Travel Guide To Lisbon
If you’ve flown into Lisbon the first thing you probably need to
do is get to the city and your accommodation. The Lisbon transport system is well connected and will help you get from the airport and around the city.
- Lisbon Taxis are relatively cheap and plentiful and it should cost no more than €10
- €15 from the airport to the city centre depending on location. However our experience is that taxis in Lisbon take many routes in and out of Lisbon and fares can vary drastically.
Depending on traffic it should take 20-25 minutes to get to your city centre destination. A good tip is to enter your destination into Google Maps to show your driver your destination... then hit 'Go' with the volume turned up on your phone, it will be difficult for you driver to take the long route and advantage of you.
- Uber is a great way to get around Lisbon. The cars are all really clean, the drivers are exceptionally pleasant and knowledgeable about the city. The fares are great value compared to taxis and they are plentiful. We highly recommend Uber as a mode of transport as opposed to taxis so make sure to download the Uber App.
Lisbon Tram & Bus
- The Lisbon Metro is a perfect alternative if you are travelling light and the Airport Metro is located outside the arrivals hall. Have a quick look at the route map and then select your ticket at the automated machines. Fares cost just €1.70 one way but you also need to purchase a travel card which costs and additional 50 cents, but keep this card as you can re-use it to top up further travel during your stay. The journey should take no longer than 40 mins to the farthest destination and may include one change over.
- Lisbon city
centre is split into distinctive districts and easy to get around. There is a very
extensive Lisbon Tram and Bus system for which you can buy a pass. You can purchase the Lisboa Card
on-line before you travel. It costs €39 for 3 days, €31.50 for 2 days or €18.50 for 1 day and gives you unlimited Lisbon travel plus free entry to lots of the Lisbon tourist attractions.
Lisboa Card link: http://golisbon.rgi.ticketbar.eu/en/ticketbar-lisbon/lisboa-card/
Lisbon Tuk -Tuk Tours
Lisbon is built on 7 hills which afford great views of the city.
It is a
good idea to do this tour on the first day as it is a whirl wind guide to the
city and will give you a perspective of the scale of Lisbon and sights you may wish to
revisit. You can take these tours by day or night, either is great. Your Tuk-Tuk guide will give you
a basic history lesson on Lisbon, explaining the influence and impact of the
Moors, earthquakes, tsunamis, kings and popes. There has been an explosion in numbers of these Tuk-Tuks in recent years and the local authorities are bringing in regulations to electrify them , they should also look to cap the amount allowed on the streets. However, I still recommend these whistle stop tours!
Walking in Lisbon
great way to see the sights is the tram. Take Tram 28 to discover Lisbon, including the medieval district of Alfama. Alfama, like many other districts along the Tram 28 route is picturesque and full of interesting sites, amazing views of the River Tagus and traditional places to eat and drink. Tram 28 costs €2.85 pp one way and a good place to hop on is at Praça Luis de Camões. During peak season the tram can get very full with limited seating so if you walk up from Praça Luis de Camões on a street called Calcada do Combro, you may have a better chance of getting a seat and a good view of Lisbon. Be very careful of pick-pockets when on Tram 28.
- Make sure to wear comfortable shoes when walking in Lisbon as almost
all of the paths are tiled and many streets are cobbled. This means that even when it is dry it can be slippy and if it rains be extra careful with your footing. Ladies, high heels may actually kill you in Lisbon, so be warned and choose flats or trainers when out walking in Lisbon.
Photo below by John Donnelly
There are lots of reasons as to why Lisbon has become our favourite city and the main one is that it is residential. People live in the city and over the shops, cafes and offices are homes &
apartments which provide the heartbeat to a thriving community. Just off the
main through fares you’ll find narrow residential streets, tiny shops and
modest cafes which all serve the local residents. We’ve always feel safe in
Lisbon and this sense of community is probably why.
At the same time use your
common sense as when in any major city. Be mindful of pick-pockets in main
tourist areas and especially on Tram 28 which is notorious. However, following
simple rules of using front pockets and keeping bags visible you should not have
to look over your shoulder once!
The locals are genuine, friendly and polite
and in almost all restaurants, bars and shops etc. people will try to speak to you in
English. The districts within the city are also quite different and we’ll give
it our best effort at explaining them too you so that you get the most out of your Lisbon visit.
