Breathtaking views: Lisbon, city with 7 hills (colinas)

Lisbon is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe! The ‘cidade das sete colinas’ (city of the seven hills) was originally built over seven hills on the margins of River Tagus. There’s a lot of places with marvellous views!

View from the Castelo Saint George (Castelo de São Jorge)

View from Castelo Sao Jorge Saint George

View on 25th of April Bridge (Ponte 25 de Abril), connecting the city of Lisbon to the municipality of Almada on the left bank of the Tagus River

25 April Bridge Lisbon

View on the Baixa. Terreiro do Paço (or Praça do Comércio) near de river refers to the fact that the royal palace (Paço) was destroyed in the 1755 earthquake. The statue is King José I, who oversaw the rebuilding of Lisbon.

Lisbon viewTerreiro do Paco

One of Lisbon famous funiculars (electrico), the Elevador da Bica or de Santa Justa, opened on June 28, 1892. The only stepped street funicular in the city

Lisbon tram in Bica

General view on the Alfama, the oldest district of Lisbon

Lisbon general view on the Alfama

View on Praca da Figueira (Square of the Fig Tree), a beautiful large square in Lisbon’s city center, a part of the Baixa area reurbanised after the 1755 earthquake.

Lisbon overview Praca da Figueira

Praca da Figueira Lisbon

Looking for a place to stay a few days in Lisbon? My 3 bedroom apartment with lovely patio in Mouraria is close to this square

View on Largo do Rato and the Tagus River from the terrace of Mae de Agua (“Aqueduct of Free Waters”), a historic aqueduct, one of the most remarkable examples of 18th-century Portuguese engineering.

Lisbon view on the Tagus River

High-speed train Alfa Pendular from Lisbon Oriente station & online reservation

Station Oriente is a very beautiful and very famous station, the hub for the various networks of public transportation serving the eastern area of Lisbon, with a metro station, trains, buses, taxis and easy airport links.  The station was created by master architect Santiago Calatrava with a roof of glass and steel.

Oriente Station

Station Oriente. A ticket from Lisbon Oriente Station to Faro (or vice versa) cost about 19 euro.

Alfa Pendular train

The Alfa Pendular is a very comfortable, fast and luxury train.

Address station: Ed. Gare do Oriente, piso 1 – Av. D. João II. You can buy a ticket via internet, also from International station Santa Apolonia. The best thing to do is to reserve a ticket (and a chair number) from 30 days to at least one day before your journey.

Alfa Pendular connects the cities of Braga, Porto, Aveiro, Coimbra, Santarém, Lisbon, Albufeira and Faro, among others.

Website Alfa Pendular (online ticket reservation, from 30 days to at least one day before your journey.)

Aquaduct Lisbon

View from train Alfa Pendular

You can overlook the fine views (picture: Aquaduct in Lisbon) during the 3 -hours trip, or work: sockets for laptops are at many of the seats.

Public transport Alfa Pendular train view 25 April Bridge Lisbon downtowm

View from train Alfa Pendular : April 25 Bridge on Lisbon downtown

In the Alfa Pendular train there’s also a buffet car, mini bar, audio and video channels (ear-phones are distributed), toilets and special places reserved for reduced mobility passengers.

Alfa Pendular view Alcantara Lisbon

View from Alfa Pendular train

Alcantara Lisbon cruise port just beyond the April 25 bridge.

Bar/Cafe ‘SIDE’ Bairro Alto Lisbon, trendy gay meeting point & new owner

Whether you’re gay or straight: cafe/bar ‘SIDE’ is a trendy meeting point in Rua da Barroca, open from 18:00 pm. Most bars open their doors much later in Bairro Alto.

Gay cafe Side Rua do Barroco

Bar/Cafe ‘SIDE’ Bairro Alto Lisbon

…..A few friends of mine enjoy a glass of wine……

Sebastien and Nelson cafe Side Bairro Alto

Bar/Cafe ‘SIDE’ Bairro Alto Lisbon

Sebastien and Nelson

Bairro Alto Rua Barroca Santo Santionio Side

Bar/Cafe ‘SIDE’ Bairro Alto Lisbon
Rua da Barroca, Bairro Alto, in June, the month of the Saints Festivities

August 2012: This bar is open again (see comment)

Erika Reusens’ (Belgian origin) favorite places in Lisbon & short ferry trip to restaurant Farol

Bom dia! My name is Erika Reusens, I was born in Belgium, I moved to Lisbon in 2004, which was quite an adventure, because I had to start all over again.

