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Travel Guide: Exploring Lisbon, Garden by the Sea Shore

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Portugal, situated on the Iberian Peninsula, is a small nation in west Europe. Surrounded by sea in West and South and by Spain in North and East, the country offers outstanding landscape diversity. Being small in area, you can travel from the mountains in North, covered with wines and trees, to Highlands in central mainland, to almost desert kind landscape and finally to the stunning beach in South, all in one single day. If you are thinking where to go this holiday season, then you must consider spending your memorable time for Portugal holidays.

Established itself as an independent kingdom from León in 1139, Portugal is not a very old country on the world map. Though just 900 years old, Portugal has played a big role in world history. Colonizing major parts of Africa, South America and some islands in Asia and Oceania, Portugal is credited by the western world for exploring India via sea, which no other European country could do on Pope’s high priority order Papal Bull.

Portugal has one of the warmest winters in Europe and temperature remains dry and pleasant rest of the year.

Best way to reach Portugal is by Air, unless you live in Spain or nearby country, you may think of travelling by convenient international trains. There are no border controls between countries that have signed and implemented the Schengen Agreement (European Union – except UK, Ireland, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Romania; and  Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland).

Minimum validity of travel documents in Portugal

  • EU, EEA and Swiss citizens, as well as non-EU citizens who are visa-exempt (e.g. New Zealanders and Australians), need only produce a passport which is valid for the entirety of their stay in Portugal.
  • Other nationals who are required to have a visa (e.g. South Africans), however, must produce a passport which has at least 3 months’ validity beyond their period of stay in Portugal.

I took a taxi to the city center from the Airport. There is also Aerobus and regular bus services, but some taxi drivers, who will grab your bags and rush towards their taxi, are so convincing that you will make your mind, though this is something bad and you can say no to them.

Usual taxi metre fare from Airport to the city center should be €10.00. If you have luggage you will be charged additional €1.20 per item of luggage. It is usual that you might get overcharged and taxi drivers may gave vague reasons like metre has malfunctioned or was not working. For this reason, always ask before getting in the taxi if their metre is working fine or not. If you think you have been cheated just ask their name and receipt and complain to the police.

In Lisbon you have lots to see from attractive gardens, neighborhood to museum, galleries and even special transport.

I made my mind to travel in famous Tram 28. It is one of the oldest tram lines laid between 1936 to 47,  which is still active in the city. It takes you by many of Lisbon’s famous and interesting sites, including the old town, monuments, churches and gardens. The whole journey took nearly 30 minutes and can be called slight hilly and noisy, but it is worth it. The ticket costs €2,85, but it you have “Viva Viagem” card, which can be purchased on the station, then the ticket would cost €1.05.

tram 28 lisbon
Tram 28, Photo taken by Franco Caruzzo

Apart from the tram, there are some Funiculars (cable railway or vertical trams), which have been declared as national monument.

Lisbon is also famous for some marvelous architecture. Just up on the hill you might visit Castelo de Sao Jorge (Castle of St. George). Open mostly from morning 9 to evening, you can’t resist admiring the architecture of this grande castle.

Castelo de Sao Jorge
Castelo de Sao Jorge, photo taken by Barbara

Another interesting thing that I personally admired is Ponte 25 de Abril. It is something similar to the Oakland Bay Bridge of San Fransisco, as it was designed by the same architect in 1966. A rail line was added later in 1999.

Ponte 25 de Abril
Ponte 25 de Abril, Photo taken by Morgaine

Ponte Vasco da Gama is another mega structure that you would love to have a look on. With the total length of 17.2 Kms, it is the longest bridge in Europe and 9th longest in the world, named after the sailor who discovered India for the first time in 1492.

Ponte Vasco da Gama
Ponte Vasco da Gama, Photo taken by Endless Autumn

You would have never thought that facilities and infrastructure that supply water in the different parts of the cities in older times will become one of the major attraction of the city. Aqueduto das Aguas Livres is one such example, one of the most remarkable example of engineering of the 18th century.

There are a number of Museums and galleries and a number of parks and gardens that adds to the attraction of the city, like Lisbon Botanical Garden, that is one of the oldest in Europe and considerable the first in Portugal, Oceanarium which is world’s largest oceanariums and you may enter with admission fees of €12.00 (if I remember well there is student discount as well). Parque das Nações is another ttractive park developed for the 1998 World Expo.

Do not forget to plan a trip to the place full of monuments next to Lisbon, Belem. Most of the people who come to Lisbon visit Belem for sure. Go for Belem Tower, Jerónimos Monastery, Monument to the Discoveries, CCB, Coach Museum, and Statue to Afonso de Albuquerque.

