First of all, their friendly English and Portuguese speaking staff make your trip seamless through the country if you take one of their well-planned guided tours (and Portuguese is not an easy language).
They also make it so easy for someone to go on their own down the coast. It's really a joy when you can roll through the countryside with just a map and bike knowing your hotel and restaurant staff are literally waiting for you! Bluecoastbikes' staff also took care of our dinner and hotel reservations too.
Their staff took care of everything for us, even calling midweek to see how we were enjoying everything!
Bluecoastbikes is the way to go for biking in Portugal if you want to enjoy your trip and worry about nothing but the ride and the wines to choose!
They are licensed and insured. They have daily rentals and dropoffs, week-long guided and self-guided tours, and jeep rides/tours as well.
Restaurant Nilo, located in the charmer Baixa of Lisbon (downtown), near the beautiful Rossio and Praça da Figueira, in a street with more than 20 restaurants, differs from the others for having delicious Portuguese typical food, with fresh and quality products with an honest and effective service.
Our favourite dishes included the delicious rice with seafood and the codfish or one of the typical dishes of the day like cozido à Portuguesa or feijoada à transmontana. And last, but not least, to drink the delicious Portuguese beer, Sagres.
Rua dos correeiros 217-219 1100-Lisboa-Portugal
Public terrace and suntrap with a spectacular view across the River Tejo to the 25 de Abril bridge and the Rio imitation Cristo-Rei.
The little kiosk does good, cheap bica's of coffee and imperial glasses of beer. If you take exception with young bohemian types playing percussion stay away. Otherwise, take a book, people watch and easily while away a few hours.
Rua de Santa Catarina, Santa Catarina/Bairro Alto; Metro: Baixa-Chiado
Restaurant in Bairro Alto that gets it right in a pop art, azulejo tiles adorning the walls and mightily tasty arroz de polvo (octopus rice) way.
Should you like your fish, dust off your Portuguese and brave the lusophone only menu.
Rua Marechal Saldanha 23/25; Tel 21 346 47 91
A great bar/restruarant in a what looks like a white hut on the banks of the Tejo between the Tower da Belem and the Monument, next to the museum. Wonderful food, not at all expensive (€30 for two) lots of veggy options and a terrace outside. Sit and watch the boats go by with a wonderful view of the bridge and Christ on the other side of the river. Save room for pudding and go to the Pasteleria in Belem afterwards for coffee and egg custard tart.
On the river bank at Belem between the tower and the Monument.
A superb vegetarian restuarant serving the best veggy buffet (€12.50) I have ever had. The garden out back was warm enough to eat in in February, there are heaters on the tree! A great place and open every day.
Rua da Palmeira,15 - 5 minute walk from Rato metro. www.terra.vg
Great restaurant - better to go here and sit in the tiled dining room, with Iberian hams hanging up and lobsters and fish on ice, than to take your chances out on a terrace where you never really know what you're going to get. The fish soup was the best I have tasted, and the grilled fish was fresh and succulent.
Rua Primeiro de Dezembro 103/107
This is a bar at the approach to the castle that is simply wonderful. We passed this place on our way down from the castle & the 80s music playing on VH1 drew us in.
The owner said he plays the music he grew up with/likes so expect an ecletic mix, from Peter Gabriel to the Corrs. Irrespective of your age just go in & savour the atmosphere.
We ordered food and were not disappointed. The chef (a guy with a large moustache) was German and served us two great plates. Two large mains & two large jugs of freshly made sangria set us back only €36.
We really recommend this place - so much so that we went back again towards the end of our time in Lisbon.
11-13 Rua Bartolomeu de Gusmao - if you come out of the castle, turn right and it's on your right, just down the hill.
If you want an authentic economic and tourist-free experience, take the catamaran from Cais do Sodre to Seixal on the south bank of the Tejo estuary. It's cheap and fast.
