Cascais: famous beach vacation spot, easily reached from Lisbon & House of Wonders

Cascais is a famous & chic vacation spot in Portugal by the Atlantic Ocean, quite close to Lisbon (about 25 km; 30 minutes by train, 15-20 minutes by car). Great beaches, and a promenade that connects Cascais to Lisbon providing one of the most spectacular costal walks available.

Center of Cascais in summertime

Cascais is a pleasant mix of history, tourism and local life. Once a small fishing village, nowadays packed with elegant boutiques, luxury hotels and restaurants. But still many small colourful fishing boats are bobbing up and down in the water in front of the village’s sea front. Fresh fish every day! 🙂

Fishing boats in the bay of Cascais, Portugal: Praia dos Pescadores

Cascais is situated on the north side of the mouth of the River Tejo which flows through the Portuguese capital, Lisbon. Cascais’ popularity dates from 1870, when King Luís I decided to convert the 17th century Citadela here into his summer residence.

Cascais, very popular place for tourists: Rua Direita

Portuguese pavement workers are real artists!  What a lovely design, you feel like you’re walking  on waves like Jesus did  😉 

Cascais is a popular vacation spot for both Portuguese and foreign visitors, with a small city center. The shops are rich and varied.

Terrace restaurant, cafe & bar ‘O Poéta’ Cascais

Agressive waiters on this square try to entice you to eat in their restaurant.

Football lovers : huge screens are strategically placed outside and inside the restaurants.

Vegetarian restaurant House of Wonders in Cascais

My favorite restaurant (and roofterrace) in Cascais is House of Wonders, delicious vegetarian food , Largo da Misericordia  

Cascais beach & a lazy Sunday afternoon in September

There’s much more to find in Cascais and the Estoril coast, like a vibrant nightlife and a rich cultural life.

Cascais in September

There’s free bike-rental for tourists, and the nearby (5 km, easily accessible by bus or by train) popular Guincho beach is one of the best windsurfing and kitesurfing beaches in Europe.

YouTube movie Graham goes Guincho

Cascais: Museum Conde Castro Guimarães

This Municipal Museum is near by the sea and it keeps a very original architecture because its aim is to promote art. The palace is from 19th century and it was property of Manuel Castro Guimarães (a Portuguese Count from Cascais). MORE

How to get there from Lisbon?

Lisbon, train to Cascais

Cascais is easy to reach from Lisbon by train: ‘Linha de Cascais’ (name of the train line joining Lisbon to Cascais) from Cais do Sodré, Lisbon’s major bus, metro, ferry and trainstation. Return ticket: cheap.

Short term rentals in Lisbon: my 100 m2 authentic 3-bedroom apartment with lovely patio in Mouraria (short term rentals):

Cascais & one of the small beaches

More: Visit Cascais 

Riverfront restaurant Ibo Lisbon: sophisticated cuisine & Mozambique flavours

Restaurant Ibo in Lisbon is a remarkable culinary experience! A sunny day, delicious food and a beautiful view over the river Tagus: what more do you want for lunch during a trip to Lisbon? 

Restaurant IBO Lisbon Tagus River 2

Restaurant ‘Ibo’ Lisbon facing the Tagus river: a surprising culinary experience

Lisbon is divided into 2 parts by the river Tagus, Portugal’s longest river. Restaurant ‘Ibo”, situated at the north bank, is housed in a former salt warehouse built in the beginning of the 20th century, next to Cais do Sodré ferry terminal.

IBO Restaurante Erika Reusens flavours from Mozambique 1

Restaurant ‘Ibo’ Lisbon: my friend Erika Reusens likes dishes with flavours from Mozambique

The restaurant’s name refers to an island in the Indian Ocean north of Mozambique: Ibo. We ordered:

Caril de Camarão (shrimp curry) 19 €, Caril de Galinha à Mocambicana (chicken curry) 19 €, a bottle of white wine, Castello D’Alba 18 € (exclusively wines from the best Portuguese producers and winemakers), agua (water) 2 €.

