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10 instagramable places to visit while in Lisbon

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Corridors of the tile museum in Lisbon, Portugal
In 2022 Lisbon was the most visited Portuguese region by international travelers with over 5.4 million overnight visitors

Lisbon, the vibrant capital of Portugal, is known for its colourful streets, historical landmarks, and delicious cuisine attracting people from all over the world. In 2022 Lisbon was the most visited Portuguese region by international travelers with over 5.4 million overnight visitors – a sharp increase from 2019 when the city welcomed over 4.2 million tourists.

And there is more to that.

According to a survey by Eurostat, Lisbon is considered one of the safest capitals across Europe, with a relatively low crime rate compared to other major cities. The homicide rate in Lisbon is one of the lowest in Europe, and the city is considered one of the safest places for tourists to visit.

If you’re planning a trip to Lisbon, you’ll want to make sure you don’t miss out on the city’s top attractions. Here are ten must-visit places in Lisbon that worth stopping by while in the capital.

The National Azulejo Museum

Entry fee: €5

Located in the Madre de Deus Convent, a 16th-century building that was converted into a museum in 1980, the National Azulejo Museum is a unique museum dedicated to the history and culture of azulejos, the traditional ceramic tiles that adorn many buildings in Portugal. The museum’s collection includes thousands of tiles from the 15th century to the present day, with intricate designs that showcase the rich history and craftsmanship of this important art form. The National Azulejo Museum is a must-visit attraction for anyone interested in Portuguese art and culture, and it is particularly popular with architecture and design enthusiasts. The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10am to 6pm, and tickets cost €5 per person.

www.museudoazulejo.pt

Jeronimos Monastery

Entry fee: €12

The Jeronimos Monastery, located in the Belem district of Lisbon, is one of the most impressive examples of Portuguese Gothic architecture in the world. Built in the 16th century, the monastery is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an important part of Portugal’s cultural heritage. Visitors can explore the monastery’s many halls, cloisters, and chapels, and admire the intricate carvings and decorations that adorn the walls and ceilings. The monastery is also home to the tomb of the famous Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama. The Jeronimos Monastery is open every day from 10am to 6:30pm, and admission costs €12 per person.

Lisbon Oceanarium

Entry fee: €19

One of the largest indoor aquarium in Europe, The Lisbon Oceanarium is located in the Parque das Nações district, and houses over 15,000 animals and 450 different species from all over the world, including penguins, sharks, and rays. Visitors can walk through the aquarium’s different exhibits, which are designed to replicate the natural habitats of the animals, and learn about marine life and conservation efforts. The venue is open every day from 10am to 8pm.

To find out more: www.oceanario.pt

Photo: Marin Barisic

Belem Tower

Entry fee: €6

The Belem Tower, also known as the Tower of St Vincent, is a historic monument located in the Belem district of Lisbon. Built in the 16th century as a defensive structure, the tower is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Lisbon and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can climb the tower’s spiral staircase to the top, where they can enjoy panoramic views of the Tagus River and the surrounding area. The tower also houses a small museum, where visitors can learn about the tower’s history and significance. The Belem Tower is open every day from 10am to 6:30pm, and admission costs €6 per person.

You can find out more and purchase tickets to visit the Torre de Belem in Lisbon, Portugal, here.

Castelo de São Jorge (São Jorge Castle)

Entry fees: €10 for adults, €5 for children aged 6-17.

This medieval castle is located on a hilltop in the historic Alfama neighbourhood and offers stunning views of the city.

Visitors can explore the castle’s ramparts and towers, learn about the history of Lisbon, and enjoy panoramic views of the city and the Tagus River. The castle is open daily from 10am to 6pm (November to February) and from 9am to 9pm (March to October).

To find out more about visits and special events taking place at the Castelo de São Jorge, in Lisbon, vist: www.castelodesaojorge.pt/en/

São Carlos National Theater

Entry fee: Varies depending on what is on.

