Lisbon, the 531,000-person strong capital of Portugal, is a city full of unforgettable sights and experiences.
The immensely green Parque Eduardo VII; the colorful graffiti on huge buildings in Avenida Fontes Pereira de Melo; the pretty white houses of the Alfama area in the heart of the old Lisbon; the commanding São Jorge Castle perched on a hilltop.
Jump on a tram, talk to the locals – yes, the Portuguese speak great English – and follow the smell of grilled fish in its small alleys.
Have you ever seen a real sunset? This is what you can admire, sometimes, from the Praça do Comércio, one of the main squares in the city. I could barely breathe for the enchantment.
The city will give you hundreds of sweet memories like these – the ones I’ve mentioned are some of the richest in my heart.
5 not-to-be-missed experiences in Lisbon
1 Admire the Torre de Belém
This 500-year-old tower, overlooking the Tagus River and next to the Atlantic Ocean, is extremely iconic. It’s always surrounded by tourists and locals alike. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it’s also a jewel of the so-called Manueline style of Portuguese architecture.
2 Visit the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos
Not far from the tower, this monastery dates back to 1601. It was financed by the wealth coming from the Portuguese colonies in India and it’s both elegant and bold. You cannot miss it.
3 Take in the view from the São Jorge Castle
Gorgeous, scenic, romantic, sweet. Lisbon from above is something you will remember for years. The castle is often very crowded and to avoid the long queues try to get there early in the morning or late in the evening.
4 Immerse yourself in culture at Museu do Fado
In the heart of Lisbon, the perfect place to discover the magic of the famously melancholic Portuguese Fado music. Which is pretty sad, of course – but it’s also the soul of the city, and the nation.
5 Taste Bacalhau, a local delicacy
Atlantic cod, fried, roasted, grilled, in various sauces and condiment. You will find it everywhere in Lisbon, just follow the smell and you won’t be disappointed. The one in the picture was cooked by an old lady in the Alfama area. The little restaurant is called Lisboa Tu e Eu (Address: R. Adiça 58, 1100-603 Lisboa, Phone:+351 919 485 256) and they don’t have a website – but their cod is fantastic.
Where to stay
Naturally, we’d recommend, The Late Birds Lisbon, a chic, men-only hotel.
This charming venue opened in April 2015 and has since been recognized as the ideal space to receive an international gay urban tribe that wasn’t available in Lisbon before.
Situated in the heart of the city, this remarkably-designed hotel has four floors, twelve rooms, an idyllic pool and artwork adorning the walls.
The hotel was renovated by the architect Pedro Domingos. The building is from the late eighteenth century, and light is the essence of the project. The rooms have a large, wide windows that spread natural light, ensuring a constant dialogue with the garden.
In total, the guesthouse has 12 rooms including three suites and will soon have four more. Each room is equipped with a wide screen iMac, Castelbel products and TopLux Portuguese mattresses.
Don’t forget to enjoy the lovely swimming pool and breakfast which is served until 1pm. Yes, 1pm, because the guests are Late Birds.