When you do get out on the streets in the morning you will notice that there are cafes on every street in Lisbon so
don’t bother fighting the urge to treat yourself at least once a day and go
with the Lisbon flow…. Lisboa coffee is as good as it gets and the city specialises in custard cakes called Pastel de Nata. The locals kick start their day with a Coffee (espresso) & Cake and it will only set you back
Photo below by John Donnelly & Grainne Redican
Avenida da Liberdade - Rossio - Baixa - Rua
Praça do Comércio
Let’s start at Avenida da Liberdade. This is the main avenue in the city and many of you will be staying in hotels quite close to here. Good news is that in a city built on hills, this part is flat, but it was bad news for the locals back in 1755 as it was an earthquake that
The avenue is splendid, broad and lined by trees, hosting many of the cities main large hotels and all the top fashion houses such as Prada. Guicci, Louis Vuitton etc. locate their stores here.
When you get to the bottom of the Avenue veer to your left and you will come to an area called Rossio which merges into
Baixa. This area is great for shopping and restaurants (although the restaurants
are aimed more at tourists).
Look for Rua
Augusta on any map, this is a pedestrian
street with plenty of offshoots to wander around. If you keep on following Rua Augusta to the end you will see Rua Augusta Arch which will lead you to Praça do Comércio which is the main square in Lisbon.
The arch and square are impressive and constructed post the earthquake, it must
have sent a bold statement to the world that Portugal was back on its feet! You’ll
notice that all the buildings in this district are newer (post 1755) and the streets run in a grid.
Praça do Comércio
*Aerial photo taken by John Donnelly.
Expo '98 (Venue of the Web Summit)
Lisboa is built on the River Tagus and be grateful of it as
it can funnel a cooling breeze and helps to keep temperatures down. Looking at the photo above…. If you travel to the left you are heading
towards Cascais (35 mins on the train) but let’s go right towards the Expo Park
(4-5 km) where the city hosted the World Expo in 1998 and in November this year,
the area will host the Web Summit (formally in Dublin). To get there, take a train or a taxi,
it’s only a few minutes out.
It’s here that you will find the northern hemisphere's largest aquarium, Oceanário which is worth seeing. There isn’t
much else out here unless there is a concert on but while there take the cable
car to the Myriad Hotel and have a beer and bites lying on the beds on the
decking, it’s luxury!
The long bridge which you will see close to the hotel is the Vasco da Gama Bridge and is the longest
bridge in Europe (including viaducts). It’s 17 km, 10 km of which span over the
river Tagus. It was built for Expo ’98.
Cais do Sodré
Back to Praça Do Comércio and a short walk (5 mins) to your left (if
looking at the photo above) and you will arrive at Cais do Sodré. This is another great landmark for you and it’s where you can get the
train to Cascais & Estoril. Across the busy
road and to your left is TimeOut which is a
food hall with a stunning array of food for lunch and snacks during the day. It’s
also the market area of the city and you should check out Mercado da Ribeira for fruit,
veg, flowers and a stunning display of fish. This is a great place to visit, eat and hang out for an hour or so. There are a few nice bars along the river at this point, Vestigus is a lovely place to relax, have a refreshment
and some bar food while looking at the shuttle ferries darting across the
TimeOut. Photo below courtesy of Ronan Cusack
The train is located at Cais Do Sodré and so too are the shuttle ferries. Take one of the orange ferries to Cacilhas on the far side of the river Tagus,
the trip only takes 5 minutes and costs about €2.90 return. Don't worry if you just miss the ferry as they leave simultaneously from each side of the bank so there will be another coming along in just a few minutes. They are very busy during 'rush hour' as many people who work in the city commute from Cacilhas, so we suggest taking the trip out of peak hours so you can relax.
In the town centre of Cacilhas there are bars, restaurants, shops etc. But there is a wonderful secret out here too. When you disembark the ferry turn right and keep on walking along the wall which is covered in graffiti. There are not many people walking along here and your instinct is to stop but keep on walking for about 10 minutes and you will eventually reach a beautiful seafood restaurant with a small pier reaching out into the river with a small beach if you fancied a paddle too. The restaurant is called Ponto Final and if it's not too busy you can sit and have a beer instead of lunch. There are also great views of the April 25th Bridge and panoramic views of Lisbon. When you are out here you will also notice an elevator which will bring you to a viewing point and only costs €1.50 return trip. Our advice is to only go out here during the day as the walk out to Ponto Final is not lit and also isolated, so make sure you don't get your timing wrong and attempt to return in the dark. Cacilhas is a morning or lunch venue only but very much worth the effort. Not many
tourists know about Cacilhas so try
to make the trip across if you have the time?
