Breathtaking views Lisbon & 25 April Bridge: Restaurant ‘Ponto Final’ Cacilhas, short ferry trip & great Portuguese food

When you visit Lisbon , don’t miss the opportunity to visit Cacilhas, the south bank of the river Tagus (Tejo). The views on downtown Lisbon and the 25 April Bridge are amazing! Take the ferry from Lisbons’ Cais do Sodré (every 10 minutes, weekend every 20 min.) to the other side of the river Tagus, a 10 min trip. (Return ticket : ca. 4 euro).

Riverfront terrace restaurant ‘Ponto Final’, Cacilhas, amazing view downtown Lisbon. September 2017

Time table ferry from Lisbon Cais do Sodre to area Cacihas and vice versa

As you get off the ferry,  it takes about 15 minutes to walk along the river to Restaurant ‘Ponto Final’, after passing lots of ruinous warehouses.

Abandoned and ruinous warehouses, Cacilhas (Almada), Lisbon

Picture: Svetlana Borodina

Cacilhas used to be a bustling area for a long long time when shipping and fishing were still major economic activities in Portugal.

restaurante Ponto FInal view downtown Lisbon

Restaurant Ponto Final’s terrace at lunchtime in June

Reasonable prices

You will love the typical Portuguese menu. Fish, meat and great Portuguese wines.

€20/25 a person incl. wine. Quite reasonable prices if you consider the view! If you’re not in the mood for food, just relax, order a coffee or a glass of wine (bottle from € 7.50) and enjoy the scenery.

Restaurant ‘Ponto Final’ & lunch with friends Svetlana and Sergy Borodin from Prague

We enjoyed olives, ripened cheese from Alentejo, cod salad with chick-pea, octopus salad, dogfish soup, a delicious bottle of restaurant Ponto Final’s housewine, sweet rice and a custard dessert.

Bill for 3 persons 58.50 euro.

Lisbon Ponto Final Restaurant Sophie en Jurre 2015 2

Restaurant ‘Ponto Final’ Lisbon May 2015: Sophie Lever and Jurre Schöttelndreier

Very good Portuguese cuisine. Especialidade da Casa (specialty of the house): arroz de Tamboril (rice with monkfish), Entrecosto Assado no Forno (roasted ribs) and Peixe Fresco Grelhado (grilled fresh fish). The wine list has a quality assortment of Portuguese wines.

Restaurante Ponto Final uitzicht brug

View 25 April Bridge

It can be rather windy along the river Tagus, so don’t forget a sweater in case you like to have dinner here. Or, order a bottle of wine and a starter, enjoy it outside for at least a glass, then move inside for the main dish.

Restaurant Ponto Final Cacilhas Lisbon amazing view

A warm summer evening while the sun is fading….whow!

Restaurant ‘Ponto Final’ is a perfect romantic location for a great dinner overlooking Lisbon by night. Make sure that you book a table outside in advance.

Restaurant ‘Atira-te ao Rio’, great view old town Lisbon  🙂

The nearby restaurant ‘Atira-te ao Rio’Portuguese, Brasilian and international cuisine, is also a great place to enjoy your lunch or dinner!

Cacilhas Lisbon view Restaurant Atira-te-ao-rio’ and Cristo Rei statue

Cacilhas and the famous Cristo Rei statue

The elevator to reach the Cristo Rei statue  (1 euro returnticket) is situated quite close to restaurant Ponto Final .

Svetlana & Sergy from Prague

Stunning views! Close to the elevator.

Several possibilites how to travel to the Cristo Rei Monument

Ferry-Lisbon Cacilhas

Ferry timetable

From Lisbon, Cais do Sodré ( Lisbon’s major bus, metro & trainstation) to Cacilhas, the other side of the river Tagus and vice versa

Ponto Final Lissabon Ans

During winter season in Lisbon this place is also worth a visit! But it can be rather cold and windy. (sunset video). Picture: Loek Polack

Planning a trip to Lisbon? short term rentals:

My 100 m2 Authentic holiday apartment with 3 bedrooms and sunny patio in the historical part of Lisbon

Cristo Rei Statue, Cacilhas Lisbon

The 82m (270ft) high pedestal (by elevator). This enormous monument is built in 1959 in thanks to God for having spared Portugal during World War II, inspired by the famous statue in Rio de Janeiro. ‘God opens his arms to the city’.