So I conclude all this serious stuff and I come on the main topic, shopping and food. 

Baxa and Chiado are one of the most popular shopping streets, but sometimes they can be high on tourists and upon that narrow street might turn you off. I would suggest Avenida da Liberdade, this market is beautiful, wide, fancy, with a number of good restaurants and hotels.

Avenida da Liberdade
Avenida da Liberdade, photo taken by

There are modern shopping malls as well and one of the most popular is the Armazéns do Chiado mall. It is famous for its top floor restaurants and cafes that present a wonderful view of the city.

In Lisbon most of the restaurants are in budget. Most of the restaurants display their dish of the day on the doors “pratos do dia” (these dishes are cheaper, fresher, and indeed tastier). If you love music while munching, then you should go to some restaurant that plays traditional Fado music.

Find a pastelaria (pastry shop) and try pastéis de nata or visit Antiga Confeitaria de Belém (Casa Pasteis De Belem). They are served right out of the oven there, with the side of confectioner’s sugar and cinnamon

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How much money do you need to live comfortably in Spain?

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malaga andalusia spain

There are plenty of reasons why you may be thinking about living in Spain: its population is friendly and kind; its climate, especially in the coastal areas, is enviable; its gastronomy is incredible… but, what about its prices? What is the most affordable way to live in Spain?

Perhaps the most important question if you decided to go: would it be better to buy instead of renting a property in Spain. Or yet living in a Spanish residence?

Spanish cities where to live cheap and well

In the geographical variety that Spain presents, we can find many differences in average salaries and the standard of living that reside there would require. The areas of Galicia, Extremadura, Castilla y León, together with Almería and the south of Alicante usually have a lower price of euros/square meter in their homes. The quality of life is really appreciable, but you should know that there are fewer possibilities for business and transports.

The autonomous community of the Basque Country, Catalonia, and Madrid, which have higher than average incomes (normally more than 24,000 euros per year), also have higher prices. However, Madrid has such a wide range of rents that it sometimes makes them cheaper than other countries. 

In addition, and taking into account the tourist seasons, the areas of Valencia and Andalusia are normally a preference when it comes to living in Spain for a while or even spending your retirement. Although day-to-day life can be more expensive than in other areas of Spain, the mild climate and variety of leisure options are often worth it in the long run. 

Whatever your option is when moving to another country, especially if you don’t know its legal system, can be very tiresome. That’s why our advice is to try to contact local agencies (that speak English) to give you fair and fruitful advice. For example, to move to Andalusia, we usually recommend Tejada solicitors

I have already decided on the place. Now what?

Well, if you have already fully immersed yourself in the streets of a beautiful city that we have talked about, what should be your first step?

Decide what kind of stay you want to be in (since your future economic situation will also depend on this: taxes, permits…). You may have already chosen, for example, property conveyancing in Marbella, but it is recommended that you also think about renting a property, because it can be very profitable while you are in your other place of residence.

To sum up, before moving to a Spanish city, decide if you want to spend a little more money per month in exchange for the exceptional conditions that their precious land can give you; secondly, contact a reliable agency that will help you make the best investment and even more, apply for a Spanish residency if you are decided to stay for a long time.

And remember: a move is always a new beginning.

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Have everything ready for your next trip

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aircraft flight travel packing

If there is one thing everyone loves is to travel. Whether we do it for business reasons or simply for pleasure, traveling brings us the opportunity of experiencing new alternatives and discover new places we would not be able to enjoy on a daily basis. But a lot of planning needs to be put into any travel in order for it to run out smoothly. Down bellow, you will be able to find some tips that could come out handy during your next journey. 

Moving around in a rented car

Renting a car is always an amazing option when it comes to moving around  a new and unfamiliar area. It gives us the option to move around freely, without the constraints or the language barriers that could be associated with public transportation.

A good example of this could be seen if you plan to visit the touristic island of Maui. This beautiful island has a lot of hidden gems that can not be reached using public transport. Rent a car Maui is an amazing affordable option to make sure you do not miss out anything on this marvelous island. They offer a big variety of rental cars, all with one of the best customer services in the island. 

Because we do not have why to miss out anything when we travel. 

Starting a new life in a new country

Sometimes, when we travel to a different country, it is not something temporal, but a permanent change. Starting a new life in a different country can seem like a scary experience at first, but with the right preparations, it should be a smooth transition.

