It's not easy to find a place...
It's not easy to find a place too choose, but definately somewhere near the Tagus River. Maybe a restaurant or bar, or the ancient place of EXpo 98 now Parque das Naçoes. See the river, the water, the gardens and the light bathing this space. And there just look a few moments to the silence of the waters, to the birds singing, and to the people walking... What is better in Lisbon is the morning light, the morning light hiting the facades tiles, making the water shinny, and the streets cheerful.
Oceanário de Lisboa
As I said before, the most important equipment in the Park of Nations is the Oceanarium. It includes a gigantic aquarium where you can see the global ocean.
> It's the largest aquarium in Europe.
Well, when i went there i thought it will be closed because there was dark already and we didn't know the schedule, but we went in time.
> Admission to the Oceanarium costs:
0-3 years old – free
4-12 years old – 4,50 EUR
13-65 years old – 9,00 EUR
+ 65 years old – 5,00 EUR
> Opening hours: every day of the year from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Winter
10 a.m to 7 p.m at Summer
For more info go to : www.oceanario.pt
Bairro Alto is a picturesque working class quarter with lanes and narrow streets at right angles to each other, and partially ruined houses, clad in azulejos (tiles). The quarter has been changing quite a lot throughout the ages –from a rich and new place, to the city's bohemian haunt of artists and writers, to the nowadays trendy nightlife of the city.
Located above the Baixa (it is the highest quarter of old Lisbon) between Rua do Século, Rua de D. Pedro V, Rua de S. Pedro de Alcântara/Rua da Misericórdia and Rua do Loreto/Calçada do Combro, the quarter developed in the 16th C. in the course of an extension of the city center towards the west and the northwest. When Alfama increasingly changed its character and started to be poorly maintained, some of Lisbon's prosperous inhabitants moved here and had houses and palaces built for themselves. That’s why in its beginnings Bairro Alto was the quarter where richer citizens and the nobility settled. Moreover, the construction of the magnificent baroque São Roque church (middle of the 16th C.) by the rich Jesuits played a significant part in attracting settlers to the area -the original name of this residential district was Bairro Alto de São Roque. The rather unusual geometric design in a hilly area used for the construction originates from a period when previously rural land was divided up for sale into rectangular and trapezoidal parcels.
The quarter only suffered relatively little damage during the earthquake of 1755 but it lost part of its importance and later the area become a center of newspaper industry with many small printing works and editorial offices setting up business here. "Journalist Quarter" was until recently an unofficial nickname for Bairro Alto. The roads Rua do Diário de Notícias and Rua do Século still bear witness to the offices of two of the larger daily newspapers which were once produced here and the Rua Eduardo Coelho commemorates the founder of the Portuguese newspaper industry and the daily newspaper "Diário de Notícias ".
Simultaneously, artists and writers developed a bohemian life in the quarter and prostitution (they just went up from Cais do Sodré area) brought a bad reputation for a long time to the place. Despite this Bairro Alto becomes predominantly a residential and working quarter for craftsmen and small shopkeepers that started to fade.
As many houses were uninhabited, in the middle 1990s Lisbon's city council made extensive repairs, and Bairro Alto went through major changes. The youngsters were encouraged to move here and were pushed to repair their own houses as a result of very special loans. The place blossomed again. And with youngsters around, dozens of new restaurants (portuguese but also italian, chinese, india, arab, etc.), clubs and trendy shops were opened. At the same time cars were banned (except for residents and emergency vehicles) and Bairro Alto becomes the heart of Lisbon's youth culture and nightlife. Lisbon's punk, gay, heavy metal music, gothic, hip hop and reggae scenes all have the Bairro as their home, due to the number of clubs and bars dedicated to each of them. But in a revival movement of the Lisbon traditional lifestyle some taverns (like Mascote da Atalaia) and cellars (like Adega Mesquita) persist and also dozens of fado singing clubs (maybe not the best) animate the area.
Parallel to those we have the oldest brewery (in a old convent) in the city –Cervejaria Trindade-, in the street with the same name, which after 150+ years of beer production still maintains its reputation as one of the best restaurant-pub-beerhouses in the city. And you have much more than beer here –you must look to the beautiful collection of old walled azulejos (tiles). Nearby you have other good restaurants like Papa Açorda (Rua da Atalaia), Bota Alta (Travessa da Queimada ), Brasserie de l'Entrecôte (Rua do Alecrim) or Bacchus (Travessa da Trindade) or the expensive but rather good Tavares Rico (Rua da Misericórdia).
Of course parallel to this “boom of youth” the zone struggles with a problem of vandalism, with graffiti destroying some historical buildings and despite the police presence, you can spot illegal drugs sold in the streets. But the area is safe (prostitution was banned) and especially on weekends (and week days in the summer) you'll find people of all ages, backgrounds, and lifestyles bar-hopping through the cobbled lanes or standing outside with a drink in hand enjoying the city's usual mild nights. You will find also hippies playing guitar on the streets, gays posing in front of bars and other peaceful oddities.
Nevertheless, the quarter presents a fundamentally different face during the daytime. Bairro Alto is quiet and still is a traditional district where older people gossip when shopping for groceries, and the younger generations visit stylish alternative fashion shops (that stay open until late at night), art galleries like “Zé dos Bois”, bookshops like “Ler Devagar” (slow read) or art gift shops like “Hold Me”.
The main commercial streets are Rua do Norte, Rua da Atalaia, and Rua do Diário de Noticias, from where it is easy to reach Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara (a garden-terrace with one of my favorite panoramic views over the city), and two of the city's most interesting churches: São Roque with its magnificent baroque interior (free to visit, has one of the nicest interiors of any church in Portugal, and a magnificent museum of Christian sacred art) and the romantic Gothic ruins of Carmo Convent (it houses also the Archaeological Museum).
As the district lies on one of Lisbon's seven hills to get there it's a fairly steep uphill walk from any direction. That’s why a couple of alternatives were developed: the typical funiculars -Elevador de Bica, departing from São Paulo, and Elevador da Gloria, departing from Praça dos Restauradores; and the lift -Elevador de Santa Justa (see transportation tips). This will save you time and legs but I will strongly recommend you to return downtown walking via Chiado -Rua Garrett and Rua do Carmo- or via Rua do Alecrim, if you come to Cais do Sodré. The nearest metro stop is Baixa/Chiado (green line) and the area is also served with Lisbon’s buses and trams. It has also an underground parking car.
Portugal is not particulary famous for its beer. Nevertheless, pale lager beers seem to be quite popular. I gave Sagres and Superbock a try.
Sagres beer is brewed by the Central de Cervejas brewery in Vila Franca de Xira. Since 2008 the brewery is under control of a joint venture of the breweries Heinken and Carlsberg.
Superbock beer is the most popular beer in Portugal and also well known in other countries of the world. It is brewed by the Unicer brewery, which is located in Leca do Balio in the north of Portugal.
The bridge Half Marathon
Every year in march the "Maratona Clube de Portugal" organizes this beautiful half-marathon that crosses the Ponte 25 de Abril (25th of April bridge).
In the last couple of years more than 30000 athletes per year attended. The course is completely flat.
I did it this year and enjoyed it a lot...