You can go back to the Cacilhas ferry terminal by bus # 101.

Yellyfish. Picture Svetlana Borodina

Restaurant Ponto Final, Cacilhas Cais Ginjal 72, Cacilhas , Almada,

Phone: (00351) 212 732 108. Mail:  pontofinalrest@gmail.comClosed: Tuesday and December 21st till January 21st.

Exotic Palace cactus garden Lisbon ‘Tapada das Necessidades’: free access, juicy gossip & a candy-pink birthday cake

Exotic garden Tapada das Necessidades in Lisbon is a guarded secret even the most Lisboetas don’t know about. Beautiful grounds and palace peeling pink paint, with an incredible cactus garden and a setting for a picnic you usually only see in films. Since a few years it’s open to the public/tourists and it’s free!

Tapada das Necessidades garden Lisbon: birthday picnic party June 2012

Between the famous Prazeres cemetery (also really worth a visit!) and the river Tagus (Tejo) you can find this large (about 10 ha) exotical park, including a wonderful picnic area, a network of walkways, historical buildings, a garden and lakes. The grounds of the palace contain a remarkable collection of exotic plants known as “Tapada das Necessidades”.

Tapada das Necessidades Lisbon: Lilja & the candy-pink birthday cake, June 2012

Surprise birthday picnic & special birthday cake

Our lovely friend Lilja (70) from England, born in Iceland, was invited for a surprise birthday picnic. This beautiful lady likes shopping, like handbags, hats and shoes, and she loves to try on every pair of shoes before deciding whether to buy anything at all 😉  . That’s why this special birthday cake: a pink ‘hat’ decorated with elegant ladies shoes and a small handbag on top.

Exotic garden ‘Tapada das Necessidades’ Lisbon: prime location for a picnic or a lazy afternoon

The Palace (Palácio) das Necessidades was built in the 18th century in gratitude for prayers answered by Nossa Senhora das Necessidades (Our Lady of the Needs, a title dedicated to the Virgin Mary), whose first devotional chapel stood on this site.

Nowadays this palace is a Portuguese National Monument

Garden ‘Tapada das Necessidades’ Lisbon: walk through the immense, amazing garden

The ‘Tapada das Necessidades’ has been the stage for some important events in Portuguese history, as exemplified in the famous case of the box that king Dom Pedro V installed at the door, in wich everyone could leave their messages and complaints to the sovereign.

From 1910, the palace remained unoccupied for almost 40 years. In around 1950 it became the headquarters of the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Garden Tapada das Necessidades Lisbon: Rob and Felipe, June 2012

Sanitairy facilities & trees

It is really wonderful to walk in this garden, you have the feeling that it’s all yours, because there are almost no other people around… In the park are no sanitairy facilities, the guardians at the entrance cried: ” enough trees here”!…. 😉  😉

There are three lakes surrounded by exotic vegetation, sculptures, a waterfall, a fountain and a pool. Really beautiful but faded elegance….

“Hello? Thank you! I’m currently in Lisbon.. Yes! Celebrating my 70th birthday”

Small pink-washed cottages & gossip

Besides: officially the few small pink-washed cottages in this park were once the little prince’s playhouses. But there are rumors that young women lived in those little pink houses, being the mistresses of the king …  😉

One of the little pink-painted houses in the garden: playhouse for the little prince?

The abandoned buildings create a mysterious atmosphere…..and inside there’ s a lot of trash…….   More pictures of this park, the historical buildings and the exotic plants and flowers: Beautiful garden pictures getportugal.com

Tapada das Necessidades garden Lisbon: entrance/exit near the Palace

How to get there? Take the 28 tram to Prazeres. The main entrance of the park Tapada das Necessidades is through the Largo das Necessidades. This park is open to the public every day of the week – including Saturdays and Sundays, the entrance is guarded but entry is free.

