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Lisbon

Belem Area

This is the home of Portuguese explorers, Kings, and chic Lisbon city dwellers as well. Belem is an elegant, green area with museums, parks, excellent food, and a riverside setting with cafés and a sea breeze. Here you get beautiful historic buildings with Portuguese tiles, cobbled streets with quaint fish restaurants and just in front the river Tagus with all the attractions and sports it offers.

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What to see

Within walking distance:

You can walk to major attractions from the apartment such as LX Factory, Maat Museum, Belem station, Coach Museum, Palacio de Belem, Pasteis de Belem, Jeronimos and CCB.

Mosteiro dos Jeronimos

– On the same road as River House Belem, it is a grand monument to the golden Age of Portuguese Discoveries. Commissioned by King Manuel I in 1501, you can loose yourself in the monastery and discover the architecture and history of this time. The Museum of Archeology is located in the building next door to Jeronimos and houses all of Portugal´s archeological treasures, some dating back to 6000BChttp://www.mosteirojeronimos.pt/en/

Portuguese School of Equestrian Art

– In Belem just up the road in Calçada da Ajuda you can see the rare Alter Real Lusitano horses. Ballet-like performances by riders and horses and accompanied to music.. The riders wear gala costume and use traditional Portuguese saddles and harnesses. These performances take place at Henrique Calado Riding Ring and lasts approximately 45 minutes. For tickets and schedule visit: http://arteequestre.pt/en/weekly-presentations/

Maat Museum

– If you cross the pedestrian bridge by the coach museum you can easily walk from the apartment to maat museum which is about 4 minutes away. Stunning new museum of Art, Architecture and Technology. You can walk on top of the building and enjoy fabulous views of the city and river. Check the opening times.https://www.maat.pt/en

Coches Museum, Museu dos Coches

– Just on the other side of the road from us, further down in Rua Junqueira in this brand new concrete vault is a delightful collection of Royal coaches from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Considered the finest in the world. Santini the famous ice-cream parlor is onsite and a must.http://museudoscoches.pt/en/homepage/

Pasteis de Belem

– It’s a gourmet’s museum and it’s also on the same road as our apartment. Don’t be put off by the queues as they move very fast to bring some custard tarts to enjoy on the terrace at home. But also nice to sit down in the café and have some tea or coffee as well.http://pasteisdebelem.pt/en/

CCB Centro Cultural de Belem

– This houses a contemporary art collection, the Berardo collection which includes Picasso´s , Jean-Michel Basquiat, David Hockney, Andy Warhol, Paula Rego, etc. http://en.museuberardo.pt/

Torre Belem

– King Manuel I built the tower in 1514-20 as a fortress on the river Tagus, it was the starting point for the explorers leaving Lisbon. Great location on the riverside. Very beautiful intricate carvings on the outside, Moorish watch towers and a Gothic interior. http://www.torrebelem.pt/en/

Monument to the Discoveries, Padrão dos Descobrimentos

– Designed in the shape of a caravel and commissioned in 1960 to mark the 500th anniversary of the death of Prince Henry the Navigator by Salazar. The setting is splendid by the river.

Palacio Nacional da Ajuda

– An incomplete dream as the royal family decamped to Brazil in 1807 and so part of the palace is a ruin. The palace that is finished is a very luxurious baroque affair with intricate carved furniture and silks. http://www.palacioajuda.pt/en-GB/Default.aspx

Jardim Botanico Tropical

– Exotic plants and trees from Portugal´s colonies fill this lush and peaceful garden. Rare and endangered tropical and subtropical trees and plants. Their website is weak and only in Portuguese but this link should go to the opening times (open every day) and address:http://www2.iict.pt/jbt/?idc=200

Jardim Botanico da Ajuda

– Laid out in 1768 by Marques de Pombal it is a quiet Italian style garden with species from around the world.https://www.isa.ulisboa.pt/en/visitors/tapada-da-ajuda

Planetarium - Planetário Calouste Gulbenkian

– The mysteries of the universe are revealed here. Learn about the solar system and star movements. Just after Jeronimos. http://ccm.marinha.pt/pt/museu/planearvisita/comochegar

To see By Tram/Bus/Tuk Tuk/Taxi

Alfama, Castelo de São Jorge

Get lost in these tiny streets, eat excellent Portuguese food in the popular restaurants serving grilled sardines. Visit the Miradouro de Santa Luzia, São Vicente de Fora, the Feira da Ladra market, the Sé Cathedral, Castelo de São Jorge and Miradouro da Graça.

