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A tall obelisk measuring 30 meters (about 100 feet) was placed at the center of this square in 1886. It’s a square mostly frequented by tourists who look for the tourism office in the beautiful Foz Palace or head to Hard Rock Cafe. Others stop for an ice cream at Veneziana or sit on the terrace of Pinóquio restaurant. The former Eden Theatre with its Art Deco façade is now a hotel and there are still two other large hotels, the historic Avenida Palace and the more modern Altis Avenida.


Known for its undulating cobblestone patterns first created in 1848, this square has the official name of Dom Pedro IV but everyone knows it as Rossio. It was one of the first spaces to be decorated with this type of pavement which has become so emblematic of Portugal. On the north side is the National Theater D. Maria II and two monumental fountains are at the center. The historic cafés Nicola and Suiça also survive with their terraces attracting tourists, as does the curious Chapelaria Azevedo Rua. Overlooking it all are Hotel Metropole and the Internacional Design Hotel.


It’s Western Europe’s largest royal square (the second largest in the continent after St. Petersburg’s Palace Square), created after the 1755 earthquake. The arcades that surround it were once home to government offices for many years but are now mainly occupied by cafes and restaurants. The most famous of those is Martinho da Arcada, the oldest café in the city and a favorite of poet Fernando Pessoa.

On the north side is a triumphal arch and to the south are two turrets facing the Tagus. This was the noble gateway to Lisbon where heads of state disembarked, and the marble steps of the pier are now usually occupied by tourists who sit admiring the scenery.
At the center of the square is a bronze equestrian statue of King José I unveiled in 1775.
The city’s history is told at the Lisboa Story Centre in the east wing, which also offers cafés that allow you to relax with the river as a backdrop (Can the Can, Populi and Museu da Cerveja). On the opposite side, Aura Lounge and Chefe Cordeiro are the highlights.


This square is where the old center meets the modern city. In the middle is a monument erected in 1934 to honor the Marquis of Pombal, the statesman responsible for the rebuilding of Lisbon’s downtown after the 1755 earthquake. His image stands at the top of a pedestal, facing his creation towards the river. Hotels and offices surround the square, while Edward VII Park is seen to the north and Avenida da Liberdade to the south. Worth visiting: the art exhibitions of BES Arte e Finança gallery.


Currently serving mostly as a tram terminal, as an underground car park and skate park, this square was once the city’s main marketplace. A covered market built in 1885 was demolished in the 1950s and later a bronze equestrian statue of King John I was erected in its place.
The four-story buildings (many of them in need of renovation) are occupied by hotels and cafes, with the Confeitaria Nacional being an essential stop. The biggest curiosity is the lovely Doll Hospital while the more recent resident is the Beautique Hotel.


This square dedicated to Luis de Camões has a monument at the center with an image of the poet dating from 1867. Behind it is an 18th-century building now housing the Brazilian consulate, while on the south side is one of Lisbon’s most emblematic hotels, the Bairro Alto Hotel (worth entering to enjoy a beautiful view of the city from the rooftop bar). You’ll also find a Padaria Portuguesa, a branch of the local chain of bakeries known for its delicious “Pão de Deus” pastry. Alternatively, there’s the kiosk serving refreshments in the open air.


This jacaranda-filled square is home to the ruins of Carmo Convent. Built in the 14th century, the monument was partially destroyed in the earthquake of 1755 and today is an archaeological museum. To its left is the headquarters of the National Guard where prime minister Marcelo Caetano took refuge during the 1974 revolution, leading the government to surrender on this spot. To the right is a gate leading to the Santa Justa Elevator. It was also here that the first Portuguese university was founded in 1290, where now stands the Valadares Palace descending Calçada do Sacramento.

In front of the convent is a drinking fountain from 1771 which provided water from the Águas Livres Aqueduct. Today it’s surrounded by café terraces, and mostly recommended is Chá do Carmo for a tea break and a visit to the beautiful Sapataria do Carmo shoe store.
On the northwest corner of the square is the Lisboa Carmo Hotel.


The monarchy came to an end and a new republic was proclaimed on this square on October 5th, 1910. It’s now where official celebrations recalling that date take place every year. At the center is a 10m-high pillory made of marble after the 1755 earthquake, replacing the one that existed previously. The five steps at its base are now used by tourists who stop to relax and admire the cobblestone pavement and the municipal palace. Next to that building is the former St. Julien Church, today the Money Museum.
To admire it all, sit at the tables of the kiosk café.


Named after the theater built here in 1793, this square is also known for being the birthplace of poet Fernando Pessoa. Two of the city’s best restaurants (Belcanto and Largo) face the theater, as do a Marc by Marc Jacobs and Godiva store.

The tables on the terrace are those of Café Lisboa of celebrity chef José Avillez.
For several weeks during the summer the square hosts outdoor concerts.