The Palace (Palácio) das Necessidades, June 2012

Open: wintertime 8h – 18h (from Monday u/i Friday), from 10h – 18h (Saturday and Sunday). Summertine 8h – 19h (from Monday u/i Friday), from 10h – 19h (Saturday/Sunday)

Kiosk cafe ‘Clara Clara’ Lisbon, wonderful garden at fleamarket Feira da Ladra, children playground & Tagus river views

The ‘Clara Clara’ Cafe in Alfama Lisbon is a kiosk in the garden-terrace of Boto Machado (or Santa Clara), overlooking the Tagus (Tejo) River and the National Pantheon (Church of Santa Engracia) in the heart of Lisbon’s legendary flea market, Feira da Ladra.

‘Clara Clara’ kiosk cafe in the heart of fleamarket Feira da Ladra, Lisbon

This wonderful small and quiet garden is a nice place to sit down and relax after browsing the legendary Feira da Ladra, Lisbon (a must see when you visit Lisbon) or after visiting the National Pantheon (on the background), in which important Portuguese personalities are buried, like for example Amalia Rodrigues, the famous fado singer.

Clara Clara terrace & view on the Tagus river, Lisbon

This garden was built in 1862. It provides a panoramic view of the Tagus River. Clara Clara Cafe presents complementary activities such as music or entertainment for kids . A little further down, there is a playground.

Playground and game tables for children – kiosk cafe Clara Clara Lisbon

As for the menu, the cafe offers coffee, (bica), tea (chá) and Portuguese wines such as Vinho Verde (green wine), beer (imperial) and lemonade, fresh fruit shakes or a sandwich.

Clara Clara terrace in summertime

An inviting terrace in summertime: you can cool off under the trees of the garden. The kiosk cafe offers food and drinks – fresh seasonal products – with a careful selection of cheeses and wines, at tables under the trees in sumertime.

Clara Clara cafe in June, the kiosk is decorated with garlands (Feast Days of the Popular Saints)

This beautiful garden was named after Pedro Amaral Boto Machado, a Portuguese Republican politician and governor (from May 1913 till May 1915) of the islands of São Tomé and Príncipe, discovered and claimed by Portugal in the 1470s. Independence was granted on July 1975.

Clara Clara Cafe is open daily from 10:00 AM to midnight. Easy to reach by old tram 28.

Clara Clara Cafe in wintertime (december)

In winter season the cafe offers heaters and blankets. Nothing better than a tea, hot chocolate or a Vinho Quente (hot red mulled wine) on a cold afternoon. The scones and hot croissants already have enough fans, as well as the chocolate muffins.

In Lisbon you can still find a lot of nostalgic Moorish kiosks cafes

The garden is surrounded by the flea market

Fleamarket Feira da Ladra, Lisbon (every Tuesday and Saturday from dusk till dawn)

Restaurant Pharmacia near theTagus river, surprising menu, integrated museum & ‘LSD’ cocktail

Restaurant Pharmacia in Lisbon is integrated into the Pharmacy Museum just near Tagus river viewpoint (miradouro) Santa Catarina or Adamastor. The remarkable décor is inspired by pharmacies of the past, the menu is a surprise and the service is warm!

Restaurant Pharmacia Lisbon – the garden in summertime on a Sunday afternoon

Restaurant Pharmacia is integrated into the Museum of Pharmacy (Museu da Farmácia). In Portuguese farmácia literally means “Drug Store” and it truly holds onto its name, since it is located at the building of the Portuguese National Drug Store Association. The remarkable interior is inspired by classic old pharmacies.

Restaurant Pharmacia Lisbon – very nice waiters dressed in white lab coats

When you enter the restaurant, you are shown to your table by somebody wearing a white lab coat. The menu is mainly focused on Portuguese cuisine, and “petiscos”  (small dishes), but the restaurant also has a bar, serving all kinds of drinks and light snacks. One of its fine features is the outside terrace. The restaurant does not close after lunch and ‘a la carte’ service throughout the day is available.

