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For the Love of Lisbon

Ariel

For the Love of Lisbon

Amazing Lisbon
Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in the world, its origins dating back as far as the Iron Age and a Phoenician trading post since 1200 BC. As such the city is steeped in history and culture, graced by natural beauty and a great geographical location. A born ‘Alfacinha’ (nickname given to those born in the Lisbon), I am proud of the city’s heritage and would like to share some of its spots, museums, restaurants and shops to its many visitors. An unfinished list as yet!
Miradouro or view-point in Bairro Alto with stunning views over the city towards the St. Jorge Castle. Great cafe in the park to soak in the atmosphere and enjoy the view.
São Pedro de Alcântara
Miradouro or view-point in Bairro Alto with stunning views over the city towards the St. Jorge Castle. Great cafe in the park to soak in the atmosphere and enjoy the view.
Stunning location with great views westwards over the city and Tagus river. Buy tickets online in advance to avoid queues in peak season.
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Castelo de S. Jorge
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Stunning location with great views westwards over the city and Tagus river. Buy tickets online in advance to avoid queues in peak season.
Stunning art collection belonging to Calouste Gulbenkian, an oil magnate that settled in Portugal in the 1940's. The wonderful 1960 building houses his private collection and an arts centre with a great art calender and a more recent building, hosting the Portuguese contemporary art collection. In addition the museum has the most beautiful gardens and grounds, the perfect setting to enjoy a coffee or a light meal in the Ice Cafe housed in a pavilion.
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Museu Calouste Gulbenkian
45A Av. de Berna
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Stunning art collection belonging to Calouste Gulbenkian, an oil magnate that settled in Portugal in the 1940's. The wonderful 1960 building houses his private collection and an arts centre with a great art calender and a more recent building, hosting the Portuguese contemporary art collection. In addition the museum has the most beautiful gardens and grounds, the perfect setting to enjoy a coffee or a light meal in the Ice Cafe housed in a pavilion.
Great small contemporary art museum in downtown Lisbon.
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The National Museum of Contemporary Art
4 R. Serpa Pinto
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Great small contemporary art museum in downtown Lisbon.
Great beauty spot with stunning views and great azulejos (Portuguese tiles). check also next to it Largo Portas do Sol
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Miradouro de Santa Luzia
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Great beauty spot with stunning views and great azulejos (Portuguese tiles). check also next to it Largo Portas do Sol
Beautiful largo (garden square) in Lisbon and a wonderful quiosque where one can sip a coffee or enjoy and gin and tonic. Make sure you visit the nearby Reservatório da Mãe d'Água das Amoreiras, a great little space that houses a city water reservoir. Also visit the Fundação Arpad Szenes-Vieira da Silva, which has the collections of Portuguese artist Arpad Szenes and Vieira da Silva.
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Garden Amoreiras - Marcelino Mesquita Garden
30 Praça das Amoreiras
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Beautiful largo (garden square) in Lisbon and a wonderful quiosque where one can sip a coffee or enjoy and gin and tonic. Make sure you visit the nearby Reservatório da Mãe d'Água das Amoreiras, a great little space that houses a city water reservoir. Also visit the Fundação Arpad Szenes-Vieira da Silva, which has the collections of Portuguese artist Arpad Szenes and Vieira da Silva.
Azulejos (tiles) - Quintessentially Portuguese. A space dedicated to the history of Portuguese tiles
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Museu Nacional do Azulejo
4 R. Me. Deus
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Azulejos (tiles) - Quintessentially Portuguese. A space dedicated to the history of Portuguese tiles
Largo do Carmo is a charming corner of Lisbon with many interests for the visitor. It has the surviving nave of the Carmo Convent, victim of the 1755 earthquake, the National Guard Headquarters, housing a museum and changing of the guards ceremony, it's the top access point the the Santa Justa Lift with its small cafe on top of it and adjacent to it, in the back of convent in a small garden setting, a bar/cafe 'Topo Chiado' (see if you can find it!). Finally, in the square itself, a wonderful quiosque serving drinks, a water fountain, some great restaurants and often in peak season some musicians playing. All this in the shade of the jacaranda trees.
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Carmo Convent
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Largo do Carmo is a charming corner of Lisbon with many interests for the visitor. It has the surviving nave of the Carmo Convent, victim of the 1755 earthquake, the National Guard Headquarters, housing a museum and changing of the guards ceremony, it's the top access point the the Santa Justa Lift with its small cafe on top of it and adjacent to it, in the back of convent in a small garden setting, a bar/cafe 'Topo Chiado' (see if you can find it!). Finally, in the square itself, a wonderful quiosque serving drinks, a water fountain, some great restaurants and often in peak season some musicians playing. All this in the shade of the jacaranda trees.
