Napoleão shops Lisbon: port, Portuguese wines & Napoleon, the french emperor

Around 1974, after the Portuguese revolution, the Napoleão family in Lisbon started selling wines and Port wines in Lisbon. A quite  peculiar name for a Portuguese family of course, but the explanation is a simple one. Portugal was once occupied by France for a short period of time and like in other European countries Napoleon obliged civilians to register a surname.

Napoleao-Lisbon-Wine-Port

Christina Napoleão

French emperor Napoleon & familyname

That’s why 8 generations ago the ancestors of Christina Napoleão chose the name of the French emperor Napoleon, in Portuguese: Napoleão 😉

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Napoleão shop, Rua dos Fanqueiros 70 Lisbon

This youngest store of the Napoleão family, located in a beautiful old renovated building , also sells top quality olive oil, tasty jams, azulejos (traditional tiles) and many other typical Portuguese goodies.

Napoleão shop Port tasting

The Napoleão wine shop in the same street, Lisbon

The Napoleão family now owns six shops in Lisbon, and specializes in the best Portuguese wines and Port wines.  They can explain you all about the best Vintage years of the 20th Century.

Napoleão shop Port Wines street Lisbon

Napoleão shops: Rua dos Fanqueiros 70 Lisbon, tel: +351 21 8861108
Website you can order online

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Restaurant Portugalia Lisbon: ‘beerhouse’ (Cervejaria), history & delicious seafood

A Cervejaria is a ‘beerhouse’, where beer is produced (or used to be produced) and where you can eat as well. There are many cervejaria’s around Lisbon and the quality of the food is normally very good.

Portugalia cervejaria Lisbon Avenida Almirante Reis

‘Portugalia’ restaurant on Avenida Almirante Reis (near Praça do Chile).

Most Cervejaria’s have restaurant and a bar where you can stand and drink beer and eat snacks like a ‘prego’ which is a steak sandwich. The steak is grilled on the plate and comes with garlic in a white roll. The Portugese eat the prego’s (literally: nails, referring to the full stomach after eating one) with mustard or piri-piri.

A popular snack as well is a small plate of cooked shrimps (camarão) served with sea salt and a part of lemon. You can ask for camarão grande (big ones), camarão medio (medium) or camarão pequeno (baby shrimps).

Portugalia cervejaria Lisbon Avenida Almirante Reis 3

Portugese love there seafood with beer (or with ice cold vinho verde). So on the restaurant menu in a Cervejaria, you will find a lot of seafood (marisco). You can have big shrimps (gambas or camarão tigre), scampi (lagostim) and crab (sapateira). Cooked fresh seafood tastes fantastic with mayonaise, grilled seafood goes very well with ‘molho de limão’. This is a sauce of butter, lemon and a bit of piri-piri. If they don’t bring it, ask for it. Like in all Portugese restaurants, it’s not strange to be specific about how your food is prepared or accompanied.

The crab, sapateira, is cooked and the body is open and filled with a mixture of (among others) crab meat, vinagre, onion, pickles, tomates, eggs, parsley and port wine.

Then there’s the steaks. The steaks can be grilled or fried in a pan with butter. Ask for a steak in ‘molho de cerveja’, ‘beersauce’. It comes with a fried egg on top.

Famous cervejaria’s are restaurants Portugalia and Trindade. Trindade, situated on Rua de Trindade (near Bairro Alto), is a massive restaurant which has a beautiful garden where you can sit during summertime. Prices are a bit above average, but the decoration makes it worthwhile.

Trindade website

Cervejaria Portugalia has become a brand over the years (There are even Portugalia restaurants in shopping centers and outside of Lisbon). You will find many families with children and it’s a bit touristy. The original 80 year old Portugalia restaurant on Avenida Almirante Reis (near Praça do Chile) is certainly the best one you can choose. This is the most traditional Portugalia you can find. Before entering the restaurant you will pass the messy bar where many men hang out, eat pregos and drink beer.

Don’t get us wrong, Portugalia is certainly worth a visit. The shrimps in garlic and olive oil (below) are a treat. Fans can order merchandising on the Portugalia website.

Portugalia cervejaria Lisbon Avenida Almirante Reis Shrimps Garlic

Cafe ‘A Ginjinha’ Rossio, best place in Lisbon to taste a Ginja (berry 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)

Transfer from Lisbon airport Portela to the city by bus, metro or taxi, a hint & long term parking

taxi-lisbon-portugal-airportThere’s three ways of getting to the center of Lisbon from the Portela airport. A taxi is not necessarily more expensive then the bus connections. It depends on the number of persons you’re travelling with. Portela airport is located at about 7 kilometers from Lisbon’s city center, a ride to the city in normal traffic shouldn’t take longer then 15 minutes.

