Natal at Gat Rossio

The Gat Rossio Hotel in Lisbon becomes an even more special place to be at Christmas, or Natal as it is known here. Our entrance comes alive with coloured lights, festive decorations sparkle in the hotel interior and Michael Bublé, the unquestionable king of Christmas crooning, is the star of our playlist. The team love to sing along to get in the holiday mood, and our guests feel like they never want to leave…

The city itself is also transformed during the festive season. Lisbon’s most emblematic squares are inundated with Christmas markets (find out more here: https://whereis.gatrooms.com/natal-in-lisbon-christmas-markets/) and there are plenty of seasonal activities to tempt you in the run-up to the holiday:

@dicasdelisboa

• How about seeing the Christmas lights being switched on first-hand on 24 November? The city will be lit up at 6 pm sharp, as will the 86,000 bulbs on the city Christmas tree.

@discoverwalks

• Head to Pedro IV square, more commonly known as Plaza Rossio, and enjoy the Christmas market and decorations. Don’t forget to indulge in a mouth-watering bolo rei (traditional sweet bread) from the legendary Confeitaria Nacional.

@portugalconfidential

• Enjoy ice skating to the rhythm of Christmas carols at the Wonderland Lisboa fairground while a crowd searches for gifts at the stalls selling local crafts and the air is filled with the sweet smell of hot chocolate. There will also be a rink at Praça do Comércio, so don’t miss out!

@lxfactory

• LX Factory is a fantastic ally for the colder winter days: warm up as you savour a comforting hot chocolate at Landeau Chocolate.

@cascaischristmasvillage

• Cascais Christmas Village converts the seaside town into a winter dreamland with a fairground, ice skating rink and Father Christmas even parades through the streets.
Over in Sintra, the Reino do Natal or “Christmas Kingdom” offers festive visitors a Christmas market, seasonal entertainment and historical views.

• Finally, make sure you check out the many choirs, carollers, concerts and shows that help bring Lisbon to life over the Christmas period!

A visit to Berlin is a musical journey

Berlin was the final destination of the international Lollapalooza festival, an annual 2-day event packed with music and fun that took place over the weekend of 7-8 September. During the summer, it had already travelled through the United States, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, France and Germany.

Among the international singers and groups performing at the event were this year’s young revelation Billie Eilish and the Grammy-winning duo, Twenty One Pilots.

With one of the festival’s two European events being held in Paris, it is no coincidence that the Lollapalooza organizers decided to stage the second in Berlin. While the German capital’s history has ensured it is well-known around the globe, it is also a major political, artistic, cultural and leisure hub that hosts one of the most important cinema festivals in the world, the Berlinale, which makes it an unmissable tour destination for international music stars.

It is precisely this, great music, that plays an essential role in Berlin: my time there was underscored with rhythm, not only thanks to the great performances at the festival held in the Olympic Stadium, but because the city itself IS music. It is impossible to wander the city streets without coming across an artist singing or playing an instrument, or watching improvised performances by small street dance groups.

However, I also came across great music beyond the festival and the streets as it was easy to find at Gat Point Charlie: eating breakfast while I listened to smooth jazz, sipping a drink after dinner while I watched projections of concert recordings on the wall, or even the background music in the hotel’s common areas.

The fact that great music follows you around all day in Berlin makes the city an even more fantastic place to be.

Mar Jiménez
Hotel Gat Point Charlie guest.

Discover Lisbon in a weekend

Welcome to our 2-day guide for discovering our favourite spots in Lisbon. If you are lucky enough to have more than a weekend in the city, make sure you take a look at our travel blog: https://whereis.gatrooms.com/

Day 1

Our adventure begins as we leave the Gat Rossio hotel in Baixa to discover the neighbourhood’s emblematic squares: Praça dos Restauradores, Praça do Rossio and Praça do Comércio. Make sure you get an early start to avoid queues at the Elevador de Santa Justa (Santa Justa lift).