Probably one of, if not my favourite neighbourhood of central Lisbon. Slightly removed from the main drag but still in the middle of it all. Great restaurant and array of shops surrounding the main garden square and just of it. Go and explore and immerse yourself in the area around it. Just naming a few places such as: Embaixada, Casa Pau-Brasil, Cevicheria, Pavilhão Chines, Tapisco, Memmo, 2 quiosques on the square, etc etc, etc!
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Principe Real garden
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Probably one of, if not my favourite neighbourhood of central Lisbon. Slightly removed from the main drag but still in the middle of it all. Great restaurant and array of shops surrounding the main garden square and just of it. Go and explore and immerse yourself in the area around it. Just naming a few places such as: Embaixada, Casa Pau-Brasil, Cevicheria, Pavilhão Chines, Tapisco, Memmo, 2 quiosques on the square, etc etc, etc!
Most stunning and unique museum displaying the Portuguese royal coach collection in amazing contemporary purpose built museum, which optimises the display and viewing of the collection. Make sure you also visit the separate building (a 5 minute walk away) which first used to house the collection and which was originally built for the Royal Riding School.
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National Coach Museum
136 Av. da Índia
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Most stunning and unique museum displaying the Portuguese royal coach collection in amazing contemporary purpose built museum, which optimises the display and viewing of the collection. Make sure you also visit the separate building (a 5 minute walk away) which first used to house the collection and which was originally built for the Royal Riding School.
Fun evening shows and morning training sessions proving an introduction into the Portuguese riding school, one of the oldest in the world and the world famous Lusitano horses, specially bread in Portugal. Great for adults and kids.
Portuguese School of Equestrian Art
102 Calçada da Ajuda
Fun evening shows and morning training sessions proving an introduction into the Portuguese riding school, one of the oldest in the world and the world famous Lusitano horses, specially bread in Portugal. Great for adults and kids.
Restaurants in Lisbon
Lisbon has seen an explosion of great restaurants over the last few years beyond the traditional Portuguese cuisine. These are some, to name a few only, of my favourite places in Lisbon. Lisbon also has a number of 5 star Michelin restaurants, which you will easily find, so I will list below 2 of my favourites. Regardless of the type of restaurant you choose to visit, it is my strongest recommendation that you pre-book them, especially in high-season, to avoid disappointment!!!!
Great small restaurant in the Principe Real area although slightly off the main drag. Great cuisine and very friendly environment. Contemporary food.
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BouBou's
32A R. Monte Olivete
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Great small restaurant in the Principe Real area although slightly off the main drag. Great cuisine and very friendly environment. Contemporary food.
A must for mid century lovers. A snack-bar built in the 60-ies and has remained true to its from since. Stunning dark would paneling and mosaic/tile. Perhaps a slight detour from the usual touristy places but worth a visit if interiors is your thing and you fancy a bite. Opens till very late, but better check. Great for interiors, ok for food.
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Galeto
14 Av. da República
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A must for mid century lovers. A snack-bar built in the 60-ies and has remained true to its from since. Stunning dark would paneling and mosaic/tile. Perhaps a slight detour from the usual touristy places but worth a visit if interiors is your thing and you fancy a bite. Opens till very late, but better check. Great for interiors, ok for food.
Another addition to the hot Lisbon food scene, with dishes made with Portuguese traditional ingredients, but cooked with a modern twist.
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Prado
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Another addition to the hot Lisbon food scene, with dishes made with Portuguese traditional ingredients, but cooked with a modern twist.
Michelin starred restaurant in a relaxed atmosphere. What's more to say. Oh, yes 2 stars.
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Alma
15 R. Anchieta
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Michelin starred restaurant in a relaxed atmosphere. What's more to say. Oh, yes 2 stars.
Another Michelin star restaurant I like, again because it combines great food with relaxed surroundings. One Michelin star!
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Loco
53 R. Navegantes
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Another Michelin star restaurant I like, again because it combines great food with relaxed surroundings. One Michelin star!
The original Michelin star restaurant in Lisbon, now with 2 stars. Great experience in a slightly more formal environment.
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Belcanto
10 Largo de São Carlos
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The original Michelin star restaurant in Lisbon, now with 2 stars. Great experience in a slightly more formal environment.