It’s been a sad case of neglect over the last few years but there are currently signs of a rebirth.

The Cais do Sodré district has been revived through new bars and restaurants, and a good choice for petiscos (“tapas”) is Taberna Tosca which faces the square and its 18th-century church. This is a square with a beautiful symmetrical harmony but unfortunately many of the buildings that surround it are abandoned.
A beautiful old kiosk serves refreshments throughout the day.

Source: Lisbon Lux





In Lisbon you’ll find all of the shops of top-quality “Made in Portugal” labels, created around the country or in the capital itself. Here are ten of the best.


A beautiful mansion from the 1800s is now a showcase of local creativity, dividing rooms into spaces dedicated to the work of Portuguese designers. It’s worth a visit not just for the unique quality products presented over two floors, but also for the building itself.


Not only is this one of Lisbon's most beautiful shops, it also offers some of the most genuine products in the city. Some of them were near extinction before they once again became must-have items such as the Ach Brito soaps and fragrances. A second, more recent space also offers homeware.


Producing quality porcelain since 1824, this brand is now synonymous with sophistication, luxury and good taste. It’s one of the world’s largest ceramics brands, and international recognition has included several awards and the privilege of having decorated some of the grandest homes in the world, from royal palaces in Europe to the White House.


Portugal is the world’s largest producer of cork, a natural and eco-friendly material. At this shop you’ll see how it can be used in virtually anything, from handbags to home décor. It’s all about innovative fashion and home design “made in Portugal.”


An image of a Pelcor cork umbrella was on display around New York, advertising an exhibition of Portuguese design at the MoMA. That brought even more attention to the Portuguese brand’s innovative and eco-friendly products, mostly fashion accessories and footwear. You’ll find them hidden in a store downtown, not far from the cathedral.


Founded in 1994, it’s become one of the most international Portuguese companies. It targets the youth market through innovation and design, and is now more than a footwear brand, having also introduced fashion and accessories.


Portuguese shoes are exported worldwide as quality products, and you’ll find many examples in regularly-changing collections at this store in Chiado, including some exclusive pieces by Portuguese designers.


Yes, the name is misleading: This really is a Portuguese brand. The designers who created each piece are really from Portugal and their award-winning pieces (distinguished for design and innovation) — footwear for men, women and children — are exported internationally. The first Cubanas store is found in the center of Lisbon, in Chiado.


It’s close to half-a-century old and has over a hundred stores around the world. It offers quality design fashion and accessories at several branches around the city, with the most central being in Chiado and by Avenida da Liberdade.


Using high-quality materials, everything of the Cutipol brand is manufactured in Portugal. It’s exported to dozens of countries around the world and is sought after not just for the quality but also for the design of each piece which has led to a distinction by the International Academy of Gastronomy with the Prix de l’Art de la Table.

Source: Lisbon Lux





It’s inspired by Roman mosaics, but the traditional Portuguese cobblestone pavement developed in Lisbon during the city’s post-1755-earthquake reconstruction. It all started with Rossio Square’s wave-like patterns, and soon spread all over the capital, to other cities in Portugal, to Brazil, Macau and other colonies. Here are ten of the most outstanding examples in Lisbon today.

1 | "Amália" - Rua de São Tomé

Alfama, Lisbon

This tribute to fado singer Amalia Rodrigues is found in Alfama, where Rua de São Tomé meets Calçada do Menino de Deus. Amalia's face descending a wall towards the ground is a creation of street artist Vhils, and was unveiled in 2015.

2 | Rossio

Rossio, Lisboa
Rossio square, Lisbon

Dom Pedro IV Square (best known as Rossio) is where Portugal’s traditional cobblestone pavements were born. Its famous wave pattern (named “Wide Ocean”) dates from 1849 and is now also one of Rio de Janeiro’s trademarks.

3 | Avenida da Liberdade

Avenida da Liberdade
Restauradores square

Many of the most beautiful examples of cobblestone designs are seen down Avenida da Liberdade, which features abstract and floral designs going from Restauradores Square (with its pattern designed by painter João Abel Manta) to Marquês do Pombal Square.

4 | Padrão dos Descobrimentos

Padrão dos descobrimentos, Lisboa
Belém, Lisbon

The mosaic next to the Discoveries Monument, with its map of the world inside a compass rose indicating the routes of the Portuguese explorers, is surrounded by the “Wide Ocean” cobblestone design similar to that of Rossio.

5 | Parque das Nações

Oceanarium in Lisbon

Even in its most modern district, Lisbon did not forget its traditional pavements, although it has innovated in the designs. They’re still inspired by the oceans, with some extraordinary examples next to the Oceanarium, depicting sea monsters. Other maritime motifs cover the central walkway of Alameda dos Oceanos.

6 | Praça do Império

Jerónimos Monastery Lisbon

The large square across from the Jeronimos Monastery was designed in 1940 and completely paved in cobblestone. It chose some curious motifs -- the signs of the Zodiac and the armillary sphere.

