I love it here. Jose cooks meals that you would get in a five star restaurant for five euro. Its beside the beach, waves, restaurants. They have lovely staff, and surf boards, wetsuits etc (lessons for beginners)
We had a great time! Met so many awesome People. Best Place to stay if you wanna relax on the Beach (you should also go surfing) and still being so close to Lissabon and it's amazing citylife.
Carcavelos is where all of Lisbon comes to surf. It’s just 12 km by car, or a mere 20 minutes by train from the Cais do Sodre station in central Lisbon, and it can certainly get crowded with school kids and tourists trying their luck on a foam board. There’s no shortage of rental shops and schools. Fortunately, the beach is wide enough for everyone, most of the time – and you may have it *almost* all to yourself if you show up before 8am.
This beach break offers rights and lefts for rides up to 150 meters on a good day. The best swells come from the south, and the waves are ridable from 1 to a little over 2 meters. It’s best at mid-tide. The lineup, and the beach, do get incredibly crowded, especially on the weekend, since Carcavelos is great for expert and beginner surfers alike. If you do know what you’re doing and need space, the nearby Parede offers a much more challenging rocky bottom break that’s perfect when the swell’s in.
Carcavelos was one of the first breaks to be surfed in Portugal and due to it`s proximity to the center of Lisbon it`s usually very crowded. Fairly consistent surf throughout the tide and works with a wide variety of conditions. The predominant N/NE wind blows offshore here, making it a good option when the surf is too big and the wind too hard at the Ericeira/Peniche coastline.
Lisbon's most monumental and historical area is Belem. It was from here that many of the great Portuguese explorers embarked on their voyages of discovery. Don’t miss:
PASTÉIS DE BELÉM – You’ll see Pastel de nata sold commonly throughout Portugal but this is where it all began for these Portuguese egg tart pastries. They taste so good they were mentioned by The Guardian as the 15th most tasty delicacy in the world!
TORRE DE BELÉM – is a fortified tower and a UNESCO World Heritage Site (along with the nearby Jerónimos Monastery) because of the significant role it played in the Portuguese maritime discoveries of the era of the Age of Discoveries. The tower is a part of a defense system at the mouth of the Tagus river and a ceremonial gateway to Lisbon.
PADRÃO DOS DESCOBRIMENTOS - the monument on the northern bank of the Tagus River estuary, where ships departed to explore and trade with India and Orient. The monument celebrates the Portuguese Age of Discovery (or Age of Exploration) during the 15th and 16th centuries.
MOSTEIRO DOS JERONIMOS – The monastery is an impressive building and was once populated by Monks of the Order of St Jerome whose spiritual job was to comfort sailors and pray for the King’s soul. After 1833 the monastery became a school and orphanage until 1940.
Lisbon is just a 20min train ride from the hostel and is a beautiful city spread across a number of hills overlooking the Rio Tejo – which makes for some great viewpoints of the city! Once here you can wander the narrow lanes through the old quarters, go shopping in Chiado, visit the Moorish Castle, enjoy the nightlife on Pink Street or the Bairro Alto district, eat amazing restaurant quality food at the Mercado Da Ribeira, take a ride in one of the old yellow trams, take a ride up the Elevador de Santa Justa, or visit one of the many museums and galleries. And that list is not exhaustive!
For more info check out:
CASTELO DE SÃO JORGE – Over a millennium-old and still Lisbon's most splendid sight: Spectacularly sited on the city's tallest hill, St. George's Castle offers a breathtaking view over Lisbon
ELÉTRICO 28 – It's perhaps Lisbon's most popular activity: A ride back in time over hills and medieval streets in vintage trams that are still part of the city's public transportation network.
FADO – Lisbon is one of the very few cities in the world with its very own sound. New Orleans has its jazz, Buenos Aires presents tango, Rio de Janeiro moves to samba, and Seville has flamenco, but Lisbon's Fado is not a dance or even music.
Is 15 Minutes by train from the hostel heading away from Lisbon. Cascais Old Town was originally a small fishing village but over the years attracted artists, writers and European nobility, and nowadays the sandy beaches, museums, nightlife and mosaic paved streets draw large numbers of visitors and make the town well worth a visit!
MARINA DE CASCAIS – The Bay of Cascais has long been associated with the sea and the brave explorers from Portugal’s Age of Discovery. However, it was not until 1999 that the current formal marina project was realised, transforming the town from a cosmopolitan summer resort to a world-leading sailing and marine sport destination.
CABO DA ROCA – which is the headland that forms the westernmost point on the European mainland. Here you can enjoy a panoramic view of the Serra de Sintra and out to sea and a nice coastal walk if you feel a little energetic.
PRAIA DO GUINCHO – this is a popular beach for surfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing. Generally during summer the northern winds and smaller north-west swells make it ideal for windsurfing and kitesurfing as well as learning to surf. During the winter months (especially December) the easterly winds increase the swell size, with multiple beach breaks providing powerful lefts and rights.
BOCA DO INFERNO– this is a cliff formation and natural arch that’s only a short walk from Cascais, in winter it provides an impressive display of the powerful ocean, with the water being funnelled into the chasm.