Restaurant Pharmacia Lisbon: long lunch with good friend Erika Reusens

We enjoyed a delicious lunch: Salada Legumes (vegetable salad) € 7,90, Pica Pau Lombo (beef tenderloin) € 8,90, Rolinhos Beringela (eggplant rolls filled with basil and cream cheese) € 6,90, Bat. Fritas (french fries) € 3, bottle of great Portuguese white wine: Passadouro: € 16,00. Agua (bottle of water, 1 liter) € 2. Coffee € 1. Bill: € 45,70. For dinner you also have the choice of a special menu of several dishes (€ 28, without drinks).

Restaurant Pharmacia Lisbon, integrated into the Museum of Pharmacy

Inaugurated in June 1996, the Pharmacy Museum is the only museum of Universal History in Portugal and one of the most complete in the world. The collection is based on pieces that represent 5000 years of history of health in civilizations as diverse as Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Rome, Greece, Islam, South America, China, Tibet, Japan, Africa, and modern Europe. YouTube movie Pharmacy Museum of Lisbon

Museum open from Monday– Friday: 10am – 6pm. Closed Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays.

Restaurant Pharmacia Lisbon

Inside the building you will find the wall of old medicine cabinets full of glass drug containers, medicine vials, and bottles of all kinds. Also the wallpaper is a tribute to the pharmacy. Your plain water will be served in an old ether bottle, the bottle holder is wearing a red cross logo…

Restaurant Pharmacia Lisbon: restaurant inside & vintage items

The remarkable interior uses almost exclusively vintage and antique items and some pieces that are on loan from the museum. The menu card is a pharmacy notebook and even your soup will be served in a small vial.

But the comparison with a pharmacy stops here: the food in a hospital is totally different.... 😉 😉

Restaurant Pharmacia Lisbon – bottle of wine served in a measuring cup

Even the bottle of wine is served in a plastic measuring cup…. And the cocktails here all have ‘drug’ names, like ‘LSD’ cocktail (whisky and ginjinha). How about a cocktailibuprofen’ ? (Cachaça licor and lemon juice), or try a paracetamol cocktail (honey, melon and ginger beer)  😉

Restaurant Pharmacia Lisbon, Rua Marechal Saldanha 1, Lisbon. Phone: (00351) 213 462 146. Open from Tuesday – Sunday from 13:00 – 01:00

Restaurant Pharmacia is overlooking the Tagus river

Looking for a nice holiday apartment in Lisbon? My apartement has 3 bedrooms, a sunny and private patio in the historical part of Lisbon, Mouraria,

Nearby: Miradouro (viewpoint) Adamastor. More……..

……your coffee…….

BTW: famous artist Damien Hirst tried his hand at the restaurant business in 1998 when he opened the art-filled Pharmacy Restaurant + Bar in London. Filled with pseudo-scientific pharmacy-themed items, Hirst curated every design element from metallic pill-printed wallpaper and pill-shaped ashtrays.

Aura Restaurant, terrace & lounge café Lisbon: Portuguese gastronomy & surrounded by stunning architecture

Lisbon is well known for its good food and beautiful terraces.  Praça do Comércio , facing the Tagus river and surrounded by the most stunning architecture, is a magical meeting place for both its population and visitors.

Famous Praça do Comércio  , one of the most majestic squares in Lisbon

Terreiro do Paço (or Praça do Comerçio, Palace Square) is a favorite tourist place and one of the largest historical squares in Europe. Now this monumental riverside square also offers a combination of cultural and culinary enjoyment, here you’ll find the Portuguese Tourist Office and besides it’s a wonderful location for events and exhibitions.

