In the heart of Lisbon

GPS: Lat (N) 38.713; Lon (W) -9.141

Rua do Duque, 26 · 1200-159 Lisboa

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How to get to Casa Balthazar:

From the airport to Casa Balthazar are about 8km. If you come by taxi, it will take at most 20 minutes and the final cost around 15 € depending on traffic and luggage.

Coming by car, go to the area of ​​Baixa / Chiado. The Duke Street lies between the Largo do Carmo and Rossio Train Station.

Using the Aerobus / metro, exit the Restorers and enter the Rossio Train Station. Then you can use the escalator or elevator up. Return to exit the station and climb part of the Walk of Carmel. Half of this will see the Duke Street on your right. We are at 26.


Rossio Train Station - 2 minute walk.

Metro - Less than 50 meters from Casa Balthazar (about 3 minutes walking) also has the Restauradores Metro Station (blue line) and Rossio Metro Station (green line), where you can easily move to various points of city.





On Foot Through History

Once you start to get to know Lisbon, you will see that it’s a city of legends and mysteries. History has it that Lisbon began thousands of years ago, when Ulysses, the mythical hero of Homer’s Odyssey, arrived by ship to an immense plain inhabited only by the goddess who fell in love with the traveller. When he left, the goddess raced out into the sea, in the form of a serpent to find her love. There, when she failed, she died of heartbreak and turned into stone, her coils forming the seven hills of Lisbon. Lisbon is a walk of stories about love, saints and churches. 

1 - Chiado: 3 minutes walk.
Chiado is now a prime shopping area with all kind of facilities and street entertainment. Here you will find hotels, theatres, libraries, museums, restaurants, designer shops and the place where famous Portuguese, such as Fernando Pessoa and Eça de Queiroz, used to hang out.
This area has that “je ne sais quoi” that cannot be explained... only sensed... See it in buildings and feel it in the history of the devastating fire of 1988.

2 - Convento do Carmo: 2 minutes walk.
This impressive Gothic monument, or what remains of it, was founded by Nuno Álvares Pereira, the commander who became a member of the Carmelite Order. The construction ended in 1423, and was, at this time, the largest church in Lisbon.
The ruins of the Igreja do Carmo, left by the devastating 1755 earthquake, are best seen from below, especially Rossio, Graça or the Castelo de S. Jorge. They represent centuries of history and welcome the Carmo Archaeological Museum.
In this museum there is a collection of invaluable historical, with pieces that define eras as diverse as prehistoric and contemporary. Make sure to go beyond the external wealth of these ruins and take a peek inside for a rewarding journey into the past!

3 - Rossio Train Station: 2 minutes walk 
Neo-Manueline, the Rossio train station is an amazing monument, which lies between the Rossio Square and Restauradores and was designed by architect José Luís Monteiro. The eight doors match the nine windows and the incredibly decorated clock tower situated at the top of the facade.
Rossio station is curious, since the platforms are about 30 feet above the main entrance. From here trains run to the charming region of Sintra.
Built in 1886/87, this station was recently renovated. The boarding platform is now connected to the Metro and has one of the most magnificent works: look at the ceiling and be dazzled! Make a sure you visit the Rossio station. I’m sure you will not regret it.

4 - Rossio: 5 minutes walk. 
Rossio is one of the most beautiful squares in Lisbon. People pass through here every day, rushing to go to work and rarely notice the beauty of what they have around them. Not only is the beauty of its monuments and its fountains, or its fascinating history, Rossio is a living book.
Recently renovated, it has not lost its mysticism... Feel it in the National Theatre D. Mary II, where many parts were, and are, performed and seen by Kings and Queens. In the middle of the square is a statue of D. Pedro IV and at his feet four female figures representing Justice, Wisdom, Strength and Moderation - qualities attributed to him.

5 - Praça da Figueira: 5 minutes walk. 
By the XIX century, this square was the centre of the festivities of the Popular Saints and by day, worked as a market town. Today, the reality of Praça da Figueira is quite different: the open market gave way to shops, hotels and cafes, and in the middle is a statue of King João I.
The Praça da Figueira is also a very busy crossing point, located between Rossio and Martim Moniz, and includes all types of transport, from the Metro, buses and trams that take you to almost all parts of the city.
Be sure to visit the Confeitaria Nacional, located in Praça da Figueira, which gives place to the most antique confectionary in Lisbon.

6 - Avenida da Liberdade: 6 minutes walk. 
Shops, hotels, theatres... Find it all here and more! This is the Avenida da Liberdade, synonymous with elegance, style and movement... a living vein that connects the Marques de Pombal Square and downtown Lisbon.
Since this is a very pleasant place to stroll, be sure to look carefully around you and notice the antique tailor shops, followed by internationally known brands such as Calvin Klein, Prada, Massimo Dutti, Armani, Burberrys and Adolfo Dominguez.

7 - Elevador da Glória : 6 minutes walk. 
The Elevador da Glória is one of the few remaining elevators in Lisbon and is located downtown, on the Praça dos Restauradores. It makes the connection between this square and Bairro Alto, on a journey of 265 meters up and down.
Upon exiting the elevator, on the right side of the stands the Miradouro de S. Pedro de Alcântara, where you have great views over central Lisbon and the magical Castelo de São Jorge. Just across the street, slightly to the right, in Rua de S. Pedro de Alcântara, you may find the Port Wine Institute, where you can sample and buy a wide variety of port wines.

8 - Praça do Comércio : 7 minutes walk. 
It’s easy to describe the Praça do Comércio, also known as Terreiro do Paço, in one word only: WOW! This is one of the most majestic squares in Lisbon, and was once the main maritime entrance to the city. You can still see the marble stairs coming out of the Rio Tejo. The name Terreiro do Paço is clearly a reference to the palace that stood here for 400 years, until the time earthquake, in 1755 that destroyed the city almost completely.

