• the sunday guide to // lisbon

photo: diogo tavares 

 

We prefer to take our time when exploring a new city, slowing things down and wandering around at a relaxing pace. Rather than rushing to tick off the usual tourist hot spots, we slow things down and dig a little deeper to find the more peaceful heart of the city. This week, we’re visiting Lisbon.

 

Lisbon

When you picture Lisbon you probably think of yellow trams, beautiful tiles and delicious custard tarts. It’s true, these are all in abundance (and reasons alone to visit Portugal’s capital), but the cultural and historical attractions in and around the city should also be explored. When it comes to relaxation, Lisbon may not be the first destination that crosses your mind, but it is a slow paced city that is known among its residents for its relaxed pace of life.

Meandering up steep hillsides, there are plenty of terraces and rooftops perfectly positioned to sit and admire the picturesque city below. Locals start their day with a custard pastry and espresso, and tend to end it in Bairro Alto, high on the hills of the city where the streets are lined with restaurants and bars that encourage al fresco dining.

Read on to discover our relaxing guide to Lisbon.

 

mahabis // sunday guide to lisbon photo: tom eversley

 

Stay

Enjoy one of the best views in the city from the rooftop pool and wine bar at Memmo Alfama. Upon arrival at this minimalist boutique hotel guests are greeted by a cosy living room rather than a traditional reception desk, instantly making you feel welcome and relaxed. Standard rooms offer views out over the Tagus River, whilst Terrace rooms boast private wooden decks where guests can sit outdoors and soak in the views.

 

Relax

It’s worth hiring a car during your stay, as there are several day trips that can easily be made. Although Lisbon is a relaxing city, if you’re craving more peaceful surroundings, the largest oriental garden outside of China is just over an hour’s drive away. The Buddha Eden Garden offers a serene space to wander around, admiring the collection of Giant Bamyan Buddhas that were rescued from being destroyed in Afghanistan and brought to Portugal to be preserved. The garden itself was designed with relaxation in mind, with winding paths leading through the grounds and plenty of places to sit and rest whilst admiring the statues. Entry is just €3 and, as the garden is located in the grounds of a vineyard, wine tasting is also available.

 

mahabis // sunday guide to lisbon photo: tom eversley

 

Visit

Another essential day trip whilst staying in Lisbon, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sintra is one of Portugal’s most impressive destinations. Nestled in and atop the leafy hills, the area boasts historical landmarks, secret gardens and a colourful palace perched at the top of the hill. There’s something for everyone here, with certain landmarks attracting more visitors than others. The 10th Century Castelo dos Mouros showcases astonishingly well-preserved stone battlements, whilst Pena National Palace is a complete contrast of colourful turrets and decorative tiles. Quinta da Regaleira’s secret grottos, tunnels, wells and statues are more peaceful to explore, and if you are in search of further seclusion, discover the natural beauty of Sintra National Park and the cliffs at Roca Cape.

 

Admire

Back in the city, an abundance of culture offers plenty of museums and galleries to choose from but we recommend Centro de Arte Moderna for its outstanding collection of both international and Portuguese art. As a bonus, entry is free on Sundays. The gallery is situated in the centre of a garden filled with sculptures, which can be explored prior to entering the main gallery. Artists exhibiting include David Hockney, Anthony Gormley and Jos de Almada Negreiros, alongside a variety of temporary exhibitions.

  

Ride

We would usually recommend forgoing public transport and strolling around the city to fully appreciate all of the small nooks and crannies, but Lisbon’s trams are all part of its charm. No visit to the city should be without a journey on the iconic yellow ‘28’ tram which winds its way up the steep hills of Alfama, passing many of Lisbon’s most interesting historical and architectural sights on its way.

 

Wander

If you prefer exploring by foot, why not take the tram up to the top of the hill then disembark to wander back down the steep cobbled streets at your own pace? Alfama is Lisbon’s most traditional district, yet to succumb to gentrification; subsequently offering a view of the city of old. Admire the pastel-hued facades and decorative tiles that greet you on every corner, and stumble across hidden cafes and bars aimed at locals rather than tourists.

 

mahabis // sunday guide to lisbon photo: tom eversley

 

Drink

Located right by the water in the Cais do Sodre district, Vestigius is one of Lisbon’s best loved bars for both its stylish interior and extensive collection of local wines. Housed in a former warehouse, the bar pays homage to the sailors that frequented this area in the past with several maritime references throughout its décor. Even if you don’t plan on drinking, it’s worth visiting simply to admire the interior of the bar which resembles a design museum with its marble floor and eclectic furniture collection. Check the schedule ahead of visiting, as the space also showcases art exhibitions, film screenings and a collection of antique books to peruse.

