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Lisbon Guide

Lisbon Guide

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Published by jarmee
Lisbon Guide
Lisbon Guide

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Published by: jarmee on Dec 28, 2010
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Hostelworld Guide for Lisbon
Built on seven hills, Lisbon is quickly becoming one of Europe's most popular capitals. Small enough toexplore in a day but with enough going on to keep you here for a week, it also boasts one of thecontinent's most pleasurable climates. Plan your visit here and take one of the old yellow trams past thecity's sights, crunch into a sweet custard pie, enjoy the breathtaking vistas, and treat your hedonistictendencies to the countless bars in one of the world's craziest districts, the Bairro Alto.
In this Guide...
Useful InformationAfter DarkPlaces to EatTop AttractionsBudget TipsWhere to Shop
The EssentialsClimateGetting There
By plane:
Lisbon's airport is remarkably close tothe city centre, located just 7km away. The easiestway to the city centre is via the AeroBus. The journey takes 20 minutes, costs 3.50, andterminates at Praca do Commercio. The ticket isthen valid on public transport for the rest of the day.
By train:
If you travel to the Portuguese capital viatrain your journey will end at one of five differenttrain stations around the city centre.
By bus:
The city's main bus terminals are Gare doOriente at Parque das Nacoes and Sete Riosterminal beside 'Jardim Zoologico' metro stop.
Getting Around
On foot:
Lisbon is a compact city and, while youwill need to use public transport at some stage,much of the city centre is traversable on foot.
By metro:
Lisbon's metro system has five lines.Trains come frequently and the network is veryuseful for getting to different parts of the city.
By bus/tram/elevador:
Lisbon's old yellow tramswhich rattle through the city centre from morning tillnight pass by some of the city's best-knownattractions. You may not need to use buses orelevadors, but the latter are a tourist attraction intheir own right.
Useful phrases
Por favor
Thank you:
You're welcome:
De nada
Of course:
Com certeza
Excuse me:
Disculpa (Sorry) / Com licença(with your permission)
How are you€:
Tudo bom€
What is your name€:
Qual é o teu nome€
My name is...:
Meu nome é...
How much does it cost€:
Quanto custa€
The bill please€:
A conta por favor€The Portuguese capital boasts a moderate climateand, with a mean annual temperature ofapproximately 17°C, is Europe's second-hottestcapital after Athens. Summers are extremely hotand dry with temperatures regularly climbing over30°C, while winters are wet and windy withtemperatures floating around 10°C. Like most hotcapitals, spring and autumn are the most pleasantmonths to visit.
Good to know...
220V/50Hz, 2-pin plug
Telephone Codes:
+351 (Portugal), 021(Lisbon)
Emergency Codes:
Police 112 / Ambulance112 / Fire 112
Time Zone:
Greenwich Mean Time
Central Post Office:
Praca do Commercio
Main Tourist Office:
Ask Me Lisboa, 25 Rua deArsenal, Baixa (open daily from 10am-6pm)
+351 (0)21 727 3300
+351 (0)21 310 1500
+351 (0)21 392 4000
+351 (0)21 316 4600
South Africa:
+351 (0)21 319 2200
+351 (0)21 392 9440
+351 (0)21 881 0210
+351 (0)21 347 2381
+351 (0)21 351 5320
New Zealand:
+39 (0)6 853 7501*
+351 (0)21 393 9100
* Embassy in Rome 
Hostelworld Guide for Lisbonwww.hostelworld.com
Cheap EatsAfter Dark
Bacalhoeiro, Rua do Sapateiros 224, Baixa
Considering its extremely central location, thisrestaurant where fish is the speciality is surprisinglyfrequented by mainly locals. Those who do eat here,come to try the numerous variations of cod, squidand other types of seafood.
Open Mon-Sat 10am-3pm & 6pm-9pm.
Cabacas, Rua des Gaveas 8-10, Bairro Alto
Therearen't many restaurants that let you cook your filletsteak yourself. But ask for the 'slice on the stone'here and you can do just that. Served on a pipinghot stone, you can let it sizzle until it's cooked toyour liking.
Open Tues-Fri 12pm-3pm &7pm-11.30pm, Sat & Sun 7pm-11.30pm.
Malmequer Bemmequer, Rua de San Miguel23-25, Alfama
Specialising in charcoaled food, hereyou can choose from all types of fish, including thePortuguese staple 'bachalau'. There's lots of meattoo, and the lamb cutlets doused in rosemary areparticularly scrumptious.
