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LISBON'S 10 MAIN SQUARES

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LISBON'S 10 MAIN SQUARES

PRAÇA DOS RESTAURADORES

A tall obelisk measuring 30 meters (about 100 feet) was placed at the center of this square in 1886. It’s a square mostly frequented by tourists who look for the tourism office in the beautiful Foz Palace or head to Hard Rock Cafe. Others stop for an ice cream at Veneziana or sit on the terrace of Pinóquio restaurant. The former Eden Theatre with its Art Deco façade is now a hotel and there are still two other large hotels, the historic Avenida Palace and the more modern Altis Avenida.

ROSSIO

Known for its undulating cobblestone patterns first created in 1848, this square has the official name of Dom Pedro IV but everyone knows it as Rossio. It was one of the first spaces to be decorated with this type of pavement which has become so emblematic of Portugal. On the north side is the National Theater D. Maria II and two monumental fountains are at the center. The historic cafés Nicola and Suiça also survive with their terraces attracting tourists, as does the curious Chapelaria Azevedo Rua. Overlooking it all are Hotel Metropole and the Internacional Design Hotel.

PRAÇA DO COMÉRCIO

It’s Western Europe’s largest royal square (the second largest in the continent after St. Petersburg’s Palace Square), created after the 1755 earthquake. The arcades that surround it were once home to government offices for many years but are now mainly occupied by cafes and restaurants. The most famous of those is Martinho da Arcada, the oldest café in the city and a favorite of poet Fernando Pessoa.

On the north side is a triumphal arch and to the south are two turrets facing the Tagus. This was the noble gateway to Lisbon where heads of state disembarked, and the marble steps of the pier are now usually occupied by tourists who sit admiring the scenery.
At the center of the square is a bronze equestrian statue of King José I unveiled in 1775.
The city’s history is told at the Lisboa Story Centre in the east wing, which also offers cafés that allow you to relax with the river as a backdrop (Can the Can, Populi and Museu da Cerveja). On the opposite side, Aura Lounge and Chefe Cordeiro are the highlights.

PRAÇA DO MARQUÊS DE POMBAL

This square is where the old center meets the modern city. In the middle is a monument erected in 1934 to honor the Marquis of Pombal, the statesman responsible for the rebuilding of Lisbon’s downtown after the 1755 earthquake. His image stands at the top of a pedestal, facing his creation towards the river. Hotels and offices surround the square, while Edward VII Park is seen to the north and Avenida da Liberdade to the south. Worth visiting: the art exhibitions of BES Arte e Finança gallery.

PRAÇA DA FIGUEIRA

Currently serving mostly as a tram terminal, as an underground car park and skate park, this square was once the city’s main marketplace. A covered market built in 1885 was demolished in the 1950s and later a bronze equestrian statue of King John I was erected in its place.
The four-story buildings (many of them in need of renovation) are occupied by hotels and cafes, with the Confeitaria Nacional being an essential stop. The biggest curiosity is the lovely Doll Hospital while the more recent resident is the Beautique Hotel.

PRAÇA LUÍS DE CAMÕES

This square dedicated to Luis de Camões has a monument at the center with an image of the poet dating from 1867. Behind it is an 18th-century building now housing the Brazilian consulate, while on the south side is one of Lisbon’s most emblematic hotels, the Bairro Alto Hotel (worth entering to enjoy a beautiful view of the city from the rooftop bar). You’ll also find a Padaria Portuguesa, a branch of the local chain of bakeries known for its delicious “Pão de Deus” pastry. Alternatively, there’s the kiosk serving refreshments in the open air.

LARGO DO CARMO

This jacaranda-filled square is home to the ruins of Carmo Convent. Built in the 14th century, the monument was partially destroyed in the earthquake of 1755 and today is an archaeological museum. To its left is the headquarters of the National Guard where prime minister Marcelo Caetano took refuge during the 1974 revolution, leading the government to surrender on this spot. To the right is a gate leading to the Santa Justa Elevator. It was also here that the first Portuguese university was founded in 1290, where now stands the Valadares Palace descending Calçada do Sacramento.

In front of the convent is a drinking fountain from 1771 which provided water from the Águas Livres Aqueduct. Today it’s surrounded by café terraces, and mostly recommended is Chá do Carmo for a tea break and a visit to the beautiful Sapataria do Carmo shoe store.
On the northwest corner of the square is the Lisboa Carmo Hotel.