It is possible taxidrivers will try and charge more for the ride than the normal price. Make sure they switch on the meter. It is illegal for taxidrivers to charge more then the official rates in Portugal and there are penalties. So if you encounter a problem, make sure that you let them know that you might contact the police.

Hint about taking a taxi at the airport: if the queue is too long at the arrivals you just have to go upstairs to the departures area and take a taxi there.

Lisbon airport Portela tourist information center taxi voucher

Airport Portela Lisbon, Tourism information center – Arrival Hall.

Here you can buy a voucher for pre-paid taxi transfers to the city center with fixed prices. Each taxi carries up to 4 (or more) people, including all the luggage that can fit in the trunk.

If you travel by car: Long term parking information

A taxi to the center shouldn’t cost more then 12-14 euros, luggage included. The taxidriver will charge you for the luggage (if you have luggage that needs to be placed in the trunk of the car).

Buses

There’s a special bus (Carris Aerobus 91) that brings you to the city in about 20 min. From 07:00 to 23:00, costs € 3.50 one way or € 5.50 round trip. You can buy the ticket inside the bus, free use of the metro’s and other buses in the city during the same day is included. You can also take normal buslines, which are a bit cheaper. The buses 5, 22, 44, 45 and 83 will take you to areas in or around central Lisbon.

Metro (subway)

The (new in 2012) airport metro station is located just outside the arrivals and departures building. From 6 am to 1 am, it costs around 2 euro to Lisbon’s city center.

Map of all metro stations in Lisbon. The new aeroporto (airport) station: red line (linha vermelha).

Website metro Lisbon

Brief introduction to gay bars in Bairro Alto Lisbon & Gay Clubs and Parties

Bairro Alto is a fantastic old neighbourhood in the center of the city. One of the oldest parts of town. Literally, Bairro Alto means ‘High neighbourhood’, as it is on top of one of the seven hills of Lisbon. It is a maze of narrow streets streets filled with old fashion and charming grocery stores during the day, but at night, bars suddenly appear everywhere from behind the shutter doors.

Bairro Alto_Lisbon_gay_neighbourhood

Since the eighties Bairro Alto has become ‘the place to be’ when it comes to nightlife. When the locals go out and say they go ‘ao Bairro’ (‘to the neighbourhood’) they can only mean Bairro Alto. Don’t expect big clubs though, you will find these in other parts of the city.

Journalists

Bairro Alto was well known as the center of journalism in Portugal, all the main newspapers had their offices in the neighbourhood. And journalists need bars to get inspiration, and well, one thing let to another. The neigbourhood now attracts people from all walks of life even with the publishers all long and gone.

The Portugese tend to go out very late. They’ll leave the house at about midnight and start the night of easy with a drink in one of the bars, and when it’s warm out they prefer the streets. In summertime it is hard to move in Bairro Alto, all the little streets are crowded with people. The first days you will think a local holiday is being celebrated, but it’s just normal summer madness. Most places in Bairro Alto close at 02:00. For people heading for the nightlife, Bairro Alto is a pleasant warming-up.

Picture: Rene van Gijn

Gay bars

Now that you know something about Bairro Alto it’s time to get down to business: Where can you go and meet new friends? The Portuguese are not so open about their sexual preferences and the few people that are ‘out’ you’ll probably find in Bairro Alto. But don’t worry, the neighbourhood is very famous across the globe and you are sure to meet many nice guys when you hit the streets.

Bairro Alto has about 50 different bars and small clubs and the majority of the places is not gay, but most of them are ‘gay-friendly’. Cruising however is not recommended. Gay Clubs and Parties in Lisbon .

Beach 19, Portugal’s most famous and popular gay beach & how to get there

Portas Largas

The best place to start of is Portas Largas as it opens early (at about five already), it’s in the heart of Bairro Alto on Rua da Atalaia. The bar is very international and you’ll most likely be served by some cute muscly Brazilian guys that already work there for years. The owner of Portas Largas has his own hotel round the corner of the bar ‘Anjo Azul’ where you will be very welcome as well.

In Portas Largas you can drink caipirinha’s (they’re quite good) and jars of Sangria. From early on the place attracts an international crowd.

Fragil

This is a small but very cool club facing the entrance of Portas Largas. Famous for it’s enormous influence on Portugese club life and music. Many famous Dj’s have played here.

The audience is 90% gay on most nights, the door policy is friendly but not everybody is allowed in.

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