Updated: 27 October 2014
Steep hills, colourful tiled old town houses, outstanding food
Where San Francisco meets Valparaiso meets Europe’s old Glory
Downtown Design Hostel: Rua dos Sapateiros 231, Lisboa
There is no obvious sign when you stand at the front door of this old town house next to a strip bar, but you are right when you reached the first house on the street coming from the Praca Dom Pedro IV. Once you are in, it feels quite homey. From the breakfast table you have a perfect view on Praca Dom Pedro IV. The double rooms with shared bathroom come with a little balcony. Great value for money. Double room with breakfast for 2 People/night: 35,00 Euro. You are right in the City center but can enjoy a quiete sleep. Be aware though that the service can be quite chaotic as the hostel is way understuffed…
A Casa das Janelas com Vista: Rua Nova do Loureiro 35, Lisboa
Charming little boutique bed and breakfast for design fetishists. The service is guests’ heaven. Chill on one of the massive couches in the living room like at home before going to bed reading an international design magazine or let your eyes wonder around the room to catch another little interior detail while drinking some fresh mint tea without being charged any money. The breakfast is as artesanal as are the rooms with a good hint of local specialties and with freshly squeezed orange juice as much as you want to get the right boost for the day to climb Lisbon’s steep hills. Book well in advance to get a room.
Tram 28: take the old fashioned tram for a first discovery of town. It will wind up and down the hills passing all important tourist points. Starting the trip not in downtown but at the last station (Praca Sao Joao Bosco) will give you an authentic experience sharing the tram with locals and kids hanging on outside the tram instead of a horde of tourists.
It is best (cheaper) to buy the tickets at a local ”jugos” shop. There are heaps around town. One trip lasts one hour and you can hop on and off as you want. A single ticket costs around 1.70 Euro.
I loved getting lost in the labyrinth of streets and hills discovering heaps of great murials, street laterns, amazing tiles and viewpoints (like the Miradouro do Adamastor) with an amazing views of the different angles of town.
Luxury Option: let yourself be driven around town in the sidecar of an oldtimer motorbicycle. A three hours guided tour costs 120,00 Euro for two people.
Car: Parking in town is ridiculously expensive (up to 46 Euros for one day!). A good car park still in walking distance to downtown is Marques (Entrance at: Alameda Edgar Cardoso). You pay 12 Euro/24h. Parking on the street is not recommandable. The police locks your wheels and you will pay a hell lot of money.
Café Fabúlas: Calçada Nova de São Francisco 14, Lisboa, Phone: +351 21 601 8472
Best place to grab something to eat or have a drink in downtown without five language menu cards and with tasty Portugese fusion cuisine. Food is served on old sewing machine tables and other vintage finds.
Landeau: Lx Factory, Rua Rodrigues Faria 103, Lisboa
I accidently stumbled in Sophie’s Café at the LX factory: Choclate cake to die for!
Gelateria Nannarella: Rua Nova da Piedade, 68, Lisboa
Eating this amazing icecream reminded me of my childhood. The icecream was dropping everywhere as the bowl is massive, first down the scone then on my hand, then on my other hand because I switched it when I realized the running ice cream, then on my clothes. In the end I had a smiling face covered with a massive choclate beard around my mouth and my dotted dress got new brown dots ;-).
Artesanal tasty choclate. I fell in love with the design of the wrapping paper of all the different types of choclate and the cute choclate umbrellas.
Burger Factory: Lx Factory, Rua Rodrigues Faria 103, Lisboa
Lisbon has a lot of similarities to San Francisco: A City built on hills, a “Golden Gate Bridge”, a City shaped by the sea, a lot of hidden treasures and heaps of burger places. That makes me think that hamburger are also a kind of national food to the Portugese People like the “Döner” for the Germans. This burger place serves hand made chips to your burger with Chili and apple, blue cheese and other (not so) common combinations.
Tasty local tapas and the best Sangria “con frutas de bosque” I drank after a long day discovering Lisbon. Take three tapas to share for two. This is how the locals do it! I can recommend the cheese bits with tomato jam, some dish with bacalau, Portugal’s most famous fish and the beans with garliac.
Manteigaria: Praça de Luis de Camões, 1200 Lisboa
For dessert on your walk back to the hotel or as a gift for your beloved ones at home: “Pastéis De Nata”. At Manteigaria you get the best in town: fresh from the oven into your mouth with a hint of cinnamon.Yum!
Items from the good old times all made in Portugal. The Portugese Manufactum. Try your luck at the cardbord game and win jummy choclate at the check out.
Atelier Autêntico: Beco da Rosa, 2C e 2D, Lisboa
Vintage Stuff: Lx Factory, Rua Rodrigues Faria 103, Lisboa
Rua Sao Bento: Vintage furniture heaven!
Cavalo de Pau: Rua Sao Bento 164, Lisboa
Vintage furniture from around the world. The fish you can see on the picture is a former hook for fishing that I am now using to hang up my necklaces. Nice to dive into another world but pricy.
Embaixada: Praca do Principe Real 26, Lisboa
This old embassy building turned to a fashionista magnet. The building is home to small fashion designers from Portugal with their little boutiques. The Café in the Patio serves very good Galao for 1,20 Euro.
Ler Devagar (“Read slowly”) – Bookshop: Rua Rodrigues Faria,n. 103, Lisboa
A dream of a bookstore comes true. I wish I could read Portugese…