Oh beautiful Lisbon, with its rickety yellow trams, cobbled streets and epic views over terracotta rooftops and the glittering River Tagus. We love this city for year-round getaways, and it really does have something for everyone – whether you’re into street art or ornate tiles, designer shopping or flea markets, fine dining or café culture (it’s even great for a family city break). And there are some super-cool hotels to boot…
This hip boutique hotel is a handy base near all the main city sights and the metro. It’s set on the busy shopping streets, which are teeming with bars, cafes and restaurants, but the vibe inside is mellow. The décor mixes bright velvet sofas, fun art and design books, and there’s a bistro for laid-back lunches. An easy option for couples and groups of friends.
Memmo Alfama sits on a cobbled street in Lisbon’s oldest district. Once a factory, the building has been carefully renovated to create a minimalist adults-only haven. The 42 rooms have beech-wood floors and a calming colour palette, and framed fado LPs remind guests that Alfama is the home of Portuguese folk music. The pièce de résistance is the rooftop terrace, with its red-tiled pool, bar and mesmerising views over the jumble of buildings below.
These light and bright apartments (each sleeping 1-7) are surrounded by the boutiques and buzzy restaurants of the trendy Baixa district. They’re a beautiful mismatch of old and new: original features sit alongside quirky furnishings, and shuttered windows let in bags of light. Breakfast, a homemade cake and daily cleaning are included in the rates, and the friendly staff are on hand to give insider recommendations on getting the most out of your stay.
This is an indulgent option in the heart of Lisbon’s artistic quarter – the kind of place where a porter swoops on your luggage as soon as you walk in. The glam rooms have high ceilings, rich fabrics and luxurious bathrooms, and the terrace offers cocktails with a long river view. The hotel’s Restaurante Flores do Bairro serves up modern Portuguese fare, while a cool crowd flocks to the bar at weekends when DJs take up residence.
This 10-room guesthouse sits in a peaceful neighbourhood, 20 minutes’ walk from the city centre. It’s an ideal spot if you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle, or if you’re a return visitor who wants to explore new corners of Lisbon. Owner Luis has created a charming haven where contemporary décor meets Portuguese heritage, and the lavish breakfasts are full of local delicacies – yum! You can even join fascinating walking tours with manager Juan.
Prices start at £94 per night
Our top tips for Lisbon:
Drop by a cosy little tasca (bar) to discover the delights of ginginha, a cherry liqueur. The aptly named ‘A Ginginha’ in Rossio is a favourite.
When in Belém, make a beeline for famous bakeryPastéis de Belém – its cinnamon-sprinkled custard tarts are a national delicacy.
For the best shops in town, head to Avenida Liberdada, the capital’s main street. The Fashion Clinic is the place to go for all the designer names.
Don’t miss the famous Mercado da Ribiera in Chiado. Once a simple produce market, it’s more of a sophisticated food court these days, with canteen-style tables and dishes by some of Portugal’s top chefs. Great for lunch, or for buying ingredients to self-cater.
If the city’s beautiful architecture inspires you to learn more about Portuguese tiles, head to the Museu Nacional do Azulejo, where you’ll find examples from the 15th century onwards, together with modern interpretations.