon patio with orchard, its pizzas mix Portuguese and Italian flavors.

The Wine Cellar, Lisbon

THE WINE CELLAR
Rua de São Paulo, 49
Tel: 213 470 098

It’s right in the heart of the new nightlive quarter, Cais do Sodré, but it’s also open during the day. In addition to serving wine by the glass (there are nearly 200 labels to choose from), it also offers Portuguese petiscos (tapas) for a meal or as a snack to accompany the wine.

UAU, Lisbon

UAU
Doca de Santo Amaro РArmaz̩m 13
Tel: 211 384 812

The latest spot at the docks is a cafe and ice cream shop that also serves brunch on weekends and cocktails, always with a beautiful view of the marina and bridge. Before refreshing yourself with a popsicle made with fresh fruit, you may also enjoy a light meal of meat, fish or vegetarian kabobs, accompanied by freshly-squeezed juices or smoothies.

5 Things to Do in Lisbon Before the End of 2015

Videomapping Terreiro do Paço

CHRISTMAS MULTIMEDIA SHOW IN COMERCIO SQUARE
It’s becoming an annual tradition — the multimedia Christmas show projected onto the triumphal arch in Comercio Square. Twelve projectors will present a 15-minute family-friendly show from December 11th to the 20th, at 7PM, 8PM and 9PM. As this is a public square, it’s a free event for all.

MNAA

Photo: Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga

GREAT SPANISH MASTERS AT THE ANCIENT ART MUSEUM
An extraordinary collection of works by Goya, El Greco and other great Spanish painters is now on display at the Ancient Art Museum until April 3rd, 2016. It’s a total of 60 paintings from the 15th to the 20th century, and tickets are 7 euros. This is also a great opportunity to check out the museum’s permanent collection of Portuguese treasures, which is free with the Lisboa Card.

Lusitania Romana

ROMAN LUSITANIA
Lusitania was the name of the Roman province in Western Iberia that is mostly modern Portugal, and Lisbon’s National Archaeology Museum is presenting the art and culture of that time. It’s showing around 200 pieces from several museums in Portugal and Spain, including mosaics and sculptures. The exhibition lasts until June.

Henrique Sá Pessoa

NEW RESTAURANTS
Check out two new restaurants from two of the city’s top chefs. The first one is Alma, from chef Henrique Sá Pessoa, which previously existed in the Santos district, but has now moved to Chiado (Rua Anchieta, 15 ). Only the name remains from the previous restaurant, although the chef’s innovation is still there. The menus and the decor have changed, now serving contemporary Portuguese cuisine with some Asian influences. The second restaurant, also of fine dining, is Loco, found facing the back of the Estrela Basilica (Rua dos Navegantes 53B). This is where chef Alexandre Silva expects to surprise you with his most creative dishes.

Obidos Vila Natal

THE CHRISTMAS VILLAGE
It happens every year — the medieval village of Obidos is turning into the “Christmas Village”. Just one hour north of Lisbon, it’s presenting several holiday-themed family activities around its castle and narrow streets, from December 4th to January 3rd.

9 Things to Do in Lisbon in September

The ninth month of the year is still warm enough for plenty of outdoor activities, and that’s why there’s an outdoors festival throughout almost the entire month. It’s also the beginning of the film festival season, with two international film festivals in town. See the special events and activities that you may experience in Lisbon this September:

Roman Theater, Lisbon

THE NEW ROMAN THEATER MUSEUM
The Roman Theater Museum closed a couple of years ago for a major renovation, and will reopen some time in September. The few archaeological remains of the theater that survive have been cleaned up, and the new small museum will attempt to bring it back to life, through findings from the excavations and through multimedia displays.

JOSEFA DE ÓBIDOS AND THE INVENTION OF THE PORTUGUESE BAROQUE
During the first six days of the month you may still catch one of the biggest art exhibitions of the year in Lisbon. It’s in the Ancient Art Museum and shows more than 130 works (including paintings, sculptures and decorative arts), mostly by one of the very rare female artists from the 17th century, Josefa de Óbidos. They came from several Portuguese and international collections, and admission is 7 euros. If you want to see the museum’s permanent collection, you may do so for free if you get the Lisboa Card.

VOGUE’S FASHION’S NIGHT OUT
The sixth annual event dedicated to fashion and shopping will bring the usual crowds to the streets of Chiado, Príncipe Real, Baixa and down Avenida da Liberdade. Expect major discounts and special events both inside and outside the shops in the evening, until 11PM on September 10th.

MOTELx
September is the start of the film festival season, and the first one is dedicated to horror movies. This is the 9th edition of the MOTELx international horror film festival, and it will last from the 8th to the 13th of the month at the São Jorge Theater.

QUEER LISBOA
The other film festival this month is one of the oldest in Lisbon and one of the biggest of its kind in Europe. Queer Lisboa is dedicated exclusively to screening gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender films, or a genre simply referred to as “queer cinema”. The festival lasts for just over a week, from September 18th to the 26th, in São Jorge Theater on Avenida da Liberdade.

“LISBOA NA RUA”
This outdoor festival lasting until September 20th turns different public spaces in the center of the city into stages for shows ranging from musical performances to movie screenings. A major show is happening on the last day, with the orchestra of the Gulbenkian Foundation offering a free concert in Municipal Square at 7PM. Another free show is a Fado concert on the 4th and 11th of the month in front of São Carlos Theater at 9:30PM. In between, don’t be surprised to come across other events and performances at different spaces around the city.

View from the Monument to Christ, Cristo Rei, Lisbon

CROSS THE BRIDGE AND OPEN YOUR ARMS TO THE CITY
A new tour takes you across Lisbon’s landmark 25 de Abril Bridge on an open-top bus and stops at the Monument to Christ where you have the city at your feet. Take a moment to admire the views and snap a few photos before heading to the top of the pedestal to stand by the statue looking over the bridge and the city. More tour information here: Bridge and Christ the King Tour from Lisbon

SKIP THE LINE
Also new is the chance to skip the line at the Jeronimos Monastery. The crowds won’t be as big as in August, but September is still a major tourist month, and you may want to save some time and your legs, and avoid standing in line. This after a guided walking tour of the neighborhood and of its most famous monuments. More info here: Skip the Line and Belem Walking Tour

NEW RESTAURANTS
Be among the first to try new restaurants serving everything from award-winning pizza to fresh Portuguese fish. Not far from the last stop of the popular tram 28 in Campo de Ourique/Prazeres is celebrity chef Vitor Sobral’s newest restaurant “Peixaria da Esquina”, specializing in fish and seafood. In the center of the city, in Chiado, is the new Mercantina, the only one in town certified by the “Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana”, meaning the city of Naples thinks this is one of the places in the world where “real Neapolitan pizzas” are served. Right next to the cathedral, with tables outside, is the new “Ao Pé da Sé”, a café-restaurant serving carpaccios, piadinas, tartare, sandwiches and salads throughout the day — perfect after sightseeing in the neighborhood.