Open Tues 7pm-10.30pm,Wed-Sun 12 noon-3pm & 7pm-10.30pm.
O sacred cake
Pasteis de Belem, Rua de Belem 84-92,Belem
No trip to Lisbon is complete withoutvisiting the famous 'Pasteis de Belem', home tothe sacred cake of the same name. There areonly three people living and breathing today whoknow the secret recipe. After consumption youwill see why as they really are truly delightful,and cheap too.
Open daily from 8am-10pm.
Casa da India, Rua do Loreto 49-51, Bairro Alto
You would think the chefs here could whirl up a curryin a matter of minutes, but this isn't the case. Insteadyou'll find plenty of 'peixe' (fish) and 'carne' (meat).But rather than opting for either of the above try theirbarbecued chicken which they are famed for.
Open daily from 12pm-3pm & 7pm-midnight.
Pavilhao Chines, Rua dom Pedro 89, Bairro Alto
If the door of this bar is closed when you arrivedon't fret - simply hit the doorbell, nod to theconcierge and step inside one of Europe's mostunique bars. Decorated with literally thousands ofcollectable items, go and you'll find yourselfstudying model aeroplanes, sipping on cocktailsand tapping your feet to the sounds of the 80s.
Open Mon-Sat 6pm-2am, Sun 9pm-2am.
Mezcal, 20 Rua Travesa Aqua de Flor, BairroAlto
This tiny bar in the ever-lively Bairro Altoserves arguably the best (and cheapest) caipirinhasand mojitos in town. Opened in 1950 by Manuel,he'd be lucky to squeeze ten rogues into hisbeloved bar. But he never complains as the linegoing into his bar for shots and cocktails seldomshortens.
Open daily from 10am-4am.
Gay / Lesbian Lisbon
Lisbon has a relaxed attitude when it comes tohomosexuality and the gay scene is very open.Most gay bars and clubs are around the city'sPrincipe Real (note you must ring a bell to getinto most bars).
Bric-a-Brac Bar
(Rua CecílioDe Sousa, 82-84) is one of the city's bigger andbetter known gay bars, while nearby
Bar 106
(Rua De São Marçal 106) is a friendly, smallbar.
(Rua Da Palmeira 38) is one ofLisbon's most popular gay clubs.
Club de Fado, Rua San Joao D Praca 94, Alfama
A night of Portugal's most famous music 'fado' isobligatory for those who want to spend one nightsoaking up some Portuguese culture instead ofbeers and cocktails. This club in Alfama is touristybut a good place to witness some traditional tunesnonetheless.
Open daily from 8pm-2am.
Lux, Avenida Infante D, Henrique SantaApolonia
Regarded by many as one of WesternEurope's best haunts, this club part-owned by JohnMalkovich attracts Lisbon's coolest kids who flock tohear the world's top DJs. Not as difficult to makeyour way past the bouncers as you would expect,the hefty admission charge includes a number ofdrinks.
Open Mon-Sat from 6pm-7am.
Incognito, Rua Polais de Sao Bento 37, SaoBento
Part bar, part club, Incognito doesn't have asign on the front door but inside the atmospherespeaks for itself. Totally unpretentious, you can tryall sorts of moves on the dancefloor downstairs, orlook at others from the bar on top.
Open Wed-Sat from 11pm-4am.
Don't MissMark Your Calendar
Sao Vicente de Fora, Calcada de Sao Vicente,Alfama
This huge church and monastery high in theAlfama hills dates back to the 17th century. Uponentering one can visit the cloisters, the sacristy andthe Royal Pantheon. The classical music in thechurch itself makes a visit all the more dramatic.
Open daily from 10am-4pm; admission free (church)/4 (others).
A city fortress
Castelo de Sao Jorge, Alfama
Lisbon's iconiccastle dates back to the 6th century and is wortha couple of hours of any visit to this city. Asidefrom the breathtaking views and walk around thecastle's walls, you can see 360° views throughthe camera obscura and learn the history of thecastle via a short film in 'Olisiponia'.
Open daily from 9am-5.30pm; admission 5.
Oceanario de Lisboa, Ave Dom Joao II, Parquesdas Nacoes
Once home to Europe's largest tank,Lisbon's oceanarium promotes a concept wherespecies from all oceans share the same waters.Four of the five oceans are represented in centresaround the tank that over 1,500 animals like to callhome.
Open daily from 10am-6pm; admission 12.