7 | Praça do Marquês de Pombal

Marquês de Pombal, Lisboa

The monument to the Marquis of Pombal, at the center of a roundabout, is surrounded by cobblestone pavement, designed with Lisbon’s arms -- two crows perched on a caravel.

8 | Praça Luís de Camões

Luís de Camões, Lisbon

Mermaids and ships surround the pedestal of the monument to Luis Vaz de Camões, recalling "The Lusiads," the poet’s great epic.

9 | Largo do Chiado

Cafe in Lisbon
QR Code lisbon

The pavement by the city’s most famous cafe ("A Brasileira") has an abstract pattern and dates from the 1950s. A little further down, by the terrace of the Benard cafe, is a 1-square-meter QR code made of cobblestone, to provide tourist information about the neighborhood on your smartphone.

10 | Praça do Município

Pavement in Lisbon

The paving of this beautiful square dates back to 1997, and the design is by painter Eduardo Nery. The artist wanted to create a geometric pattern that would resemble a carpet, through the use of triangles and rectangles.

Source: LisbonLux


Trendy Lisbon - The 10 Hot Spots Right Now


Trendy Lisbon - The 10 Hot Spots Right Now


Principe Real is currently the hottest neighborhood in Lisbon. It’s where more and more independent boutiques are opening, and where you find the monumental Embaixada and Entre Tanto concept stores. It also has some of the trendiest spots for a drink or meal at any time of the day, such as the Lost In terrace, O Prego da Peixaria, A Cevicheria, or the cafés and restaurants in and around Praça das Flores. At night, the best cocktails are at Cinco Lounge.


Chiado has always been Lisbon’s main shopping district, today mixing independent stores and international chains, especially on the streets of Carmo and Garrett, and at the Armazéns do Chiado mall. But today it’s also the city’s meeting point, at cafés like Fábulas, Royale or Kaffeehaus, at the ice cream shop Santini, or at Nut'Chiado. It also has the best restaurants in town, such as Belcanto or Largo on Largo de São Carlos, Sea Me and several down Rua Duques de Bragrança, such as Cantinho do Avillez, Pizzaria Lisboa and U Chiado. It’s also home to the best rooftop bars, like Entretanto, Terrace and Silk Club.


Who would have imagined that an abandoned industrial space outside the heart of the city would become one of the places to be in Lisbon? It was first taken over by small businesses and creative professionals, then came the shops and cafés, and even a small market on Sundays. Now many pass by in the evening, stepping into the curious bookshop Ler Devagar or into Landeau for its mouthwatering chocolate cake. Later at night, it’s time for dinner at 1300 Taberna, a Praça or Moules & Wine, and on weekends the day ends at Faktory Club.


Throughout most of its 500-year history, this neighborhood has maintained a certain bohemian and alternative atmosphere. Starting on Largo do Camões and entering Rua do Norte, this is where the night owls roam the streets looking for the perfect bar and restaurant. On Rua do Norte, many stay for dinner at the restaurants Blend, Cervejaria do Bairro, or Esperança, while others enjoy a glass of wine at Grapes & Bites. Those who turn towards Rua das Salgadeiras admire the Cork & Co. shop, get together by the door of the Purex bar, or by Maria Caxuxa around the corner on Rua da Barroca. Others still pass by Rua do Diário de Notícias, then go down the hill towards the Park bar, while others choose to move up towards the São Pedro de Alcântara terrace for the views or for dinner at The Decadente or The Insólito.


The former red light district now competes with Bairro Alto as the main nightlife destination. Rua Nova do Carvalho (now also known as Pink Street for the color of the pavement) mixes crowds of all ages and backgrounds, on the terraces or inside the bar Pensão Amor. During the day everyone gravitates towards the waterfront, at Ribeira das Naus or at the former warehouses, such as the bar Vestígius. At any time of the day, the food court of the Ribeira Market is always packed. For dinner, the choices usually are Casa de Pasto, Duplex or las Ficheras.


On the site of the future Lisbon cruise terminal, by Santa Apolónia station, is a group of old warehouses that are now some of the most popular spots in town. That’s where you’ll find the trendy Bica do Sapato restaurant and the Lux club, while during the day many choose the restaurants Cais da Pedra and Casanova, or the Deli Delux café.


Lisbon’s luxury shopping boulevard also offers several kiosks for light meals or drinks at any time of the day. Past some of the best local jewelry and shoe stores, many eventually turn to Rua Barata Salgueiro which crosses the avenue, for lunch or dinner at the trendy restaurants Guilty or SushiCafé Avenida. For a coffee break, there's the Delta Q cafe. During the summer, many end the day overlooking Lisbon from the terrace of Sky Bar.


