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.

Friday, 6 July 2018

5 Terraces in Lisbon

When the city becomes too busy or even too stressful, it’s nice to get lost in a setting of tranquility. In order to enjoy our 220 days of sunshine, we give you some of the best terraces/bars in Lisbon.

Lost In – A Terrace of Tranquility in the Heart of Lisbon
Lost In welcomes you by the colors of the textiles and the aroma of incense. This seduction is only the teaser. Walk through the labyrinth of rooms filled with a potpourri of Indian merchandise from silken fabrics to finished clothing, and ornamental slippers to colorful scarves. In the rear of the shop, you will find the peaceful oasis.

House of Wonders
In Cascais, fishing village and beach area, this cafe and gallery feature rooftop with sea view in the center of Cascais, up multiple flights of steeped stairs, where you can also get hand-crafted goods and furniture.

In the city’s most multiethnic neighborhood, opened a bar and restaurant at the top of a shopping mall, on the 6th floor, looking out to the castle. It used to be used as storage space, and it is reached by a small elevator.
On the terrace, there are wooden structures doubling as tables and seats for snacking, while the interior features a long counter serving meals of Portuguese and international cuisine. There are also castle views from here, through the glass façade.

Rio Maravilha 
A former break room of factory workers, on a 4th floor, is now a gastropub paying tribute to the river Tagus and Rio de Janeiro.
It's still meant to be a place for socializing, during lunch, dinner, and drinks and meals in between, and it still offers the same view of the river and of the 25 de Abril Bridge. The curious decor maintains the industrial feel and consists of tables with multimedia projections and tabletops with board games. There is also a stage by the entrance for concerts and cultural events.

Café Noobai
The name Noobai comes from ‘Nu bai’ which means ‘we go’ in the Creole dialect from Cabo Verde, a former colony of Portugal.
Certainly worth a visit for the wonderful view over the Tagus (Tejo) Riverside, located at the trendy Santa Catarina Belvedere. In winter you can sit with a fleece blanket on the terrace but there’s also an indoor room.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Tram 24

Deactivated in 1995 the Tram 24 recently returned to the streets of Lisbon in a route between Campolide and Camões Square.

On April 24th, Carris relaunched the Tram 24, in a route that connects Lisbon’s downtown with the Amoreiras/Campolide district.
Photo DN

The Tram 24 started working in 1905 and at the time it connected the Rossio Square and Campolide. In 1995 the route was suspended due to constructions in the city and has been stopped since then.

In 2015, an online petition was created in order to revive a route that connected the waterfront and the “7th hill”.

Finally, in 2011, the City’s Council approved the reactivation which had its debut on April 24th, 2018.
Climbing Rua Alecrim and Rua da Misericórdia until Igreja S. Roque, then through S. Pedro de Alcântara garden and Principe Real, along Rua da Escola Politécnica until Rato and Amoreiras, the Tram 24 is the perfect way to visit the 7th hill.

Saturday, 30 June 2018

Reasons to fall in love with Lisbon

A recent article by Javier Martin del Barrio, in the newspaper El País, lists several reasons for falling in love with Lisbon.

Music, bars, monuments, historic sites, the famous Tram 28 and even the climb to the Pilar 7 of 25 de Abril bridge, nothing is forgotten.

“Pilar 7 Experience” is the first stop as Lisbon’s most recent tourist attraction is mentioned for the incredible views of the city and the river Tejo and the possibility to “climb to heaven”.

“Like the one in S. Francisco, but better” is like Tram 28 is presented, the journalist’s favorite route starts in Estrela all the way to St. George’s Castle through Graça district, not skipping a visit to Vila Berta.

A walk from Parque Eduardo VII through the river Tejo is another suggestion, starting by a small stroll thru the gardens then down the Avenida da Liberdade, crossing the Rossio area to the Praça do Comércio, all of this during the morning.

The Oceanário also makes the list and it is considered “beautiful, fun and didactic”. One of the main reasons to fall in love with Lisbon is, of course, Fado “to enjoy the real Fado song performed by the best Fado singers” one must visit Mesa de Frades.

Finally “if you are a tourist but want to get away from the traditional route, take a taxi and go to Bairro Padre Cruz” and there you will find a unique street art collection, where 30 of the best street art performers painted the façades of this neighborhood.

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Travelers look for new experiences

Innovation is always trendy in the tourism world and the standard city tour is no longer enough for the tourist who eagers for new experiences. 

TripAdvisor released a report about travel trends in 2018 on the segment Experiences, Tours, and Activities. This information was based on the reservations made in 2017 and it shows that although tourists are still interested in monuments and important sights, they are looking for local alternative experiences.

The interest in new experiences such as cultural, gastronomic tours, cooking lessons and historic and patrimonial experiences had an incredible growth, showing that travelers are expanding horizons.

Travelers are looking more and more for authenticity and they search for local culture, balancing their itineraries, mixing traditional tours with local experiences. It is clear that travelers will still visit Belém Tower, but they will reserve some time for a gastronomic tour through Alfama.

As it is normal when demand increases the offer follows and so, last year guides and tourism operators created more than 30 thousand new experiences worldwide.

One of the most annoying situations when traveling to a popular destination is the immense queues and that is why the product “skip-the-line” was the most popular in 2017.

As the name implies, this is a product that allows you to access, without queues, to some of the world’s most visit sights, making you save precious time, and improving the experience tremendously.