South Africa's Finest Decor Magazine

Crazy Beautiful Portugal

Eccentric and colourful, Portugal’s capital city, Lisbon, is entering a new Age of Discovery

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Crazy Beautiful Portugal
Crazy Beautiful Portugal

Exploring Lisbon equates to one thing: hills. Spread out over many mounds great and small, the city’s seven neighbourhoods butt up against one another, a steep curve here, a gentle dip there. Inevitably you find yourself either at the foot of one or looking down from another at every turn; antique trams effectively rattling past, depositing the weary-legged. But here the effort is worth it; the city’s many cobbled streets unfurl before the intrepid traveller in a magnitude of bright colour and good cheer, unveiling many prized treasures, from family-run eateries and ginjinha bars to quaint stores and creative start-ups, off-beat signage and art, all waiting to be discovered.

STAY

Valverde Hotel

Cool and contemporary, the townhouse-like Valverde is situated on Lisbon’s most famous avenue, Avenida da Liberdade – Portugal’s take on the Champs-Élysées. Expect a homely setting with discreet luxury touches and a sublime pool area.
Book valverdehotel.com.

Palácio Belmonte

You won’t find any chocolates on your pillow or flat-screen televisions here. What you will find though is absolute tranquillity. Described as a ‘guest palace’, the Palácio Belmonte is located in a 16th-century palace surrounded by lush gardens. Marvel at the property’s original 18th-century azulejo panels, browse the library, cool off in the black marble swimming pool or simply relax.
Book palaciobelmonte.com.

Santiago de Alfama
Situated in the old, whimsical Alfama quarter, this 5-star boutique hotel boasts some of the best views in the city (book The Santiago Suite to capitalise on this). The modern, spacious rooms are bright and airy.
Book santiagodealfama.com.

EAT & DRINK

Belcanto

Portugal’s star chef José Avillez has several restaurants around the city, including a pizzeria and Mini Bar, a gourmet bar where theatre and food meet to play (think edible Green Apple Margaritas and Foie Gras Ferrero Rocher Bonbons). The most sought-after seat of all though is at Belcanto. The minute two Michelin Star restaurant is known for its sophisticated Portuguese cuisine that takes diners on a journey from old Chiado to modern-day Lisboa with every bite.
Reserve a seat joseavillez.pt.

Bairro Alto Hotel Terrace

This hotel’s rooftop terrace is the hottest in the city with sink-in couches and killer views, making it the perfect sundowner spot.
Reserve a seat bairroaltohotel.com.

A Cevicheria

Serving up the most delicious contemporary seafood, including gazpacho with scallops, tapioca and lime, BBQ octopus, confit codfish, and superb mini surf and turf sandwiches – as well as the best Pisco Sours in town – this small restaurant in Principe Real is not to be missed.
Reserve a seat chefkiko.com.

Palácio Chiado

Located in a magnificent 18th-century palace, Palácio Chiado offers an extravagant (there’s a golden lion suspended from the ceiling over the first-floor bar) food experience with six top restaurants each dishing up everything from traditional codfish dishes to beef loin tartare served with a cured egg on toast.
Reserve a seat palaciochiado.pt.

SHOP

LX Factory

Decidedly trendy, LX Factory consists of a number of edgy spaces filled with creatives, stores and eateries. Expect to find everything from homeware to clothing here.
Shop lxfactory.com.

A Vida Portuguesa

The brainchild of journalist Catarina Portas, A Vida Portuguesa offers a charming selection of traditional Portuguese products, such as soaps and ceramics
Shop avidaportuguesa.com.

Luvaria Ulisses

Like many small independent stores in Lisbon, Luvaria Ulisses sells only one product. In this case, buttery-soft leather gloves in all colours imaginable. Go for a custom fitting and marvel at the Art Deco interiors.
Shop luvariaulisses.com.

Caza das Vellas Loreto

Dating from 1789, this minute wood-panelled store in Chiado stocks the most beautiful hand-made candles in all shapes, sizes, aromas and colours.
Shop cazavellasloreto.com.pt.

Enjoy a gallery of some of our favourite Lisboa moments.

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Photography Courtesy of Santiago de Alfama, Matthew Buck, Palácio Chiado, Bairro Alto hotel, Paulo Barota, A Vida Portuguesa, Luvaria Ulisses, supplied