When the world opens up again, we are going back to Lisbon because we are in need of something soothing to be charmed by and if there is one thing Lisbon has in spades, it’s charm.
Here’s the short stop for a long weekend:
H10 Hotel Duque de Loule. Whilst on a return journey I would stay somewhere more central, as I think the H10 hotels are typically out of the centre, I still enjoyed this hotel, the decor is charming and it has azulejos running through. The lobby is welcoming with the soft furnishing and colour combination, so very inviting. It makes for quite a refreshing setting. Located in the suburbs somewhat it lends itself to the quiet but as I said, central next time.
For years I have thought about these prawns and this restaurant. Much loved by locals and tourists alike, it is a place where you simply get stuck in. The food is good, seriously good. Fresh seafood, delicious sauces with an entirely unpretentious atmosphere. Oh and drink the beer too.
the TimeOut market is a place you can go to eat everyday and never have the same thing for at least two weeks straight. This is a hub of activity where everyone and anyone can go to eat and meet up and watch sports etc. We were there during the world cup and I think it was the France Portugal match? I may be making it up but it was definitely a football club. There are long communal tables and benches and the vibe is a whole mood.
IGREJA DE SAO ROQUE
Have church will visit. I love to visit churches in any place I am in not least because I am drawn to the history of churches and the story behind them. You often find that church buildings have some sort of drama attached to them. Just see Il Duomo. But the Sao Roque church in Lisbon is quite unique and left me a little uncomfortable to visit. I find it hard to reconcile such ostentatiousness in the midst of hardship. This is rumoured to be the richest church this side of Europe and whilst the outside might look plain, inside you have altars drenched in gold.
R. Garrett 73 75, 1200-203 Lisboa, Portugal.
Said to be the oldest operating bookshop in the world, although it does not look it. Bertrand is a treasure trove with history to boot. Founded in the 18th century by French author Pedro Faure who was later joined by Pierre Betrand. Surviving an earthquake, arranged marriage, world wars, an ever changing dynasty and a change in location only to return to the original location on R. Garrett.
Lisbon is set on hills, seven as a matter of fact so from most altitudes the view will be charming. Get on foot, in the summer, get your bottle of water and set to exploring the city. Discover the new within the old and see what the neighbourhoods have to offer. From downtown Baxia and Rossio where you find every tourist trap and landmark to the ever charming neighbourhood of Alfama district which is the oldest part of Lisbon. I am a walker on holiday, I am that person that can easily rack up twenty thousand steps in a day from walking everywhere. Though hilly, Lisbon is a place that lends itself to being discovered on foot. In my opinion, but then again, I am sadistic so follow this advise at your peril.
As with any short stop I often find a way to include a short day trip to explore further afield. The town of Cascias is a a pure gem.
AND THEN, REST.
When to go: High season. There is a certain charm to be had in high season in Lisbon. I’ve never been a fan of high season travel, and wouldn’t typically venture anywhere in high season, I am a shoulder season type of gal through and through, but I was there in high season and it really was the most glorious place to be in. And a day by the seaside in the summer is one of live’s rarest and most indulgent pleasure
What to pack: summer dresses. Plenty of them. The heat is hot so much so sometimes it can be wicked but pack some pretty summer dresses
Walking shoes; Lisbon is hills, thrills and steep joints so come prepared to walk. And eat.