Rococo, Finnish Trolls and More Pizza | London, Day 6

Shut the front door! Has it been really a month since my last post?! This is just a bit ridiculous, I’m not sure how that happened, time has slipped through my fingers….
Well today is the day I’m finally coming at you with the tale of the last hours I spent in London this Summer. This is how it went.

The Wallace Collection
THE WALLACE COLLECTION

First I headed towards the fancy area of Marylebone via the dreaded Oxford Circus. It wasn’t too bad actually, I’ve seen worst crowds (namely Oxford Circus on the 23rd of December 2007… never again). There, I came to visit The Wallace Collection. How to explain the Wallace Collection to you if you’ve never heard of it? Take a good dose of silk tapestries, all the colours of the rainbow, if available, add gold in large quantities and tons and tons of majestic paintings and there you have it, the stuff rococo dreams are made of. Needless to say, I pretty much had an eyegasm. There was so much stuff to look at, you can tell from the pictures I took that my senses were overloaded. Not one picture is straight. Oops. I will show you what I can salvage from them in a later post. This place certainly needs a whole post dedicated to it.

Hertford House, Manchester Square, London W1U 3BN
http://www.wallacecollection.org/
Covent Garden
COVENT GARDEN MARKET

Then I walked to Covent Garden Market with one goal in mind. The Moomin Shop! Back in 2008, I went to Finland and as well as bringing back bringing brilliant memories, I bore one regret: not buying a Moomin mug. I was too worried it would break as I was backpacking, you see. So London was my chance to send back that regret to oblivion. Unfortunately, it wasn’t so as I got out of the shop empty-handed. I just couldn’t justify the price, especially with the steep conversion rate. Dramatic Face. It was a damn cute shop tho!
Neal's Yard
NEAL’S YARD

I forgot all about my moomin mug misfortune and mooched around Covent Garden, gawking at all the pretty windows (Ladurée <3) and went to Neal's Yard for my final stop of the day… well, of the trip. I had never stepped foot in the colourful courtyard before. It's quite a surprising space to stumble upon right next to London's busiest streets. My stomach led me straight to Homeslice for I had heard only good things of their pizzas. I went for a slice of Margherita and I had a bit of shock when I was handed a portion pretty much the size of an actual pizza. It's definitely great value for money and it was SO delicious!

That’s it for my trip to London this Summer folks, I hope you enjoyed the account of the few days I spent there. I do have a few more Summer memories to tell you about but I think it’s time now to switch the blog on Autumn mode, don’t you think? x

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5

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A doomed poet, breathtaking views & grave stones | London, Day 5

For one of my last days in London, I decided to go to Hampstead, a green, and may I say, rather posh area in the North West of London. I’m not completely unfamiliar with this neighbourhood. Many moons ago I got lost walking up and down its hills, looking for Highgate Cemetery… without a map. Needless to say, I never found it but I liked what I saw, all of a sudden London felt like a village.
It was time to come back, this time armed with GPS, I wasn’t going to be defeated. Especially as I had accumulated a rather long list of places I wanted to check out in the area. Most of them stately homes, which you know by now my love for them. Unfortunately, my ‘holiday piggy bank’ was considerably depleted by then so I had to pick one and went for the most affordable one of the bunch.

Keats House
Keats House
KEATS HOUSE

I have to come clean with my ignorance, I really didn’t know much about John Keats. I vaguely knew he wrote poetry and that he went through a tragic love story, which is probably very common in the profession anyway. It probably explains why for so long, I kept confusing him with Dylan Thomas in my little ditzy head. Yep, poetry is really not my forte.
I’m glad I got to know him a bit better through pacing the floors of the house he once called his own. I will depict it and touch on his short life in an upcoming post.

10 Keats Grove, London NW3 2RR
website
Hampstead Heath
HAMPSTEAD HEATH

Keats house is handily located next to Hampstead Heath. I needed to cross this beautiful park to get to my next destination. I lingered on its paths, gushed at the cute dogs being walked and watched, bewildered, the locals paddling about in the murky ponds.
I climbed at the top of Parliament Hill, singing Kate Bush to myself to be stopped abruptly by the magnificent view that rolled at the top. I stood there for a while and admired the London skyline surrounded by Londoners, all of us equally oblivious to the rain that had started to pour. But it was time to start on the last stretch of my journey if I wanted to catch the Dead before the closing of the gates.
Highgate Cemetery
Highgate Cemetery
HIGHGATE CEMETERY

You will have guessed it by now, this time I had made it to Highgate Cemetery. I had longed to see its ivy-covered grave stones more than any other cemetery in the world. It was every bit as creepy and mysterious I had imagined and I finally got to see the tomb of one of my favourite writers. It was so teeny that I very nearly missed it. But that’s a story for another post!

