Let me tell you a secret, if you promise not to tell anybody:
Once in Lisbon, your guide (or friends, or book), are going to count you histories about the king in Rossio, the central square also called Dom Pedro IV square.
Do you want the truth? Here it goes:
The man in Rossio must be the mexican emperor Maximilian. It just happened that the statue was in Lisbon, coming from France in its way to Mexico, when the emperor was murdered. For precaution the statue stopped in Lisbon, until someone found that it looked like the portuguese king and... we never have been bad in business...
But remember! You promised not to tell anybody...
A nice garden in EXPO area, but I couldn't interpret the chart at the entrance - or at the exit? Things seem reversed in the plan, and identifying spaces and species is a bit tricky. A pity, since the garden, though somewhat neglected, deserves a visit.
Portuguese are very dedicated to celebrate all the (dead!) nationals that go a little bit upper than average. But this concern sometimes leads to some situations difficult to explain.
For instance, why does the small square adjacent to the beautiful building of the 24th July market, in Cais do Sodré, have the name of king Luis I, and the statue of the marquis of Sá da Bandeira? I don't know, but it is a beautiful small spot in a not so beautiful neighborhood, so, if you pass there (maybe, it's just beside the historical area), have a look and try to find yourself the explanation.
Palmela is an ordinary village. The only attraction there, is the castle. This is a huge fortress with the church of Santiago (15th a. C.), the ruins of another church and a "parador" inside.
You have to walk a lot to go to the castle.
Unique Suggestions: Choose a good restaurant and rest a while, then go to the castle if you are in the mood.
We were just arrived in Belem and looking hangry for the restaurant Caseiro (Rua de Belem 35). We realized it was open (in summer) only at evening so we decide to enter the restaurant at its right site, Espaco Camoes. We remain standing for at least 10 minutes without anybody looking at us and assuring we will have be seating in a while. In fact, the waiter considered us after 12 minutes saying he could prepare our table. Than we sat and were strictly requested to order anything but the dish of the day, so we did. I couldn’t imagine how long I had to wait if I had ordered something different from the dish of the day, because we waited at least 40 minutes for our cod fish. It was full of smashed potatoes and butter, it was extremely fat and not tasty at all. And the waiter, after being so rude for the first 50 minutes, when he realized we didn’t like the cod fish at all, started to be nice with us, probably afraid we were not going to leave any tip for him. After this terrible cod fish we went to Pasteis de Belem where we got 6 pasteis.
Fun Alternatives: Pasteis de Belem
(custard tarts, secret receipt)
Rua de Belem 84-92
It may be Portugal's best known cafe but A Brasiliera, nowadays, is overpriced and full of tourists, especially on the terrace outside. A quick glance at the menu and I knew we wouldn't be drinking here. Unless the coffee is extra special I can see no reason why you'd want to go here. What was once probably a lovely cafe is now ruined by hordes of visitors.
Fun Alternatives: Find a nice backstreet cafe,
Outside one of Lisbon's oldest & most famous cafes A Brasileira, is a statue of the Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa. There is an empty chair next to him, so sit down & have a little chat for a while! He won't interrupt you, but he won't help to direct you anywhere either!
Unique Suggestions: You may as well have a coffee with a pasteis de nata now that you are here - every other tourist does too because it says you must in all the guide books!!
Saying that, the place was bustling with local people & tourists alike - obviously the comparably inflated prices did not deter any of them - (or me come to that!!)
It has a nice outdoor seating terrace where you can watch the world going by in R Garrett, Chiado. Conveniently situated near the metro & the popular tram number 28 stop.
Fun Alternatives: No shortage of other nice little cafes nearby if you refuse to pay the extra just for the name!
This bar located in the happening nightlife neighborhood of bairro alto, is not only full of tourists which can sometimes be fun, only it also sells all its drinks for overly priced touristy rip-offs!
Unique Suggestions: Well if you really have to go then look and walk around as it lloks like a museum of kitsch and you can find very funny items!
Fun Alternatives: You have plenty of alternatives in the area of bairro alto. Go down the little streets of Diario das noticias, rua da rosa, etc you'll find so many options that it wil be hard to decide!
it was my second week of travelling by myself, Lisbon, my final destination. my first day there i gave in and decided to pay for an organized tour which i'd rather not do. i prefer finding my own way - narrow streets that surprisingly lead to some great historical sight. but i had three more days for wandering and thought it's be a good way to find my bearings. WRONG. the tour guide spoke in portuguese and english for the respective members of the tour and i could tell both groups of speakers were missing out as we passed certain areas. i didn't learn much of anything and we passed the sights too quickly and didn't hit up nearly a quarter of all that we could have. i'm sure there's a better tour out there.... or go on your own!!!!
Unique Suggestions: it's not that bad, just a waste of money. it is an enjoyable ride. and the ancient tram is a fun spectacle. through the narrow streets cars have to shift in reverse for the tram to get through.
Fun Alternatives: hop on a real tram or navigate yourself through the city.
Please don´t feed the animals is everywhere but Portuguese seem to lack the ability to read...
Women taking big chunks of bread to toss around the animals' cages are to be seen in the zoo...
They have their own diets set by the manager of each department. Each species have a special diet and some animals have special ones too.
Don't give them anything just because you find it funny to be touched by a big tongue!
Apparently, it's very expensive to go up into the tower of Belem. And it's not that high, so I don't think you'd get to see any spectacular views anyway. The tower is nice to look at from the outside but it's not really worth it to go inside for the price you have to pay.
If by any chance you're going to the airport for your trip back home taking a car, go with 2 hours in advance from the time you actually were thinking on going. The "segunda circular" is a road with lots of traffic and can trap you enough time to make you miss your flight home..
Not a major tourist trap, but I was fooled anyway. Many travel guides will draw your attention to the Metro Art, the azulejos art that decorates all metro stations. See my General Tip on Metro Art.
However, my Lonely Planet also remarked that Metro station Cais do Sodre even featured an underground waterfall!! Who wouldn't want to see that... So I went there - but what a disappointment it was! It was more like a shower area without showers, or part of a swimming pool that's running out of water. The picture says it all...
well, what can be a tourist trap?
It really depends on the expectations of each tourist.
In my opinion, the zoo, it's nothing special, i also don't like Feira Popular (kind of entertainment park)
Like I said before...it really depends on the expectations!!!
Don't spend all your time in an internet cafe, but if you want to check in with VT or your email, I'd definitely recommend this great little place in Bairro Alto. The computers were reliable and fast and the price was right, although the drinks were a little expensive. Grab a coffee at a nearby cafe and make a quick stop here to stay in touch. Just don't spend all your time online when you're supposed to be out enjoying the beautiful city!
Popmail is located at Rua das Gaveas, 74 in Bairro Alto.
Great weekend. Best hotel in Lisbon for gardens and outside pool 5* and so not cheap. Excellent...more
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