Located in the heart of Lisbon, the São Carlos National Theater is a historic venue that has been entertaining audiences for over two centuries. Originally opened in 1793, the theater underwent extensive renovations in the 20th and nowadays the São Carlos National Theater is home to the Portuguese National Opera, and it regularly hosts performances of opera, ballet, and classical music. Ticket prices can vary a lot, as it depends on the show, and the theater is typically open during performance times.

Check the current programme and activities of the Teatro Nacional de São Carlos here.

Santa Justa Lift

Entry fee: €5

Located in the trendy neighborhood of Principe Real, Just Lift is a unique attraction that offers visitors the chance to ride one of Lisbon’s historic elevators. The elevator, which dates back to the early 20th century, offers stunning views of the city as it climbs the steep hills of Lisbon and it is the fastest way to get from the Baixa neighborhood to the Bairro Alto district.. Once at the top, visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the city from the terrace of the Justa Hotel, which is housed in a converted 19th-century palace. Just Lift is a great way to experience Lisbon’s unique charm and history, and it is particularly popular with photographers and Instagrammers looking for the perfect shot.

The elevator is open daily from 8am to 8pm, and tickets cost €5 per person.

Casa dos Bicos

Entry fee: €5

Located in the Alfama district, Casa dos Bicos is a 16th-century mansion that is one of the most unique buildings in Lisbon. The mansion’s facade is covered in diamond-shaped stones that give it a distinct appearance, and inside, visitors can explore a museum dedicated to the works of Portuguese author Jose Saramago. Casa dos Bicos is a must-visit attraction for anyone interested in architecture and literature, and it is particularly popular with fans of Saramago’s work. The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10am to 6pm, and tickets cost €5 per person.

To find out more and plan your visit to the Fundação José Saramago (Casa dos Bicos), check out: www.josesaramago.org/

Calouste Gulbenkian Museum

Entry fee: €10

The Calouste Gulbenkian Museum features a vast collection of works from around the world. The museum’s collection includes everything from ancient Egyptian artifacts to 20th-century art, with an emphasis on European and Asian art. Visitors can also explore the museum’s beautiful gardens, which are home to a variety of sculptures and other works of art. If you are interested in art and culture in one place, you will like Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, which is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10am to 6pm, and tickets cost €10 per person.

Find you more and plan your visit here.

Pilar 7

Entry fee: €6

Pilar 7 is a unique viewpoint attraction located in the Alcântara district of Lisbon. The attraction offers visitors the opportunity to experience stunning panoramic views of the city from a height of 80 meters, and to learn about the construction of the 25th of April Bridge, one of Lisbon’s most iconic landmarks. Visitors can take an elevator to the top of a former water tower, where they will find an observation deck with breathtaking views of the city and the Tagus River. In addition to the views, Pilar 7 also features an interactive exhibition about the history and construction of the bridge, complete with multimedia installations and exhibits. The attraction is open from Monday to Sunday, from 10am to 8pm, and tickets cost €6 per person.

To find out more about your visit to Pilar 7, in Lisbon, here.

Get your camera ready because, as you can see, Lisbon is a city that has something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or just want to relax and soak up the local atmosphere, Lisbon has it all. Make sure you leave plenty of time to explore the city and don’t forget to charge your mobile phone, as you are likely to take lots of pictures on the go with it, too.

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Lifestyle

UK May bank holiday set to be busiest since Covid

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A busy motorway in the UK during the sunset
More than four million journeys are planned on Friday, May 24th, for the long Bank holiday weekend in the UK

More than 20m leisure journeys are expected to be made by car this late May bank holiday as traffic returns close to 2019’s pre-pandemic levels, according to a new study of drivers’ getaway plans from the RAC and INRIX.

Analysis suggests the worst day to travel will be Friday 24 May when more than 4m journeys are planned, as this is not only the start of the long weekend but also the beginning of half term for many UK schools. Traffic volumes look set to remain consistently high throughout the long weekend as 3.7m trips are expected to take place on Saturday 25 May, while 3.4m journeys are anticipated on both Sunday and bank holiday Monday.

With a further 5.7m leisure trips by car planned at some point throughout the long weekend, traffic could be at its worst since 2019 when over 22m drivers hit the road during the same period – meaning the volume of getaways this year could reach 90% of pre-pandemic levels.

