A WEEKEND IN...LISBON
Word on the street is Lisbon is the new Berlin - hip and creative but with the added bonus of all year round sunshine.
While the historic trams still service the steep cobbled roads, the city has established itself as a modern culinary capital of Europe with fantastic new venues opening including the infamous Time Out market which showcase up and coming talent.
A Weekend in Lisbon | Friday...
Once landed head straight to Bairro Alto where you'll find a vibrant bar scene in full swing in the area around Rua da Rosa. Wander around and see which places catch your eye - there's plenty to choose from (plus some restaurants if you're hungry).
If you like live music, head to Páginas Tantas (R. do Diário de Notícias 85, 1200-334 Lisbon) where trios play every night and grab a cocktail. Warning: the Caipirinhas are lethal.
The streets around Bairro Alta come alive at night
Great live music at Paginas Tantas
A Weekend in Lisbon | Saturday...
You can't come to Lisbon without sampling the infamous Pastel De Nata (Custard Tart) which the locals wolf down for breakfast with a morning coffee. There are cafes abound selling their coveted home made recipes, and they must be eaten warm.
Once you've had your morning caffeine fix stroll through the city towards the Feira da Ladra flea market (Campo de Santa Clara, 1100-472 Lisbon). It is known locally as the Thieves Market, but rest assured everything here is above board. There are hundreds of stalls to root through with lots of hidden gems, including local designers selling bespoke jewellery pitched up alongside antiques traders from time immemorial selling enormous and ornate chandeliers. If you need a break (or somewhere to leave your less commercially inclined partner) there's a locals bar (named "A Cantina") in the middle of the market where there's fantastic people watching abound. Bring cash.
The infamous Pastel de Nata
Feira da Ladra Flea Market
Lunch / Afternoon
Walk down through the Alfama area generally heading towards the river front, stopping by the National Pantheon en route. There's plenty of little restaurants through the area and some interesting architecture to soak up. Have a light lunch nearby the river - for example, Cais de Pedra is a hip burger joint where you can sit outside and take in the river view while enjoying a very decadent burger and a quick bottle of exceptional Portuguese wine (Armazem B, loja 9, Av. Infante Dom Henrique, 1900-264 Lisbon).
You'll notice wherever you are around Lisbon that tiles form part of this country's national identity. Grab a taxi from the nearby taxi rank (outside the front of the Santa Apolonia train station) over to the Museu Nacional do Azulejo, Lisbon's rather unusual tile museum (R. Me. Deus 4, 1900-312 Lisbon). While there's only so many tiles anyone can look at, the museum is worth a visit to see the ornate church inside, the moorish architecture and don't forget to swing by the cafe located in a botanical rainforest setting for a quick expresso to set you up for the night ahead.
Lisbon's National Pantheon
Museo Nacional do Azulejo
Dusk / Evening
You cannot miss having a few sundowner cocktails in the amazing Park Bar (Tv. André Valente 4, 1200-109 Lisbon). The bar is on the top floor of a car park and you will almost certainly think we've sent you to the wrong place. But persevere or keep an eye out for anyone looking a bit too hip to be heading into a car park and you will be rewarded. Once you get through the car park, the bar opens out into a lovely rooftop setting with great atmospheric music and AMAZING cocktails. Try the Jack and Basil cocktail and fill your Instagram feed with epic sunset photos.
When you're ready for food, walk down through the city to the excellent Peixola restaurant (R. do Alecrim 35, 1200-014 Lisboa). Kick off with oysters and sparkling wine before ordering a (large) selection of their small fish plates to share. The food is excellent, the atmosphere cosy and the service was impeccable.
Afterwards, walk down to the Time Out market - a project undertaken by the Time Out group to bring together the best of Lisbon's food and drink into one awesome setting (Av. 24 de Julho 49, 1200-479 Lisbon). If you have room left, order a dessert from one of the many stalls and wash it down with some green wine from the bar. Green wine is a phenomenon unique to Portugal, representing relatively young wines which have a very slight sparkle to them.
Finish off the evening in luxurious Pensão Amor (R. do Alecrim 19, 1200-292 Lisbon) with a night cap in old world chandelier and velvet splendour before calling it a night when you're ready!
Wonderful sunset views from Park Bar
The Time Out Market is a must see
A Weekend in Lisbon | Sunday...
Kick off the morning with a lovely view from the outdoor cafe at Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara (R. de São Pedro de Alcântara, 1200-470 Lisbon). Once you're ready take an iconic tram ride through the city. You have a choice here (1) the touristy route number 28 which leaves from Praça Luís de Camões; or (2) the lesser known route number 24 which leaves from right outside the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara. The route 28 is the popular choice but, as a result, you will find it absolutely jam packed and potentially full of pickpockets (there are warnings everywhere!). However, if you just want to experience riding the tram in comfort and taking in the experience, we'd recommend giving route 24 a go.
Morning coffee at Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara
Tram number 24
Lunch / Afternoon
Walk down to the Cais da Sodre ferry terminal and catch one of the frequent ferries over to Cacilhas. The ferry departs every twenty minutes or so and only takes 10 minutes to cross the river. Once arrived, walk along the riverfront and take in the view back to Lisbon as well as the plethora of graffiti along the river's edge.
If you really want to earn your lunch, walk up to the Cristo Rei, the imposing statue of Christ the Redeemer overlooking the city and entirely reminiscent of Rio de Janeiro. The view from the top is incredible. Then head back down to the lovely riverside setting of Atira te au Rio where you can enjoy a glass of wine and a seafood lunch with a fine view across the river (R. do Ginjal 69, 2800-284 Almada, Lisbon).
Enjoy lunch and a final drop of wine at Atira te au Rio with a fine view back to Lisbon