‘FlowerPower’ Lisbon: restaurant/cafe, cool flower shop & owner Carlos Filipe

One of Lisbon’s coolest flower shops, ‘FlowerPower’, is nowadays also a café/restaurant . A unique concept of healthy eating amid the hustle and bustle of Lisbon’s bohemien haunt of artists and writers: the legendary Bairro Alto  district.

Flower Power food and flowers Bairro Alto cafe restaurant Lisbon2

‘FlowerPower’ cafe/restaurant & vintage interior design

As soon as you enter the place you feel the relaxed atmosphere,  perfect for a light meal. You can choose a dish of the day, salads, a soup, a slice of chocolate cake, sandwiches, or go for just a glass of wine or a cool glass of rosé, accompanied by Portuguese cheeses.

Flower Power food and flowers cafe restaurant Bairro Alto Lisbon 3

The cafe/restaurant with beautiful flower arrangements

Of course the café space is lovely decorated with plants. My choice for lunch: soup (sopa: creme de gourgettes) € 2; prato do dia (menu of the day) hachis parmantier € 6,50.

Flower Power food and flowers Bairro Alto Lisbon gourmet products dog Suki

Christmas time, dog Suki is always very curious…

A small area in the cafe/restaurant with gourmet products allows you to take the finest ingredients to cook at home, or take away ‘dishes of the day’ (fusion food at low cost), salads, cakes and organic juices.

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‘FlowerPower’ is sitated close to the most photographed spot in Lisbon, the famous Bica funicular

It’s also nice to watch the people on the street through the open door. Tram line 28  also passes this street, highly valued by tourists. The nearby Bairro Alto disctrict is posssibly one of the best spots in Europe for a night out.

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Next-door ‘FlowerPower’ shop  & Carlos Filipe, owner and designer. ‘You are from Holland? I love tulips!

The ‘FlowerPower Food’ is an extension of one of Lisbon’s coolest flower shops with the same name, created by Carlos Filipe and João Vasconcelos for over 10 years, very well-known in Lisbon for its unique and artistic flower arrangements for all types of events. Now the huge space is split into flowers and food, and customers can buy flowers, eat in the cafe-restaurant next door or buy take-away dishes.

Also available for a private party  (youtube video belly dancers), at minimum 15 people to participate)

Flower Power food and flowers Bairro Alto Lisbon dog flower shop

Dog Suki in the flower shop… ‘Natal A chegar’…. (Christmas is coming)

Carlos Filipe: “Before I came to Lisbon I lived 20 years in France (Lyon), and 5 years in Italy. I studied ‘Artes Plásticas’ (Plastic Arts) ; my atelier is in Sesimbra (30 km from Lisbon) ” . Carlos Filipe’s blog  and paintings

Flower Power food and flowers Bairro Alto Lisbon street

‘FlowerPower’ Food & Flowers

Calçada do Combro, 2 (Bairro Alto).  Open: Mon-Sun 10:00 to 21:00. mail@flowerpower.com.pt  , tel. + (351) 213 422 381

Flower Power food and flowers Bairro Alto Lisbon flowers window dressing

Beautiful Christmas window dressing

Happy New Year! Feliz ano novo!

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.

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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.

Viviane Durieu, creator of ‘A Travessa’, one of Lisbons best restaurants & favorite places

Viviane Durieu is creator of ‘A Travessa’, one of Lisbons best restaurants, set in a 17th-century convent, with a picturesque courty yard.

Lisbon people Viivane Durieu 3

“When I arrived in Lisbon in December 1969, two days before Christmas, I thought the climate and the light were fantastic. Especially because I had arrived from Belgium where it’s cloudy for nine months of the year and we only get a few months of blue sky. I remember being surprised to see the leaves still on the trees at that time of year.

I fell in love with the city, and still I’m fascinated by the humanism of the Portuguese and the beautiful light.

Viviane Durieu restaurant

My background is in photography, I worked in this field until we opened restaurant ‘A Travessa’, which only started as a bit of a joke between me, my husband and a friend.