Lisbon people Erika

Erika Reusens (Belgian origin)

“I live in a quiet part of the historic area Bairro Alto, but ‘the place to be’ when it comes to nightlife! Bairro Alto means ‘High neighborhood’, as it is on top of one of the seven hills of Lisbon. It is a maze of narrow streets filled with trendy shops, galeries, charming grocery stores, small restaurants and bars”.

Bairro Alto Rua da Rosa

Lisbon, Bairro Alto area in the afternoon

“During the day it feels like living in a small village. Old people with coloured plastic bags are coming back from the market, having a chat with eachother while they slowly climb the steepy streets. The atmosphere is very relaxed. Typical Portuguese is the hanging laundry, drying in the wind. In the shops and in the cafes people take their time to make a friendly neighbourly talk.

For me Lisbon’s Tagus river is a very important part of my life. When I wake up the first thing I do is look out of the window to see the ‘mood’ and the colour of the river: sometimes wild or as smooth as a mirror, sometimes blue or ominous dark grey. In summertime the weather is gorgeous, and, thanks to the nearby river, there’s always a nice breeze!

Lisbon and the Tagus river are inseparable: I like it very much enjoying the calm water’s river on a Cais do Sodré’s terrace, reading a bit while slowly sipping a glass of Sangria and then take a (10-minutes) ferry trip to Cacilhas to the other side of the river”.

Ferry Lisbon Cacilhas

Lisbon ferry from Lisbon to the other side of the river: Cacilhas

Cacilhas is a picturesque neighbourhood in the banks of the river best known by its Cervejarias (popular beer houses) also offering shellfish, seafood, and fresh fish.

How to get there

I can recommend restaurant/Cervejaria O “Farol (lighthouse) just by the boat stop, the food is ‘finger licking’ good! From restaurant ‘O Farol’ I like to make a walk along the river, after passing some abandoned and ruinous warehouses you can have lunch or enjoy a drink at the outdoor terrace of ‘Atira-te ao rio’, a small paradise with wonderful views!

Restaurarant Attira-te ao Rio

Terrace ‘Atira-te ao rio’, Brasilian cafe/restaurant: wonderful views! (2008)

More about this restaurant (2019)

“The cemetery of São João (Cementerio do Alto de São João) is a very impressive and beautiful old graveyard: the alleys, the graves, the tranquility….one of the most attractive places to admire the river Tagus as well!

Cementery Sao Joao

“For me, Lisbon is an authentic, unique city!”

Traditional Fado Vadio Lisbon: taverna ‘Tasca do Jaime’ & black shawl of mourning

UPDATE 2015

Enjoy the real fado while munching on freshly-fried cod pastries in the late afternoon in Tasca do Jaime, one of the most intriguing of Lisbon’s ‘tavernas’. Traditionally, the Fado houses are popular and a meeting spot for families and friends. Close to Lisbon’s legendary flea market ‘Feira da Ladra’

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‘Tasca do Jaime’ taverna Lisbon: real fado music

You won’t always find the best fadistas, but don’t let that scare you off. This is real traditional fado, out of the tourist circle, where the fado singers can enter spontaneously and improvise.

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‘Tasca do Jaime’ taverna Lisbon, Saturday afternoon

As soon as somebody gets up to sing the audience stops talking and all the attention is on the singer. The Portuguese have a lot of respect for the performers and it is of utmost importance that the singers can concentrate and express their emotions in their singing. When the song is about to finish the audience starts applauding and cheering.

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‘Tasca do Jaime’ taverna Lisbon

Fado Vadio on Saturdays, Sundays and public Holidays from 16:00 to 20:00, Rua da Graça 91, Lisbon.

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‘Tasca do Jaime’ taverna Lisbon

Fadistas, as fado singers are known, often wear a black shawl of mourning, as one of Maria Severa did after her heartbreak. Her story epitomizes fado’s connection with saudade, “a feeling of longing or nostalgia”.

‘A Outre Face da Lua’ Lisbon: popular Vintage Shop & delicious sandwiches

Opened in October 2005, the ‘A Outra Face da Lua’ (‘the other side of the moon’) shop has an exclusive selection of vintage clothing and accessories, recycled clothing by Carla Belchior, wallpaper, tin toys, Melissa shoes and traditional Portuguese products like Clarim soap and Bordalo Pinheiro products. You can find true bargains, unique and original items, especially in the sales season.