Swain’s Lane, London N6 6PJ
http://highgatecemetery.org

And that’s it for my penultimate day in London. Hope you’re enjoying the series so far and that you found a place you’d like to visit. In case you missed any of the previous days, here is Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 and Day 4.

Canal walk & Neon Signs | London, Day 3

Hertford Union Canal
Hertford Union Canal
HERTFORD UNION CANAL

Saturday started with a peaceful walk along the Hertford Union Canal, which is the canal that goes along Victoria Park and reaches the Olympic Park. Thanks to my friend Jane, I discovered that London has quite an extensive canal system. It’s something I know very little about and I think it’s an area that still feels a bit secret about the city. Isn’t it fantastic that you could cross the whole of London following a canal route?! That’s something I’d really love to explore more next time I visit.
I very much enjoyed looking at the beautiful inhabited barges and the colorful graffitis along the canal. Hertford Union is quieter than Regent’s Canal but it feels like it’s on the verge of turning into something as buzzy, judging from the few eateries, pubs and cafes in cute shacks sprinkled along the bank.
I walked until the Hackney Marshes where I jumped on a bus towards one of the most incredible places I’ve ever visited…

God's Own JunkyardGod's Own Junkyard
GOD’S OWN JUNKYARD

This ‘neon sign graveyard’ had been on my bucketlist for the longest time. The reason was that it’s located quite far in the East of London. I’m so happy I got to finally visit it, the experience was unreal! There wasn’t a bit of wall in this warehouse that wasn’t covered with a colourfully-lit sign. I absolutely adored it and as you might expect, I took one million pictures and plan to dedicate a whole post to the place. Sorry about the teaser, but that’s all you’re getting from me today!

Unit 12, Ravenswood Industrial Estate, Shernhall St
Walthamstow, London E17 9HQ
http://www.godsownjunkyard.co.uk/

Thanks for checking in today! If you missed the previous days of my trip in London, here are Day 1 and Day 2. See you tomorrow! x

Audrey Hepburn & Ice-cream along the Thames | London, Day 1

I’m just back from a long week in London and it was fantastic as per usual. I got to tick off so much from my ‘London Bucketlist’! I couldn’t wait to tell you all about it so I thought I would post everyday this week with snappy rundowns of each day spent in my favourite city. And in the hopefully not too distant future, i will write more in-depth posts about some of the places mentioned. That way, I’ll also be able to talk about places that would have never made the cut. I want to quickly add that everything here will be budget-friendly. The pound was incredibly strong compared to the Euro so money was flying through my pockets even more so than usual. I tried to be wise and eat at home most of the time thanks to my friend who was putting me up (if you’re reading, thank you again Jane) so I’m afraid the recommendations for eateries and restaurants will be few and far between. But without further ado, here’s day 1 of my stay in the Big Smoke.

National Portrait Gallery

AUDREY HEPBURN, PORTRAITS OF AN ICON @ THE NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY

First port of call was the photographic exhibition on Audrey Hepburn. I used to be obsessed with her and whatever films she played in so when Jane mentioned it in an email, I knew it had to go on ‘the list’.
The exhibition recounts her life in pictures, from her mischievous smile as a child to her UNICEF work in Africa. Did you know she was born in Belgium by the way? #proudpatrioticmoment
In between, there’s quite a few publicity theatre and film shots, I was delighted to discover that a couple of her films escaped my Hepburn madness era. But there’s also incredible portraits by renowned photographers such as Cecil Beaton, Mark Shaw and the technicolor-wizard Norman Parkinson. I was so absorbed I didn’t even notice Gok Wan was in the same room, haha! The exhibition comprises of three rooms (and a half), it’s quite small but the pictures are full of interesting details. My favourite one was by Mark Shaw where you can see queen Audrey from three different angles in a mirrored dressing room.

Audrey is the most intringuingly childish, adult, feminine tomboy I’ve ever photographed. She’s many women wrapped in one.

