Museum of Decorative Arts Fress Lisbon: Portuguese 17th to 18th C. nobility collection, viewpoint Portas do Sol, lovely tiles, romantic patio & an extraordinary experience: guided visit to arts and crafts ateliers

Would you like to see how the Portuguese nobility lived in their luxury palaces during the 17th and 18th Century? If you are planning to visit Lisbon take the opportunity to visit the Museum of Decorative Arts, the former city palace, easy to reach by legendary tram 28.

Museum of Decoratve Arts Lisbon 1

Museum of Decorative Arts Fress Lisbon (Museu Artes Decorativas Fress) 2014: visitors from Holland Ans de Graaf and Loek Polack & our tour guide Margarida Serra

The Portuguese nobility, during the 17th and 18th Century among the world’s wealthiest, embraced the sumptuous style of ‘Versailles’ and acquired lavishly decorated items throughout the continent.  ”While everyone else in Europe was leveraged in that period, the Portuguese were fully financed.” More….

But there’s much more to see in this Museum, like the beautiful Portuguese tiles (azulejos).  And a visit to the ateliers next to the museum is a wonderful experience!

Museum of Decorative Art Fress Lisbon King Jose Room 2

Museum of Decorative Arts Lisbon: King Jose room (1714 – 1777):  exuberantly carved furnishings in ‘Rococo’ style. Remarkable rosewood table (movie)

An example of a noble house in the 17th and 18th centuries. Portuguese aristocrats loved shopping, also in other countries: beautiful decorative arts including textiles, furniture, paintings, jewelry, collections of silverware, woven fabrics, China crockery and ceramics.

Museum of Decorative Arts 2009 2

Entrance Museum of Decorative Arts Lisbon: ‘Coupé Berlin, 18th Century.

In 2009 I also wrote about this museum, at that time you were not allowed to take pictures. Now you can wander freely from room to room and take time to make photos. The Museum has suffered several changes and it is really worth a visit.

Museum Decorative Arts Fress Lisbon Panel azulejos children 2

Museum of Decorative Arts Fress Lisbon: a beautilful tile panel & guided tour for children

Besides preservation, exhibition and research of the peaces in display, the Museum also promotes information throughout different audiences, converging the guided tours, as well as carrying out conferences and thematic arts- and craft workshops.

Museum of Decorative Arts Fress Lisbon- Portuguese Chairs Room

Museum of Decorative Arts Lisbon: new is a room with beautiful antique Portuguese chairs

The Ricardo do Espírito Santo Silva (1900 – 1955) Foundation

Ricardo do Espírito Santo Silva was the third son of a Portuguese banker with a remarkable name, because Espírito Santo means ‘Holy Ghost’.  This business man, art lover and Maecenas, and besides famous as one of the most renowned Portuguese bankers, donated to Portugal the wonderful Azura Palace and a decorative art collection.

Museum of Decorative Arts - guided tour Workshops

Ana Sim-Sim, our guide to the traditional Art & Crafts Ateliers and mr. Artur Sousa

Make a visit to the ateliers

In the former Palace there are 18 traditional Arts & Craft ateliers. Besides restoration of ancient pieces, new ones are manufactured with high technique and artistic quality, incorporating traditional techniques and methodes. A wonderful combination of modernity and tradition! Very creative people are at work here, dedicated to traditional breeding and restoration of old pieces (cabinet-making, inlays, wood carving, chiselling, book decoration, trimings and upholstery)

Museum Decorative Arts Fress Lisbon beautiful patio for lunch

Museum of Decorative Arts Lisbon: romantic and quiet patio to enjoy lunch, but today it’s raining  :-(

The Museum’s Cafetaria (there’s also a space inside for rainy days): from 12:30 to 14:30 you can enjoy soup, dish, vegetarian pie, salad, bread and olives, dessert, fruit, cold tea / juice, water, coffee (€ 10.00). The buffet changes every day.

Museum of Decorative Arts Fress Lisbon formeer palace entrance ateliers

Museum of Decorative Arts Lisbon, Largo das Porta do Sol 2 & entrance to Arts & Crafts Ateliers

The Foundation Ateliers are open to guided tours without pre-booking on Monday (11 am + 3 pm), Wednesday (11 am + 3 pm) and Thursday (3 pm). In English or Portuguese (in other languages according availability). Pre-booked guided tours are available from Monday to Friday. Call (00351) 21 881 46 39/00 ​

Museum of Decorative Arts Fress Lisbon- view from the window Portas do Sol

View from a window February 2014: popular tourist viewpoint Portas do Sol

Museum of Decorative Arts, Largo das Portas do Sol, 2 , located in the historic area Alfama, one step away from one of Lisbon’s most popular tourist attractions: viewpoint (miradouro) Portas do Sol: stunning river Tagus views!

Musum of Decorative Arts Lisbon atelier1

Mr. Artur Sousa at work in one of the Museum’s ateliers. Website with presentation (several Movies)

Facebook  Closed: New year’s Day, Easter, May Day (May 1st) and Christmas (December 25). Adult 4.00, free entrance children aged 12 or under. Open: 10:00 to 17:00.