Baixa and Avenida Liberdade

Rossio and Restauradores is the busy heart of Lisbon. Here you have theatres, famous cafés such as Nicola, and great restaurants. In Avenida da Liberade you have the best shops in the city with brands such as Chanel, Gucci, Prada, Miu Miu, Louis Vuitton and more.Elevador de Santa Justa gets you to spectacular views of Lisbon. Stroll around the Baixa in Rua Augusta and Praça do Comércio.

Chiado

In Chiado you have traditional shops and high street fashion such as Brandy & Melville, H&M, Zara, Pepe Jeans and more. Praça Luis de Camões is a beautiful square with churches, shops (Hermes) and restaurants. Cervejaria da Trindade, Palácio Chiado, Tavares and Bairro do Avillez are excellent choices. The buildings have been given new life and the stunning tile facades are on proud display. The Teatro Nacional de São Carlos (National Opera House) and Museu do Chiado are both worth a visit.

Oceanario

– What better place to learn and see all about the Oceans then in Lisbon by the sea. Beautiful setting, very large tanks with sharks, manta rays and large exotic fish. The best Oceanarium Aquarium in Europe. Buy tickets in advance to skip the queues

Colombo Shopping Center

– If its raining a good way to spend the day is to visit Colombo with hundreds of shops, cinemas and restaurants.

Cristo Rei

– Fantastic views of Lisbon from the other side of the river. You can get here by Ferry. I confess I´ve never been but it looks impressive.

Museu calouste Gulbenkian

– a fantastic collection donated by the oil magnate Calouste Gulbenkian it has an eclectic collection of Egyptian, Classical and Mesopotamian Art, Oriental Islamic Art, and European Art from the 17th-19th Century. Nice restaurant with views to the peaceful garden.

Museu Nacional do Azulejo

– A celebration of Portugal´s decorative tiles. Beautiful building dating from 1509.

By Train or Car:

Cascais, Estoril – Not only a summer holiday resort with great beaches it has a warm climate most of the year with a scenic coastline. Lots of beaches, restaurants by the sea. Casino do Estoril has shows and a great Chinese restaurant. Hotel Palacio in Estoril has a nice spa called Banyan tree Spa where you can spend the day. Guincho beach, Praia de Carcavelos beach, Praia da Poça beach.

Sintra

– Visit Monserrate, Palacio da Pena, Castelo dos Mouros and Quinta da Regaleira.

Where to Eat

Eat Walking distance:

O Prado

– Rua da Junqueira 472. This is our favorite place to eat night or day. Traditional Portuguese food with lots of grilled fish, clams, crab, and our local dishes. They have half portions (normal for one person) and its really good value and nice, fast staff. $

Royal Chinese Restaurant

– Calçada Ajuda 20. If you walk towards the Coches Museum its on the right up Calçada Ajuda road. Not a great décor but good value. The buffet is popular. $ http://restaurantechinesroyal.pt/pt

Rei dos Pregos

– Rua da Junqueira 506. On Monday try the Feijoada. Portugal´s favorite bread with meat is a Prego. We go here on a Monday when Prado is closed ☺ $

Nearby in Belem:

Descobre – We love this place, with ancient vaulted ceilings and a love of Portuguese wines, which are selected with great care. Menu with dishes to share (the piglet is delicious) and taste, good value.$$$ http://www.descobre.com.pt/

Darwins Café

– Very nice setting by the sea with a terrace and views. Some love it some say it’s a bit pretentious but it’s a refined Portuguese food concept in an elegant setting.$$$ http://www.darwincafe.com/

LX FACTORY

– Different and tasty restaurants to try in LX factory. Juice bars and tapas. Just stroll around and choose the one you like. http://www.lxfactory.com/EN/welcome/

Santini Ice cream

– Just across the road you have the Best ice creams in Portugal (and we think one of the world). Hidden below the Coaches Museum (in front of Prado Restaurant) you have ice-creams and sorbets made with local fruit in season which are delicious. Open till 22h


Eat By Car/Bus:

Bairro do Avillez

– A must on any visit to Lisbon by young chef Avillez in a nice old building. There is a walk in part of the restaurant, which is fun with tapas to share and taste. Inside the Pateo do Avillez (which you need to book) has a trendy restaurant with seafood and traditional Portuguese food with an upgrade. (Chiado). $$$

100 Maneiras Bistro

– Hip Cocktails and delicious food. Trendy and good for late at night (Chiado). $$$

Palacio do Chiado

– New concept with lots of different restaurants set in a beautiful old building. Great after a morning of shopping. $$

