Imagine narrow streets lined with colourful houses in pastel shades, beautiful architecture, live music in the streets and the sound of the ocean in the distance. A city bustling with energy, with a unique blend of traditions and customs that have come together over the centuries. A melting pot of culture, food, music, architecture, and religion. This is Lisbon. The new Fusion collection is captured in this special place: where the old and the new, the local and the international are intertwined. We take you through Lisbon, and tell you exactly where to go for an authentic exploration of the Portuguese capital.
BAIXA & CHIADO | Museums, culture, and architecture
At the heart of Lisbon, you will find Baixa and Chiado; an ideal place to start exploring the city.
Baixa is also called Lisbon's "lower town". This historic district was rebuilt in a rectangular pattern after the 1755 earthquake. Unlike the old Alfama, you'll therefore find Baroque architecture, with its wide boulevards and grandiose buildings. Baixa is full of monuments and beautiful architecture dating back to the 18th century, making it well worth a visit on your trip to Lisbon.
Chiado, adjacent to Baixa, is a chic and elegant neighbourhood. Known for its cultural scene and beautiful architecture, Chiado is named after the well-known poet Antonio Ribeiro Chiado. This district is a popular destination for art lovers and creatives. Here you will find the city's best art galleries, theatres, and museums, including the National Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum of Modern Art.
A beautiful art gallery and shop not to be missed is ICON. Here, owner Maria selects beautiful designs and items by artists that she sells in her own shop. You will find unique, handmade items in small editions. Opposite the shop you will find her gallery with beautiful designs. Nearby, have lunch or dinner at Casa do Alentejo restaurant. Here you can imagine yourself in Morocco, while walking through their beautiful Moroccan courtyard. It is a place that once again reflects the rich cultural mix of this city. Café A Brasileira in Chiado, on the other hand, is a classic Portuguese café from 1905. This café was once the meeting place for artists and writers such as Fernando Pessoa. It is therefore the ideal spot to enjoy a cup of coffee and a pastel de nata before continuing your walk through Lisbon.
ALFAMA & GRAÇA| History, food, and music
Alfama and Graça are Lisbon's oldest neighbourhoods and should not be missed. These neighbourhoods carry a lot of history with them. It is the perfect place to get lost in the charm of old Lisbon. Do you want to experience the old, authentic Lisbon atmosphere? Then this is the place to go.
Alfama and Graça lie on the hills on the east bank of the Tagus River. Here you walk through the labyrinth of winding streets, stairs, and alleys. Here, too, you can see why Lisbon is a true cultural melting pot; Moorish and Jewish influences are clearly visible in the architecture and buildings of the old town.
In Alfama, in addition to the medieval Castelo de São Jorge castle, you'll also find endless local restaurants, bars, and markets. On Tuesdays and Saturdays, for example, you can stroll around the authentic Feira da Ladra; a true Portuguese flea market. Here you can buy handicrafts and local trinkets.
Finished browsing? Then easily settle down in this neighbourhood for local Portuguese food and drinks. In this area you will taste the mixed origins of Portuguese cuisine. For instance, the famous 'bacalhau', salted cod, is a speciality that originated in Norway. Today, it is an essential part of Portuguese cuisine. Other dishes that have their origins outside Portugal include the 'caldo verde', a soup made from green cabbage, and the 'arroz de pato', duck with rice and chorizo, which contain Spanish and Moorish influences. One of the most authentic restaurants in these neighbourhoods is Taberna da Rua das Flores, where you can enjoy these kinds of traditional Portuguese dishes. You'll find these recipes throughout Lisbon, but for an authentic experience, a lunch or dinner in one of these neighbourhoods is definitely recommended.
Finally, these historic districts are also home to fado; the traditional Portuguese music that originated in the city's working class. Fado is a mix of different musical styles, in which Moorish, Jewish, and Brazilian influences can be heard. It is often associated with the word "saudade": an untranslatable Portuguese word that expresses a sense of melancholy and nostalgia. Fado is therefore an important part of Lisbon's culture and is still widely performed in restaurants and bars. Visiting a Fado performance at Clube de Fado or Mesa de Frades, for example, will give you a glimpse of authentic, local Lisbon.
BAIRRO ALTO & PRINCIPE REAL | Vibrant, creative, and colourful
A little higher up on Lisbon's hills, you'll find the districts of Bairro Alto and Principe Real. Together, they form a vibrant, creative, and colourful area. This is the place where artists, designers, and chefs show how contrasts between modern and traditional can blend seamlessly. Here you will find a true melting pot of different cultures and traditions of locals and the international community. This is reflected in the many music clubs, boutiques, galleries, and restaurants that can be found there. You can therefore easily set aside a whole day and evening for these two neighbourhoods. There is plenty to see, taste, do, and experience.