Stylish bar ‘​Le Marais’ Lisbon, next to spectacular Santa Catarina Tagus river viewpoint, Gay Beach Tours & ‘shirtless Tuesday’: take your shirt off = a free shot

Open from 5:30pm. You will always be assured of a warm welcome in Le Marais, a bar/cafe in Lisbon with a French inspired style, named after the Parisian gay district. Very popular with tourists, ex-pats and locals. Close to Bairro Alto,  one of Europe’s hottest nightspots, a bit away from the crowd.

Le Marais Bar Lisbon Santa Catarina Shirtless Tuesday free shot 2

Le Marais bar/cafe Lisbon & shirtless Tuesday: take your shirt off = a free shot

Cafe/bar Le Marais opened 4 years ago by Stephane Fanucchi, from France, who moved to Lisbon. He created the french-inspired style. Currently there are 3 partners who own and manage Le Marais: Rui, Pablo and Edgar. They all have different backgrounds and experiences but they share the same goal: to provide Lisbon with a cafe/bar that can function as a nice relaxing place where you can chat and have a drink, and where you can have loads of fun at later hours of the night.

Le Marais Gay Bar Cafe Lisbon Santa Catarina  French style

Le Marais bar/cafe Lisbon, Rua da Santa Catarina 28: beautiful French inspired style

RUI: “Everyone who comes here is treated as a friend. Many of our guests are regulars and thus do become very close friends with us. But even those who may only be visiting Lisbon for a few days will get the chance of feeling welcomed in a friendly space. And those who come alone will very easily make new friends”.

Le Marais bar Lisbon Santa Catarina kissssssssssssss 2

Le Marais bar/cafe Lisbon: February 14, Valentine’s night….        ;-)

RUI: “We open at 5.30 (except on Mondays) and at that hour Le Marais is a very good place to enjoy a late afternoon drink after work, to relax and to have a chat with friends. After dinner we create an environment that is still relaxed but has a more party-atmosphere.

On Fridays and Saturdays, Le Marais is open until 4am and things can sometimes become a bit crazy….”

Bar Le Marais Lisbon Edgar & Pablo March 14

Le Marais bar/cafe Lisbon March 2014: Edgar & Pablo

RUI: “We define our space as gay-friendly, but basically, everyone is welcomed. We are listed in all Lisbon Gay Guides and we do attract many LGBT patrons, but in Le Marais absolutely everyone can feel right at home with no need for tags”.

Lisbon Beach – LGBT-specialized tour organiser

The current 3 owners are Pablo, a galician who has moved to Lisbon many years ago. Edgar has returned from living in Madrid last year and decided to join this adventure. Rui is also portuguese and he is also responsible for the LGBT-specialized tour organiser LisbonBeach

Le Marais Bar Lisbon Santa Catarina Rui

Le Marais bar/cafe Lisbon: Rui (r), responsible for tour organiser LisbonBeach

HAPPY HOUR from 6 to 8 pm during the week. On a regular basis, different parties and events are held in Le Marais . Free WiFi is provided and there is a Mac desktop available for use.

Le Marais bar Lisbon near Santa Catarina Tagus river viewpoint

Miradouro (viewpoint) Adamastor Lisbon: close to bar Le Marais

Very close to bar Le Marais you can find one of Lisbon’s best viewpoints with a spectacular Tagus river view: Adamastor, a popular gathering place. As a curiosity, this place is one of the locations used in the making of the movie “Night Train to Lisbon”.

Le Marais bar Lisbon Santa Catarina street

Le Marais bar/cafe Lisbon, Rua da Santa Catarina 28 Lisbon

Sunday & Tuesday to Thursday: 5:30pm – 2:00am (closed on Mondays). Very affordable drinks

Friday & Saturday: 5:30pm – 4:00am. Facebook

Le Marais Bar Lisbon Santa Catarina Ans March 2014

Lisbon March 2014: Ans, from Holland & a new friend

Le Marais: “um rendez-vous diferente, a piece of Paris in Lisbon!”

Enjoy pure Portuguese fado music and traditional food in restaurant ‘Maria da Mouraria’ Lisbon: Maria da Severa’s former house, first fadista & femme fatale

A city break to Lisbon is not complete without a night with fado, the melancholy Portuguese music. Avoid most of the Fado houses in area Bairro Alto; what you’ll hear has nothing to do with pure fado. You pay too much, and also the food is too overprized! Good fado has its home in historical areas Alfama or Mouraria, like in restaurant/bar ‘Maria da Mouraria’, the former house of Lisbon’s first fadista: ‘Maria da Severa’ .

Mourara Lisbon in June Rua do Capelao Portuguese fado guitar

Mouraria , cradle of fado’ Lisbon in June (Santo Antonio festivities): Rua do Capelão (& fado monument), entrance to fado bar/restaurant ‘Maria da Mouraria’.

Fado is very traditional to Portugal. It is a song expressing sadness, longing, love, passion and life (saudade) The fado singer is often dressed in black, accompanied by a Portuguese guitarra and it is sung by men and women. You are expected to be quiet when the fado is sung in fado houses. Usually they begin around 10pm.

Casa da Severa fado house Mouraria Lisbon 1

Fado bar/restaurant ‘Maria da Mouraria’, fado house in historical area Mouraria Lisbon

No district in Lisbon is more praised for fado music than Lisbon’s historic Mouraria area. It is said that the melancholic sounds of the music and singing of the Moorish people were at the base of fado (meaning fate) music, often described as the Portuguese blues.

