Saint Anthony Lisbon party time in June: parades, sardines & Fado music

In June, the month of the Festas dos Santos Populares (Feast Days of the Popular Saints), the Lisbon nights are filled with lively festivities, parades and live music that take over the city’s historical center.

Lisbon Santo Antonio June garlands Mouraria

Mouraria

The main Saints’ days are for Santo Antonio (June 12-13), John (June 23-24) and Peter (June 28-29). Program Festas de Lisboa’ (also in English)

All the streets in the historical center are decorated with garlands and lights.

Lisbon Santo Antonio 2 women Alfama

Historic Alfama, in June 2008.

Santo Antonio festivities & Portuguese flags (EFC) football

Lisbon craziest night of the year in area Alfama, nearby Mouraria (YouTube)

Lisbon Santo Antonio June restaurant A Tasquinha

Restaurant ‘A Tasquinha’,

Largo Contador Mor, Castelo area, really good sardines!

Lisbon Santo Antonio June Fado Restaurante A Tasquinha area Castelo

Eating sardines while listening to the fado singers.

Fado came long after Saint Anthony, but its major theme is nostalgia and longing-for what is lost and for what has never been gained. Anthony fits right into this scene!

Lisbn June Santo Antonio Faso Alfama

Live fado music in Alfama

The streets are filled with the delicious (strong) smell of sardines being grilled. It’s not a good time for the sardines 😉 though as everywhere in Lisbon you see people grilling sardines outside their homes and the narrow streets fill up people in party mood.

Lison Santo Antoinio June sardines

Sardines & Saint Anthony festivities belong together

On the night of June 12 you can enjoy the famous yearly Santo Antonio costume Parade. All the clubs and associations of Lisbons’ neighbourhoods descend on Avenida da Liberdade to compete for the best parade, music, costume and choreography.

Santo Antionio costume Parade Lisbon

More…..

Santo Antonio (Saint Anthony) Mouraria 2 girls

Lisbon inside city tips: ‘hop on hop off’ bus, Red Tram tour, hotspots, breathtaking views & nightlife

Planning a short trip to Lisbon? My inside (cheap) tips and trip ideas!

‘Hop on and hop off’ open-topped double decker bus tours are a popular way for tourists to view Lisbon city. The “River Tagus tour” offer you the the opportunity to view the areas in which most of its monuments may be found, such as the crown jewels of the Portuguese architecture in Belém.

Lisbon sightseeing the yellow double decker1 city

Lisbon ‘Hop on and hop off buses’: the yellow open-topped double decker tourist bus & the “River Tagus Tour’

Famous Praça da Figueira (Square of the Fig Tree) and the bronze equestrian statue representing King John (1357-1433). This lively square is nowadays an important traffic hub, with bus and metro stops, cafes and restaurants.

Lisbon sightseeing the yellow double decker Praca do Comercio

The famous Praça do Comércio (Commerce Square) near the river Tagus

This square is also the starting point for a ‘hop on hop off” historical ‘Red tramcar tour (the ‘ 7 Colinas‘ hills) route . The Carristur’ company has faithfully restored the interior of the trams dating from the thirthies and fourties, preserving their charm and original character.

ViniPortugal, wine tasting & tourist information Sala Ogival, Lisbon, Praça do Comércio Commerce Square)

At the same square (Praça do Comércio) you can taste fine Portuguese wines : a very pleasant and interesting way to learn more about history and culture of Portuguese wines. More about ViniPortugal

Lisbon sightseeing the yellow double decker 3

Campo Pequeno, a monumental Moorish-style bullring, built in 1892

Bullfights (  🙁   🙁  ) cinema, restaurants and shopping mall (seen from the yellow ‘hop on hop off’ tourist bus “River Tagus Tour’)

Lisbon sightseeing the yellow double decker 4

Park Eduardo VII  (the yellow tourist bus “River Tagus Tour’)

This beautiful park is not worth a visit for itself, but the view from here is wonderful! Fabulous blue sky and light, and the Tagus river in the background. Situated right in the middle of the city, close to Avenida da Liberdade, a lovely and luxury shopping ‘avenue’, the Portuguese equivalent of the Champs Elysees in Paris. Brands like Luis Vuitton, Emporio Armani and Escada fashionable boutiques.

