Wonderful square ‘Largo do Carmo’ Lisbon: gothic ruins, Eurovision Song Contest 1974 & 25 April bloodless military coup

Wonderful Largo do Carmo  is one of my favorite squares in Lisbon: beautiful trees, historical buildings, fascinating church ruins, the extraordinary Santa Justa elevator and amazing city views!

Largo do Carmo Lisbon, September 2017

This picturesque square is a very popular tourist attraction, well known for the terraces, in addition to being the scene of several shootings, both (science fiction) films or documentaries and commercials. Music and traditional dance are performed here during the summer.

Lisbon Largo do Carmo1

Largo do Carmo, springtime 2014

Short term rentals: my 3bedroom authentic apartment (110 m2) in the historical part of Lisbon with a lovely patio,

10 minutes walk from this wonderful square

Lisbon square Largo do Carmo kiosk 2

Largo do Carmo Lisbon

A unique fountain stands under trees right in the middle of the square. The Chafariz (fountain) do Carmo was built here in 1796.

Largo do Carmo wikipedia jacarandas

Largo do Carmo and blossoming jacarandas.

Originally from South America, these beautiful trees of the Bignoniaceae family arrived in Lisbon in the mid-17th century and ever since, between May and June when they’re in flower, they have lovely bunches of lilac-toned petals.

Largo do Carmo Military Police Station

Largo do Carmo Lisbon

Portugal’s history & Carnation Revolution

The headquarters of Carmo (Quartel do Carmo) is a very important building for Portugal’s history. Marcelo Caetano (former dictator António de Oliveira Salazar’s replacer) found refuge in the main Lisbon military police station at the time of the revolution. On April 25, 1974, the day of  theCarnation Revolution, this building was surrounded by the MFA (Portuguese Armed Forces), which pressured Marcelo Caetano to cede power to general Spínola. It was here where the Estado Novo (New Regime) officially came to an end after almost 50 years. More..

25-abril Carnation Revolution 1974 Lisbon

Largo do Carmo Lisbon April 25 1974

The Carnation Revolution (Revolução dos Cravos)

was a largely bloodless coup. Remarkable: there were two secret signals in the military coup: first the airing of the song “E depois do adeus” (“And after the farewell”) by Paulo de Carvalho, Portugal’s entry in the 6th of April 1974 Eurovision Song Contest, which alerted the rebel captains and soldiers to begin the coup. Next, on April 25, 1974 at 12:15 am, the national radio broadcast Grândola, Vila Morena, a song by Zeca Afonso, a progressive folk singer forbidden on Portuguese radio at the time. This was the signal that the MFA gave to take over strategic points of power in the country and “announced” that the revolution had started.

More details, videos and songs on Joana Morais’ blogspot

Lisbon Largo do Carmo church museum 1

Largo do Carmo Lisbon
Here you can also find an entrance to the famous Archeological Museum, the gothic ruins of the 14th century Igreja (church) Convento do Carmo).
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Lisbon Largo do Carmo church museum Santa Justa2
Ruins of the Convento do Carmo & horrible earthquake in 1755
Open from Monday- Saturday 10h – 18h, cheap entrance. The construction of this monument started in 1389 by order of Nuno Álvares Pereira. The church was destroyed the first of November of 1755 by the horrible and well known earthquake. A lot of people died.
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Lisbon Largo do Carmo church museum Santa Justa3
 Largo do Carmo Lisbon: amazing view over Lisbon
 How to get there? How to avoid ticket queues !
The famous tourist attraction ‘Santa Justa elevator’ (Elevador de Santa Justa video), Rua do Santa Gusta, built around 1900 to connect the Baixa and Chiado districts (around 32 m high), can bring you to the Carmo Square.  
As an alternative to the elevator (and to avoid the ticket office queues  – which can be horrendous) – I prefer to walk via Rua Garrett, and turn right into Calçada do Sacramento, it’s not too steep!
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Santa Justa lift view from roof terrace warehouse Pollux
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Beautiful city view of Lisbon and Santa Justa Lift
From the roof terrace of Pollux, a huge warehouse, Rua dos Fanqueiros 276. There’s a pleasant roof terrace & bar/cafe.

