Lisbon, Portugal has become one of the coolest and most talked about destinations over the last years. I have been travelling here since 1997 and here are some updates on a wonderful city.
I have been in Lisbon around ten times since the late 90s. I fell in love with a rough gem, a city with lots of quirky alleys, beautiful houses, withdrawn Portuguese men and lots and lots of history. It was wonderful 1997 and still is 2018.
This will be an update for 2018. Use this to get the best and trendiest of Lisbon this season. I will start by giving a longer text here and you can look at pictures further below.
Lisbon is a great city for just strolloing. You actually don’t need a plan. You can just put a pair of comfy shoes on and discover the city slowly. The city is built on seven hills, just like Rome and of course there are busier areas but the whole city is worth discovering. But walking is enough. Rest a lot. Drink lots of cold wine or strong coffee. Take your time.
When I book hotel, I tend to stay at Chiado or Bairro Alto, but these are just my preferences. I have lived up by the park and also in Rossio. I tend to hang out most in Chiado or Bairro Alto but the whole city is nice.
My museum or sight must-sees.
- Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology
- Museum of Contemporary Art in Belem
- Monastery of Jeronimos
- Museum of Contemporary Art
- Museum of Tiles
- When it comes to shopping Lisbon have some really good stores. In this city I look for ceramics, cork (!), soap and now and then some Portuguese brands with a sense of fashion. Again, let yourself be surprised. Like when I stumbled upon this store that sells a combo of shoes and wine. With every pair of shoes, you will get a bottle of wine. Totally innovative. Also Lisbon has a store which I list as “one of the best stores in the world” – A Vida Portuguesa. So here is my list of shops you must see.
A Vida Portuguesa – today, the people behind this store, have at least four shops in the city. All with the same content. Basically it is lifestyle objects but in “olden style”. Sort of like German Manufactum or D & Department in Japan. Love.
Claus Porto – this classical soap brand is found all over the city (also at A Vida Portuguesa) but they have one concept store with only their own brand.
- Loja das Conservas – a concept store with only canned fish. Lovely staff. You can get classical sardines or matured stuff. Fun and colourful.
Vista Alegre – the Portuguese fancy brand have everything from crystal to tableware made by Jaime Hayon and Christian Lacroix to classical pottery by Bardallo Pinheiro. And not very expensice. Worth a stop.
There are plenty of small designer shops near Principe Real and of course the whole of Bairro Alto. Some new stuff, some vintage, some really touristic and some authentic. These kind of stores open and close pretty frequent. By the time you finished reading this, the store have changed ownership or name, so just browse by walking. You will surely find something fun.
Eating. Like all other cities in most part of the world, eating has become more and more important. Just as in 1997 you can still find proper authentic Portuguese food. Look for diner-like places with flourscent lighting. Food and drinks are rustic and really really affordable, 2018 there are of course a handful of trendy places too. Some of the best food I’ve had this year comes from this trip. So here is a short list of food suggestions.
Museo do Azulejos – really a very nice restaurant for lunch.
A Cevicheria – so this is the place where I had some of the best food in a long time. Difficult to get a table but there is kind of lika a kiosk on the side. Order amazing ceviche as street food. Not cheap. Really. But perhaps the best food I had this year.
Pharmacia – the museum of Pharmacy has a gorgeous restaurant and a nice patio with a view.
The Insulito – fancy place. nice view.
Minibar – run by celebrity chef Jose Avillez
Local – cool concept. A table with room for ten people, four chefs and amazing food. Small, intimate and innovative.
Time Out Market – someone in our group called this place “fashion” and it is busy, loud and a bit fashionable. You order food at a food stall and sit in a market place. Relaxed.
Barrio do Avillez – Celebrity chef Avillez has build a whole block with different restaurants. Super busy and super casual.
Le Consulat – since established Bairro Alto Hotel is under renovation go here for people watching and drinks.
Verride – super luxarious hotel opened in January this year and has a bar with the best view of the city. They will ask you for a cover of 5 euro to get in – but you get a voucher to drink for. Worth it.
LostIn – looking for the opposite of luxarious – go for youth hostel Lost In with a lovely courtyard and beautiful sunset view. No cover charge. 🙂
So. That was an overview of the city. Now lets look as some pictures and get inspirerd.
Casual hotel in Bairro Alto.
Lisbon have a long history of innovative street art.
Beautiful patinated tiles.
I just love the lanterns at these houses in Lisbon.
A colourful city
And also very white partially
Strolling the parks around Gulbenkian.
So food then. Here Local as mentioned above.
Fancy new bar Verride
More bars with a view. Insalato.
Relaxed and colourful at LostIn.
Great cocktails at Le Consulat
Food and drinks at Time Out Market.
Celebrity chef Jose Avillez and hos restaurant block.
Same chef behind this place called Minibar.
Totally amazing food at A Chevice.
Comfy and nice at the Pharmacy museum.
Besides mentioned places above, this city is full of wonderful places like this the 1908 Hotel.
And extremely relaxed places on bean bags. Atalho Real.
And shopping. Here pictures from A Vida Portuguesa.
The concept store with only canned food. Lojas das Conservas.
Portuguese soap by Claus Porto.
And finally some cool ceramics by Bordallo Pinheiro at Vista Alegre.