Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Augusta Street Arch

The Augusta Street Arch is an icon of Lisbon that catches the eye of every person who walks along the river and it is also a scenario of many pictures.

The Arch is a celebration of the pombaline and neo-classic art, but more than that it is a symbol of Lisbon’s strength to rise after the earthquake of 1755.

In 2013, after seven months of renovations, it became possible to climb to the top and get a different perspective of this remarkable monument.

Offering one of the most unique panoramic views of Lisbon, this viewpoint rapidly became one of Lisbon’s most visited sites, with over 835.000 visitors since it opened, and in 2017 it surpassed, for the first time, the 200.000 visitors mark.

The entrance is made through Augusta Street and the ticket, which costs 2,5€, grants you access to the elevator that takes you to the upper level. There, and after 30 steps, you can visit the clock room and, finally after another 40 steps, the viewpoint.

Open every day from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. this site is definitely a must-see.

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

World’s Best Aquarium

In the year it celebrates its 20th anniversary, the Oceanário de Lisboa was elected for the 3rd time, World’s Best Aquarium by TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice 2018.

With more than 33.000 reviews, the Oceanário de Lisboa had a global rating of 4,5 out of 5 and was considered excellent by 64% of the reviewers.

Built for the EXPO´98, the Oceanário de Lisboa is a large public aquarium whose prestige is widely recognized, not only in Lisbon and Portugal but also across the world, and has etherealized the centuries-old bond between Lisbon and the ocean.

Its exceptional exhibitions and the architectural features of its buildings, full of symbolism, allows a unique, unforgettable experience. The Oceanário consists of two buildings connected by a large forecourt: the original Oceans Building and the new Sea Building. The forecourt, from which the exhibitions and the educational area can be accessed, boasts a magnificent panel featuring 55 thousand tiles.

Since its opening, the Oceanário de Lisboa has welcomed over 23 million visitors from 185 different countries. After 2015 and 2017 this is the 3rd time the Oceanário is considered the World’s Best Aquarium.

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Lisbon’s Markets

Spread across the city, the Lisbon’s Markets were an important and almost only way to provide the city with fresh supplies.

The markets first appeared 2 centuries ago, following the growth of the city, replacing the door to door and street trade. The oldest ones that are still working are the Mercado de Santa Clara and the Mercado da Ribeira.

At the moment, Lisbon has 25 functioning markets, some of them keeping its original purpose, others adapting its offer to meet the needs of the new consumer.

This is the case of Mercado da Ribeira and Mercado de Campo de Ourique, both part of a partnership between the city’s council and private operators, in order to combine the traditional market offer with new cuisine experiences and local stores.

Another market recently adapted was the Mercado de Alvalade. In July 2017, a new Food Court and a Leisure area were created, and finally, a kids’ zone called “Family Market”.

But when talking about markets one can’t forget the oldest and most famous one, the Feira da Ladra that goes back to the thirteen century and it is still active every Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Check the complete list of Lisbon’s Markets here.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

36 hours in Lisbon by The New York Times

A recent article by Ingrid K William on the New York Times made some suggestions on how to enjoy Lisbon on a weekend.

Among the many ideas, the writer highlights the cuisine, the culture, and the nightlife.~

The journey starts by Graça District, where it is recommended to visit the Graça Convent, the chapel and the Baroque Clothier ( just reopened after renovations) and of course the Belvedere with its beautiful view.

The afternoon proceeds with a visit to the Casa Fernando Pessoa, museum and cultural center in Campo de Ourique that allows, through an interactive exhibition, to involve the visitors in the poet’s writing.

Dinner takes place close by in Peixaria da Esquina, with a feast of seafood. Then the writer hits Lisbon’s nightlife, which she considered having gain “new highs” due to the rooftops available.
Topo Chiado is the chosen one for a cocktail in the outdoor lounge.

Saturday starts with a “sugar rush” in the famous Pastelaria Alcôa and the Pastel de Nata is the elected one, the rest of the morning is spent shopping, especially cork made products.
Lunch is on chef Kiko Martins restaurant, A Cevicheria and the afternoon is dedicated to Belém and its monuments, Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, Torre de Belém and the Museu de Arte, Arquitectura e Tecnologia, praising the museum’s futuristic façade.

The writer then returns to the city center for dinner at the Taberna da Rua das Flores in Chiado, located in an old grocery store with the ambiance of a true antique tavern. The night continues to Principe Real and a visit to the cozy Pub Lisboeta and Gin Lovers, located in a 19th century Palace and where you can choose from over 50 brands of gin.

Sunday begins with coffee and like in Italy, Lisbon’s coffee is a delicious espresso.
To finish the weekend the writer suggests a visit to one of the many kiosks one may find in several gardens and belvederes. With an attractive architecture, these are great options to enjoy some of Lisbon’s specials, such as Ginginha.

