Bom Dia and Obrigado. The capital of Portugal has been hot for a while. Celebrities have moved here and the city is buzzing. Even though Madonna apparently left in 2020. But a lot of people are talking about Lisbon. Here a kind of trend overview of some cool things to do and see in Lisbon 2022.
This is not a proper travel guide. I am not doing a report introducing the city by saying that it is built on seven hills, just like Rome. My job as a trend hunter is to look at the city and see if there are cool things happening that are in par with trends internationally and to see if there are things that stand out uniquely.
I went to Lisbon for a long Easter holiday – Tuesday to Sunday. And it wasn’t my first time here. Has it been ten times now?
Lisbon is a steep city but easy to love. Especially this time. There was optimism in the air and shop staff as well as people at restaurants were very talkative. I guess it is a result of a cold Spring as well as the fact that we finally get to see some easier restrictions because of the pandemic. People were happy.
We can start by talking about this city from a art and museum perspective. During four days I had time to see three proper museums. Gulbenkian, MAAT and Museu do Chiado.
Brutalist building of Gulbenkian is located in a nice park. The museum is based on a private collection but have a contemporary side which was under renovation. It’s a museum gem but it really needs to update the way they present art and culture. Portugal used to have colonies and where is the perspective of that in the presentations? Regardless, it is nice to see but don’t spend too much time here.
By the river you have a museum focusing on art and technology called MAAT.
The building is designed by Amanda Levete and opened in 2016. This was my first time here. And I loved it. Don’t miss the rebuilt power plant next to the new building
The contemporary exhibition talked about the night – nightmares, dreams but also stars… Beautiful.
In the Lavete building they have a permanent pop up gallery inviting artists to talk about multicultural issues. Portugal have a huge heritage with people from all over the world. Until 1974 Portugal was a dictatory run country. They have a lot to talk about… So this is beautiful and needed.
Last museum stop was Museu do Chiado. A classical modern museum with permament collections and temporary things as well. Always worth a stop.
On a different note. Lisbon have a good design museum but it was under renovation this time.
But let’s continue to an area to watch out for when you go to Lisbon. Like every city there are always certain areas that tend to get hip, hot and happening. Sometimes they last and sometimes they kind of boom and disappear after a while.
My new find is area of Sao Bento or exactly Rua Poiais de Sao Bento. Or as they try to brand it “the yellow street” since the yellow tram pass these narrow streets.
One of the main drivers for this area is Kintu Studio. They try to make small studios establish here, and also drive events. This whole area was suuuuuuuuuuper nice. You can basically almost see how this area will explode with hipsters in 6 months but for now – it is all genuine, small scale and lovely.
The area have been running for about 6-8 months so it is really new.
And there is of course food and drinks in this area as well.
If I fell in love with Sao Bento – then that is nothing what I felt when I walked into new shop Depozito.
Really a bit off the beaten track but soooooo worth going. I said on Instagram that this must be the best concept store in Europe now. Really.
Founded by the people behind A Vida Portuguesa (which is still running). This store only have stuff made by local craftspeople. Both traditional and contemporary design. So nice.
At the entrance of the warehouse. Old posters that can be ordered as reproductions.
Open, airy and light.
Full score. Loved this.
Continuing on shopping and retail. If there is one thing that stands out in Lisbon, it is their love and fascination for old brands. I like it. It gives it a story, connection to the place and makes you think about the things you have at home. Or have neglected.
The whole concept around A Vida Portuguesa is basically this. Here you find old toothpaste, soaps etc.
And of course a picture from A Vida Portuguesa.
But the whole of Lisbon is FULL of genuine original stores. Here a store where you buy candels over the counter. If you are interested in retail, take time to just stop by these stores. And they are superfriendly.
Last section for today. I want to include two DON’TS in my report from Lisbon. You really don’t have to do Bairro Alto and you really don’t have to do LX Factory.
Bairro Alto – I remember the first time I got to this city. And this neightbourhood – especially at night – was lively, openminded, generous, fun and flirty. Not any more. At all. In Sweden we have “Finlandsfärja”, and it is like everyone here is 22 and out to get drunk and fight. Make love – not war.
I am sure LX Factory was cool at some point. It is an old industrial, factory site with lots of bars and some shops with knick-knack. I had the same feeling when I went to Reffen in Copenhagen. When an area like this is filled with 60-70 plus old people and families with babystrollers – this is too gentrified. It is not alternative or creative any longer. Just very, very commercial.
Everyone has already been here. If you go here, you will experience nothing new. Just get the same burgers and beer as everywhere else. Go to Sao Bento instead.