Do you remember that fabulously orange Lisbon guide I’ve picked up a couple of posts ago? No? Well, this. So, as it turns out I finally got the chance to use it.
I travelled to Lisboa for the first time this November – despite my many trips to Portugal for work (5 times in Oporto, a few in Braga then Faro and Algarve on holiday) I’d never before visited the capital of fado. As a result, I had to remedy. The occasion was the Web Summit, a huge tech-related convention gathering thousands of people from all over the world and start-ups, companies and corporations from Microsoft to Instagram and counting.
This year there was a parallel theme for women – Women in Tech – and considering tickets were super affordable if you booked in advance (£85 for the 4 days vs normal £850), it seemed like a crime to let it go. Hence, I quickly spread the voice and gathered a small army of friends willing to see the summit and also find an excuse for a girlie get-together (we all live in different countries). I booked a lovely Airbnb in Alfama, in the historic centre of Lisbon and we were all sorted. While the weather was amazing, packing was not easy though as I had to fly home straight to a job right after landing so I had a bit of everything with me – but everything else was easy peasy.
My top things to see
– walk around in the Castelo area and don’t miss the famous Miradouros (Santa Catarina and Castelo de S. Jorge were my fave spots).
– eat pasteis de nata in Belém (or anywhere, really…) or in Manteigaria… it won’t disappoint. And while in Belém, take a snap with the tower.
– walk along the Tagus from Praça do Comercio and just enjoy the sun.
– leg it to Rua da Rosa and admire Chiado in all its glory, with shops and cute corners. Go the extra mile and climb up to Embaixada, a stunning period building housing a fancy concept store.
– try chocolate and coffee at Bettina e Niccolo Corallo Café.
– visit LX factory – Historical industrial complex housing an array of arty retailers & unique restaurants. Ideal for a quirky shop galore, cool environment and a village atmosphere – plus, there’s Queen of Hearts tattoo shop, my Lisbon favourite artist – Eduardo Cavellucci.
– finally, don’t miss the MAAT, a stunning architectural giant on the shore (Closed on Tuesdays)
Food is a fundamental part of my life – while I don’t really cook, I like eating out a lot and in Portugal, that’s easier done than said for once. The LV guide had fantastic, quirky options that were all walkable from Alfama, but with so many people for the Summit in town, booking was essential.
My fave places to eat
- SANTO ANTONIO DE ALFAMA – a cute little restaurant nestled up on a hilly road in Alfama, with traditional food and a cinema vibe.
- TOPO –actually, we couldn’t go as it was fully booked all the time. But it came highly recommended by all people I spoke to and next time I’m going to conquer it.
- TAPISCO – a Spanish tapas dream in the Barro Alto. My fave was huevos rotos. Yum.
- PHARMACIA – a quirky former pharmacy and hospital, I loved the way we dined in a separate, private room, away from the noise of it all. Sweet.
- BETTINA E NICCOLÒ CORALLO – Super cute and small, a bar with coffee and choc. Need I say more?
Thanks to my Lisbon insider man Ben for the tips and to my main ladies for a great non-weekend away. I had a blast – and I’ll be back! Enjoy the gallery.