Mouraria 'Casa da Maria da Severa' november 2013

Mouraria Lisbon, restaurant/bar & fado house ‘Maria da Mouraria’, Largo da Severa 2. November 2013

It is said that Maria da Severa was born in this house, that’s why this place was created (in 2013) to promote fado as a tribute to the legendary singer, considered by many as the first fadista. She died here, at the age of 26 years old, November 30, 1846.

Who was Maria da Severa?

Maria Severa first Portuguese fadista Lisbon Mouraria

Teatro da Revista (a sort of vaudeville theatre) Lisbon: Revue about Maria da Severa’s life

Maria is said to have been a tall and gracious prostitute, and would sing the fado in taverns, were she encounters a Count, Armando de Vimioso, bohemian, and a celebrated and aristocratic bullfighter. After Maria sings for Armando, a passionate romance begins. Armando’s mother, Constanca, forbids the romance, being a scandal in the family! The House of the Counts of Vimioso had also close links with the Portuguese royal family.

Casa Maria da Severa Lisbon Mouraria fadista Tania Oleiro

Casa ‘Maria da Mouraria’, Lisbon: talented fadista Tania Oleiro, accompanied by Ricardo Parreira and Marco Oliveira

People who like to gather here are musicians, actors, journalists and residents of surrounding neighborhoods. Fado house ‘Maria da Mouraria’, works as an extension to the Fado Museum. To better understand the history of Lisbon’s song, it is essential to visit the museum, located in the nearby area Alfama.

Casa Maria da Severa Lisbon Mouraria dinner feb 14 2

Fado house ‘Maria da Mouraria’, Lisbon, a part of the audience. February 14, 2013

You can have dinner, or just enjoy some snacks and a couple of drinks. We sat on one of the tables with a typical colourful tablecloth and waited for what was to come. We were surprised by fadista Tania Oleiro and the delights of a good dinner (from 20:00 pm) It is a small space with ten tables, so if you wish to dine here, make a reservation.

Casa Maria da Severa Lisbon Mouraria dinner feb 14 3 Josephine e Jorge

Casa ‘Maria da Mouraria’, Lisbon February 14: dinner with Josephine Lucassen (tourist guide) and Jorge Torres

Our dinner:  Peixinhos da Horta (fried green beans, a free ‘tapa’), prato do dia (dish of the day: pork liver) € 13,90, bacalhau (cod fish) € 16,90, bife € 15,90, and 2 bottles of red wine € 21,80 (around € 25 per person).

YouTube movie about the area and people who live here , people in the street try to sing fado :-)

Mouraria Lisbon Rua do Capelao street portraits fado singers

Rua do Capelão Mouraria Lisbon: famous fado singers & beautiful wall portraits in the streets: Amália Rodrigues, Fernanda Maria & Francisco Martinho

Retratos do Fado – Um tributo à Mouraria. (Portraits of Fado – A tribute to Mouraria). This is a permanent exhibition of fabulous photos printed on wood on the walls of the streets in a tribute to fadistas with a strong connection to the neighbourhood. A great idea! Created by British photographer Camilla Watson , who has been living in the area for 6 years.

Largo Maria da Severa Mouraria Lisbon fadista Katia Guerreiro

Summer 2013: Largo da Severa in Mouraria Lisbon: Katia Guerreiro enchants the audience

In summertime you can enjoy well-known fado performers in front of ’Casa ‘Maria da Mouraria’,(YouTube). In coordination with the Fado Museum, casa ‘Maria da Mouraria’ offers several cultural initiatives related to fado music in a completely renovated space. Film screenings, book readings and fado performers are the responsibility of Helder Moutinho.

Fado House ‘Maria da Mouraria’, Largo da Severa 2, Mouraria Lisbon. In summertime the terrace is open for drinks and petiscos (‘tapas’). Dining from 19:00 – 02:00. Open from Wednesdays to Sundays (Fado every day)

Reservations: (00351) 96 476 60 56. Facebook (dates and names fado singers)

Mouraria Lisbon Escadinhas de São Cristóvão

Mouraria Lisbon, Escadinhas de São Cristóvão

“Dangerous neighborhood”?

Together with Alfama, Mouraria is the oldest part of Lisbon. Sometimes tourists are told this is a “dangerous ” neighborhood. But the reality is that nowadays this area is a popular and fashionable part of Lisbon. The Mouraria district is less touristy and therefore much purer but more impoverished. Currently, the district is gradually renovated.

Vacation trip to Lisbon? check the calendar of my 3 bedroom apartment with wonderful patio

Taste a delicious Portuguese wine in winebar ‘AI MOURARIA’: historical Lisbon, sunny terrace, tapas, Amália, Pessoa & starting point tourist attraction old tram 28

Wine is one of the best national products of Portugal. Every glass of wine is best enjoyed in good company! There’s a new wine & tapas bar in Lisbon:  ’AI MOURARIA’, next to the starting point of old TRAM 28, a very popular tourist attraction.

