Whilst vibrant street art claims many a building, it is impossible to ignore the antiquity of the city. If you can believe it, Lisbon predates the likes of London, Paris and Rome by hundreds of years. Much like Porto, we were overwhelmed with the vast array of authentic one-off’s to wine, dine and shop.
Strolling down little streets, in search for a cute cafe for our working breakfast, we approached the peak of one of Lisbon’s many hills. The sky was blue, the sun shining, whilst an old wooden tram creaked up the narrow street. It felt although we had stumbled upon a different time. It takes a place like Lisbon to realise the authenticities of the old, can co-habit with the modernities of the new. If only every city could achieve such a harmonies marriage…
And so, it now comes as no surprise, to us, that Lisbon rose 10 places to 16th in the World’s Best Cities category at last year’s Telegraph Travel Awards.
So, you’ve heard why you should visit Lisbon. Now here’s some places you should visit whilst there…
Possibly the most Instagrammed gelato in the whole of Europe? And, according to Lonely Planet – Lisbon’s finest. With an incredible 34 flavours to choose from, you may want to plan a visit for each day of your trip. Once you’ve got your ice-cream in hand, be sure to stop by one of the beautiful tiled walls outside of their shop for a picture… a lot like ours below. Did we go for the gelato, or the insta photo? Well, that’s a secret we’ll never tell xoxo.
Just as we were sure Time Out Lisboa was the place to be, we discovered LX District. A short (and very cheap) taxi ride away, and you will find yourself in Lisbon’s trendiest quarter. Another perfect example of how Lisbon has blended the old with the new. LX is situated directly beneath the Ponde 25 de Abril suspension bridge and was once Lisbon’s most prosperous fabric factory.
On top of the array of the of quirky eateries, boutiques, coffee houses and bars, LX Factory is home to Lisbon’s technological centre and startup HQ. There are various offices, flexible workspaces, photography studios – giving the startups all the support they need to succeed. To be honest, we are quite tempted to relocate there ourselves…
Central Da Avenida
I mean any restaurant that has “a meal without wine is breakfast” printed on the menu wins our vote. Here you can order a selection of authentic Portuguese plates, which are a taste sensation. We were spoilt for choice at LX Factory, but were not disappointed. The local cheese, ham and olives washed down with a nice red went down beautifully.
Time Out Lisboa
Thai, Italian, Sushi, Tapas… you name it, Time Out Lisboa has it. There are even budget-friendly samples from a few of the country’s Michelin star chefs. We visited twice, both times equally as busy as the last. The communal eating was a nice change to the intimate dinning we had experienced in Porto. The atmosphere was electric, and made for a great place to spend our Friday night.
Eager to not miss the Sunday sunset, we patiently followed our iPhones’ directions to the side of a quiet street. We were encouraged through a solitary door, climbing up and up to the top of a multi-storey car park. “This can’t be right” we giggled cautiously a good few times. We arrived on the top floor, slightly out of breath and even more ready for a couple of sundowners. We entered through a plastic marquee, to find the most picturesque view over Lisbon. Definitely somewhere to enjoy a drink or two and experience the city in all it’s beauty from up high.