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‘A Outre Face da Lua’ Lisbon Vintage Shop

Amidst all these special products you can sit down and have something to eat. The cafe is famous for the sandwiches, salads and teas. Opened from Monday till Saturday (10h00 – 20h00).

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‘A Outre Face da Lua’ Lisbon Vintage Shop

The shop is located in downtown Lisbon (Baixa) at Rua da Assunção 22, and is open from Monday till Saturday (10h.00 – 20h00). New outlet store  just around the corner, Rua Douradores 119

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‘A Outre Face da Lua’ Lisbon Vintage Shop

The terrace outside the shop is very popular, located right in the center of the city.

Lisbon A outre Faca da Lua new collection

‘A Outre Face da Lua’ Lisbon Vintage Shop

Visit their website

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‘A Outre Face da Lua’ Lisbon Vintage Shop

A recommended tour in Lisbon by foot from Square Martim Moniz to viewpoint Miradouro da Graça

If you like walking and splendid panorama views:  start from Praça da Figueira, where the metro stops or from Praca Martim Moniz, then walk up Calçada dos Cavalheiros to Largo do Terreirinho. This is where the Mouraria neighbourhood starts.

Taverna do Poco Largo terreirinho

Restaurant/cafe ‘Taverna do Poço’ Mouraria

Walking on, up Calçada de Santo Andre

Mouraria Calcada do St Andre

Calçada de Santo Andre , Lisbon

Then you turn left and continue your voyage up the steep street Calçada da Graça. Just before arriving on Largo da Graça, you will find Miradouro da Graça on your left hand sight. You can’t miss it.

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Miradouro da Graça

Sit down, have a bica (coffee) and enjoy the wonderful view over the city, the 25th April Brigde and the Cristo Rei Monument

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Near this viewpoint you’ll find the Graça Church

built in 1271 with Baroque interior and 17th century tiles

Church Viewpoint Graca Lisbon

 

Bar ‘ANOS 60’ in area Mouraria Lisbon: the sixties, history & owner Fernando Casanova

UPDATE November 2016: bar ‘ANOS 60’ is closed


Mouraria Lisbon ANOS 60 July 2014 trendy bar

Young people from the US visiting Lisbon, bar ANOS 60 historic area Mouraria Lisbon, July 2014

History BAR ANOS 60 Mouraria (written in 2008)

This unique bar and top-class restaurant has been established in the nineties in the  historic Mouraria neighbourhood and is located at Largo do Terreirinho. It is also one of the best places to talk politics (also in English) and to listen to live music (Fado/Brasilian a.o.). The owner, senhor Fernando Casanova, chose the area of Mouraria because of the historic nature of the neighborhood.

Anos 60 Bar in Mouraria live music

Bar/restaurant ‘ANOS 60’ in Mouraria Lisbon

Politicians, journalists and many local celebrities meet up in ‘Anos 60’ to discuss politics, dine and enjoy the live Brazilian and Portuguese music. Mariza, the internationally well-known fado singer started her career in Mouraria where she grew up and performed many times in ‘ANOS 60’.

Lisbon Bar Anos 60 Mouraria Che Guevara

Bar/restaurant ‘ANOS 60’ in Mouraria Lisbon

Che Guevara . ‘Anos 60′ means ‘the sixties’. The name was chosen because of the rough political times in the sixties in Portugal, when the Portuguese people suffered under the corrupt dictator António de Oliveira Salazar, president of the Council of Ministers of Portugal for 36 years, from 1932 to 1968, and founder of the Estado Novo (New Regime).

On April 25, 1974, the Estado Novo finally fell with the Carnation Revolution.

Lisbon Mouraria Bar Anos 60 live music

Bar/restaurant ‘ANOS 60’ in Mouraria Lisbon

ANOS 60 owner Fernando Casanova was, as a journalist, part of the intellectual opposition and in his bar still many discussion about the era of the revolution take place. Fernando contributed for 2 years to the political newspaper “Aqui” which was published during the period of the revolution. The Club de Jornalistas’ in Lapa, which now has 700 members, has a strong connection to the bar.