Winebar 'Ai Mouraria' Lsibon  Sandra e Bruno owners2

Happy New Year! Feliz Natal! New wine & tapas bar ‘AI MOURARIA’ Lisbon: Sandra Vaz & Bruno Salsa

Taste a glass of wine in tiny but stylish wine & tapas bar ‘AI MOURARIA’ , or at their sunny terrace located in the historic former Moorish quarter of Lisbon. Near square Martim Moniz, with a lot of kiosks, live music and weekly markets. Portuguese coffee (bica), or beer, (Irish) whisky or  Ginja are also available: a ‘must try’ being a visitor. A favorite liqueur of many Portuguese and a typical drink in Lisbon.

Winebar 'Ai Mouraria' 2 Lisbon historical Lisbon terrace

New wine & tapas bar ‘AI MOURARIA’ in Lisbon & sunny terrace, November 2013

All wines on the list are from Portuguese origin, you can choose from a varied range, from red to white. The quality is high, the prices are low :-) . A glass of wine: € 2,20, ‘tapas’ (or, in Portuguese ‘petiscos’) from € 1.60 (pasteis). The sunny terrace is located at the recently partly renovated Mouraria neighbourhood in Lisbon, one of the oldest parts of the city. It is said that Fado music was born in this area around 1820.

Winebar 'Ai Mouraria' 3 Lisbon historical Lisbon Bruno & Amália Rodrigues

Winebar ‘AI MOURARIA’ Lisbon & Bruno, very sympatic, muito simpático!

Beautiful glass door-design: images of two people who lived in Lisbon and who culturally played an important role in Portugal. Amália Rodrigues, famous fado singer who lived nearby this area, was most influential in popularizing fado music worldwide. The small image is a portrait of Portugal’s poet and writer Fernando Pessoa. Written on the door: one of Pessoa’s remarkable quotes.

Winebar Ai Mouraria Lisbon Sandra owner & Portuguese bolo

Sandra Vaz & delicious Portuguese cakes (bolos): a good combination with strong Portuguese coffee (bica)

Amália Rodrigues was a very popular Portuguese singer and actress, known as the Rainha do Fado (‘Queen of Fado’). This winebar is named after one of her famous songs, ‘Ai, Mouraria’ (Vimeo): Amália sings about the streets of the old quarter Mouraria where she was betrayed in love. (This old town district is restored, the project is thus called ‘Ai Mouraria’).

Almost around the corner you can enjoy live fado music in the evening.

Winebar 'Ai Mouraria' 2 Lisbon historical Lisbon Josefine

New wine & tapas bar ‘AI MOURARIA’ in Lisbon

Bruno, showing my favorite wine Terras do Pó, (lit. grounds of dust), a Portuguese guitar (YouTube) & good friend (and tourist guide) Josephine. Adress wine & tapas bar: Rua da Mouraria 20

Terras do Pó 2012, white wine (vinho branc0). Region: Setúbal Peninsula € 2,20 (by the glass)

Winebar  AI MOURARIA door drawing Pessoa

Winebar ‘AI MOURARIA’ Lisbon: small image of Fernando Pessoa, famous Portuguese poet and writer

Fernando Pessoa (1888–1935). One of the most significant literary figures of the 20th century, Portuguese poet and writer, who lived in Lisbon. More about Pessoa & Lisbon

Famous quotes: The Book of Disquiet , published posthumously. My favorite quote: “Literature is the most agreeable way of ignoring life.”

Mouraria Lisbon church Capela de Nossa Senhora da Saúde terrace AI MOURARIA

Terrace winebar ‘AI MOURARIA’ Lisbon at Christmastime & church ‘A Capela de Nossa Senhora da Saúde’

(Chapel of Our Lady of Good Health). This tiny church was built on this spot in 1505 in gratitude for the end of the plague outbreak. The building was modified in the 18th century, and was given a very simple but beautiful façade and a baroque interior with paintings and tile panels.

Mouraria Church Rua a Mouraria 1 Lisbon

‘A Capela de Nossa Senhora da Saúde’, interior, church in Mouraria, Lisbon

Near the terrace of winebar ‘AI MOURARIA’ you will find the starting point of electrical tram 28. If you want to get a good impression of the historical city of Lisbon, a very good (and cheap) idea is taking this typical little trolley, ‘eléctrico 28′. This legendary tram is a tourist attraction in itself. It goes all around town. Of course you can hop on and hop off.

Square Martim Moniz Lisbon Starting point tram 28

Square Martim Moniz Lisbon: starting point tram 28 Lisbon, (near hotel Mundial), going all around town

Make an animal happy! Help abandoned animals in Portugal & how Bianca Animal Charity in Sesimbra prevents explosive cat overpopulation by sterilization

Happy new year! Feliz Natal! During 10 years, Bianca Animal Charity helps homeless dogs and cats in Sesimbra, a municipality south of Lisbon, Portugal. Their mission is to save abandoned animals, those that have suffered accidents and those that are in risk and in urgent situations. You can help!

magas (26) Biance 2

Beatriz, daughter of one of the Bianca volunteers & super sweet dog Magas

Magas is a female doberman, abandoned in the road, near Bianca Animal Charity in Seseimbra. She is super sweet :)

santana (31) Bianca 2

Bianca volunteer Anabela & Reginna

Reginna, a dog found with 8 puppies in the street, near some houses. Bianca Animal Charity shelter the mother and the puppies. All homed now! From 2,5 Euro a month donation you can help, or foster a dog or a cat on distance.

Please visit Bianca Animal Charity website,  to find out how. There are many dogs (and cats) waiting for an opportunity to be homed!