If you are not curious for a different experience: restaurant ‘Ibo‘ also offers Portuguese gastronomy.

Restaurant Ibo Cais do Sodre Lisbon view from terrace

Restaurant ‘Ibo’ Lisbon & wonderful views from the terrace

Former colony of the Portuguese empire

Mozambique became independent in 1975, after over four centuries of Portuguese rule: famous explorer Vasco da Gama reportedly rested on the island in 1502. In the late eighteenth century, Portuguese colonialists built the Fort of São João, which still survives, and the town, as a slave port, became the second most important in the region. Nowadays the beautiful Ibo island is a popular tourist area.

Restaurant Ibo Lisbon facing the Tagus river nov 14

Restaurant ‘Ibo’ Lisbon, a sunny day in November & one of the friendly waiters

Starters: in the more expensive Portuguese restaurants you have to pay for starters like bread, cheese and often olives or shrimps.

The waiter will bring you some unrequested starter dishes: as those are not free, feel free not to touch them and they will not be charged on your bill (não, obrigado).  In this restaurant you pay 3 € for a starter (some bread, tapenade and humus) which is OK, because sometimes 10/15 € is added for a small starter you did not ask for.

Restaurant Ibo Lisbon facing the Tagus river nov 14 shrimps

Restaurant ‘Ibo’ Lisbon & flavours from former Portuguese colony Mozambique

Camarões selvagens à Laurentina (wild shrimps), € 19: really delicious! Glass of white wine (VB Crasto) € 5.50

Lovely ladies & Laurentina beer

The waiter told me that Laurentina is Mozambique’s oldest beer brand. The name is dedicated to lovely ladies: ‘laurentinas’ 😉 . Read more…  

Restaurant Ibo Lisbon facing the Tagus river nov 14 papaya desert

Restaurant ‘Ibo’ Lisbon: papaya dessert (sobremesa)….. whow!!  🙂  € 8

This restaurant specializes in the food of Mozambique but adds a few influences from another former Portuguese colony, India’s Goa. The freshness and quality of products is ensured, because the owner, João Pedrosa, daily visits the nearby old and Lisbon’s legendary market Mercado da Ribeira (really worth to go there , only 5 minutes walk).

Restaurant Ibo Lisbon facing the Tagus river ladies toilet

Restaurant ‘Ibo‘ Lisbon: casa do banho (ladies’ room)

Don’t expect an interior decorated with all kinds of art from Africa. There’s a modern and bright decoration inside the restaurant. Until I visited the ladies’ room: a beautiful portrait, this African lady on the wall! But she doesn’t seem to be very happy….

Restaurant Ibo Lisbon facing the Tagus river view from terrace ferry

Restaurant ‘Ibo‘ Lisbon & terrace view: ferry to the other side of the river Tagus

From here you can easily take the ferry (every 10 minutes) to Cacilhas (a part of Lisbon, the other side of the river), return ticket: cheap : more………….

Ibo Restaurante, Cais do Sodré,  Lisbon, Armazem A – Compartimento 2. Phone (00351) 961 332 024. Also open for lunch on Sundays.

Website Ibo restaurant (also in English)

Ferry boat from Lisbon to Montijo: Samouco beach, great day trip & pink flamingos

Away from the crowds, on the south bank of the river Tagus (Sul do Tejo), there’s the beach of Alcochete, located near the small city of Montijo . From Lisbon you can take a bus across the Vasco da Gama Bridge directly to Alcochete centre at Oriente station  (431, the most frequent), or 432 and 437.

Ferry to Montijo from Cais do Sodre station Lisbon

Ferry boat from Lisbon to Montijo

But it’s really worth it taking a ferry from Lisbon to Montijo (time schedule ferry boats, also from Cais do Sodré ferry terminal), walk around in this picturesque village, have lunch, take a bus to the centre of Alchochete and walk to the beach called Samouco (ca. 15 min.)

