Dom VASCO DA GAMA was a Portuguese explorer, one of the most successful during the Age of Discovery and commander of the first ships to sail to India.
His sarcophagus lies in a place of honor in Jeronimos Monastery.
Details on the side of the marble sarcophagus relate to Vasco da Gama's voyages - a sailing vessel in the center, the cross of the order of Christ and the Armillary sphere. Th lion in the footings is associated with Saint Jerome for whom the monastery was built.
Lisboa or LISBON, located on the estuary of the River Tagus, is the capital of Portugal and its biggest city.
A must see is the Alfama District, one of the oldest quarters in Lisbon. Since it survived the earthquake of 1755, the area still retains much of its original layout. Adjacent to the Alfama area is the equally old quarters of Castelo anf Mouraria, which are located on a hill crowned by St. George's Castle. Lisbon also has a rich mix of museums and culture.
On our VT Tour of Lisbon, we got to see many of Lisbon's gems, starting with the magnificent Jeronimos Monastery. Just across the way from the Monastery, is the massive Monument to the Discoveries and a little ways walk to the right, is the Belem Tower.
We had the opportunity to taste the delicious custard tarts at the famous Pasteis de Belem and had lunch in the beautiful tiled refectory of Cervejaria Trindade.
Went up the Santa Justa Lift, with wonderful panoramic views of the city and also the Miradoura de Sao Pedro, which also has great views, especially the Castle.
The months of April and May are ideal for visiting Lisbon as it is not as crowded as the peak summer months and is usually great weather also.
Upon leaving the Santa Justa Lift, we came upon the lovely square CARMO SQUARE. Carmo Convent is located in front of Carmo Square, as is the ruined Carmo Church, which is used today as the Museu Arqueologico de Carmo.
The Blooming of the lovely Jacaranda tree is welcomed as a sign of spring and Carmo Square had several jacarandas, with their brilliant and fragrant purple blooms. The first time I had ever seen this tropical tree was when Hans and I went to South Africa. I really loved them and it was a pleasure to seen them again.
While graffiti can be rightly said to be a scourge of the city, you will find many examples which in my view demonstrate that the line between vandalism and art is very ill-defined. These examples were all photographed in the Bairro Alto on my recent visit, apart from the last which was taken in the Alfama some years ago. They are a million miles from the ugly tags and paint-sprayed scrawl of regular graffiti, and personally I think they enhance rather than mar the city’s streets. It would be good if the authorities might make the same distinction and clean up all the unsightly examples while retaining these little gems.
Much of this graffiti is created with the use of stencils, and in doing some research I came across a website with some more interesting examples of this (as well as an older image of the picture of the artist covering himself with paint, photo 2, which shows it before later graffiti had partially defaced it).
Although I have been to Lisbon on two previous occasions, the most recent visit was my first in the Spring, and I was thrilled to discover another element to the city’s charms, its jacaranda trees. They were in full blossom, and their soft mauve haze seemed to drift above my head as I strolled the streets, or beneath my feet as I looked out from my hotel balcony. They were particularly eye-catching in the Largo do Carmo, set against the weathered grey stone of the ruined convent.
This beautiful tree is more commonly seen in more tropical climates: South America, Africa, northern Australia and the southern states of the US. I have never seen them in any profusion in Europe but Lisbon’s sunny climate clearly suits them and they thrive here. Does anyone know if one would grow in England?!
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)
Favorite thing: Lisbon has plenty of things to see and do. So you really need time to get a good vibe of the city and check the areas around. From the charming Graça and Castle neighbourhoods, to the narrow alleys of Alfama with its restaurants and fado places, to downtown baixa wit its stores and the expensive Chiado, the nightlife of Bairro Alto, the fashion district of Santos, the imponent Belém district with its World Heritage Sites to Parque das Nações with its modern arquitecture and lovely aquarium; the amazing museums from Calouste Gulbenkian, Ancient Art, Orient, Berardo, Etnography, etc, etc, etc. In the suburbs the amazing and world heritage town of Sintra full of haunted and misterious palaces and glorious gardens, until the beaches of Cascais and Estoril, the casinos, the nightlife, the Queluz Palace, the surf, the windsurf,... The boat trips in the Tejo, the beautiful natural parks such as Arrábida, the wine cellars of Azeitão or Colares, the local delicassies (pasteis de belém, travesseiros de Sintra, tortas de Azeitão etc, etc), the soccer games, the concerts and music festivals (such as Rock In Rio one of the biggest in the world), the wonderful belvederes across town, the imposing bridges, the fancy discos (such as Lux) or nice bars (such as Kubo, Pavilhão Chinês, Chapitô, Foxtrott, etc...), the traditional cuisine, the old trams and elevators, the giant malls and outlets, all of this can be seen, tasted and soaked in. So take your time and stroll around Lisbon.
