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city break in Lisbon

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





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






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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The real charm of Lisbon lies in its small, cobbled back streets with its tiny balconies and yellow cable cars.

  • Lisbon’s story

Unpack your walking shoes (ladies, leave your high heels in the hotel – you won’t get very far) and unleash your stamina to scale the many hills of Lisbon on foot.

The most charming district is Bairro Alto, the cultural and bohemian heart of Lisbon with cafés and restaurants aplenty. Quiet by day, with laundry hanging from windows and balconies, this part of town transforms by night and becomes a vibrant and bustling magnet to people of all ages. Make your way from jazz club to fado houses or dance the night away in a nightclub, scattered around all over town. To get your culture fix, choose any church and marvel at the lavish gold decorations and intricate coloured stone-inlays.

  • Gourmet Tastes

Chiado is the neighbouring district of Bairro Alto, and is boasting elegant fashion stores, theatres and bookshops. Trendy São Carlos square is where one of Portugal’s most prominent chefs, José Avillez, has located his culinary empire, consisting of Michelin-star restaurant Belcanto, where he serves fine-dining interpretations of traditional Portuguese dishes; Cantinho, a more relaxed restaurant with a sophisticated menu; MiniBar, a gourmet bar offering exciting drinks and gourmet snacks; Café Lisboa, a charming traditional café with an outside terrace; and Pizzaria Lisboa, where Avillez created a new concept of pizza as a homage to Lisbon.

  • Mild Rumbles

For lunch – or indeed dinner – snacks, make your way down to the river and the Mercado da Ribeira, Lisbon’s main fresh food market. Aside from specialities such as cheese, wines, sardines, chocolate, ham and custard tarts, the market has another big selling point. Since 2014 it is being managed by Time Out, who have invited all key players in food and wine to open bistros inside the market, from Henrique Sá Pessoa to Dieter Koschina.

  • Thirsty Work

For an aperitif or just a laid-back cocktail, chill out at Noobai Café’s terrace and take in the funky jazz and gorgeous view over the Tejo river.

  • Splurge

For the most central and stylish accommodation, the Bairro Alto Hotel Lisbon offers an ideal location in the heart of historic downtown. It’s a luxury boutique hotel and gives off a historic vibe while at the same time offering all the latest mod-cons, as well as a beautiful roof-top terrace bar and restaurant with wonderful views towards Rio Tejo over the old Lisbon rooftops. It’s the central location in chic and trendy Chiado that makes it an absolute must for those who like to be at the pulse of Lisbon.

  • Little Black Book

Belcanto | Largo de São Carlos | 101200-410 | Lisbon

Mercado da Ribeira | Avenida 24 de Julho 49| Lisbon | TimeOutMercadodaRibeira

Noobai Café | Miradouro de Santa Catarina |

Bairro Alto Hotel Lisbon | Praça Luís de Camões N.º2 | Bairro Alto | 1200-243 | Lisbon |

Taste Portugal |

Source: Four Magazine


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