Friday, 13 July 2018

5 Lisbon gardens to lie down

Known for its history and traditional districts, Lisbon also has some beautiful gardens that work as a perfect refuge on hot summer days.

In the peak of summer when strolling through the squares of Lisbon is not an option, hiding and lying down in one of Lisbon’s gorgeous gardens is the best alternative.

Among Lisbon’s most beautiful gardens we have chosen 5:

Torel Garden
Turned to the sun and with modern sun loungers this garden enjoys a panoramic view over the valley of Avenida da Liberdade and the hill of São Roque.

Cerca da Graça Garden
Located in a historic area with an area of 1.7 hectares, Cerca da Graça Garden is the largest green space with public access, hosting a kiosk and an orchard.

Necessidades Garden
Designed in1843 by D. Fernando here we find: three lakes surrounded by exotic vegetation, a waterfall, a fountain and tank, various statuary elements.

Fernando Pessa Garden

Hiding in Avenida de Roma it’s a very nice neighborhood garden, named after Fernando Pessa, a Portuguese journalist. Here was the place where Fernando Pessa used to take a stroll and ride a bicycle.

Ajuda Bothanic Garden
It is the oldest Portuguese garden, planted by the Marquis of Pombal in 1768 with the designation of Ajuda Royal Botanical Garden. It was built with the vocation of a museum and nursery of botanical species from many different parts of the world.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Top 5 - Beaches near Lisbon

Summer is here, and it is time to enjoy the sun and there’s no place like the beach to do so.

One of the good things about Lisbon is its location, a feature that makes it one of the few European capitals to have the most diverse offers to those who visit us.

In Lisbon one can enjoy the culture that the city has to offer, a secular history to learn and several
nearby beaches to visit. The beach is not the main reason why tourists visit Lisbon, but once you’re here there are beaches at half hour away, which make it pretty easy to visit and enjoy.

Here we introduce you to the Top 5 – Beaches near Lisbon that you should visit in case you’re looking to get a Portuguese tan:

1 – Caparica
An unbeatable beachfront that stretches for many miles. It is one of the main destinations for locals and it features the Transpraia, a train that connects Caparica town to Fonte da Telha beach.

2 – Grande
Very popular amount surfers and body boarders, Praia Grande has the longest unbroken stretch of sand in the area, offering a good variety of bars and restaurants.

3 – Carcavelos

This is the broadest and longest beach along the Estoril coast and although near to Lisboa, Carcavelos still offers good water quality.

4 - Lagoa de Albufeira and Meco
Located in the Southern part of Caparica in a unique setting these beaches are only accessible by car. Lagoa de Albufeira, a lagoon popular for windsurfing and Meco famous for the traditional and picturesque village.

5 - Estoril and Cascais 
At 30 min distance in a train ride from Lisbon, these beaches get very crowded because of the size and are supported by a huge variety of bars and restaurants.

Monday, 9 July 2018

5 Ice-cream shops to visit in Lisbon

Lisbon’s hot summer days are here to stay, and there’s nothing better to refresh you day than an ice cream.

Famous for its traditional cuisine, Lisbon also hosts some of the best ice cream shops, where you can take a break of sightseeing.
Melt yourself with the best ice cream shops in Lisbon…Cup, cone or on a stick.

Santini – since 1949
In Chiado and in more locations scattered through Lisbon, for more than sixty years, Attilio Santini opened doors to, without a doubt, the best known Portuguese gelataria. By serving the first cone of what was quickly considered "the best ice cream in the world", Attilio Santini marked the beginning of something already considered a tradition: go to Santini!

Here you can find one of the best ice creams in Lisbon. Handmade with fresh products supplied by Ribeira Market. Just as the Roman tradition commands, these ice creams are served with a spatula, always with an addition of whipped cream on top, made several times a day.

As different as it can be, the well-known Lisbon gelataria, where you can almost make a salad on a glass or cone: as the ice creams are made with vegetables. Another of the many novelties are the flavors inspired by cocktails. For now they match with the normal flavors, sorbets of gazpacho, tomato, carrot, beet and even açaí.

One of the oldest gelatarias in Lisbon was founded in 1946. The ice creams still follow the original recipe, are 100% handmade and made only by Michele Tarlattini, who starts working the ingredients at dawn, so that he can open is shop at 2:00 p.m. The machines used by Michele -  the Carpigiani - are dated from the 40s and 50s of last century.

It offers the best blends of flavors you can find, from "Ginger and Honey" and "Lemon Sorbet with Basil". The space is small and intimate, as if advising the clients to enter, buy the ice cream and leave to continue enjoying Lisbon. An important note to keep in mind is that Fragoleto also produces soy ice creams.