Unique bar ‘Pensão Amor’ (‘Love’ Guesthouse) Lisbon: former red light district, sailors, pink street & pole dance

Rua Nova do Carvalho in Lisbon, located behind the Time Out famous market & foodhall near the river Tagus, was for decades known as a street in the city’s red light district with bars named after European capitals (like Copenhagen,  Oslo or Roterdão (Rotterdam) and Jamaica bar to attract the sailors who stepped off their boats here.

Bar ‘Pensão Amor’ Lisbon: wonderful drawings on the walls of the stairs

Former red light district

‘Pensão Amor’ is located in a typical Portuguese 18th-century building. Once a cheap pension with rooms rented by the hour to prostitutes and their clients to enjoy a short moment of love 😉

Along the 5 floors of the building you can admire remake copies of old posters from burlesque shows and peep shows.

Drawing artist Mario Belem

Bar ‘Pensão Amor’ Lisbon: burlesque decor & ceilings with frescoes

Wonderful décor

The ceilings of this former ‘guesthouse’ are painted with frescoes, the walls are covered with mirrors, paintings and old posters, and decorative pieces give the space an old burlesque, relaxed atmosphere. Amazing! The wonderful décor is recalling the history of the building.

Bar ‘Pensão Amor’ Lisbon: the pole dance room

Pole dance & YouTube: Marina mey

Now ‘Pensão Amor’ is one of the most popular bars in Lisbon with various spaces for events like concerts, ateliers, a book store (love/erotica), a trendy hair saloon, bars and a bar with Peruvian specialties. The pole dance room is decorated with leopard and gold. Pole dance workshops are held here to learn the tricks of seduction…

Rua Nova do Carvalho, hip and trendy street in Lisbon

Area Cais do Sodré  

Nowadays this area is a hip and trendy region in Lisbon.

Rua Nova do Carvalho is a street lined with hip bars and clubs that become crowded after 2AM when the bars in the legendary area Bairro Alto start to close.

Rua Nova do Carvalho, hip and trendy pink street in Lisbon

More remarkable bars in this street:

bar/cafe Sol e Pesca, and Bar da Velha Senhora (Old Ladies Bar).

‘Pensão Amor’ Lisbon – Erika Reusens admires the bar in burlesque style

The bar has two entrances Rua do Alecrim 19  including an outside café terrace) and on Rua Nova do Carvalho. YouTube

Pensão Amor Art & culture, Bars | Cocktails  € 8.00, beer € 3. Facebook

Mon – Wed 12:00 – 02:00, Thu – Fri 12:00 – 04:00, Sat 18:00 – 04:00

Bar ‘Pensão Amor’ Lisbon – stairs to the bar

YouTube

More about the the metamorphosis of this area: Portugaldailyview & video

Looking for a short-term apartment in Lisbon? My 3-bedroom apartment in historic area Mouraria with 30 m lovely private patio 🙂

Bar ‘Pensão Amor’ Lisbon : drawing stairs to the bar

Fully packed Tram 28 (2017) Lisbon & alternative RED or GREEN TRAM tour: best stops, cheap way to visit tourist attractions

If you want to get a good impression of the historical city of Lisbon, take this typical yellow little trolley, ‘eléctrico 28’. This legendary tram 28 is a tourist attraction in itself. It goes all around town and you can hop on and hop off. Long lines nowadays (2017)!

