Carmo convent has a somewhat varied contents, suitable for an open space as it is now. I only don't understand the other criteria used in their selection.
No problem since you went there and entered, have a look - it's acceptable.
If you find yourself near the statue of Fernão de Magalhães, then you are in Praça do Chile, which means that, probably... you're lost. Not that the place has something against it, but because its out of the regular tourist circuits, though being visited by many locals, in search of the popular items and prices of the nearby commerce.
Well, since you are there, don't panic, there's no reason for that. If it is lunch time, good, you have Portugalia a few meters south, in Av. Almirante Reis. If not, and you don't mind shopping, just look around. If you are really lost and only want to leave, you have the Metro, or, why not, walk a little to the north and find Alameda, Areeiro, João XXI (remember, Pote - MY all time restaurant), Av Roma, Campo Pequeno... Wow! How I love to get lost sometimes!
The castle is a landmark in Lisbon, but you must be warned that most of its elements are no more than a ruin.
Great views over Lisbon, a few interesting details, tons of history, and... ruins, disguised by the trees and gardens.
It seemed that Lisbon was incredibly safe in areas, but that you could easily wander from there into somewhere pretty suspect. I don't think anywhere I went was particularly dangerous, but a few places made me feel very on edge. I was actually taken to the area of Lisbon with the worst reputation, up near the Ponte 25 do Abril, but this didn't seem any worse than anything I had seen in the UK. It was also a long, long way from the tourist areas.
After spending all day thinking how relaxed and friendly Lisbon was I got my first shock when walking down Rua de Palma between Intendente and Rossio. Suddenly the relaxed and friendly Portuguese were taking an interest in me that didn't feel pleasant. Eyes followed me like I was potential prey. An old black man walked past me and squawked, I don't know if he was crazy or maybe making a warning sound. It was starting to get quite unnerving.
As I passed Intendente the streets started to fill with hookers, and gangs of idle youths on street corners. There was not a tourist in sight and I felt very conspicuous. For the first time in the last few years of travelling I felt very nervous. I wasn't sure whether to turn back, flag down a taxi or wait for a passing tram. For some reason I couldn't bring myself to change my trajectory, as if changing pace would alert any nearby predators. Thankfully almost as soon as I found myself in a less salubrious part of the city, I was out again.
So basically, take care of where you are walking and you should be fine. And even if you get hopelessly lost, you'll probably be ok.
Many of us guys have this recurring problem, babes attacted to our "guns", our defined bicep. Oftentimes having to explain to our significant other "I can't help it, I did not to encourage....." Unfortunately drinking a cold beer in Lisbon does nothing to mitigate the problem. After spending a couple of hours working out on these 24 oz curles, I was pretty thirsty and needed a few more.
Once in Lisbon, beware of the Lisboa Bug. This harmful little animal can bite you and contaminate for the rest of your life, so, be careful. And not to mention if you are “unlucky” to meet the great people from the city as I did, then, you will want to go back to Lisbon time and again!
PS: This tip is dedicated to the “evil” inhabitants of Lisbon.
Notice: Obvioulsy, it's a joke; I mean that visiting Lisbon could be like a drug, you can't give up going there again and again and again.......
In our short stay in Lisbon we saw so many people fall over. No the population of Lisbon was not drunk - it was the uneven pavements. Both myself and my husband fell over on our first day. I fell down a flight of stairs and he fell flat on his face in the park. The cobbled streets were also very uneven and slippy and we were not even there in the rain. Take care. Watch your step!
Don't throw away your TAP boarding card when flying into Lisbon... you can use it to get a free ride by bus from the airport into the centre of town. The bus is called aerobus and leaves from outside the airport. For some strange reason, however, you can't use your plane ticket when returning to the airport to catch your TAP flight home... mistery! Without boarding card the fare is 2.30 euros, and the ticket is valid on the same day for all means of transportation
The Barrio Alto is a great spot for a night out but don’t find yourself alone in the area late at night. A fellow traveller staying at my hostel was brutally attacked and robbed when he git disorientated and wandered into a dodgy area of Barrio Alto (needing hospital treatment for fractures and facial injuries) Stick to well populated areas and don’t walk alone.
It’s a common problem in most major cities but in Lisbon pickpocketing on public transport seems to be particularly bad. Two travellers in the hostel I stayed were pickpcketed on separate occasions. Normal precautions, such as not keeping your wallet in your back pocket, should deter most thieves but they are very good at what they do. Watch out for people ‘bumping’ against you. These people are working in pairs and another person is likely to be behind you as you stumble and will nimbly clean you out without you even realising. Tram 28 is a particularly notorious haunting ground for pickpockets.
This warning sign on the ramparts at Castelo Sao Jorge is rather obvious. There are not hand railings, and carefully maintained walkways. This is Portugal, Europe's closest member to being a 3rd world country. The steps and walkways are steep, and the distance from the walls and ramparts are a long way down. Weather has taken its toll on the steps. So, be damn carefull.