Mark Shaw

PS: Photography wasn’t allowed inside, I even got shouted at for taking the picture of the entrance above -_-

2 July – 18 October 2015
St Martin’s Place, London WC2H 0HE
http://www.npg.org.uk/whatson/hepburn/home.php

South Bank

SOUTH BANK

After wandering on the different floors of the National Portrait Gallery (which is free by the way), it was time to head out and soak up that hazy London sun. Direction: South Bank! Even though it’s quite a popular destination for both Londoners and tourists, I had actually never visited the area. When I lived in London, I really liked the bit of the bank from Tower Bridge and Eastwards. I’m glad I finally remedied to that ‘London faux-pas’ because it was a really pleasant walk. I watched the skaters rolling around in the skate park, browsed through a second-hand book market, made a silly picture in front of the National theatre, looked at the leaflets to see what was up in the Southbank arts centre and ate a strawberry ice-cream while watching people and seagulls.

It was then time to go home to go grocery shopping and on my way to the bus stop, I got to cross the Millenium Bridge for the first time, the view on the beautiful Saint Paul’s Cathedral was insane! How can one ever get tired of London?

Hope you enjoyed Day 1! Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for Day 2 x

 

La Divina Marchesa Exhibition | Venice

La Divina Marchesa

I thought I would kick off my posts on Venice with the only exhibition I went to. Since, it’s temporary (it runs until March), it only makes sense that I should get this post out of the way first.
I think I found out about the event on Instagram when the above painting popped up on my feed, I felt that I had seen this portrait before and instantly wanted to know more about this fiery looking lady.
I’m probably not the only one who experienced this feeling of déjà-vu as she is one of the most portrayed women in art history. Luisa Casati was indeed a muse for many artists in the beginning of the 20th century. She also commissionned numerous portraits for herself as she wanted to be “a living work of art”. The more I read about her, the more excited I was to visit this exhibition dedicated to her extravagant life.

La Divina MarchesaLa Divina MarchesaLa Divina MarchesaLa Divina MarchesaLa Divina Marchesa
La Divina Marchesa

In the dark Palazzo Fortuny, where the rooms are padded with silky brocade, objects and frocks belonging to Luisa Casati as well as portraits give insights into her life. From Man Ray’s picture of her where she defiantly stares at you to the snaps stolen by Cecil Beaton where she hides behind her hand. From being the richest woman in Italy to living her last days, destitute in London; you get the sense that the Marchesa lived the life to the fullest until it literally left her in rags.

From a rather conservative background, Luisa Casati reinvented herself after meeting the poet Gabriele d’Annunzio. She morphed into the look we know her for today: fiery red hair, heavily lined eyes and red lips. Even though she didn’t fit to the beauty standards of the day (she was deemed too tall and too thin),  she turned it around and became a femme fatale, the first ever female dandy. She had countless lovers (women and men) among the artists she hung out with but she kept a close relationship with d’Annunzio. On the first floor of the museum, in a wooden cabinet, there’s a little figurine modelled after her (pictured below). It is said that d’Annunzio had it made so he could look at her and feel Luisa Casati’s presence every time he was missing her.

La Divina MarchesaLa Divina MarchesaLa Divina Marchesa
La Divina Marchesa

She was known for hosting the most lavish parties and for entertaining the most extraordinary whims. I had to chuckle while listening to the audio-guide (which I would recommend you opt for; they’re free) when I learned that she used to dye her dog blue to match her outfits. She was also famous for having pet leopards. Many people reported seeing her walking them on diamond studded leashes in Venice (she was the direct inspiration behind the iconic Cartier’s panther jewellery pieces). But she also liked to wear a less conventional, one could say, type of ‘necklace’ like… wiggling snakes!

With such intriguing stories and unique look, there’s no wonder that Luisa Casati still captivates our minds today. Recently, Alexander McQueen and Lagerfeld for Chanel created pieces inspired by her striking silhouette. You will be able to see some of them in this exhibition, the first solely dedicated to one of the most fascinating characters of the early 20th century.

La Divina Marchesa

Practical Information

The Divine Marchesa Exhibition (ends March 8th 2015)
Palazzo Fortuny – website
San Marco, 3780

Admission: General €12 / Reduced €10

Opening Hours: 10am – 6pm (closed on Tuesdays)

Vaporetto: Sant’Angelo (Line 1)

Queluz Palace & Gardens | Lisbon

Queluz Palace

Before I dip into my trip to Venice from last week, I have one last Lisbon post from last year to share with you. And not any post, this was hands down my very favourite place I visited last year. And it might well be one of my favourite places of all time, actually. Queluz Palace & Gardens oozes so much magic and atmosphere, I’ve had a hard time not to violently pinch myself during the whole visit. The palace has been aptly described as an ‘expensive birthday cake’. I couldn’t have worded it better!

