Add some Nature, Culture and Gastronomy to your stay in Lisbon!
Your stay in Lisbon is going to be everything but boring! If you want to add any extra ingredient to your stay, Lisbon and its surroundings are a giant market with a lot to offer! And Oasis Backpackers Hostel Lisbon is just in the bustling heart of the city, in one of the most famous and traditional neighborhoods – Bairro Alto.
So be adventurous, step out to the cobbled streets of Lisbon and get ready to be surprised. From the city’s cultural diversity, to the amazing architectural heritage and hectic nightlife, Lisbon allows you fill in the 24 hours of your day. Known as the city of seven hills, make sure you make time to go to the higher viewpoints, such as the São Jorge’s Castle, and get amazed with the panoramic views of the city, perfectly embraced by the majestic Tagus River.
Enjoy the best Pastel de Nata in town
For some extra motivation, ask us where you can try the best Pastel de Nata in town, our world famous pastry. And make sure you make some extra room in your suitcase for some boxes, you won’t want to keep this secret just for yourself.
Alfama and Mouraria
The old and traditional neighborhoods, Alfama and Mouraria, introduce you to the real Portuguese lifestyle back in the days, with narrow streets and clothes drying out of people’s’ windows. Make sure you try typical Portuguese cuisine in these neighborhoods, combined with a Fado performance. And even if you’re not a Portuguese speaker, the vibrant emotion that the song carries will definitely touch your heart.
Add a perfect end to your day by connecting with locals in the city’s most crowded night spot – Bairro Alto. That is right, it is just a few steps away from the hostel and you don’t need to worry about transportation. Just stay as late as you want!
Even though Lisbon has enough to entertain you for a whole month, you should not miss the opportunity of visiting some really cool towns just a 30 minutes away. That’s right, we are talking about Cascais and Sintra.
You can choose from taking the train in Cais do Sodré station or to get an hop on hop off tour, and you’ll be driven along the seaside, where the Tagus River meets the Atlantic Ocean, on a nice and relaxing ride until the Cascais town. An old fishermens’ village that is nowadays known as the Portuguese Riviera. Get lost in this picturesque town, where the seagulls stand tall majestically on the bay and the white sanded beaches seem endless. Other of Cascais highlights is Boca do Inferno, which means the “mouth of hell”. It is quite close to the town center, so you can easily walk there or rent one of the various bikes available throughout the town, to go and see this amazing rock caves sculpted by the crushing waves that seem that it is going to swallow you!
Your camera will not get tired of this town, so make sure it is fully charged!
Go to Sintra
Continuing the ride along the seaside, let’s go a little bit higher and aim to the Sintra mountains. On the way, you’ll pass by one of the most famous spots for surfing in Portugal, Guincho Beach, where the waters are full of boards and the skies full of kites. From there, you can spot the most western point of Portugal, therefore of the European Continent – Cabo da Roca – “where the land is over and the sea begins”, as written by our epic poet Luis de Camões, the red light house proudly marks the spot. Stop by and feel the grandiosity of this unique place on earth.
As you start entering the Sintra area, you’ll find hard to believe that you are just a few minutes away from Lisbon, as you suddenly feel like being part of a fairy tale. Surrounded by forest, Sintra is so green that you feel rejuvenated. In every corner you can find a castle, a palace, a fountain, perfectly landscaped gardens, you name it! It is mysterious, romantic and with a lot of mysticism. The stories and myths involving this town are countless. And make sure you don’t leave with an empty stomach.
Try the regional pastries, Travesseiros and Queijadas!
So, as you can see, you won’t get bored at all! Visit us!
This capital city of Europe tends not to feel or behave like one. Offering amazing value and incredible sights, sounds, and flavours as well as one of the biggest reputations for night-life in all of Europe, some thing is still understated. Unpretentious and casual with come-as-you-are tendencies toward pleasure seeking and relaxation, and simultaneously rich with history and filled with stories, the city has plenty to absorb, while offering a reprieve from the frenzied atmosphere of Europe’s more tourist-heavy destinations.