Photos below by John Donnelly
Photo below of Cacilhas town courtesy of Grainne Redican
View of Lisbon from Cacilhas – Photo
by John Donnelly
Back to Lisbon and again on the river bank beside Cais Do
Sodré and just a few yards away from Vestigus, try Ibo for dinner some evening…. If you
like seafood, then this restaurant offers some of the best in Europe. Try the prawns, they’re
nearly as big as the lobster in the photo below (book so not to be
Photo courtesy of Grainne Redican.
If you travel straight up the hill from Cais Do Sodré (sorry
folks, it’s all up & down from here, remember what we said about the hills!)
on Rua do Alecreim you’ll be heading towards Chiado. But before we get to the top of the
hill there are a few points of interest. Just to the right before you start
uphill there is a bar called The British Bar. It’s nothing
special and the beer is normal fare but you should have one anyway because this
is the bar where many of the international spies during WWII gathered to take
rest, shelter and relay their stories. So soak in the history and have that
beer because it’s a thirsty walk up this hill.
Looking down from the bridge
So off we go staying
on the left … Stop at the first bridge and look down… this is Pink Street, busy bar area at weekends, ok, but
nothing too special!!! Where you are stopped, there is a Bar just after the
bridge, it’s hard to read the name over the door and it generally has a canopy
covering a smoking area. It’s called Pensão
Amor, don’t go in during the day but DO try to get there one of the evenings
for a G&T or Mojito. It’s quite
different but make sure to wander around it so that you see all the little
rooms the shop and library. There is also a staircase that will bring you down
onto Pink Street.
Keep heading up and just a few yards later look for a barbers’ pole and
you will find one of my all -time favourite places, Figaro's Barbers. Sorry girls, it’s men only but do
look in the window, it’s a treat on the eyes! They only take bookings on a
Monday so you most likely will have to queue. It opens at 11.00 am on Fridays
and I think 12.00 pm on Saturdays. Get there early to avoid waiting and anyway
they will give you a free beer while you hang out.
The shave is superb and if you are lucky enough to have hair, they only
do cuts from the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s & 50’s!!! Toni & Guy is across the road for the girls (guy’s look in the
window, it’s a treat on the eyes!!!). There is also a good tailor across from Figaro's called Venancio, ask for
Ricardo and have twiddle of his mustache.
Photos of Figaro's below by John Donnelly (apart from the one of Beckham which I took from their website, unfortunately I wasn't there for). The first photo is me and my crew getting a pro cut on my wedding day. Front to back, Mark Boyne, John Donnelly (me) Joey Purcell, Own McNamara and Peter Boyne. Thanks Tomas for another great job!!!
I know.. It's hard to tell the difference in the next two photos but Fabio/Sick Barber isn't wearing a hat in the second one!
Ok, let’s march to the top of this hill and you will find
yourself at a square called Praça Luis
de Camões. This is
another great spot to get your bearing. At the top of the hill and still on the
left hand side is the Bairro Alto Hotel…
The rooftop bar is listed in the Top 10
roof top bars in
the world, so if you feel like spoiling yourself, on one of the evenings have
a pre-dinner cocktail here.
At the top of R. Garrett is a subway and it offers a great short, taking out all the hills from Rua Augusta to Rossio. It's worth checking out and if it's a hot day you'll appreciate the air conditioning. The escalator is an impressive structure and alone it's nearly worth seeing!
Leaving Bairro Alto Hotel, look to your right and walk towards R. Garrett, it’s only 50 metres away. Just as you arrive there on the left
hand side (again almost always under a canopy) you will find Café Brazileira . If you don’t want to sit down again at least stop and look at the ornate
woodwork exterior and take in the craftsmanship of the interior. Just two or three doors down on the same side you will find the world's oldest bookshop, it’s called
Bertrand. A little further down on the same side there is a fantastic old style wine shop, it’s worth
going in for the service alone. Probably not quite the same as your local off-licence/liquor store at home!
the bottom of R Garrett, this time on right hand side, look out for an orange
sign (in photo below, bottom left hand side of the street) and an archway … just before Massimo Dutti. Go through this archway and
you’ll find a courtyard with plenty of choices of restaurants for both day and
evening. There are also lots of good quality shops on and off this street. At the top of this street as you look at it in the photo is
Look for the street across from the orange sign (photo below), this will bring you uphill to a square called Largo
do Carmo and it's here you will find the entrance to the platform of the Elevador Santa Justa.
below by John Donnelly taken from Hotel Chiado.
