Bar ‘da Velha Senhora’ Lisbon: burlesque, revue & the day 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 . 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 Lisbon in the early twentieth century. The building itself – a cultural and artistic project – 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

Former Lisbon’s red light district

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

The day Cesária Évora died

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: ‘Miss Perfumado (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 . FACEBOOK

Metro: Cais do Sodré.

Fábulas Lisbon: restaurant, café, unique gallery & Joanna Latka’s wonderful art

Fábulas , located in Chiado Lisbon, is a combination of a restaurant, café, wine bar and a unique gallery. There is an exhibition every other month. The month when there is no exhibition, there are various activities such as concerts or cinema cycles.

Fabulas Joanna Latka Lisbon 5

Fábulas Lisbon

March 2010. Fábulas is showing the latest wonderful works by a Polish artist, Joanna Latka (r), currently living in Portugal, actively integrated in the Lisbon art scene with a Masters in Fine Art.

Fabulas Lisbon Joanna Latka 1

Fábulas Lisbon

The stone arches give this space a unique characteristic. Antique furniture where some tables are old sewing machines.

Fabulas Joanna Latka Lisbon dinner 2

Fábulas Lisbon

Our choice: Cuzcus Prince (€ 7), soup (€ 2,60), glass of wine (€ 2,40). The atmosphere is very relaxed, it’s also a great place for lunch or just lounging.

Fabulas restaurant cafe gallery Joanna Latka Lisbon

Fábulas Lisbon

The menu honors the fables (Fábulas means fables in Portuguese), like Cinderela, a delicious warm pumpkin salad, spinach and chevre foam…or Figaro, (chickpea, pumpkin, eggplant, cherry tomato and goat cheese….)

Fabulas Joanna Latka Lisbon 3


Fábulas Lisbon

The exhibitions are organized by Galeria das Salgadeiras 

Fabulas Joanna Latka Lisbon 7

Joanna Latka, fine art printmaking – illustration – drawing

Continually producing for exhibitions, presently incorporating unique variations of contemporary ink techniques in illustration and etching – inspired from personal life-experience and autobiographical interpretations.

Fabulas restaurant cafe gallery Joanna Latka Lisbon 6

Fábulas, Calçada Nova de São Francisco, 14, Lisbon

Phone (00351) 213 476 323, open from 10:00 – 24:00, Saturday from 10:00 – 01:00, Sunday from 11:00 – 19:00. Highly recommended!

Fabulas Joanna Latka Lisbon 8

Fábulas Lisbon

In summertime it has a pleasant terrace on the sidewalk.

Fabulas Restaurant cafe Baixa street

Website: Facebook

The strange history of National Theatre Doña Maria II Lisbon & backstage guided tours

Teatro Nacional Doña Maria II has a strange history, like a lot of historical buildings in Lisbon. It was built on the ruins of one of the city’s finest buildings, the Palácio dos Estaus, which had burned down and which had housed the court of the Holy Inquisition. The liberal revolution and the end of the civil war created a climate in Portugal that was conducive to the development of arts in general and the theater in particular.

National Theatre Dona Maria II Lisbon 1 Teatro Nacional

National Theatre D. Maria II Lisbon

In 1836, by order of Queen D. Maria II, Almeida Garrett (famous author and poet) was charged with creating a conservatoire for the dramatic arts. The site chosen for this colossal task was the finest in the city at Praça Dom Pedro IV, commemorates Portugal’s first liberal king. The square is usually simply referred to as Rossio (big square).

National Theatre Dona Maria II Rossio and wave pavement

National Theatre D. Maria II Lisbon

The theatre opened to the public on April 13 1846, the date of the anniversary of the queen it is named after, but the acoustics were poor and the theatre closed the very next day for improvements. It reopened several years later to notable success. In late November 1964, the theatre staged Shakespeare’ Macbeth. A strange superstition, or more appropiately a curse, hangs over theatres that perform this play: one week after the first show the whole building burned down except for its outer walls. It was reopened in 1978. Since then, countless plays, by the finest playwrights of the past and of today, have been performed and staged.

Rossio Lisbon Theatre National Dona Maria II and ginja cafe

National Theatre D. Maria II Lisbon

Today, Teatro D. Maria II is not merely a concert hall. Besides its majestic Garrett room, it also has a smaller room, while the great hall has been turned into a theatre/ studio, covering a whole world of activities that very often burst out from behind its venerable walls.

Theatre Dona Maria II Lisbon near Rossio Station

National Theatre D. Maria II Lisbon

On the other side of the theatre you’ll find the unique Rossio train- and metro station (Estação do Rossio)

National Theatre Dona Maria Rossio Lisbon hall

National Theatre D. Maria II Lisbon

You can discover the theater (or take the time to enjoy a good show).