I felt I had to include this one because I have found memories of this place since I'm about 3 months old. Amazing interiors, which include 3D tile wall panels designed in the 60-ies by a famous Portuguese artist Querubim Lapa de Almeida. Although the outdoor space is now a sterilised space after some refurbishments undertaken a few years ago, the interiors maintain such of the original charm. Not quite your usual tourist place in certainly not your usual tourist location, but Lisbon is a small place and if you do have the time then....
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Mexicana
30 C Av. Guerra Junqueiro
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I felt I had to include this one because I have found memories of this place since I'm about 3 months old. Amazing interiors, which include 3D tile wall panels designed in the 60-ies by a famous Portuguese artist Querubim Lapa de Almeida. Although the outdoor space is now a sterilised space after some refurbishments undertaken a few years ago, the interiors maintain such of the original charm. Not quite your usual tourist place in certainly not your usual tourist location, but Lisbon is a small place and if you do have the time then....
I simply have to include this one although you have probably already heard about. You can't book, so either go quite early or be happy to spend some time sipping a glass of wine whilst you wait for a table. The name says it all.
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A Cevicheria
129 R. Dom Pedro V
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I simply have to include this one although you have probably already heard about. You can't book, so either go quite early or be happy to spend some time sipping a glass of wine whilst you wait for a table. The name says it all.
Small (I mean small) restaurant off Largo do Camões serving great Portuguese food in authentic charming atmosphere.
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Taberna da Rua das Flores
103 Rua das Flores
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Small (I mean small) restaurant off Largo do Camões serving great Portuguese food in authentic charming atmosphere.
Great typical Portuguese restaurant in trendy Bairro Alto. Casual surroundings and very good food.
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Sinal Vermelho
89 R. das Gáveas
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Great typical Portuguese restaurant in trendy Bairro Alto. Casual surroundings and very good food.
The smarter sister restaurant to Sinal Vermelho also mentioned in my list. Great Portuguese food in a more sophisticated environment, just down the road from Sinal Vermelho.
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Lisboa à Noite
69 R. das Gáveas
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The smarter sister restaurant to Sinal Vermelho also mentioned in my list. Great Portuguese food in a more sophisticated environment, just down the road from Sinal Vermelho.
Typical small old style extremely simple restaurant serving good old staple Portuguese food. Family owned business where the husband serves the tables and the wife cooks the meals. Very simple and inexpensive. Opened Monday to Saturday for lunch and dinner.
O Caçador da Oliveira
73 R. da Oliveira ao Carmo
Typical small old style extremely simple restaurant serving good old staple Portuguese food. Family owned business where the husband serves the tables and the wife cooks the meals. Very simple and inexpensive. Opened Monday to Saturday for lunch and dinner.
Extremely popular restaurant serving dishes from across Asian. Great food and atmosphere and very popular so you might have to wait a bit for a table (don't take reservations), although normally not too long, as tables move fast.
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BOA-BAO
30 Largo Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro
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Extremely popular restaurant serving dishes from across Asian. Great food and atmosphere and very popular so you might have to wait a bit for a table (don't take reservations), although normally not too long, as tables move fast.
Favourite Shops
Lisbon, like many big cities suffered, a desertion of small retails shops from the 80-ies with the emergence of large shopping malls in the outskirts of the city. Over the last few years, small retail shops have once again been opening in the city centre and miraculously a few old shops managed to survive against all odds. The city of Lisbon has created a website that 'collects' a list of these traditional businesses under under the umbrella of www.lojascomhistoria.pt. Please have a look and support these businesses! I have listed here some of my favourite retail spaces in Lisbon included and in this list but also beyond.
A retail space born out of love for all thinks traditional Portuguese. It has a number of locations in Lisbon and if you have time, it's worthwhile visiting its main shop in Largo do Intendente (as well and the square itself where it is located). Otherwise just pop into any of its branches!
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A Vida Portuguesa
11 R. Anchieta
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A retail space born out of love for all thinks traditional Portuguese. It has a number of locations in Lisbon and if you have time, it's worthwhile visiting its main shop in Largo do Intendente (as well and the square itself where it is located). Otherwise just pop into any of its branches!
A centenary tiny shop that specialises in gloves and only gloves for both women and men. A must see for glove lovers and anyone wanting to experience and support traditional retail of a bygone era!!!
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Luvaria Ulisses
87-A R. do Carmo
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A centenary tiny shop that specialises in gloves and only gloves for both women and men. A must see for glove lovers and anyone wanting to experience and support traditional retail of a bygone era!!!
A 'palacete' or small palace (very small as far as palaces are concerned), which was once home to a wealthy Portuguese family and has now been converted a series of small design shops and a restaurant. Great place to shopping, grab a bit or perhaps just a quick drink!