When you get there, walk for about ten minutes past the shipyard and into old Seixal. There are numerous places to eat the little snails (Caracois) or slices of cuttlefish (Chocos) washed down with a couple of glasses of beer. The cheapest and best however, is the headquarters of the local communist party, which is friendly and open to all!
Take in the traditional boats that used to work the river and maybe the old cork factory just up the road. If you are desperate for internet contact there is free broadband and wireless access in the local library.
Not do they sell absolutely heavenly pastries, but buying them is a real experience - crowds of people clamouring for them as they come straight out of the oven. I had to push and shove to the front and then watch three batches be devoured before I got mine. The phrase "selling like hot cakes" must have come from this place.
Rua de Belém 84-92;
tel 21 363 74 23;
Tram 15, trains from Cais do Sodré, many buses
Vegetarians are not well catered for in Lisbon, but the restaurant in the Buddhist centre on Rua do Salitre makes up for it. It's friendly, the food is good, and the building itself is pretty, with a nice garden at the back. Closed at weekends. Booking advised.
Rua do Salitre, 117;
tel: 21 314 20 38;
Portuguese food at its finest. They should have at least one Michelin star, but apparently the French do not think Portugal is part of Europe.
As you arrive, you are installed in an ante room with antique furniture where pre-dinner drinks and amouse bouches are served. One is presented with the menu and once your meal is ready you are seated in the small adjoining dining room (ten or twelve tables, I think).
The seafood is out of this world, particularly the codfish, but last time I was there they prepared a pork loin with a fennel and prune sauce that was magnificent. Very good selection of wines, both local and from other European countries. Desserts are very dangerous indeed.
The place (an old house in a small square) is beautiful. The pace is relaxed. I have had memorable meals there. Expensive but not to excess.
Travessa de Amoreiras 1, close to Jardin de Las Amoreiras and the big shopping mall; tel: 21 388 5376;
Open Mon-Fri 1-3pm; Mon-Sat 8-11pm (reservations required)
Originally a place for Alentejans to meet, this restaurant has a lovely Moorish courtyard. Go upstairs for a cheap beer, and have a nosey in the crumbling ballrooms, and at the great tiles in the restaurant. It looks private, but just go in from the street - a small door and some tiny stairs lead you into the courtyard. The restaurant is nothing special. It's located in a muddle of tat shops and fish restaurants with pushy waiters outside trying to tempt you in to their overpriced places.
Rua das Portas de Santo Antão 58,
behind the theatre in Rossio
Lisbon is famous for its excellent seafood restaurants. This one is really worth trying, booking is essential as it's quite small inside. Friendly service and excellent value for money.
Rua Portas Santo Antao, 142/144 (on the same street as the Coliseu dos Recreios, behind Restauradores Square)
tel: 21 346 4401
Possibly the best ice cream in the world! A must.
Just take the train from Cais do Sodre in Lisbon to Cascais, which takes about 30 min. Once you get there it's a two-minute walk to Santini.
Av. Valbom, 28;
tel: 21 483 3709
A legend among pastry lovers, this place invented Pasteis de Belém (or pasteis de nata as they're called everywhere else) and it's hard to beat their claim to make the best ones (the recipe is kept secret). Have them with coffee in the maze of rooms at the back, sprinkled with cinnamon and icing sugar from battered metal shakers, or take them home in a tube with little sachets. They won't keep for more than a day - but no-one can resist eating them that long anyway.
Rua de Belém 84-92;
tel 21 363 74 23.
Tram 15, trains from Cais do Sodré, many buses
A brilliant restaurant which is part of the Chapito artists' complex. Located near the castle, the outside terrace has stunning views over Lisbon and the River Tejo. Food is excellent, has vegetarian options and is reasonably priced.
Costa do Castelo 7;
tel: 21-888 18 34
A classic Portuguese restaurant in the Bairro Alto with friendly, efficient staff, a great atmosphere and good food. An excellent place to start a night out in the Bairro Alto.
Travessa da Queimada 37;
tel: 21 342 7959
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