Tram electrico 28 Alfama Lisbon

Tram (‘eléctrico 28’), Alfama. Starting point: square Praça Martim Moniz 

STOPS

It passes the Saint George’s (São Jorge) castle , one of the main historical touristic sites of Lisbon, the famous viewpoint (miradouroPortas do Sol (Gates to the sun) and the legendary fleamarket ‘Feira da Ladra’  in Alfama, Graça, Mouraria, Bairro Alto, (Lisbon’s bohemien haunt of artists and writers, and posssibly one of the best spots in Europe for a night out). Last stop: Cemetery ‘Prazeres’ (Cemetery of ‘Pleasures’), really worth a visit!

Largo do Portas do Sol Lisbon tram 28

Tram 28, Largo Portas do Sol, a famous viewpoint & tourist attractionbackground Museum of Decorative Arts

Short- time rentals, 5 minutes walk from starting point tram 28 in Mouraria: my 3-bedroom authentic apartment with lovely patio, 100 m2

Tram 28 is very popular with tourists & prime pickpocket territory! Take care!

Lisbon Square Martim Moniz starting point tram 28 long lines

Starting point tram 28, April 2016: square Praça Martim Moniz & long lines of people waiting….

Hop on hop off

Buy the 24-hour ticket that will allow you to hop on and off whenever you want on all trams, buses, and subway lines.

Cost: around 4 euros.

Red tram tour sightseeing Lisbon

Alternative idea: oficial sightseeing RED TRAM TOUR 

How to avoid long lines TRAM 28 & official sightseeing Red Tram Tour Lisbon

The number of tourists has been increased (2015), which means that tram 28 route is mostly fully packed.
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The RED TRAM is the official sightseeing tram, which covers the same neighborhoods, a ticket is much more expensive, but you’re always guaranteed to have a seat.
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Starting point & tickets : square Praça do Comércio
GREEN Tram Lisbon Praca do Figueira April2016 2
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ALTERNATIVE GREEN TRAM & STOPS
FARE: 9 euro, children half price (4-10 years),  starting point & tickets Praça da Figueira Lisbon

The antique GREEN trams are older than the trams on tram 28 (The fare for a day is 9 Euro, half of the fare of the longer RED tram tour).

The tram departs from Praça da Figueira and passes Lisbon’s oldest Cathedral Sé de Lisboa, famous viewpoint Portas do Sol, near the Castle (Castelo) of Saint George, through the streets of historical areas Alfama and Graça 

There ‘s English and Portuguese tour commentary without the need for headsets.

Square Martim Moniz Lisbon Starting point tram 28

Starting point tram 28

Starting point tram 28: square Praça Martim Moniz , nowadays a very nice place to enjoy a light meal in the sun with a lot of kiosks and terraces.

3-bedroom apartment with lovely private patio (30 m2), short term rentals

10 minutes walk from starting point tram 28 my there’s my 3 bedroom (100 m2) apartment (short term rental) in historical area  Mouraria with a 30m2 and very quiet sunny patio.

Alfama tram 28

Alfama. Tram 28 is increasingly as popular with pickpockets as it is with tourists.

More info about tram 28, stops and useful tips: Seeing Lisbon through tram 28

Video tram 28 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_YiHO5jZYY4

Christmas time in Lisbon tram 28 happy new year

Tram 28, Lisbon and Christmas, Praça da Figueira

The average intervals between each one is 15 minutes and the entire trip takes between 40 minutes and one hour (at a maximum speed of 50km per hour). All stops vintage tram 28

Tram 28 Alfama near flea market Feira da Ladra

Tram 28, near Lisbon’s legendary flea market ‘Feira da Ladra’

Lisbon Tram 12, free ride Mouraria

Besides: a free ride, tram 12 Mouraria

Lisbon tram 28 February 2010

Impressive Metro Station area Baixa-Chiado Lisbon: free escalators avoiding stairs from Baixa to Chiado

Metro Station Baixa-Chiado is a unique and impressive subway, opened in 1998, created by architect Álvaro Siza Vieira.

Metro Station Baixa Chiado Rua do Crucifixo entrance

Metro station entrance Baixo-Chiado Lisbon, Rua do Crucifixo.