Ferry to Montijo at Cais do Sodre Lisbon 25 April Bridge

Beautiful views ferry boat to Montijo: Lisbon city and the 25 April Bridge.

The ferry trip to Montijo takes about 20 minutes which gives you a chance to enjoy the river and the views of Lisbon and also the surrounding areas. Return ticket: euro 5.60.

Montijo city centre Portugal

Montijo, Praça da República

You’re away from the crowds…and it is really a pleasure walking around here.

Montijo near Lisbon city centre cafe

Montijo , a lazy afternoon in September, Rua Guerra Junqueiro.

Not one tourist in sight! Coffee (bica) euro 0,60.

Beach Alcochete near Lisbon Samouco

Alcochete , Samouco beach

PINK FLAMINGOS

From Montijo, take a bus to Alcochete centre and walk 15 minutes to Samouco beach  (YouTube).  You can enjoy watching pink flamingos or egrets (white heron) near the Reserva Natural of the Tagus river, which is famous for the birds.

Beach Alcochete Samouco near Lisbon2

Alcochete , Samouco beach

Of course in July and August there are more tourists. On the background: Lisbon, Parque das Nações. 

Alcochete, like Sintra, has in the past been a popular haunt for royalty, coming here to relax and holiday. The town’s foundation dates back to the 7th century, after the Moors conquered Lisbon. Its name derives from the Arabic word for kiln, as there have been many found in the area.

Bullfighting also has a history here, and bulls are still let loose in the streets during the Barrete Verde and Salinas Feasts (the second weekend of August). 🙁  🙁

Beach Samouco Alcochete near Lisbon Fitness exercises

Alcochete , Samouco beach

Fitness exercises at the beach…. ! On de background: Vasco da Gama Bridge

beach near Lisbon Alcochete small cafe

Alcochete , Samouco beach

Near the beach there’s a small cafe. Very nice people!

Typical Portuguese snacks and drinks: coffee (bica) euro 0.60.

Lisbon Vasco da Gama bridge

Beautiful Vasco da Gama bridge Lisbon

By car it’s about 30 minutes from Lisbon to Alcochete beach.

The wonderful Vasco da Gama Bridge connects Alcochete and Montijo with Lisbon. It is the longest bridge in Europe (including viaducts),with a total length of 17.2 km (10.7 mi). The bridge connects the north of Lisbon with the south bank of the Tagus near Montijo.

Beach Alcochete near Lisbon

Alcochete , Samouco beach

Restaurant/winery Vestigius Lisbon: great riverfront dining, creative decor & cultural space

Located in the Cais do Sodré area in Lisbon with a privileged view of the Tagus River,  restaurant/cafe Vestigius offers a fabulous terrace space!

vestigious-lisbon-restaurant-nov-16-tagus-view-1

Vestigius restaurant Lisbon near the Tagus river & waterfront dining

Vestigius offers Portuguese and Italian cuisine: pizza’s hamburgers, tapas, Portuguese petiscos and snacks, to accompany the great diversity of wines, gins and cocktails. In addition it’s a meeting place for arts & culture, music and literature.

vestigious-lisbon-restaurant-nov-16-tagus-river-vintage-furniture

Vestigius restaurant Lisbon near the Tagus river & wonderful vintage decor

Former warehouse in ruins & artistic charm

Originally this place was a port warehouse in ruins from the nineteenth century near the river Tagus. Now it’s turned into a space with a wonderful vintage decor, made from abandoned warehouse wreckage and second-hand parts, acquired in auctions and fleamarkets like the legendary Feira da Ladra in Lisbon

vestigious-lisbon-restaurant-nov-16-tagus-river-terrace-upstairs

Vestigius restaurant Lisbon near the Tagus river & 2nd floor terrace

Stunning river views

The terrace on the second floor gives stunning views of the April 25 bridge and the Cristo Rei statue, but the (good) music from the speakers near our table was too loud to talk with each other.

