BUS 727

Taking as a starting point Campo Pequeno, in the center of the city and with very good connections to all public transports as well as Lisbon sightseeing (red line) and yellow-bus (Olisipo tour), which has a stopping point here.

Take a look at the building outside and inside. If you have quite some time in Lisbon and want to visit the inside of the bullring wait until 10 o'clock, because that is when they open their doors. Enter any of its side doors, that usually are ajar, and go around the benches. You can see its interior, although less beautiful than the outside, in my opinion.

I suggest you to take the bus 727 in Campo Pequeno (Avenida da Republica). This bus has a frequency between 11 to 15 minutes, but give it time because it has a very long route and goes by routes with heavy traffic, so take your time and enjoy to observe the city. I think it pays off because its trajectory offers an excellent overview of the city.

Pass the Largo do Rato and follow the street of São Bento, interesting for its concentrated antique shops. Reach the palace of São Bento, where the Parliament is located.

I highly recommend the guided visit to the palace and the Parliament. It is an extraordinary building!

The bus route then meets the Tejo river, in Santos, and runs along the street of Janelas Verdes, with interesting palaces, mostly not visited, except in particular periods, to the Old Arts Museum. It is not to miss!

I recommend the visit between Wednesday and Friday. The museum opens at 10 am. This museum will take time to visit (recommend taking 2-3 hours), trust me, it is not wasted time.

The Old Arts Museum has a very rich collection!

You can take advantage of it, if it is lunchtime when you are there, do have lunch in the museum's restaurant, which has an excellent terrace in the garden, or, in Le Chat, which has a terrace with a magnificent and unforgettable view over the Tejo river.

The route of 727 goes on to Belém, and if you have not spent half the afternoon already delighting yourself with the museum and the view, you will still have time to continue on its route to Belém.

Here, in a few square meters, there are at least 6 unforgettable and also impossible places to visit in a single afternoon.

You will have to choose what to do first and also, depending on the time you have to visit Lisbon, eventually take another day for the rest, combining with a not less fantastic, riverside walk...

Those are the Belém Tower, the Discoveries Monument (Padrão dos Descobrimentos), the Jerónimos Monastery, the Tropical Botanical Garden, the CCB Museum of the Berardo Collection (Contemporanean Art), Old Carriages Museum, the Pastels of Belém Factory and Store...and many others, depending on your interests

I do not like when other people tell me what to do on my trips, so I'm not going to do it to you either.

This is just a visiting suggestion that takes advantage of the 727 bus line for a first great view of the most western part of the city.

Hence the so-called line of Cascais, to be seen at another time.

As for Belém, for the vastness of highlights that the place concentrates, it is also worthy of an exclusive post.

The Praia das Maçãs train

This is a great proposition for the warmer days approaching.

The praia das maçãs train has one of the most bucolic routes we can find in all of Lisbon, it departures from Sintra and quietly follows its verdant path, until the final (or initial) station of Praia das Maçãs.

To get to Sintra, I recommend to, if you have one, go by car, otherwise take the Sintra line train in Entrecampos, for example, and arrive right in the center of the village. The departure and arrival stop of this singular train is located on the right side of the Olga Cadaval Cultural Center, which is very easy to find.

This is a trip of about an hour, comfortable and not at all risky, highly recommended, and very kid friendly.

Enjoy a late afternoon (yes, I recommend you to do it in the afternoon... Sintra, in that aspect is not like Lisbon at all, in the morning it is cold and very humid!). If you prefer to spend the day at the beach then leave early in the morning, return at the end of the afternoon and also enjoy your lunch in one of the restaurants of sea food and fresh fish near the beach.

Christmas around the world

Christmas is, for many, their favorite time of the year. It's a happy, beautiful and colorful season. But, do you know how people around the world celebrate it?

Christmas is a religious holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. However other religions, like Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Judaism do not recognize Christmas as a religious tradition, but many do celebrate it as a Cultural or secular Holiday.Each catholic country has their own Christmas costumes and traditions.

In countries such as Spain, Mexico, Poland and Italy there is a Midnight Mass Church Service in which people might fast during Christmas Eve (not eat any meat or fish usually) and the main Christmas meal is often eaten after that. In Belgium, Finland, Lithuania and Denmark the meal is eaten in the evening and they might go to a Midnight Service afterwards.

In many countries such as Germany, Serbia and Slovakia, Christmas eve is the day the Christmas tree is brought into the house and decorated. In Portugal, the tree is put up and decorated on the 8th of December which is a national holiday.

In Holland children receive presents on St. Nicholas' Eve (5th ofDecember) and in Belgium and Czech Republic on St. Nicholas Day. In Sweden and Germany presents are given on Christmas eve while in the UK, USA and Japan they are opened on Christmas morning. The latest presents are opened on January 6th in Spain and Mexico. In many countries there’s also the tradition of having an advent calendar.

In Portugal there’s a gathering of the family in one house on Christmas eve where we eat octopus or cod fish cooked in many ways and eat many traditional desserts like rice pudding, king cake and “sonhos” and presents are exchanged. On Chritmas eve there is also a mass called “missa do galo” at midnight. On the actual Christmas day we also have lunch in family in which we eat turkey.

And you, in which way do you celebrate Christmas? Do you celebrate it at all?