Centro De Arte Moderna, Rua Dr. Nicolau deBettencourt, Sao Sebastiao
Portugal's flagshipmodern art museum which opened in 1983 housesover 10,000 pieces of art. Some of its mostfascinating pieces are by famed local artists such asVieira da Silva and Paula Rego.
Open Tues-Sun from 10am-6pm; admission 4.
Mosteiro dos Jeronimos, Praca do Imperio,Belem
Built in the 'Manueline' style', Belem'smonastery took over 40 years to complete. Theattention to detail is amazing and the site is listed asa World Heritage Site.
Open daily from 10am-6pm; admission 6/8.
February - Festival das Musicas e dos Portos
For this ten-day festival in February, Lisbon invitesanother city port to exchange music and culture.The Portuguese capital always uses it as an excuseto showcase its famed 'fado' music.
March - Lisbon Half Marathon
This race is themost important athletic event in the city and attractsthousands of athletes, with the finishing line atMosteiro do Jeronimos in Belem.
May/June - Lisbon Village Festival
This festival isa digital cultural event divided in three areas -Village International D-Cinema Festival, Village Artand Village Lounge. Innovative film, music andmore is showcased throughout the festival.
May/June - Rock in Rio in Lisbon
In 2004 thePortuguese capital decided to stage its own versionof the iconic festival and it hasn't looked back since.Lenny Kravitz and Metallica have appeared here.
June - Festos dos Santos Populares
Arguablythe biggest festival on the Lisboan calendar, streetsaround the city are decorated in celebration of thepatron saints of Lisbon. Street festivals and moretake place everywhere.
July - Superbock Superrock Festival
This musicfestival which is now held in Parque das Nacoes,was the first international rock music festival to takeplace in the city. Beck, Mika and Duran Duran haveall performed here.
July to September - BaixAnima Street Festival
This is one of the year's most colourful events andtakes place every weekend from July to September.It is also one of the most central, taking place in thecity's Baixa district. Enjoy street drama, circus actsand more for free.
August - Festival dos Oceanos
The annual'Oceans Festival' is held in areas such as BelemTower and Parque de Nacoes and stages music,drama and dance performances.
August - World Bodyboard Championship
Heldin Praia Grande in Sintra, just outside Lisbon, this isnow one of the main events on the internationalbodyboarding circuit.
December - Noite Magica
While there are partiesheld throughout the city, the best place to ring in theNew Year in Lisbon is at Belem Tower in the suburbof the same name.
Hostelworld Guide for Lisbonwww.hostelworld.com
Neighbourhood WatchRetail Therapy
Bairro Alto
Ask any respecting Lisbon native whereis the best place to party and they will reply with twowords - Bairro Alto. Its two main drags, Rua da Italiaand Rua da Barroca, are lined with bars, but insteadyou'll find that all the fun takes place out on thestreets. At weekends it's hard to walk two meterswithout having to dodge somebody.
A maze of labrynthine lanes
With its distinct Moorish influences,narrow streets, and numerous vantage points,Alfama is one of the most enticing parts of thePortuguese capital. After idling through SéCathedral and Castelo de Sao Jorge, one canwander aimlessly around its streets for hours.Alfama is also famously the home of the largestconcentration of 'fado' bars.
Pronounced 'Belei', Belem is twenty minutesfrom the city centre via tram #15. Most who take thetrip to the district do so to visit the monastery and toindulge in tasty little cakes, although not enough stayto appreciate its peaceful location on the banks ofthe River Tagus. Best appreciated by a visit to themonastery, a cake in 'Pasteis de Belem' and a strolldown to the Golden Gate-esque Ponte 25 de Abril.
These two districts side by sidecollectively make up the area that is downtownLisbon. In Baixa the emphasis is on shopping, andits main thoroughfare Rua Augusta is Lisbon'spremier shopping strip which ends at Praca doCommercio, the city's best known square. Next doorin Chiado you'll encounter cafés on streets such asRua Garret and squares like Largo do Carmo.
Parque das Nacoes
Pretty much founded whenLisbon hosted Expo '98 ten years ago, this part oftown contrasts to the rest of the city greatly which isall thanks to the architecture. Here buildings such asOceanario de Lisboa and Pavilhao Atlantico have afar more modern edge to them.
Rua Augusta, Baixa
Lisbon's flagship shoppingstrip is a pedestrianised street laid with Portugal'sunique ceramic 'Azulejo' tiles. While it is minus manyof the world's best-known brands, this simply lendsto its charm as many stores are stocked with localgoods. In saying that, you will still find a fewrecognisable brands, such as H&M and Zara.