vestigious-lisbon-restaurant-nov-16-tagus-river-vintage-decor

Vestigius restaurant Lisbon near the Tagus river & wonderful vintage decor

Exhibitions & Music 

An essential component in Vestigius are the exhibitions, whether painting, drawing, photography or other areas and supports. Every month there’s a new exhibition. More…
vestigious-lisbon-restaurant-nov-16-tagus-river-tapas-hamburger
Hamburger Vestigius: € 11.50; Spark water € 3.50, coffee € 2.50
Fridays – Live music at 8.30 pm & DJ’s at 11:00 pm
Blues and rock from the 60’s to the 80’s, as well as adapting electronic music to an acoustic version. More..
vestigious-lisbon-restaurant-nov-16-tagus-view-tapas
Vestigius restaurant Lisbon near the Tagus river & tapas
Delicious tapas
Calamares (squid) € 8.50, pão (bread) € 2.50, baked potatoes € 5.50; glass of white wine: Portal da Calçada Reserva (vinho verde, young wine) € 5.00, coffee € 2.50
vestigious-lisbon-restaurant-nov-16-tagus-view-casa-de-banho-toilet
Vestigius restaurant Lisbon near the Tagus river & remarkable bathroom
Vestigius
Cais do Gás, Armazém A, n.º 17
Lisbon – facebook
Website (& cultural agenda)Open: every day of the week
vestigius-lisbon-restaurant-nov-16-tagus-river-location
Vestigius restaurant Lisbon: location near the Tagus river

Restaurant ‘Monte Mar’ Lisbon: too pricey food, too noisy, terrible service & boring decor

Due to the great Tagus riverviews and good affordable food, I used to visit this great location in Lisbon a lot. Lately former restaurant ‘Cariocas do Rio’   has been replaced by a new restaurant: ‘Monte Mar’.

Restaurant Monte Mar Lisbon Tagus river 9

Restaurant ‘Monte Mar’ Lisbon: near the Tagus river & great riverview

Good reputation: ‘Monte Mar’ restaurant in Guincho, 30 km from Lisbon

The location of the new ‘Monte Mar’ restaurant near the Tagus river in Lisbon could not be better, and besides the restaurant with the same name in Guincho, Cascais (30 km from Lisbon) has a very good reputation: it’s famous for its fresh fish and seafood dishes.

‘Monte Mar’ also has a ‘mini-restaurant’ spot in the trendy old market Mercado da Ribeira in Lisbon: the ‘Time Out’ Food Hall/Gastronomical area.

Restaurant Monte Mar Lisbon Tagus river 2 June 2016

Restaurant ‘Monte Mar’ Lisbon near the Tagus river

Our bill (2 persons) 99.10 €: good food but too overpriced in Lisbon  🙁

1 copo Terras Alter Branco € 3.50 (glass of white wine); 2 água sem gás 0, 25 lt. € 5.00 (2 small bottles of water); 2 couvert € 5.00 (bread); 1 queijo Azeitao € 7.50 (Portuguese handcrafted, unpasteurised sheep’s milk cheese); 1 Sapateira Recheada (litt. stuffed shoe rack 😉 Stuffed Crab) € 32.00 ; 1 Gambas à guilho € 19.70 (garlic prawns): 1 bottle Muros Antigos Alvarinho Vinho Verde € 26.40 (Vinho Verde means ‘green’ wine).

Restaurant Monte Mar Lisbon Tagus river 1 June 16

Restaurant ‘Monte Mar’ Lisbon near the Tagus river: wonderful views

Bad service & big TV screens

The waiter was totally not interested to solve our complaints about the noise coming out of one of the big TV-screens (football), placed quite close to our table. Sometimes we were not able to talk to each other. He could suggest us to be moved to another table? The atmosphere in this place feels like ‘just making money’.

