The historic city of Lisbon is enjoying a new revival as one of the hottest destinations on every world traveller’s hit list. Seaside vibes, stunning weather and a deep appreciation for a great aesthetic make it an appealing choice for your #EuropeanSummer with cool factor.
Neighbourhoods of Note.
Bairro-Alto for daytime shopping, Baixa Chiado for nighttime bars. Avenida da Liberdade for very high end hotels and shopping. LX Factory for startup culture, cafes and art installations and Alfama for authentic old town with very narrow streets and Fado clubs for miles.
The Lumiares Tucked away neatly into an unassuming street, The Lumiares is a gorgeous surprise of a hotel with spectacular views from a rooftop, discerning style throughout and a cute-as-a-button day spa featuring a well edited treatment list.
Baixa House Just 13 apartments exist at Baixa House, an 18th century building that has undergone complete refurbishment for an authentic Portuguese feel, complete with handicrafts and its original wooden flooring. Wifi is free, breakfast is room-delivered.
9Hotel Mercy Designed in moody golds and blacks, with accents of velvet and silk this 4-star boutique hotel in the Bairro Alto punches well above its weight on the luxe front. Complete with a teensy rooftop bar and easy walking access to the best of the neighbourhood.
What to Eat.
The national pride dish are custard egg tarts, in a cup of perfectly flaky pastry. Good ones are worth their weight, as evidenced by lines around the block for some of the cult bakeries. Served warm, dusted in cinnamon and icing sugar.
Try it at: Antiga Confeitaria de Belem where only three people at one time are ever party to the secret recipe. Then take an easy stroll on to the World Heritage Listed Jerónimos Monastery and waterfront monument to Christopher Columbus.
The Portuguese have spent years mastering the seas and it shows in their cuisine. Of particular note is their sardine industry. These oily babies are packing vitamins and Omega 3s and can be found quite literally anywhere.
Try it at: Conserveira de Lisboa where rows of coloured tins are neatly stacked in Instagrammable displays... but also just the supermarket.
Who knew? Portugal boasts some pretty incredible Italian fare, and it’s taking off too. If you’ve had your fill of codfish and potatoes, turn your attention to the local Italian scene.
Try it at: There will be a line for dinner but don’t let that stop you. ZeroZero has excellent woodfired pizza and a beautiful terrace to enjoy it on.
Veggie Wave Juice Bicycle, LX Factory Where the juicers are bike-powered. Choose to throw a leg over and blend your own or let the buff staff take the handlebars on your behalf.
Comoba Veggie Cafe, Cais do Sodre Matcha, Beetroot Lattes, Zoodles and Macro Bowls are just some of the clean eating options to be found on the menu here.
The Mill, Bairro Alto So we’re biased. So what. This modern Australian-Portuguese cafe is churning out great espresso, chia porridge and a great smashed avo with a local Piri Piri twist.
Naked, Central Where the food is so clean it’s naked. Simple, straightforward and served with a smile, there’s a selection of juices, soups, sugar free ice pops and more. Adjacent to the Botanical Gardens if you feel like a stroll after.
Perched high on a hill with killer views, the Restaurant Pharmacia is a garden party of a bar is situated on the front lawn of the Pharmacy Museum and is a great option to while away an afternoon of sunshine.
Little Yoga Space This beautiful, airy studio offers Kundalini, Flow and Hatha for 10 students at at time. Book online to assure your spot.
Yoga Integral de Portugal Take the metro green line from downtown to Areeiro for €5 yoga classes.
A day running through underground tunnels, stone turrets and hidden staircases in the whimsical artist garden at Sintra is a day well spent.
Drinking Ginja cherry liqueur from tiny chocolate cups, best served right from the doorstep of a Portuguese home.