Be warned that the Belem Tower is a major tourist destination where you can climb up the narrow stairs for great views over the river and surrounding area. It's become so popular, especially when I was there on a Sunday, as it's free to enter then, that it takes a fair while to move up and down the stairs due to the volume of people.
Portuguese cuisine is famous, amongst others, for the seafood. Because food has a lot to do with how one is used to, this is a tricky one as everywhere of course. Make sure you understand how the food is prepared; it may sound not important but when you order "The Crab!" which is a specialty, expensive (but as they say worth it) and you dream of a steaming hot plate and then you receive a refrigerator-cold one it's not funny.
So, in some restaurants they have a tank and you chose the crab you would like to end his life this evening and give you a taste delight. Usually this comes on your table steaming hot. In others (with no tank) it is more probable you will be served the cold option. My advice: ask beforehand so you know what to expect.
Before leaving for Lisbon I asked a friend who had already visited the city what should I not miss in her opinion. "The crab" she said. "These restaurants behind Rossio have tanks blah blah and they serve some maaarvelous crabs steaming hot, they are delicious, don't miss it". So I thought I would.
I went to this restaurant (see my Restaurant tips - to be), it looked great, I order the crab that was mentioned as "Portuguese specialty". They show me my crab (raw but already dead), I say yes, and after like 5 minutes (well, this seemed peculiar for ones) the order arrives. I am sooo hungry, it is afternoon, I have been in airplanes and airports all day and I really need something warm to go down, I'm willing to give some more euros to make it special, after all my friend said "don't miss it". So, hungrily I deep my spoon in what seemed a not-bad-looking-brown pulp (served in the crab's shell with the top cut) and I put it in my mouth. It's almost frozen. I was very disappointed but I was too tired to say anything, I just kept on eating.
In the meantime my thoughts were like "they thought you are a silly tourist and served you yesterdays leftovers" and thought by thought I was becoming angry. Should I complain to them? No, just leave no tip and they'll get what they deserve as a vt tip, that'll be my revenge.
Then I go and tell the story to the people in my hotel. And, huh, the lady says "but we all eat our crab cold from the refrigerator, what was the problem? I can't imagine eating seafood hot, they are like a pulp, cold it's the way to eat seafood". Hello? I did have a pulp but it was frozen for goodness shake ahahaha. Well, the US couple that were with me in the walking tour, also told me that "we have the seafood cold in the US as well". So my friends, I don't post this tip under the "Local Customs" as I thought at the beginning, but under the "Warnings". Just make sure you know what you order or... take the risk!
I managed to not get robbed for 15 minutes after leaving the Airport on the public bus. His name is SANDOKAN*
Some may say he is a magician. He has been making tourists money and wallets disappear for 20 years. I have seen the photos going back to his youth in police files. I even knew he was a pickpocket, that’s why I have 10 photos of him. He still got my wallet and money. 2 old guys (about 60 years old each) came on at another stop and blocked my view of him. I had even moved my wallet to a tighter pocket with a zip. This bastard has hands like a surgeon. When I went to the Tourist Police in Lisbon, they called in the undercover Transport Police. They knew him. So my whole first day of going to the VT Meeting in Cascais was spent with the Police in several locations making statements. Lots of them and signing them. He got about £35 from me, but cost me a whole day of sightseeing.
How does he and others work? Sandokan has a loose jacket over his shoulders. This keeps his hands free and hidden when he is in your pockets. He then uses 2 others guys to move close and touch you. They actually push against you. Sandokan then reaches past them and grabs your wallet. He is good. Too good. He makes 400-800 Euros a DAY.
My advice? Do what I do and use Credit Cards, Debit Cards and Travellers Cheques. Try never to carry large amounts of cash on the public busses, especially from the airport. That’s where they work. Crowded confined areas full of people who just arrived. Please take care.
* Sandokan is his nickname used by the Police. Sandokan is a fictional Pirate from a book written over 100 years ago. Unfortunately for me – he is all too real.
The Lisbon Central Police have a special Tourist Police Unit in Lisbon. They are helpful, speak many languages and will provide contact details of your local embassy. They are located at Esquadra de Turismo, Palacio Foz, Praça dos Restauradores, 1200-000 Lisbon. Their telephone number is 213 421 634. If you need directions to the office, ask at ANY Tourist Information Office. I did. You can also dial 112. If you have been a victim of crime – report it! Also take any photos. I have donated 2 digital card scanners to the unit which can download from any digital memory card made.
The Tourist Police are located next to the Tourist Information Office just outside of the Restauradores Metro Station and not far from the Rossio main train station (Estação do Rossio).
My friend and I had our first meal in one of the restaurants around Rossio Square.What we didn't know is,aside from you what you order,they'll also serve you some kinda' apetizers.But they wouldn't tell you if it is included or not,they'll just put it on your table.So we ate what they served,thinking,it was a complimentary together with a piece of bread and butter.After our meal,we were surprised with our bill.They charged it and the butter!! Tough!
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