PRAÇA DO MUNICÍPIO 

The monarchy came to an end and a new republic was proclaimed on this square on October 5th, 1910. It’s now where official celebrations recalling that date take place every year. At the center is a 10m-high pillory made of marble after the 1755 earthquake, replacing the one that existed previously. The five steps at its base are now used by tourists who stop to relax and admire the cobblestone pavement and the municipal palace. Next to that building is the former St. Julien Church, today the Money Museum.
To admire it all, sit at the tables of the kiosk café.

LARGO DE SÃO CARLOS

Named after the theater built here in 1793, this square is also known for being the birthplace of poet Fernando Pessoa. Two of the city’s best restaurants (Belcanto and Largo) face the theater, as do a Marc by Marc Jacobs and Godiva store.

The tables on the terrace are those of Café Lisboa of celebrity chef José Avillez.
For several weeks during the summer the square hosts outdoor concerts.

PRAÇA DE SÃO PAULO

It’s been a sad case of neglect over the last few years but there are currently signs of a rebirth.

The Cais do Sodré district has been revived through new bars and restaurants, and a good choice for petiscos (“tapas”) is Taberna Tosca which faces the square and its 18th-century church. This is a square with a beautiful symmetrical harmony but unfortunately many of the buildings that surround it are abandoned.
A beautiful old kiosk serves refreshments throughout the day.

Source: Lisbon Lux

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LISBON'S 10 MOST BEAUTIFUL PAVEMENTS

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LISBON'S 10 MOST BEAUTIFUL PAVEMENTS

It’s inspired by Roman mosaics, but the traditional Portuguese cobblestone pavement developed in Lisbon during the city’s post-1755-earthquake reconstruction. It all started with Rossio Square’s wave-like patterns, and soon spread all over the capital, to other cities in Portugal, to Brazil, Macau and other colonies. Here are ten of the most outstanding examples in Lisbon today.

1 | "Amália" - Rua de São Tomé

Alfama, Lisbon

This tribute to fado singer Amalia Rodrigues is found in Alfama, where Rua de São Tomé meets Calçada do Menino de Deus. Amalia's face descending a wall towards the ground is a creation of street artist Vhils, and was unveiled in 2015.

2 | Rossio

Rossio, Lisboa
Rossio square, Lisbon

Dom Pedro IV Square (best known as Rossio) is where Portugal’s traditional cobblestone pavements were born. Its famous wave pattern (named “Wide Ocean”) dates from 1849 and is now also one of Rio de Janeiro’s trademarks.

3 | Avenida da Liberdade

Avenida da Liberdade
Restauradores square

Many of the most beautiful examples of cobblestone designs are seen down Avenida da Liberdade, which features abstract and floral designs going from Restauradores Square (with its pattern designed by painter João Abel Manta) to Marquês do Pombal Square.

4 | Padrão dos Descobrimentos

Padrão dos descobrimentos, Lisboa
Belém, Lisbon

The mosaic next to the Discoveries Monument, with its map of the world inside a compass rose indicating the routes of the Portuguese explorers, is surrounded by the “Wide Ocean” cobblestone design similar to that of Rossio.

5 | Parque das Nações

Oceanarium in Lisbon

Even in its most modern district, Lisbon did not forget its traditional pavements, although it has innovated in the designs. They’re still inspired by the oceans, with some extraordinary examples next to the Oceanarium, depicting sea monsters. Other maritime motifs cover the central walkway of Alameda dos Oceanos.

6 | Praça do Império

Jerónimos Monastery Lisbon

The large square across from the Jeronimos Monastery was designed in 1940 and completely paved in cobblestone. It chose some curious motifs -- the signs of the Zodiac and the armillary sphere.

7 | Praça do Marquês de Pombal

Marquês de Pombal, Lisboa

The monument to the Marquis of Pombal, at the center of a roundabout, is surrounded by cobblestone pavement, designed with Lisbon’s arms -- two crows perched on a caravel.

8 | Praça Luís de Camões

Luís de Camões, Lisbon

Mermaids and ships surround the pedestal of the monument to Luis Vaz de Camões, recalling "The Lusiads," the poet’s great epic.

9 | Largo do Chiado

Cafe in Lisbon
QR Code lisbon

The pavement by the city’s most famous cafe ("A Brasileira") has an abstract pattern and dates from the 1950s. A little further down, by the terrace of the Benard cafe, is a 1-square-meter QR code made of cobblestone, to provide tourist information about the neighborhood on your smartphone.

