Parks and the Zoo, Lisbon
This park is absolutely glorious, even in the Winter. I can't imagine how splendid it must be in the Summer, when the palms are really happy instead of graying and shrivelled. The vegetation in the park comes from the former Portuguese colonies. African sculpted heads stare at you and add to the eerie atmosphere.
This wonderful park, located in Belem across the street from the Jeronimos monastery, was founded by Pombal. There is a finely landscaped lake, alleys lined with very tall palm trees and even a Chinese garden.
The finely landscaped esplanade goes up from the Pombal square, and neighborhoods next to it feel like the Portuguese Fifth and New Amsterdam avenues. The atmosphere here is obviously very different from Alfama and other neighborhoods further South. You can see the river all the way from here, as the esplanade is on a promontory. If you are a fan of Francisco Botero, you can see his statue located on top of the hill at the end of the Esplanade.
Located at the end of "Parque Eduardo VII", the spot that currently houses the actual botanical garden, was abandoned and some gardner noticed it was facing south, so he decided to take advantage of this warm spot to grow plants that were vulnerable to the cold north winds. It was very successful and in 1930 it was turned in to a Botanical garden. The roof over the Estufa Fria (Cold Greenhouse) gives shade but no heat, hence the name. In the 1950s, the "Estufa Quente" (Warm Greenhouse) was built next to the original garden. Its walls and roof are made of glass to better allow capturing light and heat and there is also an artificial lake built to create a subtropical climate.
It currently occupies an area of about 10000 m2
This is the most famous botanical garden in Lisbon and one of my personal favourites. I visited it several times when I was younger.
It is open all year and entrance costs only 1 Eur.
This park can be found on the north end of the "Avenida da Liberdade", behind the "Marques de Pombal" roundabout.
Its original name was Liberty Park, but changed names at the time of the visit of the King of England in 1903 as a sign of respect and to strengthen the relationship between the two countries.
The "Pavilhão Carlos Lopes" (sports pavillion named after the Portuguese olympic champion) and the estufa fria (see tip) are located here. It is also a site for concerts, fairs (like the famous book fair) and exhibitions.
I would avoid this area at night as it is known to be quite dodgy...
This huge park is situated north of the Avenida da Liberdade, just after the Praça Marques de Pombal. From the top, you have great views of the park and Baixa.
If you don't want to walk to the top, take the subway and get off at the station Parque, this way, it's just a small climb.
Within the park you can find the sports pavilion, some lakes and statues and "the Cold Greenhouse": a museum where plants and flowers from the five continents grow.
Lisbon's Oceanarium is located within the new and modern area in the Northeast, Parque das Naçoes, developed for the World Expo held in the city in 1998. The Oceanarium was also built during this period, the largest in Europe and one of the largest in the world. This modern looking building lies along the Rio Tejo, containing more than 25,000 animals. Don't miss the sharks, manta rays, and penguins.
Set to recreate all 5 ocean habitats, the main tank holds species from all over the world. There are smaller tanks that recreate specific ocean habitats; the North Atlantic, the Antarctic Coast, the temperate Pacific, and the Indian Ocean.
There is also rotating exhibits of varying interests; currently there is one on the history of bacalhau, a salted cod from the Arctic, the fish used for the national dish of Portugal (much to the oddity that the fish does not come from Portugal).
Summer hours: 10:00-20:00
Winter hours: 10:00-19:00
Adults (13 years +) - 9 euros
Family package (2 adults and 1 child) - 22 euros
under age 3 - free
4-12 years - 5 euros
In the center of Lisbon there's a beautiful garden named Parque Eduardo VII, refering to Eduard the VII - king of England.
It's a long (600 meters) and beautiful garden. At the end of the garden you have the statue of Marques de Pombal - a very important politic of Lisbon from the XVIII century who rebuilt the city after the big earthquake.
At the top of this garden there's an horrible statue of something I don't know. It's one of those modern stupid sculptures... But, behind that, there's another beautiful garden. You just have to cross the street. It's the Amália Rodrigues Garden. Amália Rodrigues was the biggest Fado Woman of ever. In the garden there's a very agradable esplanade where you can drink a coffee or something fresh in sunny days.
"Parque das Nações" is the place where the International Exposition Expo'98 took place. It's a large and all new zone of Lisbon. You can find there beautiful gardens, green zones, sport activities, restaurants, bars and a shopping mall.
This Park can be found next to the Marques de Pombal square. There are nice walkways on either side, large lawns with ornately cut hedges, and lakes to the side. From the top of the park there are excellent views down past Pombal & the Avenida de Liberdade to the Rio Tejo.
With more than 10,000 plants and animals of more than 250 different species, the Oceanarium is composed of 5 major habitats. The large central tank (16,000 cubic feet) represents the Global Ocean, while the 4 coastal habitat tanks recreate, respectively, the North Atlantic, the Antarctic Coast, a temperate coastline in the Pacific with its forests of giant kelp, and the Tropical Indian Ocean with its coral reefs.
There are a total of 30 aquariums in the Oceanarium containing more than 23,000 cubic feet of salt water.
I only was inside twice and of course the first time during the "expo"... by then it even had penguins!!
It's said to be the Europe's largest Oceanarium, surely is a place not to forget when visiting Lisbon.
The Oceanarium opened its doors for the first time for the Universal Exposition in 1998. It was created to demonstrate the idea that the various seas and oceans on our planet come together to form one gigantic ocean.
The oceanarium is down along the waterfront. It was one of the places we went in Lisbon where I thought to myself, "This really isn't going to be anything worth my time, but I'll go anyway." However, it turned out to be a quality find. I believe it's the largest or second largest in Europe. The displays are in both english and portuguese. There are four main sections split into an upper and lower level, and there is a humungous tank that is connected to all four.
This is the largest oceanarium in Europe and though it is one of the more expensive tourist attractions in Lisbon, it is also one of the most stunning modern ones. It cost 1700$00 for me to get in (that might be approximately eight euros and fifty cents).
The central tank is three stories high and can be viewed on each floor. This gives you a view of the ocean (so to speak) at three different depths. It is quite impressive. For me, the most memorable sight though was the baby sea otter. Sadly visitors weren't allowed to take photographs of it.
In the park it's possible to find these gardens that are divided in a few parts dedicated to the plants of several different places of the portuguese world. Here can be found vegetation from Macao, Brasil, Guinea, and others.