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lisboa: palácio galveias

Portugal, Lisboa, Palácio Galveias, Arquivo O Século

I practically grew up in our local branch of the public library in Memphis. I think my mom figured out it doubled as free child care, & I could spend hours going through the stacks without ever noticing time pass. So when I heard the Lisbon city government spent 2.5 million € to fix up this public library, I couldn’t wait to check it out.

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lisboa: palácio da ajuda

Portugal, Lisboa, Palácio da Ajuda

When Pope Alexander III officially recognized Afonso Henriques as king in 1179, Portugal joined other prestigious royal houses in Europe. Dynasties would come & go —with several tragedies in between— but royals ruled until the establishment of Portugal’s first republic in 1910. That span of 731 years gave Portugal much of its modern-day national heritage; however, unlike other European countries, royal palaces are not part of the main tourist circuit. Why not? Let’s examine some previous royal residences for an answer…

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lisboa metro: linha vermelho tiles

Portugal, Lisboa, Metro, map, linha vermelho

Got your 24-hour pass ready?

Let’s continue our exploration of the Metro in the heart of the city. This was the first completely new line added to the existing Metro system, completed in 1998 to whisk visitors to & from the World Expo. A compass pointing east symbolizes the red line, at one time alternatively named the Linha do Oriente. The original section of the line —Alameda to Oriente— has been extended in both directions, & is an easy way to get from the airport to the city center. Linha vermelho station names are in bold below, followed by the tile artist & year of installation. Red asterisks () mark my three recommendations for this line. And remember that a complete list of Metro stations, respective artists & exact locations forms part of the Endless Mile guide Lisbon: Azulejos. Vamos embora!

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lisboa metro: linha amarela tiles

Portugal, Lisboa, Metro, map, linha azul

Got your 24-hour pass ready?

Let’s continue our exploration of the Metro in the city center. Maybe check out the end of the aqueduct nearby or first have lunch at the fabulous, non-touristy Cervejaria Real Fábrica? Your choice. A sunflower symbolizes the yellow line, at one time alternatively named the Linha Girassol. Not many tourist sites are near this route —with the exception of the worthwhile Museu da Cidade in Campo Grande— so cars are more filled with locals & university students. Linha amarela station names are in bold below, followed by the tile artist & year of installation. Red asterisks () mark my three recommendations for this line. If a station contains more than one artist, all are shown. And remember that a complete list of Metro stations, respective artists & exact locations forms part of the Endless Mile guide Lisbon: Azulejos. Vamos embora!

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lisboa metro: linha azul tiles

Portugal, Lisboa, Metro, map, linha azul

Got your 24-hour pass ready?

Let’s continue our exploration of the Metro back at the waterfront. A seagull symbolizes the blue line, at one time alternatively named the Linha Gaivota. It is the longest of all four lines with 13.7 km of track & 18 stations. That’s a lot to cover! In my opinion, some of the best Metro tile work can be found here. Linha azul station names are in bold below, followed by the tile artist & year of installation. Red asterisks () mark my three recommendations for this line. If a station contains more than one artist, all are shown. And remember that a complete list of Metro stations, respective artists & exact locations forms part of the Endless Mile guide Lisbon: Azulejos. Vamos embora!

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lisboa metro: linha verde tiles

Portugal, Lisboa, Metro, subway, linha verde, tiles, azulejos

Got your 24-hour pass ready?

Let’s start our exploration of the Metro at the waterfront. A ship symbolizes the green line, at one time alternatively named the Linha Caravela. Although I can’t confirm this theory, I believe Metro officials adopted dual names as a navigation aid for the 1998 World Expo: four lines, four colors, four symbols. Text references to these navigation aids have been abandoned, but their symbols still decorate signage. Linha verde station names are in bold below, followed by the tile artist & year of installation. Red asterisks () mark my three recommendations for this line. If a station contains more than one artist, both are shown. And remember that a complete list of Metro stations, respective artists & exact locations forms part of the Endless Mile guide Lisbon: Azulejos. Vamos embora!

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lisboa metro: tiles

Portugal, Lisboa, Metro, tiles, azulejos, Rossio

Almost every Lisbon guidebook calls the subway system “an underground museum.” Sounds a bit cliché, but Metro stations contain so many different tile panels that the phrase holds true. However, the original network almost neglected any type of decoration. Here’s how Lisboa’s Metro became a vibrant gallery space & the perfect thing to visit on a rainy day.

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aveiro: architecture

Portugal, Aveiro, architecture, Art Deco

Since I work as a tour guide, when I go somewhere new I adopt a very different philosophy from most travellers: minimal research before arrival, explore on foot once there, then investigate online at night. This method works well since I’m often several days in a single spot. My kind of travel. As I walked from the train station to my hotel along the main avenue, the architecture of Aveiro turned out to be a pleasant surprise.

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aveiro: azulejos

Portugal, Aveiro, azulejos, tiles

For years I’d read that Aveiro had fantastic tile work. But when to visit? After finishing a tour in Porto, I had a few days off to rest… the perfect opportunity in spite of this 2015 heat wave. Such a variety of azulejos that I couldn’t stop taking photos. Pics above are only a sample of what I saw. Wow.

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