Straight in front of you through the arch and up the steps is a small and modest shopping mall. Ladies, if you have forgotten any of your make-up essentials you will find them here at Sephora. The entrance is through a single glass door and easily missed. When leaving the Hotel Chiado, if you turn right and go over the brow of the hill best of luck passing the ice cream shop on the left called Santini's you will end up back at the Avenida da Liberdade.
The Cathedral is a microcosm of an amazing history of Lisbon involving Kings, Popes and the Moors, all of whom have had a massive influence on this intriguing city. Alfama is full of charm, narrow winding streets, terraces, St Vincent Monastery and much more.
The flag of Lisbon is that of St Vincent and the Ravens on the ship represent them guarding his body as it was sailed from the Algarve to Lisbon. Not quite the session you may find in the west of Ireland but you might like it. Not only is Chapito a restaurant, it's also a Circus School. Try to book it and be sure to ask for a table on the top floor.
Sit back, enjoy your meal and take in the splendor of Lisboa at night, including the April 25 th Bridge. There are lots of small and some very quaint restaurants and places in Alfama so to take time to relax and enjoy this part of the city. You can walk up here but it's a bit of a hike and most probably you will pass it by on Tram Hop off the tram at Largo De Santa Luzia and follow the well posted signs which will take you on a short uphill walk to the castle.
To refresh, there is a cafe within the site as well as a shop to purchase gifts and toilets are also available. When looking at the statue you will notice the St Vincent Monastery in the background and to the right of it is the pantheon. Most probably you will also see a few cruise ships down on the river as it is a popular European stop for them! If you imagine that the central part of Lisbon is a valley with two hills.
At night time, especially the weekends,this area comes alive when the crowds make their way to the bars and clubs.
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As you crisscross and climb your way through Bairro Alto you will eventually reach a street at the top which runs perpendicular, it's called Rua Dom Pedro V. You are now entering the district of Principe Real. This area is a little more sophisticated with high end shops to check out during the day and a really nice and mainly local crowd providing a buzz in the evening.
Once inside you will know what we mean and make sure to wander around all the rooms as far as the back where the pool hall is the most amazing pool hall on the planet!!! Photos by John Donnelly. It's tricky to find and not everybody knows about it so google map to make sure that you get there. Due to time constraints we arrived at Foxtrot just after opening at 6.
We were told that if we arrived after Check this place out, Tango or not to Tango, you'll love the cocktails and atmosphere in this bar.
When you leave Chinese Pavilion turn right and cross the road. The food and atmosphere is excellent, try the tomato soup different and also the black pudding starter!!!
Another nice place for a great value and tasty pizza washed down with a cold beer is Pub Lisboeta. It's just a few doors down from Chinese Pavilion and the staff are really friendly. For fish lovers who are on this street, then turn left when you exit Chinese Pavilions. Just a few doors down look out for a restaurant with the octopus hanging from the ceiling, it comes highly recommended by a friend of ours and it's called A Cevicheria.
It seems just as busy during the day as it does the evening, which is always a good sign!!!
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The tree is low off the ground but it's branches spread so wide for such a small structure that they are supported by a metal frame. On Saturdays there is also a small street market located here. Ok, we are going to leave Principe Real but there is a beautiful viewing point where you need to stop and take some photos to remember. The views of Alfama and Castelo are amazing so stop and take it all in. We are nearly back in Chiado but before we get there, we have a special treat for those who love Port. As you are probably aware, Portugal is world famous for its Port and so it is only fitting that the city hosts an Institute of Port called Instituto dos Vinho do Douro e Porto.
Walk through the glass doors and you have arrived. The yellow building on the left is the Barrio Alto Hotel and this is where the top 10 in the world rooftop bar is located. Photo by John Donnelly. Next up is Santa Catarina and welcome to our little world…. Tiny, little, tiny, really ickle, tiny, tinchy, smallest ever, tiny, ever so little, smallest, delicious and tiny Madeira Cakes.
There is also another lovely wine shop close to here on the same side of the road, just before you get to the 'Bica'. Back at the top of the funicular and you are now in the district of Santa Catarina. Bica is also a local name for this district and we believe it refers to the ancient system of water networks that service the area….
T here is a small street called Rua Marechal Saldanha which is located just after the Bica Funicular. If you think that it resembles the Golden Gate Bridge, then your comparison is correct, it was designed by the consortium that constructed the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco and also constructed the Ponte 25 de Abril.
Along with the similar appearances both bridges are located in regions of high possible seismic activity and their designs are almost identical. To ensure the bridge has solid foundations, the south tower extends for 80 metres below the water level, which to this day, is still a world record. The bridge spans 2.
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Take a taxi to Doca de Santo Amaro. You will arrive at an area just below the bridge. Located on the river bank here you will find numerous bars and restaurants serving a wide variety of food, both local and international… Plenty of choices for fish plus a good Italian and Argentinian restaurant too. You will hear the drone from the traffic on the multi- tiered bridge which also accommodates a mainline train but the sound blends into the background and will only intrude as a point of conversation!!!
After dinner take a leisurely stroll along the promenade back to the taxi rank. Grab a beer and a snack and take in the magnificent views of the far bank of the River Tagus including the Statue of Christ the King. The statue was approved by Salazar and inspired by the statue of Christ the Redeemer located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil… Salazar built the statue to express the gratitude of Portugal being spared by the effects of WWII and it was completed in If you do go to Cacilhas on t.
Belem hosts some of the more imposing sights in Lisbon and in many ways these are the sights which help to tell the history of Portugal. Look out for the blue canopy and blue tiled front. You will have noticed these blue tiles throughout the city and they are a permanent reminder of the influence which the Moors had on Lisbon down through the centuries.
Now buy some water as it can be hotter than you think walking the next stage which is along the bank of the Tagus. After visiting the monastery, cross over actually there is an underpass the busy road to the river and head towards the Monument of Discoveries. We did warn you that these sights are imposing. The structure is 52 metres high and the character at the front is Henry the Navigator. There are 16 others depicted on each side of the monument and these are all famous historical people who influenced the history of Portugal.
They include, monarchs, artists, scientists, discoverers and cartographers handy blokes when you need to find your way back and now replaced by a chap called Google. You can also go to the top of this monument where there is a lookout platform.
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You can either swim over to it only a few metres or walk back towards the main road and use the decking to get out there. Walking will be a dryer and most likely a safer option! The tower served as the home of the Captain of the Navy, a prison for traitors and a fort from where to defend Lisbon as it is positioned at the mouth of the river Tagus. You can visit the Tower and it is definitely worth seeing. Try to behave or you might just get locked into its formidable dungeons!!! Now back on the train and off we go to Cascais , only 10 minutes further down the track. Cascais is also a lovely place for a weekend break or if you are planning to spend a week in Lisbon, why not split it between Lisbon and Cascais.
When at the main beach in the harbour take the road out of Cascais following the sea front around by the harbour towards the lighthouse. Look over the bridge on the opposite side to the sea and you will notice a small secluded beach. There are steps to get down to this little beach just at the end of the bridge on the same side.