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Embaixada - Concept Store
26 Praça do Príncipe Real
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A 'palacete' or small palace (very small as far as palaces are concerned), which was once home to a wealthy Portuguese family and has now been converted a series of small design shops and a restaurant. Great place to shopping, grab a bit or perhaps just a quick drink!
Great shop selling modern designed products such as shoes, clothing items and throws made of burel (type of fabric with from 100% wool) that originates from the heart of Serra da Estrela, in the middle of Portugal, and was traditionally used by shepherds. Well worth a visit
Burel Mountain Originals
15B R. Serpa Pinto
Great shop selling modern designed products such as shoes, clothing items and throws made of burel (type of fabric with from 100% wool) that originates from the heart of Serra da Estrela, in the middle of Portugal, and was traditionally used by shepherds. Well worth a visit
A traditional and quintessential Lisbon shop set-up in 1888 and which used to supply the cream of Lisbon society with the best fabrics, silk and embroideries from Europe. With times, business adjusted to day-to-day realities and now specialises in bedroom, bathroom and kitchen linen as well as some home accessories.
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Paris em Lisboa
77 R. Garrett
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A traditional and quintessential Lisbon shop set-up in 1888 and which used to supply the cream of Lisbon society with the best fabrics, silk and embroideries from Europe. With times, business adjusted to day-to-day realities and now specialises in bedroom, bathroom and kitchen linen as well as some home accessories.
Fado
I am not going to try and define or explain fado here and I am sure that, to some extent or another, you all have heard of it. Fado comes in many styles, shapes and forms (far beyond my knowledge), but perhaps I will simply it and mention here 2 forms; the more traditional fado, perhaps the one that expresses the famous saudade ('longing' would be an oversimplification) so associated with fado and the 'fado vadio' a perhaps lighter street version fado, more joyful, often songs by amateur singers with the crowds joining in. Recommending fado is not easy, as it is so 'a matter of taste' and very dependent on the artists performing on a specific day. Many places offer a show and dinner and others allow the guests to enjoy the show with only a few drinks (normally at a later time). Again a qualified statement here, the quality of food varies immensely and there are certainly some tourist traps out there. Below you will find a list of a few places that have been recommended (generally or specifically by previous guests). VERY IMPORTANT: Please book in advance (dinner and show) and please beware that many places accept ONLY cash or Portuguese debit cards only!!! I hope that you enjoy and any feedback would be extremely welcomed as at the end of the day, you are your own best judges!!!
Not only it is meant to be good, but also you don’t have to have dinner (tapas menu) and are allowed to have drinks only. Plus it is also about a 2 minute walk from the apartment.
Duque da Rua
23 R. do Duque
Not only it is meant to be good, but also you don’t have to have dinner (tapas menu) and are allowed to have drinks only. Plus it is also about a 2 minute walk from the apartment.
Also 2 minutes walk from the apartment, very good reputation and atmosphere. Dinner (a la carte) and show.
Solidó
35 Calçada do Duque
Also 2 minutes walk from the apartment, very good reputation and atmosphere. Dinner (a la carte) and show.
An old establishment playing fado vadio, close by in Bairro Alto. Fixed price (€25) dinner and show.
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Mascote da Atalaia
13 R. da Atalaia
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An old establishment playing fado vadio, close by in Bairro Alto. Fixed price (€25) dinner and show.
An institution in the fado world located in Alfama. A la carte menu from 8pm. Those wishing to enjoy the show with drinks only are welcomed from 11pm onwards. Goes on till 2am.
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Clube de Fado
86 R. de São João da Praça
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An institution in the fado world located in Alfama. A la carte menu from 8pm. Those wishing to enjoy the show with drinks only are welcomed from 11pm onwards. Goes on till 2am.
Beautiful spot in Alfama (amazing tiles), good food and fado. All inclusive price (with as much drinks as you want) €60. Dinner from 8:30pm and shows from 10:30pm. If you wish to come for drinks only than you are welcome form midnight. Shows go on until 2am.
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Mesa De Frades
139 R. dos Remédios
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Beautiful spot in Alfama (amazing tiles), good food and fado. All inclusive price (with as much drinks as you want) €60. Dinner from 8:30pm and shows from 10:30pm. If you wish to come for drinks only than you are welcome form midnight. Shows go on until 2am.
Dinner and show only (€45 with house wine included). Dinner served between 7:30pm and 8pm followed by the fado show afterwards.
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Sr. Fado
176 R. dos Remédios
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Dinner and show only (€45 with house wine included). Dinner served between 7:30pm and 8pm followed by the fado show afterwards.