Mini city guide to Lisbon

A mini city guide to Lisbon

Photography by Sonia Davies

Sunny weather, delicious seafood, rich culture and
plenty of soul – Lisbon is a perfect travel destination any time of the year. Portugal’s lively capital is built across seven hills, which offer stunning views of the golden cityscape and never ending blue, thanks to the city’s location on the Tagus River.

 Lisbon embraces its
rich past while ofering new and edgy attractions, from
art to ine dining. With it’s relaxed atmosphere, friendly
people and plenty of attractions – chances are this visit will be one of many.

Top – Embaixada – Concept Store
Right – Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT)


R. de Santa Cruz do Castelo, 1100-129 Lisboa

Located high on one of Lisbon’s hills with an intoxicating view of the city and Tagus River, the São Jorge Castle is a national monument and a gateway to nearly 1000 years of Lisbon history. The castle was built and inhabited by
the Moors in the 11th century, although remains of original fortiications date back to Roman times. King Afonso Henriques conquered the castle in 1147 after a three month siege, expelling the Muslims and taking the castle as
his royal palace. A walk through this castle is a walk through Lisbon’s varied and culturally diverse history.

Av. Brasília, 1400-038 Lisboa

The Torre de Belém was constructed between 1514 and 1520 to defend and protect Lisbon from the mouth of the Tagus River. It operated in conjunction with the bulwark of Cascais and the Sāo Sebastião da Caparica tower on the river’s left bank. he Torre de Belém is most famous for its beautiful 16th century Manueline architecture – a style native to Portugal named after its key inluencer King Manuel I. In 1983 UNESCO designated the tower a World Heritage Site. Don’t miss the chance to visit the nearby Pastéis de Belém to try Portugual’s original (and delicious) custard tart.

Avenida de Brasília, 1300-598 Lisboa

Lisbon’s newest cultural space is a guaranteed jaw-dropper. he sleek white structure, designed by British architect Amanda Levete, foretells a modern and dynamic concept and visitors can admire the river and 25 de Abril suspension bridge from the building’s landscaped rooftop. he works of more than 250 national artists form part of the museum’s permanent collection, which sits alongside changing exhibitions from local and international artists.


Rua da Madre de Deus, 4, 1900-312 Lisboa

Portugal’s national tile museum is housed in the 16th century Convent of Madre de Deus. This beautiful, unique museum showcases the Portuguese art form of painting ceramic tiles with historical scenes and detailed designs.
he highlight of the museum is a blue and white composition of 1300 tiles, measuring 23 metres in length, depicting Lisbon’s cityscape before it was struck by the Great Earthquake of 1755.

Fado is traditional Portuguese folk music renowned for its melancholic style,
where the singer expresses the hard realities of daily life. he Portuguese word ‘saudade’, which alludes to feelings of loss and longing, probably best describes this genre. The suburb of Alfama in Lisbon’s east is the best place to catch a Fado performance, with many restaurants offering Fado shows throughout the week. To learn more about the music style, drop by the Museu do Fado where you can ind exhibitions and an auditorium with regular events. The museum shows the cultural and social influence of Fado throughout the years.


The 18th century-built Mafra Palace is located 40 kilometres northwest of Lisbon. It is set over almost four hectares and was constructed under the order of King João V. Considered one of the most stunning
Baroque structures in the country, Palácio Nacional de Mafra was positioned in close proximity to hunting grounds frequented by the royal family and was the place Portugal’s last king, Manuel II, led into exile from when
Portugal became a republic in 1910. As you tour this elaborate structure note the spectacular library, which holds more than 35,000 rare books, some dating back hundreds of years, as well as six historical pipe organs and 92 bells.
While in the area, swing by the chilled surf town of Ericeira – home to Europe’s only World Surfing Reserve.

Sintra is a picturesque town set in the hills of the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park and makes an ideal day trip from Lisbon. Sintra is famous for its fairytale-like villas and palaces tucked amongst the forest, including the iconic Pena Palace. his Romantic-style palace sits high on a hilltop, and with its
multi-coloured turrets looks it to house a Disney princess.
he train to Sintra departs from Lisbon’s beautiful Rossio station
every 20 minutes and takes about 40 minutes each way.



Elevador da bica


Campo de Santa Clara,1100-472 Lisboa

The Feira da Ladra market runs on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 6am-5pm in
the suburb of Alfama. It is Lisbon’s oldest lea market where you can ind a
variety of handmade goods, antiques, books, clothes and art. You could spend
half a day searching out hidden treasures amongst the assorted merchandise.

R. Rodrigues de Faria 103, 1300-501 Lisboa

A group of abandoned 19th century warehouses and factories make up Lisbon’s biggest hub of creativity, including a cool mash-up of art, fashion, music and design. The space maintains a hip industrial look and attracts curious crowds to regular events such as ‘Open Day,’ with exhibitions, music and other activities throughout the day and night. Every Sunday there’s an open-air lea market.

Praça do Príncipe Real 26, 1250-184 Lisboa

If you need some retail therapy, head to the Embaixada shopping gallery in
Príncipe Real. Boutique stores stocking the wares of Portuguese brands and
designers are housed in an exquisite 19th century neo-Moorish palace and
you’ll also ind restaurants, bars and temporary exhibitions. A marble staircase
flanked by bronze statues holding lamps leads up to the second floor.


Estrada da Lagoa Azul – Linho, 2714-511Sintra, Portugal

This luxury resort is located in the green hills of Sintra just 30 minutes drive from Lisbon. If you want to relax in accommodation that ofers everything under one roof including a 27-hole golf course, a spa centre and eight
restaurants including LAB restaurant (awarded a Michelin star in 2016), this is the place to check into.

Rua Do Alecrim, 12, 1200-017, Lisboa

This chic hotel is right in the middle of the city action so has great restaurants and cafes close by. It offers riverfront views and easy access to Lisbon’s major sights. The Cais do Sodré railway station is almost on
the hotel’s doorstep, the bars of Bairro Alto and shops of Chiado are within a five-minute walk, and it’s just fifteen minutes to Lisbon’s main cathedral, the Sé. Explore away!



Rua Nova da Trindade 18, 1200-466 Lisboa

This vibrant dining precinct is the work of famed Portuguese chef José Avillez – the man behind Lisbon’s two Michelin star Belcanto. Bairro do Avillez fuses gourmet deli produce, Peruvian cuisine, a charcuterie and cheese
counter, and cabaret dining all under one roof, so there’s something for everyone.

10 Rua Nova da Piedade, Príncipe Real, 1200-298 Lisboa

A decidedly Scandinavian feel emanates throughout this cafe. White stools, white walls and minimalist interiors are just what you’d expect from its Danish owners. Pleasant and unassuming, you’ll ind some serious cofee geeks
brewing at the bar so you can choose your cafeine ix from V60, Chemex, aeropress or French press. Good music,
a selection of sandwiches and pastries, and a cute garden nearby make this a great stop.

Av. 24 de Julho 49, 1200-109 Lisboa

Opened in 2014, this food market offers diversity and quality in a buzzing atmosphere. Time Out’s food critics curated the space to offer food from the best restaurants around town, with around 40 food stations surrounding a
big open-plan seating area. Portions tend to be small and shareable so you can sample dishes from a range of vendors.
The original fish, fruit and vegetable market occupies the other half of the landmark Mercado da Ribeira building.

This travel guide was part of our 3rd printed issue. You can get your copy here. Photography: Sonia Davies