A perfect day in Lisbon
Lisbon could very well be our ideal city : large enough never to get bored, but small and human to enjoy an exceptional life quality, gentle, with nature and big open spaces never far away. A city of treasures to be discovered climbing hills, getting lost on narrow cobbled streets, catching great-looking trams, strolling with an open heart and mind, discovering new places as the city is changing at fast-pace, with vitality and creativity. Definitely one of the most exciting cities in Europe. Follow us ! This, is our perfect day in Lisbon.
9am – Morning treat
First thing first, for us a perfect day in Lisbon should start with some pasteis de nata with a coffee or a fresh orange juice. These little puff pastry and custard tarts are often the talk of the town, so where should you go to find the best ones? Our 2 favourite addresses are the world-famous Pastéis de Belem, and Manteigaria in Chiado, and in between the 2 it is impossible to pick only one !
Pastéis de Belém, Rua de Belém 84-92
Manteigaria, Rua do Loreto 2
10am – Getting lost in Alfama and Mouraria
GPS hidden in our pocket, for a few hours we choose streets totally randomly, we climb stairs, push open doors to see what’s behind, look up, stop for a coffee or two, chat with locals, smell the scent of grilled sardines. Alfama and Mouraria are two neighbourhoods combining what we love so much about Lisbon: surprises at every street corner and simple, joyful beauty everywhere.
12:30 pm – Lunch with water view
Tagus on one side, Atlantic on the other, Lisbon is best lived with water not far, and we love crossing the river (by boat from the ferry terminal of Cais do Sodré) for a well-deserved break in Almada’s water edge, and a magical lunch at Atira-te ao Rio: in front of us the full panorama of the city, the 25th of April bridge, and the water all around. And a perfect atmosphere of generosity and simplicity.
Atira-te ao Rio, Cais do Gingal, n.º 69/70, 2800-284 Almada
3pm – Marveling at Portuguese crafts
Conveniently located in Chiado, our 4 favourite shops in Lisbon are fabulous addresses to discover the often unknown treasures of Portuguese craftsmanship, and to bring back superb souvenirs.
A Vida Portuguesa (4 shops in Lisbon, the one in Chiado is the oldest) is THE concept store bringing together the best of Portuguese crafts, contemporary objects, textiles, gastronomy, books… Everything is fantastic and that’s when we realise we need an extra suitcase!
A Vida Portuguesa, Rua Anchieta 11
The “innovative tradition” of Paris em Lisboa is a good slogan for this house, which since the end of the 19th century creates bed linen and household linen in the finest textile quality. We love searching for little gifts to take home, such as monogrammed towels or pouches. A charming and old-fashioned shop.
Paris em Lisboa, Rua Garrett 77, 1200-203 Lisboa
Although Claus Porto’s origin is, as its name suggests, Porto, the Lisbon shop is worth a visit (nested in a former pharmacy), to bring back soaps, perfumes, beauty products with their beautifully decorated packaging.
Claus Porto, Rua da Misericórdia, 135
Lisbon’s most charming shop since 1789 makes decorative or traditional handmade candles, in a boutique that has massive charm, especially the historical part that has remained almost unchanged since it opened.
Caza das Vellas Loreto, Rua do Loreto 53
4:30 pm – Marveling at the National Museum of Azulejos
An inexhaustible source of inspiration, azulejos are everywhere in Lisbon, and they even have their own superb museum, housed in a former 16th century convent. It showcases the 500-year history of these tiles, including our favourite, cobalt blue on white. After this visit, the city is embraced with fresh eyes, and we marvel at the azulejos on buildings’ facades, identifying the different artistic trends. Fascinating!
National Museum of Azulejos, Rua da Madre de Deus 4
6pm – Aperitif with a view
To make the most of Lisbon’s wonderful end-of-day light and views of this city with seven hills, we take to the skies and enjoy a drink on one of the city’s many rooftops. Our favourite? The warm and elegant 5th floor rooftop of The Lumiares hotel, with its sublime view of the Bairro Alto and beyond, the Tagus
The Lumiares, R. de São Pedro de Alcântara 35
8pm – Perfect dinner
We like everything in this restaurant : the room decor, bright and vibrant, the ceramics used, the beauty of the dishes themselves, the quality of the ingredients, exclusively local and seasonal, sea and land, the prices which are so reasonable for this quality, and the creativity everywhere. A wonderful address!
Restaurant Prado, Travessa das Pedras Negras, 2
10pm – Stroll along the Tagus River
To end the evening, and if you still have energy after all that walking up and down, take a stroll in Cais do Sodré, the old dodgy district of Lisbon, which has become a trendy night spot, with its bars blasting music in a joyful and vibrant atmosphere.