Decor & plastic chairs

My friend, wearing a skirt, has to put a cotton napkin on her chair. The ‘industrial-chic’ chairs are made of a plastic material being too sticky in warm temperatures 🙁

Restaurant Monte Mar Lisbon Tagus river big TV screens

Restaurant ‘Monte Mar’ Lisbon near the Tagus river & TV screen near our table

Restaurant ‘Monte Mar’ asks an average of € 25 to 30 for a plate. You would expect great service for that price.

Planning a trip to Lisbon? There are lots of other restaurants situated near the river Tagus with delicious food ( where you pay half of the price)…. and besides with super friendly waiters  🙂  🙂

like f.i. closeby restaurant IBO

women 2

BTW: that night also the ladies room was certainly not a place to recommend in restaurant Monte Mar….

Restaurant Monte Mar Lisbon Tagus river 7 June 2016

Restaurant ‘Monte Mar’ Lisbon near the Tagus river

Monte Mar Lisbon  R. da Cintura, Arm. 65, Cais do Gás

Phone (00351) 213 220 160

Tuesday – Friday 12h00 – 23h00; Saturday – Sunday 12h00 – 23h00

Website         facebook

Restaurant Monte Mar Lisbon Tagus river 9 June 2016 inside cold decor

Restaurant ‘Monte Mar’ Lisbon & decoration inside the former old warehouse

I long for the old days when restaurant Cariocas do Rio was still here: a wonderful place to relax near the river Tagus in Lisbon….a very pleasant atmosphere even though the service was a bit slow!

Bar/Cafe ‘Sol e Pesca’ Lisbon: trendy, canned fish decor & vintage memorabilia

Portugal is famous for the beautiful coloured tin cans of tuna, squid and sardines . Tin cans serve as wall decoration in cafe/bar “Sol e Pesca ” ( litt.Sun and Fishing), but are also intended for consumption. A great idea!

Cafe/bar “Sol e Pesca“, Lisbon decorated with lovely coloured fish tin cans

Former old shop

This bar used to be an old shop with fishing equipment and that past now inspires the décor (like rods and hooks). Now the shop is also decorated with hundreds of colorful tins of the Portuguese favorite fish.

Cafe/bar “Sol e Pesca“, Lisbon

“Sol e Pesca also inspires what is served (or sold to be enjoyed at home), because in addition to the drinks (beer and local wines) it offers cans of a variety of fish that, if you like it, can be accompanied by bread and wine.

Mauro Fialho, Cafe/bar “Sol e Pesca“, Lisbon

Nowadays the Cais do Sodré area in Lisbon is a trendy place to go after  the bars in the Bairro Alto close their doors. You’ll find here some clubs like Roterdão, and Musicbox. In July 2010 “Sol e Pesca” opened its doors.

Cafe` Sol e Pesca`Lisbon: Catarina Rebelo Lucas is preparing the mise en place

Catarina: ” In this area (Cais do Sodré) near the river Tagus there are a lot of shops for fishermen. This typical Portuguese old store closed 20 years ago and all the old stuff associated with fish is still there…

The new owner, sr. Henrique Vaz Pato (pato means duck in Portuguese)  😉  bought the shop and opened cafe ‘Sol e Pesca’ (Sun and Fishing) in July 2010″.

Muxama, a delicacy typical of the south region of the Iberian Peninsula, consisting of filleted salt-cured tuna.

The Arabs developed this salt curing technique and the term muxama comes from the Arab word musama which means “dry”. However, Phoenicians and Romans also used a similar process to preserve the fishes caught until the return of the fishing boats ashore.

Nowadays, in Portugal muxama is produced in the Algarve region, following a technique used for more than 1000 years almost unchanged.

