In Lisbon for 24 hours? Explore the best of the city.Less
7AM: Savour the dawn at the Memmo Alfama hotel and watch Lisbon awake in absolute quiet, disturbed only by a few cocks crowing. Take a seat on the terrace of this amphitheatre-like setting and enjoy the villagey atmosphere.
9AM: Walk down to Largo de Camões, get a sense of the city centre as it comes alive, and at the historic café A Brasileira order a bica (espresso coffee), a pão de Deus (brioche with coconut topping) and some cheese.
10AM : Shop for artisanal items and other vintage products, all 100% Portuguese, at A Vida Portuguesa (page 192), an old-fashioned yet chic general store, and take a tour of classic Portugal: woven cotton rugs, Claus Porto soaps, woollen blankets from the Serra da Estrela, stationery, Bordallo Pinheiro ceramics and more.
1PM: Have a light and relaxed lunch at the edge of the Tagus at À Margem, a glass rectangle set down like a container on the quayside at Belém. A great way to cast off and enjoy a glass of vinho verde, simple salad or plate of cheese and charcuterie.
3PM : Fill your bag with plaids scarves, shawls, ponchos and other woollen wraps at Ecolã, sourced directly from the Serra da Estrela, beneath the stucco of the Moorish palace of Embaixada, now converted into a concept store.
4PM: Arrive on the dot for the first batch of teatime treats (announced by the clock’s loud chimes) to enjoy pastéis de nata – traditional custard tarts – at Manteigaria. Order a refreshing glass of iced tea at the counter and sprinkle your pastries with cinnamon. Leave with plenty of boxes of pastéis packed in a pretty bag.
5PM: Enter the literary world of Ler Devagar, an impressive bookshop housed in an old printworks in the heart of the Lx Factory, in the Alcântara district. Books cover the walls from floor to ceiling. You’ll be there for hours.
7PM : Sip a cocktail at the Park, perched on the sixth floor of a car park, and be transported to seventh heaven with the fantastic views of the Santa Catarina belltowers. Lose yourself in the powder-blue sky as you watch Lisbon’s famous swallows wheeling and diving, or contemplate the Tagus on the horizon. Sunset is a special daily performance here, celebrated by a regular DJ.
9PM: Sit down at Feitoria João Rodrigues’s restaurant in Belém. The starred chef enhances the Portuguese repertoire with a stripping down almost to minimalism and a keen attention to using local products.