10 | Praça do Município

Pavement in Lisbon

The paving of this beautiful square dates back to 1997, and the design is by painter Eduardo Nery. The artist wanted to create a geometric pattern that would resemble a carpet, through the use of triangles and rectangles.

Source: LisbonLux

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Trendy Lisbon - The 10 Hot Spots Right Now

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Trendy Lisbon - The 10 Hot Spots Right Now

1 | PRÍNCIPE REAL

Principe Real is currently the hottest neighborhood in Lisbon. It’s where more and more independent boutiques are opening, and where you find the monumental Embaixada and Entre Tanto concept stores. It also has some of the trendiest spots for a drink or meal at any time of the day, such as the Lost In terrace, O Prego da Peixaria, A Cevicheria, or the cafés and restaurants in and around Praça das Flores. At night, the best cocktails are at Cinco Lounge.

2 | CHIADO

Chiado has always been Lisbon’s main shopping district, today mixing independent stores and international chains, especially on the streets of Carmo and Garrett, and at the Armazéns do Chiado mall. But today it’s also the city’s meeting point, at cafés like Fábulas, Royale or Kaffeehaus, at the ice cream shop Santini, or at Nut'Chiado. It also has the best restaurants in town, such as Belcanto or Largo on Largo de São Carlos, Sea Me and several down Rua Duques de Bragrança, such as Cantinho do Avillez, Pizzaria Lisboa and U Chiado. It’s also home to the best rooftop bars, like Entretanto, Terrace and Silk Club.

3 | LX FACTORY

Who would have imagined that an abandoned industrial space outside the heart of the city would become one of the places to be in Lisbon? It was first taken over by small businesses and creative professionals, then came the shops and cafés, and even a small market on Sundays. Now many pass by in the evening, stepping into the curious bookshop Ler Devagar or into Landeau for its mouthwatering chocolate cake. Later at night, it’s time for dinner at 1300 Taberna, a Praça or Moules & Wine, and on weekends the day ends at Faktory Club.

4 | BAIRRO ALTO

Throughout most of its 500-year history, this neighborhood has maintained a certain bohemian and alternative atmosphere. Starting on Largo do Camões and entering Rua do Norte, this is where the night owls roam the streets looking for the perfect bar and restaurant. On Rua do Norte, many stay for dinner at the restaurants Blend, Cervejaria do Bairro, or Esperança, while others enjoy a glass of wine at Grapes & Bites. Those who turn towards Rua das Salgadeiras admire the Cork & Co. shop, get together by the door of the Purex bar, or by Maria Caxuxa around the corner on Rua da Barroca. Others still pass by Rua do Diário de Notícias, then go down the hill towards the Park bar, while others choose to move up towards the São Pedro de Alcântara terrace for the views or for dinner at The Decadente or The Insólito.

5 | CAIS DO SODRÉ

The former red light district now competes with Bairro Alto as the main nightlife destination. Rua Nova do Carvalho (now also known as Pink Street for the color of the pavement) mixes crowds of all ages and backgrounds, on the terraces or inside the bar Pensão Amor. During the day everyone gravitates towards the waterfront, at Ribeira das Naus or at the former warehouses, such as the bar Vestígius. At any time of the day, the food court of the Ribeira Market is always packed. For dinner, the choices usually are Casa de Pasto, Duplex or las Ficheras.

6 | DOCA DO JARDIM DO TABACO

On the site of the future Lisbon cruise terminal, by Santa Apolónia station, is a group of old warehouses that are now some of the most popular spots in town. That’s where you’ll find the trendy Bica do Sapato restaurant and the Lux club, while during the day many choose the restaurants Cais da Pedra and Casanova, or the Deli Delux café.

7 | AVENIDA DA LIBERDADE

Lisbon’s luxury shopping boulevard also offers several kiosks for light meals or drinks at any time of the day. Past some of the best local jewelry and shoe stores, many eventually turn to Rua Barata Salgueiro which crosses the avenue, for lunch or dinner at the trendy restaurants Guilty or SushiCafé Avenida. For a coffee break, there's the Delta Q cafe. During the summer, many end the day overlooking Lisbon from the terrace of Sky Bar.

8 | MIRADOURO DE SANTA CATARINA

The Santa Catarina terrace attracts all kinds of people for the view of the port of Lisbon and for the sunset, but also for the Noobai café that mixes young locals and tourists staying at the hostels nearby. Others prefer the Pharmácia restaurant, for a meal or cocktails.