The Revolution of April 25th 1974 -
Elevador Santa Justa
If you are at a corner where we think Hugo Boss (there are 2
Hugo Boss on this street) and Geox are located on R Garrett, then head up a
small hill. At the top you will arrive at a square called Largo do Carmo. This is where the Revolution
of April 25th 1974 took place and it’s because of the bravery of
men such as Captain Salgueiro Maia who is pictured below in the first b&w photo
standing to the left, that you can enjoy a cold beer in the open air bar
located here. So have that beer and raise your glass to salute the brave men
and women of Lisbon who risked their lives to end a 48 year Salazar
dictatorship to place it in your hand.
There is an entrance beside where the sentry guards are standing. This is for an interesting museum dedicated to the Republican Guard and it's free admission so do go in and have a wander around.
Photos below by John Donnelly
There is an unusual
link to the Euro-vision Song Contest and this revolution. Portugal may never
have won the contest but they sure did use it to great effect… See below an
interesting fact I found in my research. The pictures below were sent to me by a friend in Lisbon, Manuel Luis Cochofel, who also alerted me to the history
of this square.
Remarkable: There were two secret signals in the military coup: first
the airing of the song “E depois do adeus” (“And after the
farewell”) by Paulo de Carvalho, Portugal’s entry in the 6th
of April 1974 Eurovision Song Contest, which alerted the rebel
captains and soldiers to begin the coup. Next, on April 25, 1974 at 12:15 am,
the national radio broadcast Grândola, Vila Morena, a song
by Zeca Afonso, a progressive folk singer
forbidden on Portuguese radio at the time. This was the signal that the MFA
gave to take over strategic points of power in the country and “announced” that
the revolution had started.
Facing the building with soldiers standing in their sentry boxes
(National Guard building), just before this you will find an entrance to the
right. Head along the wall and you will be at the Elevador Santa Justa or the Lisbon Elevator. If you think
that the steal work is familiar, then you’re not imagining it, the Elevador is
designed by Eiffel of Tower fame!!! This
is well worth visiting and costs only €1.50 to go to the viewing platform where
again you will get an excellent perspective of the city! The first picture below shows the viewing platform at the top of the Elevator. The next one shows you Rossio & Baixa in the background. In the distance in the third photo you can see (to the right of Netty's head), the top of what is the Rua Augusta Arch. The fourth photo shows Castelo de São Jorge which is located among the woods.
Castelo São Jorge
And we are off again…. Make your way back down onto R Garrett
and head to the bottom of the street until you meet the t- junction. Straight
in front of you through the arch and up the steps is a small and modest
shopping mall. Ladies, if you have forgotten any of your make-up essentials you
will find them here at Sephora. Only a few metres away from the mall, to the right when
looking at it, is Hotel Chiado. The entrance is through a
single glass door and easily missed. Go to the roof top bar, relax and have
some oysters while looking over the
district of Alfama and Castelo…. The woods you see on the hill across from you
surround the Castelo São Jorge. When leaving the Hotel Chiado, if you turn right and go over
the brow of the hill (best of luck passing the ice cream shop on the left called Santini's) you
will end up back at the Avenida da Liberdade. If you turn left when leaving,
you will meander down to the river again and eventually bearing left onto Praça do Comércio.
When down at the Praça do Comércio, look back up at the city
and slightly to your right and you will see the Lisbon Cathedral. The
Cathedral is a microcosm of an amazing history of Lisbon involving Kings, Popes
and the Moors, all of whom have had a massive influence on this intriguing city.
Find the Cathedral and you are on your way to Alfama which is the
medieval part of Lisbon. Alfama is full of charm, narrow winding streets,
terraces, St Vincent Monastery and much more. The flag of Lisbon is that of St
Vincent and the Ravens on the ship represent them guarding his body as it was
sailed from the Algarve to Lisbon. Also while in this district, check out the National Pantheon, it only took
them 336 years to build, from 1630 to 1966, so let’s hope you think that it was
worth the effort!!!