Bianca Ass. Sesimbra avoid overpopulation sterilization cats1

Bianca Animal Charity Sesimbra Portugal: stray cats are caught in a trap and operated on the next day

Sterilization to save animals from suffering and death that their overpopulation causes

A very important activity of Bianca Association is sterilization of stray animals, mostly cats. In 3 years time more than 1000 female stray cats have been sterilised (= neutered, spayed) and then returned to their place of living. This has prevented the birth of many thousands of kittens. In Sesimbra town the result is well visible: practically no kittens. The only very few ones being spotted are those that have been put on the streets by their former ‘owners’….

Bianca Ass. Sesimbra avoid overpopulation sterilization cats2

Sesimbra Portugal, veterinarian clinic: sterilization to save animals from suffering and death

The countryside around Sesimbra (south of Lisbon) is still a big problem, mainly because of its very large area (195 km2). So it will take many more years – if ever – to control the cat population there. The stray cats are caught in a trap and operated on the next day. Uterus and ovaries are removed through a small incision. A small tip of the right ear is removed as a sign that the cat has been sterilized (without the ear tipping it would be impossible to recognize the cats).

Bianca Ass. Sesimbra avoid overpopulation by sterilization cats3

After at least 24 hr recovery the cats are liberated on the same spot as they were caught.

The fewer cats are born, the fewer cats have to suffer and die

Sterilizing is done in a humane way. All sutures remain inside so the cat doesn´t take them out. A long working antibiotic is administered by injection. After at least 24 hr recovery the cats are liberated on the same spot as they were caught.

Bianca Ass. Sesimbra avoid overpopulation sterilization cats4

What a beauty! A small tip of the right ear is removed, as a sign that the cat has been sterilized

Bianca Animal Charity in Sesimbra is a non-profit organization. Bianca’s mission: rescue dogs and cats from the streets and public kennel, and promote their responsible adoption. Bianca educates the public about animal welfare and overpopulation problem and how important it is to neuter the animals to stop their suffering.

Website  BIANCA ANIMAL CHARITY SESIMBRA - find out how you can help

FACEBOOK Bianca Sesimbra Portugal

Restaurant ‘A Travessa do Fado’ Lisbon: traditional Portuguese delicacies, lovely menu of small plate dishes (petiscos) & attached to the Fado Museum

Portugal is famous for its culinary richness! Highly recommended in Lisbon, also for groups: restaurant ‘A Travessa do Fado’, attached to the Museum.

Restaurant ‘ A Travessa (traverse) do Fado’ Lisbon: sunny terrace in June

Your first visit to Lisbon? Don’t think you can always enjoy traditional fado music here during your (delicious) lunch or dinner. The name is related to the Fado Museum, attached to the restaurant. If you wish, the very nice manager António Moita can recommend a good fado-bar. The next-door Fado museum is open from 10:00-18:00 (closed Mondays)

Restaurant ‘ A Travessa do Fado’ Lisbon: small plate dishes (petiscos)

Sopa legumes (vegetable soup) € 4.00, Bochecha do Porco Preto (black pork cheeck) € 6.50, Tomatada (fried tomatoes) € 4.00, pão (very good bread) € 1.00, copo do vinho branco (glass of white wine) € 4.00, agua (1/2 lit. water) € 1.50, café € 1.50.

Petiscos/tapas

Small plate dishes are called petiscos in Portugal, so basically the same as Spanish tapas. (More….  ). Don’t say this to the Portuguese, the Spanish invasion (1762) is still fresh in their memory…. ;-)

Restaurant ‘ A Travessa do Fado’ Lisbon: manager António Moita

Famous restaurant ‘A Travessa’ in Lisbon, considered one of the best in the city, opened in July 2012 this new space in another area: the heart of Alfama, the historical part of Lisbon.

Restaurant ‘ A Travessa do Fado’ Lisbon: Bacalhau (Cod) Zé do Pipo

Quality and sophisticated service is also available in a ‘Petisqueira‘ version, relaxed and casual.  In case you come here for a lunch experience, this restaurant is a great starting point to discover the narrow streets of Alfama, the historical part of Lisbon.

Restaurant ‘ A Travessa do Fado’ Lisbon, November 2012, a rainy day.

Also in wintertime this restaurant is worth a visit, inside it is beautifully decorated. Together with my friend Erika Reusens we spent a wonderful afternoon here enjoying some petiscos and a very good red wine (Foral Reserva, bottle € 18,00).

Restaurant ‘A Travessa do Fado’: Peixinhos da Horta (fried green beans): € 3,00. I love it!  :-)

Peixinhos da horta (YouTube) is a traditional dish in Portuguese cuisine, literally translated as ‘little garden fish’, as it resembles small pieces of colorful fish. On the wall  there’s a chalky blackboard with suggestions: soups, salads, octopus, cuttlefish, shrimp or oysters. Delicious desserts (sobremesa), like tarte de amendoas (almond tart) € 4.00, or bolo do chocolate (chocolate cake) € 4.00.

