Just a short train ride from Lisbon’s Cais do Sodre station is Cascais where sun lovers can enjoy the beach but for those seeking something more energetic pick up one of the free bikes for hire at the BiCas scheme located close to the station. You will need to show ID card or passport before heading off on the dedicated 16k cycle path out of town and down the coast. Perhaps purchase a picnic first, store it in the handy bike basket and stop off at Guincho beach, beloved of surfers. On the way back make a short and worthwhile detour to Museum Casa Historias das Paula Rego, Avenida de Republica 300, where entry is free. Here you will dazzled by the largest collection of paintings, drawings and etchings from the vivid imagination of Paula Rego, Portugal’s finest living artist.
The eastern, Indian, moorish, whatever. Since the fascist tests on Tibet, it can all be, in a nut shell, trendy. So everybody can be inspired by the lifestyle, whether in the shopping center or in the museum, near Lisbon's founding castle outskirts and gothic monastery surroundings.
In 1798, the remains of Lisbon's Roman amphitheatre were discovered dug into the side of the hill, in what must once have been a very dramatic location just uphill from the Sé. It's been excavated and turned into a simple but very attractive museum.
Pátio do Aljube, 5 (off Rua Augusto Rosa) or Rua da Saudade; tel: 21 75 13 200;
Ruined church right in Chiado in Lisbon's centre. Wonderful, relaxing and quiet place to escape the heat. Great museum also inside with some weird and wonderful exhibits. In a nice shady square too. Go in early spring to get the jacarandas in bloom. Closed on Sundays (whereas most museums close on a Monday). You can get a look in if you go up the Elevador da Santa Justa - which also has fabulous views over Baixa.
Largo do Carmo;
tel: 21 346 0473
Come out of the top exit of Baixa-Chiado metro, walk down the hill (past cafe Brasileira) and turn left up any street – which will be steep. It's at the top in the shade.
An art museum housing an eclectic collection of Western and Eastern art as well as contemporary Portuguese works. The gallery spaces are well designed and the Gulbenkian complex is surrounded by beautiful gardens. Well worth a wander through.
Avenida de Berna 45a, Sao Sebastiao;
tel: 21 7823000;
This octagonal tower is both the national landmark of Lisbon and a World Heritage Site. Inside the tower there is a small expedition about its history as a setting off point for voyages of discovery to the Americas, and you can climb up the top for views of the Tejo river.
Avenida da India;
Tram 15 stops right in front of the tower but you have to cross the busy main road via a footbridge.
A spectacular museum with fine examples of European and Japanese art by Bosch, Raphael and many more artists. It contains the beautiful 'Veneration of St Vincent' which is the most important painting in Portugal. A return visit is necessary to appreciate it properly.
Rua das Janelas Verdes 1249-017, in the Chiado district. Tram 28 stops right outside the museum;
tel: 21 391 2800;
www.mnarteantiga-ipmuseus.pt (in Portugese)
Forget hands-on interactive high-tech experiences, this is a museum like they don't make them anymore. A charming and dusty old collection of fossils, rocks, prehistoric tools, etc, it feels like no-one but you has been here for years, which is possibly true. Watch out you don't trip over a dinosaur's tail.
This is a lovely, quiet corner of Lisbon to walk around, between São Bento and Bairro Alto. Ratton, a small gallery/shop selling hand-painted tiles by contemporary artists, including local hero Paula Rego, is at Rua Academia das Ciências 2.
Rua Academia das Ciências, 19; tel 21 346 39 15;
Tram 28 to Calçada do Combro then walk up Rua do Século, turn left into Rua Academia das Ciências;
Right next to the Oceanarium is the Knowledge Museum which is great for kids of all ages - 3 to adult. It's a great day out, especially if the weather's poor (which is unlikely), and it’s easy to get to. It contains loads of hands-on, fun scientific experiments for people to try out like moon-walking, barfly jumping, bubble-blowing and how sounds have shape. Then, in the basement, kids can don hard hats and luminous waistcoats while they build their own house with foam bricks, cranes and trucks.
Parque das Nações, Alameda dos Oceanos, Lote 2.10.01;
Take the metro from Cais de Sodre station to the EXPO site (Parque das Nacoes) at Oriente. It’s also easy to drive to;
tel: 21 891 7100;
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