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Lisbon Portugal

Lisbon is an amazing city to explore.  We would suggest spending 3-5 days there and then taking some time to leave the city and explore the country side.  Here is our best suggestion for 3 days in Lisbon

Day 1: Start your day downtown, down Avenida da Liberdade to Rossio Square before strolling through the pedestrianised Rua Augusta to Comercio Square, where you can hop on tram 15 to Belem. Go inside the cloisters of Jeronimos Monastery and take a break at Antiga Confeitaria de Belem to have one of its legendary custard tarts. Then take the underpass from the monastery’s gardens to cross the road to the Discoveries Monument. Walk along the waterfront from there to Belem Tower. Return down the same road and choose among the several museums nearby – the Coaches Museum and the Berardo Museum are two favorites, while the Maritime Museum is a good choice if you become curious about Portugal’s maritime past. For lunch you may want to consider one of the international restaurants in Docas (take the train from Belem station to Alcantara-Mar, and walk in the direction of 25 de Abril Bridge), or if you decide to stay in Belem to explore one more museum or perhaps to visit Ajuda Palace, there are good-value traditional Portuguese restaurants in the pretty row of buildings along Rua Vieira Portuense facing the park between the monastery and Belem Palace.
Back downtown, walk up Chiado and have some coffee or a refreshing drink at Brasileira Cafe or Cafe Benard. Walk up to São Roque Church for its splendid baroque chapels (and if you didn’t decide to stay in Belem for the afternoon, there is still time to visit the gothic ruins and eclectic museum of Carmo Church), followed by a stop at Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcantara for the sunset over the city. It is now dinnertime, so step into the cobbled Bairro Alto streets and choose among the various restaurants. After a long, relaxed dinner, join the locals bar-hopping through the neighborhood. If it is a Friday or Saturday night, you will stumble across what has to be Europe’s biggest bar crawl.

Day 2: Take the metro to Parque das Naçõs and visit the Oceanarium. Walk along the waterfront to admire the impressive modern architecture of the surroundings (including the seemingly-endless Vasco da Gama Bridge), before heading to Alfama. Wander around the maze of narrow streets, stopping at the miradouros before walking up to the castle. You may want to choose to visit the Tile Museum (take a taxi) or São Vicente de Fora Church, or go straight to the castle if it is now late afternoon – you don’t want to miss the sunset as you stand above the city. If you did not have lunch at the popular docas when you visited Belem, it is perhaps a good idea to head there for dinner today. Stay for some drinks and dancing at the neighboring bars and clubs, or burn off your remaining energy in style, at Club Lux.

Day 3: The third day could be one of art and culture. Start at the Gulbenkian Museum where you can spend half a day admiring its treasures, relaxing in its pleasant gardens, and ending at its Modern Art Center. After lunch, you may want to continue admiring art, this time at the Ancient Art Museum. Take a tram back downtown, where you can decide where to go for dinner (see our restaurant recommendations, although we’d go for one with a view on this last day – perhaps “Chapitô” or “Bica do

Jamaica Info

There is more to Jamaica than reggae, Rastafarians and honeymooners. Fringed with white-sand beaches, the island has year-round sunshine, misty mountains, a lush rainforest, and superb coffee. In the west, lazy Negril showcases its long beach, coconut groves, and clear waters. Partygoers gravitate to Montego Bay with its colonial architecture, bars and nightclubs. Cruise ships dock at Ocho Rios for its golf courses and water park, while Port Antonio’s proximity to the lush Blue Mountains appeals to eco-lovers. The capital, Kingston, is an edgy contrast.

Things to Do

Head to the north and west coasts for diving and snorkelling in clear waters with reefs, garden grottoes, and deep drop-offs. Laze in the sun at Doctor’s Cave Beach, where placid water invites leisurely swimming. Inland, Rose Hall Great House, perched on a hilltop overlooking Montego Bay, gives a glimpse of the heyday of plantation living and even has a resident ghost. Reggae legend Bob Marley’s spirit is kept alive at his birthplace, the mountain village of Nine Miles.

Shopping

Take a taste of Jamaica home with Blue Mountain coffee or Jamaican rum. Buy colorful art from the Contemporary Art Centre in Kingston or go to the Craft Market in Negril for carvings, beads and straw items. Arts and crafts range from alabaster and woodcarvings to weavings, and any outlet of Things Jamaican, sells a reliable assortment, including locations in Montego Bay and Harmony Hall outside Ocho Rios on the North Coast.

Nightlife and Entertainment

Beach bars abound in Jamaica, and one of the most popular is the raffish Time ‘n’ Place in Falmouth, built of driftwood. The setting is so authentic that many fashion magazines, including Vogue, have used it for photo shoots. Dance on the sand at parties in Negril and Montego Bay’s Hip Strip, and hear soca, calypso, and reggae in hotels, roadside bars and clubs. Serious reggae fans flock to one of Kingston’s sound system discos for the real deal.

Restaurants and Dining

Jamaican flavors are often unexpected, zesty, and refreshing, and Jamaicans are increasingly proud of their island’s culinary offerings. Try specialties such as jerk chicken, chowder with crabmeat, or conch in one of the many casual restaurants in Montego Bay or Negril. Taste island favorites ackee and salt fish at roadside stalls. Beachfront restaurants around the island serve fresh seafood and escoveitch (pickled fish fried with peppers and onions). Finally, cool off with a cold bottle Red Stripe beer or a rum punch.

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