Restaurant ‘ A Travessa do Fado’ Lisbon in summertime

Largo do Chafariz de Dentro 1, Alfama,  Lisbon

Telephone: (+351) 218 870 144. Closed: Monday and Tuesday. Opening times: from 11:00 am till 01:00. Facebook

Fado Museum Lisbon, attached to restaurant ‘ A Travessa do Fado’

The Fado Museum in Lisbon is ‘a must do’ for those who love Fado music as well as those with an interest in Portuguese culture and history. The permanent exhibition is a tribute to Fado and its promoters, revealing its history since 19th century Lisbon. More…

Restaurant ‘A Travessa do Fado’ Lisbon: fado night September 24 2013

Sunset Sailing Tour Lisbon: great experience, panoramic city views seen from the Tagus river, very romantic & super full moon

Portugal has the most gorgeous sunsets I have ever seen! When you visit Lisbon it is a great idea to enjoy a sailing tour and to discover the city seen from the river Tagus.

Tagus Cruises sunset sailing

TagusCruises Lisbon: sunset sailing on the river Tagus, a great experience!

This 2 hours sunset sailing trip departs daily from Doca do Bom Sucesso, close to the Belém tower, Lisbon, at 19:30.

How to get there: tram 15 from either Praça da Figueira or Praça do Comércio Lisbon

Doca do Bom Sucesso Lisbon: office Taguscruises & boat ‘Whatever’

If you wish you can go to the office (also situated at Doca do Bom Sucesso), buy a ticket and board immediately, but you can also book in advance via the website of Taguscruises.com .

Sunset sailing Tagus river Lisbon: beautiful views of the old city of Lisbon

Tagus Cruises can also organise birthday parties, marriage proposals, champaign parties, and live music on board. You can bring your own food and drinks or you can buy all you need in a shop near the office. Or maybe you prefer a private yacht and sail between Lisbon and Cascais?

Tagus river sailing & Lisbon’s most famous square: Praça do Comércio

Praça do Comerçio is one of the most majestic squares of Lisbon and absolutely worth a visit. Terraces and restaurants are facing the Tagus river, surrounded by the most stunning architecture. If you wish, ViniPortugal can offer you for free a taste of fine Portuguese wines.

Sunset sailing trip Lisbon & friendly Taguscruises staff: João Silveira Ramos

On the background the wonderful 25 of April Bridge (Ponte 25 de Abril), connecting the city of Lisbon to the municipality of Almada on the left (south) bank of the Tagus river, and the Cristo Rei monument. How to get there?

Sunset sailing trip Lisbon: amazing 25 April Bridge & drawings of dolphins

Dolphins return to Tagus estuary. Their presence is believed to be the result of a significant reduction in the River Tagus pollution from the city, and the improved quality of the river water is providing them with healthy fishing grounds. More…..

Sunset sailing tour Lisbon: view on historical part of Lisbon Alfama and the Pantheon (Panteão Nacional)

You will pass Lisbon’s beautiful monuments and attractions, such as the Monument of the Discoveries, the beautiful St George Castle (Castelo de São Jorge), and the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Jerónimos Monastery.

Sunset sailing tour Lisbon, June 22nd & Jorge Nuno, Taguscruises

Jorge Nuno: “In december 2012 we started with Taguscruises in Lisbon. The main idea is to give the people a ‘new door’ to the Tagus river. The boats are docked in front of the office; groups can buy a ticket here and then navigate. Of course you can book via our website, but personal contact is important for us”.

Monument of  the Discoveries (Padrão dos Descobrimentos) Lisbon as seen from the Tagus River

Jorge Nuno: “Sailing is my passion and also my profession, because I used to work as a deck officer on a container boat”. ” We also can arrange events for companies: we have organized a Regatta with 16 boats for 160 people”.

Sunset sailing trip river Tagus Lisbon June 22nd & romance

I enjoyed this sailing trip on the evening of June 22nd, one day before ‘super full moon’ in Lisbon. The atmosphere on board was quite romantic…  A lot of people believe that when the moon is full, people tend to allow their emotions to rise to the surface ;-)

Sunset sailing trip Lisbon: Torre de Belém (Belém tower) & romance

TAGUS CRUISES LISBON      YouTube Video boat ‘Whatever’

Daily departures from 10:00 – 19:30, Doca do Bom Sucesso Lisbon.

Sunset sailing tour. 45 €/pax. Duration: 2h. Dep: 19.30h. Min. 2 pax – Máx. 11

Reservations: info@taguscruises.com(00351) 925 610 034

Sunset sailing tour Taguscruises Lisbon

Restaurant/gallery ‘House of Wonders’ in Cascais near Lisbon: lovely roof terrace, healthy food, recycled furniture, African articraft & Dutch owner Anna Catharina

The ‘House of Wonders’ is really worth a visit if you are in Portugal’s famous vacation spot Cascais. Looking for a healthy lunchtime snack or dinner this unique place is easy to find in the center of the former fishing village close to the beach. Easy to reach from Lisbon (30 min. by train)

Roof terrace ‘House of Wonders’ in Cascais: excellent relaxing place!

The lovely roof terrace with comfortable cushions is situated on the top of the beautiful building. Even in wintertime when the weather is good you can sit here and enjoy the fabulous bayview and the sunset.

Harbour- and seaview from roof terrace ‘House of Wonders’ Cascais

Anna De Bruin is from Dutch origin and owner of “House of Wonders” in Cascais. “I lived 20 years in Africa and South America, where I launched the 1st collection of recycled boat furniture in the Caribbean”.

