Europe,  Lisbon,  Portugal,  TDM,  Travel Journal

Lisbon (Portugal) #9: Convent of the Carmelites, Castle S. Jorge, Puppet Museum, Restaurant Ponto Final


Puppet Museum

This museum isn’t one of the best known/visited in the city but it’s something I like very much so I went there by myself. Entrance costs 5€ and there is a permanent exhibition and a temporary exhibition. I am told that the temporary exhibition is the one at Studio Aardman. What a surprise! I’ve been a fan of their work for years (I’ve watched Chicken Run, Creatures Comforts on a loop).

First I show you the permanent collection. They have a very complete collection of all types of puppets from around the world. First the shadow puppets.

Then puppets with threads, and even water puppets (those from Vietnam).

Creations of many artists are highlighted. They are made of different materials, different styles. There are even spaces where you can play with real puppets and create a show yourself. This is typically the kind of activity that will appeal to children.

glass puppets!
they don’t look very reassuring, they don’t seem to be

The last part highlights the stop-motion technique used in many films. We are shown the other side of the set, with food in miniature version (hyper realistic), and dozens of mouths and eyes to change for the character. This is my favorite part of the permanent collection.

You can create your own stop-motion film using the tablet provided

The Aardman Studios exhibition at the Puppet Museum

Then I come to see the Aardman Studios exhibition. What an emotion to see my favorite resin characters. These come from Creatures Comforts. If you don’t know this short film, watch it ASAP. It’s very very funny! They interviewed real people, and used their voices to associate with an animal. The result is hilarious. After winning many awards (including an Oscar), the success is such that this short film has been adapted into a series. The two characters in this photo are part of the series.

Chicken Run, a worldwide success, is no longer presented. We have here just a set, but looking at the little details, it’s super funny. For example, they have a dart game with the guy who comes to get the eggs every day as a target. Or, since they’re looking for an escape, there are two “how to dig” magazines hanging around the henhouse 😀 We also have in the henhouse a self-portrait drawn by a hen. It’s super super cute!

The exhibition also has models from Wallace & Gromit, which I never looked at though 🙂 The attention to detail is really remarkable.

Here too, we have a collection of mouths of a character

I really, really liked this museum. It’s not very well known and a bit off-center, but it’s worth it!

Restaurant Ponto Final

It is a very famous restaurant and a must-see in Lisbon. Atmosphere “end of the world”. Because you still have to go to a lot of trouble to get here. The ferry costs about 2€ (I don’t remember the exact amount) but it’s not very easy to buy the ticket already (ahhh it’s like that everywhere in Portugal, why make it simple when you can make it complicated). The automatic machine has probably not been tested by the UX pros (the user experience)

There’s a ferry every 20 minutes and it looks like this: It’s a ferry for those who live on the other side of the Tagus, it’s not a tourist ferry, hence the absence of the “tanning” area at the top of the boat.

from the quay, you can see Lisbon city center very well
as well as the bridge of April 25

And here is the restaurant! We arrive a little late, one Sunday, so all the tables are already taken. It is necessary to leave its name to the waiter and to wait. If the food isn’t worthy of a Michelin star, it’s still simple and good, there is a lot of choice if you like fish, and the portions are monstrous (for cheap, about 20€/person all included). It’s also an address I highly recommend if you have some time.


This afternoon, we decide to visit the two most visited paying monuments of the city: The St-Georges Castle & the Carmelite Convent

Convent of the Carmelites

I passed by, looking for a way to get to the top of the Santa Justa elevator without paying. This church intrigued me by its massive side and its lack of roof.

A large part of the church and convent was destroyed in a violent earthquake in 1755 (magnitude estimated at 9 degrees Richter). It was never rebuilt. This earthquake did, however, allow for a major new urban plan for the city, with wide arteries and identical buildings.

The model of the church

Now, only the vaults and the chapel at the back, very pretty, which has become the archeological museum, remain. Museum is a big word because the collection is tiny. We see there, among others, two mummies brought back from Peru and an Egyptian mummy. And scenes of the Christ in alabaster.

I like it very much, and I recommend the visit!

Saint-Georges Castle

The only good thing about this castle is its viewpoint. You can see the whole city, its beautiful bridge, the Trade Square, the convent etc.. But 10€ for that, it is really too much! The walk on its ramparts isn’t either unforgettable. If you have 10€ to lose, why not, otherwise go on your way!

Note: to get there, do not follow Google Maps directions to the castle, type Arco do Castelo instead to find the main entrance.

My new scarf, knitted by myself
There are a lot of peacocks here, be careful, some of them are hiding in the trees (an accident can happen so quickly, be careful with your heads)

Miradouro Sophia of Mello Breyner Andresen

This watchtower isn’t far from the castle. I find that it offers a panorama quite close to what can be seen from the castle.

You can also spot the tramway 12E not far from the castle, which passes by the viewpoint of Santa Luzia (I mentioned the tramway 12E here)

Sála de João Sá

A gastronomic address that I will recommend to everyone. Everything is of a delicacy! The restaurant is recently opened (since September 2018) and has nothing to envy to other starred restaurants. We opted for a 5 course menu + 1 dessert (42€/person).

Some dishes are presented like a vegetable garden, even the plates remind us of the main ingredient, we can see that the slightest piece of aromatic grass has been put there after long reflection. Go ahead!


Right next to this restaurant is a very cosy café/breakfast room/tea room. Here you can enjoy an excellent chocolate cake and smoothies to fall down. I highly recommend it!

Part 2: Practical Tips


  • Restaurant Ponto final: R. do Ginjal 72, Almada
  • Restaurant Sála de João Sá: Rua dos Bacalhoeiros 103, 1100-068 Lisboa
  • Coffee/Tea Room Basilio: Rua dos Bacalhoeiros 111, 1100-068 Lisboa
  • Puppet Museum : Rua da Esperança 146, 1200-660 Lisboa
  • Castle S. Jorge: type “arco do castelo” to find the main entrance (10€/ticket)
  • Convent of the Carmelites: Largo do Carmo, 1200-092 Lisboa
  • Just behind the Carmelite Convent, cross the terrace of the Bellalisa Elevador – Restaurante Panorâmico em Lisboa to reach a viewpoint

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