Queluz PalaceQueluz PalaceQueluz PalaceQueluz Palace

This 18th century palace is often referred as the ‘Portuguese Versailles and as I pushed the entrance door leading to the ball room, the comparison stared at me in the face from the mirrored walls tirelessly reflecting the scintillating chandeliers and the gilded fixtures . There, in front of me, was standing a smaller-scale Hall of Mirrors.
I visited the palace in January last year and I practically had the place to myself. I leisurely inspected (and took one gazillion photos of) the period rooms, filled with intricate objects from the time (I especially enjoyed the porcelain and glassware collection), the incredible frescoes on the walls achieved by French artisans nearly three hundred years ago and the surprising ‘his & hers’ loos.

This temple of rococo was initially the summer residence for the Portuguese royal family. They ended up moving in until they escaped to Brazil following the French invasion in the beginning of the 19th century. Since the 1908, it has been the property of the state and in 1940, the palace was opened to the public. It serves also as a residence for visiting heads of the state.

Even though, the place looks like a beautiful fluffy pink dream today, it was the witness of several tragedies in the royal Portuguese family, from the death of the King on the marigold bed pictured above to the madness of the Queen. She was kept hidden in this golden padded palace of sorts until her death.

Queluz PalaceQueluz PalaceQueluz PalaceQueluz PalaceQueluz PalaceQueluz PalaceQueluz PalaceQueluz PalaceQueluz PalaceQueluz PalaceQueluz Palace

When I stepped outside to explore the surrounding gardens, I was met by a display of falconry on the steps of the palace. I watched the hawk going back and forth between trainers for a little while then I headed towards the jardins à la française. I believe there is also a horse show but it probably takes place in the high season.
I walked along the topiary and felt so blessed to be in such a unique place. The grounds looked particularly enchanting that day as a fine foggy mist wrapped the pink palace. Unfortunately as magical as it was, it also meant I had to shorten my visit as I was getting a tad worried for my camera with the humidity. I would love to go back in Summer to see what blooms brighten up the gardens.

Queluz PalaceQueluz PalaceQueluz PalaceQueluz Palace
Queluz Palace

If you want to make the trip to Queluz (which obviously I strongly recommend if it wasn’t clear enough from the above gushing), head down to Rossio Station in Lisbon. There are train to Sintra every 20 minutes or so, hop on one and get off at Queluz (the fare is €1.55/one way). The journey takes about 20 minutes (Queluz is half way between Lisbon and Sintra) and you will need to walk 15 minutes to get to the palace. Alternatively, you can take the bus 157 outside the station.

So this concludes the entierety of my Lisbon posts, I hope you enjoyed them and that you picked up a recommendation or two along the way. The next time you will hear about Lisbon on this blog will be more than likely my guide, hopefully downloadable. In the meantime, you can always check out the mini guide I wrote for Atlas Addicts if you’re leaving for the City of Seven Hills soon (lucky you!). 

Queluz Palace

Practical Information

Queluz Palace & Gardens – website
Largo Palacio de Queluz, 2745-191
Queluz

Opening Hours: 9am-5.30pm (last ticket 5pm)

Admission: General €8.50 / Children <6yo Free / Children <18yo 7€   / Senior 8 € (combined ticket for palace + gardens)
General €3.50 / Children <6yo Free / Children <18yo €2.50 / Senior €3 (ticket for gardens only)

Train: Queluz-Belas stop (on the Lisbon-Sintra Line)

A few days in London

Last month, I spent a few days in London to celebrate a friend’s birthday so I jumped on the opportunity to cross off a few places on my forever growing ‘To-Visit-in-London’ list. I ended up loving all of these so I think they deserve a full post in their own right but I wanted to share a quick summary of what I’ve been up to these few days in my favourite city with you first.
Dennis Severs' House
folgate street sign
Dennis Severs House

First on my list was actually a recommendation from my friend I was staying with. I wasn’t sure I had grasped what exactly was this place so I was mighty intrigued when I queued up on the pavement to get into the house. A man opened the door and told us that ‘we won’t meet the family today but we will hear them’. We were also asked to remain silent during the visit. Sounds pretty mysterious, eh?
Dennis Severs was an artist who decided to recreate the living conditions of a fictitious 18th century Huguenot family in the silk weaving business, the Jervis, in his own house. Stepping into his abode is like diving into an old painting, as if you just disturbed the occupants. Signs that they were just there a second ago are left around the house: half drunk cups of tea, warm cakes, a knocked off chair, even a full chamber pot. At first I wasn’t sure what to make of it, I felt a bit like an elephant in a porcelain shop but by the time my eyes got used to the candle light, I started enjoying my surroundings and soak in the dusty atmosphere, high on the sweet smell of winter spice and pinewood. The whole house had been decorated for the festive period: Christmas pudding in the kitchen, presents on a bed, a beautiful tree and bowls holding cinnamon sticks and orange peels scattered here and there. It made the place even more eerie and magical (the decorations will be up until January 5th).