9 | DOCAS DE SANTO AMARO

It may be a bit touristy, but the Santo Amaro dock (or simply “the docks”) also attracts many locals, for the pizzas at Capricciosa or for ice cream at Artisani. The terraces facing the marina and 25 de Abril Bridge create the perfect cosmopolitan spot for the afternoon or night.

10 | BICA

Across from Bairro Alto by the landmark Bica funicular is a concentration of bars that attracts large crowds on weekends. Of the various spots found down Rua da Bica Duarte Belo, the most popular is the Bicaense bar, and a little further down the hill is the popular Estrela da Bica for dinner.

Source: LisbonLux

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10 MOST BEAUTIFUL SHOPS IN LISBON

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10 MOST BEAUTIFUL SHOPS IN LISBON

TOUS – OURIVESARIA ALIANÇA

This elaborate, gilded jewelry store seems to have come straight out of a royal palace, decorated in the style of Louis XV. A selection of silver and golden jewels actually looks like part of the décor.

CASA DAS VELAS DO LORETO

This wood-covered shop is decorated with the candles of various shapes, sizes, and colors that it sells since 1789.

A VIDA PORTUGUESA

Organizing Portugal’s traditional products (some of which had been long-forgotten) under one roof since 2004, this shop presents a series of wooden cabinets filled with attractive retro packagings that create an atmospheric world of nostalgia.

LUVARIA ULISSES

Quite possibly the world’s smallest shop, Luvaria Ulisses is an Art Deco gem. The specialty is hand-made leather gloves which it displays on the attractive façade.

A ARTE DA TERRA

It’s easy to mistake this for an ethnographic museum, but it’s a 12th-century stable that now carefully presents the arts and crafts from around Portugal. The country’s cultural heritage is displayed on the former stone mangers under graceful brick-and-stone arches, with individually-lit pieces standing on an uneven stone surface.

CONFEITARIA NACIONAL

Pick up an appetizing box of biscuits or pastries at this confectionery shop to admire its mirrored ceiling, marble counter, and wooden staircase, all dating from 1829.

CHAPELARIA AZEVEDO RUA

Opened in 1886, this shop still features the original wooden cabinets where berets and all other kinds of hats are displayed. It looks like a stage for a Victorian or Belle Epoque production, complete with a display of canes.

FARMÁCIA ANDRADE

This is just one of more than a handful of beautiful 19th-century pharmacies in Lisbon. This one opened in 1837 (when it manufactored the first sterilized products in the country) and is one of the best-preserved shops of that time in the city. It was renovated in 2005, maintaining the ornate stucco ceiling, dark wood cabinets, and an attractive bronze lamp. The back used to be a laboratory and is now part of the shop, with a large mirror reflecting the surrounding elegance.
Similar interiors are found just a few steps away, at Farmácia Barreto (Rua do Loreto, 24-30) and Farmácia Durão (Rua Garrett, 90-92).

CONSERVEIRA DE LISBOA

Even if you’re not a fan of fish, it’s hard to resist buying a can of tuna, sardines, or squid in a variety of sauces at this charming shop. Its old-fashioned interior is quite colorful thanks to the different vintage-designed packaged goods that cover the walls on wooden shelves. The museum feel is enhanced when you look at the decades-old cash register and at the 80-year-old signs.

A CARIOCA

When it opened in 1936, this was one of Lisbon’s most popular shops thanks to its Brazilian coffee sold by the kilo. It remains a charming attraction today, thanks to its Art Deco façade and mirrored decades-old interior which still features the old grinding machine.

Source: Lisbonlux

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10 choses à faire absolument en vacances à Lisbonne

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10 choses à faire absolument en vacances à Lisbonne

Lisbonne séduit de plus en plus de français chaque année. Située à seulement deux heures de Paris, la capitale portugaise a tout pour séduire les jeunes qui veulent passer des vacances au top sans trop dépenser. Une fois votre billet d’avion réservé, privilégiez la compagnie TAP à Easy Jet, la plupart du temps moins chère, et votre hébergement cosy déniché sur Airbnb, il ne vous reste plus qu’à kiffer un maximum, avec les meilleures adresses.

Prendre le vieux tram pour visiter la ville

Le tram de Lisbonne est une vraie relique qui ne manquera pas de vous charmer. Embarquez à bord pour découvrir les quartiers de la ville.

Profiter d’une vue imprenable depuis l’esplanade du Castelo de São Jorge

Vous ne trouverez pas de meilleure vue de toute la capitale. Asseyez-vous, buvez un verre, détendez-vous.