Metro station Baixo-Chiado is one of the most important transfer stations, and one of the most crowded of Lisbon. New is the extension towards the international Santa Apolónia train station, opening on 19 December 2007, more than five years late due to tunnelling problems at the waterfront.

Metro Station Baixa Chiado entrance tiles

Metro station Baixo-Chiado Lisbon

Beautiful white tiles are covering the station walls.

This metro station has an entrance in the Baixa city center as well as one at a much higher level in the Chiado district, linked by a series of escalators.

Metro Station Baixa Chiado escalator

Metro station Baixo-Chiado Lisbon

Instead of walking (hundreds of stairs from Baixa to Chiado), an alternative and free way is to use the escalators inside the metro station, reaching the Chiado district ca. 5 minutes later.

Of course, walking is also interesting…..

Metro Station Baixa Chiado metro lines

Metro station Baixo-Chiado Lisbon

The Lisbon Metro operates from 6h30 to 01.00. Tickets: cheap 🙂

Metropolitano de Lisboa : Lisbon Metro official page. On this webste (also in English) you’ll find a map with a network diagram and explanation of the lines:

Metro Linha Azul (blue line) Metro Linha Amarela (yellow line) Metro Linha Verde (green line) and Metro Linha Vermelha (red line).

Also including a special section on subway art of Lisbon Metro stations with stunning examples of contemporary azulejos (tiles).

Metro Station Baixa Chiado escalators up to Chiado

Metro Station Baixa-Chiado

Escalators up to the Chiado district.

Metro station Largo do Chiado Pessoa

Cafe ‘A Brasileira’, Largo do Chiado, near the entrance of the Chiado metro station.

The bronze sculpture of Portugal’s famous writer and poet Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935),  is still very popular. More…….

Dogs in Lisbon: happy, sad or homeless, BIANCA association, beggars with dogs & Bo, Obama’s Portuguese Water Dog

There are lots of dogs in Lisbon, and a lot of them are quite happy…except the abandoned ones… they deserve a better life! You can help…read more  about BIANCA , Association for the protection of homeless Portuguese cats and dogs.

Poster near Miradouro da Graca Lisbon

“” Passeio o seu cão de saquinho na mão!” ‘Take your dog for a walk with a poop bag in your  hand!”

I saw this funny poster near one of my favorite places in Lisbon,  Miradouro da Graça, a splendid viewpoint offering a panoramic view of the castle and central Lisbon. The open-air cafe and its relaxing atmosphere is a favorite with young locals, especially in late afternoon. During the summer it remains open well into the night.

Dogs in wintertime at flea market Feira da Ladra home made dog dresses

Home made coats… Feira da Ladra, Lisbons’ legendary flea market in wintertime (about 18 degrees C…..)

Little dog church Rossio

This one has very sad eyes….near the church in Rosssio, close to Palácio da Independência (Palace of Independece) and the famous small  A Ginjinhacafe.

Rua da Costa do Castelo

Rua da Costa do Castelo, walking up to the old castelo São Jorge (Castle of Saint George), located on the highest of the seven hills of the historic center of the city.

doggy in the window Alfama

Alfama, at lunch time (almoço). The most famous historic and oldest neighborhood in Lisbon.   I manage to get lost every time I walk there…! It’s a labyrinth of lanes (becos) paved with pebbles, tiny alleys, steps, arches, courtyards and small squares. Houses, shouldering each other, with tiles (azulejos) and wrought iron balconies with lazy cats, birds in cages and sometimes a sleeping dog…. 🙂

Cafe Noo bai Santa Catarina Lisbon

One of my favourite places and of many Lisbon locals and visitors of the city. The entrance of Cafe Noobai is located on Miradoura de Santa Catarina, also known as Adamastor. This bar and restaurant is certainly worth a visit because of the wonderful view over the Tejo river side, the relaxed ambience and the nice people.