7 hills, 7 amazing views
Lisbon and at the top of each one amazing views await. While the hills can be punishing on foot, there are many funiculars (‘ascensors’) and trams connecting them. The Miradouro de Santa Catarina, known locally as ‘Adamastor,’ provides sweeping views of the river and much character in the diversity of its patrons (the place can seem sketchy, but it’s quite safe and a favourite among locals). The statue “Adamastor” in the centre of the square refers to the sea giant that Luis de Camões imagined when writing “The Lusiads.” Another favourite is the Miradouro da Graça with its café nestled above the Castelo and Alfama. Easily the most thigh punishing, but one of the best places to see the city is the Miradouro da Senhora do Monte. Tram 28 will get you close to all three. It’s an exhilarating ride and an exciting way to check out the city.
Before hitting one of the many Fado clubs in Bairro Alto or Alfama, a trip to the Museo do Fado e da Guitarra Portuguesa is a good place for a quick study of Fado’s history. Its well put together audiovisual displays allow the visitor to get lost in the sights and sounds of these bluesy melancholic chants of Portugal. The tour ends in a virtual performance that, with the right kind of eyes and ears, can be very moving. Be sure to check out the everchanging exhibitions.
The Thieves Market
Beside the Igreja de São Vincente de Fora materializes one of the best flea markets in Lisbon. Browse through old wristwatches, religious paraphernalia, cheap clothes, second hand vinyl, and unimaginable arrays of intriguing junk at this entertaining and funky extravaganza. There are also some pretty solid antique shops and stalls.
This funky all purpose rendez-vous point occupies the sloping premises of what was built in the 17th century as a women’s prison and functions today as a state-funded school for circus entertainers. It lies in the Castelo district and its patio has spectacular views of Lisbon and the river Tejo. It’s good for drinks, food, or just exploring. There are many indoor and outdoor spots in which to make yourself comfortable as well as live shows. This is a great place to have a drink after an afternoon in the Castelo neighbourhood.
Costa do Castelo, 1-7
Open Tuesday to Sunday 10h – 02h
To check the agenda visit www.chapito.org
For a snapshot of Lisbon’s Moorish past, spend some time navigating the labyrinth-like district of Alfama. This neighbourhood, spanning from the Castelo to the river Tejo, was once an upper class Moorish residential neighbourhood. Now it is home to a working class population where Fado was invented and the grilling sardines perfected. The best time to visit is during the Festa de Santo António around the 12th and 13th of June. During this festival, the streets explode in pastel coloured streamers and amazing grilled food.
No trip to Lisbon can be called a success without a pilgrimage to Belém. Belém is where the Age of Discovery began. Ships commanded by the likes of Vasco da Gama and Henry the Navigator set their sails here returning with tales of adventure, bloodshed, and riches. Discovering a sea route to India, Gama helped aide in Portugal’s rise to one of the world’s greatest empires. With the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, Torre de Belém, Centro Cultural de Belém, and many other museums and open spaces, a full day here will not be wasted. Most museums are closed on Monday.
Night out in bairro alto
After stuffing yourself in one of this districts many fine restaurants – ranging from traditional to experimental – or browsing through original and independent Portuguese boutiques, you should stick around and let loose a little.
If you want to drown your sorrows at the bottom of a bottle while listening to Fado, catch some DJs bump electronically inspired beats, rock in an indie dive bar, cram into what looks like someone’s living room for live African and Brazilian music, read Saramago to the backdrop of Jazz, or just sample a little of everything while drinking on the streets with thousands of other revellers – then a night in Bairro Alto is highly recommended. Thursday to Saturday are the most crowded, but you will always find people out at night in this area. Cheap beer and no covers help to make Bairro Alto one of the hottest and most consistently frenzied nightspots of all Europe.
Gulbenkian museum & park
This Museum has a great collection of art that spans over almost every major period in Western history. They also have some impressive Eastern Art. Of note to all you Art Nouveau heads is the fantastic collection from designer Rene Lalique. Across the way is the Centro de Arte Moderna, which has Portugal’s best collection of 20th Century Portuguese art. Connecting the two museums is a stunning, modern, and expansive park that is as much can be as inspiring to visitors as the exhibits themselves.
