Lisbon

Lisbon Travel Guide

As one of the first European countries to send ships into the unknown during the Age of Discovery, Portugal boasts a rich and storied history – a lot of which can still be seen on the streets of Lisbon. Between visiting the Belem Tower, Mosteiro dos Jeronimos and Castelo de Sao Jorge, there are so many things to do in Lisbon for history buffs.

Built over seven hills, Lisbon offers spectacular views to those who brave a hike to the top. The Elevador de Santa Justa rising above the streets of Baixa and the Mirardouro das Portas do Sol in Alfama are just two outposts where you can take in Lisbon’s breathtaking cityscape.

Still wondering what to do in Lisbon? Check out one of the city’s many museums. The Calouste Gulbenkian Museum houses work by Rembrandt and Monet, and a trip to see Warhol, Picasso and Dali in the Berardo Museum will cost you nothing.

Other things to do in Lisbon include listening to traditional Fado Museum, riding the historic Tram 28 and sampling traditional Portuguese custard pastries at Pasteis de Belem.

Though you're unlikely to schlep home a Knoll chair, don't miss a trip to Manuel Reis's design-furniture boutique, a stone's throw from Bica do Sapato.

Fado, a melancholic style of acoustic Portuguese music dating back to the 1820's, is still an intricate part of the culture. It's mostly found at late-night clubs, but you can hear a sample and get a lesson in its history at this quirky museum.

Located in the Parque das Nações district along the Tagues River, the Pavilhao Atlantico serves as Lisbon's largest indoor arena and is easily accessible from the Gare do Oriente transportation hub.

Located next to the Jeronimos Monastery, the Belém Cultural Center (Fundação Centro Cultural de Belém, or CCB, to natives) comprises five main areas: the Conference, Performing Arts, and Exhibition Centers and the Educational and Formation Areas.

The Portuguese society set shops here for sensual but practical ready-to-wear suits and couture gowns designed by a two-man team that's on its way to becoming legendary.

Created by the editors of T+L for Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Droves of locals make weekend-afternoon pilgrimages to the Parque das Nações, which was commissioned for Expo on what used to be a dingy industrial wasteland northeast of central Lisbon. Now it's a large garden adjoined by striking examples of contemporary architecture.

The Romanesque cathedral in the mazelike Alfama district houses 12th- and 13th-century treasures from a Moorish excavation. Be sure to stop at the adjoining cloister, which has an archaeological site with artifacts from Roman times.

Snag one of the 18 wooden stools at this diminutive Bairro Alto boîte, where you can savor a singular Chardonnay from the emerging Alentejo region and be wowed by Barca Velha—a mythical Upper Douro red released only in exceptional years.

Pasteis de Belém, the city’s famous custard tart, is sold in a lot of places, but the freshest come from this small confectionery near the Jerónimos monastery.

Score rare fragrances from Saboaria Confiança, Miller et Bertaux, and Absolument Absinthe, as well as ceramics by Flemish artist Piet Stockmans.

ILS

The shop's collection of well-priced vintage jewelry includes some excellent pieces from the forties and fifties.

To hear traditional Fado, hit the alleys of Alfama late at night; the melodies float out from restaurants and clubs. Parreirinha dates from the 1950's, and is a longtime favorite of everyone from foreign visitors to true fadistas.

Clube de Fado is one of the top hot spots to hear Portugal's folk music and owner and guitarist Mario Pacheco has assembled a strong roster of traditional fadistas, including Maria Armanda and Machado Soares.

This latest addition to Belém’s sprawling Cultural Center opened in June 2007 and houses a 1,000-plus inventory of modern and contemporary paintings, sculpture, and videos dating from 1909 (Picasso) to 2005 (Luc Tuymans).

A delicious array of rainbow-colored, fashion-forward dresses, skirts, and tops hangs from meat hooks in this converted butcher shop.