@lisboando

Move on to Chiado and take a stroll down Rua Garett before making a pitstop at the famous A Brasileira café for their speciality: a delicious cup of “bica”, a Portuguese espresso.

@traveldailymedia

Make time to browse the shelves at Bertrand, which they say is the oldest bookstore in the world.

@10things

Are you a brunch lover? If so, Topo Bar is the place for enjoying good food and great views.

Later, delve into Portugal’s fascinating history in Bairro Alto. Visit the Museu da Farmácia (Pharmacy Museum), the MUHNAC (National Natural History and Science Museum) or the Museu de São Roque and its sacred art.

Admire the ruins of the Nossa Senhora do Vencimento do Monte do Carmo Church.

@cntraveler

End your afternoon wandering through Rua do Norte and Rua da Rosa. Have a drink at the Park bar before enjoying a night of authentic fado music in Tasca do Chico.

Day 2

Your Sunday morning is for the Alfama neighbourhood. Take a walk through Castelo de São Jorge (Saint George’s Castle) and relish the fabulous views from the Santa Lucía and Jardim do Recolhimento lookout points.

@lisboando

As you make your way down Rua de São Miguel, you will come across some well-guarded secrets, such as the Miradouro das Portas do Sol lookout. Make sure you also visit the legendary Lisbon Cathedral–Sé–or the Renaissance palace, Casa dos Bicos.

@suitecasemag

Finish your whistlestop tour of the city in Mouraria, which is making a comeback thanks to its narrow streets, alternative bars and restaurants and its vast number of fado music houses.

Discover Berlin in a weekend

We have challenged ourselves to create an exclusive 2-day Berlin itinerary for avid adventurers and culture seekers. Check out our suggestions for a fun-filled weekend that packs in the best sights and experiences the German capital has to offer.

Day 1

@Visitberlin

Start your Saturday under ground at the Berliner Unterwelten museum in the Mitte district as you explore a maze of bunkers and secret passageways that form part of the city’s rich history.


@waffly

Keep your energy up for the busy day ahead by making a pit stop at Waffly for one of the best waffles in the area!


@visitberlin

Head towards Prenzlauer Berg and visit the organic market on Kollwitzplatz. Make sure you pop into Kulturbraurei, Berlin’s “Culture Brewery”–their latest list of shows or screenings is bound to catch your eye.


@berlinfoodstories

Before leaving this district, which is one of the most bohemian parts of the city, we recommend a refreshing pre-lunch beer at the renowned Berliner Prater Garten.


@EricBieller

Curry 36 is perhaps the best place in Berlin for trying one of the city’s famous Currywurst sausage. Wander freely around the Friedichshain-Kreuzberg area in between visits to the Berlinische Galerie (Museum of Modern Art) and the Jüdisches (Jewish) Museum, or take a leisurely stroll around the Friedrichshain Volkspark public park.


@visitberlin
Make sure you time your adventures to allow you to watch the sun set over the double-deck Oberbaumbrücke bridge.

@cafeamneuensee

Enjoy dinner at the Café am Neuen See in the Tiergarten before an evening of old-school dancing at Ballhaus Berlin.


@jazzclubA-trane

If you are a jazz lover, make time to take in a jam session at A-Trane Jazz Club, held every Saturday starting at midnight.

Day 2


@visitberlin
Spend your morning exploring art galleries, enchanting bookstores or unusual bars in Berlin’s micro-neighbourhoods with an alternative vibe: Graefekiez, Rixdorf and Schillerkiez.


@visitberlin
In the afternoon, discover the delights of the Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf district. Begin at the uber-elegant Schloss Charlottenburg palace before making your way to the spectacular Deutsche Oper Berlin opera house


@visitberlin
The cherry on top of your trip lies in a visit to Teufelsberg, a former U.S. listening station set on a man-made hill. Get your camera ready!


