Tourist Information desks
You can find tourist information and buy the Lisbon Card (discount in museums and restaurants + free transports in the city) and taxi vouchers at the following points:
Airport (arrivals) | Phone: +351 218 450 660
winter/summer | 7am-12pm
Palácio Foz, Praça dos Restauradores | Tel.: +351 213 463 314
winter/summer | 9am-8pm
Rua Augusta - kiosk | Tel.: +351 213 259 131
winter/summer | 10am-1pm; 2pm-6pm
Praça do Comércio | Phone: +351 210 312810
winter/summer | 9am-8pm
Train station of Santa Apolónia | Tel.: +351 218 821 606
winter/summer | 8am-1pm (Tue – Sat)
Rua do Arsenal, 25 | Tel.: +351 210 312820
winter/summer | 10am-6pm
Jerónimos Monastery (Belém) - kiosk | Tel.: +351 213 658 435
winter/summer | 10am-1pm; 2pm-6pm (Tue – Sat)
As you stroll along between the monastery and Belem Tower and the Monument to the Discoveries, and really all over historic Lisbon, you will find little shops and refreshment stands strategically placed to sell their wares to the visiting tourists. Usually you will welcome the opportunity to purchase a coca-cola or pastry or chocolate bar and relax for a minute or two between sights. After all, this is southwestern Europe and the sun probably is shining and a little shade and a little rest go a long way towards keeping your energy levels optimum for the day’s excursions.
Between the Monument of Discoveries and Belem Tower, there is a café and a few small shops within the building. There are also stairs downstairs but you can only get to those toilets via way of a receipt which you feed into the machine. You need to buy something to get the receipt and really if you don’t want to do that then you are best to go to the ones at the side nearer the souvenir stalls which are just by coin.
Santo Antonio party
Many cities and countries around the world have their annual party days. In Portugal, each municipality has a specific holiday, which is the day of its local patron saint.
The patron saint of Lisbon is Saint Antony. Its holiday is on June, 13th.
On the night of the 12th, June, people gather through every piece of slope of hilly old Lisbon on a huge street party.
Throughout old Lisbon there are "arraiais" (old word for open air party) where local restaurant or tavern owners set on the street a barbecue and grill sardines and "chouriço" (that typical Iberian sausage called chorizo in Spanish and chouriço in Portuguese).
People come and spend the whole night until dawn, chatting, eating sardines and "chouriço", and drinking wine, beer or sangria.
Traditionally, there are also stands where pots with "manjericos", a plant relative of the basil, are sold. The plants are traditionally bought by boyfriends and given as present to their girlfriends in Stº António's night.
At the beginning of the night, at the broad Av. da Liberdade, there is a parade where teams of each parish of Lisbon compete in a traditional march. It looks like Rio de Janeiro's carnival, where every Rio's district competes in a carnival/samba show to win the title of best performance. However Lisbon's Saint Antony's marches have a rather typical old fashioned ambiance and old fashioned tunes. Unlike the carnival in Rio, there are no almost naked women dancing African like beats.
It's a popular atmosphere with working class roots. I think it would remind more of a Mexican popular party, with deep catholic roots and old happy tunes played with trumpets.
The parade is somehow kitschy, but the street parties, the "arraiais" in Alfama, Graça, Mouraria and throughout Lisbon are really nice.
God, I'm old!
I was going to write about the familiar Sunday programs in the gardens, living nature and enjoying the music played in the band stands.
Music was gone, (families are going...), nature is poluted, but a few band stand are still there. Some of them still with "artistic" use - grafitti instead of music - some other, just there.
Signs of the not so old Lisbon, for instance in Pr. José Fontana, facing Camões high school.