The Santa Catarina terrace attracts all kinds of people for the view of the port of Lisbon and for the sunset, but also for the Noobai café that mixes young locals and tourists staying at the hostels nearby. Others prefer the Pharmácia restaurant, for a meal or cocktails.


It may be a bit touristy, but the Santo Amaro dock (or simply “the docks”) also attracts many locals, for the pizzas at Capricciosa or for ice cream at Artisani. The terraces facing the marina and 25 de Abril Bridge create the perfect cosmopolitan spot for the afternoon or night.

10 | BICA

Across from Bairro Alto by the landmark Bica funicular is a concentration of bars that attracts large crowds on weekends. Of the various spots found down Rua da Bica Duarte Belo, the most popular is the Bicaense bar, and a little further down the hill is the popular Estrela da Bica for dinner.

Source: LisbonLux






This elaborate, gilded jewelry store seems to have come straight out of a royal palace, decorated in the style of Louis XV. A selection of silver and golden jewels actually looks like part of the décor.


This wood-covered shop is decorated with the candles of various shapes, sizes, and colors that it sells since 1789.


Organizing Portugal’s traditional products (some of which had been long-forgotten) under one roof since 2004, this shop presents a series of wooden cabinets filled with attractive retro packagings that create an atmospheric world of nostalgia.


Quite possibly the world’s smallest shop, Luvaria Ulisses is an Art Deco gem. The specialty is hand-made leather gloves which it displays on the attractive façade.


It’s easy to mistake this for an ethnographic museum, but it’s a 12th-century stable that now carefully presents the arts and crafts from around Portugal. The country’s cultural heritage is displayed on the former stone mangers under graceful brick-and-stone arches, with individually-lit pieces standing on an uneven stone surface.


Pick up an appetizing box of biscuits or pastries at this confectionery shop to admire its mirrored ceiling, marble counter, and wooden staircase, all dating from 1829.


Opened in 1886, this shop still features the original wooden cabinets where berets and all other kinds of hats are displayed. It looks like a stage for a Victorian or Belle Epoque production, complete with a display of canes.


This is just one of more than a handful of beautiful 19th-century pharmacies in Lisbon. This one opened in 1837 (when it manufactored the first sterilized products in the country) and is one of the best-preserved shops of that time in the city. It was renovated in 2005, maintaining the ornate stucco ceiling, dark wood cabinets, and an attractive bronze lamp. The back used to be a laboratory and is now part of the shop, with a large mirror reflecting the surrounding elegance.
Similar interiors are found just a few steps away, at Farmácia Barreto (Rua do Loreto, 24-30) and Farmácia Durão (Rua Garrett, 90-92).


Even if you’re not a fan of fish, it’s hard to resist buying a can of tuna, sardines, or squid in a variety of sauces at this charming shop. Its old-fashioned interior is quite colorful thanks to the different vintage-designed packaged goods that cover the walls on wooden shelves. The museum feel is enhanced when you look at the decades-old cash register and at the 80-year-old signs.


When it opened in 1936, this was one of Lisbon’s most popular shops thanks to its Brazilian coffee sold by the kilo. It remains a charming attraction today, thanks to its Art Deco façade and mirrored decades-old interior which still features the old grinding machine.

Source: Lisbonlux





Mercado da Ribeira (also known as Mercado 24 de Julho) is Lisbon's main food market since 1892, when it opened with an iron interior and a large oriental dome. In 2014 it was taken over by Time Out Lisboa magazine, whose management added stalls offering food and traditional local products. 

  • WHERE: Avenida 24 de Julho - Cais do Sodré 
  • GETTING THERE:  Metro - Cais do Sodré 


The Traditional Market

The traditional stalls selling fresh produce are found on the ground floor and are open from 6AM to 2PM.

The Food Court

The food court, with canteen-style communal tables, opened in May of 2014 and has become a major food destination. It’s on the western side of the building on the ground floor, and opens every day from 10AM to midnight from Sunday to Wednesday and from 10AM to 2AM from Thursday to Saturday. 
It mixes stalls from top chefs with different brands of local products, and the foods range from seafood to steak sandwiches, hamburgers, sushi and ice cream, among other specialties. 
The drink stalls are in the center.


The upper floor opened in the summer of 2015 and includes a concert hall with a capacity for 350 (seated) or 650 (standing), a gallery, and an information desk by Time Out Lisboa magazine.


Outside, on the western side facing Dom Luis I Square, is a kiosk cafe in the garden, and a terrace with 250 seats.

Source: Lisbonlux


Ten reasons to go to a festival in Lisbon


Ten reasons to go to a festival in Lisbon

Sure, going to a festival abroad is great fun, but what if you want an actual holiday out of your trip as well? Maybe you want to sample some local cuisine (and booze) alongside all that cutting-edge music. Perhaps you even want a bit of sightseeing – gasp – to go with all the unique sights you'll encounter a festival?