Lisbon beggars using dogs Baixa

🙁 Beggar with his small dog in Lisbon city center 🙁

Beggars & dogs

In Lisbon there are many beggars on the streets. Sadly enough some of them use animals, many tourists give money to this boy. The dog doesn’t look very happy on the street in the heat of the summer……you’ll find him ‘working’ in the city center Baixa.

Dogs in Lisbon Praca Dom Pedro IV Chistmas time

Praça Dom Pedro IV  at Christmas time 2009

Portugeuse waterdog Bo Obama

Portuguese Water Dog (picture: Chicago Tribune)

Obama’s daughter Malia walks the First Family’s new puppy, Bo, on the grounds of the White House.

So far, I never saw a Portuguese ‘Water Dog’ in Lisbon…… But maybe Obama bought him because these very smart dogs were often taken with sailors during  the overseas Portuguese discoveries ?  😉

 

 

Bronze sculpture Portugal’s famous poet Pessoa in Lisbon & too many tourist pictures

Nowadays lots of tourists walk around in Lisbon’s Chiado area and the elegant shopping area Rua Garret. The bronze sculpture of Portugal’s famous writer and poet Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935),  is very popular.

Lisbon cafe A Brasileira tourist attraction statue Fernando Pessoa

Lisbon: Fernando Pessoa, kissed by a young girl, almost 80 years after his death!   🙁

Tourist attraction

Famous cafe ‘A Brasileira’  ‘s terrace in Lisbon (Rua Garrett 120) is a real tourist attraction. Poet Fernando Pessoa once was a regular customer. His table in bronze was created by Lagoa Henriques.

Pessoa statue Rua Garett A Brasileira9

Famous old cafe ‘A Brasileira’  (‘The Brazilian’, opened in 1905) Lisbon, Rua Garrett

Who was Fernando Pessoa?

Pessoa was largely unknown in Portugal until after his death in 1935. The man has no idea he’s mobbed by lots of tourists nowadays, all day long!

Lisbon Pessoa statue Rua Garrett & friend Hans

Sculpture poet Fernando Pessoa Lisbon & Dutch admirer Hans

‘The best way to travel is to feel’ Pessoa wrote, ‘so feel everything in every possible way.’ Pessoa was born in Lisbon in 1888.

Apart from his high school years which he spent with his mother and half brothers in South Africa, he lived in Lisbon without a break, without taking public holidays, without traveling abroad. He did so with the help of heteronyms, inventing many lives (and cities) out of his own, spent between the Chiado area, where he lived.

Restaurant Martinho da Arcada table Pessoa famous Portuguese writer

Quality Restaurant Martinho da Arcade, Lisbon.

Restaurant Martinho da Arcade Lisbon & Pessoa’s table

Portugal’s famous poet and writer Pessoa spent a lot of his time in cafes (like Cafe Martinho da Arcada, where he wrote and drank a lot . He died in 1935, aged 47.

Pessoa’s table is still there…

Fernando Pessoa

Fernando Pessoa

Casa (house) Fernando Pessoa, Rua Coelho da Rocha, 16, Campo de Ourique.

Open from Monday – Saturday 10:00-18:00.

Pessoa drawing Travessa do Sequeiro

Drawing Fernando Pessoa, Travessa do Sequiero Lisbon

“Acordar”, poem by Álvaro de Campos, one of Fernando Pessoa’s various ‘heteronyms’ (imaginary characters).

“Acordar da cidade de Lisboa mais tarde do que as outras
Acordar da Rua do Ouro
Acordar do Rossio, as portas dos cafés
Acordar…..
E no meio de tudo a gare, que nunca dorme
Como um coração que tem que pulsar através de vigilia e do sono”

“The waking up of Lisbon, later than other cities
The waking up of Rua do Ouro
The waking up of Rossio Square, at the doors of its cafes
Waking up…..
And in the middle of it all the train station, which never rests
Like a heart that has to beat in both waking and sleeping hours”

Pessoa drawing Rua 1 Dezembro Lisbon

Rua Primeiro de Dezembro, April 2009

Looking for a vacation apartment in Lisbon? My 3-bedroom apartment (100 m2) with lovely patio (30 m2) (short term rentals).