Avenida de Berna, 45A
Museum Open Tuesday to Friday 09h – 17h30 / Saturday and Sunday 10h – 17h30
tel. (+351) 217 823 000
Cais do ginjal
When I cross that river…
Head on down to “Cais do Sodre” and catch a ferry to “Cacilhas.” When you arrive head to Cais do Ginjal on foot. As you walk along the river and by the abandoned buildings you will be able to make out the ever changing contours of Lisbon, and see what has to be one of the best views of the city. If you’re hungry, grab a seat, a drink, and eat at one of the rustic river side restaurants looking out to Lisbon above the river Tejo. Try and get one of the tables sitting out over the water. After your belly is full, use your change to take the elevator up to “Almada Velha.”
Tip: Have a late lunch and try to catch the sunset…you won’t forget it.
We hate tourism tours | w.h.t.t.
Ever leave a city and wonder what you didn’t see? “Never again!” says Bruno from We Hate Tourism Tours. Bruno and his friends take travellers on trips they will never forget. Go up and down Lisbon’s 7 Hills in a convertable UMM Jeep, and explore surrounding parks, sites, and villages outside the city in one of their storied and unique 7-passenger vans. Local drivers, local knowledge, lots of personality and lots of fun.
Take a Trip or go home crying like a baby.
tel. (+351) 911 501 719
Information on drugs consumption in Lisbon, Portugal
While we here at Oasis Hostels do not condone the use of drugs while visiting the Portuguese capital, we do know drugs exists, and believe a little information can go along way to having a safe visit. Drug consumption in Portugal is discrete, and if you are going to light up or anything else make sure you follow this etiquette:
Drug consumption in Portugal is discrete, and if you are going to light up or anything else make sure you follow this etiquette. Never smoke indoors or at bars or clubs. Personal consumption is no longer a criminal offense in Portugal. “Personal consumption” is defined by quantity. The law rather vaguely states that you can have in your possession enough for personal use for a few days. If you decide you need to carrying anything on you the best best is to have a little as possible. DO NOT buy drugs from anyone that approaches you on the streets, especially in the Baixa and Bairro Alto areas. Again, to be completely safe you should avoid the use of drugs all together while visiting our beautiful Portuguese city.
For much of the 20th century, Portugal was a closed, Catholic society, with a military dictator and no drug education. In the early 1970s, young Portuguese men were drafted to fight wars in the country’s African colonies, where many were exposed to drugs for the first time. Some came home addicted. In 1974, there was a revolution — and an explosion of freedom. By the 1990s, 1 percent of Portugal’s population was hooked on heroin. It was one of the worst drug epidemics in the world, and it prompted Portugal’s government to take a novel approach: It decriminalized all drugs. Starting in 2001, possession or use of any drug — even heroin — has been treated as a health issue, not a crime. The possession of small quantities of those drugs was shifted to a public-health — rather than criminal — issue. And rather than getting arrested for a small amount, you get sent to a “dissuasion commission,” where a doctor, lawyer, and social worker prescribe treatment or give you a fine.
According to the paper “Drug Decriminalization in Portugal: A Health-Centered ApproachDrug Decriminalization in Portugal: A Health-Centered Approach“: Portugal enacted one of the most extensive drug law reforms in the world when it decriminalized low-level possession and use of all illicit drugs nearly a decade and a half ago. Results of the Portuguese experience demonstrate that drug decriminalization – alongside a serious investment in treatment and harm reduction services – can significantly improve public safety and health.
More information on Portuguese drug laws can be found at We Hate Saudade, a blog run by and for Lisbon Lovers and and The EMCDDA.
Best tattoo shops and parlors in Lisbon, Portugal
Let Lisbon make its mark on you! This is a list of places where you can get clean and quality tattoo work done. Each one is different and the best option is to drop by a few and speak with artists and check out their work.
A bit of history about the origin of tattoos
People have been etching tattoos into their skin since the beginning of time. But what are the origins of inking? The first known tattoo — of a moustache — was discovered on a South American mummy from 6,000 B.C. It was a cosmetic tattoo, to make his wife more attracted to him, to make him more appealing.
But the 1991 discovery of the Iceman in the Alps, whose corpse dates back about 5,300 years, revealed tattoos that were used for a different purpose. They were used for medicinal purposes to heal arthritis. Aside from medicine and cosmetics, tattoos were used to mark important points in a lifetime or as symbolic markers.
