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July 12, 2014

Parks of Lisbon: Jardim do Torel

Lisbon is full of lovely parks, although many are a little off the beaten track. To celebrate the warmer weather, we’re showcasing some of our favorites. This week, the Jardim do Torel, just up the hill from our vacation rentals and holiday apartments.

Jardim do Torel view of Baixa

View of the Baixa from the Jardim do Torel

The Jardim do Torel winds, snake-like, down the Colina de Santana–starting near the top of the Ascensor do Lavra and ending on Rua do Telhal. Every turn presents you with a new and sweeping view of Lisbon, and all sorts of charming spots are tucked into the corners.

The shady lawn near the top entrance boasts the best views of the Baixa and the river, and the wooden lounge chairs are perfect for putting your feet up for an afternoon rest.

Jardim do Torel - playground

Land, ho!

Down a flight of curving stairs and past the fountain, a simple but well kept playground will delight the younger set. The boat on the “toddler” side is perfect for playing pirates–or Portuguese discoverers, if you want to squeeze in a history lesson!

Stairs at the Jardim do Torel

Stairs at the Jardim do Torel

Just around the corner from the playground, the Esplanada do Torel offers the chance to enjoy yet another view, as well as brunch, or just a bite to eat and a cup of coffee. For a change of pace, try the delicious–though intense–hot chocolate. The large terrace around the cafe is perfect for more running and playing, if anyone still has the energy for it!

The last bit of the Jardim do Torel switchbacks past an elementary school (imagine going to school in this lovely setting!) and down another set of landscaped stairs, allowing you to exit just above the Avenida Metro station and the charming Alentejan restaurant Zé Varunca.

Whether you visit just one part, or walk down (or up!) through the entire garden, the Jardim do Torel is truly a pleasure.

May 17, 2014

Meo Out Jazz

Stop by the Praça Martim Moniz, Saturdays at 5pm this summer, for Meo Out Jazz: live concerts in a newly-hip setting.

Despite its central location and delightful fountains, the Praça Martim Moniz has a reputation for being scrungy, and even a little shady after-hours. 

But the city of Lisbon is trying to change that. A year or so ago, they set up kiosks–with shaded dinning areas–selling food from around the world, in the hopes of playing on the Praça’s already international flavour. (The area is thick with shops owned by Chinese and Indian merchants, as well as ethnic grocery stores.) 

New funky sculptures (including a colourful dragon winding in and out of the pavement), help brighten the area, as well. In the summer there are lounge chairs by the fountain and music piped in.

Meo Out Jazz 2014This year the city has gone one step further, bringing Meo Out Jazz to the square. Every Saturday afternoon this summer, live outdoor concerts have been organized in the Praça Martim Moniz, starting at 5pm.

Other Out Jazz locations include the gardens around the Torre de Belem, and several different parks around the city. Click here for the full program.

December 5, 2012

The top holiday destination for 2013? Portugal!

The travel website Globe Spots lists Portugal as their number one travel destination for 2013!

And really, what’s not to love: a charming, affordable, relaxing country; friendly people; beautiful scenery; great food… need I go on?

For their other top picks, and more about why they think everyone should visit Portugal (great sights and convenient travel!), see the Globe Spots website.

If you decide to visit the top holiday destination for 2013, remember to check back here regularly for ideas on what the see and do in Lisbon. Also, visit our Facebook page for updates on what’s going on in the city while you’re here! We also share inspiring pictures and interesting tidbits about Portuguese culture and history.

October 20, 2008

Lisbon Conference Centers

Many of our guests head to the conference centers in Lisbon, either as presenters or attendees.  If you have questions about an upcoming conference in Lisbon, please visit our Lisbon Conference Center page for more information.

February 22, 2007

The safest city in europe? Lisbon (again!)

Despite what your taxi driver may tell you, Lisbon is the safest city in Europe.

safest city in europeAlthough coverage of crime in the mainstream Portuguese media generates a sense of insecurity among the locals, a study conducted by a polling group — including Gallup, EU and the UN’s UNICRI agencies — has found that Lisbon is the safest [large] city in the European Union.
Instead of using police crime registries, researchers interviewed thousands of residents (between 1,200 and 5,000) in 18 countries to ask about their own personal experiences with crime.
The “European Crime and Safety Survey” said the Portuguese capital was the safest city in Europe. Only one in ten residents reported that they had ever been affected by crime.
At the opposite end of the scale, the report, published earlier this week, unveils London as the most dangerous capital in which to live.  London topped the crime league table, with 30 percent of the British capital’s residents saying they had been the victim of theft or burglaries.

Besides London, other crime hotspots identified by researchers were the Irish Republic, Estonia, Netherlands and Denmark, where “insecurity” rates were all at least 30 percent above the European average.

From what we have seen and heard personally, the crimes that do occur in Lisbon tend to be small crimes of oportunity, like pickpocketing. Violent crime of any sort is very rare. As in any big city, though, caution and common sense should be exercised, especially at night or in secluded areas.

What are you waiting for? Come visit the safest city in Europe!


Foto: Peg Achterman

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