Nostalgic Moorish kiosks in Lisbon near favorite tourist attractions, great viewpoints & recommended restaurants

On August 6, 711 Lisbon was taken by the Moors, 400 years later the city returned to Christian rule.  Nowadays the Moorish influence is still present, like the lovely designed old kiosks (quiosque), serving old-fashioned Portuguese refreshments and snacks. A few examples near beautiful viewpoints, favorite tourist attractions, some recommended restaurants and how to get there.

Kiosks in Lisbon Camões Square

Kiosk Camões Square (Praça Luís de Camões), Lisbon

Just behind Camões’ statue , close to the statue of Portugal’s famous writer and poet Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935),  still mobbed by many tourists nowadays ; nearby great city views from luxury hotel Bairro Alto’s roof terrace  and, one of my favorites, a cheap and traditional Portuguese restaurant ‘Casa da India’.

Kiosks in Lisbon drinks Principe Real

Small kiosk Park Lisbon Principe Real

After shopping people like to take a break in this wonderful park with lots of exotic plants and trees, near Bairro Alto, posssibly one of the best (and gay) spots in Europe for a night out!

Nearby you’ll find the  Botanical garden , one of Europe’s finest!

Kiosks in Lisbon drinks Principe Real2

Lisbon Kiosk Rua Dom Pedro

Rua Dom Pedro V  is a wonderful avenue for shopping. There’s lots of boutiques, traditional antique shops and art galleries.

Kiosks in Lisbon Sao Roque museum church restaurant

Lisbon kiosk Largo Trindade Coelho

Small kiosk near ‘Casa da Comida’ (’ the house of food’), a new cafetaria/ restaurant in the wonderful bamboo garden of Museum São Roque. This museum and church is home to Italian art from the 16th and 17th centuries.

Kiosks in Lisbon Cais do Sodre train station and ferry

Small kiosk Cais do Sodré, Lisbon

A major bus station is sited outside the front of the Cais do Sodré station, with a Carris small kiosk selling transport passes, tickets and guides.

Cais do Sodré  is Lisbon’s major bus, metro, trainstation (‘Linha de Cascais’ , name of the train line joining Lisbon to Cascais), and ferry terminal.

Wonderful 20 minutes ferry trip idea from here : ferry to Cacilhas at the other side of the river Tagus and how to reach the amazing Cristo Rei monument

Kiosks in lisbon Viewpont city de São Pedro de Alcântara

Lisbon viewpont Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara.

This wonderful belvedere will give you a unique insight into the city and magnificent views on the old Moorish castle Castelo de São Jorge.

Kiosks in Lisbon fleamarket Feira da Ladra

Kiosk above Lisbon’s famous flea market Feira da Ladra .

The Moorish influence is still present in Alfama and in Mouraria, where the Moors kept on living in the city after the conquist and gathered in this area. Authentic 3-bedroom apartment with patio for rent in this old Moorish quarter

After browsing the market it’s a good idea to have lunch in Restaurant ‘O Panteao de Santa Clara  just above the market, serving real Portuguese food for a good price.

Adamastor Moorish kiosk near Tagus river

Kiosk river Tagus viewpoint Miradoura de Santa Catarina. Lisbon

Adamastor, a popular gathering place in Lisbon overlooking the Tagus river, which is officially called the Miradouro de Santa Catarina.

From this vista point you have the most breathtaking views on the Tagus river, the 25th of April Bridge and the Cristo Rei monument, nearby my favorite cafe/bar Noobai

Kiosks in Lisbon Sao Paulo near Cais do Sodre

Kiosk Rua de São Paulo, near Cais do Sodré  station Lisbon and, on the other side of the road,  Mercado da Ribeira (famous market near the river, since 1882), topped with a Moorish-style dome.