The data also indicates that day trips are top of many drivers’ itineraries for the late May bank holiday. Twenty-two per cent said the main reason they’ll use their car will be for a day out with friends or family, while 8% intend to spend a day in the countryside or by the beach. Staycations rank third on the list as 7% said they are planning a short break, while a smaller proportion (3%) are heading to an airport or ferry port over the long weekend.

Traffic is predicted to build through the day on Friday, with transport analytics specialists INRIX advising motorists to delay their departures until 6pm to miss the worst of the queues when both commuter and leisure drivers are sharing the roads. The M25 clockwise between J7 for the M23 and J21 for the M1 is expected to bear the brunt of the traffic with those travelling on this stretch suffering delays of more than an hour and a half in the late afternoon.

On Saturday, traffic is expected to peak between 3pm and 6pm, with motorists advised to start their journeys as early as possible in the day to be in with the best chance of avoiding traffic. With day trips expected to be particularly popular, and even more so in those areas which see the best of the sun and warmth, INRIX is expecting routes from cities to coasts to have some of the worst delays as drivers head to the seaside. In the middle of the day, the M5 southbound – a major holiday route – is likely to suffer major hold-ups with journeys on a 45-mile stretch between J16 north of Bristol and J25 for Taunton in Somerset expected to take over an hour longer than usual.

Elsewhere, snarl ups are also anticipated on Saturday afternoon on the M25 anticlockwise towards the M23, the A14 eastbound towards the east coast, as well as on the M3 and A34 that funnel large volumes of leisure traffic towards resorts on the south coast.

Meanwhile the clockwise M25 is expected to again be the busiest route for traffic at the end of the school half term on Friday 31 May, with journeys between the M23 and the M1 likely to nearly triple in duration to three hours.

“Our research suggests this weekend could be the busiest of the year so far on the roads, with millions of people embarking on getaway trips to make the most of the three days and, for those with school age children, the start of the half-term holiday,” says RAC Breakdown spokesperson Alice Simpson.

“In fact, we’re looking at possible leisure traffic volumes returning to levels similar to what we last saw in 2019 before the coronavirus outbreak, as drivers’ desire to make the most of the UK increases. And, in those places where the warm spring sunshine makes its presence felt, the number of people deciding to get behind the wheel and head for the coast or countryside will only go up, swelling the overall volume of cars on the roads.”

Met Office spokesperson Stephen Dixon said: “While there’s still plenty of detail to work out for the Bank Holiday weekend, signals are suggesting there’s a chance of some dry and fine weather developing in places for the UK, though periods of showery activity will still influence some of the weather. Temperatures should above average for the time of year, though will be slightly subdued where those showers do develop. There remains a chance for the development of some thundery showers in places through the weekend, which is something we’ll be able to add some more detail to as we get closer to the time. It’s important to stay up-to-date with the forecast through the week as the details become clearer.”

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27 artists illustrate the power of voting ahead of EU elections

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A woman and a child checks an exhibition in EU about voting
Pan-European online initiative also has pop-up exhibitions | Photo: Mihail Novakov

Ahead of the forthcoming European elections, 27 illustrators, one from each European Union member state, designed posters on the topic of democratic participation. 

This happens as part of Get Out & Vote – an initiative by Fine Acts, a global nonprofit studio for social impact.

All works are published under an open license, so that citizens, nonprofits and activists can download and use them non–commercially to spread the message of the importance of voting for the future of Europe.

“It is so incredibly important to vote, as our elected officials shape our societies for us. I think a lot of people find the elections hard to grasp and overwhelming – especially the European Parliament elections. And I get it, it’s complex. But if you don’t vote, others will decide for you! These are big decisions, like climate, immigration, AI and we get to shape those choices together,” says Sidsel Sørensen, an illustrator and animation director based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Between concept and development, Sørensen spent several days to finish her participant image.