From Monday to Friday 10:00 am to 13:00/ 15:00 to 17:00 there are guided tours, in several languages, to the backstage of the theater. A journey that reveals the secrets and stories of Teatro Nacional D. Maria II.  (website)

Lisbon National Theatre Dona Maria II view from cafe Garett Rossio Christmas

National Theatre D. Maria II Lisbon: view Rossio square

Christmas time. Café Garrett, beside the theatre’s foyer, one of the most perfectly located cafés in Lisbon, facing the lively Rossio Square

Lisbon cafe Garrett Theatre Dona Maria II facing Rossio

National Theatre D. Maria II Lisbon

Stylish Bicaense lounge Bar Lisbon, great spot near vibrant Bairro Alto & champaign

Cool lounge bar in Lisbon with a laid-back vibe. Bicaense is very popular with a youthful and stylish, Portuguese crowd. Located on a rather steep street, Rua da Bica Duarte Belo, 38-42, Santa Catarina, climbed by the famous Bica funicular. Bairro Altonearby, is a fantastic area to explore the vibrant and alternative nightlife in Lisbon.

The Bicaense bar is split into two rooms.

Bicaense Bar Lisbon champaign birthday Laura

Bicaense lounge Bar Lisbon

Cheers! Laura’ s (second right) midnight birthday surprise: champaign.

Bicaense bar Lisbon Champaign birthday Laura

Bicaense lounge Bar Lisbon

Caipirinhas and champaign: we had a great time that night!

Bicaense Bar Lisbon near Bairro Alto room 2 dancefloor

Bicaense lounge Bar Lisbon

In the second room the resident DJs pumping out hip house to really get people in the mood for dancing.

Bicaense Bar Lisbon dancefloor room 2 DJ

Bicaense lounge Bar Lisbon DJ Rycardo

This bar is a great spot to hit before visiting Lisbon’s clubs like the Docas de Alcantâra, or world famous club Lux , Website

Bar Biaense Lisbon street at night

Bicaense lounge Bar Lisbon

In case the bar is too crowded: you can always take your drinks outside!

Bicaense Bar Lisbon near Bairro Alto street at night

Bicaense lounge Bar Lisbon   Facebook

Largo Duque de Cadaval Lisbon near Rossio Station & sunny open-air cafes

Right on the leftside of the Rossio Station in Lisbon, there’s Largo Duque de Cadaval. It ‘s a bit hidden behind the Rossio train station, full of sunny open-air cafes.

Lisbon Largo Duque Cadaval Rossio Station3

Largo (square) ‘Duque de Cadaval’ Lisbon near Rossio Station

This place is a good idea while you’re waiting for the train. A coffee (bica) 0.95 euro). Even in wintertime when the sun is shining you can sit outside, the terraces are protected from the wind.

Lisbon Largo Duque Cadaval Rossio Station8

Largo Duque de Cadaval Lisbon near Rossio Station

Restaurants and cafés has been created here, apart from all the noice and traffic.

Lisbon Largo Duque Cadaval Rossio Station4

Largo Duque de Cadaval Lisbon near Rossio Station

On the background you see Calcada do Duque, the beginning of the more than 300 stairs leading to Bairro Alto

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Square ‘Largo Duque de Cadaval’  Lisbon near Rossio Station

The ice cream shop Gelateria Finzi Contini. From outside it does not look like an ice cream shop, but it is, and a good one.

Lisbon Largo Duque Cadaval Rossio Station6

Square ‘Largo Duque de Cadaval’  Lisbon near Rossio Station

Natural ingredients and recipes are an Italian/Argentinian fusion. 4.00 euro and delicious! Besides they serve home made pastry, sandwiches and crepes.

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Square ‘Largo Duque de Cadaval’  Lisbon next to Rossio Station

After all the renovations this place is this really beautiful.

Lisbon Largo Duque Cadaval Rossio Station11

Square ‘Largo Duque de Cadaval’  Lisbon near Rossio Station

Finzi Contini ice cream shop, Gislaine Nazario. Largo do Duque, de Cadaval Lisbon

Café ‘Leitaria A Camponeza’ Lisbon, once a milkshop & Portuguese ‘Art Nouveau’ style

If you look for a nice and quiet café after walking around in the Rossio area in Lisbon, this 100 years old cafe is really worth it to sit down and admire the place !

Lisbon cafe Leitaria Camponeza2

Cafe ” Leitaria A Camponeza”, Lisbon

This is an old-fashioned Leitaria (milkshop), specializing in milk products and pastries, whose blue-tiled walls display bucolic scenes.

Mostly Purtuguese people are drinking a bica (strong coffee) or a tea (chá) while reading a newspaper.

Lisbon Leitaria Camponeza4

Cafe ” Leitaria A Camponeza”, Lisbon

This house is for over 100 years in the same family: Ana Claudia Diogo (r) and her niece Filipa Indias.

Lisbon cafe Leitaria Camponeza7

Cafe ” Leitaria A Camponeza”, Lisbon

Ana Diogo’s grand grand father, José Domingos Diogo, built this place (pictures of the family are hanging on the wall), from origin a milkshop, in Portuguese ‘Art Nouveau’ style and beautiful tiles (azulejos). The café was recently renovated, but with care….

