Our Last Full Day in Lisbon! ☹
We intentionally slept in a little later this morning, getting up at about 9:30AM. We were too late for breakfast in the hotel’s dining room so we went out on Rua Augusta and found a promising restaurant – Grilled & Company – where we had had a very satisfying meal earlier in the week during our first full day in Lisbon. We each had a hearty breakfast – a Full English-type for me, a Ham & Cheese Omelet for Vince.
A Day in the Cais do Sodré
After breakfast we explored the Cais do Sodré district. The Cais do Sodré neighbourhood is a popular area of Lisbon for tourists, boasting a wide selection of fascinating sights and enjoyable activities. The area was formerly one of the toughest and most dangerous neighbourhoods of central Lisbon, however it has since been transformed into one of the trendiest while managing to retain its distinct character.
Praça do Município (City Square)
The first large space we came across in Cais do Sodré was Praça do Município (City Square or Municipal Square):
Museu do Dinheiro (Money Museum)
There were a few stately buildings within the Praça do Município. First we encountered the Museu do Dinheiro (Money Museum):
Paços do Concelho de Lisboa (City Hall)
On the other side of the square was Paços do Concelho de Lisboa (City Hall):
Museu Nacional de Arte Contemporânea
Nearby was the Museu Nacional de Arte Contemporânea – Museu do Chiado (The National Museum of Contemporary Art – Chiado Museum). We didn’t actually go into the Museum, but couldn’t help admiring one of their installations on the square:
Walking Around Cais do Sodré
The Cais do Sodré was a fascinating area: there was a lot to see in this historic part of the city so we just wandered around, checking out the vibe (it looks sketchy in these shots but in actuality it really wasn’t):
Wandering still further we came upon the famous Rua Cor de Rose (Pink Street) of Lisbon and took lots of shots. This is the most famous street in Lisbon. Tourists from all over the world come here to take pictures and sometimes you even have to queue in order to take a photo. Pink Street is also famous for its nightlife – apparently the street turns into a massive block party, seven nights per week.
Initially, Pink Street was known as Rua Nova do Carvalho. It used to be home to Lisbon’s Red Light District. Rua Nova do Carvalho was not only the meeting point of sailors but also criminals and streetwalkers. This was the place to be for those looking to gamble and drink.
Pink Street’s makeover started in 2011 and was finished in 2013. In an attempt to change the neighbourhood’s reputation, the brothels were closed and new bars with a youthful vibe opened.
It was mid-afternoon when we were there and the place was hopping:
Praça de São Paulo
Moving on, we paid a brief visit to the Praça de São Paulo. The Square and its church of the same name were built after the 1755 earthquake, and both are perfect examples of the Pombaline style. The original church from 1566 was destroyed in the earthquake, and the new one was partly inspired by Mafra Palace, with a baroque interior. It’s lined with white, blue and pink stone, and features a monumental painting on the ceiling depicting the Apotheosis of St. Paul. The ceiling of the chancel also has a beautiful stucco decoration by Giovanni Grossi, Lisbon’s great baroque plasterer in the 18th century. Another prominent artist of the time, Pedro Alexandrino de Carvalho, contributed with the paintings of the side chapels.
Elevador da Bica
Further along we noticed people queuing up for something. We later found out that it was the queue to take the Elevador da Bica (funicular) to the upper level of the Cais do Sodré:
We continued to explore the Cais do Sodré neighbourhood:
As we were walking along Rua Dom Luis I, we came upon this utterly fascinating building at Number 11. There was absolutely no signage anywhere to indicate what the nature of this building was, but it certainly was striking:
After a couple hours of wandering through Cais do Sodré, we realized it was lunch time. We knew the Time Out Market would be crazy-crowded as it was Saturday (and we right, as we found out later), so we opted for a cozy patio at an Italian-American fusion restaurant just outside the Market called Don Costini. It was an excellent food experience and everything was delicious. Vince had the Lisbon Pizza, and I ordered what turned out to be a serious burger.