Lounge area restaurant Aura, square Praça do Comerçio Lisbon

Integrated in Pátio da Galé , restaurant & lounge cafe Aura with it’s open air terrace is a very attractive place surrounded by the ‘ Palace Square’ in Lisbon. It has a glamorous inside dining room, and a lounge area to enjoy a cocktail or a tasty gourmet snack (petiscos Portuguesas).

Restaurant Aura Lisbon outside dining area Praça do Comerçio

The Portuguese cuisine is prepared by Chef Matias Duarte and gourmet stylist Fabrice Marescaux. The menu is inspired by favorite dishes of the Portuguese people.

A lot of Portuguese restaurants in Lisbon are closed on Sundays, but restaurant Aura is open 7 days a week from 7:30 AM to 02:00 AM. Website restaurant Aura

Our small table outside: Restaurant Aura Lisbon, June 2011

Our choice: salmão croustade de camarão (salmon crusted shrimp), pato (duck), salad, a small bottle of good Portuguese white wine, bread, 2 bicas (strong coffee) and 2 bottles of water. The bill came to around € 60.

Restaurant Aura Lisbon: glamourous dining room

The inside dining room of restaurant Aura has an ‘aura of glamour’ . Most Portuguese people prefer to enjoy their lunch or dinner inside while the majority of tourists like to enjoy their dinner outside. In case it’s too cold outside, this place is really worth a visit: delicious food in an elegant surrounding.

Restaurant Aura Lisbon ‘ Apéritif à la française’, June 8, 2011

In June 2011, the ‘Apéritif à la française’ in Portugal (Lisbon and Porto), teamed up with Portuguese wines to toast just how well the two countries’ culinary traditions go together. Journalists, industry professionals and opinion leaders enjoyed samplings of French products paired with a range of Portuguese wines in a lounge-style atmosphere.

Entrance Restaurant Aura  – ‘Apéritif à la française’ June 2011

Apéritif à la française’  is a multi-country event, where lovers of French-style ‘art de vivre’ and those curious to learn more about it come together . Delicious French snacks were served.  Unfortunately, also ‘foie gras’….. 🙁  🙁

ViniPortugal, Maria João Menezes – Managing Director Lisbon: free Portuguese wine tasting & tourist information Praça do Comerçio, Lisbon

Are you a wine lover? Just three minutes walk from restaurant  Aura there’s ViniPortugal, where you can taste a few wines for free. A very pleasant and interesting way to learn more about history and culture of Portuguese wines! Some wines available for tasting can also be purchased and the very friendly and professional staff is always on hand to provide information of the wines currently available.

Alfama historic Lisbon: Rua do Salvador, real Portuguese atmosphere near famous viewpoint Portas do Sol, tasca ‘Zip Zip’ & cool vintage store designer Alberto Gourgel

One of my favorite old streets in Lisbon is Rua do Salvador in Alfama, the most famous historic and oldest neighborhood of Lisbon. The area is easy to reach from the city center by the legendary old tram 28

Rua do Salvador Alfama Lisbon1

Rua do Salvador/corner Rua de São Tomé, Alfama Lisbon

Here you will find a real Portuguese atmosphere, quite close to the famous viewpoint and tourist attraction Portas do Sol

Rua do Salvador is named after the city of Salvador in Brazil, a former Portuguese colony (from 1500-1825). Historic name: Cidade de São Salvador da Bahia de Todos os Santos ( “City of the Holy Savior of the Bay of all Saints”).

Rua do Salvador Alfama Lisbon2 restaurant Zip Zip

Tasca ‘Zip Zip’ Rua do Salvador 45 Lisbon, typical Portuguese restaurant

Small restaurant ‘Zip Zip’ is a real tasca, serving affordable good Portuguese standard snacks and dishes, also loved by locals. Typical in historic area Alfama is a singing canary (or other types of birds, like a parrot) in a small cage hanging from windows and doors.

Rua do Salvador Alfama Lisbon Tasca Zip Zip2

Tasca ‘Zip Zip’ Rua do Salvador 45 Alfama, Lisbon, in the afternoon

Tourist menu 7 euro (starter, main course and dessert). Restaurant ‘Zip Zip’ is a traditional Portuguese family restaurant. The atmosphere is very relaxed, the food is cheap but tasty.

