Frankie. Goes to...Lisboa
Where to start with Lisboa?! The city has heaps of charm from the bustling nightlife, winding streets adorned with tiles & street art, cheerful yellow trams, over flowing history and an abundance of quirky bars & restaurants. It’s a wondrous treat for the eyes and not to mention a pretty good work out for the buns, roaming those steep streets but this means all the guilt free pastel de nata you like! Allow us to ease some of the legwork and breakdown just a few of our favourite spots.
Depending on what days of the week you plan your trip, there's a superb flea market, Feira da Ladra,every Tuesday and Saturday morning at Campo de Santa Clara next to the National Patheon (which itself is a rather lovely spectacle). At the market you'll find a plethora of weird and wonderful things. Some junk, some treasures.. you have to dig deep but there's something to take home for every budget. The next on the list is LX Factory, not quite a market but this industrial complex houses many arty retailers and unique restaurants. Roaming the historical factory you'll find artist studios, radical stores (both indie and vintage), offices for an array of industries and all sorts of workshops. Amongst the labyrinth on the second floor is Rozza Vintage Culture the owner is super lovely and her selection is even better, you may need to buy another suitcase to haul those special pieces home.
If you've got enough room in the suitcase, we highly recommend a trip to Yoyo Objects, a handsome little store full of beautiful 20th century Portuguese design furniture that are probably missing in your home. That's not the only store worth discovering, among the interior is Caulino Ceramics, nestled near the centre by the Arco da Rua Augusta. The studio displays exclusive work and runs workshops allowing you to create your own objects in an inspiring surrounding, learning on the way! Quite close to here is A Loja Azul, another quirky ceramic store that also houses prints, tapestries and jewellery, all complimenting one another perfectly. Back to Frankie's adoration of vintage, there's a great second-hand store next to A Loja, whose name escapes us and Google unfortunately, but it's worth a scope when in the area.
Moving swiftly onto food, there's no end to the options in Lisbon. One of those options really has to be Pastel de Nata and where better to go than to the masters based a little further down the river at Pasteis de Belem. They've used the same secret ancient recipe from 1837 that was taken from the Jeronimos monastery. Churning out hundreds of Nata's daily, it's hard to resist getting half a dozen, freshly baked with a sprinkling of cinnamon. Delicious! What's more when you're in that part of town the Musuem of Art, Architecture and Technology can't be missed, if anything to walk around the repurposed power station. The views (and museum itself) are pretty spectacular. But let us get back to food, the Mercado da Ribeira Time Out food market in Cais do Sodre is a hit for all taste buds, it's one of the largest gourmet food spaces with many restaurants, bars, market vendors and shops all with the very best of Lisbon. Here we sampled a traditional Portuguese dish, Bacalhau a Bras - salted cod, onions and thinly chopped fried potatoes, all bound with scrambled eggs.
For day trippers seeking an adventure we highly recommend visiting Sintra, from magnificent palaces to wild beaches ending at Cabo da Roca, the most western point in Europe. Our road trip was hosted by Keep It Local Tours and they gave so much knowledge of the history of the town, palaces, showed us local villages, woods, markets and not to mention a sweet surprise at the end. There's so much to explore, it's truly a memorable ride!
Lisbon has so much to offer, we're sure you'll find so many treasures but we hope you like our recommendations!