Kiosks in Lisbon snacks1

Lisbon at Christmas time: X-mas kitsch, a giant tree, eco-decoration, sexy X-mas lingerie & ‘Maria Temptations’ restaurant

In December, thousands of colorful lights decorate Lisbon. Portuguese people love ‘the most wonderful time of the year’, celebrating Christmas with a lot of X-mas kitsch. Everywhere you look you see blinking neon lights, Christmas markets and decorated shops. If you are a Christmas hater, maybe it’s a better idea to visit this fascinating city some other time of the year 😉

Lisbon Christmas 2009 Rua da Prata

Rua da Prata, in December…….

Movie Christmas decoration

Lisbon Christmas 2009 Theatre Dona Maria

National Theatre Teatro Nacional Doña Maria II.

Christmas time in Lisbon is similar to everywhere else in the world, except that the decorations has a higher kitsch factor.

Lisbon Christmas 2009 sexy window dressing

Rua da Palma,

lingerie shop close to one of my favorite restaurants in Lisbon, RAMIRO

Lisbon Christmas 2009 Hermes window dressing

HermesLargo do Chiado 9.

Purtuguese really love  Christmas window dressing with animals! (Christmas 2008)

 

Lisbon Chirstmas window dressing 2009

Further, there’s a giant 44m Christmas tree (You Tube video), set up on the highest point of Eduardo VII park, with 1.625.000 (!!) mini lights, lighting up the tree’s decorations from 17:30 pm – 1am.

Of course, children love it!

Feira da Ladra alternativa recycled Nespresso cups

Lisbon’s unique & original Ladra Alternativa (Alternative Flea Market ).

Christmas decoration made from recycled Nespresso caps (3 euro)

Lisbon December 2009 Christmas and baggers

A creative idea to make some money at Christmas time……

Lisbon Christmas 2009 united colours shrinked Benetton pullovers

Benetton shop Lisbon, window dressing,  Rua Garrett

The clothing market shrinked this year because of the crisis, as well as the sweaters of  Benetton in the window 😉

Lisbon Restaurant the Temptations of Goa Jesus Maria2

Maria dos Angos (Maria of the Angels) & Jesus Lee

Nowadays 😉 Maria & Jesus own a famous restaurant in Mouraria, a historical area of Lisbon. Cook is Jesus Lee (Goan origin) and owner is Maria dos Angus (Maria of the Angels). The genuine Goan family food is created with Jesus’ love! “Tentações (Temptations) de Goa”.

A nice holiday  3-bedroom apartment with patio in this area

NEW YEAR: on the night of December 31, Lisbon is one big street party! Live music and a fantastic fireworks display at Parque das Nações , ( EXPO 98).  The famous square Praça do Comércio will be filled on the night of December 31st with concerts by Portuguese bands and with the lights of the fireworks at midnight. Cultural agenda Lisbon

According to the Portuguese tradition, twelve wishes are made to the sound of the twelve bell tolls, toasting with champaign to the new year.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! FELIZ ANO NOVO!

Lisbon & chestnuts: the unmistakable smell of roasted chestnuts (castanhas assadas) & November 11 St Martin Day traditions

The unmistakable smell of roasted chestnuts (castanhas assadas) is announcing autumn’ s arrival in Portugal. ‘Quentes e boas’! ‘(Get’ em hot!). This cry goes out on the Lisbon streets.

chestnuts in Lisbon December 08 quente e boas

‘Hot and good, a dozen for € 2“.

Much to the chagrin of many, the traditional paper cone made out of the Yellow Papers has been replaced by soulless paper packages, which takes something away from the ritual of chestnuts.

Chestnuts in Lisbon white paper bag instead of yellow papers

Baixa area, the commercial heart of Lisbon

Saint Martin Day, is celebrated on November 11.

