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A Guide to Lisbon

7 years ago by

A Guide to Lisbon

Did you know that Lisbon is older than London, Paris AND Rome? This fact makes my oft repeated statement “it looks just like Paris!” moot and backwards and also possibly means we’ve all been lavishing touristic praise on the wrong Old World hubs this whole time. Lisbon pros: its climate is mediterranean (average annual temperature is 70°F); its architecture covers the gamut from Romanesque to Brutalist; its seafood will sway the most diehard Pacific fish fanatics; and its Modern and contemporary art scene is very brilliant. Here are few things to see and do (though keep in mind I only had 3.5 days to explore).

1. Boto Machado Garden: Andre Saraiva’s hand-painted mural.
You may know Andre from the world of nightlife (Le Baron) or food (Cafe Henrie) or maybe his graffiti (Mr A) but it’s his latest endeavor that will really solidify his legacy. Hugging the outer wall of Lisbon’s Boto Machado garden is Andre’s 10,000 square foot hand-painted mural depicting his dream world. Famous features plucked from NYC, Paris, Lisbon,

2. Centro Cultural de Belem / Museu Colecado Berardo
The CCB is a very big center that houses a fantastic contemporary and Modern art collection, theaters, workshops and I think everything you can think of that fits under the umbrella of “cultural.” It also has two tiny FIGURATIVE Rothko’s I’ve never seen before.

3. The National Azulejo Museum
I usually don’t like tours but this museum is worth getting a guide for. The intricacies of tile (Azulejo in Portuguese) are something I never considered before this trip and now I am obsessed. Colors, patterns, material all have different messages about wealth, status and history. Also, a great place for souvenirs!

4. Four Seasons Sunday Brunch
This is worth the splurge. Every Sunday the kind ’n courteous hotel staff lay out a decadent spread of every food stuff. Seriously the gamut runs from pancakes to charcuterie to miso soup to traditional Portugeuse caldeiradas (fish stew) and it’s all delicious!! Make a reservation though.

5. Lavaria Ulysses
Founded in 1925, Lavaria Ulysses will fulfill all of your leather glove dreams! This shop’s fame is well deserved.

6. Restaurante Gambrinus
Amazing old school steak place that smells faintly like cigars and is filled with old Portuguese men. Order the coffee at the end of your meal.



Add yours
  • Lisbon is wonderful! Did you know it was wiped out by a tsunami in 1755?
    Gambrinus is a great restaurant. At the complete opposite end of the spectrum style-wise (but both are delicious) is Bica do Sapato, on the river. Fantastic food in an industrial/retro/’70s setting.

  • Lisbon is wonderful–the architecture, the culture, the people, the food, the style (check out street style blogger O Alfaiate Lisboeta).
    Gambrinus is a must, and similarly delicious though at the other end of the style spectrum is Bica do Sapato, a restaurant on the river in an industrial building, all ’70s retro modern and full of beautiful, hip people eating great food. The strawberry soup was heaven.

  • Rita Elias January, 4 2017, 5:30 / Reply

    Ooooh, that’s my city! Awesome! Just one tiny thing that’s misspelled… its “Luvaria”! Great suggestions, you should consider adding the Gulbenkian foundation and gardens, and Lisbon’s Village underground and LX Factory.

  • Lisboa is my city too. So glad to find it here. There is no other light, like the Light in Lisbon. Portas do Sol is a great place to enjoy an awsome sightseeing over the River. Garance and the Studio, you should come here!

  • I would love to visit this beautiful city someday x

    Jessica — NinetyCo 

  • Teresa Mendes January, 5 2017, 6:09 / Reply

    Olá Garance!
    Je suis très heureuse de savoir que ma blogueuse/artiste/écrivain favorite a beaucoup aimé ma ville ! Et en plus, je suis guide conférencière au Portugal ! Si un jour tu as besoin d’un visite guidé de Nord à Sud, ou même des idées pour visiter d’autres coins (il y en a pas mal) envoi moi un email sur Gros bisous !
    Teresa Maria

  • Ana Leonor January, 5 2017, 11:51 / Reply

    Ohhhh so happy to find my city here! Oh the light, people, you must see it, feel it, amazing for photography lovers :)
    And foodies :) And beach lovers :) And culture lovers :) oh, well, just about everybody!

  • Jorge Alexandre Teixeira January, 5 2017, 6:35 / Reply

    Are you kidding me ? I Was born in Alfredo da Costa !!!
    If you ever need a city guide…

  • I’m so happy :) You have finally found us!!!

  • Alfama not in your list?
    Best Xmas urban lighting ever…inviting and elegant

  • Glad you liked it – I’m sure you’ll be back! Sp: Luvaria Ulysses; Coleção Berardo!

  • Bonjour,

    je fais partie de ses heureuses à vivre à Lisbonne, amoureuse de cette ville, de ce pays, de ce mélange de saudade et modernité… j’ai crée un site online avec une sélection de jolis produits contemporains portugais et bientôt une sélection “Made in Portugal” à Paris dans un joli magasin… avec entre autre les chaises iconiques des kiosques portugais, les chaises “Arcalo”: cela vous intéresserait d’en parler? Merci, Caroline (

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