Our advice is to head to the charming, lively Portuguese city of Lisbon: not only can you hit the excellent NOS Alive event to get your music fix, but you can also soak up loads of culture, art and – yes – local liquor. Keep reading to find out what Lisbon has to offer alongside the festival experience.

Ten great things about Lisbon

1. It’s one of Europe’s coolest cities

Music Festival in Lisbon

And that’s not just because of the wind whistling off the Atlantic. Lisbon is an ancient and beautiful capital, with inspiring architecture incorporating Roman, Moorish and late-Gothic influences, tasty local delicacies and a musical tradition rooted in the plaintive songcraft of Fado (head to Lisbon’s Museo do Fado to learn more about it, and Tasca do Chico bar after-hours if you want to hear it). But, more than that, it’s a pretty good place to go wild over a weekend, with more late-night bars and trendy Portuguese knocking about that you can shake a custard tart at. NOS Alive festival takes place in July, on a patch of coastline just minutes down the road from the city’s Belém district – and there are plenty of reasons you should consider spending your festival weekend in Lisbon.

2. It’s all very civilised

As you’d expect, Julius Caesar had a hand in building the city. Now, Lisbon’s shiny, cobbled streets, and motley assortment of colourful houses jutting out of the hillsides make it a singularly fascinating place to hang out. You can stay at the super-snazzy Independente hostel (with a killer roof terrace for drinks and dinner) in the fashionable Bairro Alto district, soaking up the view down the shoreline. Then catch the train to Alges station, nearest to the NOS Alive site, perhaps stopping on the way to soak up the Manueline architectural style of the sixteenth century Monastery of Jerónimos, or catching sight of the famous Torre de Belém – a Manueline tower at the gateway to Lisbon, and a dead-ringer for the sort of fuck-off oceanside fortification you'd find in ‘Game of Thrones’. The Monastery is free to walk around and the tower is open most days except Mondays.

3. And the pastel de nata are unmissable

A world away from a Nando’s dessert, these sweet little custard tarts are topped with icing sugar and cinnamon. Join the queue at the legendary Pastéis de Belém shop nearby to the Monastery and grab one (or eight) to take away.

4. Just going to lunch is a festival of sorts

The Time Out Mercado da Ribeira has solved two problems for Lisboans. One: what to do with their once grand former fish market. And two: where to eat the best of the city’s dishes all in one place. Step inside the main hall and you’re confronted with rows of traders on three sides, each serving a short menu of delicious Portuguese specialities. We’re not saying festival grub isn’t tasty, just that you’d struggle to find a better food market the world over! It's open until midnight every night.

5. After the music, there’s… music

A city centre festival has all the advantages of not taking place in a muddy field/phone reception black hole – with the only slight disadvantage being that you can’t rave until 5am, bothering no-one but nearby cows. But never fear, Lisbon nightlife is late enough and loud enough to satisfy Lionel Richie, and whoever else wants to go all night long. Try Park bar, occupying the top two levels of the multi-storey car park on Calçada do Combro, for cocktails and dancing, or try your luck at getting into John Malkovich’s nightclub, Lux. It’s worth taking someone Portuguese with you, though. Entry rates for out-of-owners can go through the roof. But then, you’d rather be dancing with João from Chiado than Jeremy from Chester wouldn’t you?

6. And there’s always the beach

You might have 99 problems at a festival, but in Lisbon, a beach ain't one. When you’ve reached musical saturation point, take the 20-minute drive out of town to Praia do Guincho, which is windy but gorgeous, and chill out on the sand.

7. You get to leave the wellies at home

It might mess up your ‘boho chic’ festival look, but you won't need your mud-repelling galoshes in Lisbon. You will need your sunnies, though. The city is bathed in sunshine through the summer months, with those shiny cobbles giving the city centre an enviable glow. Plus, you can keep the walking to a minimum. Lisbon's trams are among its most famous tourist attractions, with quaint funicular railways giving lifts to the top of steep hills for just a few Euros, and the (often tourist-packed) number 28 tram zipping up and down the lanes of the prettiest locales around Bairro Alto and Alfama. Hop aboard, and save your soles for dancing.

8. It’s where you’ll find your cherry amor

Lisbon's tipple of choice is ginjinha – a sweet liquor made using ginja berries (sour cherries). Tasting a bit like kirsch, you can pick up a healthy glassful from tiny streetside bar A Ginjinha, near to Dom Pedro IV square. And by 'healthy' I mean, 'massively capable of getting you pissed'.

9. And where culture carries on

Also in Belém you'll find the Berardo Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art – Lisbon's answer to Tate Modern. It's a stocky, waterside fort, packed with important pieces. Not just a place to ogle Picassos and Warhols, it's the sort of air-conditioned institution worth chilling out in for a few hours, away from the crowds.

