I began my journey through Lisbon by tram. Spent day to tour in tram 28 (Martim Moniz-Campo de Ourique). I bought a daily pass (www.carris.pt) so I can explore all by myself and to treat myself to some astonishing places and sights.
Some places in Lisbon that you have to visit: S. Vicente de Fora, take a look at the Church, particularly the tiles which are based on some La Fontaine tales. Visit Feira da Ladra (Flea Market), where you can buy really cheap second-hand clothes, cd's or books, only on Tuesdays and Saturdays. A street above, you’ll find Panteão Nacional (National Pantheon) take a strole on the terrace, it will offer you a beautiful sight of Tagus River. Castelo de S. Jorge (St. George Castle), Miradouro de Santa Luzia (Santa Luzia belvedere) with its garden and a fabulous views over Alfama. Constructed after the 1755 Lisbon earthquake, in the Pombaline Lower Town you’ll find a nice place to go shopping or keep going to the next stop and have a “bica” near Fernando Pessoa (he doesn’t mind if you take a photo with him).
It’s already getting dark, I’ve decided to have dinner at “A Severa” (www.asevera.com), a restaurant and house of Fados where Amália Rodrigues used to eat portuguese tapas. Outside Bairro Alto’s nightlife is starting. Thanks to a free guide I have found in my hotel “Tips Guide Lisboa” (www.tipsguidelisboa.com), I have found a place to end the night, I chose a small disco in the Bairro Alto called “Bedroom”....nice place!
Day 2 |
Early morning and here I am, ready to discover new worlds. Arriving in Belém, we go back to 1500, to the Age of Discoveries.
First Palácio de Belém, the official residence of the President of Portugal then had my morning coffee in the famous Fábrica de Pastéis de Belém(www.pasteisdebelem.pt).
Then finally arrived to a magnificent monastery, Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, it was from here that Vasco da Gama sailed to India.
This building is the most successful achievement of Manueline architecture; the motifs are mainly the armillary sphere (a spherical astrolabe) and the cross of the Order of Christ, you can find these in the church, in the cloisters and in the tombs of Vasco da Gama and Camões.
Just a few meters away is the Centro Cultural de Belém (www.ccb.pt), a modern building that hosts cultural events and is also a conference centre. I ate a light meal at Quadrante, located in Jardim das Oliveiras.
If you turn to the other side of the road in direction to Padrão de Descobrimentos take a ride up by elevator because from the top you can get the best view of the gigantic compass rose on the pavement. It has a diameter of 50 meters and the central map shows the sea routes of the Portuguese Discoverers during the XV and XVI centuries. There’s a funny joke about this monument, some people say that the character at the back is screaming "don't push in the queue!"
It you take a walk close to the river soon you will see the so-called square tower, World Heritage by Unesco, Torre de Belém. This ancient fortress is unique, above all for its distinctive sharply outlined shape.
I am getting hungry. I went to Cervejaria Portugália (www.portugalia.pt), I also recommend the original restaurant/beer house at Almirante Reis Avenue. As a starter I decided to take caldo verde, a typical Portuguese vegetable soup and after that the very famous steak submerged in a special sauce. Its always served with a fried egg on top, French Fries and bread. I couldn’t imagine myself picking any other drink than a cold blond beer.
Ok..that was my short but intense experience in Lisbon.
If you don't have much time to organize your trip I recommend these three links to help you:
Low-cost flights (www.bravofly.co.uk)
This website is very good, you can easily find low cost flights to Lisbon and also for other destinations.
Tips Guide Lisboa (www.tipsguidelisboa.com)
Has a daily calendar with concerts, nightlife and expositions. You can download it for free directly from the website
Hotel Booking (www.booking.com)
I use always this website to find cheap hotels.