Lisbon Journals

Lisbon Revisited

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A December 2009 trip to Lisbon by Owen Lipsett

Rossio (1) Photo, Lisbon, Portugal More Photos
Quote: I had the pleasure of revisiting Lisbon after a five year absence and found, to my surprise, that not a great deal had changed... besides prices.

Gulbenkian Museum (Museu Calouste Gulbenkian)

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Attraction | "The History of Art According to Calouste Gulbenkian"

Gulbenkian Museum (Museu Calouste Gulbenkian) Photo, Lisbon, Portugal
Quote:
In my opinion, the Gulbenkian Museum is not Lisbon’s best art museum – I’d award that honor to the Museu de Arte Antiga. However I don’t think that’s its purpose. Rather it serves to display the broad ranging art collection assembled by the Armenian oilman Calouste Gulbenkian (1869-1955), whose nearly billion dollar fortune also served to endow the cultural foundation that bears his name and is Portugal’s leading promoter of the visual and performing arts. Portugal was the recipient of Gulbenkian’s largesse because it gave him sanctuary during and after the Second World War. The museum itself is located in a strangely appealing brutalist building which has ivy growing over its concr...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 2, 2010

Gulbenkian Museum (Museu Calouste Gulbenkian)
Av. De Berna 45a
Lisbon, Portugal 1067-001
21 782 3000

Lisbon Oceanarium

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Attraction | "For the Kid in Everyone"

Lisbon Oceanarium Photo, Lisbon, Portugal
Quote:
Considering the seminal importance of the sea to the Portuguese, it is singularly appropriate that the centerpiece attraction of Lisbon’s Park of Nations (the old Expo ’98 site) is this marvelous aquarium, the largest in Europe. Even if you don’t generally go to aquaria, it’s worth visiting to see some of the creatures that appear regularly on Portuguese dinner plates in a set of two-storey tanks that offer a surprisingly good imitation of their natural environment. Although it is entered via an administration building that contains interactive temporary exhibits and the inevitable gift shop, the Oceanarium itself is in a separate building that sits on pilings in the water that was designed by Ame...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 2, 2010

Lisbon Oceanarium
Parque das Nações
Lisbon, Portugal

Three Classic Lisbon Cafes

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Story/Tip

Belem Photo, Lisbon, Portugal
Quote:
One of the best things to do in Lisbon is nothing – that is sitting and watching the world go by, preferably in one of its cafes. Here are my thoughts on three of its best known, each of which offers excellent people-watching and outdoor seating. Pastelaria SuiçaLocated on the Rossio, http://www.casasuica.pt/.Located on both the Rossio and Praça da Figuera, this is perhaps Central Lisbon’s most famous café. Certainly, its location is difficult to beat as somewhere to watch Lisbon slowly drift before you. However, if you’re going there on a winter’s night as I was, being seated outdoors is less important than somewhere warm to...Read More

Sterling Hotel Florida

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Hotel | "Nice Hotel, Ambivalent Staff"

Rossio (1) Photo, Lisbon, Portugal
Quote:
I stayed at Hotel Florida for seven nights in December with my family. While it bills itself as a four-star hotel, based on my personal experience there and elsewhere in the country, Portuguese hotels and guesthouses seem to be awarded one more star than they'd get in the United States (so a Portuguese 4 star is an American 3 star etc). It's perfectly pleasant, but besides the somewhat curious American movie theme (I stayed in the "Bruce Lee") room, not particularly memorable. Also, the hotel's rack rates are (as is usually the case), ridiculously inflated, my room was listed at €200 per night, but cost barely a third of that booked via hotels.com although that did include the usually €11 breakfast....Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 2, 2010

Sterling Hotel Florida
Rua Duque De Palmela 34
Lisbon, Portugal
351 21-357-6145

Walking in Central Lisbon

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Story/Tip

Castelo Sao Jorge Photo, Lisbon, Portugal
Quote:
This story contains both some observations about enjoyable walks you can do on your own in Lisbon and a review of my experience with Lisbon Walker. More information can be found on their website at http://www.lisbonwalker.com/.Walking in Central Lisbon On Your OwnDespite having been built on seven hills (which makes for some steep climbs) Lisbon is an extremely enjoyable city to walk around, provided you start at the top, rather than the bottom, of the hills in question. If you keep in mind that Lisbon's historic center essentially lies in a valley that slopes down to the Tagus River, you can turn its varying elevations ...Read More