Assister à un concert de Fado dans le quartier des antiquaires

Une étape incontournable de votre voyage sera de découvrir la musique locale, dans un restaurant qui ne paie pas de mine, mais où vous passerez sans aucun doute l’un des meilleurs moments de votre séjour. Pour cela direction le quartier de l’Alfama, le seul ayant survécu au tremblement de terre de 1755, et qui offre un vrai décor authentique.

Faire du shopping dans le quartier du Chiado

Situé en plein cœur de la ville, vous y trouverez des tonnes de commerçant pour faire des emplettes. Le best est de terminer sa session shopping sur une terrasse de la Praça do Comércio, place la plus belle et la plus emblématique de Lisbonne, qui vous offrira une vue imprenable sur le Tejo.

Aller surfer sur la plage de Carcavelos

Il faut savoir qu’il n’y a pas de plage dans Lisbonne. Pour en profiter, vous devrez sortir de la ville. Soit vous avez un véhicule et c’est parfait, soit vous prenez le train qui relie la gare Cais do Sodre à Cascais. L’été un pass jeune à tarif réduit est mis en place. Pensez à le demander. Comptez environ 15 minutes depuis le centre de Lisbonne pour vous y rendre. Et une fois sur place, direction la Carcavelos Surf School, 25 euros le cours de 2 heures. Vous pouvez aussi vous offrir un safari d’une journée qui vous fera découvrir les plus belles plages du coin.

Aller au Guincho !

Située en plein cœur du parc naturel protégé, et point le plus à l’Ouest de l’Occident, vous devez absolument passer une journée sur cette plage magnifique. Elle est assez loin, mais ça vaut carrément le détour.

Faire le marché de Cascais

Motivez-vous un matin pour profiter du marché et de la marina de Cascais, dont vous tomberez sans aucun doute sous le charme. Vous aurez peut-être même l’occasion de croiser David Cameron et sa petite famille en train d’acheter du poisson frais.

Boire un mojito géant au 104

Passons aux choses sérieuses. Le Bairro Alto, situé en plein cœur de Lisbonne, est le rendez-vous incontournable de la jeunesse. Pour bien commencer sa soirée, le 104, qui se situe en plein cœur du quartier, vous servira les meilleurs Mojitos du coin. Vous pourrez même découvrir le « Copa da Crise ».

Descendre des shots dans une ancienne maison close

Une fois que vous aurez bien profité du 104 et déambulé dans les rues avoisinantes remplies de bars, vous finirez par tomber sur la Pensao Amor, une ancienne maison close qui a conservé la déco d’origine. Effet garanti !

Admirez le lever de soleil depuis le rooftop du Lux

C’est LE club incontournable de Lisbonne et l’un des meilleurs d’Europe. Située en face de la gare Santa Apolonia, le club appartient en partie à John Malkovich. Il aurait lui-même veillé à soigner la décoration du lieu.

Une fois à l’intérieur (prenez une entrée qui vous donne accès à tout le club, sinon vous le regretterez), si la physionomiste veut bien vous laisser rentrer, traversez la grande salle, rendez-vous sur le rooftop et commandez un cocktail à base de glace maison et de Greygoose. Puis, vers 2/3h du matin, allez dans la salle du bas, la salle techno. Les plus grands artistes de la planète s’y produisent chaque année. Puis, une fois la soirée terminée, retournez sur le rooftop pour admirer le lever de soleil.

Source: Focusur

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MERCADO DA RIBEIRA

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MERCADO DA RIBEIRA

Mercado da Ribeira (also known as Mercado 24 de Julho) is Lisbon's main food market since 1892, when it opened with an iron interior and a large oriental dome. In 2014 it was taken over by Time Out Lisboa magazine, whose management added stalls offering food and traditional local products. 

 
  • WHERE: Avenida 24 de Julho - Cais do Sodré 
  • GETTING THERE:  Metro - Cais do Sodré 

 

The Traditional Market

The traditional stalls selling fresh produce are found on the ground floor and are open from 6AM to 2PM.

The Food Court

The food court, with canteen-style communal tables, opened in May of 2014 and has become a major food destination. It’s on the western side of the building on the ground floor, and opens every day from 10AM to midnight from Sunday to Wednesday and from 10AM to 2AM from Thursday to Saturday. 
It mixes stalls from top chefs with different brands of local products, and the foods range from seafood to steak sandwiches, hamburgers, sushi and ice cream, among other specialties. 
The drink stalls are in the center.

Upstairs

The upper floor opened in the summer of 2015 and includes a concert hall with a capacity for 350 (seated) or 650 (standing), a gallery, and an information desk by Time Out Lisboa magazine.

