Tuesday, 6 February 2018

2017’s most visited Monuments, Palaces and Museums

The Direcção Geral de Património (DGCP) presented 2017’s results concerning visits to the Portuguese Monuments, Palaces and Museums.

As expected, and somewhat reflecting the continuous growth of tourists visiting Portugal, the number of visits to the Portuguese most important sites has increased in 8,9% when comparing to 2016.

If you look to the top 6, the Castelo de São Jorge is by far Portugal’s most visited monument, with
1.970.858 visitors, followed by Mosteiro dos Jerónimos  with 1.166.7933, then the Torre de Belém with 575.875, Mosteiro da Batalha with 492.093, the Palácio Nacional de Mafra with 377.961 and finally the Convento de Cristo in Tomar with 354.763 visitors.

In regards to museums, MAAT – Museu de Arte, Arquitetura e Tecnologia surpassed its numbers reaching 375.000 visitors, followed closely by Museu Nacional dos Coches with 350.254, the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga in third and in fourth place the Museu Nacional do Azulejo.

Sintra also has its place in this list, Parques de Sintra and Monte da Lua shared the numbers of 2017 and Sintra’s palaces, monuments and parks welcomed 3.19328 visitors, with Palacio da Pena as the most visited one.

Monday, 22 January 2018

Lisbon, the Europeans Favorite Destination

A recent analyses made by the flight and hotel search engine Jetcost show Lisbon as the most search cities by Europeans.  

Portugal is in the Top 10 of the European countries most searched by tourists from all over Europe, especially by French, British, and Spanish,

The analysis made of the searches on Jetcost’s website and so obtaining a more reliable data, since they are real surveys and not interviews, indicates that Lisbon has been the most required city by Spanish, French, German, Italian, Dutch and Russian customers, and ranked second in the preferences of British tourists.

In regards to the rest of the country, Faro, the gateway to the Algarve, is the favorite city for British tourists, chosen second by the Dutch, occupying the third position for the French, Germans, Italians and Russians and fourth for the Spanish.

Porto who is been increasing is popularity is the second most requested by the Spanish, French, German, Italian and Russian, the third by the Dutch and the fourth by the British.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017


From December 14th to the 23rd the Luminous Fountain of Alameda hosts a show of lights and colors called Lisbonland- Father Christmas’ House.

Created by OCUBO, Lisbonland promises to bring joy and entertainment and to warm up the winter season with an exciting story about Christmas told through a 4D projection synchronized with pyrotechnics.

This free video mapping show will be project on the Luminous Fountain of Alameda presenting the virtual interaction between the elves and Father Christmas with the façades of the fountain.

The show introduces Father Christmas at work, inventing and building toys that will make dreams come true, and unveiling the secret of his address.

Every day from December 14th to the 23rd at 7pm, 8pm and 9pm.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Portuguese Christmas Traditions

Christmas is just around the corner and it is time to go through some of Portugal’s Christmas traditions, some of them still very up-to-date.

In this month’s edition of Lisbon’s Agenda Cultural, Tomás Collares Pereira presents some of the Portuguese Christmas Traditions.

In a time when most of us struggle through the shopping list, the “fights” at the shopping mall or the constant advertising bombing all to make sure that Christmas has all it should have, there are still some traditions that survived the standardization that is taking place in our society.

In the list below you will find traditions that no longer take place and other that are more recent, enjoy:

The Christmas Turkey
Brought to Europe by the Spanish and the English it was introduced to the Portuguese in the early 20th century and it was only available to the richest due to the rationing caused by the war.

Christmas Lights

Always associated with this festivity the electric lighting allowed a more elaborate decoration of the city, which is by itself a reason for a visit to the city center, as it happened in 2004 when, in association with a local bank, the Comércio Square assembled a Christmas tree that was, informally, considered the highest in Europe.

The Circus
Christmas is not Christmas without a visit to the Circus and this tradition started early. During the second half of the 19th century, the Theatro-Circo located in Lisbon offered various circus spectacles, but the true circus house in Lisbon is Coliseu dos Recreios, which opened in 1889 and hosts Circus spectacles almost every Christmas.

One must think that Christmas traffic is an event of the modern times but you couldn’t be more wrong. In the old days, the Downtown area was the center of Lisbon shopping and it was always very busy at this time of the year.

Traffic Policeman
Here’s a tradition lost in time. With the arrival of the automobile and in consequence its complicated relation with pedestrians, it was necessary to find someone to control traffic. The Traffic Policeman, wearing white gloves and hat/helmet so they can be easily seen, was not well accepted by the drivers in those days. Pedestrians felt safer and for that, and also due to the low incomes, on Christmas they offered gifts to the Traffic Policeman.

Santa Claus
Santa Claus had its origin on St. Nicolau, a bishop that besides his miracles anonymously offered presents to the needed. Although it is common to associate Santa Claus with the Coca-Cola commercials, he has been presented with red clothing in the 19th century. In Portugal, for instance, the tradition of Baby Jesus and a little shoe to receive gifts, prevailed over Santa Claus.

Friday, 24 November 2017

Gulbenkian Music in December

The Gulbenkian Music Season 17/18 reaches December with a vast and eclectic program. As Gulbenkian well states “music can arouse different emotions in different listeners”.

And this is why the season 17/18 is so diverse because “while one listener is alert to the technical capabilities of the musicians, another may be interested in broader relationships between music and philosophy or between music and the world around us.”