Delicious! Muxama, salad, sardines, olives, bread, white wine, a small bottle of water: 22 euro

Bar/cafe Sol e Pesca (Sun and Fishing),  Rua Nova de Carvalho 14, Lisbon

Hours: Monday to Friday from 18:00 to 02h00, Saturday from 18.00 to 04h00.  Closed on Sundays, Facebook

MINERVA – Portuguese sardines

Minerva is a well-known Portuguese canned fish brand. Famous Lisbon city center cannery store Conserveira de Lisboa

Lisbon, Cais do Sodré , the new hotspot, December 2011

Nowadays the Cais do Sodré area in Lisbon is a trendy place to go after bars in the nearby Bairro Alto area close their doors

 

Restaurant ‘Casa de Pasto’ Lisbon: tasty Portuguese culinary traditions, vintage decor & Mick Jagger

Inspired by the late 19th-century traditional Lisbon eating houses favored by the bourgeoisie, restaurant Casa de Pasto serves very tasty Portuguese dishes. Worth a visit!

Restaurant Casa de Pasto Lisbon Cais do Sodre vintage decoration 2

Restaurant Casa de Pasto Lisbon: wonderdul vintage decoration

Cool Cais do Sodré riverside area & a former brothel

Restaurant Casa do Pasto opened in December 2013 by the hand of chief Diogo Noronha, a.o. responsible for the very successful ‘Lx Factory’ (a former industrial area surrounded by restaurants, galleries, studios, an open air market on Sundays), and the unique nearby bar Pensão Amor’, a former brothel.

Restaurant Casa de Pasto Lisbon Cais do Sodre vintage decoration

Restaurant Casa de Pasto Lisbon & the very sympathic waiter

Beside this imposing space there are two more dining rooms: the first is small (but beautiful), with a long, narrow table, ideal for group dinners that do not exceed ten people. For a more romantic meal is advised the room with only two small tables where stands out an antique chaise longue and corner with images of saints.

Restaurant Casa de Pasto Lisbon Cais do Sodre 2

Restaurant Casa de Pasto Lisbon, area Cais do Sodré: mouthwatering dishes!

Our lunch (almoçar): delicious tuna steak (atum) and vegetables (ca. 20 euro), home made chips, costeletas de borrego (lamb, ca. 15 euro, 2 glasses of wine, water and a dessert (sobremesa): a total of around 60 euro.

This restaurant goes back in time, but mixes modern cooking methods with Portugal’s culinary traditions.

Restaurant Casa de Pasto Lisbon vintage decoration dessert 2

Restaurant Casa de Pasto Lisbon: dessert ‘Wild Desire’ a combination of fruits with chocolate (facebook)

Casas de Pasto (litt. houses of pasture) & Portuguese history

Lisbon people (Lisboetas) once had the curious custom of going to stroll gardens to withdraw from the city in order to enjoy some pleasures of the countryside, usually on Sundays. They organized family picnics or simply had lunch in the old Casas de Pasto, so called because initially only giving fodder to the animals while the owners were negotiating at the fair. In many of them, still retain the rings that held the animals.

Casa de Pasto portas da Amadora alfacinhas retro 2

A ‘Casa de Pasto’, near Amadora, close to Lisbon, late 19th century/beginning 20th century. Picture: Arquivo Municipal de Lisboa

With the time the owners of the Casas do Pasto also began to feed the animal owners and so flourished a business that came to give rise to modern restaurants.

Source: Folclore Online de Portugal

Restaurant Casa de Pasto Lisbon area Cais do Sodre Erika e Luc

Restaurant Casa de Pasto February ’15, Lisbon: Erika Reusens and Luc De Leersnyder

Bordalo Pinheiro: traditional Portuguese ceramic designs

One of the corner tables is next to the bookcase with traditional Portuguese Bordalo Pinheiro (1846–1905)ceramic designs, a very famous Portuguese artist known for his illustration, caricatures, sculpture, considered the first Portuguese comics creator. More….

