Our friends from ImpacTrip Portugal have provided us with some first-hand insights about the best free-time activities that you can do during your time as a volunteer in Portugal. You’ll be surprised – they’re are not your typical day at the beach!
“If you are visiting Lisbon and want to experience something different and local, away from the main attractions with all the other tourists, then keep on reading. These fun things are all recommendations that some of ImpacTrip’s volunteers had experienced in their first weeks here Lisbon and that we are sure that no one is going to miss.
1. Salsa class with Radek
If you want to experience a fun night out, you should go salsa dancing with Radek. Radek is an ImpacTrip’s coordinator, that started as a volunteer and now is part of the team, and you can find him at our hostel, the Impact House. He likes to take the volunteers to salsa dancing on Tuesdays to Hawaii Bar located amongst the other bars at the Docas in Alcântara.
On tuesdays Hawaii turns into a flashback from a tropical summer night in the caribbean. The music is a mix of latin rhythm and african beats. The dance floor is packed with people synchronizing in sweat and salsa dancing. Don’t worry if you don’t know the steps, the person next to you will teach you. The atmosphere is vibrant and people keep dancing until 4 am! The best part? It’s only 3 euros to get in, and Radek is an amazing teacher!!
2. Car Park Rooftop Bar
When standing outside this concrete building which holds a carpark inside, you would never know there is a rooftop bar at the top.
Well, if you don’t read this article, you probably wouldn’t find this place without the help of a local, as it is really quite hidden.
You can choose to walk all the way up through the floors at the carpark, making the experience even more different, or you can also choose to take the elevator to the fifth floor and walk to the sixth. When you walk through the doors an oasis opens up for you! Among wooden furniture and green plants you will find yourself being quite mesmerized with this place. It has a lowkey atmosphere and a chill vibe! Outside you have the most amazing view over the city and the ponte 25 de abril (the golden gate bridge) and inside you have the house dj who plays a mix of house, african beats and all the newest hits, making sure the dance floor is full all night. Just try to find it yourself, let it be an experience and remember, if you are skeptical to go there you are going the right way.
3. The Doll Hospital
Have you ever thought about visiting a doll hospital?
We have a Doll Hospital just in midtown Lisbon.
The entrance is a little door between cafes, where you will find a small old traditional apartment, where a family had first started the business.
Inside, you will be given a small bookmark shaped like a doll, with some information before you are lead upstairs.
First, you will get into a room filled with broken dolls, which will seem a bit scary because they are missing an arm, leg or eye, but relax, because all the dolls are there to be fixed up. Yes, it is actually a doll HOSPITAL..
Then there’s the pharmacy room, with everything needed to restore the dolls you just saw, from arms, legs, hair, heads, eyes in small boxes, whatever they might need to restore the dolls.
Well, once restored the dolls go the current museum. There you can see restored dolls in all shapes and sizes and from different decades also. They also have a big collection of Barbie dolls even the first one ever made.
For sure a great place to discover in Lisbon.
4. Street Art Tour in Cascais
If you didn’t already plan Cascais into your Portugal trip, we would recommend that you do. There a several reasons why you should visit Cascais. One of them its because Cascais is the nicest little fisher town with amazing beaches and beautiful surroundings.
But the town also has something very special to offer. Instead of always visiting all the classic tourist attractions you should visit this amazing project called “Cascais By Art”
But before we can tell you about this project, we have to tell you a story about this really bad neighborhood called Bairro da Torre, where people were afraid to walk alone and the buildings were covered with racist and xenophobic messages. One day the young people in the neighborhood came together and decided to change the image of Bairro da Torre. They decided to paint the buildings with street art in bright colors with real messages and created an urban art gallery.
Because of that the neighborhood changed and became safe. A complete transformation!
After this “Cascais by Art” was born, as a tour to the Urban Art Gallery and to the neighborhood. All funds are used to improve the neighborhood.
When you arrive you are welcomed by your guide, a young man who are raised in the neighborhood and can tell you stories of transformation and overcoming obstacles.
And can it get better? Yes! You can have lunch with the community or join a graffiti workshop making this experience even better!”