On the third day of our visit in Lisbon, we went to Oriente district by using the Hop On Hop Off bus since the tickets were valid for two days.
We made a stop at Gare do Oriente (Oriente Station) and walked over to the Centro Vasco da Gama (Vasco da Gama Shopping Centre). The shopping centre houses 164 stores, including restaurants, cinemas and a health club.
We explored the area of Oriente and arrived at the Torre Vasco da Gama (Vasco da Gama Tower). The 145m futuristic tower was named after a Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama, who was the first European to arrive in India by sail in 1498. The tower is about to be converted into a luxury five-star hotel, with plans already under way. From the tower, we took the cable car to the Oceanário de Lisboa. The photo above was taken during the cable car ride. The Ponte Vasco da Gama (Vasco da Gama Bridge), the longest bridge in Europe, can be seen in the photo.
The short cable car trip brought us to the Oceanário de Lisboa, the Lisbon Oceanarium. The oceanarium is one of the world’s largest aquarium, and it was highly rated by TripAdvisor and other guidebooks. Entrance fee was priced at €15.50 per person, a little expensive, but trust us, it was worth it! Pictured above was the mascot of the oceanarium, Vasco, swimming in the water outside the oceanarium.
The bright and colourful corals were beautiful to look at. More information about the oceanarium can be found on their website. Spare around two or three hours to spend when visiting the oceanarium.
After we were done exploring the Oriente district, we took the bus back to the city centre and hopped off at the Alfama district. On the way up to the Castle of São Jorge, we passed by the Santa Maria Maior de Lisboa or Sé de Lisboa, the Patriarchal Cathedral of St. Mary Major, or more easily known as the Lisbon Cathedral. The cathedral was built in 1147, it has been modified many times and survived many earthquakes. Pictured above is the façade of the cathedral.
The steep walk up the hill brought us up to the Castelo de São Jorge (Castle of São Jorge). Entrance fee for students was priced at €3.50 each, which we thought was quite reasonable. The strongly fortified castle is located on the highest hill in the city, therefore allowing a beautiful panoramic view of the city. Find out more about this historic site on their website here.
After the visit to the castle, we made our way to a Moroccan restaurant called Flor da Laranja for dinner. On the way to the restaurant, we stumbled upon Praça da Alegria which has an excellent viewpoint looking across the city towards the Castle of São Jorge.
Unfortunately it was closed. Coincidentally we were near Restaurante Tamarind and after the first good experience, we were craving for more. So here we have our second post on Restaurante Tamarind. Starting off the meal that day was the Papri Chaat, priced at €8.50 for two persons. This starter consisted of a crispy Indian snack made with rice, potatoes, lentils and chick peas topped with yoghurt and tamarind sauce. The taste was of a blend of spices such as cumin and turmeric. The yoghurt gave it a refreshing and soothing feel whilst the tamarind sauce lent a sweet-spicy flavour to the overall dish. This starter was very well received by us and we finished it all very quickly. The only drawback was that we were told it could be as spicy as we wanted, but the end result wasn’t spicy enough to our liking.
We ordered a little more than before this time. The first item here is the Chilli Paneer which was priced at €12.50. The paneer (Indian cheese) here was stir-fried with peppers, tomatoes and onions. We thought this dish was a little bland, lacking in any particular taste. The paneer in this instance seemed mild and would have been good with a stronger cheese taste.
We also had the Butter Chicken for €12.50. The sauce was rich and creamy and was great with the tender chicken pieces. Crushed nuts garnished the curry and provided it with a nutty flavour that we really liked. The menu noted that the curry can be made as hot or as mild as we liked, so we requested it to be extra spicy. The curry turned out to be mild (like how butter chicken usually is) which was still good, but we were expecting something spicier. Ah well.
Another of our dishes was the Green Chicken Tikka (Haryali Tikka) priced at €13.50. The chicken was marinated and cooked in a tandoor and served with spinach on a sizzling hot plate. The chicken pieces were tender and had an excellent taste. One could tell the coriander and mint marinade had infused the chicken with such flavours.
To accompany the various dished we ordered, we had rice and a Keema Naan. This naan was stuffed with minced lamb, giving it a nice meaty taste. Even so, the naan was still light and fluffy and went really well with all that we ordered.
For dessert, we had a Babinca for €3.75. It is a traditional Goan dessert pudding and usually comes in the form of a layered cake. Tamarind’s version did not look like a layered cake, but it still tasted excellent. It had a distinct coconut milk taste and was served with cream and a scoop of kulfi ice cream which were great with the pudding.
Since we were here, we couldn’t resist the Mango Delight and so we ordered it. Priced at €3.50, this was definitely our favourite dessert from Tamarind. Still as excellent as before, this dessert is a definite must-have for all mango lovers. Our second visit also did not disappoint and we are glad to have found such a great restaurant. As before, more information can be found on their blog, but note that it is all in Portuguese.
After dinner, we ended the day by walking around Lisbon at night before heading back to our hotel. Having passed Marquês de Pombal Square many times during the day, we got the opportunity to observe the Monument to Marquês de Pombal at night. The lights around the square and the monument made it a beautiful sight to behold.
So that’s it for our final night in Lisbon. We flew back to the UK the next day, but we’re not done with Lisbon yet! Stick around to find out what we got up to on our last day.
Rua da Glória, 43,
Tel: +351 213 466 080