Category Archives: General

Cruise Ships visiting Lisbon

Cruise ships are excellent to get in touch with several cultures without pack and unpack on regular basis. The main advantage is the visit to several cities during the day, while the cruise ships move during night to other country or city.

Cruise Ship, Lisbon, Costa Pacifica

Lisbon received during the last 5 years an average of 320 cruise ships. Usually, they arrive between 7am and 8am. Travelers leave at 9am to discover the Portuguese capital or to make the different shore excursions.

The first impact about Lisbon is the colors and weather. Rains very few days in Winter and occasionally in April and September.

Gastronomy is an huge thing in Portugal. Portuguese love to eat and drink, tell stories and proud of their history.

The Age of Discoveries had an huge impact on local cuisine. Brazil gave the sugar can, India gave species but Portuguese also shared their gastronomy.

Lisbon Cruise Ships Marques

Lisbon Downtown has amazing shops, some of them with an amazing story. Gifts based on cork are common and visiting Lisbon without tasting the famous Pastel de Nata will be strange.

Leaving the cruise ship you will be in front of Alfama civil parish. This area is know by the fado singer and fado restaurants (at night). Nearby, you can visit the Fado Museum, Se Cathedral, Saint George Castle and of course Rossio e Chiado.

Best classes for a cruise ship traveler

Cooking Lisbon has morning culinary classes that fits most of the cruise ships while they are in Lisbon. The classes start at 9:30 am and end at 2:30 pm .

Lisbon Cruise Ships Shore

Market Tour with Cooking Class (Thursdays and Saturdays) you will visit a market while our chef explains the biggest ingredients of our gastronomy, fish, meat. After, you will have the hands-on class and meal.

Seafood Experience (Tuesdays), you will also visit a market with our chef and the menu of the class is based on shellfish and seafood.

Lisbon, 12 facts

Facts about Lisbon is a topic that we started to make a list. Diversity is the main issue. You will find amazing things to do while you visit the Portuguese capital.

12 facts about Lisbon

Alfama, Lisbon, Miradouro Santa Luzia

1. Oldest City

Lisbon is the oldest city in Western Europe, even predating to Paris, London and Rome . Along centuries had several rebuild processes and even now you will see it. Visigods, Romans, Moors have been to this amazing city. Its the Portuguese capital since the XII century.

2. Seven Hills

Lisbon is constructed on seven hills. Its known in Portuguese as the city of “Sete Colinas” . Bring comfortable shoes to walk.

3. Vasco da Gama Bridge

Portugal, Vasco da Gama, Lisbon facts

Lisbon as the major bridge in Europe with 17 kilometres ( 10,56 miles ). The bridge is the 2nd connection from Lisbon to Alcochete / Montijo ( south margin of the Tagus River ). The first bridge is 25 April bridge and connects Lisbon to Almada / Setubal / Costa da Caparica.

4. Church Construction World Guiness Record

Santa Engrácia Church is mentioned on the World Guiness Book of Records has the church took more time to be constructed. The consctruction started during the XVII century and ended in 1966 ( XX century).

5. Graffiti

Lisbon as a great deal of street art with all, floors and buildings demanding your attention. Nowdays its a fact that artists have authorization from the city council to make their work. Vhils, is the most well known due to the vast work made and the participation on a U2 music video.

6. Great Lisbon Earthquake

In 1755 a huge earthquake struck the capital . Destroyed the main ancient buildings in Lisbon but also in biggest radius distance , such as in Sintra ( Pena Palace, that previous was a convent ). From the earthquake to tsunami, easily swollow Lisbon downtown .

7. Lisbon´s Oceanarium

Its one of the biggest aquarium´s in the World . His portfolio goes into 8000 sea creatures divided between the central main tank and four habitats . Total amount of litres : 8 million litres.