10. Finally, it’s got great festivals

The NOS Alive line-up this year features festival must-sees Alt-J, Metronomy, Django Django, James Blake, Jessie Ware and Disclosure, alongside big-hitters Muse and Mumford and Sons. Compact and pretty (the site edge runs along the coastline, with the masts of local boats visible over revellers' heads), it's an easy-going event, catering to fans of music, comedy and raving alike. There are few cities in the world where you'll find ancient grandeur and bang-up-to-date beats coexisting, making Lisbon a good option for anyone who fancies themselves a classy festivalgoer– or who at least wants to pretend they are for a weekend.

Source: Timeout






Lisbon is cool because it’s not interested in fitting in. It’s a breath of fresh air in a globalized world, a place that doesn’t compromise its simple authentic pleasures while managing to embrace what’s new in the global village.


A mural by Rossio Square states that Lisbon is “the city of tolerance.” That’s a reminder of when the city was one of very few places on Earth where the three major religions coexisted peacefully (Christians, Jews and Muslims — until the Inquisition). Portugal was also the first European nation to abolish slavery in its colonies, and is now a country where freedom of speech is valued, and freedom of religion is so natural that, unlike in many other countries, it’s even irrelevant in political campaigns (candidate’s religious beliefs are generally unknown and not even discussed).
In 2010 it also became one of the first very few countries to allow same-sex marriage.


Lisbon is filled with imaginatively-adorned streets, from artistic (and not-so-artistic) graffiti, to dazzling tile panels on walls, to art nouveau store signs, to its characteristic cobblestone design pavements. Everywhere you turn is someone’s work of art.


The Paris and Vienna cafés have all the fame, but Lisbon has all the flavor. It claims the best chocolate cake in the world and its custard tarts are world-famous and imitated (The Guardian declared it one of the 50 best foods in the world).


There is no Louvre or Tate or Prado, so Lisbon’s little-known museums are therefore wonderful surprises: From the world-class Gulbenkian collection, to the magnificent one-of-a-kind tile museum, to the fantasy vehicles of the carriages museum, to the East-meets-West works of art in the Ancient Art Museum and Orient museum, to the contemporary creativity of the Berardo Collection.


This is no ordinary river. It’s a river that’s usually mistaken for the sea, a body of water that reflects a blinding light back onto the multicolored buildings of the city. It’s also a historical landmark, as it was from its banks that the ships that traced the map of the world departed from, and arrived at, starting the process now known as globalization.


Somehow Lisbon holds on to its unconventional styles while also being up-to-date on the latest global trends. Many neighborhoods like Bairro Alto have a sleepy atmosphere in the daytime, but at night it’s an energetic mix of diverse tribes, from struggling artists to clueless teens socializing and partying together until dawn. This diversity has led to a remarkable artistic explosion in the city, from new galleries to the the world-class project that is the Design and Fashion museum.


Forget the uniformity (monotony) of the grand European boulevards in Lisbon. Here, no two buildings are alike. Colorful streets are lined with tile panels, wrought-iron designs, and two original architectural styles, the Pombaline and the Manueline.


The European Safety Observatory says that Lisbon is Europe’s safest capital. While you should hold on to your wallet in the city’s trams to avoid pickpocketing, serious random violent crime (murder and rape) is extremely rare, not to say almost nonexistent in the city’s everyday life.


Turn-of-the-century trams, Belle Epoque cafés, old-fashioned shops selling retro products, 18th-century tiles everywhere, medieval-villages-within-the-city: the past and the present coexist in Lisbon. Lisbon is wonderfully vintage.


Like other great historical cities, Lisbon has inspired artists and writers, and its soulful atmosphere feels haunted by writers such as Fernando Pessoa, Eça de Queiroz or Nobel Prize-winning José Saramago. Their presence is especially felt and relived every day in the streets of Chiado, as if their footsteps still echo in cafés like A Brasileira at bookshops like Bertrand, the oldest in the world.


The decaying neighborhoods of the historical center may be in desperate need of a face-lift, but there’s something refreshing about ancient neighborhoods that haven’t been turned into touristy amusement parks. If Alfama or Bairro Alto were in other European capitals they’d have been completely sanitized and sold their soul to tourism, yet they remain raw and authentic in Lisbon.


It’s a medieval timewarp in Alfama, futuristic in Parque das Nações, romantic in Chiado, imperial in Belém, bohemian in Bairro Alto, cosmopolitan in Avenida da Liberdade…


It’s known as Europe’s sunniest capital, but the city’s enviable climate is not just 300 days of sunshine throughout the year. It’s also mild temperatures, never below zero in winter, and nights cooled off by the Atlantic in the hotter summer months. Lisboetas only realize how lucky they are when they travel around rainy and freezing Europe and North America, or scorching-hot Africa or unpredictably tropical and humid South America.