Outside

Outside, on the western side facing Dom Luis I Square, is a kiosk cafe in the garden, and a terrace with 250 seats.

Source: Lisbonlux

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25 REASONS TO LOVE LISBON

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25 REASONS TO LOVE LISBON

1 | IT’S UNPRETENTIOUS

Lisbon is cool because it’s not interested in fitting in. It’s a breath of fresh air in a globalized world, a place that doesn’t compromise its simple authentic pleasures while managing to embrace what’s new in the global village.

2| TOLERANCE AND FREEDOM

A mural by Rossio Square states that Lisbon is “the city of tolerance.” That’s a reminder of when the city was one of very few places on Earth where the three major religions coexisted peacefully (Christians, Jews and Muslims — until the Inquisition). Portugal was also the first European nation to abolish slavery in its colonies, and is now a country where freedom of speech is valued, and freedom of religion is so natural that, unlike in many other countries, it’s even irrelevant in political campaigns (candidate’s religious beliefs are generally unknown and not even discussed).
In 2010 it also became one of the first very few countries to allow same-sex marriage.

3| IT’S ONE BIG ART GALLERY

Lisbon is filled with imaginatively-adorned streets, from artistic (and not-so-artistic) graffiti, to dazzling tile panels on walls, to art nouveau store signs, to its characteristic cobblestone design pavements. Everywhere you turn is someone’s work of art.

4| THE WORLD’S BEST PASTRIES

The Paris and Vienna cafés have all the fame, but Lisbon has all the flavor. It claims the best chocolate cake in the world and its custard tarts are world-famous and imitated (The Guardian declared it one of the 50 best foods in the world).

5| THE MUSEUMS ARE UNDISCOVERED TREASURES

There is no Louvre or Tate or Prado, so Lisbon’s little-known museums are therefore wonderful surprises: From the world-class Gulbenkian collection, to the magnificent one-of-a-kind tile museum, to the fantasy vehicles of the carriages museum, to the East-meets-West works of art in the Ancient Art Museum and Orient museum, to the contemporary creativity of the Berardo Collection.

6| THE TAGUS

This is no ordinary river. It’s a river that’s usually mistaken for the sea, a body of water that reflects a blinding light back onto the multicolored buildings of the city. It’s also a historical landmark, as it was from its banks that the ships that traced the map of the world departed from, and arrived at, starting the process now known as globalization.

7| IT’S BOHEMIAN YET TRENDY

Somehow Lisbon holds on to its unconventional styles while also being up-to-date on the latest global trends. Many neighborhoods like Bairro Alto have a sleepy atmosphere in the daytime, but at night it’s an energetic mix of diverse tribes, from struggling artists to clueless teens socializing and partying together until dawn. This diversity has led to a remarkable artistic explosion in the city, from new galleries to the the world-class project that is the Design and Fashion museum.

8| ARCHITECTURAL DIVERSITY

Forget the uniformity (monotony) of the grand European boulevards in Lisbon. Here, no two buildings are alike. Colorful streets are lined with tile panels, wrought-iron designs, and two original architectural styles, the Pombaline and the Manueline.

9| IT’S ONE OF THE WORLD’S SAFEST CAPITALS

The European Safety Observatory says that Lisbon is Europe’s safest capital. While you should hold on to your wallet in the city’s trams to avoid pickpocketing, serious random violent crime (murder and rape) is extremely rare, not to say almost nonexistent in the city’s everyday life.

10| IT’S TIMELESS

Turn-of-the-century trams, Belle Epoque cafés, old-fashioned shops selling retro products, 18th-century tiles everywhere, medieval-villages-within-the-city: the past and the present coexist in Lisbon. Lisbon is wonderfully vintage.

11| IT’S HAUNTED BY GHOSTS OF POETS

Like other great historical cities, Lisbon has inspired artists and writers, and its soulful atmosphere feels haunted by writers such as Fernando Pessoa, Eça de Queiroz or Nobel Prize-winning José Saramago. Their presence is especially felt and relived every day in the streets of Chiado, as if their footsteps still echo in cafés like A Brasileira at bookshops like Bertrand, the oldest in the world.

12| IT HASN’T SOLD ITS SOUL

The decaying neighborhoods of the historical center may be in desperate need of a face-lift, but there’s something refreshing about ancient neighborhoods that haven’t been turned into touristy amusement parks. If Alfama or Bairro Alto were in other European capitals they’d have been completely sanitized and sold their soul to tourism, yet they remain raw and authentic in Lisbon.