Lisbon yellow tourist bus 25April Bridge

Hop on hop off bus (HOHO Lisbon)

On the background: the famous April 25 Brigde (Ponte 25 de Abril), connecting the Lisbon city (the yellow tourist bus “River Tagus Tour’)

Lisbon view from Cristo Rei statue how to get there by cheap ferry

Lisbon old town and April 25 Bridge, view from the Cristo Rei Statue

How to get there? A wonderful idea for a trip to the other side of the river is to take a cheap ferry to Cacilhas, (very good and cheap restaurants!) and a 20 minutes walk along the river to reach the elevator of the famous Cristo Rei statue. Amazing views on downtown Lisbon!

Lisbon sightseeing the yellow double decker 5

Belém, the Monument to the Discoveries (Padrão dos Descobrimentos)

Although most have already been said about this momument (and Belém): this place is definitely a must see! You can go up to the top of the monument (by elevator) where you enjoy wonderful views around, like the mouth of the Tagus river, the April 25 Bridge, the Jerónimos Monastery, as well as the famous Tower Torre de Belem. a UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of Lisbon’s most photographed landmarks. All the sights are near each other (more information GoLisbon).

Pasteis de Belem Lisbon3

Pasteis de Belém (Lisbon’s famous custard tarts, always warm and delicious!)

No trip to Lisbon can be called a success without visiting Belém, where Portugal’s Age of Discovery began, and without enjoying a few of Lisbon’s most celebrated custard tarts in the nearby famous Pasteis de Belém, Antiga Confeitaria, Rua de Belém 84-92.

GoCar Rob and Julie2

An adventurous idea for a trip to explore Lisbon is to rent a two seater GoCar.

As part of the GPS Tours Network, several exciting tours in Lisbon are available: the Baixa, for Belém (like we did), the Castelo São Jorge (Castle of Saint George), or to the Expo (Park of the Nations). More information and rental rates:  website GoCar Tours

Lisbon sightseeing the yellow double decker Praca da Figueira

Starting point ‘hop on hop off’ city cruise bus at Praça da Figueira . Ticket: bus driver

Or join the yellow bus at Praça do Comércio . Official Lisbon yellow tour buses, operated by Carris (Lisbon’s bus public company). Duration tour 1,2 hours.

Departures hop on buses: every 30 minutes to join the River Tagus Tour or Olisipo Tour : you can visit the most important museums, have fun at Parque das Nações, the leisure area of Lisbon, especially for children, or visit the ZOO.

Lisbon Largo do Carmo church museum 1

Largo do Carmo (via Santa Justa Lift), entrance to the famous Archeological Museum

Your ‘hop on hop off’ ticket is also valid on trams, the famous Santa Justa Lift to reach the wonderful Largo do Carmo,  my favorite square in Lisbon), funiculars and public buses during 24h. Adult € 15, children (4-10) € 7,50. Lisboa Card € 11.

Expo aerial cable cars Parque des Nacoes

Parque das Nações. (Park of the Nations). Yellow ‘hop on hop off’ city  tour bus Olisipo Tour). Picture: Christel Leenen

Cablecars at Expo 98, looking towards the Vasco da Gama Bridge over the River Tagus

Cais do Sodre Lisbon train to Cascais

Cais de Sodré, train to Cascais (and to Belém)

A cheaper way from the city center to g0 to Belém is by getting tram 15 (from Praça da Figueira (watch out for pickpockets!) and from Praça do Comércio ), or by train from Cais de Sodré on the Cascais Line; get out at Belém station. All the trains pass through Belém, but not all of them stop there.

Good & cheap trip idea: the legendary old and funny tram 28, a ‘must do’ tourist attraction

If you wanna get a good impression of the historical city of Lisbon, a very good and cheap idea is taking this typical little trolley, ‘elétrico 28′. This legendary tram 28 is a tourist attraction in itself. It goes all around town. Of course you can hop on and hop off.

Tram electrico 28 Alfama

Tram 28 in Alfama, one of the oldest areas in Lisbon.  Nearby Lisbon’s legendary flea market Feira da Ladra’

These small yellow trams are extremely old and funny, they go up and down through the narrow streets of Lisbon. The electric tram No. 28 departs from Largo Martim Moniz in Lisbon’s historical heart.