The Lisbon Cathedral in the skyline
Head up the street to the left of the Cathedral and your are on your way to Alfama.
Photo by John Donnelly
The Lisbon Flag
In Alfama you will also find Fado which is
traditional music and singing. Not quite the session you may find in the west
of Ireland but you might like it. It’s generally listened to while having your
evening meal which is often local fare.
There is another special restaurant up here …it’s called Chapitô and is a must do. Not only is Chapito a restaurant, it's also a Circus School. We didn't see any circus performances when we dined there but there was a magician playing tricks at tables! Try to book it and
be sure to ask for a table on the top floor. While not
renowned for its cuisine, it’s full of character and a place to remember. Tell
them Thomas Fleetwood from Tomas Bar in Santa Catarina sent you. Sit back,
enjoy your meal and take in the splendor of Lisboa at night, including the
April 25th Bridge. There
are lots of small and some very quaint restaurants and places in Alfama so to take time to
relax and enjoy this part of the city. It’s a maze of streets and we’re lead to believe it was
purposely designed like that as it makes the area complicated to invade by
foot. Let’s hope that you are not intending to invade but do try not to get
lost up here!
above showing view from Chapitô, courtesy of Grainne Redican
Castelo de São Jorge is also
located close to the area of Alfama and dates back to the mid 11th century. You can walk up here but it's a bit of a hike and most probably you will pass it by on Tram 28. Hop off the tram at Largo De Santa Luzia and follow the well posted signs which will take you on a short uphill walk to the castle. Entry costs €8.50 per person and you'll find open gardens, fortified walls & towers plus an exhibition/interpretive centre. To refresh, there is a cafe within the site as well as a shop to purchase gifts and toilets are also available.
It’s the site of many battles,
defeated Kings and new rulers and the perfect location for centuries of
visitors to keep a close eye on the comings and goings of this ancient city …
If you feel a cold chill over your shoulder, believe it or not, it could be a
Celt from 48 BC.
Back at Largo De Santa Luzia you'll see a statue dedicated to St Vincent who is the patron saint of Lisboa. When looking at the statue you will notice the St Vincent Monastery in the background and to the right of it is the pantheon. Back at the statue of St Vincent, look to the right and you'll see another viewing platform with great views of the river and city. Most probably you will also see a few cruise ships down on the river as it is a popular European stop for them!
Photo courtesy of Grannie Redican
Flags of Lisboa & Portuguese flag fly proudly above the city. Photos below by John Donnelly.
View from Castleo walls
St Vincent and Monastery of St Vincent
Bairro Alto/Chiado - Principe Real - Santa
Now let’s go back to the
Praça Luis de Camões and use it as
a central point to discover another side of the city, this is where we are more
likely to hang out. If you imagine that the central part of Lisbon is a valley
with two hills. You’ve just discovered one hill which hosts Alfama and Castelo,
walked through the valley which is Rua Augusta, Praça Do Comércio, etc and are
now back up the hill on the opposite side of the valley at Chiado and Praça Luis de Camoes. Now you
are entering a mix of residential communities, local designer shops, party
central, chill out points, bars, restaurants, cakes & coffee. The main
areas here are Bairro Alto/Chiado, Santa
Catarina and Principe Real.
Bairro Alto is a network of small narrow streets
that are mapped out in a quasi-grid. Here you’ll find small shops selling
bohemian products, both local and international. During the day it’s pretty
quiet and as you wander through the cobbled streets you will find yourself
popping in and out of interesting shops as well as squeezing onto the footpaths
to avoid the small delivery vans and trucks beeping their way through a day's work. At night time, especially the weekends,this area comes alive when the crowds make their way to the bars and clubs.
It’s probably safe to say that it’s geared towards a
younger and tourist scene in the evening but if that's not your thing, then have a wander and you'll be sure to find some little gems. If you give it a chance you'll see that Bairro Alto is full of charm with plenty for everyone to do and my favourite bar and restaurant are located here, Bar Janela d'Atalaia and Tapas Bucho restaurant.
As you crisscross and climb your way through
Bairro Alto you will eventually reach a street at the top which runs
perpendicular, it's called Rua Dom Pedro V.