A popular destination that people are choosing to move to permanently over the last decades has been Spain. But you may be wondering, how to move to Spain

Moving to Spain is a relatively easy process, but there is a series of steps you need to take in order to do so

  1. Check out the different types of resident permits and Visas and choose the one that better suits you.
  2. Check the requirements for said permit.
  3. Find out if you can submit the paperwork before moving to Spain or you need to do so once you arrive to Spain as a tourist.
  4. Prepare all the documentation needed for the paperwork.
  5. Get your Visa and start enjoying your new life in Spain.

Choose an option for your stay according to your needs

One of the key aspects of every travel is to decide where we are going to be spending our stay in our destination. Nowadays, there is a wide variety of resorts available on the main tourist destinations, so spending time to decide on which one would be a better fit for us is always a good idea.

Take for example the beautiful city of Cancun. Cancun is one of the most visited cities in the world. There are a lot of luxury resorts in this city, but if you are looking for an original and exciting experience, we can not stop recommending Temptation Cancun Resort

Temptation Cancun Resort is an exclusive resort that only admits adults +21 on their installations. They have recently reopened their doors with a timetable full of fun and sexy events you can not miss out. Because life is too short to spend it on traditional family destinations, try something original like Temptation Cancun Resort and live an once in a lifetime experience. 

Save money by using public transport

Public transportation is an affordable option available wherever we decide to travel. A fast and safe way to travel around any country has traditionally been the train. Thanks to websites like Trenes.com you can check the schedules of all the trains available, buy your ticket online and get amazing discounts on the final price. This makes moving around a different country easier than ever.

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6 Things you can do in Tijuana

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tijuana mexico

Tijuana is one of the largest cities in Mexico. Located in the northern part of the country, its proximity to the US border has make it a popular tourist destination among American citizens looking to experience all the recreational activities this beautiful city have to offer. If you are planning to visit Tijuana, we have a list of our six favorite spots in the city, so make sure you do not miss them.

1- The Caliente Xoloitzcuintles Stadium

Soccer, simply known as football in Mexico, is the country’s favorite sport. And there is no football team with more devoted fans than Los Xolos. It does not matter if you like football or not, visiting the Caliente Xoloitzcuintles Stadium while you are in Tijuana is a must . On the days there is a football match scheduled, you definitely need to go to the stadium a few hours early, since there is a big party going on on the parking lots of this stadium. People park on the parking lots and eat roasted meat while drinking beer with their friends. Then you can head to watch the football match. Los Xolos enthusiasts are known to be among the most friendly football fans out there, and will make sure you feel welcome and have an experience you will never forget.

If you want to stay close to  the Caliente Xoloitzcuintles Stadium, we recommend you check out in a nearby hotel like Tijuana Marriott Hotel since its proximity make it pretty convenient.

2- Morelos Park

Morelos Park is one of the best destinations in Tijuana if you are traveling with kids. This park is the biggest in the city and features a lot of green areas, a huge artificial lake where you will be able to see ducks and fish, and even a small zoo featuring native animals like iguanas or jaguars. 

There is a small train that will take you for a ride around the lake. On this lake you can also find a small dock with small boats for rent. 

On weekends, you will also be able to enjoy public performances especially created for children, like clowns shows or puppet theatres.

3- Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe Cathedral

The cathedral Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe is also known as Tijuana’s Cathedral due to it being the most important one in the city. Although this cathedral dates back only to 1909, its beautiness immediately made it one of the most visited tourist spots in the city. This building design used as inspiration Mexico’s traditional temples, which made the local authorities give it the accreditation of historical monument.  

This monument is located just a few minutes away from the city centre, so if you are looking for accommodation in the heart of Tijuana, we recommend you check out Hotels like Fairfield Inn & Suites Tijuana due to its convenient location.

4- Wax Museum

Tijuana’s Wax Museum is one of its most original buildings. Across 10 different halls, you will be able to enjoy many wax figures, all divided according to different themes like Mexico’s historical figures or Mexico’s legends. One of the most curious things about this museum is that it has a Horror hall, where you will be able to enjoy the scary figures of Dracula or Frankenstein, although we do not recommend this if you are weak of heart. 

5- Tijuana’s Cultural Centre

Its modern sphere design has make this building one of the most visited locations in Tijuana. This Cultural Centre was created to try and promote art and culture in the area. On the different rooms of the building we will be able to find an art exhibition, an aquarium, an event room and a film library. 

6- El Trompo Museum

This amazing museum is the perfect mixture of science and fun, helping us to introduce our kids to new knowledge by using games and interactive activities. The museum also includes a 3D cinema and a concert room.

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