Lisbon Journals

Coasting through Lisbon

Best of IgoUgo

A September 2004 trip to Lisbon by Taurusgal

Quote: The city of Lisbon is just amazing, but take a few days to explore the splendid and very-accessible shores of Cascais and Estoril, and you'll discover yet another reason to gush over Portugal.

Coasting through Lisbon

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Quote:
In 2002, NATO met in Prague, and, after a meeting in which each EU leader was allocated time to speak, they realized that they had left out something important: they had forgotten to include Portugal! Portugal is sometimes thought of as Spain’s quiet little sister, content to let her big sis take all the Iberian glory. This could not be further from the truth. Two things made a lasting impression on me when we first arrived in Lisbon: first, I had no concept of how truly blue a sky could be, but more importantly, I spotted more Portuguese flags waving from homes, shop windows, and automobiles than in any other European city I’ve visited. Before he resigned in July 2004, former Portugu...Read More

Solar Dom Carlos

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel

Quote:
Don’t be scared. Keep walking through the little alleyway of Rua Latino Coelho, past homes that look deserted (they’re not; people here just have the good sense to stretch their siestas into the early evening). Don’t mind the bright graffiti etched on the side of its walls, either. Solar Dom Carlos is a lamb of a hotel, located more in the soul than in the heart of Cascais, a 5-minute walk to the beaches, trains, and lively downtown, but close enough to real life that the town church bell will undoubtedly take the place of your portable alarm clock. You will have to walk up and through some intimidating, steep cobblestone roads to find it, unassumingly plopped down in the center of a ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 1, 2004

Solar Dom Carlos
R. Latino Coelho 8
Lisbon, Portugal
(351) 21 482 81 15

Pensao Londres

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel

Quote:
Spontaneity is a wonderful thing. Stay and have one more drink when you know you have to be up early the next day, walk down a brand new street on your way to work, etc. But don’t, under any circumstance stroll into Lisbon without having first made arrangements for a place to stay. Here’s why: the odds are great that you’ll spend a good few hours aimlessly roaming up and down some of the steepest cobblestone hills in Portugal. Add some ridiculously narrow sidewalks and psychotic drivers to the mix, and you can see why this is not a city where you’ll want to get lost with 25 pounds of clothes you never plan on wearing, strapped to your back. Lucky for us the Pensao Londres in Lisbon’s...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 1, 2004

Pensao Londres
Rua D. Pedro V 53
Lisbon, Portugal
(21) 3462203

Jardim Dos Frangos

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
It was our first night in Cascais, and we were famished. My boyfriend and I had no preconceived ideas about Portuguese cuisine, nor are we the types that aren’t easily impressed (as sad as it sounds) with local wines and a creatively assembled breadbasket. Our hotel manager suggested that, for a basic meal, we check out Jardim Dos Frangos (The Chicken Garden), located a short walk away in downtown Cascais. We arrived at 10pm, fairly late by American standards, but were happy to discover that dinnertime in Portugal doesn’t really kick off until 8 or 9pm. The restaurant is located on a main road, not the quaintest or quietest setting, but I still suggest grabbing an outdoor table. Situ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 1, 2004

Jardim Dos Frangos
Av. Marginal
Lisbon, Portugal
21 486 17 17

Restaurante Castro

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
It’s a sin to go to Portugal and not sample as much of the local peixe, or fish, as much as you possibly can. Fish, to the Portuguese, is like pasta to the Italians. You can tell that they take great pride in serving you the freshest catch of the day, and they have every reason to be proud. The fish list in most restaurants reads like a textbook of marine wildlife. Restaurante Castro is a small establishment in downtown Cascais, located on an adorable cobblestone road right off the main shopping strip, Avenida Valbom. About a dozen restaurants, mainly specializing in seafood, are tacked side by side down this road. When surveying restaurant’s menu to make your choice, remembe...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 1, 2004

Restaurante Castro
Manuel Antonio Castro, Herd, Rua das Flores, 12
Lisbon, Portugal
21 483 4394

Pastelaria Benard

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
The elegant neighborhood of Chiado offers a nice divergence from Bairro Alto’s hipper but shabbier streets. What was formerly a popular district with early 20th-century writers and thinkers has now become a shopping Mecca. Rua Garrett and Rua do Carmo are two of the main shopping streets in this area, where you’ll find a long strip of stores like Hermes, Diesel, Zara, Benetton, H&M, and other chains, as well as small souvenir shops. Such hard work can fuel an appetite, so, when you’re ready for a break, take advantage of one of the many old-fashioned outdoor cafés along the strip. Pastelaria Benard is an enchanting restaurant, tearoom, pastry shop, and croissanterie. Slow-moving c...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 1, 2004

Pastelaria Benard
Maria Augusta e Filhos Lda, Rua Garrett N. 104
Lisbon, Portugal
347 31 33

Alfaia Restaurante

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
A few times in Portugal, we set out to have dinner at a certain spot we’d heard of, or had passed the night before, only to see that, for no logical reason, it had decided to give the kitchen staff the night off and shut its doors. If you find yourself in a similar predicament in Lisbon, simply shrug, turn around, and take your pick of one of many other wonderful restaurants before you. Such a heartless act of infidelity led us straight into the arms of Alfaia Restaurante, in Bairro Alto, on our last night in Portugal. Despite it being one very busy Thursday night, we only waited 10 minutes for a table in the back room. The atmosphere was buzzing with both locals and tourists. The décor was sim...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 1, 2004

