Parque das Nações (ancient...
Parque das Nações (ancient place of Expo'98)
In 1998 Lisbon held the world wide exposition under the theme 'The oceans a heritage for the future'. Today this area is called Parque das Nações and it's easily reached either by subway or train (Oriente Station). Oriente station was built by Calatrava and is the main station of Lisbon with connections to train, bus lines, urban train Lines (Azambuja, Sintra) and buses. There are also rent a car and other services.
Another major transportation element is Vasco da Gama bridge in the north area of Parque das Nações that opened in 1998 and is one of the biggest of the world and the biggest car bridge in Europe (with 17,3 kms). It opened with one of the biggest meals of history when thousands ate a huge Feijoada (Portuguese and brazilian dish composed by beans meat and rice). It is also used to the marathon, half marathon, mini marathon of Portugal and to a bike tour done every year (www.meiamaratonadeportugal.com).
The area has a big mall (Vasco da Gama with cinemas, nice restaurants, 164 stores and a hypermarket, www.centrovascodagama.pt). In the north area opened recently the Supercor a supermarket from El Corte Inglès with quality products (www.elcorteingles.pt). There is also the famous store of Cristiano Ronaldo, that is probably incredibly expensive. The area has also plenty of restaurants, bars and other shops. At night the casino is the big star with its nice bar, expensive restaurants, live and free shows, the concert hall and more than 800 slot machines and 22 game tables (www.casinolisboa.pt).
In Expo you can also celebrate nature, walking by the river, taking the cable car, walking in the beautiful gardens. But the big star is the Oceanário (www.oceanario.pt). It is one of the biggest aquariums of the world (open from 10h-19h in winter and until 20h in summer, costs 11€/normal ticket) and it was designed by Peter Chermayeff. It includes environments of all the oceans of the earth. In the south area of the Parque das Nações there is a marina, that has been close for some years but will re-open soon. Tejo Bike rents bicycles to travel around the park (http://www.tejobike.pt). you can also use the cable car that cost 2,99€ and is normally open from 10h-20h at weekends and from 11h-19h at weekdays.
In FIL, the international fair of Lisbon, many events are held (www.fil.pt). The Atlantic pavillion (18.000 seats pavillion of multiple functions), held the masters of tennis, the indoor athletic world competition of 1999, the MTV Europe Music Awards, and is normally a stage of concerts (www.pavilhaoatlantico.pt). Outside looks like a huge spaceship inside like an inverted ship. In the south area of Parque das Nações there is teatro Camões that normally has dance shows (http://www.cnb.pt/) and is the headquarters of the portuguese dance company.
Parque das Nações has several hotels with nice views over the river (Tryp Oriente, Tivoli, Olissipo Oriente, VIP Executive Arts) and a youth hostel (in the north area). The former Tower of the north area of the park will be transformed into a hotel.
There are some interesting buildings such as the Portuguese pavillion by the architect Siza Vieira, the train station by Santiago Calatrava, the knowledge pavillion by Carrilho da Graça (today the science pavillion). There's also a free ciber cafe at the knowledge pavillion (just climb the big ramp). Punctually there might be some outdoors activities. In the new years eve there are normally celebrations in this part of town, there is to be also an international fireworks festival I think in June.
And remembering that before Expo 1998 this was the former hidroplanes airport (planes that crossed the atlantic and many stoped in Lisbon), an area of polluting and degradated industries and a slaughterhouse, and now is a fancy, nice district by the river.
In these clips you can see a bit of what was Expo 98, how was the area before the event and some ads: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GDPEYTtTEw.