18 Folgate Street
http://www.dennissevershouse.co.uk

v&a
Victoria & Albert Museum

I’m pretty sure I was under a curse that was stopping me from visiting the V&A. Something would always get in the way every time I had planned to go there. I’m glad that the spell finally lifted as I enjoyed roaming the numerous halls of the museum filled with treasures, from photography to fashion design. I only managed to cover a small fraction of the space so another visit is definitely in order, now I’m curse-free. Also, I wouldn’t mind going back to their shop to stock up on more pretty postcards!

Cromwell Road
http://www.vam.ac.uk/

geffrye museum
Geffrye Museum

Maybe you’ll have noticed from my posts but I love a good reconstitution of a period room. The Geffrye Museum is just that, you witness the changes of 4 centuries in English homes, through the furniture and habits of their occupants. The Christmas Past exhibition (ends on January 4th) gave a festive glimpse into the evolution of English traditions through time.

136 Kingsland Road
http://www.geffrye-museum.org.uk/

viktor wynd's museum of curiosities
The Last Tuesday Society, Viktor Wynd’s Museum of Curiosities

This creepy little place can be found in the basement of a pub in Hackney. Walking down a spiral staircase, you’ll be met with glass windows holding the weirdest combination of objects. I thought the picture above was quite representative of that combination. Of course there are the expected stuffed animals and skelettons but they live among a collection of naughty paraphernalia, mixed with the odd toy. I was immediately enraptured with the place when my eyes met those of Dora the Explorer standing next to a stuffed two-headed lamb.

11 Mare Street
http://www.thelasttuesdaysociety.org/

Tara’s Palace | Co. Wicklow

tara's palacetoy cabinet & view

Last month when my mum came to visit me I knew I wanted to take her to Powerscourt Gardens. I went there last year and was blown away by this beautiful estate in county Wicklow. I only had the chance to visit the gardens, so this time I made sure to head first to the first floor of Powerscourt House where the Museum of Childhood is located. I was quite eager to see Tara’s Palace with my own eyes , this giant of a doll house. 22 rooms, practically all mod cons, priceless antiques and readable miniature books, this house is every little girl’s dream come true. I wouldn’t say I’m a doll house connoisseur but I visited my fair share of toy museums and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a courtyard and a church built in a doll house. It’s that big!

guest bedroomdining & gamblingminiature floral bowldoll's house wallpaperliving roomblue bedroomgiant bathroom creeper
                                                            Bathroom creeper alert!

Tara’s Palace was modelled after 3 Irish Houses: Castletown house in county Kildare, Leinster House in Dublin and Carson House in Maynooth. It was built in the eighties to replace Titania’s palace, another huge Irish doll house built in the early 1900s which eventually got sold to Legoland Denmark. It took 20 years to build and furnished the palace you can see today in Powerscourt House. The craftmanship is astonishing, but what I liked above all is the attention to detail that sparks one’s imagination just looking through the glass. I couldn’t help making up little stories just looking at the way certain objects were displayed : the flowers soaking in the umbrella stand, the mini-slippers left in a hurry under the sink. And what is the meaning of that blue dress lavishly left at the foot of the bed? Could Tara’s walls hold its very own Hollywood drama at night?

roses in umbrella standthe blue dressmini slippersginger nuts

The museum in itself is quite small (two rooms and a little corridor where children can play) but it’s full to the brim with special little treasures. Apart from Tara’s Palace, there are a few other unusual-looking doll houses with a gothic and working-class vibe but also toy cars, a whole shelf full of teddy bears and a model cathedral.

vauxhall victor
a rare childs chairwindow view

Top tip: Don’t let all your attention be grabbed by those tiny wonders and do look out the window. There’s a breathtaking view over the gardens not to be missed! ( Do you want to see more of Powerscourt Gardens? Click here, I’ll give you a tour!)