Alfaia Restaurante
Travessa da Queimada, 22
Lisbon, Portugal
213 461 232

Casino Estoril

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
Europe’s largest casino is also said to have inspired many of James Bond creator Ian Fleming’s deliciously mischievous subplots. We were expecting something grandiose. We worried that we weren’t wearing the right shoes for such an afternoon escapade. Well, we were right about the shoes — semi-formal attire is encouraged and you will not be able to gain entry into the second floor table game room if you are wearing shorts or sandals. Sadly, I can’t say the casino lived up to our Goldfinger daydream. If you approach the casino by way of the beach, you will have the opportunity to first dally through a magnificent palm-lined park. You’ll notice the glamorous Hotel Palacio and the statuesq...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on October 1, 2004

Casino Estoril
Praca Jose Toedro dos Santos
Estoril

Chequers Bar & Restaurante

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Chequers Bar & Restaurante"

Quote:
As good as Sagres and Super Bock Beer may be (and I didn’t try either, so I can’t comment), there is something sweet about knowing you can still find a pint of good English beer in Portugal. One of downtown Cascias’ main streets, Largo Luis De Camoes, is home to two popular and lively English bars, John Bull and Chequers Bar & Restaurante. There’s no other way to say it: Chequers is a loud place. A DJ spins tunes five nights a week (the other two nights are reserved for live bands). Prepare yourself to hear every sound from Rolling Stones rock to 80s hair metal to cheesy Euro-pop dance tracks. A good mix of locals and British expatriates stick to themselves in a small, but cozy f...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on October 1, 2004

Chequers Bar & Restaurante
Largo Luis De Camoes
Lisbon, Portugal

O'Neill's Irish Pub

Attraction

Quote:
If you’ve always wanted to hear how Danny Boy sounds with a Portuguese accent, O’Neill’s Irish Pub is just a skip away from Chequers Bar & Restaurante. This is a true Irish pub that features live Irish music every Wednesday to Saturday, starting at 11pm. You have up until 2am to down that third pint of Guinness, and, if you still can’t get enough of O’Neill’s, return the next day to sample their full Irish breakfast.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 1, 2004

O'Neill's Irish Pub
Rua Afonso Sanches 8
Cascais, Portugal

Guincho Beach

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Biking from Cascais to Guincho Beach"

Quote:
I really liked Cascais when we first arrived. But I fell in love with Cascais after learning that you could rent bicycles, FREE of charge, from the city council, as long as you promise to return them by 5pm that day. Ok, to be honest, you do have to provide your passport and hotel details to the friendly city council representative. No worries. The council bicycles are lined up in front of the Hotel Baia on Avenida Marginal. One bike’s seat couldn’t be properly adjusted and the other bike’s handlebars popped out of place once in awhile, but hey, you get what you don’t pay for. Besides, the bikes got us to where we wanted to go in one piece. Guincho Beach is located 10 km from Cascais....Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 1, 2004

Guincho Beach
Estoril Coast
Cascais, Portugal

Cena de Copos

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
Choosing a bar in Bairro Alto was like deciding between Swiss or Belgian chocolate — is it even possible to make a bad choice? Every place we passed seemed to possess great energy and a lively, good-looking crowd. We had originally planned on attending a performance at one of the many fado houses that are famous in Bairro Alto. I’m embarrassed to say, we never made it there. Maybe I can blame that last shot of Port we had at dinner — it had put us in the mood to find something a little more debauch. While there were no swinging trapeze artists in our cards that night, CENA DE COPOS was a dimly lit bar that played a sexy mixture of Portuguese hip-hop and dance tracks. It consisted of two ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 1, 2004

Cena de Copos
Rua Da Barroca 103, 105
Lisbon, Portugal

Cascais, Portugal

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
Don’t forget your Portuguese phrase book. Sure, you’ll probably spend most of the time staring at it in amazement -- words that look easy enough on paper have a way of becoming a cacophony of ssh’s and chhh’s when spoken aloud. But Cascais is not the Algarve. You will not encounter one English speaker after another, a wonderful thing as you will have the chance to add exciting new words to your vocabulary: Mais vinho, por favor (more wine, please), arroz de cabidela (rice with birds’ blood…hhmmm) and the obviously vital, não, obrigado (no, thank you). Cascais (pronounced Kesh-Kaysh) and neighboring Estoril are located on Lisbon’s most accessible coast line; just 40 minutes fro...Read More

Cascais Bay and Beach

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
Cascais Bay is divided into 4 or 5 mini-beaches. A long promenade winds around the length of the Cascais and Estoril coasts, connecting each beach along the way. Its largest and cleanest beach is Praia da Conceicao, located east of Rua Frederico Arouca — a good spot if you are in the mood for a slightly noisier, social setting. Smaller beaches include Praia da Rainha and Praia de Santa Marta. At 10am, these beaches are so intimate they will feel like your own private discovery. By 3pm, be prepared to share your private discovery with quite a few half-naked (some topless) women, men, and teenagers that are as equally devoted to sucking carcinogens into their bodies as they are to achieving that ...Read More

Bairro Alto at Night

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
Lisbonetas know how to party and Bairro Alto is the destination of choice for bars, discos, fado houses, and intimate restaurants that are tucked away on dark, obscure roads. Throughout the night, 20- and 30-something revelers gradually trickled out from the depths of alleyways -- drinks, cigarettes, and marijuana joints in hand. They bar hop or stand in line to get into one club or another, but just as often, groups would simply assemble in the middle of the narrow road and chat loudly, as if they’ve formed their own outdoor celebration. In 2001, in an effort to tackle and treat rising drug use more as a health issue than as a criminal one, Portugal passed a law to decriminalize ...Read More