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Portugal : Lisbon - May 2010

Country Code: Dial ++351 for Portugal

Lisbon’s eye-catching street lifts take on an artistic bent for the Art in Movement exhibition, while May’s main event is the giant Rock In Rio music festival (rockinriolisboa. sapo.pt) at Parque de Bela Vista at the end of the month. Matthew Hancock discovers what else is rocking in the city

Getting around

Lisbon Airport

Bus: The Aerobus leaves every 20 minutes from 7.40am to 11pm and goes to the city centre, finishing at Cais do Sodré. Tickets cost €3 and can be bought onboard.
Taxi: It’s about a 20 minute taxi ride to the city centre. The fare costs approximately €15, with an extra charge for luggage in the boot. Prices increase by 20% at night and on weekends and bank holidays.
Tourist information: The Lisboa Welcome Centre is located at Praça do Comércio, on the corner of Rua do Arsenal (tel. 21 031 2700, www.atl-turismolisboa.pt).

EASTERN LISBON

Some of Lisbon’s less-visited gems lie near the waterfront, east of the castle.

Sleep soundly – At Solar dos Mouros (6 Rua do Milagre de Santo António, tel. 218 854940, solardosmouros.com, rooms from €120) contemporary art vies for attention with stunning city vistas from the 12 individually decorated rooms.

Culture vultures – Historic and beautifully crafted tiles are displayed at the wonderful Museu Nacional do Azulejo (4 Rua da Madre de Deus), inside one of the city’s loveliest churches.

Must eat – Modernist Casanova (Avenida Infante Dom Henrique, Cais da Pedra à Bica do Sapato, tel. 218 877532) serves superb pizzas that are as crisp as the Tagus river views from its terrace.

Dance the night away – Lux (Avenida Infante Dom Henrique, Cais da Pedra à Santa Apolónia) remains Lisbon’s hippest club, with a roof terrace, various dance floors and a 6am finish (Thurs to Sat).

Shop til you drop – Lisbon’s rambling flea market, the Tuesday and Saturday Feira da Ladra, is the highlight of the Campo de Santa Clara, which also hosts various antique shops and a fine vegetable market.

PARQUE EDUARDO VII

Escape the city heat under the palms of Lisbon’s main park.

Sleep soundly – Sana Rex (169 Rua Castilho, tel 213 882161, sanahotels.com, rooms from €125) offers good business-class facilities, plus most rooms have leafy park views.

Culture vultures – Don’t miss the Museum Calouste Gulbenkian (45 Avenida de Berna) for a dazzling collection of art from Egyptian times to art nouveau, including Rubens, Degas, Turner and René Lalique.

Must eat – Eleven (Rua Marquês da Fronteira, tel. 213 862211) boasts a Michelin star and set menus to die for, with fine wine to wash down the likes of lobster and Azorean tuna.

Shop til you drop – You could easily spend a day in the giant El Corte Inglês (31 Avenida António Augusto de Aguiar), a department store with a great deli and nine floors of goodies including clothes, books, CDs and toys.

BELÉM

Historic Belém was the departure point for Lisbon’s maritime explorations and remains a lively riverside suburb with some excellent museums.

Sleep soundly – Designer rooms can be had at Jerónimos 8 (8 Rua dos Jerónimos, tel. 213 600900, jeronimos8.com, rooms from €150) a stone’s throw from the historic Jerónimos monastery.

Culture vultures – Built to defend the Tagus estuary, the iconic and fantastically embellished Torre de Belém represents all that was great about Portugal’s former empire.

Must eat – Rota do Infante (14 Rua Vieira Portuense, tel. 213 646787) is one of the best of the alluring row of restaurants facing Belém’s gardens, with good-value fish and meat dishes.

Must drink – Café Quadrante (Centro Cultural de Belém) is the perfect spot to kick-start an evening, overlooking the river from the rooftop garden of Belém’s cultural centre.

Dance the night away – BBC (Avenida Brasilia) comes into its own as summer approaches; drink on the roof terrace and then hit the dance floor.

SINTRA

The UNESCO World Heritage hilltop town was the summer retreat for the royal family, and retains a year-round magic.

Sleep soundly – Residencial Sintra (Travessa dos Avelares, tel. 219 230738, residencialsintra.blogspot.com, rooms from €65) has lots of character, spacious rooms and a lovely garden with pool.

Culture vultures – Built for a wealthy merchant, the 19th-century Quinta da Regaleira (regaleira.pt) is a place of mystical intrigue – especially its stepped well, which you can enter via a revolving stone door.

Must eat – Cosy Tulhas (4-6 Rua Gil Vicente, tel. 219 232378) serves irresistible mixed grills in a historic former grain silo.

Must drink – No visit to Sintra is complete without a drink on the terrace of Café de Paris (32 Praça da República) facing the main square, with its recently restored 18th-century interior.



Compiled by Matthew Hancock

Previous issues for Lisbon
 
   
Whilst every effort is made to ensure accuracy,
please confirm event/venue details in advance.

 

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