Lisbon is a very hilly place. The Santa Justa Elevator is basically a lift that connects the lower streets with a higher street, and has somehow become a tourist attraction. We had read many warnings regarding pickpockets in Lisbon, especially with regards to the elevator and the notorious Tram 28, so we decided to go bright and early to avoid the crowds. And it was rather a good thing we did because we only had to wait for a few minutes before we went up.
At the top there are pleasant views over Rossio square to your left, Baixa district and down towards the River Tagus to your right, and over the Alfama district in front. If you buy a travelcard/daypass with the Carris bus company you can ride the lift for free with the pass. However once you get to the top you have to pay an extra Euro I believe to climb the stairs to the very top.
Both of us definitely enjoy history and ancient art in like we were talking about last week. Modern art to be honest (and rememeber this is our opinion) is not really our cup of tea. However post the Santa Justa Elevator which took all of 10 minutes. We had a few hours to kill, as it was a Sunday and none of the shops had yet open plus it was in the area so we wondered the narrowed streets holding our big paper map like typical tourists until we stumbled upon Museu National de Arte Contemporanea (Museu do Chiado).
But to our surprise it was rather interesting. The exhibition (which will be running until 28/10/12) was on the art deco period in Portugal from 1912 to 1960. The exhibition was divided across 4-5 sections beginning with the origins of art-deco and followings it's journey through the years. There were examples of sculptures, drawings as well advertising and magazine covers. The works of Almada Negreiros, Eduardo Viana and António Soares was heavily featured in the exhibitions. To conclude the exhibition provided a great insight into the Portuguese art deco period. Definitely worth a wonder if this is something that interests you.
Upon leaving the museum we spent the rest of the day having a wonder around the baixa/chiado area, which was full of shops and cafes. We even managed to get a picture with the bronze Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935) statue! He is a famous poet and writer and in his honour they built the statue outside the cafe which he visited regularly. The architecture in the area is great. Shops and houses are built in the pombaline style, post the 1755 earthquake (Great Lisbon earthquake).
Sita & Radha xoxo