Lisbon tourist attraction river Tagus viewpoint Portas do Sol

Lisbon, tourist attraction Portas do Sol , a famous river Tagus viewpoint (miradouro)

Old tram 28 stops in the most picturesque sights of Lisbon, like this famous river and old town viewpoint. Nearby a lovely lounge terrace, restaurant, trendy and stylish bar, (weekend DJ’)s Portas do Sol

Lissabon Castle of St George old tram 28 stop

Lisbon and the Castle of Saint George

..…….and this old tram 28 also stops close to the entrance of the wonderful Castle of Saint George , for the most breathtaking views on the river Tagus and Lisbon! More……

Flower Power Hotspot Lisbon Bairro Alto healthy food and flowers

Lunch idea: trendy hotspot  in the legendary Bairro Alto area ‘FlowerPower’ , café/restaurant .

Healthy eating amid the hustle and bustle of Lisbon’s bohemien haunt of artists and writers ‘Flowerpower’, close to the most photographed street in Lisbon and Bica funicular (from 1892)

Noobai cafe restaurant wonderful river views

Nearby Bairro Alto: trendy cafe/restaurant (also open for lunch) Noobai, amazing river Tagus views!

Certainly one of the favorite places of many Lisbon locals and visitors of the city. Relaxed ambience and very nice people!

Lisbon Adamastor gathering place Tagus River5

‘Adamastor’ near the river Tagus

Nearby ‘Adamastor’ is a popular viewpoint (miradouro) and gathering place in Lisbon.

From this vista point you have the most breathtaking views on the Tagus river, the 25th of April Bridge and the Cristo Rei monument.

Kiosks in Lisbon Camões Square

Kiosk (quiosque) Camões Square (Praça Luís de Camões)

The Moorish influence in Lisbon is still present, like the lovely designed old kiosks serving old-fashioned Portuguese refreshments and snacks. More about kiosks near beautiful viewpoints, favorite tourist attractions, some recommended restaurants and how to get there.

Paviljao Chines7

Bar Pavilhão Chines, bizarre and ‘one of a kind’

Going out & nightlife in Lisbon: 1900s ‘one of a kind’ bar Pavilhão Chines close to the legendary Bairro Alto area. One of the most interesting bars I’ve ever seen and a good start to Lisbon’s nightlife.

rob-bairro-alto-by-night4

The legendary Bairro Alto area in Lisbon

A Capela’ is one of the most popular bars in Lisbon’s heart of funky bars and restaurants.

Walking up the hill to São Jorge Castle Lisbon & a famous urinal

Just aside the walls of Lisbon’s Castelo São Jorge (St. Jorge Castle), I love to walk around in the narrow streets of the beautiful Bairro do Castelo, located in the highest hill of the historic centre of the city. This neighborhood is very charming and quiet.

Walking around Bairro Castelo Rua dos Frois

To visit the castle, you can walk up the hill starting at Beco dos Fróis , from Largo Rodrigues de Freitas . This church, Igreja do Menino de Deus on the square of the same name was commissioned byJoao V,King of Portugal. It is one of the few churches which survived the big earthquake (1755) relatively undamaged. Construction began in 1711 but even today it has not been completely finished.

walking around Bairro Castelo Sao Jorge Largo de Menino Deus

At the end of  Largo do Menino Deus (Square of God’s son) you’ll reach the (second) entrance to the castle of São Jorge. (The other entrance is at Largo de Santa Cruz do Castelo)

Walking around Bairro Castelo

Walking around Bairro Castelo 13 Largo do Menino Deus

This is a wonderful hidden part of Lisbon. At the moment construction works have started here. Besides: don’t’ forget to wear flat shoes! The steets are cobbled in this area around the Castle.

Walking around Bairro Castelo entrance Largo de Menino Deus 15

Walking around Bairro Castelo16

Looking back, you can see the towers of Igreja da Sao Vincente de Fora (Church of St. Vincent outside the walls), a Renaissance church used primarily as a royal pantheon for the Portugese monarchy.

Walking around Bairro Castelo entrance Largo de Menino Deus

After passing through the gates, you enter Travessa do Funil, a very popular street with tourists, directly underneath Castelo São Jorge.