Name one other European capital by the beach. There is no other. The only other major city blessed with sand and sea is Barcelona, but Lisbon’s coastline is bigger, more diverse and beautiful. With golden dunes, hills, or mountains as backdrops, you may surf, windsurf, sail, or even play golf by the sea at world-class courses. Lisbon is unique for having both river and sea, and offers Europe’s largest unbroken expanse of sand at the 30km-long Costa da Caparica.


There are only a few cities in the world with their own sound (Buenos Aires has tango, Rio has samba, New Orleans has jazz), and Lisbon is one of those places with a unique soundtrack — Fado. More than music, it’s a state of mind, a sound that you don’t dance to, that you don’t just let play in the background, but that you stop to feel. It’s often called “the Portuguese blues” and surprisingly the Portuguese capital is also a major jazz city. That’s a very little-known fact except for jazz aficionados, and there is even a local jazz label (Clean Feed Records) that has gone international. There are also several outdoor jazz concerts with international musicians in the summer.


The neighborly spirit lives on in Lisbon’s oldest neighborhoods. These are still places where everyone greets each other in the morning, where traditional shops and family-run taverns still survive, while also coexisting with bold fashion boutiques under laundry hanging from balconies where old ladies stand next to their cats chatting with next-door neighbors. These neighborhoods compete every year for best march (song and costume) in a parade taking place every June in the annual “Festas de Lisboa,” a city-wide street festival.


It’s one of the world’s most unpredictable cities with unexpected sights: Deceiving façades hide wonderful surprises inside (such as São Roque Church), and countless unexplored corners frame postcard-perfect views. It’s a city that spikes curiosity and demands contemplation.


The stories of the great explorers of the Age of Discovery, the exotic influences of the world’s first global empire, battles, disasters and triumphs in what is Europe’s second-oldest capital (after Athens), and the fantasy palaces of magical Sintra


Portugal knows a thing or two about coffee. After all, it was responsible for the first plantations in Brazil, now the world’s largest producer. Until the early 20th century, the coffee served in Lisbon came almost exclusively from its former colony, and today the Portuguese demand only the best quality beans. A tiny cup of strong, black coffee in Lisbon is called a “bica,” and if you’re a caffeine addict, you won’t find better coffee anywhere else. If you prefer tea, try the only tea produced in Europe, the Gorreana green tea from Portugal’s Azores.


Some say Portugal has the best fish in the world. With its large coastline and long history at sea, that could in fact be true. Especially because here fish really tastes like fish, and seafood is really seafood — no sauces masking the fresh flavor of the sea here.


The cultural vitality that has emerged in Lisbon in the last few years means that there is a rich calendar of events throughout the year. From major summer music festivals attracting the biggest international acts, to international film festivals devoted to all genres (independent features, documentaries, thrillers, animation…), there is always something going on.


Lisbon may be built on several steep hills, but it’s wonderful to walk around in. Many medieval alleys are too narrow for cars, so you’re forced to use your feet all the time, which is good news for those with no time to exercise. Your workout and calorie-burning can be done by simply going to work, shopping, or heading to a café, and you can also choose to go cycling along the river. The hills may often be strenuous, but your heart will thank you later.


As Western Europe’s least expensive capital, Lisbon is often described as the continent’s “best value for money” destination. But that’s not just for tourists. Even locals can plan a night out in the city without spending much. You can find fulfilling meals for less than 10 euros, there are free museums (most of them are also free on Sundays until 2PM), and there’s a wide range of activities with no admission charge. Best of all is that nightlife is mostly lived on the streets, with cheap beer and caipirinhas in hand.


Lisbon’s luminosity and seductive alleys that force you to wander around discovering hidden secrets make it one of the world's most beautiful cities. You’ll confirm that by standing on stunning hilltop terraces known as “miradouros” (viewpoints) which reveal one of the world’s most scenic cityscapes.

Source: Lisbon Lux


36 Hours in Lisbon


36 Hours in Lisbon

Everything old is new again in the Portuguese capital. Throughout the hilly metropolis on the Tagus River, fading structures and spaces are being stylishly reborn. Once-forlorn neighborhood markets have undergone ambitious renovations and currently form the city’s newest hot spots for dining and drinking. Formerly decrepit townhouses now harbor Lisbon’s chicest indie shopping centers, and the once-dodgy docklands boom with emergent night life in multiple guises. Even the city’s dowdy, underused central square and adjacent waterfront have been spruced up for lounging and strolling. At the same time, the city’s classic historical charms, from art museums to industrialists’ mansions, remain beautifully intact, complementing their rejuvenated neighbors.


1. Sights and Suds | 4 p.m.

For years, the monumental 18th-century square called Praça do Comércio was surrounded by dull government offices and blighted by construction sites for sewage and transportation projects. In the last few years, however, the square’s icons — an ornate triumphal arch and a statue of King Dom José I — have been refurbished, and a host of new cafes, bars and boutiques has moved in. The outdoor terrace of the Museu da Cerveja, a beer museum (forgettable) and bar (worthwhile), has lovely views along with beers from Portugal, Brazil, Mozambique and other Lusophone lands. The dry and yeasty Templarium (5 euros, or about $5.32 at $1.06 to the euro) offers a window into another compelling development: an evolving trend of Portuguese microbrews.