Timeout Market Lisboa / Mercado da Ribeira

– Fun place in the old market where you can still by fresh fish, seafood fruit and vegetables. Lots of great restaurants to dip into and eat on the main square. Upstairs you have the iconic Pap´Açorda with its mouth watering Portuguese dishes. Gourmet shops and the entire atmosphere is a great way to taste Lisbon. $-$$$http://www.timeoutmarket.com/en/eat-and-drink/

Cevicheria

– The wait was worth it for a delicious lunch. They don’t take reservations so you need to queue but if you while away the time with their cocktails it should be fine. Fresh fish and delicious dishes. (Principe Real) $$$

Solar dos Presuntos

– Excellent Portuguese food and seafood near Avenida da Liberdade and Rossio. Their cured ham is divine. $$$$

Ramiro

– The queue of tourists is a bit off-putting but it does have the best seafood in town. $$$$

Getting Around

Trams & Buses:

15E, 714 – Gets you to and from Praça Comercio (Baixa and Chiado), Alcantara, calvario (LX Factory), Rua Junqueira (us), Pasteis de Belem, Jeronimos, CCB18E –Takes you to belem, Pasteis de Belem, Jeronimos and in the opposite direction it will take you to the Palacio da Ajuda.727- Goes way into Lisbon to Marques Pombal (at the top of Av Liberdade where all the designer shops are), Palacio São Bento, Rua Janelas Verdes (Museu Arte Antiga), Alcantara, Calvario (Lx Factory), us (Junqueira) and Jeronimos.751 – Alcantara, Calvario (LX Factory), us (Junqueira) and Jeronimos.

You buy a transport card for 50cents and then you top it up with cash, which is debited after each ride. There is a transport shop where you can by tickets on the Rua Junqueira (Calvario stop).This is the official website of the transport network:http://carris.transporteslisboa.pt/en/buslines/

Trains

Belem train Station is down the road (over the footpath at Coaches Museum). The train goes either to Santos and Cais do Sodre (Baixa, Chiado, Alfama) or in the opposite direction to the beaches and elegant resorts of Estoril and Cascais.

Ferry

The ferry in Belem (over the pedestrian footpath near the Coaches Museum) takes you to the other side of the riverbank. Here you have authentic fish restaurants at nice prices by the beach. Belem – Trafaria. A great ideia is to take a bicycle and then you can ride all the way to Costa da Caparica beaches as well as it is mostly flat.

Bikes

Renting a bike for the day is a nice way to explore Lisbon by the sea, and you can also go to the other side of the riverbank on the ferry.

Tuk-Tuks

– Something fun which you can do on a sunny or rainy day is a tuk-tuk ride. A pick up from the apartment to visit the key points in Lisbon cost us 120euro for 4 people and took about 2 hours.

Car Rentals

– If you are renting a car there is normally parking down below in front, or else an open air park by the coaches museum.

Taxis and Ubers

– Both work well, we have used Uber at the apartment and it is great to go out to dinner in Chiado (7euro).

Best time to visit

Spring

Perfect time to visit Lisbon and get some sightseeing done without so many crowds. Moda Lisboa (March) Lisbons Half Marathon (March or April) Liberty day (25 April) Estoril Jazz (May)

June

- Festas da Cidade are throughout June A celebration of Lisbon. Alfama is decorated and the streets are decorated with vibrant colours. The grilled sardine is king. Watch Rick Stein´s program on Lisbon which will make you want to book a trip immediately. Santo Antonio (12-13 June), São João (23-4 Jun) São Pedro (28-9 Jun)

Summer

Sintra Festival (June- July) Classical music concerts in the park and palaces of Sintra and QueluzOptimus Alive (July) Music Festival in Alges on the riversideJazz in August (in the gardens of Calouste Gulbenkien). Many other music festivals happen throughout summer such as NOS Alive and many more. Enjoy the beaches, seaside and Lisbon´s fantastic climate.

Autumn

One of the best times to visit. Weather is warm but not too hot. Wine harvest and balmy weather. Festa das Vindimas in Palmela´s medieval castle. The Web Summit happens in November, big techie fest.

Winter

Lisbon still enjoys longer days and warmer temperatures then most of Europe during winter. Enjoy the city with less crowds, great nightlife, and far fewer queues in all the attractions. Christmas decorations and lights make the city a joy to behold. Chestnuts are roasting in the street. Sales in January and February.New Year fireworks is held in Praça do Comércio. Opera season is from January to November.

Lisbon Average Temperature.

sunshine hours in lisbon
average temperatures in lisbon

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