Typical in historic area Alfama in Lisbon: a singing bird in a cage, this very nice bird is a Katara

Restaurant ‘Zip Zip’ in Alfama is open from Monday to Saturday from 11:00h until 24:00h. Closed: Sunday. In the smaller restaurants in Lisbon the bill is usually written on the paper table cloth and you can pay cash only.

Rua do Salvador historic area Alfama Lisbon5

Rua do Salvador, Lisbon

While walking around in this narrow old street you will discover hard working people and small shops.

Tiago Praça in his atelier, pottery Olaria Lisbon, Rua do Salvador 57

Rua do Salvador 57: pottery Olaria, handmade ceramics, tiles and much more. Probably the only pottery in Lisbon working with wheels. Here you can find a nice Portuguese souvenir from 2 euros.

 Lisbon Alfama Rua do Salvador 83 vintage atelier shop Alberto Gourgel

Vintage store & atelier Alberto Gourgel, Rua do Salvador 83, Alfama Lisbon

Designer Alberto Gourgel was born in Angola, a Portuguese colony from the 16th century to 1975 . In 2010 Alberto opened his atelier/store in Rua do Salvador.

Lisbon Alfama Rua do Salvador 83 vintage atelier shop Alberto Gourgel 3

Atelier Alberto Gourgel, Rua do Salvador 83, Lisbon

Here you can find all kinds of cool vintage stuff and old-fashioned suitcases decorated with original Portuguese magazines, created by Alberto. Blog: coisasdoalberto

Lisbon Alfama Rua do Salvador 83 vintage atelier shop Alberto Gourgel Amália Rodrigues

Suitcase created by Alberto: Amália Rodrigues, Lisbon’s ‘Queen of Fado’

Alberto Gourgel: “I like this very old street in Alfama, it’s a mix of old and modern Lisbon. The owner of the fish shop next door sells fish while singing fado songs. Besides I’m very glad to rent this place quite close to the Feira da Ladra’, Lisbon’s famous flea market“.

This legendary flea market is held every Tuesday and Saturday from dawn to dusk, visited by lots of tourists from all over the world.

Atelier Alberto Gourgel Lisbon cool vintage stuff Rua do Salvador 83

Atelier/store Alberto Gourgel, Rua do Salvador 83, Lisbon

Alberto: “I often find nice old stuff at auctions. Portugal is a poor country and in the past people bought their furniture when they got married for the rest of their lives. When they die the furniture often is sold at auction. Young people here like going to Ikea. But it’s not only a business, I really like what I do”.

Lisbon Rua do Salvador Alfama 10

Restaurant São Cristóvão Mouraria Lisbon: cheap Cape Verdean & African dishes, favorite local place & owner Maria Levy

Restaurant São Cristóvão  is a tiny place in Lisbon’s historical city center Mouraria, one of the oldest areas of Lisbon and a narrowed maze of tiny streets and stairs. One of my favorits and really worth a visit!

Tiny Restaurant São Cristóvão Alfama Lisbon Owner Maria Levy

Owner Maria Levy in her restaurant São CristóvãoMouraria Lisbon

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

This small family-run restaurant is famous for its Cape Verdean- and other African dishes. The menu also includes typical Portuguese cuisine such as codfish (bacalhau) and sardines (sardinhas)

Restaurant São Cristóvão Alfama Lisbon2

Moamba de Galinha (Angolan chicken stew), a very popular dish: € 6

Restaurant São Cristóvão is a favorite place among locals, with great food. You never pay more than € 7 for a dish. Mufete, a typical dish from Angola with fried fish, sweet potatoes, beans, peppers and cassava: € 6. Drinks: Super bock beer € 1.  Ginja , liqueur made by infusing ginja berries, a  favourite liqueur of many Portuguese: € 1,50.

