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Discover Lisbon, host city of the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest

Last year, Portuguese music was victorious for the first time at Eurovision thanks to Salvador Sobral and his song, "Amar pelos dois". So this year the song contest will be held in the capital of Portugal and the entire city is already getting ready for such an important event. So whether you've got a ticket to the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest or not, we would like to invite you to discover Lisbon.

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The beauty and Magic of Lisbon

Por Tensi Sánchez de Actitudes Magazine

Lisbon is without doubt one of the most beautiful and magical cities in Europe. As soon as you arrive, you feel immersed in a world of new sensations that only Lisbon can offer.  Historic Lisbon stands in perfect harmony alongside the more modern features of this vanguard city, where its wide range of leisure activities and cultural options have made it a highly fashionable destination.  Each area of the city offers a vast array of attractions to make sure you’ll always have plenty to do and the streets are teeming with ambience both day and night.

Lisbon’s winding and sometimes steep streets can make it difficult to get around the city, but the public transport services and even taxis are not expensive.

Here are some useful travel tips that don’t appear in many guidebooks.

Port – Santa Apolonia area

This is a fairly new part of the city that has attracted many new restaurants and shops to set up in old port warehouses, creating some unique and spectacular spaces. Be sure to visit the excellent delicatessens or have breakfast at Gourmet Deli Deluxe, try the international dishes at Bica do Sapato restaurant and the  vintage furniture shop known as Loja da Talaia.

This area also boasts some fabulous nightspots, including the famous LUX discotheque, but if you’re not on the “guest list” or you know someone who can get you in, the queues outside are horrendous, though it’s well worth the hassle.

Bairro Alto – Principe Real area

Barrio Alto is home to the Principe Real area, an old residential district next to the Botanical Gardens and where you’ll find many of the city’s most modern shops and restaurants, including trend-setting  concept stores  Espacio B,  21 pr Concept StoreReal and  Fabrico Infinito.

If you love fashion, be sure to visit such shops as  Nuno Gama,  Alexandra MouraKolovratRicardo Preto and Nuno Baltazar. These top designers all attend Moda Lisboa, Portugal’s most important biannual fashion show that is becoming increasingly famous the world over.

Next on our route is Poison d’amour, a cake shop that is sure to make your mouth water, boasting a wonderful terrace where you can enjoy a moment of pure magic. The terrace of the Lost In café-bar, which has an Indian-style decor, offers breathtaking views over the city. For some authentic Portuguese home-cooking, we highly recommend Tasca Do Urso at 32 Rua Do Monte Olivete. And last but not least, theFacto Royale hair salon with its exquisite decor and reputation as one of the finest in the city.

Baixa and Chiado area.

A great way to spend the afternoon is to stroll through the streets of Baixa and Chiado, taking in the most authentic side of Lisbon, its houses, cafés, streets… this is home to a shop called Pelcor, famous throughout Portugal for its cork fashion accessories and incredible handbags. Along Rua Nova do Carvalho you’ll find a bar called Sol y Pesca where you can enjoy a glass of fine wine, then go for a cocktail in the pub known as Pensao Amor, a former brothel that has managed to preserve much of its original decor and boasting a replica of the Sistine Chapel ceiling. Don’t miss even the smallest detail!
Close by is the restaurant  La Velha Senhora offering superb local cuisine at affordable prices.

Alcántara area

Another of Lisbon’s lesser known gems, this area is home to some of the city’s coolest shops, cafés and restaurants, alongside the trendiest advertising agencies and photographic studios.
It’s like a small city in itself, a dream factory where everything is ad hoc and created for LX Factory.

Sunday is the perfect time to visit this area and check out the LX Market where you can find fabulous porcelain, books, clothes, live music, etc.…All the shops and businesses have managed to preserve the essence and decor of the industrial spaces they once were.  There are over one hundred unique premises, such as the stunning  Achimpa bookshop,  La Cantina restaurant and even a press kiosk inside a container called Mag. All this and so much more is available in LX Factory.

Olivais area

Another fascinating area to see is the so-called  new Lisbon which arose from the EXPO 1998 World Exhibition. If you like architecture, you’ll love the Portuguese Pavilion by Álvaro Siza, winner of the Pritzker prize, along with many others. The area is fully inhabited and all the pavilions have been reused. A fine example of urban renewal that other European cities would do well to copy.

The Expo area gives shape to the Olivais district, which is linked to the city via underground, Vasco da Gama Bridge (the longest in Europe), and the intermodal station designed by Santiago Calatrava.

Must-do

*Try the best sweet in the city (and it’s not the famous Bethlehem Cake) at the cake shop called Pastelería do restelo “Careca” on Rua Duarte Pacheco Pereira. The delicious Palmees do Careca!

*Admire the work of a possible future Pritzer prize winner,  Charles Correa, the Champalimaud Foundation building and have lunch in the incredible Darwin restaurant on Avenida de Brasilia.

*Choose a good hotel such as Eurostars Das Letras offering first-class service to make your stay even more enjoyable.

*Visit the MUDE museum of fashion and design, a building dating to the 1950s and former headquarters of Banco Nacional Ultramarino. Its original use can still be appreciated thanks to the decadent industrial ambience that makes it all the more fascinating.

By Tensi Sánchez from Actitudes Magazine

Photos by Rubén Seco

If you feel like going to discover hidden Lisbon reserve your Vueling?

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LX Factory: The new Lisbon

By Tensi Sánchez from actitudesmgz.com

Lisbon is changing. In it´s streets you can smell art and culture wherever you go. The new generations want to show to the rest of the world the greatness of the capital and the economical situation won´t be able to make the ilusion flater. LX Factory is the best example of how in times of crisis the best and most creative ideas can appear.