“Usually I spend fairly long at the ideas stage, sketching things out. Often jumping in and out of the process over a couple of days. With this election, there might be a right-wing shift in the European Parliament. I hope not, as it would be very bad for European climate policy. The inspiration for the image really came from focusing on the positive, and instead imagining how much legislation at EU level could help guide green policies across Europe – if we all vote more green,” says the artist.

For Italian illustrator Mattia Riami, who attended the Visual Communication Bachelor at IED in Milan on a scholarship and went on to be part of the team of graphic designers and illustrators at global fashion brand United Colors Of Benetton, voting is a civil exercise that should not be ignored.

“Voting is not just a right, but also a civic duty that strengthens the foundations of democratic society. Through voting, every individual has the opportunity to voice their ideas, values, and concerns, thus contributing to the creation of a more inclusive and representative political environment. Ignoring this process means abdicating the responsibility to shape one’s own future and that of future generations,” believes Riami, who spent a total of three days to create his illustration for the project.

“Today we find ourselves faced with a set of challenges that threaten to undermine democracy in Europe, and erode common values such as equality and justice. Our poster voting collection targets young people and aims to inspire hope, optimism, and enthusiasm about the potential impact of voting,” says Yana Buhrer Tavanier, Executive Director at Fine Acts. The initiative, supported by the Culture of Solidarity Fund, is part of Fine Acts’ larger campaign in support of European unity and values, which also includes art interventions across several European cities, an AR exhibition, and a vast online activation to build momentum before the elections in June. 

How the European Elections work

Voting in 2024 starts on Thursday 6 June in the Netherlands, followed by Ireland and Malta on the following day and Latvia and Slovakia on Saturday. This year Many EU member states vote on Sunday 9 June.

Most voting takes place on one day although Czechs have Friday and Saturday to cast their ballots, and Italians vote on Saturday and Sunday.

Besides voting in European elections on Sunday, Belgians will also spend time voting in national and regional elections.

By the end of 9 June, it will be clear which parties have won the Parliament’s 720 seats, 15 more than in 2019. The UK took part in the last European elections before leaving the EU, and some of its seats have since been redistributed or kept in reserve if the EU expands.

Who can vote in the European Elections

In most EU countries you have to be 18 to vote, but if you’re 16 you can vote in Germany, Austria, Belgium and Malta, while in Greece the minimum age is 17. In a handful of countries including Luxembourg and Bulgaria, voting is compulsory.

You should bring some ID such as driving license, PPS card, or passport. A full list of acceptable ID is available on electoralcommission.ie. Acceptable ID is also listed on the back of your polling card and includes passports and driving licences.

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Cannes opens with French comedy and honorary award for Meryl Streep

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Actress Juliette Binoche hands an award to Meryl Steep
Meryl Streep receives a honorary Palme D’Or from Juliette Binoche | Photo: Andrea Rentz

The 77th edition of the Cannes Film Festival officially opened last night with Quentin Dupieux’s Le Deuxième Acte (The Second Act), and an honorary Palme d’Or awarded to American actress Meryl Streep.

Presented Out of Competition as a world premiere on the Croisette last night, May 14, this four-part comedy was also released in all French cinemas on the same day. The film stars Lea Seydoux, Vincent Lindon, Louis Garrel and Raphaël Quenard playing squabbling actors filming a movie produced and directed by artificial intelligence.

The opening ceremony of the 77th Festival de Cannes, hosted at the  Grand Théâtre Lumière, also had American actress Meryl Streep as a guest of honour.

Streep received the Festival’s Honorary Palme d’or, 35 years after winning the Best Actress award for Evil Angels, her only appearance in Cannes until last night.

“My mother, who is usually right about everything, said to me: ’Meryl, my darling, you’ll see. It all goes so fast. So fast,″ added Streep. “And it has, and it does. Except for my speech, which is too long,” said the three time Oscar award-winning actress.

Last year French Film director Justine Triet won the Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or for her murder mystery film “Anatomy of a Fall” becoming the third female filmmaker ever to win the prize, which was first awarded in 1955. 

The 77th Cannes Film Festival is set to run until May 25th, when the Palme d’Or winners will be revealed, 2024.

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