For some reason, the Rough Guide raved about the multimedia program at the Castelo São Jorge--it's located inside the castle, not far from the cafeteria. For a few euros, you get a headset which presumably takes you through an exhibit of video and image installations. Unfortunately, the headsets weren't working too well, and the narration didn't seem to correspond to what you were looking at or tell you where you were supposed to go next. The whole thing was a little baffling. We didn't learn much about the Castle or its history.
Unique Suggestions: The castle itself is probably going to be on everyone's list to see no matter what, but it's not particularly interesting to look at or wander around. Make sure you have a good guidebook so that you'll know what you're looking at--explanatory signs are few and far between. There are equally good views from nearby locations such as the Igreja da Graça. If you're short on time, skip the castle and make sure you get in other, better sights like the nearby São Vicente monastery.
It's beautiful, the Church is very interessant but don't pay the entry of the Monastery. If you pay it, you will see nothing except a garden and you will have the pleasure to see the stairs!!!
One would expect to find a site reportedly visited by the Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus, to be an ethereal, transcendant experience. Instead, it is a money venture in a most startling way. Everything pulls at the heart strings and toys with the faith of those who believe in such things...fortunately, I only went out of curiosity, or I think my faith would have taken a blow that day.
Surrounding the Cathedral, built on the site of where the bulk of the visions took place, there are dozens of stores hawking cheap Fatima rosaries, dinner plates, and my personal favorite, Virgin Mary shot glasses. To this day, I regret not purchasing that item. Ahh, opportunities missed...
In any case, we even found a store that had, mixed among the religious artifacts, toy guns, handcuffs, and other war toys. Somewhere I have a picture of that and will scan it, just for laughs.
Unless you're a devotee of these kinds of places (i.e. Lourdes, etc.) I would spend valuable time elsewhere.
N.B. No offense is intended to those who seek healing or solace at this location. I will however point out that if you are able to find any peace here, it is due to the strength of your faith and in spite of the tawdry commercialism present here.
Do not buy anything in the streets. You may find a real shop where you find it at an even better price.
So buy in shops. In the shops however you cannot weal and deal. The price is steady and will remain that way.
A second tips for you: don't buy the LISBOA CARD, it isn't so convenient and so cheper as they say you.
Another one (the last one) is for a tourist itinerary: take the tram number 28, it's a circular route tram. You can take it from Praca Do Commercio so you will go in the old Lisbon, you will see the Sé Patriarcal (Cathedral), a lot of very thins streets, and at the end you can take off near the S. Jorge Castle.
The touristic 'eletrico' tram has more or less the same path of line 28 but it costs a lot more. Catch the line 28 instead of the touristic one and you'll surely taste how people in Lisbon move on down the town ...
You can see an example in the picture: they are laughting at their last job... I'm joking: they are two good friends from Asturias called Jose & Ana, in their trip during April 2000.
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