Restaurant São Cristóvão Alfama Lisbon3 owner Maria Levy

Restaurant São Cristóvão in Lisbon owner Maria do Livramento Levy

Maria Levy: ” I was born in Cape Verde , Santiago,  the largest, greenest, most African island of Cabo Verde, one of Portugal’s former African colonies. 43 years ago I moved to Portugal and around 30 years ago I opened this restaurant in Alfama”. “We can provide seating space for up to 32 people”. And, after dinner: “You must try a ponche (punch) de Cabo Verde” (€ 2).

Restaurant São Cristóvão Alfama Lisbon pastel starter

Pastel de Milho (corn), starter 1.80 euro, originally from Cape Verde

History: the Cape Verde archipelago was uninhabited when the Portuguese discovered it in 1456. African slaves were brought to the Cape Verdian islands to work on Portuguese plantations. As a result, Cape Verdeans are mulattos (mestiços in Portuguese), who have mixed African and European origins.

Restaurant São Cristóvão Alfama Lisbon Maria Levy grandchildren

Maria Levy and her grandchildren. The walls in the restaurant are covered with paraphernalia from the Cape Verdian Islands and pictures.

Cape Verde split away from Portugal in 1975, nowadays Lisbon is home to most of the Cape Verdean diaspora, although large communities are also to be found in Senegal, the north-east United States, Holland, France and Italy.

Restaurant Sao Cristovao Lisbon Febr 2013 dancing

Restaurant São Cristóvão: Ans de Graaf, a friend and owner Maria Levy

Maria loves the Afro-Portuguese music that fills her eatery and she invites people to dance after their dinner.

Popular singer Cesária Évora, “the Barefoot Diva’, has made Cape 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: ‘Saudade’  (youtube).  More (wikipedia)

Restaurant São Cristóvão Alfama Lisbon street

Restaurant São CristóvãoRua de São Cristovão 28-30,  Mouraria Lisbon. Phone (00351) 914752102. Open from 12:00 to 24:00, also on Sunday.

In case you visit Lisbon for the first time: this restaurant is not easy to find. From the city center walk to Rua da Madalena and climb the stairs from Escadinhas de São Cristóvão

Restaurant São Cristóvão Alfama Lisbon how toreach

Stairs to restaurant São Cristóvão from Rua da Madalena, Mouraria Lisbon

District Mouraria ( ‘where the Moors live’) is one of the oldest areas in Lisbon. Nowadays the Moorish influence is still present, like the tiny streets and stairs. You feel like walking in a kasbah in the Middle Ages!

Restaurant São Cristóvão Alfama Lisbon street 10

Rua de São Cristovão  Lisbon, wall picture of Joaquim, a man who lived in this street. Created by British photographer Camilla Watson , who has been living in this area for 6 years.

Former Palace Santa Catarina Lisbon: history, ‘Pop Up’ festival 2010, Tiago Chagas, kissing nuns & popular river viewpoint

UPDATE 2017: this former palace is now a hotel

Right next to one of the most popular viewpoints (miradouros) ovoer the river Tagus (Tejo) in Lisbon Adamastor,  you’ll find Palácio Verride, a former 18th- century Palace, better known as Palácio de Santa Catarina.

Viewpoint Adamastor Lisbon Tagus River Santa Catarina Palace POP UP kissing nuns

‘Pop Up’ 2010 Art Gallery Santa Catarina Palace: Artwork Tiago Chagas

Nowadays the municipality of Lisbon is the owner of the former Palace, and excellent art exhibitions are regularly held here, like in December 2010: ‘Pop Up’ Art Gallery, a urban culture international festival that challenges creators of multiple areas of artistic expression to intervene in vacant or abandoned urban spaces, giving them new life through art. The  former Palace is one of the projects, more:  Website Pop Up

Cultural agenda Lisbon

Viewpoint Adamastor Lisbon Tagus River Santa Catarina Palace POP UP art entrance

‘Pop Up’ art 2010: the former Palace’s stairs in the hall

‘Pop Up’ started in 2009 in Lisbon city, but intends to become an international platform of urban culture exchange, bringing together artists and talents from different cities around the world, aiming to promote Lisbon cultural identity in and out of doors. Youtube video

Viewpoint Adamastor Lisbon Tagus River Santa Catarina Palace1 POP UP

Palace Verride (known as Santa Catarina) Palace Lisbon. This year, ‘Pop Up’ had “Urban Nomads” for a theme and pigeons as their icon.