8. Baixa

Facts, Tram 28, Lisbon
Located in Lisbon downtown, Baixa is the civil parish where you will find an amazing amount of hotels, coffee shops, pastry shops, restaurants, tiny streets and amazing squares.

Lisbon facts

9. Sweet facts

Portuguese love sweets and the most famous is perhaps the custard . You will find it in most of the coffee shops ( which we make on the pastry class ). There is not specific hour to eat them . Breakfast, dessert with coffee or as snack, all are good options.

Pasteis de Nata Class, Lisbon, Portugal

10. Lowest and Highest Point

The Portuguese capital is constructed near water. From the river side ( Baixa, Alfama, Mouraria, Cais do Sodre area ) to the interior ( Areeiro, Alameda, Anjos,  Monsanto ). The elevation is 0m ( 0 ft ) to a maximum of 199 metres ( 653 ft) in Serra de Monsanto .

11. Civilizations

In Lisbon, you will twenty centuries of history . Roman ruins, Moorish castle. The city has an amazing diversity of cultures and civilizations vestiges.

12. Museums

Lisbon has more than 30 museums that can you visit. Tiles, design, fashion, Ethnology, Culture, Coach, Ancient Art, Archaeology are just some of the list you would love to visit.

These are some of the facts of the Portuguese capital, where you will find also amazing Portuguese that you will love to engage .

Why Tagus River is so important on Lisbon lifestyle?

Lisbon lifestyle is much more than small streets, food and history. Of course the city has an amazing history, has a capital since XII century. However, the locals and foreigners love also the amazing views.

After a small visit to one of our suppliers at Cooking Lisbon, on the way, we decided to stop at Christ the King located on the south margin of Tagus River. It was not an amazing day to take some pictures, cloudy and windy, however we thought that can give also good pictures.

Lisbon east side

Our first picture was very dark and you see the river traffic with catamaran boats. Boats connect the south margin of the river with Lisbon . In the oldest days, was mainly farms to supply Lisbon.  Some of the most emblematic Portuguese boats were also constructed in South Margin, as the caravel used by Vasco da Gama .

Lisbon, Praça do Comercio

A little bit closer, with a huge zoom we see part of Comércio Square. Reconstructed after the 1755 Earthquake is now days a beautiful square where you will find several restaurants and events.

It will be possible to walk along the river, where you will find several esplanades. On the Summer, people love the sun, a good drink and lots of chat. We easily get lost in time perception .

Lisbon South View

Visiting Christ the King we catch a foreigner watching Lisbon . We wonder what were the thoughts about the Portuguese capital, will she be interested on the Lisbon lifestyle of food, culture, art, history or any other subject?

The picture show us the Belém Tower, Tower of Discoveries and Jerónimos Monastery . Belém civil parish is on the background. Back to 18th century we had on this spot an amazing white sand beach .

Lisbon lifetsyle

Lisbon 25 April Bridge

The 25 de Abril Bridge is a suspension bridge. Connects two main cities such as Lisbon and Almada . Everyday thousands of cars cross the beach, since gives access to Costa da Caparica, one of the favorite beach spots for locals. The bridge opens in 1966 and its very similar to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, USA .

Lisbon lifestyle, Tower Discoveries,

Belém civil parish is also know by the Pastéis de Belém. The Portuguese loves to eat good pastries ( but also foreigners, visiting the country and Lisbon ).

Lisbon lifestyle is very unique . Besides jobs, locals to eat well , drink even better and relax. On the Portuguese capital you will also find an amazing weather .

Salted Codfish

Salted codfish have na huge important role in the Portuguese gastronomy. Nowadays each Portuguese eat around 6,5Kg salted codfish a year.

We may cook it in a lot of different ways, so many that we say that we have 1001 salted codfish recipes. What is odd is that we don’t have codfish in our coast so all the cod that we eat is imported.

Salted codfish cooking lisbon

What makes the cod National Portuguese dish is the technique that we use to preserve it, which consist in dry the codfish with salt.

