Lisbon is an undisputedly charming city, characterised by colourful colonial buildings, ramshackle wooden trams and balmy year-round weather. Recently named the best city break destination in Europe, it's a pretty great place to spend a lot more time, too. If you have a weekend in Lisbon coming up, here are our E&V suggestions for an itinerary that takes in all the capital's highlights.
If you arrive on a Friday afternoon, begin your exploration of the city with a wander through Eduardo VII Park in the centre of the city. In the Amália Rodrigues gardens you'll find Eleven, a gourmet restaurant guaranteed to greet you in style. The cuisine makes excellent use of Lisbon's seafood and local produce, with unique dishes including codfish confit with passion fruit, pumpkin and “painço d’oro”.
The next morning, start your Saturday by walking uphill to the Castelo de São Jorge, which sits overlooking the historic Alfama neighbourhood. If you prefer taking the scenic route, the iconic wooden tram 28 follows a meandering trail that takes in several of the city's finest sights. From the top of the hill you’ll get a beautiful view across the terracotta rooftops of Lisbon, and there are plenty of excellent cafes where you can pick up a light lunch.
To revel in some Portuguese retail therapy, venture out to the Principe Real, where local designers sell everything from intricate necklaces to print scarves. For better-known brands, head to Chiado, where you can also grab a coffee and pose with the statue of Fernando Pessoa, Lisbon’s best-loved modernist writer. Keep the national theme going by kicking off your evening in the tiny Baixa district where you can sample the local cherry liqueur, ginjinha, which is served in chocolate cups. If you're feeling adventurous later on, wander up to the Bairro Alto: Lisbon’s nightclub neighbourhood. Seek out a speciality bar for the best drinks - such as Mezcal Bar Mexicano, which specialises in tequila and mescal. The party here doesn't usually get going until midnight at the earliest, so be prepared for a late night out!
On Sunday morning, spend a few hours in an old warehouse complex in Alcântara known as the LX Factory. Trendy bars and restaurants jostle for space amongst quirky shops such as Ler, one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world, and Organii, an organic cosmetics producer. Browse through the flea market before making your way along the riverfront to Belem, where you can enjoy the best custard tarts in the city.
Lisbon offers an excellent opportunity for property investors looking for a bargain. With prices still relatively low for high-value properties, the rental market in Lisbon offers particularly good yields and is rapidly attracting foreign investment. The city has also seen a boom in tourism in recent years, with a marked increase in British and Dutch visitors in particular. Whether you want to make a permanent base for yourself in Lisbon or are considering a rental investment, Engel & Völkers can offer you step-by-step advice. With a shop on location in Lisbon’s trendy Alamada dos Oceanos, you can be certain of expert advice from people who really know and understand Portugal’s property market.