Jardim Dom Luis (Dom Luis Garden)
We finished up at the restaurant, and went into the Jardim Dom Luis (Dom Luis Garden) across the street. I opted for a shady spot while Vince wandered through the Dom Luis Garden and grabbed a few shots:
The Time Out Market
We then roamed through The Timeout Market.
The Time Out Market in Lisbon opened in May 2014. It has around 36 restaurants and kiosks selling regional specialties, such as Azeitão sheep’s cheese, Alentejo ham, custard tarts from Manteigaria, shellfish and grilled fish, wines and chocolates. Five top Portuguese chefs have restaurants here:
As much hype as this Market has, we hated the place – it was overly crowded, hot and way, waaaaaaay too noisy; given the noise level, how anyone could have a decent meal here and keep their sanity is beyond me. As we were walking through the Time Out Market and experiencing the masses of people, we felt glad we’d had our lunch at the calm, quiet Don Costini restaurant a little earlier. Initially we had planned to have lunch inside the Time Out Market with the sea of twenty-somethings.
Leaving the Time Out Market we saw some of the colourful lanes surrounding the building:
We walked back through the Chiado:
Largo de São Carlos (San Carlos Square)
We came across a small square called Largo de São Carlos (San Carlos Square) and took a few shots:
The building on the north side is the place where the Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa was born; his statue stands prominently in the corner of the square:
Fernando António Nogueira Pessoa was a Portuguese poet, writer, literary critic, translator, publisher, and philosopher, described as one of the most significant literary figures of the 20th century and one of the greatest poets in the Portuguese language. He also wrote in and translated from English and French.
Continuing our meandering back to our hotel, we came across an open-air book sale in one of the streets:
We eventually stopped in at a little café called Um Electrico Chamado Tagide. I loved this place – it was a quiet, relaxing place for a drink and rest stop. You couldn’t beat the architecture: the café is hosted from a miniature tram car built to resemble one of Lisbon’s finest:
After our break we wandered zig-zag through the Chiado:
After our long excursion up and down Lisbon’s hills, we eventually returned to our hotel to rest for a while.
At about 7:00PM we went out for our last evening meal in Lisbon. We had heard so much about the restaurant Bonjardim, so we sought it out. Their Piri Piri Chicken had been highly vaunted on several travel videos and guides, so we wanted to see for ourselves whether or not this was worthy of all the buzz.
On the way to the restaurant we passed through Rossio Square where a guy was creating enormous bubbles:
We arrived at Bonjardim and each ordered the Piri Piri Chicken. It was indeed extremely good, but the failure of the place was how crazy-busy it was. We were jammed in to the tables like sardines and had some very loud Americans the next table over; the tables were practically on top of each other. A very accomplished breakdance troupe suddenly appeared on put on a show for the restaurant’s customers (we were seated outdoors, as usual with our Portugal restaurants).
We left Bonjardim feeling a little stressed from the noisy, crowded experience, so a round of ice cream was in order to sooth the nerves. We had heard about a unique ice cream shop in Lisbon called Scoop & Dough, located at Rua das Portas de Santo Antão 78. They served gelato (in my case, Raspberry) in a really unique way – scooped into a huge, hollowed-out donut. AND… the experience was completely Vegan. Wickedly good!
From Scoop & Dough we walked through Rossio Square to find another ice cream shop we had heard so much about – Santini, located at Rua do Carmo 9. Talk about luxurious ice cream! I had a chocolate and caramel mix – this was definitely the best ice cream yet in Lisbon.
Having had our fill of Piri Piri Chicken and decadent ice cream we walked back to the hotel, arriving at about 9:00PM. On the way up to our room we stopped at Reception and asked their advice regarding the best way to get to Oriente Station the next morning. Tomorrow we leave this beautiful and amazing city of Lisbon and travel on to our next adventures in… Porto!
Returning to our room we began packing for the next day’s journey, retiring at about 10:30PM. It will be a big travel day tomorrow!