Cafe Gallery ‘House of Wonders’ owner Anna Catharina de Bruin

Anna: “ I chose Portugal to live because this country is very human and very authentic. It’s a mix between Europe and Africa, where many people are connected to this continent and in spite of the crisis they are positive, like me”.

First floor cafe the “House of Wonders” Cascais, December 2012

You can enjoy a range of home cooked food from the cafe. It is not a vegetarian restaurant but there are good options available. The menu often offer home made soup, quiches, pies and very tasty salads.

Snack with presunto (traditional Portuguese ham): delicious!

The food is fantastic and also the very friendly staff! Prices are fair, like a quiche and salad (€ 7.50), vegetable soup (€ 3.50) and a glass of good Portuguese white wine (€3.75).

First floor cafe & art gallery the “House of Wonders” Cascais

The first floor cafe is also an art gallery and there are beautiful African artifacts for sale, mainly handmade. I met a nice lady from Boston: Lynn Kenney (picture). If you are traveling alone the “House of Wonders’ is a cozy place to meet other people from around the world.

First floor Cafe & art gallery “House of Wonders’ Cascais: Bernardo and Anna

Anna: “This project was my dream! I opened the “House of Wonders” in Cascais around 3 years ago – a beautiful space, very cozy. A unique concept that features furniture and decorative pieces in natural wood, made from old dhowns – abandoned boats from the beaches of the Swahili coast – Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique.

Ground floor “House of Wonders” Cascais: beautiful recycled boat furniture from Africa

Website with information about how the abandoned boats make their way into Europe’s world of organic and chic furniture design

Cascais is easy to reach by train from Lisbon’s station Cais do Sodré (around 30 minutes). More about Cascais

First floor Cafe & art gallery “House of Wonders’ Cascais

Cafe Galeria House of Wonders Cascais: Largo da Misericordia  in the historic center of Cascais, Portugal. Phone (00351) 91 170 2428.

Facebook . Free WiFi.

House of Wonders Cascais roofterrace oct 13

Cafe & art gallery “House of Wonders’ Cascais, October 2013

Bar “da Velha Senhora” (Old Lady’s bar) Lisbon: burlesque performances, glittering revue, fado, petiscos & the day ‘barefoot diva’ Cesária Évora died

If you like burlesque performances, glittering revue shows and cabaret a must-go place is bar “da Velha Senhora“ (Old lady’s bar) in Lisbon! Video: ‘Hallooooooooooooooooooo!”  2 beautiful ladies invite you to enjoy the show

Bar da Velha Senhora” Cais do Sodré, Lisbon

While eating traditional Portuguese snacks (“petiscos“) you can enjoy various artistic performances. This bar is in the same typical Portuguese 18th-century building as “Pensão Amor” (a former ‘love’ guesthouse), with a wonderful unique décor and the same old burlesque, relaxed atmosphere. Also really worth a visit!

Stage Bar ”da Velha Senhora” Cais do Sodré, Lisbon

Inside, almost everything complies with the burlesque theme and imagery of Cais (river Tagus quai) do Sodré of the early twentieth century. The building itself – a cultural and artistic project – which includes Bar da Velha Senhora, witnesses the time that thirsty sailors docked in the harbor and spent their free time drinking booze and have fun with women.

Bar ”da Velha Senhora” Cais do Sodré, Lisbon

The stories of prostitutes and sailors are inseparable from Cais do Sodré, formerly known as Lisbon’s red light district with bars named after northern European capitals (like Copenhagen, or Roterdão, Rotterdam) to attract their sailors who stepped off their boats here.

But times have changed: nowaydays it is a great area to go out at night! Musicbox is a trendy hotspot for live bands and DJ’s, disco clubs Tokyo and Jamaica became two of the most loved alternative clubs in Lisbon.

Bar ”da Velha Senhora” & DJ Rycardo Lisbon, December 17, 2011

I will never forget the day Cesária Évora died, December 17, 2011. Early in the evening we went to Bar da Velha Senhora. When DJ Rycardo started to play the famous and wonderful songs of Cesária, suddenly all the people in the bar started spontaneously clapping their hands and some began to cry … I still get goosebumps thinking about that day…!

Bar ”da Velha Senhora” & DJ Rycardo Lisbon: the day Cesária Évora died

A woman jumped on the table and started to dance…….   Amazing!

Popular singer Cesária Évora, “the Barefoot Diva’, has made Cape (Cabo) Verde famous all over the world. She generally performed in bare feet, as a sign of solidarity for the large number of women and children back home in the Cape Verdean Islands who cannot afford shoes.

Cesária Évora: ‘Saudade’  (youtube). More about former Portuguese colony Cape Verde (from 1456-1975)

Bar ”da Velha Senhora” Cais do Sodré, Lisbon

Rua Nova do Carvalho 38, Cais do Sodré, Lisbon, tel. (00351)351 213 468 479. Open: Tuesday to Sunday 6pm to 4am

Metro: Cais do Sodré. Facebook.com/bardavelhasenhora

Lisbon tourist guide Josephine: walk in area Mouraria, maze of narrow Moorish style streets, shopping, Ginja, Fado & restaurant São Cristóvão

Josephine Lucassen is a professional guide, licensed by the city of Lisbon. She loves it to organise private walking tours for a group of tourists in this old and wonderful city!