2. Riverside Renaissance | 5 p.m.

Seedy, stinky and garbage-strewn, the neighboring waterfront strip languished for years. Thanks to a recent municipal cleanup, the seaside is now frequented by joggers, strollers, cyclists and picnickers who take advantage of the new tree-lined path, gently graded stone steps and kiosklike cafes along the riverbank. Art-world denizens might recognize the colorful ship called Trafaria Praia. Covered in traditional blue and white tiles and filled with twinkling installations evoking the sea, the ferry was conceived by the artist Joana Vasconcelos and formed the Portuguese pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2013. At 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. from March through October, the boat offers a one-hour scenic ride.

3. Food Court | 8 p.m.

Is there one place in Lisbon where you can dine on raw veal, tinned octopus meat, shaved ham, stewed clams, mango ice cream and cherry-flavored ginja liqueur? Why, Mercado da Ribeira, com certeza. Half of the 19th-century structure — still home to myriad produce stalls — was taken over in 2014 by Time Out magazine and elevated into a hangarlike, neo-industrial food court where top Lisbon chefs, favorite restaurants, upscale food shops and multiple bars ply their goods. O Prego da Peixaria serves succulent warm beef sandwiches on soft Madeira flatbread like the Betinho (8 euros) — slathered in melted cheese, barbecue sauce and cured ham — while Tartar-ia transforms uncooked meats and fish into sculptural and sublimely seasoned creations. The tuna tartar (12.50 euros) comes with ginger, creamy avocado, radish and black sesame seeds.

4. Louche Lounge | 10 p.m.

A tidal wave of new bars continues to wash through the waterfront streets of the Cais do Sodré district. The naughtiest nights unfold at Pensão Amor, which suggests the tufted salon of a debauched baron. Nude portraits, Orientalist paintings, mounted stag heads, leopard-print banquettes, Kama Sutra manuals and even a tarot reader pack the rooms, while the extensive menu of classic cocktails animates the evening with concoctions like the Corpse Reviver #2 (gin, Cointreau, Ricard, Lillet Blanc and lemon juice; 12.50 e


5. Arts and Craftsmanship | 11 a.m.

Some of the best things in life are not free. Qing dynasty Chinese porcelain vases. Paintings by Pieter Bruegel the Younger. Marble water basins from Versailles. Luckily for Lisbon visitors, the late businessman António de Medeiros e Almeida had deep pockets and a thirst for exquisitely wrought items, resulting in a late 19th-century mansion overflowing with decorative arts. As you stride over the marble floors of Casa-Museu Medeiros e Almeida, you can appraise yourself in gilded mirrors by Thomas Chippendale, walk past 19th-century carpets woven in the Silk Road city of Samarkand, worship at a carved altar from a church in Goa and admire an intricately decorated sky-blue porcelain bidet.

6. Surf and Turf | 2 p.m.

Pig is big at Charcutaria Lisboa, where aged, air-cured hocks of acorn-fed porco preto (15 euros per 100 grams) are finely sliced into fatty red ribbons. It’s just one of the many boutiques and food stands — from sushi stalls to juice bars — in the recently revamped Mercado de Campo de Ourique, a soaring 1930s market. Shrimp is big at Mercado do Marisco, whether boiled with sea salt (9 euros) or pan-fried in garlic and butter sauce, while Atalho do Mercado adds turf to the surf in the form of lamb chops (10.50 euros), smoky-succulent picanha beef sandwiches (5.70 euros) and other meaty treats.

7. A 21st-Century Souk | 4 p.m.

Resplendent with horseshoe arches, geometric mosaic floors, Arabesque swirls of chiseled plaster and other Moorish flourishes, the disused 19th-century mansion across from Praça do Principe Real was reborn in 2013 as a neo-sultanic “Conceptual Shopping Gallery” called Embaixada. The stately rooms are occupied by local Portuguese boutiques and brands such as Urze, which sells elegant Portuguese wool goods, and Temporary Brand, a concept store stocking everything from canned sardines to silver hightops by iShoes.

8. Drop In on the Neighbors | 5:30 p.m.

Almost next door, Entre Tanto is another historical townhouse that has been similarly upgraded into a stylish haven for local indie shops and designers. Within the rambling warren of rooms you’ll find Fresh, a brand of handbags that mix clear acrylic surfaces with traditional textiles, as well as Nichts Neues, an emporium of retro cinema seats, industrial lamps, midcentury modern Scandinavian furniture and other vintage treasures. To help you clean up after your ramblings, Patine stocks soaps, lotions, shower gels and more from Portus Cale, a venerable manufacturer based in Porto.

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