13| THE DIVERSE AMBIENCES

It’s a medieval timewarp in Alfama, futuristic in Parque das Nações, romantic in Chiado, imperial in Belém, bohemian in Bairro Alto, cosmopolitan in Avenida da Liberdade…

14| THE BEST CLIMATE IN THE WORLD

It’s known as Europe’s sunniest capital, but the city’s enviable climate is not just 300 days of sunshine throughout the year. It’s also mild temperatures, never below zero in winter, and nights cooled off by the Atlantic in the hotter summer months. Lisboetas only realize how lucky they are when they travel around rainy and freezing Europe and North America, or scorching-hot Africa or unpredictably tropical and humid South America.

15| THE BEACHES

Name one other European capital by the beach. There is no other. The only other major city blessed with sand and sea is Barcelona, but Lisbon’s coastline is bigger, more diverse and beautiful. With golden dunes, hills, or mountains as backdrops, you may surf, windsurf, sail, or even play golf by the sea at world-class courses. Lisbon is unique for having both river and sea, and offers Europe’s largest unbroken expanse of sand at the 30km-long Costa da Caparica.

16| THE FADO AND ALL THAT JAZZ

There are only a few cities in the world with their own sound (Buenos Aires has tango, Rio has samba, New Orleans has jazz), and Lisbon is one of those places with a unique soundtrack — Fado. More than music, it’s a state of mind, a sound that you don’t dance to, that you don’t just let play in the background, but that you stop to feel. It’s often called “the Portuguese blues” and surprisingly the Portuguese capital is also a major jazz city. That’s a very little-known fact except for jazz aficionados, and there is even a local jazz label (Clean Feed Records) that has gone international. There are also several outdoor jazz concerts with international musicians in the summer.

17| THE NEIGHBORHOOD SPIRIT

The neighborly spirit lives on in Lisbon’s oldest neighborhoods. These are still places where everyone greets each other in the morning, where traditional shops and family-run taverns still survive, while also coexisting with bold fashion boutiques under laundry hanging from balconies where old ladies stand next to their cats chatting with next-door neighbors. These neighborhoods compete every year for best march (song and costume) in a parade taking place every June in the annual “Festas de Lisboa,” a city-wide street festival.

18| IT’S OFTEN NOT WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE

It’s one of the world’s most unpredictable cities with unexpected sights: Deceiving façades hide wonderful surprises inside (such as São Roque Church), and countless unexplored corners frame postcard-perfect views. It’s a city that spikes curiosity and demands contemplation.

19| IT’S A ROMANTIC FAIRYTALE

The stories of the great explorers of the Age of Discovery, the exotic influences of the world’s first global empire, battles, disasters and triumphs in what is Europe’s second-oldest capital (after Athens), and the fantasy palaces of magical Sintra

20| THE COFFEE IS BETTER AND THE TEA IS ONE-OF-A-KIND

Portugal knows a thing or two about coffee. After all, it was responsible for the first plantations in Brazil, now the world’s largest producer. Until the early 20th century, the coffee served in Lisbon came almost exclusively from its former colony, and today the Portuguese demand only the best quality beans. A tiny cup of strong, black coffee in Lisbon is called a “bica,” and if you’re a caffeine addict, you won’t find better coffee anywhere else. If you prefer tea, try the only tea produced in Europe, the Gorreana green tea from Portugal’s Azores.

21| THE SEAFOOD

Some say Portugal has the best fish in the world. With its large coastline and long history at sea, that could in fact be true. Especially because here fish really tastes like fish, and seafood is really seafood — no sauces masking the fresh flavor of the sea here.

22| YEAR-ROUND FESTIVALS

The cultural vitality that has emerged in Lisbon in the last few years means that there is a rich calendar of events throughout the year. From major summer music festivals attracting the biggest international acts, to international film festivals devoted to all genres (independent features, documentaries, thrillers, animation…), there is always something going on.

23| IT’S ONE BIG GYM

Lisbon may be built on several steep hills, but it’s wonderful to walk around in. Many medieval alleys are too narrow for cars, so you’re forced to use your feet all the time, which is good news for those with no time to exercise. Your workout and calorie-burning can be done by simply going to work, shopping, or heading to a café, and you can also choose to go cycling along the river. The hills may often be strenuous, but your heart will thank you later.