Then when we want to cook it we need to soak it in water for 2 or 3 days, changing the water twice a day.

But why are we cod addicts? Researchers say state that during the XIV century Portugal establish an authorization with the Denmark kingdom to fish in their waters.

Also important was the deal between D. Afonso IV of Portugal and Edward III of England. Made in 1353 allowed the Portuguese’s to fish in the waters controlled by that king.

Researchers also say that we fish cod since the XV century in Newfoundland on the east Canada cost. During the XVI century we even establish little fisherman’s colonies coming from the north Portugal and Azores island.

At that time a trip between Canada and Portugal took a lot of time. Fisherman’s needed to find a way to preserve the cod during the trip and salt was the answer.

But why did we need so many fish? Because during the medieval period Portugal was obliged by the church to do a meat fasting during 132 an year.

The rich people used to buy church leaflets to be free from this rule but the poor’s didn’t have that option.

During the winter it was impossible to fish due to the violent sea. Codfish appeared as an easy and cheap solution since salting the cod was a way to preserve it.

Salted Codfish on Christmas Season

One of the fasting periods was during the Christmas. Maybe this is the reason why the salted codfish is our Christmas national dish. This tradition have its origins at Minho (north Portuguese coast) where the codfish arrived first.

However the codfish recipes just started to appear on the Portuguese cookbooks during the XIX century.

During this century also the potato became really common in Portugal brought from South America.

Nowadays most of the codfish recipes incorporate them. The other ingredient that we always use with the cod is the olive oil.

What can be a Portuguese cooking experience?

A Portuguese cooking experience happens 7 days per week in Lisbon. The Portuguese capital receives thousands of people everyday. They arrive from all Continents since they have origin on different countries

What can you expect from a Portuguese cooking experience is something unique. A blend of knowledge on Portuguese Traditional culinary and conventual sweets. Singular trips to the world of flavors. A journey during centuries because the influence of the Age of Discoveries is present on Portuguese traditions.

Foreigners that visit Portugal will discover amazing fresh seafood because Portuguese have it fresh six days per week. Our tip is that you avoid seafood dishes on Mondays, since fisherman don´t fish on Sundays.

Green peas with poached eggs

It is also strange from a huge percentage of foreigners that Portuguese are the main consumers of codfish . Some of the most typical cod fish dishes are Codfish Brás Style, Codfish with Cream or even Codfish Zé do Pipo Style ( Recipe available online ) .

A Portuguese cooking experience can be also meat. If you are a meat lover, you will be happy to know that the locals consume mainly Pork and chicken . However, Portugal has an amazing diversity of dishes based on rabbit, beef , duck ( Duck Rice for example ).

Market Tour, Fish Cataplana, Portugal

The local gastronomy will be excellent also for gluten or lactose intolerants. You will have so many options available that to choose the best, is real the issue.

Vegans will have problems to taste the real food based on Portuguese traditional gastronomy. Conventual sweets are egg based and most of the dishes have meat or seafood (and in some cases both, for example Pork Meat Alentejo Style ( mixing pork meat with clams ).Portuguese cooking experience

What can be a Portuguese Cooking Experience ?

First of all the respect for health restrictions and religious restrictions. You will be able to choose between a Seafood Experience (tuesdays), Market Tour with Cooking Class (thursdays and saturdays) or a Cooking Class (tuesdays, wednesdays, fridays and sundays ) .

It will have moments to learn how to cook. Classes where everyone will develop their skills while learn something about Portugal, the Portuguese and cooking.

Social moments with other people and a professional chef to follow. During the classes, you will be able to share your experiences as travel.

Cooking Lisbon classes become unique for several items, main concern? People visiting Portugal that would love to learn something about our culture, spots, gastronomy, history among other subjects.

Be a explorer! Travel with us to the World of flavors, on a real Portuguese cooking experience based on Portuguese traditional gastronomy and / or conventual sweets .