9 - Alfama: 8 minutes walk. 
Visiting Alfama is the same as visiting the architecture, the sounds and smells of old Lisbon. This is one of the most typical quarters of Lisbon. In its narrow winding streets you may find the hidden treasure of Alfama and, on its steep stairs you can breathe the soul of Lisbon.
In Alfama, one can still see traces of Roman and Arab occupations, two of the most dominant civilizations in Lisbon’s past. These streets are a mark of the Koran, where little value is given to the detriment of the interior facades of the houses, which is much appreciated.
Alfama was once home to offenders, unfortunate or ungrateful and, due to its proximity to the sea, was also home to many sailors.
Rebuilt by the local population after the 1755 earthquake, Alfama ran the risk of being demolished, which thankfully has not happened since this area of ​​the city was considered a book of living history, where the past mingles with the present ...

10 - Castelo de S. Jorge: 30 minutes walking from Casa Balthazar or 10 minutes by tram. There is a tram in Praça da Figueira (about 3 minutes walking from Casa Balthazar). 
The citadel of Castelo de S. Jorge is a fascinating place to contemplate the long history of Lisbon. The site was occupied by the Romans, Visigoths and Moors before being transformed into the Royal Palace in the fourteenth century. Visitors can climb the towers, walk the walls of the castle and admire the extraordinary views of the city and river. Geese and ducks roam the castle gardens, planted with oak, pine and olive trees. The small neighbourhood of Santa Cruz is also within the castle walls. Take a tour to learn more about the castle, enjoy the artistic and cultural events or simply let yourself wonder the streets of Lisbon from this unique belvedere.

11 - Bairro Alto: 5 minutes walk. 
Bairro Alto is Lisbon’s buzzing nightlife centre which, believe it or not, was once almost owned by one man only. It was once an elegant, fashionable neighbourhood inhabited above all by aristocrats and social climbers. After the earthquake, the upper classes abandoned the area giving way to what “Bairro” is today – it attracted tascas and nightlife. 

12 - Miradouro de S. Pedro de Alcantara: 5 minutes walk. 
Miradouro de S. Pedro de Alcântara, a popular lookout point, was once very diferente to its presente neat today. Its upkeep was neglected after the Earthquake and, thanks to its great height, it became popular with suicides. To save lives, another garden terrace was added below the main one.



14 - Cascais: 10 minutes walk to Cais do Sodré Train Station and 20 minutes by train. 
Few visitors come to the Portuguese capital for the beaches, but there is an impressive variety in the wider Lisbon area, with 12 meriting a Blue Flag designation. And all are easily accessible by public transport.
The beaches most easily accessible from the capital are strung out along the rail line from Cais do Sodré – a 10 minute walk from Casa Balthazar – to the ancient fishing port of Cascais, where you may hop off directly into the sandy beaches. From Cascais, you may easily reach Guincho by bus or in about half an hour on a bicycle (you can rent free ones in the train station). 

15 - Sintra: 2 minutes walk to Rossio Train Station and 35 minutes by train. 
You may also easily access the stunning and picturesque Sintra – which has beaches that are a surprise to many. These are north from Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of the European mainland, suchas Praia da Adraga and then the busier Praia Grande. From Casa Balthazar you may hop on to the Sintra train, a 2 minute walk to the Rossio train station.

South of the Tagus, the Caparica coast is one enormous strand, where its coastal extent represents the largest continuous beach in Portugal, with an expanse of approximately 30 kilometres. Catch a TST bus from Praça de Espanha or Carris Nº 75 from Campo Grande, or even a ferry from Cais do Sodré to Cacilhas and then a TST bus. 


Stories of the Sea

14 - Cascais: 10 minutes walk to Cais do Sodré Train Station and 20 minutes by train. 
Cascais is an ancient fishing port but also a busy modern town and resort. On the seafront in the Baía (bay) de Cascais are lobster pots, gaily painted boats and grizzled fisherman talking about football.
A short train ride from the capital, this one-time fishing village is now a tourist magnet and posh residential area, with some top-draw sights. 


In the Magic Mountains

15 - Sintra: 2 minutes walk to Rossio Train Station and 35 minutes by train. 
The first centre of European Romantic architecture, hilly Sintra is a magical place of lush forests and turreted palaces. As a royal retreat, it drew social climbers who ordered fine homes and exotic gardens.
Few will want to slog around all the sights on foot, so the €5 ticket for the 434 hop-on hop-off bus service is a good deal – or hire a horse-drawn carriage to take you up the hills the Romans knew as the Mountains of the moon. 


Street Shopping Hot Spots

6 - Avenida da Liberdade: 6 minutes walk. 
International and Portuguese fashion names dot Lisbon’s central avenue, and there’s a Fashion Clinic half way up.

13 - Feira da Ladra: 5 minutes walk and 15 min by tram (Tram 28 - there is a tram in Rua do Ouro). 
Twice-weekly flea market (6am to early afternoon Tuesday and Saturday) where you can pick up everything from antique tiles to secondhand DVDs. 

17 - Baixa: 5 minutes walk. 
Bustling downtown where haberdasheries and other specialists, often in rent-controlled premises, co-exist with chain stores.

1 - Chiado: 3 minutes walk. 
Elegany old shopping district with the odd design store and the popular Armazéns do Chiado mini-mall, anchored by Fnac.

11 - Bairro Alto: 5 minutes walk. 
Cutting-edge foreign and local design and clothing, plus several specialist music stores. In an area known for nightlife, shops stay open late.




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