Popular styles from the distant past include centipedes, abstract forms and mythological figures. Some women also marked their cheeks if they were barren, or their breasts to increase milk flow. And in certain societies, tattoos showed social class and standing. Tattooing for tribal aristocrats in the Kayan tribe of Borneo was reserved for powerful women.
Tattoos were also used as sort of a calling card, In the Iroquois tribes and other neighboring groups, when a man had built up his name as a warrior, they would carve their tattoos into a war club and they would leave it near the body of their victim. It was a way of taunting their enemies.
Ironically, while tattooing has been practiced for thousands of years, the word “tattoo” entered the language relatively recently. Captain Cook first recorded his derivation of the Samoan word “tatau” in his log in 1769. Tattooing was obviously very popular among seaman of the day. Many of the Bounty mutineers of 1789 were identified by their tattoos. Fletcher Christian, the leader of the mutiny, was reported to have “a star tattooed on his left breast,” and to be “tattooed on his backside”.
This is a list of places where you can get clean and quality tattoo work done. Each one is different and the best option is to drop by a few and speak with artists and check out their work.
Rua Conceicao da Glória, 46, 1D
tel. (+351) 213 433 832
Rua do Norte, 85
tel. (+351) 213 460 888
Rua da Oliveira ao Carmo, Escadinhas do Oliveira, 3
tel. (+351) 961 412 005
Rua da Venezuela, 41A
tel. (+351) 217 156 442
Rua do Telhal, 8C
tel. (+351) 213 462 181
Queen of Hearts
Rua Luiza Todi, 12 – 14
tel. (+351) 213 423 732
Rua da Prata, 88
tel. (+351) 218 862 994
Largo Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro, 30A
tel. (+351) 213 476 126
Avenida Duque de Loulé, 66
tel. (+351) 213 539 454
Take a bite out of Portugal’s colonial past and try some of the exotic dishes that have become as popular to visitors as they are to locals in the immigrant districts. With Lisbon’s diversity comes an array of wonderful African, Indian, and Asian restaurants. These are our favourites.
Settle in to this small but cozy restaurant for African food with Cabo Verdean roots. Traditional ingredients and recipes combine to make having dinner here a true multi-cultural experience. Be sure to try the fresh Gioba and Ricotta dessert.
Rua da Imprensa Nacional, 64 B
Open Tuesday to Friday 12h30 – 15h30 and 19h30 – 22h30 / Mondays 12h30 – 15h30 / Saturdays 19h30 – 22h30
tel. (+351) 213 963 909
Tentações de Goa
Cardamom, Saffron, Indian spice, ginger, and cummin mix together to take you on a gastronomical journey to the south of India, just like the Portuguese explorers.
Rua São Pedro Mártir, 23
Open Monday to Saturday
tel. (+351) 218 875 824
Illegal Chinese Restaurant
Tucked away in the rarely-visited side streets of Martim Moniz, past a small ginjinja bar, on the left is an open door. This is not just a home. This is a family-run Chinese restaurant in disguise. Amazing food, family service, and prices that will bewinder you.
Rua da Guia no. 9
Open until 24h
Good vegetarian options may seem limited in a city where the culinary scene is very much a fish and wine culture with tendancies toward bold, succulant, and heavy meats and saussages. Nonetheless, it’s still nice every once in a while to get a light meal rich with veggies. If you’re looking for an alternative to bifanas, steaks, and choriço, try one of these vegetable-loving establishments.
Jardim dos Sentidos
Eat your greens at this restaurant and therapy center. This vegetarian dinning spot is always crowded because of its value and garden. Grab a massage before or after your Indian/Oriental-inspired cuisine.
Rua Mae D’ Água, 3
Open Monday to Friday 12h – 15h and 19h – 23h / Saturday 19h – 23h
tel. (+351) 213 423 670
Amazing place for getting your fill of veggies. Serves buffet style vegetarian meals made from mostly organic ingridients with many Vegan options. If it´s sunny, see if you can get a table in the garden out back.
Rua da Palmeira, 15
Open everyday 12h30 – 15h30 and 19h30 – 22h30
tel. (+351) 213 421 408
A great choice in the city centre for quick and inexpensive vegetarian and vegan food. Several menus consisting of both hot and cold dishes.
Rua do Sapateiros, 113
Open Monday to Friday 08h30 – 22h / Saturday 10h – 22h
tel. (+351) 213 468 063