You are now entering the district of Principe
Real. This area is a little more
sophisticated with high end shops to check out during the day and a really nice
and mainly local crowd providing a buzz in the evening. On this street you will find Pavilhão Chinês or Chinese
Pavilion. The photo
below is of the outside, it’s uninviting entrance makes it difficult
to notice and is probably the reason as to why it’s one of Lisbon’s best kept secrets. Once inside you will know what
we mean and make sure to wander around all the rooms as far as the back where
the pool hall is (the most amazing pool hall on the planet!!!) This bar is a MUST SEE but be warned as we believe that the bar only opens after 6.00 pm! If the door is locked but there are no shutters over the windows, then ring the DOORBELL and they will answer and let you in!!! Just to make sure you go there we're going to use it a our central point for directions while you are in this district.
Photos by John Donnelly
There is another bar in this neighbourhood which is just as unknown as the
Pavilhão Chinês, it's called Foxtrot. It's tricky to find and not everybody knows about it so google map to make sure that you get there. Due to time constraints we arrived at Foxtrot just after opening at 6.00 pm. It was far too early for what is definitely an after dark venue and the bartender even apologised as it was very quiet (not their fault). The bar is very cool and recommended by Tomas who is a barber from Figaro's! We were told that if we arrived after 10.30 pm, that we could have joined in the Tango session. Check this place out, Tango or not to Tango, you'll love the cocktails and atmosphere in this bar.
When you leave Chinese Pavilion turn right and cross the road. About 100 metres further down you will find a great little spot for tapas, it’s called
Bar 52 and just a few doors on down again you’ll find a great restaurant for an evening meal serving meat and fish
dishes, it’s called Pão a Mesa . The
food and atmosphere is excellent, try the tomato soup (different) and also the
black pudding starter!!! Another nice place for a great value and tasty pizza washed down with a cold beer is Pub Lisboeta. It's just a few doors down from Chinese Pavilion and the staff are really friendly. There are plenty of venues in Principe Real to eat, hang out and people watch, so do wander
around as there are many more spots that we never had the pleasure of going to.
For fish lovers who
are on this street, then turn left when you exit Chinese Pavilions. Just a few
doors down look out for a restaurant with the octopus hanging from the
ceiling, it comes highly recommended by a friend of ours and it's called A Cevicheria. It seems just as busy during the day as it does the evening,
which is always a good sign!!!
There is also an abundance of shops in this area and if you keep
on walking by the Octopus restaurant and look across the street you’ll see a
very cool shopping centre called Embaixada (photo below), but forget about the name and look
out for the amazing roof top turrets and you are there. It’s a beautiful
building inside and a good place to cool down if you are over heating!!!
Leave Embaixada and cross back over the street and you’ll
find a lovely garden called Jardim do
Principe Real. Grab a bottle of beer to take out (€1) from the small local cafe close to the octopus restaurant and relax on a bench under the central feature in the garden which is a
two hundred years old Mexican Cypress tree. The tree is low off the ground but it's branches spread so wide for such a small structure that they are supported by a metal frame. We all know that people watching is obligatory when you are on holidays, so relax, cool down and simply watch! On Saturdays there is also a small
street market located here.
Ok, we are going to leave Principe Real but there is a
beautiful viewing point where you need to stop and take some photos to
remember. Head back towards Pão a Mesa, keeping on the same side of the street and
start heading downhill, you are now on your way back to Chiado. Only walk 250 metres or so and you will be at Miradouro São Pedro de Alcantâra. The views of
Alfama and Castelo are amazing so stop and take it all in.
We are nearly back
in Chiado but before we get there, we have a special treat for those who love
Port. As you are probably aware, Portugal is world famous for its Port and so it
is only fitting that the city hosts an Institute of Port called Instituto dos Vinho do Douro e Porto.
little tricky to find but let’s give it a go. When you reach the lower end of
the viewing platform Alcantâra you will see a funicular/tram. Head across the
road from this and look for a high arched entrance with plaque on the wall with
the institute's name on it…. Walk through the glass doors and you have arrived.
It’s a quiet place and and a little austere with a lot of whispering. Take a little
time to read about the ports on offer (100’s), ask advice or take pot luck, or
should that be port luck???
