This is, in my opinion, the best, most typical and cheapest way to get to know Lisbon. In every city you have the usual sightseeing tour and Lisbon is no exception, however the tram is definitely a very unique way of touring the city, The fact that it is a historical public transport makes it not only a cheap option but also a quaint experience.
The closest tram stop to our apartments is just a few steps away in Chiado (Praça Luís de Camões).
The no.28 tram departing from Martim Moniz square begins by going up to the Graça neighbourhood, on the way you’ll be able to see São Vicente de Fora Church and its imposing façade tiles. Behind the Church is Campo de Santa Clara where every Tuesday and Saturday the “Feira da Ladra” market is held, this is the place to be if you want to buy and sell a little bit of everything.
The 28’s route continues then to Alfama, strolling by some of medieval Lisboa’s most picturesque streets and squares like Rua das Escolas Gerais and Largo das Portas do Sol where you can have a great view over the Tagus River with São Jorge’s Castle above.
As the tram descends into downtown (Baixa) the Sé de Lisboa (Lisbon’s cathedral) will surely catch your eye with its Roman façade and you can also have a look at Santo António’s Church, the city’s favourite saint.
Once you get to the downtown area it’s worth making a stop on your tram ride and explore these streets. All of it was rebuilt by instruction of Marquis of Pombal after the 1755 earthquake. Getting back on the tram, you’ll go up the Chiado hillside stopping right next to the famous café A Brasileira and its oldest customer, Fernando Pessoas’s statue in Largo do Chiado. The main highlight on the way to the Estrela is the Parliament building, house in the former Sao Bento Convent, at the top of an imposing staircase. With so many monuments and historical spots on its route, you can understand why the 28 is known as the “tourists’ tram”.
Despite the amazing ride the tram provides, you shouldn’t be limited to it and explore the city. Alfama and São Jorge’s Castle for instance should deserve at least half a day to visit. If after half a day of exploring you’re feeling hungry, try the very nice Pois, Café (www.poiscafe.com).
In Portugal, we had 30 editions in Lisboa, Porto, Loulé e Cascais. Restaurant Week has served more than 150.000 meals and has awarded more than 150.000€ solidary.
It´s a wonderful opportunity to try luxury restaurants at a great price. You can see more on restaurantweek.pt
Lisbon’s Metro is about to become the second underground train service in Europe to offer free wi-fi internet connection to all passengers, after London. It will start next week at the stations of Marquês de Pombal, Alameda, Campo Grande, and Colégio Militar, and should cover the entire network by the spring of 2014 after a 5-million-euro investment.
All you’ll have to do is search for the ON-FI network on your smartphone or tablet, without the need to register or enter a password. It was also announced that in the near future you may be able to do the same in Lisbon’s main squares.
If you’re looking for free wi-fi connection in Lisbon, you may find it at several cafés in the city, but you may have to ask the waiter for a password. For password-free connection, head to the Armazéns do Chiado mall, right in the center of the city. The best connection is around the food court on the upper floor. Other malls such as Amoreiras and Colombo also offer the same free service.
Rua Marcos Portugal, 1
Phone: 915 986 474
The name is that of the chef, one of Portugal’s most acclaimed. Although he’s already responsible for the menu of one of the city’s trendiest restaurants (“Largo”), here he continues to innovate with new dishes, while not forgetting his old favorites (like the clams with butter beans). It’s found on one of the city’s most tranquil spots, facing the romantic little Praça das Flores in the Principe Real district.
CASA DE PASTO
Rua de São Paulo, 20
Phone: 213 471 397
Hidden on an upper floor, this is a brand new secret by one of the city’s top young chefs. Although he brings his fresh reinterpretations to Portuguese cuisine, the menu is mostly a list of time-tested dishes, cooked in a charcoal oven. That oven isn’t the only inspiration from the past, as the entire dining area is decorated like the typical Lisbon restaurant from the early 1900s.
Although it’s home to a large number of hotels, Lisbon’s Avenidas Novas district is the least touristy in the city. Mostly dating from the the early-to-mid-20th-century, it’s mostly a business and residential area, but there are a couple of museums that top the list of must-see attractions for many tourists. If you’re staying in this part of town, or are simply passing by, consider these often-overlooked recommendations:
CALOUSTE GULBENKIAN MUSEUM
It’s the must-see museum in town, so many do end up here. But even those who don’t particularly enjoy museums will want to check it out, even if just to enjoy its wonderful gardens. Take advantage of Lisbon’s mostly-sunny weather throughout the spring, summer, and autumn months, and catch some sun or have a picnic on the lawns by the duck ponds. Once inside the museum, you’ll find a treasure trove of masterpieces from the East and West.
MODERN ART CENTER
Those who enjoy modern art will want to discover Portugal’s modern artists. Their work is on display in temporary and permanent collections at this museum on the grounds of the Gulbenkian museum and park. Managed by the same foundation, it also has a good collection of British works.