Before arriving in Lisbon go to http://www.visitlisboa.com/publicacoes.asp and get your Follow me Lisboa magazine copy and check what events will be held in town. Besides the events you have information on monuments, museums, restaurants, etc...
You can also see some brochures in http://www.visitportugal.com/pturismo/Downloads/download.aspx?tipo=2&Categoria=4&Page=1&SubCategoria=2.
A nice video about the country is posted in http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhsZZz34AEY.
One of my favourite thing of Lisbon is the weather. The sky is normally so blue and sun shines all year round. However be careful cause Lisbon can be very windy also. Snow in the city is very, very rare and the city covered in white happened for the last time in the 2nd of February of 1954.
Average Temperatures in celsius (Min/Max)
- January (8,1º/14,5º);
- February (9,2º/15,9º);
- March (10,4º/18,2º);
- April (11,5º/19,2º);
- May (13,3º/21,4º);
- June (15,9º/24,8º);
- July (17,9º/27,5º);
- August (18,1º/27,8º);
- September (17,3º/26,2º);
- October (14,6º/22,1º);
- November (11,5º/18,0º);
- December (9,5º/15,2º).
The water temperature in the area around Lisbon is not particularly hot. Don't forget this is the atlantic!
January to March - Around 15ºC (58,8º F)
April to June - Around 17,5ºC (63,5ºF)
July to September - Around 19,5ºC (67,1ºF)
October to December - Around 16,1ºC (60,0ºF).
- January (07:53/17:38);
- February (07:28/18:13);
- March (06:47/18:43);
- April (06:59/20:13);
- May (06:24/20:42);
- June (06:10/21:03);
- July (06:23/21:00);
- August (06:50/20:30);
- September (07:18/19:44);
- October (07:46/18:57);
- November (07:18/17:23);
- December (07:47/17:15).
The time zone of Lisbon and all continental portugal is GMT (London, Dublin) and 1hour less than continental Spain. In Summer it shifts to GMT+1 but it is still aligned with London and Dublin. Portugal has two time zones one for the continental area and Madeira and another (1 hour less) to Azores.
The normal amount of sunny hours per year is of 3.300 (about 9,2/day) and 100 days of rain per year (number of days in where it is register rain).
Fondest memory: Lisbon is still one of the nicest cities in Europe to stroll around. In summer it is not excessively warm and in winter not cold at all. The normal amount of sunny days it is also extremely high.
The warmest month is normally August and the coldest January. It rains more in the period between November and January and rains less in the period between June and September.
Favorite thing: The main Post Offices, known in Portugal as Correios, are open from 8.30am – 6.00pm on Weekdays and until 12.30pm on Saturdays. If you are purchasing stamps then the Portuguese word for it is ‘selo’. Many shops (which show a red horse) will also sell stamps.
Favorite thing: 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.
Favorite thing: Public Toilets are few and far between in Lisbon. Of course they are available at all attractions but just walking the streets you will rarely see them. Most café’s (moreso than restaurants) will not mind you using their toilets even if you are not buying anything). For men there will be a “H” on the door and for women there will be a ‘S’.
Favorite thing: Some of the police around the squares are getting around on Segwicks. These human transporters are becoming more and more popular with police around the world it seems. It sure makes foot patrol a lot more fun than it used to be.
Favorite thing: There's just so much about Lisbon that is charming but, oh dear, do they have a problem with graffiti! It is everywhere - defacing beautiful old buildings, scrawled over the trams and elevadores, on shops and houses, windows and doors, worse in back streets but very few streets seem to escape the blight altogether. There are few places these days that don't have some problem with the wretched stuff but Lisbon's truly was one of the worst I've seen.
Favorite thing: Of course, the visit to the castello Sao Jorge is a must. But tourists need a break, too! Especially, those that are not used to the hot sun and the hilly streets! After done with the castle sights and the amazing view of the city, why not taking some minutes' rest under the cool tree shadows? You can contemplate, organise the next of your stops, relax with some reading, or just take a nap! These guys did!
Great weekend. Best hotel in Lisbon for gardens and outside pool 5* and so not cheap. Excellent...more
The Ritz lives up to its name as one of Lisbon’s finest hotels offering fabulous views of the city....more
Hotel Britania is a very quiet and intimate hotel, while it is only one block away from the Avenida...more