It’s been about a week since I got back from Lisbon, went for a few days to celebrate a good friend’s birthday. London has welcomed me back with raincoat weather in June – Still I rise! The Best June Of All Times is in full effect……
Go If you like: Rio de Janeiro or Spain.
Weather? Depends when you go! But when it’s hot (as it is in June) its really hot
Friends, Family or Romancing? It’s very romantic and pretty. It’s also good for hanging out with friends; there are endless bars and shops around Bairro Alto and Rua Nova Do Carvalho. I’m not sure about going with very young kids, as it is quite hilly
Food: Very good especially the seafood, had lots of seafood and churros. More on that later
Transport: well connected with the Metro, we walked a lot though. Cheap cabs
Favourite things: The beautiful architecture of the old, coloured buildings; the tiling used on the outside of the buildings; very hilly so there are a lot of scenic views; TimeOut Market. FOOD.
Flight was good. I would like to formally complain to the powers that be at London Heathrow South Terminal about the lack of charge points for phones please. None of them
work! In the end, I had to plug my phone in the socket by the bubblegum machine and just stand there waiting….. and waiting.
Arrived on Friday night, caught a cab to the hotel which was OK, covered all the basics and was central but was on a very VERY questionable street. The last time I went though, I stayed in a beautiful family run boutique hotel in a quiet, historical area of the city on Rua Das Janelas Verdes. It was a walk away from attractions like Sao Jorge Castle and rooftop bar Le Chat. I really enjoyed staying there and would recommend that one!: York House
Put the bags down and headed straight to Bairro Alto to find food! After roaming the hilly streets for a while we went for an al fresco dinner at Café Buenos Aires.Very busy with pretty hilltop views and good for a quick eat. Had a mixed seafood platter.
Spotted the Fiera Do Livro (book festival) at the park so went in and had a look around at some great books I couldn’t read because they were in Portuguese. Also ate churros.
Next we went somewhere that has a special place in my heart: Mercado Da Ribeira – Also known as the Time Out Market. Absolutely one of the best places I’ve been to eat anywhere. I would advise you to make sure you go there if you are in Lisbon. I’ve been in there about five times in the space of two different long weekend trips! It used to be Lisbon’s main market hall but has been bought out by Time Out (Capitalism is coming to get us) who are actually doing a great job. You can get a range of food from street food to traditional Portuguese to gourmet to Japanese and plenty of seafood. Just go there!
Later on, we wondered around the Rua Das Janelas Verdes area and went to the modern, glass- walled Le Chat for some scenic views, dessert and cocktails. There is a good view of 25 de Abril Suspension Bridge and the Christ the King statue. The former is famed for looking like the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and the latter for looking like Rio’s incredible Cristo Redento statue.
We stumbled across a pop up gallery near Le Chat with a lot of work by an artist whose name I can’t remember and I’ve lost the contact card! If I find it, I will update or if you know who he is, let me know! Pic below
That evening, we went into a few bars quickly on Rua Nova Do Carvalho before settling on MusicBox where Channel One Sound System (from Brixton, London!) played an excellent night of Raggae and Dub into the early hours. Not too crowded and the drinks were fairly cheap. Actually most things are cheap in Lisbon. There was a random massive street party on the way there, not sure what it was.
Spa! Epic Sana Lisboa Hotel. Go there too! Had an amazing massage that came with fresh fruit and teas. The staff was very friendly and informative. Facilities include sauna, beautiful pool – this hotel is a good one to stay at
Dinner at Wine Lover in Bairro Alto before we headed back- Delicious! Didn’t even have wine.
Any thing else?
I’ve been told Cascais is beautiful but haven’t been so maybe next time. If you go, let me know!
On my previous Lisboa trip, I went to Castelo de Sao Jorge which I would recommend for views and a look at the grand ancient ruins. We discovered Museo Archeologico Do Carmo, which we actually enjoyed more than Sao Jorge because it included a lot of artefacts e.g. books and a mummied child (yep). A lot of the original Covent building was intact as well so there was a better idea of what it used to be. Also ate brunch at Café Royale near Bairro Alto. Can’t remember what I ate but I remember it was amazing. I ate at a few other places that I can’t remember the names of. You’ve probably gathered that I love eating. It’s a constant battle with the scales.
Photos all my own