So the conclusion is obvious, “there is no right way to enjoy music”.

This is the complete program for December:

1st - Vicente Amigo
Considered “the next Paco de Lucía”, Vicente Amigo is a flamenco guitarist with obvious value, having shared the stage with Camarón de la Isla, John McLaughlin, Al Di Meola, Milton Nascimento and, of course, Paco de Lucía, among others.

2nd- András Schiff 
Born in Budapest, András Schiff started taking classes at the age of 5 and is one the world’s most famous interpreters of Johann Sebastian Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Schubert and Robert Schumann. He believes that some parts of the piano repertoire should wait for the right age and so, Schiff waited until he was 50 to tackle Beethoven’s sonatas.

3rd - Peter and the Wolf - The Carnival of the Animals - Gulbenkian Orchestra
Written in 1936 by Sergei Prokofiev, Peter and the Wolf was referred as a “musical tale for children”, offering to young people an attractive musical approach to the instruments of the orchestra with its musical and narrative qualities.

8th and 9th - The Wizard of Oz - Gulbenkian Orchestra
This weekend, the Gulbenkian Orchestra accompanies the screening of the all-time classic, The Wizard of Oz, a film directed by Victor Fleming in 1939 with the enthralling Judy Garland as the protagonist. It is an irresistible fantasy that has become a cinema classic.

12th - Mozart’s Requiem - Cadaqués Orchestra 
Directed by Gianandrea Noseda, the Cadaqués Orchestra was founded in 1988 to explore collaborations with living composers, recover the legacy of long-forgotten Spanish music and boost the careers of emerging artists, composers, and conductors.

13th - Christmas Oratorio - Gulbenkian Orchestra and Choir
As we are getting closer to December 24th the program gets into Christmas’ spirit. Composed to celebrate Christmas in 1734, J. S. Bach’s famous Christmas Oratorio re-uses, adapts and expands some of the music he previously wrote, notably in his cantatas.

20th and 21st - Musicals and Christmas around the world - Gulbenkian Orchestra and Choir
Just a couple of days before Christmas, Gulbenkian Music presents Sofia Escobar trained at the prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She is appearing for the first time at Gulbenkian Music, in a program filled with tunes from famous musicals and well-known Christmas carols.

31st - Te Deum at São Roque - Gulbenkian Orchestra and Choir
December ends with a classic, Jorge Matta conducts the Gulbenkian Choir and Orchestra in an event that is already one of Gulbenkian Music’s traditions, the “Te Deum at São Roque”. This time it presents the first modern performance of the “Te Deum Laudamus”, by Bráz Francisco de Lima (1752-1813).

Friday, 10 November 2017

Há Fado no Cais – Gonçalo Salgueiro

CCB’s Há Fado no Cais presents one of Fado’s new voices, Gonçalo Salgueiro, on November 17th at the Grande Auditório.

Born in 1978 in Montemor-O-Novo, Gonçalo Salgueiro, one of Fado’s new rising stars, started his record career with a tribute to Amália Rodrigues but soon grew in his own style.

Photo: João Portugal
Along the way he received several “blessings” from some of Fado’s great names, such as Maria da Fé or João Braga.

Sombras e Fado (“Shadows and Fado”) is an introduction to Gonçalo Salgueiro as well as the title for his most recent album.

It is a show that revisits some of the themes from his earlier recordings and others that he has recreated and which have made him famous among wider audiences. Joining him will be some of those who have been important to his musical career, and the concert will have several surprises in stored for everyone.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Apps for those who like to travel

There’s no way to go around technology, especially if you’re traveling. Here's a small guide for the best Apps to use when you’re away from home.

There are thousands and thousands of Apps throughout the app stores and, sometimes, it’s hard to find the correct one. “Expresso” has made it easy for us and selected the 5 that you really can’t miss.

Here Maps 
We start with the obvious maps, no matter where you are, in downtown Lisbon or in the Circus in Rome, Here Maps is available in the major platforms and it has an unbeatable feature which allows you to download the maps you need in advance so, you don’t have to pay later when you’re using roaming. Calmly, at home, select the map or maps you need, install them and from that moment you’ll have access to several navigation tools, for walking courses or for driving by car or motorcycle.

When travelling one of the most common problems is to deal with the local language and, sometimes,
the difference between a happy trip and an all lot of trouble is a simple word. Bravolol includes the most used sentences in 13 languages, allowing also to play the sentences so that you can say it in a perfect way.

Everyone dreams with an assistant, not all of us can afford one but fortunately we have Tripcase. Tripcase is an app that organizes and plans your entire trip. In one single place you can gather all the information regarding your journey, plain tickets, hotel reservations or car hire, you can “pack” everything in this digital bag. Best of all, the information is not static and with the help of internet you can receive updates on your flight schedule, changes of boarding gate, call an Uber, receive recommendations for dinner, promotions and even weather forecasts.

You probably already have a Facebook, Instagram or Twitter account, which is fine, keep them their
important too. But Snapchat has one feature that beats the others, it allows you to create your stories (snaps) and share them with your friends and family. And since the content is only live for a limited period it is easy to control exactly what you shared.

Not a big problem for Europeans who travel inside of the European Union but currency can be an issue if you find yourself in Canada or Japan. The app Currency includes currencies for 150 countries and allows you to do conversions between several currencies and get the most updated quotation.