Lisbon cafe Leitaria Camponeza10

Cafe ” Leitaria A Camponeza”, Lisbon

Chá (tea) in a pot (in style) 1,20 euro. The coffee, cakes, and sandwiches are all good.

Lisbon cafe Leitaria Camponeza8

Cafe ” Leitaria A Camponeza”

Open from 07:45 – 19:00, closed on Sundays

Lisbon cafe Leitaria Camponeza15

Cafe Leitaria ‘A Camponeza’ , Rua dos Sapateiros, 155/157, Lisbon

Famous Cafe ‘A Brasileira’: wonderful Art Deco style & poet Pessoa’s table

Elegant shopping street Rua Garrett,  lIsbon, that leads from the Baixa to Chiado, is named after the author and poet Joao Almeida Garrett (1799-1854). The area is also an important cultural area, with several museums and theatres.

winkelen Rua Garrett2
Rua Garett, June 2008.

On the background cafe ‘A Brasileira’ s terrace. You will see young locals here just socialising or window shopping.

Lisbon shopping Rua Garrett building

Rua Garrett, Lisbon

The most famous street of Lisbon, that mixes traditional chic and modern commercial shops, is also beloved by tourists.

Pessoa statue Cafe A Brasileira tourists

Cafe ‘A Brasileira’ (Rua Garrett 120) is famous for having had the enigmatic poet Fernando Pessoa  (1888-1935) among his customers.

Pessoa still has his table in bronze on the terrace (the work of sculptor Lagoa Henriques).

Portugal’s famous writer has no idea he’s mobbed by lots of tourists, all day long!

The downstairs seating area is a favourite with locals for a set lunch of traditional Portuguese specialties. The cafe once was the setting for tertulías literárias (lively discussion groups) in which debate would often culminate in chair throwing, cup smashing and brawls.

Lisbon shopping: Rua Garett cafe a Brasileira outside

‘A Brasileira’ (‘The Brazilian woman’), opened in 1905 as a shop selling genuine Brazilian coffee.

It was the first shop to sell the ‘bica’, a small cup of strong coffee, similar to espresso.

Lisbon shopping Rua Garrett cafe A Brasileira inside

The interior of ‘A Brasileira’ is grandiose: decorated in Art Deco style, with a green-and-gold entrance, mirrored walls, brass fittings, and a long oak bar.

However: bad service and inattentive staff  for tourists. It’s a very popular tourist destination, and prices are high.

‘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.

Outra face de lua 1

‘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).

A Outre face da lua 4

‘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

Outra face de lua 3

‘A Outre Face da Lua’ Lisbon Vintage Shop

Cafe ‘A Ginjinha’ Rossio, popular in Lisbon to taste a Ginja liqueur & spit the pit

Try a typical Portuguese liqueur! Cafe ‘A Ginjinha’ is a city center tourist attraction. When walking to ‘Restauradores’ or ‘Rossio’ in Lisbon’s city center, be sure to stop at the ‘A Ginjinha’ cafe, Largo de São Domingos 

Lisbon Rossio Ginja

Cafe A Ginjinha’ Rossio Lisbon near Teatro Theater Nacional Doña Maria II

This is a very tiny bar where a maximum of three people can go in at a time and order a Ginja.

Short term rentals: my 3bedroom authentic apartment (110 m2) in the historical part of Lisbon with a lovely patio, 10 minutes walk from here 🙂

Lisbon A Ginjinha’ cafe Lisbon tourist attraction 1

Cafe ‘A Ginjinha’ Rossio Lisbon. Next door: famous traditional hat shop

Ginja or Ginjinha as most people call it, 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.

Students in September drinking ginja

Cafe ‘A Ginjinha’ Rossio Lisbon in September

Lisbon students in September, a brand new school year…

You can order a Ginja for little money and with or without a cherry in it. The Ginja’s are on the bottom of the bottle and it requires a fair bit of skill to get just one berry into a glass. Most Portuguese people like to have their Ginjinhacom Ginja’, with a cherry in the glass. If you don’t want it, ask for one ‘sem Ginja’ (without a Ginja).

A Ginjinha near Restauradores Lisbon Portugal

Cafe ‘A Ginjinha’ Rossio Lisbon

Spit the pit

The older Portuguese men drink their Ginja in one time. After this, they suck on the berry for a while and spit the pit onto the streets. Take care: if you approach this square, the pavement can become quite sticky 😉 😉

Lisbon A Ginjinha’ cafe Lisbon tourist attraction 3 Rossio city center

Cafe ‘A Ginjinha’ Rossio Lisbon

There’s no specific time for drinking a Ginja, the Portuguese tend to drink all day. Where to buy a bottle of Ginja in Lisbon (or order via the website?

Lisbon A Ginjinha’ cafe Lisbon tourist attraction 2

Cafe ‘A Ginjinha’ Rossio Lisbon

Nearby small Ginja café ´Os Amigos da Severa

Nearby in historical área Mouraria: small café ´Os Amigos da Severa´: also really worth a visit for tasting Ginja liqeur: 1 euro! 🙂

Saude! (cheers)