Restaurant Casa de Pasto Lisbon area Cais do Sodre building plastic pig

Restaurant Casa de Pasto , Rua do São Paulo 20, Cais do Sodré, Lisbon

Big plastic pig

Restaurant Casa de Pasto is located in a typical Portuguese 19th-century antique building, on the first floor, very easy to find: look for the big plastic pig hanging on the wall

Location: Rua São Paulo 20, Cais do Sodré, Lisbon. Closing time: 02:00. Reservation advised. Average price: 20.00 euro. Phone: (+351) 963 739 979. Smoking area.

Hours: Monday to Saturday from 12:00 to 15:00 and 20:00 to 23:00 (Thursday, Friday and Saturday until 24:00. Closed: Sunday. Facebook

Restaurant Casa de Pasto Lisbon area Cais do Sodre building funny toilet

Restaurant Casa de Pasto Lisbon & one of the funny bathrooms

May 2014, The Rolling Stones in Lisbon: Rock in Río YouTube, Mick Jagger dined at this fine restaurant.  Mick Jagger & restaurant chef Diogo Noronha  (facebook)

Looking for a nice apartment (100 m2, 3 bedrooms with window) with private patio in Lisbon? Check the availability calender , thank you 🙂

Cais do Sodré Lisbon station to Cascais, ferry terminal to Cacilhas & Caparica beach

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 to Cacilhas , Seixal and Montijo .

Lisbon Cais do Sodre Railway station

Cais do Sodré railway station Lisbon to Cascais

Cais do Sodré railway station is serving westbound suburban route to f.i. Estoril, Belém and Cascais, and subway or bus for any spot in Lisbon. It is adjacent to the Lisbon Metro  station (website incl. network diagram & how to use the metro) of the same name which is the terminus for subway’s Green Line (Linha da Caravela).

Lisbon Cais do Sodre Duque da Terceira square

Statue Duque da Terceira, Cais do Sodré,  Praça do Duque da Terceira 

Cais do Sodré is situated in central Lisbon on the bank of Tagus River. Although the official name is Duque da Terceira Square, everybody knows it by Cais do Sodré. Duque da Terceira was a hero in the Peninsular War (1807-1814) that united Portugal, Great Britain and later Spain against Napoleon.

Ferry to Cacilhas, the river Tagus left bank

From here you can also take a ferry to river Tagus left bank to Cacilhas , for a walk along the river to the elevator of the famous Cristo Rei statue.

Lisbon Caiso do Sodre ferry Cacilhas people

Lisbon, ferry Cais do Sodré

Transtejo (and timetable) is the company responsible for the fluvial crossing of the Tagus River. People from the other side of the river have to cross it every day to work in Lisbon or in the environment. The company offers every 10 minutes a ferry to Cacilhas (Almada, district of Setubal), a return ticket cost 2.00-2.60 euro.

From Cacilhas you can take the bus to the beaches of Costa dCaparica (bus 135 or 124). Ticket €2.40, purchased from the driver.

Lisbon Cais do Sodre ferry view Christo Rei

Transtejo also offers the Tagus River Yellow Boat Tour

Wonderful views on downtown Lisbon!

Lisbon Cacilhas Ferry and fisherman

Ferry in Cacilhas, the other side of the river Tagus.

Bar “da Velha Senhora” (Old Lady’s bar) Lisbon: burlesque performances & 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. Facebook.com/bardavelhasenhora

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’

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

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, very popular with tourists, like cafe restaurant Pastelaria Suíça, located at the nearby Rossio Square

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. Ticket € 18, children (4-10) € 9, Lisboa card reduction € 13,50″.

ViniPortugal, free 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 for free: a very pleasant and interesting way to learn more about history and culture of Portuguese wines. More about ViniPortugal

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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’)

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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!

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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.

(5 minutes walk from my authentic 3- bedroom apartment with sunny patio (30 m2) in Mouraria)

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.

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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.

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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.