Wander by instinct
The best thing to do is to get lost in the different neighborhoods. Just lose the map, the way and you will experience different views and aspects of the city. you will explore an 'arte antiga' and an 'arte moderna', that you won't find in the museums...
Mosteiro de Santa Maria de Belém
A small chapel - Santa Maria de Belém - was built here at the behest of Prince Henry the Navigator on the site where the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos now stands. The monastery was itself commissioned by D. Manuel I. The magnificence of the building reflects the universalist vision of its founder and the powerful financial resources that the Portuguese crown then enjoyed.
The sixteenth century in Portugal was profoundly connected to the Discoveries and the Messianic idea of the Empire, inspiring a unique style that came to be known as ''Manueline'', since it was developed in the reign of D. Manuel I. The decorative features carved out of the monastery' s stone (many of which, such as ropes, fish and conches, were inspired by the sea) should be studied carefully for they are perhaps the most stimulating way of discovering more about this unique contribution that Portugal made to the art of stonework.
The monument's original design is the work of the architect Boytac, and its construction began in I502. This was the initial phase of building work that was to be continued by other Masters, namely João de Castilho and, in the middle of the century, Diogo de Torralva.
Begin by observing the south-facing façade, whose main feature of interest is the portal, the work of João de Castilho, surmounted by a tympanum of carved stone, including low reliefs showing scenes from the life of St. Jerome and the royal coat of arms. In the centre is a statue of Prince Henry the Navigator wielding a sword and, at the upper level, a statue of Our Lady of Belém, covered by a finely carved canopy. The whole of the portal seems to be physically raising itself skywards, with the figure of the Archangel Gabriel, Portugal's guardian angel, at the very top.
The Oceanarium houses about 15,000 specimens representing two hundred different species.
The sharks are one of the varieties of fish present there. In this house I could admire the pretty jellyfishes sliding for the water. The photo is not great but i think you can see how beautiful it is.
Pasteis de Belem
This is a local pastry you must try. The recipe is very old, and it's not that the pastries are so good that they're the best you will ever taste...it's just a tradition that should be experienced, especially because the recipe has been around for so long.
1st Sunday of May: The Main Religious Event
It was 1569 and the city of Lisbon was heavily affected by the plague. It is said 50.000 to 60.000 people died (half of the population of the town). The young king, Sebastião and the population were in panic with the situation. The king asked for help to his uncle, the Spanish King Filipe II and the population started doing processions to ask to the virgin for help.The plague decreased and the population was eternally grateful and built a statue to the Nossa Senhora da Saúde (Our Lady of Health) and celebrated each year, in the 1st Sunday of May a procession to this saint.
It starts at 11h00 and departs from Martim Moniz. The first lady comes and crowns the virgin that has several expensive garments, and each year comes out with a different one. The majority of them are in gold and pearls. This religious manifestation is probably the most important in town.
In here http://ansumane.blogspot.com/2007_05_01_archive.html you can see a very nice presentation of the event with excellent pictures.