A few weeks ago I went to Lisbon for effectively the first time, as the first time I was actually there I was about four years old. It’s weird that the only thing I can remember is a playground somewhere, that I’ll probably never be able to find again.
Now that I’m completely beholden to the internet, I’ve started to use tools like Foursquare to record where I’ve been to make up for my terrible memory. But since doing that abroad would have cost silly amounts of money, I decided to record where I’d been (usually where I’ve eaten, ashamedly) the old fashioned way – in a note-taking app on my phone, of course!
A few quick notes on getting around. You can easily get from/to the airport using the Metro. It’s at the end of the Vermelha (Red) Line. For instance, to get to Baixa-Chiado, get off the Red Line train at Alameda and take a Verde (Green) Line train going towards Cais do Sodré, then get off at Baixa-Chiado.
At the Metro ticket machines, go for a Viva Viagem card. The card itself costs 50 cent, and you can then choose to either put single tickets on it, or put stored value ‘zapping’ credit on it, which functions similar to Oyster Pay As You Go in London.
You cannot store more than one type of ticket, i.e. a single ticket and zapping value.
The Viva Viagem cards you get at Metro sations work on the entire Metro system north of the river, on suburban main line trains run by CP, for instance if you’re going to Sintra (from Rossio main line station) or going to Cascais (from Cais do Sodré main line station), and on buses, but only buses run by Carris.
If you want to take a ferry, for instance from Cais do Sodré ferry terminal to Cacilhas, you will not be able to use the same Viva Viagem card. Also, if you travel by bus south of the Tejo River (the river off Lisbon), for instance if you want to travel from Cacilhas to the Costa de Caparica on the west coast, you’ll be using buses from Transportes Sul do Tejo (TST), which will not accept the Viva Viagem cards you use north of the river. You’ll need to get and top up another one from machines in Cacilhas to use on those buses.
Sol e Pesca (map)
A small restaurant that specialises in serving fish dishes made from various varieties of canned fish. Most of the dishes are tapas-style. Also does nice bread and olives. A pretty laid back place that gets really busy in the evenings. Really tasty dishes.
Pensão Amor (map)
From the same street that Sol e Pesca is on (Rua Nova do Carvalho) there’s a small doorway leading to a staircase that looks like it’s the entrance to a strip club. This bar is on the second floor. It actually used to be one; they still have the poles to prove it. The ambience of the place is really nice; it’s got this very old drawing room vibe. Nice selection of cocktails with very helpful staff.
Le Petit Bistro (map)
A nice French restaurant. Various fish dishes. I had the Fish Crumble, it was delicious.
Há Pitéu (map)
A Bairro Alto wine bar we visited in the wee small hours. Had some cocktails there, I think. Nice place.
Was feeling a little under the weather today, unfortunately.
Castelo São Jorge (map)
One of the tourist spots. Costs about €8 to get in to the grounds. Some nice castle ramparts to climb with some nice views of Lisbon, but to be fair lots of places in Lisbon have nice views, given the hills everywhere. Some nice archeological digs of the site going on. Look out for the peacocks.
Fado Museum (map)
A museum dedicated to the folk music native to Lisbon, fado. Gave a nice modern history, and had a great system to listen to lots of different fado music. Shame only one of the three terminals for it were working.
Chiado Caffe (map)
This doesn’t appear on Google Maps nor Street View, but it was the best pastelaria I visited in Lisbon. They claimed to have the best custard tarts (pastel de nata). They certainly were lovely. Their other pastries were amazing, and the coffee was great too. They give you a swipe card that you load the pastries you want on to, and they use the card to calculate your bill when you leave. I would eat breakfast here every day if I could.
Note that the 28E tram stops marked on Google Maps as of August 2014 are slightly off from the actual tram stops. I’ve linked to the coordinates of them above, and have tried to get as close to the actual stops as possible. Street View should make it obvious where they actually are.
Tram 28 was a lovely 40 minute ride through some very interesting bits of Lisbon. Well worth the cost, which is about €3 and a bit. You can use the ‘zapping’ stored value on your Viva Viagem card.
At the end of the line at Campo Ourique, is…
Horatio Cemetery (map)
A cemetery at the end of the Tram 28 line. We saw a few people get off the tram and just wait for the next one back – such a shame! The cemetery was interesting to walk around. There were a few monuments and such. The view from the other side of the cemetery was fantastic.
There’s a nice simple place to get a quick lunch on the corner of Praça São João Bosco and Rua Padre Francisco. I forget its name, but it’s coordinates are here. If you look straight ahead from where you get off the tram you’ll see it across the green.
This was a great place – no English spoken here, and it served proper earthy Portuguese food. I had some octopus rice, which was amazing.
Bela Fado (map)
A tiny Fado bar in Alfama. Go in, have some sangria, listen to amazing fado music. The landlady was some craic.
Sushima LX (map)
Again, not listen on Google, but should be at those coordinates (just up the road from Mimosa, actually). Brilliant sushi restaurant. Really tasty sushi, lovely gyoza. Wash it down with some hot sake. The staff were the nicest I’ve seen in Lisbon – they recommended us places to go that night.