A seamless clash of European tradition and modern sensibility, it’s no surprise Lisbon is an object of fascination among travelers. Timeless tilework mixed with vibrant street art, a bustling city center with laid-back coastal vibes – it’s all downright inspiring.
Whether you’re in town for a weekend (it's a mere 7-hour flight from NYC) or are posting up for an extended stay, we’ve rounded up our picks for exploring this incredible city....
TO EAT & DRINK
A mix of Scandinavian design and traditional Portuguese architecture, stop by this coffee shop for a bit of decor inspiration. With its light, airy interior, spacious tables, and magazine-lined walls, it makes the perfect spot to post up for an afternoon (yep, there’s free wifi). Order an acai bowl, avocado toast, and of course, a caffeinated beverage – they’re known for their flat whites and matcha lattes.
Meaning “meadow” in Portuguese, Prado features a simple, farm-to-table menu of seasonal dishes. Beyond the fresh cuisine, the lush greenery that hangs from the ceiling and fills the windows adds to the vibrant feel of this restaurant. Order a few small plates (a.k.a. “petiscos”) to share with the table. With unexpected dishes like Minhota beef tartare, wrapped in grilled kale, smoked Bluefin tuna belly, and mushroom ice cream – you’ll want to try it all.
TO DO & SEE
Located in the Alcântara neighborhood under the Ponte de 25 Abril bridge, LX Factory is an old manufacturing complex that’s been reinvented into a mecca of sidewalk cafes, rooftop bars, art galleries, vintage shops, yoga studios, and music venues. Definitely block an afternoon to explore this hot spot.
Our picks for restaurants: Cantina for traditional Portuguese, A Mesa for pizza, and LXeese Cake for a sweet treat (i.e. cheesecake)
Our picks for shopping: Ler Devagar bookstore (the floor to ceiling bookshelves are something else…) and Boa Safra for home decor
Dubbed the “City of Seven Hills,” Portugal is known for the steep hills and inclines found throughout its city streets – good thing there’s trolleys and lifts to spare you the extra workout.
The Santa Justa Lift dates back to 1902, this Gothic-style elevator connects downtown to Bairro Alto, the highest and lowest points of the city. At almost 150 ft. high, the elevator’s deck offers an incredible view of the city – go early in the morning or evening for the best lighting (bonus: you’ll also beat the crowds). The lift runs every few minutes from 7 AM - 10 PM daily and costs 5 Euros.
Located in the cultural center of Belém, you could spend hours exploring the 900+ works of modern and contemporary art found throughout this museum. Picasso, Dali, Miro, Warhol, Pollock – this museum is a who’s who of modern artists.
Be sure to stop in at the cafe right outside the museum – hands down, the most delicious Pasteis de Nata we’ve ever had.
From eggshell blue walls to limestone staircases, this hotel is a design lover’s paradise. Situated on one of Lisbon’s most picturesque squares, this six-room hotel offers incredible views of the river and monuments. Enjoy a homemade meal in the communal kitchen or a glass of Portuguese wine out in the secluded garden – you’ll feel right at home here.
Heads up this hotel doesn’t have air conditioning, so if you’re visiting in the summer months, it could get a bit toasty in the rooms.
Up for more exploring? Check out our Portugal Bedding Collection here.