Lisbon is for lovers. This city merges the old and new so seamlessly it’s poetic. Centuries old buildings beside all things modern, feels quite right. With cobblestone, narrow, windy streets, Baroque architecture, pastel colors everywhere, the senses are stimulated. Art is all over, even in the cobblestone pavement. Tip: Tell your gal to leave those sexy high heels at the hotel until it’s time to hit the dance floor. While artful, the pain can tear up the nicest of shoes. Calcada portuguesa, come in a variety of mosaic patterns, making many streets something to see. Thanks to Moorish tradition, there are tiles on buildings. Essentially pieces of art, they’re called azulejos. Blue is very much a favorite color. It’s no wonder the city is so enchanting.
The Pros & Cons of Lisbon
It doesn’t take much to realize why this capital city of more than 500,000 people is suddenly a hotspot. The trams, elevators, murals, cafes, and historic buildings all contribute to its unique beauty. Another plus is that it’s more affordable than many European destinations. But if there is a downside, it is that with popularity comes truckloads of tourists. You should expect lines at top sites. You can largely bypass this though, by going in the off season, March to May or September and October. Not only will you skip the masses and side effects like folks hassling you to buy souvenirs, you can also avoid the heat.
Where to Stay in Lisbon
There’s a reason the 5-star Tivoli Avenida Liberdade is legendary. Since the 1930s, this hotel has been the place for luxury at its best. Step into the ornate lobby, and you’ll immediately know why. Talk about pizazz. The ceiling attempts to reach the sky it’s so tall. Gold is the color, curtains are velvet. It’s like the sun is in the room, it’s beaming so brightly from the skylight that is the length and width of the ceiling. The Anantara Spa awaits. The combination of ancient far-eastern therapies and Portuguese ingredients will do much to melt wedding stress. The high-touch service begins from the moment you hit the sidewalk in front of the hotel and the bellman may tip his hat and whisk your luggage away. The icing on the cake is the hotel is right in the heart of the city, accessible to everything.
Lisbon is full of options. For sure you can’t go wrong at the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon, where you’ll have a home around some of the best architecture and history the city offers. If a 4-star boutique hotel is more to your liking, check into Hotel Britania. You’ll dig the art deco style, and a stop in the bar is a trip down memory lane, with the plethora of paintings of Portugal’s overseas empires.
Best Honeymoon Packages
Original Travel can customize your honeymoon. For example you can take a 2 ½ hour ptiave walking tour that includes the Principe Real District, the Chiado and Lisbon’s beloved bakeries. You’ll fill up sampling cheeses, espressos, Portuguese cusine and desserts if you choose to take a three-hour foodie tour. You can get out of Lisbon for a bit with trip to Sintra with a personal guide to hip you the history of this fabled town that was once the playground of one percenters.
Best Attractions and Activities
Lisbon is home to Livraria Bertrand, which opened in 1732 and is the oldest bookstore in the world. Then there’s the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, a magnificent monastery that is in Lisbon’s Belem district. Built in the early 1500s, Mosteiro dos Jerónimos is one of the most decorated churches in Portugal, with its vaulted ceilings and ornate altar. A massive stone portal on the southern entrance is striking with its carvings of saints, complex shaped pinnacles and much more.
This city is very much about neighborhoods. Each as different as night and day, with their own vibe. Chiado the arts and culture district full of galleries and shops. Liberty Avenue is beloved for its wide sidewalks and trees that form an arch of sorts down the street. It is a main thoroughfare. Designer shops and restaurants line the street.
The site of a massive manufacturing complex that housed a fabric company back in the 1800s is now the LXFactory, an enormous mixed-use space that is home to start-up companies, photography studios and other offices, as well as trendy restaurants and cafes, concert halls, galleries, and shops.
Scenic Liberty Street is bustling. Locals say it is their Avenue des Champs-Elysees. Depending on the day you might find vendors up and down the street for blocks, selling jewelry, antiques, books, crystal, porcelain, leather goods, just about anything.
The neighborhoods all have some things in common, majestic churches, statues that pay homage to heros — great food and drink. You will not go hungry. Tapas, seafood right from the Portuguese coast, strong coffee and pastries to die for. You can’t leave Lisbon without waiting in the long line at Pasteis de Belem, where more than about 20,000 pastries are made and sold daily.
Lisbon is so cultural, museums are plentiful. Check out the National Museum of Ancient Art, Beraro Collection Museum, and Calouste Gulbenkian Museum for starters. After all the action in Lisbon, which has a population of more than 500,000, wind down your trip with a smaller, quieter slice of Portugal. Drive about two and half hours for sun, sand and golf in Algarve. Check into the Anantara Vilamoura Algarve Resort. Expect pampering at its best. Anantara Spa Vilamoura’s award-winning spa, uses healing traditions of the world’s richest wellness cultures, centuries-old Mediterranean therapies, Turkish hammam rituals and exotic Asian treatments, to perfection, creating an unforgettable experience.
You’ll have no trouble finding live music, especially in the evenings in the cafes it’s all about Fado music, with tales of loss, of love lost, sad, but beautiful, stirring and sentimental.
You’ll also want to be sure to make your way to the city center to one of the hottest spots in town, the Sky Bar, the rooftop bar at star Tivoli Avenida Liberdade. Know that you’re in for spectacular panoramas, creative cocktails and signature drinks like Portuguese Soul, white port, Disaronno, scented black tea, star anise, and cinnamon. Whether a DJ or live music, this place rocks.
Bar A Parodia, a cocktail wine bar, is dimly lit with dark woods, chock full of art deco pieces and antique, ideal for a starry-eyed couple.
Pink Street in the Bairro Alto district, is the heart of Lisbon’s night life, with plenty of bars and clubs. Peep in and out till you find where you want to hang until the wee hours.
You know Portuguese cuisine is amazing, it’s probably among the reasons you chose to celebrate your love there. Eat up.
Cervejaria Liberdade in Tivoli Tivoli Avenida Liberdade is for seafood lovers. They go hard to get the good stuff, be it the Berlenga Islands, Algarve for prawns, mini lobsters from Cascias. If you fancy steak, it’s guaranteed that you haven’t had steak tartar like this, spicy, bursting with flavor, and so good even if you don’t like raw, you’ll love this. Just watching it made in front of you is a treat.
No worries if seafood doesn’t tickle your palate. There’s RIB Beef & Wine Restaurant on the ground floor of Pousada de Lisboa. It’s cozy, with room for only 60. The views over the Terreiro do Paco – Prace do Comerico will be something you talk about on your first anniversary. Rumor has it that the Tomahawk ribeye is a good choice. It’s cut and marinated for 28 days, a touch of marbling and juicy. Also make your way to favorites like Beco – Cabaret Gourmet by Jose Avillez, Faz Figura amd Estorias Na Casa Comida.
You can go anywhere on your honeymoon, but Lisbon is for lovers. Why not start the legacy of your life together there.