Portas do Sol Alfama Lisbon: lovely lounge terrace, cool cocktail bar & Santa Luzia, famous Tagus river viewpoint

Terrace ‘Portas do Sol’ (Gates to the Sun) has opened his doors in October 2009, in Lisbon’s historical center, close to the famous viewpoint (miradouro) with the same name, at Largo das Portas do Sol.  A new terrace coffee , cocktail bar and restaurant, designed in a way to make full use of its exceptional location.

Portas do Sol terrace Lisbon Tagus view 5 lounge sofas

The lounge area of Portas do Sol, September 2010

Amazing views overlooking the Alfama rooftops and the river Tagus! After visiting the nearby  São Jorge Castle (the Castle of St. Jorge),  this is a place where you can sit down, chill out and enjoy the beauty of Lisbon.

Portas do Sol terrace Lisbon 2

Entrance Porta do Sol cafe, bar/cafe and restaurant, 1000 m2 terrace

This cafe/bar and restaurant is very easy to reach. It has direct access on the tram 28 which is the more touristic of the Lisbon trams.

Portas do Sol terrace Lisbon Alfama Tagus view 4 lounge sofas

The lounge area of Portas do Sol Lisbon

Portas do Sol is  a lovely spot to sit down and relax with sofas and soft lounge-music, a place during the day where you can hang out and have coffee and snacks.

The lounge area of Portas do Sol Lisbon, in love! 🙂

They serve wines, cocktails, champagne and menu’s.

Live music with a DJ on Fridays and Saturdays. Beautiful bar with crystal chandlers and chairs in art deco and romantic style (250m2).

Portas do Sol terrace Lisbon 1

Open daily from 10am to 12pm. Fridays, Saturdays and nights before a public holiday until 2am.

Website Portas do Sol.  Address: Largo das Portas do Sol, Beco de Santa Helena, Lisbon

Portas do Sol terrace Alfama Lisbon 4 view

Portas do Sol ‘s  terrace/lounge area

Seen from the nearby famous viewpoint with the same name, a very popular place for locals and a famous tourist attraction. One of the most beautiful places in Lisbon!

Lisbon viewpoint Portas do Sol by night

Viewpoint (Miradouro) Portas do Sol Alfama Lisbon, by night

The Belvedere Portas do Sol is a balcony space that all people of Lisbon are proud to have at their disposal. Magnificent view of Lisbon and the typical Alfama district that spans several narrow, winding streets to the river Tagus.

Portas so SOl viewpoint miradouro Alfama Lisbon cruise ship

View from the nearby small terrace

Located in between several highlights of Lisbon (like the viewpoint of Santa Luzia) , the Portas do Sol miradouro is the terrace that every person living in Lisabon would like to have at home…..

Portas so SOl viewpoint miradouro Alfama Lisbon statue Saint Vincent

Statue of São (Saint) Vincent, Portas do Sol

There is also a statue of Saint Vincent holding a boat with two ravens, the symbols of Lisbon. Saint Vincent of Saragossa, better known locally as Saint Vincent of Fora, is the patron saint of Lisbon.

Largo das Portas dol Sol Lisbon Museum of decorative arts

Largo das Porta do Sol, and the former city palace, Museum of Decorative Arts

In this wonderful 17th C. former city palace, currently houses the Museum of Decorative Arts. Anyone interested in decorative arts in general and the Portuguese Empire in particular will find this collection fascinating. Beautiful azulejos (tiles)!

Largo do Portas do Sol Lisbon tram 28

The popular tram 28 (video) stops near the Museum and the viewpoints

If you like to have a good impression of the historical city of Lisbon, a very good idea is taking this typical little trolley, ‘eléctrico 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.

Miradouro Santa Luzia Alfama ancient tiles and viewpoint

The nearby viewpoint Miradouro of Santa Luzia

Various small gardens along the edge of the walkway are filled with beautiful local flowers during the spring and summer months.

Lisbon Miradouro Santa Luzia by night view roofs Alfama and river Tejo

Viewpoint Miradouro de Santa Luzia by night

This is a very popular look-out point from the Alfama area of Lisbon, next to the Santa Luzia Church.

Lisbon viewpoint Santa Luzia tiles2

Viewpoint (miradouro) Santa Luzia – church

On the wall of the church are two beautiful tile panels (azulejos): one of Lisbon’s majestic Square Praça do Comércio before the earthquake in 1775, and another one showing the Christians attacking (the nearby) Castelo de São Jorge (Saint George’s Castle) in 1147.

Miradouro Santa Luzia Lisbon Alfama azulejos

Miradouro Santa Luzia

Azulejos (tiles) have become a typical aspect of Portuguese culture. This place is a wonderful tile treasure!

Lisbon Restaurant Miradouro Sta Luzia Alfama

Restaurant ‘Miradouro Sta Luzia’ near the viewpoint, a very popular tourist place.

Looking for a short time rental apartment in Lisbon? Please check the calendar of my

Authentic 3-bedroom apartment for rent in the historical part of Lisbon

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

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.

(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.

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 around in Lisbon’s historical center: Bairro Alto, Alfama, Mouraria & hanging laundry

Typical Portuguese is the hanging laundry in the windows, drying in the wind. Besides: in the narrow labyrinth of cobbled alleys of Lisbon’s ancient center it’s very nice to walk around! Herewith a few ideas:

Lisbbon an Laundry Heineken

Restaurant Solar do DuqueCalcada do Duque is a street made of hundreds of stairs to Bairro Alto, lined with lots of traditional Portuguese restaurants, near Largo Duque de Cadaval, a square full of open-air cafes near the beautiful Rossio Station.