We opened a small restaurant with good products: coffee that you couldn’t find in Portugal at that time, good bread and good wine, just round the corner from the current ‘A Travessa’, next to the Portuguese Parliament building and surrounded by embassies. Because we were French speakers we got lots of clients from the Belgian and French embassies. It was a hit. We just developed from there and it’s been 30 years this year since we opened. Time flies…..!”

‘A Travessa’ , Travessa do Convento das Bernardas, 12 Bairro da Madragoa – Santo, more details about the restaurant and the menu

“I live in the historic area near the Sao Jorge Castle (Castelo de São Jorge), a delight for residents, with limited car access. The narrow streets of uneven cobbles make life in the centre of the city like living in a village”.

Lisbon entrance Castelo Sao Jorge

Castelo Sao Jorge, entrance

“When I arrived in Lisbon, I use to go to Sintra a lot. As it’s colder there, I felt closer to Belgium and I dreamt about having a house there. World Heritage Site, this historic town lies 40 km from Lisbon, a must for any visitor!”

Sintra Palacio Nacional da Pena

Sintra: National Palace da Pena, now a museum. The very old Palace stands on the top of a hill above the town of Sintra. On a clear day it can easily seen from Lisbon.

“In Lisbon, I like to shop in the Baixa and Chiado areas. I don’t like shopping centers, I prefer traditional shops, it’s much nicer to walk around the town”.

Lisbon shopping Rua do Carmo Ana Salazar

Lisbon, Rua do Carmo, Baixa

“i like going to Belém. The Jeronimus Monastery and the famous classic Belém custard tarts (Pasteis de Belém) , always warm, are real musts! And I like the shows at Centro Cultural de Belém, which has got the best concert hall in Lisbon.”

Belem Pasteis de Nata

Antiga Confeitaria, since 1837. The recepe of Lisbon’s most celebrated custard tarts is still a well-kept secret…open 7 days a week.

Lisbon Belem Pasteis de Belem
History: at the beginning of the Nineteenth Century, in Belém, next to the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (the Heironymite Monastery) there was a sugar cane refinery linked to a small general store. As a result of the liberal revolution of 1820, all convents and monasteries in Portugal were shut down in 1834, the clergy and labourers expelled.

In an attempt at survival, someone from the monastery offered sweet pastries for sale in the shop; pastries that rapidly became known as ‘Pasteis de Belém’.

Graças a Maria Ventura

Charming Rua do Carmo & famous tiny glove store ‘Luvaria Ulisses’

The easiest way to get to Rua do Carmo is from the central square Rossio

Lisbon shopping Rua do Carmo

From Rossio you walk up to Rua do Carmo.

There are trendy shops of international brands and some other traditional and very old ones.

Lisbon shopping Rua do Carmo police

Rua do Carmo. Lisbon

Lisbon Shopping Rua do Carmo Gloves Shop

Famous little glove store ‘Luvaria Ulisses’, Rua do Carmo nr 87 A

This very small shop has his own production of tailor made gloves from any design. A real tourist attraction.

shopping Lisbon Rua do Carmo Ana Salazar2

The small gloves shop is near Ana Salazar’s Boutique, one of Portugal’s top designers.

Ana Salazar was born and lives in Lisbon. During the 70’s, she started to work on the Fashion scene, developing a new concept of clothing in Portugal, changing completely the way of presenting fashion shows in Portugal, creating the first Fashion Events, exhibits and expositions.

Lidbon Shopping Rua do Carmo shop Carina

The beautiful decorated shop ‘Au Bonheur des Dames‘,

Once a perfume shop, is nowadays a woman’s boutique with a cool selection of funky and trendy clothes. Most shops open between 9 and 10 A.M. They close for lunch between 1 and 3 P.M. and close at 7 P.M.

Lisbon Shopping Rua do Carmo Jewelry


(Joalharia) Jewelry do Carmo, Rua do Carmo 87B, is one of the best shops in the city. All the silver pieces are handmade, it’s really worth a visit.

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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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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