Centro Vasco da Gama, Avenida Dom Joao II,Parque das Nacoes
One of the city's largest malls,yet still not unmanageably big, this mall isfrequented by locals who visit to shop and eat, andtourists who are en-route to the nearby Oceanariode Lisboa. Stores are spread out over two floors andsome of those brands that might ring a bell includeTimberland and Levis.
Open daily from 10am-midnight.
Feira da Ladra, Campo de Santa Clara, Graca
Lisbon's best-known flea market (it means 'thievesmarket' when translated) has been taking placeevery Tuesday and Saturday since 1881. On themarket's numerous stalls you will find everythingfrom vinyl to vintage clothing.
Open every Tuesday and Saturday from 8am-1pm (Tues) & 5pm (Sat).
Avenida de Liberdade
Lisbon's answer to theChamps Elysees (it was modelled on Paris'boulevards) is awash with designer boutiques andchic cafés. Worth a stroll at least if you're not in themarket for some designer clothes.
The rebirth of cool
Bairro Alto
The stores in the funky Bairro Altostock some of the coolest threads in the city andare easily missed at night when crawling frombar to bar. The self-explanatory
(Rua de Norte 32) is one of many storesalong Rua de Norte specialising in sneakers.Others include
Mister Geek
(Rua de Rossa 130)and
Global Effect
(Rua de Rossa 80) whichboth stock funky t-shirts and more.
Budget TipsA Day in Lisbon...
Visit museums on Sundays
If your visit to Lisbon isat the weekend, save yourself a few Euro by leavingthe museums until Sunday when many of them arefree. This includes the city's premier art museum
Museu Calouste Gulbenkian
Centro de ArteModerna
which are both in Sao Sebastio, andAlfama's
Museu Nacional do Azulejo
which tellsthe history of Portugal's celebrated tiles.
Chill out in Lisbon's parks
While the Portuguesecapital isn't as busy and bustling as some otherEuropean capitals, it's still nice to get away from thecrowds and chill out in one of the city's parks. Themost central green areas are
Parque Eduardo VII
atthe top of Avenida da Liberdade and
just north of Bairro Alto.
Jump on board
Take a trip on tram #28
Rather than spendingover 15 for a tour on Lisbon's red tourist tram, jump aboard tram #28 somewhere along Rua doLoreto in Bairro Alto. Make sure it's going in thedirection of the city centre, then sit back, relax,and enjoy a journey by Sé Cathedral, SaoVicente de Fora and more landmarks. The journey will cost you just 1.40.
Invest in a day-ticket for transport
If you'replanning on utilising public transport during your stay(it's pretty inevitable that you will), don't waste yourtime and money by buying single tickets. Insteadinvest in an all-day ticket. Costing 4, they cover themetro, tram, and the city's elevadors which are atourist attraction in their own right.
Visit Lisbon's churches
Many of Lisbon's mostbeautiful buildings are its cathedrals and churches,and thankfully most are free to enter.
Sé Cathedral
in Alfama is the city's best-known cathedral and amust-see. Others worth visiting include the Baroque
Igreja de Loreto
Igreja de Encarnacao
whichare both on Praca Luis Camoes.Start your day in Lisbon's best-known squarePraco do Comercio. Once home to the royalpalace, it is still widely referred to as 'Terreirodo Paco' (Palace Square).Walk under Arco da Victoria and take a rightup Rua de Conceicao until you reach SéCathedral. Explore the cathedral and don'tmiss the cloisters at the back.From here go further up into the Alfamadistrict and visit the historic Castelo de SaoJorge. The castle is fascinating and theviews of the city are breathtaking.Walk up to Largo das Portas do Sol for anaerial view of the Alfama district before jumping on tram #28 back into the city centrefor lunch in Bacalhoeiro.Stroll through the Baixa district to Praco doComercio and get on tram #15. Enjoy theview of Ponte 25 de Abril before jumping outat Mosteiro dos Jeronimos in Belem.After wandering through Belem's famousmonastery give your feet a rest with cup oftea or coffee and a famous 'Pasteis deBelem' in the café of the same name.That evening dine in 'Cabacas' in Bairro Alto.Their specialty is steak, but they have lots offish to choose from also.Bairro Alto is undoubtedly one of Europe'smost hectic areas at night. Jump from bar tobar along Rua da Atalia and Rua daBarocca.If you are in the mood for really making it aday to remember, finish the night off dancingin 'Incognito' or 'Lux', two of Lisbon's coolestclubs.

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