Walking around near Castelo Sao Jorge Rob Plews

The urinal (urinol) at the corner of Travessa do Funil and Travessa Chão da Feira, Lisbon’s only open air uninal, 5 minutes walk from the Castle of Saint George

Lisbon open air urinal near St Jorge Castle

 

Museum of Decorative Arts Lisbon, former Palace, lovely tiles & fascinating collection

In this wonderful former Palace in Lisbon (Museu-Escola de Artes Decorativas), Museum and school, it’s forbidden to make pictures. After taking a few ones a guard warned me. Suddenly, walking from room to room, 4 guards kept an eye on me …..

Lisbon Museum of Decorative Arts1

The entrance: ‘Coupé Berlin, 18th Century.

Portugal’s most important furniture collection can be viewed here: valuable wooden Portuguese, French and English furniture dating from the 15th to the 18th C.

You can wander freely from room to room and get right up close to the pieces on display.

Lisbon Museum of Decorative Arts3

The grand staircase leading to 1st floor has lovely tiles.

An on-site collection of tiles (azulejos), several of which originallly pertained to the Palace, while others were integrated therein during the restorations works, in the end of the 1940s.

In the 17th C. former city palace of the Count of Azurara , currently houses the Museum of Decorative Arts. Banker Ricardo do Espirito Santo Silva, acquired the palace in 1947 and donated his collection to the museum.

Lisbon Museum of Decorative Arts4

Beautiful ceiling and azulejos! Sorry, no more pictures (the guards…).

The museum has a remarkable collection of faience, local silver and ceramics, paintings, bedrooms, dining rooms and dressing rooms. Each room is more ornated than the next, in an aristocratic environment. Anyone interested in decorative arts in general and the Portuguese Empire in particular will find this collection fascinating.

Lisbon Museum of Decorative Arts7

Museum of Decorative Arts, Alfama

Largo das Portas do Sol, 2 . More information, videos and Museum shop  http://www.fress.pt/  . Near the famous viewpoint (miradouro) Portas do Sol (‘Gates to the Sun’)

Closed: New year’s Day, Easter, May 1st and Christmas (December 25). Cost Adult 4.00, free entrance for children aged 12 or under. Opening hours 10 a.m to 5 a.m. Lovely patio with cafetaria-restaurant.

Historic Alfama Lisbon: the Pantheon, marvelous river views & the remains of Amalia Rodrigues

You can find the Pantheon (Panteão Nacional) on Campo de Santa Clara, near Lisbons’ most famous flea market ‘Feira da Ladra’ (Thieves market)

lissabon-12-17-december-2007-001.jpg

The Pantheon is opened daily, from 09:00 – 13:00 and 15:00-19:00, a ticket cost 2 euro. Address:  Campo de Santa Clara Lisbon.

It is possible to walk around the inside of the dome, you can climb the 169 stairs (I did it, pfffffff!) or use the elevator. From the exterior of the dome the view on the Alfama area and on to the Tagus river is marvelous!

Pantheon view 25 april bridge

View on the historic Alfama area and the Tagus river

History: the Church of Santa Engrácia (Igreja de Santa Engrácia) is a 17th century monument. In the 20th century the church has been converted into the National Pantheon (Panteão Nacional) in which important Portuguese personalities are buried, like Amalia Rodrigues, the famous fado singer.

Alfama Pantheon Amalia Rodrigues

Amalia Rodrigues

Its construction took 284 years and gave origin to the Portugese expression “Santa Engrácia works“, a Portuguese synonym for long unfinished works…..

Building work proceeded from 1682 through 1712. Eventually a dome was added, whereupon the church was reinaugurated in 1966. The magnificent 18th-century baroque organ was brought from the Lisbon Cathedral.

Alfama Pantheon organ

The magnificent 18th-century baroque organ

In 1966, during the government of the dictator Antonio de Oliveira Salazar, the Church of Santa Engrácia was turned into a National Pantheon. There are cenotaphs to f.i. Luís de Camões (famous Portugese poet), Pedro Alvares Cabral (Portuguese explorer), Vasco da Gama (commander of the first ships to sail directly from Europe to India) and Prince Henri The Navigator, an important figure in the early days of the Portugese Empire.

Alfama Pantheao Vasco da Gama

Vasco da Gama, his remains are elsewhere….