It is called Magusto. This day is the peak of three days, often with very good weather, known as Verão de São Martinho (Saint Martin’s summer). The Portuguese celebrate it with jeropiga (a sweet liqueur wine) and roasted chestnuts (castanhas assadas).

Tram Lisbon Feliz Natal and roasted chestnuts

Rossio, Lisbon in December

On Saint Martin’s Day traditions dictate that family and friends gather around a glowing hearth or bonfire, where they roast chestnuts and drink água-pé (a watered kind of wine), jeropiga, vinho novo (young wine), or the slow smooth burn of aguardente (‘firewater’, alcoholic drinks between 29 and 60 percent alcohol).

Chestnuts and Jeropiga

Chestnuts and jeropiga

Because this pagan festival is a celebration of life, there is food and drink and plenty of fun: in some regions people smother themselves with ashes, black themselves up and sing around the fire.

Largo do Chiado chestnuts

Largo do Chiado, Lisbon

Lisbon at Christmas time: students, beggers, New Year, the Bolo Rei Kings’ cake & traditions (who gets the bean?)

Already in October Lisbon is busy decorating the streets and the trees. Thousands of lovely colourful Christmas lights decorate the city, from Rossio and the Baixa/Chiado downton area to the Avenida Novas and beyond to Belém. It is said that, due to the financial crisis, the banks stopped sponsoring the Christmas decorations.

Lisbon Chirstmas lights church in Mouraria near Praca Martim Moniz

Mouraria, in December, church near Praça Martim Moniz

Authentic apartment for rent in this historical part of Lisbon

Lisbon November 23rd children choir Christmas Carols Rossio

Rossio, November 23rd. A children’s choir singing Christmas carols (Janeiras).

Christmas tree Eduardo VII Park November 22 2008

Lisbon, November 22nd (picture: Getty).

Fireworks light up the sky during the lighting ceremony of Lisbon’s Christmas tree placed at Eduardo VII Park in downtown Lisbon. This giant 44 metre Christmas tree is decorated with more than 1.6 million lights (!)

Christmas time in Lisbon students try to sing and ask or money

Tradition: students (try to 😉   ) sing a Christmas Carol in the streets and ask for money..

Lisbon Christmas 2008 begging people

A woman, also dressed in black, is asking for money too…..

…..and there’s a lot of poor people begging on the streets of Lisbon, not only at Christmas time….

Lisbon Christmas lights Praca dom Pedro IV Rossio

Praca Dom Pedro IV (Rossio), Christmas decoration and beautiful ‘wave’ pavement

On Christmas Eve , December 24, mosts restaurants are closed from lunchtime. Families gather around the Christmas tree. Many attend the Midnight Mass (Missa do Galo). After mass they gather around the table and have supper (Ceia de Natal).

Firework Lisbon

At the night of December 31, thousands of people gather near the waterfront of the Tagus River at Praça do Comércio, to welcome the new year. In the best of Portuguese traditions, a shower of light and colour will flood Lisbon’s most famous square, with a fireworks display to the sound of the twelve gongs. From 22:00 there’s a stage with live concerts with famous Portuguese names like Sérgio Godinho, considered as one of the most influential popular musicians in Portugal. There will be plenty of entertainment at the bars. Also in Parque das Nações there is a fireworks show near the river. The festivities continue non-stop at Casino Lisboa (Alamedo dos Oceanos), with musical concerts at the Arena Lounge (above 18 free entry).

Until January 6 (Dia de Reis) the surrounding area will feature a variety of entertainment inlcuding musical shows for the whole family.

Christmas cake Bolo Rei Lisbon

Feliz Natal! (Happy New Year!). A traditional dessert is Bolo Rei (Kings’ cake). This fruitcake is a typically New Years cake, but is becoming popular during Christmas Holidays. In the cake there are two surprises: one is a little present, the other one is not welcomed: a raw broad bean. Whoever gets this bean has to buy the Bolo Rei in the coming year.

Looking for an apartment at Christmas time in the historical center of Lisbon? You’re welcome!