Cynthia Lawrence reveals how to spend the perfect 48 hours in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon
Stay in the heart of the hotspots
The newly revamped Avani Avenida Liberdade Lisbon Hotel is located exactly where the name states, in the prime location of the Avenida Liberdade.
Drop off your bags and stroll down the tree-lined avenue with luxury stores and quaint outdoor cafes, then head back to dine at the chic yet decadent Olivier Avenida restaurant.
As Portugal’s most famous chef, Avenida’s signature carpaccios are a delight, and the fish puff pastry, shrimp and spinach is a must-have. Main meals from £20.
Afterwards, pop next door for a cocktail with a view at Skybar – Lisbon’s famous rooftop bar on the ninth floor of the grand Tivoli Avenida Liberdade Hotel.
The talking point is the colourful boxes that stand out on the deck. But it’s not a piece of modern art, they are actually the toilets.Cocktails include Summer with a View and Portuguese Sour, and the wine selection is foolproof. Cocktails from £10.
Tour the city on a tuk-tuk
If you fancy seeing the attractions without getting stuck in traffic, a tuk-tuk is best.Navigate the steep, winding roads, admire the charming tiled houses and experience the best views from the scenic lookout spot in Misericórdia.
Head to the maritime area of Belem where the Torre de Belém, a 15th-century Byzantine fortress, sits by the shoreline. Tuk-tuk hire is £53 an hour for up to six passengers.
If you want to explore at a more relaxed pace, take a walking tour around the lively Baixa district and lose yourself in the nostalgia of the patterned tiled floors, converted palaces and colourful architecture – landmarks of Lisbon’s restoration after the earthquake of 1755.
Another heritage spot is the gothic-style, iron Elevador de Santa Justa. It’s based on the Eiffel Tower and offers spectacular views. Vintage walking tours start from £18.
Lisbon is well-known for its graffiti and the works of famous street artistans Os Gemeos and Vhils can be seen dotted around the city.
Tour the local neighbourhoods where some of the most stunning art brightens up the rather dismal tower blocks.
The LX Factory in Alcantara is a boho hub with more stunning graffiti. Set in an industrial space, warehouses have been transformed into hipster galleries, book shops and cafes.
It’s not hard to miss as it sits just under the 25 de Abril Bridge, which resembles the San Francisco Golden Gate.
Sample the best seafood in the city
Try Portugal’s best seafood at the Cervejaria Liberdade restaurant at Tivoli.
With their selection of fresh lobsters, oysters and clams, you’ll be spoilt for choice and the meat courses – including the traditional pica-pau spicy pork – are just as impressive. Don’t miss the goose barnacles, an odd-looking but rather tasty delicacy which is one of their star dishes. Mains start from £17.
For a blend of the traditional and modern, visit the popular Cantinho do Avillez in Chiado. It’s the brainchild of Michelin-starred chef Jose Avillez.
Try the roasted Algarve octopus, flaked cod with breadcrumbs, egg and “exploding” olives. Mains from £16.
Go shopping in an old palace
The Embaixada concept gallery on Principe Real is a neo-Moorish palace transformed into a fashionable shopper’s paradise.
With its palatial architecture, grand staircase and high ceilings, it’s easy to think you’re in a museum rather than a shopping centre. Each room is a different store of designer brands.
Sample the nightlife
Have a cocktail at the Pharmacia restaurant, housed in THE same building as Museu de Farmacia on Rua Marechal Saldanha.
Source: The Sun