tara's palace front

Practical Information

Tara’s Palace, Museum of Childhood – website
Powerscourt House
Enniskerry
County Wicklow

Admission fee: Adult 5€ / Children 3€ / Concession 4€ / <5yo Free / Family 12€
NB: All profits go to Irish Children’s charities

Opening Hours: 10am – 5pm (Mon – Sat); 12 am – 5pm (Sundays & Bank Holidays)

How to get there (from Dublin): Dart to Bray, Bus 185 (the departure stop is directly outside Bray Dart Station)

National Coach Museum | Lisbon

coach museum lisbon
inside the coach

The National Coach Museum is proper fairy-tale material.
When I went to Lisbon earlier this year, I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to spend some time among beautiful carriages worthy of a hundred Cinderellas. You could say I needed my dose of Rococo and the museum was suitably decadent. The place is crammed with historical coaches whose heydays were spent carrying Portuguese royals, European high nobility and Popes. And one thing I learnt about 18th century Popes, when it came to their vehicles, it was the flamboyant way or the highway. Popemobiles have had a rough evolution, that’s for sure.

rococo ceilingcoach museum lisbonantique stirrupscoach museum lisboncoach museum lisboncoach's keys + decorationsazulejos

I think all this gold and silk intimidated me and I had a hard time setting my camera, it just wouldn’t do what I wanted. I suffered from a severe case of lense-fright!
Also if there’s any photographers out there looking to visit the place, prefer a wide angle lens. The coaches are parked like sardines, it looks like coronation day in there.

historical carriage's detailcoach drivers' decorations
coach museum lisbon

Anyways, technicalities aside, I had a regal time inspecting all the carriages, ooh-ing and aah-ing and wondering how on Earth the silk and the velvet covering the seats survived the 4 seasons again and again.
On the second floor of the museum, multiple accessories are housed under glass displays. Intricate stirrups, the coach drivers’ uniforms and beautiful keys can be found among other treasures. I can’t think of a better place to play pretend! Hear ye, hear ye!

coach museum lisbon

Practical Information

National Coach Museum
Praça Afonso de Albuquerque
1300-004 Lisbon

http://en.museudoscoches.pt/

Train: Belém Station (Cascais Line)
Tram: 15
Bus: 28, 714, 727, 729, 743, 749, 751

Opening Hours: 10am-6pm
Closed on Mondays, January 1st, May 1st, Easter Sunday and December 25th

Admission Fee: General 5€/ Senior 2,50€ / Youth-card holders 2€

Free entrance on Sundays and Bank Holidays until 2pm

Oceanario | Lisbon

rays

How happy do those smiling rays look, cruising around in one of the biggest aquariums in Europe? The Lisbon Oceanarium is a bit out-of-the-way, but the 15-minute-ish metro ride from the city centre is well worth the effort. With several sections representing 5 different seas’ habitats, the range of species to examine is impressive.

tropical fish aquarium
seahorse + aquarium watching

When you first come in you’re met with the giant indoor aquarium that shelters sharks, majestic rays and plenty of schools. Keep an eye for the lonely sunfish, a rarety in captivity as it is a difficult one to take care of. I am not going to lie, I still haven’t figured out how it manages to move forward with its tiny fins awkwardly placed on its giant body.

tropical fish
clownfish

But the real main attraction of this aquarium is the presence of two very playful sea otters. I couldn’t for the life of me capture them in picture as they seemed to be in the middle of an intense game of hide-and-seek, you’ll have to trust my words now when I tell you they were one of the cutest things I have ever seen.

orange tropical fish + sea anemones
blue tropical fish

Other highlights of the place for me were the puffins who looked like they were holding a very important conference, and some extremely sassy pink tropical fish that were jazzing up the dark tanks.

puffin conference
pink tropical fish

Also, psychedelic jellyfish! Need I say more?

jellyfish quote

Practical Information

Oceanario de Lisboa
Esplanada D. Carlos I – Doca Dos Olivais
1990-005 Lisboa

http://www.oceanario.pt/

Metro: Oriente (when you get out of the station, go towards the Vasco de Gama shopping centre, go through it, you’ll be facing the sea front, the Oceanarium is on your right)
Bus: 5, 10, 19, 21, 28, 50, 68, 81, 82, 85

Opening Hours: 10am-8pm (summer) / 10am-7pm (winter)
Entrance: General 13€ / Seniors 11€ / <3 year old Free / <12 year old 11€
Additional charge for temporary exhibitions.