Recently, Torontoartsandevents was on assignment in Portugal. We found Portugal to be a very warm, safe and friendly country with a lot to offer. The Portuguese have decriminalized the use of all illegal drugs – ended the “war on drugs” – which has resulted in a very safe country. We centered out stay in Lisbon with day trips outside of Lisbon.
We report on the following:
Lisbon Tram 28
Riding the Tram 28 is a beautiful, noisy and hectic experience that you will not forget – up winding roads and through narrow street – it runs about 10 kilometres and passes through some of Lisbon’s most interesting neighbourhoods – through the Old Town of Lisbon beginning in Graça to Alfama, to the Baixa, and then up through Chiado to Bairro, Alto and then down to Campo Ourique. This tram was manufactured around 1936.
Walk the Rua Augusta
Rua Augusta is the main pedestrianised shopping street that links Rossio square with the riverfront Praça do Comércio. It is a great area to see the sights and watch the people as well as buskers, street performers, artists and musicians.
Lisbon has an extensive and efficient public transport network that covers the entire city in addition to the surrounding areas. It includes the efficient, clean and recently renovated metro system, electric trams, urban trains, buses and ferries. The best way to pay for city transport is buying a rechargeable card called Viva Viagem. You can use it in three different modes: the “single ticket” mode, the day pass mode and; Zapping where you load the card with money and then use as you go. The metro also has inspiring local art by contemporary artists. (See photos)
Avenida da Liberdade
The wide tree and park lined Avenida da Liberdade is a mile-long strip of Portugal’s most expensive real estate, where embassies and consulates sit above top glitzy designer shops. It is a short walk from many of Lisbon’s attractions and is lined with fashionable stores and business and offices. We easily walked from centre’s main park, Parque Eduardo VII, to the central Baixa.
Beaches Close to Lisbon
Although Lisbon has a stunning coastline of beautiful sandy beaches we saw two of the region’s finest beaches which were only a short bus or train ride away: the Cascais-Estoril coastline (to the west of Lisbon) and Costa de Caparica (to the south of Lisbon).
The Oeiras-Estoril-Cascais Coastline
The Oeiras-Estoril-Cascais coastline, accessible by regular train service, is west of Lisbon and offers sandy beaches, calm sea waters and a beautiful beach and wonderful resort town.
Lisboa Story Centre
The Lisboa Story Centre is worthwhile introduction to Lisbon’s history. It is an interactive space that covers six stories: the atmosphere of a 16th-century warehouse and discover products from the New World, transported in Caravela ships; witness the tragic events in 1755 – the Great Earthquake and its tragic consequences; the Marquis of Pombal as he implements his far-reaching vision for reconstruction of the city; the final 6th exhibition area is a virtual scale model of the capital.
Castelo de São Jorge (St. George’s Castle)
St. George’s castle is a beautiful experience. It used to defend Lisbon. You can take tram 28 or walk up the steep walk from downtown, going through the fascinating old neighbourhood of Alfama.
Jerónimos Monastery, Praça do Império & Church
The Jerónimos Monastery, named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1983, is an integral part of Portuguese history, identity and culture. It is a great building and a stunning piece of architecture. The Monastery has attracted tourists, artists, chroniclers for over five centuries of existence.
Museums and galleries
The Calouste Gulbenkian Museum One of the best in Portugal, it consists of the Modern Collection as well as the Founder’s Collection: The museum has a great collection of art that spans more than 2,000 year from Ancient Egypt up to modern art as well as organizing concerts, conferences, temporary exhibits and guided tours.
Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, contains Portugal’s great national art collection, including artefacts of Portuguese contact with the East and Africa and a collection of ecclesiastical treasures as well as 14-19th century European painting,. Highlights are: Nuno Gonçalves’ Adoration of St Vincent, Dürer’s St Jerome, Hieronymus Bosch’s Temptations of St Antony, ,and 16th century Japanese paintings of Portuguese traders
Museu Colecção Berardo, Centro Cultural de Belém: Its collection contains of many important artists like Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, Piet Mondrian, Roy Lichtenstein, and Jackson Pollock. This Museum houses contemporary and modern art. The permanent collection consists of the Berardo Collection, which is made up of major art movements like abstract expressionism, Abstraction-Création, action painting, body Art, constructivism, cubism, De Stijl, digital art, experimental art, geometric abstraction, kinetic art, minimal art, neo-expressionism, neo-plasticism, neo-Realism, op art, photography, photorealism, pop art, realism, suprematism, surrealism.
The Water Museum:
The Water Museum manages the group of buildings and monuments built in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries marking a significant time if the water supply of period in the history of Lisbon from which one can discover the scientific, historical and technological heritage of the role played by water in the city. https://www.watermuseums.net/museum/museu-da-agua-epal-s-a/
Pavilhão do Conhecimento, The Pavilion of Knowledge – Ciência Viva is an interactive and technology science that makes science accessible to all by stimulating experimentation and exploration of the physical world. Children as well as adults can explore a variety of themes in a relaxing, interactive and fun atmosphere.
Oceanarium, This large (claims to be the largest in the world) oceanarium is dedicated to the teaching of preservation of the oceans and oceans life: One Ocean. It has permanent and temporary exhibitions. The permanent exhibition is centered around a huge aquarium with a variety of fishes and surrounded by a number of smaller regionally-themed aquariums.
MUDE – Museu do Design e da Moda is an interesting museum located in central Lisbon – it is dedicated to design and fashion. It was opened in 2009 and was started from the private collection of Francisco Capelo of which it has a collection of 2500 pieces. Fashionistas will appreciate the haute couture from the 1930s and 1940s, street fashion from the 1960s and brands from the 1990s such as designs from Alexander McQueen, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Paco Rabanne, Vivienne Westwood etc.
Torontoartsandevents recommends visiting rapidly growing Portugal
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