24| IT’S AFFORDABLE

As Western Europe’s least expensive capital, Lisbon is often described as the continent’s “best value for money” destination. But that’s not just for tourists. Even locals can plan a night out in the city without spending much. You can find fulfilling meals for less than 10 euros, there are free museums (most of them are also free on Sundays until 2PM), and there’s a wide range of activities with no admission charge. Best of all is that nightlife is mostly lived on the streets, with cheap beer and caipirinhas in hand.

25| IT’S SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL

Lisbon’s luminosity and seductive alleys that force you to wander around discovering hidden secrets make it one of the world's most beautiful cities. You’ll confirm that by standing on stunning hilltop terraces known as “miradouros” (viewpoints) which reveal one of the world’s most scenic cityscapes.

Source: Lisbon Lux

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Le Portugal comme vous ne l'avez jamais vu

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Le Portugal comme vous ne l'avez jamais vu

Du Portugal on connaît Lisbonne bien sûr, sa capitale au charme historique qui reflète le prestige de la période coloniale, Porto son vieux quartier de Ribeira avec ses maisons colorées, ainsi que son fado et sa gastronomie aux saveurs méditerranéennes. Pourtant, si le pays est petit par la taille, il offre une diversité de paysages magnifiques bien trop méconnus. De ses sublimes plages de l’Algarve au sud, en passant par l’Alentejo surnommée la Toscane portugaise, à la région de Lisbonne pour finir au Nord, embarquons pour un périple éblouissant, entre terre et mer.

De Faro à Lisbonne : des plages de sable fin de l’Algarve à l’Alentejo

Faro, la ville la plus méridionale du Portugal, est un joyau typique du pays pourtant bien peu connu. Il est agréable de se promener dans ses ruelles pittoresques aux façades colorées et de remonter le temps dans son centre historique ceinturé de remparts. Plus à l’ouest, la petite ville de Lagos ne manque pas de charme non plus. Ici, rien ne semble avoir bougé depuis des siècles comme si les murailles qui l’entourent l’avaient préservée de l’empreinte du temps. Autre atout de prestige : ses cinq magnifiques plages bordées de falaises et une eau turquoise à perte de vue. L’Algarve et ses côtes ensoleillées font partie des plus belles du pays et même d’Europe. Celle du petit village d’Odeceixe a ainsi été reconnue comme l’une des sept merveilles du Portugal.

Laissez cette région et son littoral pour découvrir l’Alentejo en commençant par la charmante Béja, capitale de l’huile d’olive et du blé. Son architecture, mélange de style romain et mauresque, symbolise son héritage multiculturel. Les terres chauffées par le soleil de la “toscane portugaise” recèlent de nombreux trésors à l’image d’Evora, capitale de l’Alentejo. Cette petite cité médiévale, classée au patrimoine mondial de l’UNESCO, fait office de ville-musée avec son aqueduc, sa cathédrale du 13e siècle, ses vestiges de l’ancien temple romain et son église de São João Evangelista décorée d’azuléjos. Comment évoquer les azuléjos sans penser à Lisbonne et à ses façades qui en sont ornées, conférant à la ville son inimitable éclat ?

De Lisbonne à Porto : villes symboles de l’identité portugaise

Cap vers l’est maintenant avec un passage incontournable par Lisbonne, la capitale. Vitrine de la glorieuse époque coloniale du pays, Lisbonne n’en est pas moins ancrée dans son époque comme l’atteste le quartier futuriste de Parque das Nações. Une ville qui n’a pas finit de vous surprendre. En remontant vers le littoral, le petit village de pêcheurs d’Ericeira séduira les amateurs de surf en quête de vagues mais aussi d’authenticité, moins fréquenté que la célèbre Nazaré. Le Portugal est aussi un haut lieu de savoirs et de connaissances, en témoigne le petite ville de Coimbra, beaucoup plus au nord. L’ancienne cité médiévale abrite en effet l’une des plus vieilles universités au monde, classée au patrimoine mondiale de l’UNESCO.

Après cette page culture, il est temps de s’octroyer un moment de détente. Aveiro “la Venise du Portugal” sillonnée de canaux, est idéale. La plus agréable façon de découvrir la ville ? Sur un Moliceiro, bateau anciennement destiné au ramassage des algues, et se laisser voguer paisiblement au fil de l’eau. Enfin, ultime étape : Porto, qui du haut de sa colline surplombe le fleuve Douro. Admirez les ruelles du vieux quartier de Ribeira et son enchevêtrement de maisons colorées, où règne une douce ambiance de village. C’est toute l’âme du Portugal que Porto à conservé.

Source: www.laoujetemmenerai.com

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