- Head on a city break to enjoy the rich cultural heritage, stunning topography and quaint cobbled streets of the Portuguese capital
- Rest your weary legs in a chic hotel on the Avenida de Liberdade, the Regent Street of Lisbon
- Explore the capital with a Lisbon local who can show you all of their favourite haunts and hidden hang-outs
- Tailor your trip with other activities, including watching a Fado show, going sailing on the Tagus River or exploring the seemingly endless castles and palaces in the Sintra Region
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Your hotelLocated on the very chic Avenida de Liberdade, the Regent Street of Lisbon, with its row of major international luxury brands, your hotel is one of the hip spots of the neighbourhood. It strikes a balance between 19th-century architecture and cheerful decor; everything is arranged as if it were a large private house to make you feel at ease right away. Antique pieces are interspersed with turquoise, lime, and raspberry armchairs. Head to the patio to swim a few laps in the pretty little pool, read, have tea, or sip a cocktail at the end of the day.
Pleasure foodSmall bars, tiny restaurants, low-cost gastropubs or well-guarded pastries. Tasting a 'cozido', a kind of stew, at the counter of a bar; pushing the door into a chic fish market that looks more like a clothing shop; having a drink on a terrace; touring the pastry shops for a comparative survey of pasteis de nata - delicious and decidedly sinful custard tarts.
Include in your itinerary - The best way to experience the capital from the inside is to discover it with a Lisbon native. Your guide knows their city by heart, and likes to share their favourite haunts with travellers. During an informal stroll, follow them through cobblestone streets as they regales you with amazing stories, in search of small churches often closed to the public, well-hidden mansions, art galleries, and markets. Don't plan ahead, but improvise according to everyone's tastes and desires. You set the pace.
Optional - Dinner at Cantinho do Avillez Restaurant. The chef from Belcanto loves bistro cooking. He reinvents national dishes, topping plates with African spices; lovingly reworking these highly tasty pieces often considered 'low-brow', making sandwiches that are simply sublime.
A la carte
La Parreirinha de Alfama is one of Lisbon's most authentic fado addresses. Located right in the heart of the Alfama district, this is one of the oldest fado restaurant in the area (opened more than 50 years ago), just across from the Fado Museum. The origins of fado are shrouded in mystery. Some say it evolved from the singing of the wives of sailors who went to sea. Others say it can be traced back to the mournful cries of Arab prisoners who remained in Portugal after the Reconquista. Still, others say it was the laments of African slaves… For a decade, the desire for Saudade, the famous Portuguese concept of melancholy, has been gaining popularity, even among young people. The most famous of the performers was Amalia Rodrigues (who sang in this house), although new talents have emerged such as Mariza, Cristina Branco or Ana Moura.
Sailing along the Tagus
Departing from the Belem area, you'll board a 39ft private sailing boat (with a skipper) for a cruise along the Tagus to the Santa Apolonia station area. Some of Lisbon's iconic sights and monuments can be discovered along the way: the Belem district and its tower; the 25 de Abril bridge; the Christ the King statue located on the south bank of the river; the Praça do Comercio, which is the gateway to the city centre; the hills of the Alfama district; the National Pantheon...
With a few extra days
Discover Sintra, only 19 miles west of the Portuguese capital. Nestled in the forest at the foot of the mountain and in the heart of Sintra-Cascais Nature Park, Sintra has inspired many European artists with its natural beauty, including Byron. A holiday spot for the royal family until Portugal's independence, the region has many historical treasures. You'll see endless castles, palaces, parks and gardens during a stay in the Sintra region. Not to be missed during your trip to the region: the Pena and Monserrate Palaces, the National Palace, the Quinta da Regaleira, and of course the beaches of Macas, Praia Grande, Praia de Adraga, or the beaches on the coast of Cascais, along with the famous Praia do Guincho.
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