 

the sunday guide to // lisbon

photo: diogo tavares 

 

We prefer to take our time when exploring a new city, slowing things down and wandering around at a relaxing pace. Rather than rushing to tick off the usual tourist hot spots, we slow things down and dig a little deeper to find the more peaceful heart of the city. This week, we’re visiting Lisbon.

 

Lisbon

When you picture Lisbon you probably think of yellow trams, beautiful tiles and delicious custard tarts. It’s true, these are all in abundance (and reasons alone to visit Portugal’s capital), but the cultural and historical attractions in and around the city should also be explored. When it comes to relaxation, Lisbon may not be the first destination that crosses your mind, but it is a slow paced city that is known among its residents for its relaxed pace of life.

Meandering up steep hillsides, there are plenty of terraces and rooftops perfectly positioned to sit and admire the picturesque city below. Locals start their day with a custard pastry and espresso, and tend to end it in Bairro Alto, high on the hills of the city where the streets are lined with restaurants and bars that encourage al fresco dining.

Read on to discover our relaxing guide to Lisbon.

 

mahabis // sunday guide to lisbon photo: tom eversley

 

Stay

Enjoy one of the best views in the city from the rooftop pool and wine bar at Memmo Alfama. Upon arrival at this minimalist boutique hotel guests are greeted by a cosy living room rather than a traditional reception desk, instantly making you feel welcome and relaxed. Standard rooms offer views out over the Tagus River, whilst Terrace rooms boast private wooden decks where guests can sit outdoors and soak in the views.

 

Relax

It’s worth hiring a car during your stay, as there are several day trips that can easily be made. Although Lisbon is a relaxing city, if you’re craving more peaceful surroundings, the largest oriental garden outside of China is just over an hour’s drive away. The Buddha Eden Garden offers a serene space to wander around, admiring the collection of Giant Bamyan Buddhas that were rescued from being destroyed in Afghanistan and brought to Portugal to be preserved. The garden itself was designed with relaxation in mind, with winding paths leading through the grounds and plenty of places to sit and rest whilst admiring the statues. Entry is just €3 and, as the garden is located in the grounds of a vineyard, wine tasting is also available.

 

mahabis // sunday guide to lisbon photo: tom eversley

 

Visit

Another essential day trip whilst staying in Lisbon, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sintra is one of Portugal’s most impressive destinations. Nestled in and atop the leafy hills, the area boasts historical landmarks, secret gardens and a colourful palace perched at the top of the hill. There’s something for everyone here, with certain landmarks attracting more visitors than others. The 10th Century Castelo dos Mouros showcases astonishingly well-preserved stone battlements, whilst Pena National Palace is a complete contrast of colourful turrets and decorative tiles. Quinta da Regaleira’s secret grottos, tunnels, wells and statues are more peaceful to explore, and if you are in search of further seclusion, discover the natural beauty of Sintra National Park and the cliffs at Roca Cape.

 

Admire

Back in the city, an abundance of culture offers plenty of museums and galleries to choose from but we recommend Centro de Arte Moderna for its outstanding collection of both international and Portuguese art. As a bonus, entry is free on Sundays. The gallery is situated in the centre of a garden filled with sculptures, which can be explored prior to entering the main gallery. Artists exhibiting include David Hockney, Anthony Gormley and Jos de Almada Negreiros, alongside a variety of temporary exhibitions.

  

Ride

We would usually recommend forgoing public transport and strolling around the city to fully appreciate all of the small nooks and crannies, but Lisbon’s trams are all part of its charm. No visit to the city should be without a journey on the iconic yellow ‘28’ tram which winds its way up the steep hills of Alfama, passing many of Lisbon’s most interesting historical and architectural sights on its way.

 

Wander

If you prefer exploring by foot, why not take the tram up to the top of the hill then disembark to wander back down the steep cobbled streets at your own pace? Alfama is Lisbon’s most traditional district, yet to succumb to gentrification; subsequently offering a view of the city of old. Admire the pastel-hued facades and decorative tiles that greet you on every corner, and stumble across hidden cafes and bars aimed at locals rather than tourists.

 

mahabis // sunday guide to lisbon photo: tom eversley

 

Drink

Located right by the water in the Cais do Sodre district, Vestigius is one of Lisbon’s best loved bars for both its stylish interior and extensive collection of local wines. Housed in a former warehouse, the bar pays homage to the sailors that frequented this area in the past with several maritime references throughout its décor. Even if you don’t plan on drinking, it’s worth visiting simply to admire the interior of the bar which resembles a design museum with its marble floor and eclectic furniture collection. Check the schedule ahead of visiting, as the space also showcases art exhibitions, film screenings and a collection of antique books to peruse.

 

  • Emma Lavelle
Sign up here to keep updated with our latest posts