Mouraria, Lisbon: Escadinhas de São Cristóvão & Josephine Lucassen, guide

Example: a walking tour through the oldest parts of Lisbon, the popular districts of Alfama and Mouraria, the ancient areas that have survived the earthquake of 1755. The many winding alleys still show the traces of the Moorish domination (from 711-1108). It is said that Fado music was born in Mouraria around 1820.

Authentic apartment for rent in this old area: 3 bedrooms and a very nice quiet patio (30 m2)

Mouraria Lisbon: stairs to Rua de São Cristóvão

The best way to start this walk is from Rua da Madalena and then climb the stairs Escadinhas de São Cristóvão.

Mouraria Lisbon: Rua de São Cristóvão in wintertime

Josephine: “I was born in Holland in a small village in Drente. After some travel jobs (f.e. Hotelplan) I prefered to live in Portugal. I’m happily married to a sympathetic Portuguese man, Jorge. Together we have 2 children. My curiosity and also the beauty of Portugal made me decide to study at the University of Lisbon. Now I am a professional,  licenced tourist guide with a lot of experience and a passion for history”.

Artisanat Portugais vintage & curiosites

‘A Loja’: Artisanat Portugais, vintage & Curiosités, Rua de São Cristóvão 3

Josephine: “On the corner of this street there’s a nice shop for tourists with typical Portuguese pottery and much more. We continue our walk in the small alleys of the Mouraria area and then we enjoy a drink in one of the pubs: the famous Portuguese liqueur Ginja (or Ginjinha), a must when you visit Lisbon!”

A sua saúde! (cheers!) Josephine in Mouraria Lisbon, area with lots of old bars and narrow streets.

Ginjinha, or simply Ginja, is a liqueur made of a cherry-like berry called (not surprisingly) Ginja. The berries are fermented into a brandy that’s slightly bitter, slightly sweet and very sticky. It is a favourite liqueur of many Portuguese. You can order a Ginja for little money, with or without a cherry in it.

Mouraria Lisbon: historical area with tiny steets and small bars

Josephine: “Where shall we enjoy lunch? Maybe this small restaurant with delicious Cape Verdian dishes (Cape Verde is a former colony of Portugal  from 1462 till 1975). After lunch we walk to Rua do Capelão, to visit the house of the first fadista, Maria Severa. Maria died very young after a passionate liaison with a nobleman in 1846. This house will be a fado museum. Also born in Mouraria: Mariza. Amália Rodrigues, ‘queen of Fado’ was born nearby.

Restaurant São Cristóvão Mouraria: owner Maria Levy and Josephine

Restaurant São Cristóvão is a small family-run restaurant, favorite place among locals for its Cape Verdean- and other African dishes. The menu also includes typical Portuguese cuisine such as codfish (bacalhau) and sardines (sardinhas). Moamba de Galinha (Angolan chicken stew) is a very popular dish: € 7.

Mouraria, Lisbon, a hidden place: beautiful very old tiles (azulejos)

Portugal is famous for its decorative tiles (azulejos). In Mouraria there’s a hidden place where you find beautiful tiles representing scenes of Portugal’s rich history and culture. Azulejos are found on the interior and exterior of churches, palaces and ordinary houses.

Square Martim Moniz February 2013: Kiosk ‘A Preta’:  João (Johnny)

Josephine: “Then we finish our trip enjoying a drink in the sun at square Martim Moniz, nowadays with lots of terraces and food kiosks. This is where the historic Mouraria neighborhood starts, a multicultural area. The food here is also very good. Johnny worked a few years in Amsterdam. He speaks a little Dutch (‘lekker!‘)

Lisbon Square Martim Moniz: Kiosk ‘A Preta’: guide Josephine & ???

This man, for both of us completely unknown, asked me to make a picture of him together with this beautiful lady  :-)

Starting point legendary tram 28

This square Martim Moniz is also the starting point for the legendary tram 28, a ‘must- do’ Lisbon attraction.

Alfama, historical area in Lisbon: Escadinhas Santo Estêvão

Private city walking tours

Josephine: “For for some years I organize private walking tours for groups. Many tourists miss the hidden gems of Lisbon, simply because they did not know about them!

Lisbon river Tagus viewpoint (miradouro) Santa Catarina or Adamastor

Josephine: “Another idea for a 4-hour walking tour is a start near the river Tagus: Cais do Sodré, famous fish market Mercado do Ribeiro, cute and famous little tram to the top of the Bica area, river Tagus viewpoint Santa Catarina, bohemien neighborhood Bairro Alto, along Sao Bento palace, park in Principe Real with one of the oldest cedar trees in Lisbon. Finally Rossio, a wonderful square with historical buildings and of course: liqueur Ginja!

Tourist attraction Lisbon: sculpture Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa, kissed by a young girl more than 75 years after his dead….

Tailored Tours

“How about a tour tailored to your specific needs? A walking full day tour combined with old trams and funiculars would be a perfect idea”.

Price: from € 15, 00 per person (4 hours) Full day tour € 25 pp.  Minimum 4 people (max. 10).

Mail josephinelucassen@yahoo.com or call: 00351 966 361 983

“My favorite place in Lisbon? Pffffffff, not easy, one of them is river viewpoint Portas do Sol, especially by night…..amazing!”

Tagus river viewpoint (Miradouro) Portas do Sol, Alfama Lisbon