Overlooking Camões Square, the five-star Bairro Alto Hotel charms locals and visitors with its handsome façade, modern interior androoftop terrace. Luis Miguel (“El Jeffe”) Moreira has been there since it first opened its doors 10 years ago.

Luis Miguel Moreira
Image: Ishay Govender-Ypma Luis Miguel Moreira

Where’s the party? Lux at the waterfront is well known for its fabulous interior, spectacular rooftop terrace overlooking the river, and the best DJs.

Best secret eatery loved by the locals? Manteigaria, across from the hotel. This small factory makes iconic pasteis de nata that many say are better than the famed ones in Belém. It’s no secret though.

A new, high-end restaurant? Belcanto next to the São Carlos Square first opened in 1958 and was recently awarded a second Michelin star. Old meets new – magical. 

The bars you can’t miss? The Urban Beach on the water, Pensao Amor in the once-seedy Cais do Sodré and stunning Pavilhão Chines on Rua Dom Pedro V,  perhaps the oldest bar in Lisbon.

An outdoor activity that’s worth doing? Sunset cruise on the Tejo River.

An unmissable piece of architecture? The intricate São Roque’s Church in Bairro Alto and the futuristic Champalimaud Foundation along the river.

What’s on at the theatre? Apart from the opera season (October to March), performances occur randomly. 

The boutique Bairo Alto Hotel overlooks the historic Camões Square
Image: Ishay Govender-Ypma The boutique Bairo Alto Hotel overlooks the historic Camões Square

Events we shouldn’t miss? The feast of Santo Antonio (July 12 and 13) is unmissable. A huge parade takes place along Avenida da Liberdade and every neighbourhood grills sardines on the streets until late. Bullfights in Lisbon’s 19th-century neo-Moorish arena every Thursday from Easter to October. (The Portuguese don’t kill the bulls).

A performance to watch? Fado – emotional singing accompanied by guitar in a concert hall or café in Alfama.

Any markets you should visit? The Feira da Ladra (thieves’ market) in Campo de Santa Clara. Modern Mercado da Ribeira is perfect for food lovers.

The best locale for shopping for authentic local products? The ateliers in the elegant  Chiado district.

What is the signature dish of the country and where can the best example be found? Bacalhau (salted codfish) at Casa do Bacalhau in Rua do Grilo and Joao do Grão in Baixa.

View over Lisbon from the Miradouro de São Jorge castle
Image: Ishay Govender-Ypma View over Lisbon from the Miradouro de São Jorge castle

The best contemporary art gallery in the city? Galeria Filomena Soares.

For the kids? The Lisbon Zoo and the Oceanário, the largest aquarium in Europe.

Museums? Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, an extraordinary collection donated by oil magnate Calouste Gulbenkian. Museu Berardo de Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, for modern and contemporary collections. Museu da Arte Antiga, housed in a 17th-century palace.

You can’t come to Lisbon without seeing? The Castelo de São Jorge, an imposing Moorish structure high above the city, which offers panoramic views… and the hotel’s roof-terrace bar. bairroaltohotel.com

Praço do Comércio
Image: Ishay Govender-Ypma Praço do Comércio

June 2015

© Wanted 2016 - If you would like to reproduce this article please email us.