Alcantara was an industrial area in the XIX century located under the 25of April bridge, but nowadays this zone represents the hotest cultural area in the city. The 23.000 square meters space was meant to be demolished thanks to the Alcantara XXI project to turn it into a multipurpose area. But recession delayed the regeneration and Mainside agency took advantage of the decadent and industrial atmosphere, to rent corner for 12 euro the square meter for young artists and entrepeneurs.

The result? A huge space in which almost 80 companies related with culture, literature, art, fashion and design gather, to offer the most underground and Berlin style experience. The prizes are affordable and anybody can enjoy the hipster atmosphere.

The must places are the Cantina: an old workers dining room which incluyes food for vegetarians and or the breathtaking three floor Ler Devagar bookstore. In the night going to Lollipop disco it is a good option as long as you are included in the guests list. But there is always a chance to go to La Sala de las Columnas where different kinas of deejays will play music for a memorable night.

The Open day is an event which is held twice a year and organizates different workshops and expositions.

A different and magical place, that speaks for itself about a new Lisbon that is rosing form it´s ashes. A city that albergates the most contemporanean culture without leaving appart tradition.

By Tensi Sánchez  from actitudesmgz.com

Photos by Ricardo Junqueira

Makes you want to go, right? Do it! Check out our prices here!

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A new Lisbon rises from the old

Words by Rita Branco

To begin your journey we invite you to take a closer look at an almost forgotten side of Lisbon: Braço de Prata. Located between Santa Apolónia and Oriente, it’s not the most charming area in the city, but in recent times it has become a place where new things find a start. Pioneers in recycling forgotten buildings, the cultural center Fábrica Braço de Prata was created back in 2007. Formerly a factory where war materials were manufactured, it is now a place to cultivate new ideas: since it replaced gunpowder with books, this special spot locks up between its doors countless proposals: from live music to art exhibitions, poetry sessions, dance meetings and other gatherings. Due to its variety of rooms, there is always something happening. It has twelve doors in total, all hiding secrets and each one with its own purpose: four exhibition rooms, another one for film projections, other for musical performances, a bookstore and a couple of bars. A place of leisure filled with a young and dynamic crowd.

Moving to one of the oldest neighborhoods in the heart of Lisbon, Anjos, there’s a place called Taberna das Almas, another cultural association born out of a deactivated glass factory. With two floors and three different rooms, this place made out of wood and full of personality, wants to revitalize the area by promoting and supporting all sorts of cultural projects. Since 2012, every road leads to Feira das Almas on the first Saturday of every month: this alternative market presents sixty projects every new edition, from vintage shopping and handicraft to brand new designers and labels, always accompanied by live music. Being the place where online shops gain a temporarily physical space, big traveling bags are turned into showcases and young artists exhibit their work, Feira das Almas brings a fresh idea into traditional business.

To the occidental side, Príncipe Real is a stylish area on its own. Full of old buildings being renovated and with a young population moving in, this rich neighborhood is becoming a serious shopping spot surrounded by gardens. Built in 1857, Ribeiro da Cunha Palace, was not only part of the New University of Lisbon once, it was the stage for a French TV show also. Right in front of Príncipe Real Garden, the brand new fashion bazaar opened its doors for the first time in early September, 2013. This stately Neo-Moorish building has been recovered and turned into a place where art, business and lifestyle meet, and gathers fifteen entrepreneurs shops over two floors. From fashion to beauty, furniture to music, a restaurant and a space dedicated to temporary art exhibitions, this commercial area combines tradition with innovation and creativity, keeping its interiors intact, where every room has a story to tell, and giving an opportunity to the labels to be in direct touch with their customers.

Extending south of Príncipe Real, there’s the bohemian Bairro Alto. At number 59 of Rua da Barroca, ZDB pops up. Zé dos Bois is an art center living in an eighteenth century palace that was abandoned for ten years: Baronesa de Almeida Palace, a place where writer Almeida Garrett once lived, lodges a non profit organization since 1997 and it has been existing as a space for creation and promotion of contemporary art and the alternative scene, with a special attention to experimentation and exploration of emerging artistic languages. Hosting more than 150 art events per year, including residencies and educational programs, spreading emergent visual art proposals and with a diversified schedule of live music performances, ZDB also has a bookstore, a bar and a terrace where film projections happen periodically.

Moving towards occidental Lisbon, right in front of Estrela Garden, you will find A Montra, which will be occupying number 132 of Calçada da Estrela until October, 2014. During an entire year, this cultural intervention will rehabilitate an abandoned street shop and will turn its window into an art gallery. Every month, an artist is going to produce an art work for that particular place, a feast for the eyes that is available at any time of the day.

To put an end to our journey, LX Factory seems to be a good choice. Once one of the most important manufacturing complexes in Alcântara, it is today a factory of experiences and ideas. Although the mechanical environment is still alive, its residents are now very different: creative people and original companies have been reviving the complex since 2007. LX Factory is to everyone and for everyone, this creative island of fashion, advertisement, communication, fine arts and music has a lot of different commercial and gastronomic spaces, and it also organizes the LX Market every Sunday, a fair for handmade pieces, small DIY brands and second hand opportunities.

From the oriental to the occidental side of Lisbon, here are six bets on the Portuguese new cultural scene. Six different places with a mutual goal: give Lisbon a new dimension and bring life to the city, promoting all sort of arts and entrepreneur ships as a unifier, and using the old to create a better new.

So you feel like visiting Lisboa, do you? Book your flights here!

 

Imagen de Ricardo Junqueira

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