The 18th- century Santa Catarina Palace’s history dates back to the first half of the 18th century. The Palace has seen various uses, a number of different owners and successive work campaigns. The Baron and Viscount of Moledos, Francisco de Paula Silva Tovar, deputy to the constitutional courts, resided there in the 1820s.

Recently the MUDE museum (art, design & fashion) housed here, nowadays located in Baixa area, really worth a visit!

Viewpoint Adamastor Lisbon Tagus River beautiful Santa Catarina Palace POP UP

Beautiful ornamented ceilings and azulejos (Portuguese tiles)

Happily many of the original and beautiful rooms of the old Palace are still preserved, such as ornaments in the ceilings and beautiful tiles. In the 1980s, the well-known architect and painter João de Almeida, made several changes.  The Lisbon City Council purchased the palace in 2003.

Viewpoint Adamastor Lisbon Tagus River Santa Catarina Palace POP UP1

Popular river Tagus viewpoint right next to the Santa Catarina Palace:  Adamastor viewpoint and Moorish kiosk (quiosque) cafe.

‘Adamastor’  is a popular viewpoint (miradouro) and gathering place in Lisbon ovelooking the river Tagus, which is officially called the Miradouro de Santa Catarina. More nostalgic Moorish kiosks near favorite tourist attractions

Viewpoint Adamastor Lisbon Tagus River Santa Catarina Palace POP UP Don't Panic Lisboa

‘Pop Up’ 2010 Palace Santa Catarina: artwork Tiago Chagas,  ‘Don’t Panic’ Lisbon

‘Don’t Panic’ is a unique free publication directed towards young people and emerging artists in areas like music, design, fine arts, cinema, theater, literature, graffiti, dance, fashon, clubbing and many others

YouTube video ‘Don’t panic’ Lisbon

Viewpoint Adamastor Lisbon Tagus River Santa Catarina Palace POP UP nuns 2

‘Pop Up’  2010: Santa Catarina Palace Lisbon: artwork Tiago Chagas

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).

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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.

Lisbon people: Rob Plews’ (teacher and writer) favorite places in Lisbon: the Botanical garden & Tapada das Necessidades

Rob-plews-lisbon-writer-teacherI set foot in Lisbon back in 2001 after 9/11, and how refreshing not to understand a word as I went from café to café drinking galão, with TVs blaring in the background. I overheard an eager tourist trying to sum up this city as he scrunched his eyes under the vivid Atlantic light and scanned his vocabulary for words that fit. Faded elegance, he said.

I worked as an English teacher, moved to the Bairro Alto, opened a café, wrote two books, closed the café, and now I’m writing a third and learning to surf. For me, Lisbon is a living city. She’s female, she’s choosey, she’s testing, but if she likes you she’ll open up and share her secrets. Best thing to do is leave the guide book at home and take to the streets with an open mind. It still amazes me how people here so easily strike up conversations, and they’ll happily tell you their life story in a nutshell before giving you directions.
Lisbon is a small city, but so rich in nooks and crannies that, after almost seven years, I’m still upturning new stones. Here are two of my favourites:

Lisbon botanical Garden 3 Bairro Alto

Botanical gardens ,Rua da Escola Politecnica 58 in Principe Real. Trees from all over the world, a family of squawking parrots, tiny terrapins, leafy shade, abandoned observatory and boundless inspiration.

Tapada das Necessidades. Guarded secret even the Lisboetas don’t know about. Beautiful grounds and palace peeling pink paint, with an incredible cactus garden and a setting for a picnic you usually only see in films. Take the 28 tram to Prazeres.

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