In former market halls near Tagus river there is a huge foodcourt these days. Part of the Mercado da Ribeira is transformed in a culinary hot spot, called Time Out Market.
On a December evening we travel by metro to this place opposite the metro/trainstation Cais do Sodré. It’s around eight o’clock when we arrive and there is hardly any place left at the long tables. We walk around and see a lot of variety: special hamburgers, sushi, pizza, pasta, but also Portuguese food, pastry and, of course, pastéis de nata!
But we end up in a restaurant on the first floor. Apparently this is restaurant Pap D’Açorda (it moved after 35 years in Bairro Alto to this new spot). So if you don’t want to share a table downstairs, go upstairs! But be aware: prices are high ( the most inexpensive glass of wine is 4,25 euro). Food is good, but to say the truth: we know places where we have experienced better price/quality.
Have a look at the short vlog I made if you want to experience Mercado da Ribeira/Time Out Market on a December evening:
And don’t leave Mercado da Ribeira/Time Out Market without tasting a Pastel de Nata at Manteigaria. I dare say these Pastéis de Nata (pastel = singular, pastéis = plural, by the way) are as great as the ones of the famous Pastelaria de Belém!
For Dutch visitors: read more about Lisbon and life at Portuguese Silver Coast on my blog in Dutch at Zin in Portugal
We didn’t expect to get a Downton Abbey-feeling when I booked a hotel in Lisbon. But room 135 in the old part of Hotel Real Palácio unexpectedly provides us one. The hotel is divided in a recent and old building. Our room for tonight is room 135, in the old part. Luckily this ancient city palace, with a beautifully tiled staircase, has survived the vile earthquake of 1755.
The room is styled in a way we tend to see in series like Downton Abbey and gives us a royal feeling. I have no idea of the rooms in the newer, bigger building are styled in the same way. But our room provides us a pleasant feeling of being part of ancient history.
From the hotel you walk easily to Park Eduardo VII, the Gulbenkian museum, the shopping mall of El Corte Inglês, michelin star-rated restaurant Eleven and Marquês de Pombal. And from the round about of Marquês de Pombal you walk along the Avenida da Liberdade to downtown Lisbon (A Baixa).
And those who don’t like to walk: metrostation Parque is not far.
We choose to walk from the top of Park Eduardo VII (magnificent view over Lisbon) to Marquês de Pombal on this sunny December evening and to have dinner at the new hotspot near Cais de Sodré: Time Out Market (Mercado da Ribeira).
Marquês de Pombal is a hub in the metrosystem of Lisbon. There we buy a ticket which is valid for 24 hours from the moment you start travelling (costs 6 euros). Before going to Mercado da Ribeira we stop at Baixa Chiado. We want to visit the old bookshops in Rua Garrett (one of them is the oldest in the world!). Besides that, Rua Garrett is a nice place. You can always change plans and decide to have dinner in Bairro Alto!
But first we take a picture of Fernando Pessoa. He is waiting, in bronze, for a coffee at Café Brasileira and look around. On this lovely December evening buildings are beautifully illuminated.
After this short stop we continue travelling to Cais do Sodré. Opposite this train/metro/boat station is Mercado da Ribeira, the foodcourt in an old market hall. It’s called Time Out Market and there is plenty of food for every taste. But more on that in a next blogpost!
“Do you know a nice place to stay in Lisbon?” I’m frequently asked. As a matter of fact, I do.
Depending on what purpose I am in Lisbon, I choose to stay in the old city centre or in the new and trendy Expo-area, also called Parque das Nações, the area where in 1998 the World Fair took place. Since then this spot is loved for its modern arquitecture and leisure qualities.
When I have tickets for a concert in the Pavilhão Atlântico hall, an early flight or in case I need to pick up friends from the airport, the Expo-area is quite convenient to spend the night. Within ten metrominutes I go from metro- and Railway station Oriente/Parque das Nações to Lisbon Airport and by car I only need to follow the Avenida do Berlim to the end to arrive at Terminal 1. I can highly recommend Tryp Oriente in this area. Rooms facing the Tejo tend to be more expensive, but I know a good alternative: a room facing the railwaystation, the third floor up! At night you overview the beautiful new railwaystation and from your window it’s easy to make a lovely picture.
In this Expo-area you not only find a huge concert hall, but also lots of restaurants, a side-walk near the Tagus river, a huge aquarium and a bright shopping mall, called Vasco da Gama.
If you are in the mood for historic sideseeing or you want to be near Lisbon’s Bairro Alto I advice three other hotels. A couple of years ago I organized a long-weekend-trip for twenty Dutch colleagues and we spent three comfortable nights at Hotel Turim Suisso Atlântico. Although it can be a little bit noisy due to the famous yellow tram – that brings you from Restauradores to the Miradouro in Bairro Alto – and the lively nightlife in the neighbourhood, we slept well.
Another hotel, or better, apart-hotel, in down town Lisbon is Hotel Vip Executive Éden Restauradores. In this redecorated theatre you find apart hotel rooms. Each room has a small kitchenette, so for a family or a small group of friends it’s a good central place to stay. The rooms need refurbishing, but the plus is, undoubtably, the swimming pool at the roof. At night you can sit here overlooking the city, seeing Castelo São Jorge at the hill opposite, and during warm days you plunge into the water for some refreshment.
And last but not least, I can recommend Hotel Borges. Located near the statue of Fernando Lisboa this old hotel is the closest to Bairro Alto and in Chiado, the shopping area with more exclusive brands.
Due to Lisbons’ excellent public transport system you can easily reach the hotels I mentioned. Spend 6 euros to buy a Lisbon Viva Card and you will be able to travel 24 hours in metro, bus and yellow tram. To give you an idea of fares: if you buy a single ticket for the famous yellow tram up the hill at Restauradores you spend over 3 euros. So you have a lot to win buying the Lisbon Viva Card for public transport.
To travel to Hotel Tryp Oriente in Parque das Nações you take the red line to Oriente. Lisbon Hotel Suisso Atlântico and Hotel Vip Executive Éden are on walking distance from metrostation Restauradores and Hotel Borges is on top of metrostation Chiado. Nice detail: Hotel Borges is in Rua Garret. So start reading Night Train to Lisbon ( Pascal Mercier) or watch the movie before you go and you will give your trip to Lisbon a whole new dimension!