Lisbon Laundry Castelo

Around the Castle of St. Jorge (Castelo de São Jorge)

Tiny and partially restored ancient neighborhood of Santa Cruz do Castelo , is one of the most picturesque parts of Lisbon.

Lisbon hanging laundry Pensao Flor1

Mouraria, historical part of Lisbon

In this historical area close to the city center you can rent my apartment with 3 bedrooms and a beautiful patio (this laundry is not mine)  😉

Laundry Lisbon small socks and bra

Mouraria, Rua dos Cavaleiros.

From here, you can walk to a beautiful viewpoint over the city, Miradouro da Graça.

Bairro Alto hanging hand washing laundry

Bairro Alto Lisbon, a wonderful area for a night out!

Many older people still wash by hand..

Bairro Alto Lisbon hanging laundry

Bairro Alto.

During daytime, the famous Bairro is a very quiet district, it’s really worth it to walk around: trendy shops, art galleries and fashion. At night, bars suddenly appear everywhere from behind the shutter doors.

Lisbon laundry Rua dos Bacalhoeiros near Alfama

Quite close to the historic Alfama neighborhood

Very nice street to walk around at Lisbon’ city center is Rua dos Bacalhoeiros (street of the cod fish sellers).

Hanging laundry Alfama

Alfama (more…..)

 

Walking around Lisbon: Castle of St. George’s picturesque neighborhood ‘Santa Cruz’ & Mercearia Castello Cafe

Around the Castle of St. George’s  (Castelo de São Jorge) in Lisbon, the tiny and partially restored ancient neighborhood of Santa Cruz do Castelo , is one of the most picturesque parts of Lisbon. Ageing residents are living here as well as younger people and there’s lots of luxury hotels.

Lisbon Bairro Castelo Merceraria Castello

Mercearia Castello Cafe

A bit tucked away on a tiny street, Rua das Flores de Santa Cruz behind the Castle, Mercearia Castello Cafe opens in summertime a small outdoor seating  just around the corner. Quiche and salads, coffee and toast, this cafe is a great place to stop for a snack or a light meal after visiting the Castle.

Lisbon Bairro Castelo Rua do Chao da Feira

Rua Bartolomeu do Gusmão, just near the Castle.

The neighborhood is very charming, it’s really nice to walk through the cobbled small streets. Costa do Castelo features some of the most spectacular viewpoints of Lisbon.

Lisbon neighborhood St John Castle O Terraco amazing views

A 10 minutes walk away from this street is a great cafe/bar overlooking the river Tagus, 25 April bridge and the city, cafe O Terraço, spectacular views!

(update : new owner, now there’s a restaurant)

Lisbon Bairro Castelo Rua do Espirito Santo3 laundry

Rua do Espírito Santo….

Normal life is going on, quietly, nobody takes attention to the tourists. This hilly part of Lisbon, located in the highest hill of the historic centre,  is one of the main historical and tourist sites.

Lisbon Bairro Castelo guests hotel Palaccio

Travessa do Funil A rainy day

Guests of Boutique Hotel ‘Solar do Castelo’   are picked up.

Lisbon Bairro Castelo walking around

more…..  an idea to walk up the hill to the Castle of St George

Walking up the hill to São Jorge Castle Lisbon, a hidden place & 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

 

Castelo de São Jorge (Castle of Saint George) Lisbon, easy way to walk up the hill & breathtaking views

For the most breathtaking views of the Tagus and Lisbon, walk the esplanades and climb the ramparts of the old castle of São Jorge (Castle of Saint George), located on the highest of the seven hills of the historic centre of the city. It is one of the main historical and tourist sites.

Easy way to walk up the hill

Lisbon-castle-entrance

Singer inside the walls of the Castle (video)

Castelo do Sao Jorge entrance

Entrance Castle of Saint George Lisbon

Although the first fortifications on the Lisbon hilltop are known to date only from the 2nd century BC, archaeological research has shown that human occupation exists there at least since the 6th century BC, originally from autochthonous Celtic and Iberian tribes (with probable Phoenician, Greek and Carthaginian influences), afterwards Roman, Suevi, Visigothic and Moorish.

Lisbon-castle-upon-the-hill

In the context of the Christian Reconquista the castle and the city of Lisbon were retaken from the Moors by King Afonso Henriques with the help of Northern European crusaders taking part on the Second Crusade. The Siege of Lisbon, which took place in 1147, was the only success of that Crusade.

According to a famous legend, the knight Martim Moniz, noting that one of the doors to the castle was opened, prevented the door from closing again with his own body, sacrificing his life but allowing the Christians to enter the castle.

Lisbon-Castle-Statue_King_Afonso_Henriques_Portugal

In the square stands a heroic statue — sword in one hand, shield in the other — of the first king, Afonso Henríques

Lisbon Castle of St George tower 1

Picture: Martijn Kramers

Many of the existing walls were erected during the centuries of Moorish domination. The Moors held power until 1147, the year Afonso Henríques chased them out and extended his kingdom south. Even before Lisbon became the capital of the newly emerging nation, the site was used as a royal palace.

Lisbon: view from Castelo Sao Jorge

It overlooks the Alfama, the mountains of Monsanto and Sintra, Ponte do 25 de Abril (25 April Bridge), Praça do Comércio, and the tile roofs of the Portuguese capital.

Lisbon seen from the Castle of Jao Jorge April 25 Bridge

Address: Rua da Costa do Castelo
Bus: 37 Tram: 12 or 28
Website: www.castelosaojorge.egeac.pt

Prices: check the website, free for children under 10

Lisbon-castle-overlookiing-the-tagus from the Castelo