@klunkerkranich
To round off your whirlwind weekend of discovery, raise a glass in farewell to the city at the magnificent Klunkerkranich bar.

The Gatrooms Hotels art galleries

Gatrooms, the chain behind the Gat Point Charlie Hotel in Berlin and the Gat Rossio Hotel in Lisbon, stands apart for being an integral part of the cultural offer in its home cities. It holds four exhibitions a year in each of the two hotels, among other events such as workshops and artistic performances.

This autumn, we have the privilege of exhibiting the work of well-known international artists who draw on internal reflection and use different techniques to push the boundaries of art. The exhibitions will run from September to November.

 

In Berlin, the “Picatsso” exhibition by Sol Felpeto.
See the vernissage pictures

Venezuela-born Sol Felpeto is a multicultural artist who, in her own words, “seeks to translate art into something immediately catchy, making a connection between the known and the new to create emotions”. In this respect, and in her desire to “rewrite history using animals”, Felpeto has adapted Picasso’s masterpieces using her unique Pop Artoons style, replacing the classic protagonists with cats.
https://www.solfelpeto.com/

 

In Lisbon, “The Art of (de)construction” by artist Marco Laborda.
See the vernissage pictures

Artist Marco Laborda hails from Barcelona and, as he himself explains, wears “several hats, all of which tilt towards art.” Fascinated with portraiture, collage is his main form of artistic expression, in which “he cuts and pastes vivid elements to produce portraits that are reminiscent of Francis Bacon’s disfigured characters or Francisco de Goya’s realistic portraits”.
http://marcolaborda.com/about/

 

The best thing about an art gallery being in a hotel is that it is open to the public every day of the week:
Gat Point Charlie Hotel: Mauerstraße 81-82, 10117 Berlin
Gat Rossio Hotel: R. do Jardim do Regedor 27-35, 1150-193 Lisbon.

 

Travel Smart in Lisbon: Chiado

@christophertriplife
Chiado is known as one of the most elegant, bohemian neighbourhoods in Lisbon. The ruins of the Convento do Carmo embody part of the area’s rich history, and the hum of its streets, such as Rua Garett–which is surrounded by countless theatres, museums and cafés–transmits its frenetic energy.
Chiado is just a short, easy ride from Praça dos Restauradores on the No.28 tram.

@Ray – www.101motivosparaviajar.com
If you need to fuel up for a busy day, A Brasileira is the perfect place for enjoying a bica.
Interesting fact: “Bica” is Lisbon slang for an espresso. Legend has it that this word came into being in this very café when its founder, Adriano Telles, put a sign on the door that said “Beba isto com açucar” (B. I. C. A) (drink this with sugar).

@PastelariaBernard – www.facebook.com/PastelariaBenard
To accompany a strong cup of coffee with a French-style croissant, make your way to Pastelaria Benard, but if a delicious, freshly baked local custard tart is what you’re craving, head over to Manteigaria.

@get10things.com
If you’re more of a brunch lover or fancy some petiscos (tapas) with great views over the city and the Santa Justa lift, Topo bar is the ideal place, both during the day and in the evening.
A visit to Chiado means opening yourself to new experiences that you couldn’t have anywhere else. Isn’t that what travelling is all about?
Let’s see if we can get your juices flowing with these two:

@visitportugal – www.visitportugal.com
Why not eat lunch at the restaurant at Palácio Chiado, a palace that dates back to 1781?

@cristinaconde – blog.bibliotech.education
Or how about sipping a coffee while you read a book at Bertrand, the oldest bookshop in the world? Fernando Pessoa was a regular here!
These are just a few of the exciting new experiences waiting for you to discover in one of the hottest areas in Lisbon.
Don’t forget to make the most of the infinite options for enjoying the city’s hectic nightlife too, such as a stop at Cinco Lounge, one of the first cocktail bars in the city, or indulging in the creations mixed at Toca da Raposa, another cosy, bijou cocktail venue.