View from Miradouro
São Pedro de Alcantâra. Photos by John Donnelly
Entrance to Institute of Port
Back on the move again and keep heading down the hill (the
street narrows for a bit), you’ll pass by some interesting shops and eventually
(5 minutes) you will be back at Praça
Luis de Camões, Phew!!!
Below is a photo of one of your main landmarks and a great
meeting point,Praça Luis de Camões.
The yellow building on the left is the Barrio Alto Hotel and this is where the top 10 in the world rooftop bar is located. The street running uphill to the right is called Calçada
do Combro leading to Santa Catarina.
Photo by John Donnelly
Next up is Santa Catarina and welcome to our little world…. Walk up the street above called Calçada
do Combro. About 75 metres on the left hand side of the street you’ll find
the Chiado Caffé and it’s here,
between 10.00 am and 11.00 am, that you have a really good chance of spotting Netty
staring in the window at what is most probably her favourite thing in Lisbon….
Tiny, little, tiny, really ickle, tiny, tinchy, smallest ever, tiny, ever so
little, smallest, delicious and tiny Madeira Cakes. Me on the other hand,
you’ll find knocking back espressos and Natas, it’s a tough life but some people
have to do it!!! There is also another lovely wine shop close to here on the
same side of the road, just before you get to the 'Bica'. It's called Galeria, and offers great choice, value and service for a take-out bottle of wine.
Spot the tiny Madeira Cake in the window, morning coffee always includes a cake!
Keep on heading up this street and you will come to another famous
funicular of Lisbon, the Bica Funicular (photo below). This funicular was originally
powered by a counter- balance of water weights and cables and dates back to 1892.
This is the most photographed street in
Lisbon so take that picture and a ride on
the ‘Bica’. The round trip costs €3.60 and you pay when you get off at the bottom. When you get off, if you cross the street, walk to your left and take the first right, when you get to the next junction (about 120 metres), then look to your left and you will see TimeOut again!
Back at the top of the funicular and you are now in the district of Santa
Catarina. Bica is also a local name for this
district and we believe it refers to the ancient system of water networks that
service the area…. Some of the locals even refer to their espresso as ‘Bica’ in
deference to the water that their coffee is made from!!!
Photo below is courtesy of Manuel Luis Cochofel
Photos below by John Donnelly
There is a small street called Rua Marechal Saldanha which is located
just after the Bica Funicular. Head along this street and you will arrive at
the best look out point for the River Tagus, it’s called Miradouro de Santa Catarina. Look down the
river towards the 25th of
April Bridge which was completed in 1966 and was originally named after the then
dictator, Salazar. The bridge was renamed after the successful revolution of
April 25th 1974. If you think that it resembles the Golden Gate
Bridge, then your comparison is correct, it was designed by the consortium that constructed the Golden Gate
bridge in San Francisco and also constructed the Ponte 25 de Abril. Along with the similar appearances both bridges
are located in regions of high possible seismic activity and their designs are
almost identical. To ensure the bridge has solid foundations, the south tower
extends for 80 metres below the water level, which to this day, is still a world
record. The bridge spans 2.5 kilometres and is longer than that of the Golden
Aerial Photos by John Donnelly
Take a taxi to Doca de
Santo Amaro. You will
arrive at an area just below the bridge. Located on the river bank here you
will find numerous bars and restaurants serving a wide variety of food, both
local and international… Plenty of choices for fish plus a good Italian and
Argentinian restaurant too. You will hear the drone from the traffic on the multi- tiered
bridge which also accommodates a mainline train but the sound blends into the
background and will only intrude as a point of conversation!!! After dinner
take a leisurely stroll along the promenade back to the taxi rank.
to Miradouro de Santa Catarina and at the railings where you are looking down over the river
you will see many other places where you have already been… see photo below….The clock tower is TimeOut &
Mercado da Ribeira and the grey flat roofed building beyond it, is Cais do Sodré.
there, look to your right hand side along the railing at the viewpoint and you
will find a small café called Noobai. It’s a terrace café on two levels, very
relaxing with a super lunch menu. Grab a beer and a snack and take in the
magnificent views of the far bank of the River Tagus including the Statue of Christ the King.
The statue was
approved by Salazar and inspired by the statue of Christ the Redeemer located
in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil… Salazar built the statue to express the gratitude of
Portugal being spared by the effects of WWII and it was completed in 1959. If
you do go to Cacilhas on t