This picturesque UNESCO World Heritage Site warrants a whole days visit with its variety of 19th century Romantic architectural monuments and buildings. Due to the slightly cooler climate among these pine covered hills the nobility and elite of Portugal chose here to construct their palaces, extravagant residences and decorative gardens. How to get there: Go to Cascais by train (around 15 minutes) and from there catch the 417 Bus that will take you around 30mins or the 403 bus that will take around 1hr and will pass through Cabo da roca. In Sintra you can take the 434 Bus, which is specially designed for tourists who are visiting Sintra as a day trip and connects the train station, the historic centre, the Pena Palace and the Moors castle. The 434 bus service makes it possible to visit the town and the three major sights of Sintra in a single day, without the need to hike up the steep hills of the region. There’s also numerous options such as bike tours and hop on/hop off buses.
CASTELO DOS MOUROS – Castle of the Moors - This is a hilltop medieval castle built during the 9th century by the North African Moors to guard the town of Sintra but was then taken by Christian forces from the Moors after the fall of Lisbon, it was an important strategic point during the Reconquista. The castle fell into disrepair after the Christian conquest of Portugal.
PALÁCIO NACIONAL DA PENA – The palace is one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal. It’s a beautiful vivid and flamboyant palace built by a King to represent an opera. The palace is surrounded by 200 hectares of gardens, walkways and lakes to explore as well.
QUINTA DA REGALEIRA – Quinta da regaleira – is an estate built in the 20th century with an ornate gothic façade located near the historic centre of Sintra. The main attraction however is the gardens, which were designed to represent ancient secret orders. Hidden within these gardens you’ll find hidden tunnels and concealed symbolism, with references to the Knights Templar, the Masons and dark alchemy. There’s also lakes, grottoes, fountains, wells and exquisite constructions.
A quaint district like few others that has for decades undoubtedly been the place to meet for the first drink of the evening. In the lively cobbled streets of this Lisbon neighbourhood the tradition is to order a caipirinha or caipirosca and drink it in the street, enjoying the mild temperatures (although even when it’s cold, the ritual is carried out with the same mathematical precision).
In Rua da Barroca, Clube da Esquina (Rua da Barroca 30-32) is a bar with a cult following, which they say serves the best mojitos in town.
Besides caipirinhas and good music, Bairro Alto also offers other attractions to enliven the warm evenings, with various designer boutiques and "concept stores" whose doors stay open until the early hours.
And on summer nights, nothing can beat one of the terraces of any of the area’s hotels, such as the BA Esplanade at Hotel Bairro Alto. This has been praised as the fourth best view of the world from a hotel terrace, and offers a stunning panoramic city view with the River Tagus as a unique backdrop.
An area formerly littered with brothels and gambling houses where sailors went for a night of delight and a pair of arms in which to lose themselves after the hard months at sea, it has now been transformed into one of the most vibrant night spots in Lisbon.
The epicentre of this old/former Red Light District is Rua Nova do Carvalho, a street whose provocative garish pink-painted asphalt is home to a variety of unique and unusual places where you can watch a burlesque show, drink a cocktail whose name would shock our mothers (such as "chic whore"), eat some Portuguese tapas between drinks or watch an innovative live concert.
One of its greatest exponents is Pensão Amor (Hostel of Love), an old hotel whose rooms used to be rented by the hour by prostitutes and sailors, that has been converted into a multidisciplinary space where you will find, amongst others, an erotic bookstore, a sexy lingerie boutique, a hairdresser (Facto Fetish) cutting hair for to "students, sailors and lady-tramps" and an arts bar. In this lively café it’s possible to do everything from contemplating the ceiling paintings that emulate the Sistine Chapel, to enjoying a good Peruvian ceviche with a glass of wine.
There is nothing more Portuguese than the melancholy, profound fado singing which was born, it seems, in a tavern in the Alfama neighbourhood. This was in the 19th century, and the notes imbued with nostalgia and heartache of a music that is all about hopeless love and longing have become one of the icons of Portugal. Currently, fado remains inseparable from the essence of Alfama and it is here, among the alleyways, cobbled pavements and decaying Moorish houses, that you can find the best places to hear it.
A new generation of fado houses has recently emerged that, without losing its essence, offer a more up-to-date folkloric experience, of better quality and much more entertaining. These temples of fado are increasingly frequented by the people of Lisbon and are a crucible for artists and young professionals looking for a piece of the Portuguese soul.
One of our favourites is Sr. Fado (Rua dos Remédios 176, Alfama), owned by the fado singer Ana Marina and guitarist Duarte Santos, where you can enjoy a fantastic traditional Portuguese cuisine, while listening to good quality fado. A family atmosphere, warm hospitality and a perfect environment to understand a little more of Portuguese culture.
Lisbon has enjoyed a well-deserved reputation since the 1990s as one of Europe’s avant-garde cities when it comes to clubbing. The city offers a wide repertoire of options ranging from those that provide lounge, house and electronic music sounds. Avenida 24 de Julho and Santa Apolónia are the most modern dance hot spots in the capital.
Lux is in Santa Apolónia, a club that has topped the European rankings of the most reputable clubs for years. And proof is something there is no lack of: one of the owners is the actor John Malkovich, Funky, retro furniture completes the impressive interior décor which is divided into two very distinct ambiences: on the ground floor, the exciting dance rhythms on the dance floor are the left to top DJs mixing the latest and greatest tracks; upstairs, a much more relaxed atmosphere, ideal for a drink in good company. Queues at the entrance and rigorous entry criteria are the drawbacks of what is probably the reference spot on Lisbon’s night scene.
On Avenue 24 de Julho, "Main" deserves a mention. This replaced the mythical "Kapital" which reigned supreme in Lisbon’s nightlife for more than two decades. Young people (20s and 30s) and intense weekends in a place that reinvented itself into various spaces and environments.