Anos 60-Fernando-Casanova-Lisbon-Mouraria

Fernando Casanova , owner of bar/restaurant ‘ANOS 60’ in Mouraria Lisbon

The clock in ‘ANOS 60’ stands still at 04:10. Stories go round that this was the time that the Carnation Revolution started… But according to Fernando, it has another reason. It has to do with the official closing time: 04:00. In the weekends the bar usually closes later. After dancing the night away you walk out onto the street at 07:00, but the clock still indicates 04:10!

Anos 60-Lisbon-Mouraria-clock

Bar/restaurant ‘ANOS 60’ in Mouraria Lisbon

Street parties in June

In the month of June, festivities take place all over Portugal to celebrate three popular Saints – Santo António, São João and São Pedro.

The traditional neighborhoods Mouraria and Alfama are decorated in many colours and all the people are dancing in the streets and having barbeques, grilling sardinhas (sardines).

Lisbon Santo Antonio Mouraria june 09 Largo bar Anos 60 2

Bar/restaurant ‘ANOS 60’ in Mouraria Lisbon in June: dinner outside

Bar ANOS 60 (closed in 2016)
Largo do Terreirinho 21, 1170 Lisbon.

More about  area Mouraria Lisbon (2020)

Rob Plews’ (teacher and writer) favorite places in Lisbon: Botanical garden & Tapada das Necessidades

Rob-plews-lisbon-writer-teacherI set foot in Lisbon back in 2001 after 9/11, and how refreshing not to understand a word as I went from café to café drinking galão, with TVs blaring in the background. I overheard an eager tourist trying to sum up this city as he scrunched his eyes under the vivid Atlantic light and scanned his vocabulary for words that fit. Faded elegance, he said.

I worked as an English teacher, moved to the Bairro Alto, opened a café, wrote two books, closed the café, and now I’m writing a third and learning to surf. For me, Lisbon is a living city. She’s female, she’s choosey, she’s testing, but if she likes you she’ll open up and share her secrets. Best thing to do is leave the guide book at home and take to the streets with an open mind. It still amazes me how people here so easily strike up conversations, and they’ll happily tell you their life story in a nutshell before giving you directions.
Lisbon is a small city, but so rich in nooks and crannies that, after almost seven years, I’m still upturning new stones. Here are two of my favourites:

Lisbon botanical Garden 3 Bairro Alto

Botanical gardens

Rua da Escola Politecnica 58 in Principe Real. Trees from all over the world, a family of squawking parrots, tiny terrapins, leafy shade, abandoned observatory and boundless inspiration.

Tapada das Necessidades.

Guarded secret even the Lisboetas don’t know about. Beautiful grounds and palace peeling pink paint, with an incredible cactus garden and a setting for a picnic you usually only see in films. Take the 28 tram to Prazeres.

tapada-das-necessidades-lisbon

Pink painted Palace  &Tapada das Necessidades

 

SNOB bar restaurant Lisbon: elegant British sixties style & best steak in town

In Bairro Alto, near Principe Real square, you will find bar/restaurant SNOB.

Restaurant SNOB Lisbon Rua do Seculo 178

Restaurant ‘SNOB’ Rua do Seculo 178 , Lisbon

Ring the doorbell

If you are looking for this restaurant, don’t walk away thinking it’s closed. You have to ring the doorbell, like in many other Portuguese places. ‘SNOB’ is not a club, however. The reason for the closed doors is that the owners want to welcome you personally. Many foreigners are unaware of this and miss out on a great experience!

SNOB restaurant is a favourite of politicians, journalists, actors and artists. The restaurant is decorated elegantly in a British sixties style.

SNOB-Restaurant-Lisbon-Bairro Alto

Bar/restaurant SNOB Lisbon

The traditional Portuguese kitchen serves the best steak in town (according to many experts): the bife à SNOB. We can recommend the carne estufada (beef stew) and the feijoada a transmontana (a traditional dish of beans and pig meat).

SNOB-Restaurant-Lisbon-Bairro Alto-Owner

Bar/restaurant SNOB Lisbon: senhor Albina Oliveira

Clock without hands

Senhor Albina Oliveira and his brother are the proud owners for already 43 years. And they have every right to be proud to! The restaurant is open every day of the year, except December 24. The clock in this restaurant is famous, because it doesn’t have any hands. In other words: time is completely unimportant when you are enjoying a good meal…

Klok-SNOB-Restaurant-Bairro Alto-Lisbon

Restaurant ‘SNOB’ Rua do Seculo 178 , Lisbon.

Website