Quiosques – where you feel the heartbeat of the city

One euro left in your pocket? On to the next quiosque. Let’s have a bica. The Portuguese version of Espresso lifts our spirits at any time, day and night. Just what we need. But there’s much more in going to a quiosque. It’s a casual walk to the heart and soul of the city. In Portugal, that is.

quiosques_4Lisbon for example: Let’s assume it’s your first day in the city, and you feel a little lost. You’ve been walking a lot, always along the tracks of the famous yellow Lisbon tramway, and finally found a green oasis for a rest, the lovely Jardim da Estrela, opposite of the incredible Basilica. You walk through the green gate – and live music welcomes you, played in front of a café where you can sit next to the pond and share your torrada with the colorful ducks who live there. A beautiful thing to do – and the choice of most tourists who are lucky enough to find out about this place.

quiosques_6 But you want to get into the vibe first, and that’s why you save this option for the evening. When you’ll have found a friend to share the romantic atmosphere that comes with the night. That’s why you walk on, stroll through the park a little more – and discover two quiosques that serve very different purposes: One of them is a library! Probably the smallest library in the world. Surrounded by some metal chairs and tables, you can even sit down and read a borrowed newspaper. Or look out for somebody who had asked for a game at this very special biblioteca – and therefore seeks good company now. 

quiosques_2 Or you’re looking for some refreshment; then you will move a little further, passing a beautiful historic band-stand, to a quiosque that will offer you anything from ice cream to a reviving bica. If you sit down here, you will immerse in Portuguese family life, with neighbors and friends chatting at the tables while the kids populate their much liked playground, only a few steps away. You don’t need to speak Portuguese to share the relaxed, peaceful and jolly neighborhood feeling here. So different from the Quiosque da Praça José Fontana – which may be the next quiosque to explore. Or the Quiosque das Amoreiras. Or … Whichever it will be: With it, you will become part of a different neighborhood, different vibes. Which are all just as typical for Lisbon … Maybe you should think about postponing your flight home.