Start your stroll at concept store Embaixada in Principe Real. Embaixada is an old palace converted into a concept store with various Portuguese brands and unique items. With fantastic ornaments on the ceiling, just stepping inside and feasting your eyes is already great.
Make a relaxed coffee stop at coffee bar Dramático. Tucked away in a small street, you can really check out and unwind here. They don't have Wi-Fi here, which is why it's so nice. Once recharged, wander further past the many boutiques of inspiring fashion designers and artists in this area.
This area is also a great place to indulge your culinary passion. At Rosamar, for instance, you can lunch or dine with fresh and sustainable fish on your plate while enjoying the magnificent interior around you. Good to know; there is now a pop-up menu where every week there is a chef that cooks. These chefs come from all over the world to cook in their own style and cuisine. Desiring a plate of pasta with a glass of wine? Then walk to Rosamar's neighbouring restaurant: Leonetta. An authentic spot, with again a fantastic interior, where they understand Italian cuisine all too well. Looking for something more upmarket? At A Cevicheria, just off Principe Real, watch from the bar as the fantastically prepared seafood is in front of you by Chef Kiko.
Principe Real is a neighbourhood where many artists live and work, so it is always buzzing with creativity and inspiration. The beautiful Praça das Flores, one of Lisbon's most beautiful squares, can also be found in this district. It is a quiet oasis in the middle of the city with several of cafés and restaurants where you can enjoy local specialities.
In the vibrant Bairro Alto, you can enjoy yourself until late at night in one of the many music clubs and bars. And here again, Lisbon shows its diversity. Whereas in Alfama you can sit down to an authentic Fado performance, here you visit the famous Hot Clube de Portugal; a place where jazz performances have been organised since 1948. Besides endless performances, Bairro Alto is also a great place to grab a table for delicious food. In the morning, comobå serves heavenly chai pancakes and other healthy dishes. You will enjoy the famous tram passing by here. For lunch and dinner, head to the modern Essencial or the more authentic O Barrigas. In Bairro Alto, you will find everything you need for a wonderful day and evening.
MOURARIA | History, multicultural, and atmospheric
Mouraria is a historic district of Lisbon, located on the hill between São Jorge Castle and the city centre. Known for its vibrant culture, delicious food and contribution to the city's charm and authenticity, this neighbourhood is a great place to immerse yourself in Lisbon's rich history.
This distinctive district has a long history of immigration, giving it a particularly multicultural character. Here you will find influences from Moorish, Jewish, African, Brazilian, and Asian cultures. Whereas Mouraria used to be a neighbourhood where the poorer working class ended up, it is now booming again. This makes for a unique mix of architecture, music, and food. The district is also known here for its fado music, which you can hear in the small bars and restaurants found here.
When in Mouraria, be sure to try the local specialities. Especially the famous Portuguese piri-piri chicken. You will also find many small family restaurants in Mouraria, such as Adega do Miguel. Here you can enjoy Portuguese dishes and delicious homemade wine. But African, Brazilian, and Indian restaurants can also be found here. Casa da India, for instance, combines traditional Indian dishes with Portuguese ingredients. Highly recommended for those who like spicy food.
Mouraria is a mix of different cultures, food, and music. If you are looking for unique Lisbon, an afternoon wandering through Mouraria is definitely not to be missed.
BÉLEM | A cultural mecca
A walk through the historic Bélem district is also worth a visit. Get a cup of coffee and the famous Pasteis de Bélem. This is a sweet delicacy, originally a mix between French and Portuguese cuisine. Then stroll past the famous defence tower Torre de Bélem and visit the Mosteiro dos Jeronimós: a monastery dating back to the 16th century, known for its impressive Gothic architecture and Baroque details. A monastery built in honour of Vasco da Gama's discovery of the sea route to India, it is decorated with beautiful sculptures and ornaments.
A trip to remember
You will find few other places in Europe with a rich cultural melting pot like Lisbon has. The place where different styles, cultures, and influences have met and created together for centuries. Whether you like food, music, architecture, or art; in Lisbon you will find it all. The inspiration and creativity are endless. From medieval castles to modern structures, each district has its own unique character and offers something special. Not surprisingly, many people are enchanted by the charm and authenticity of this city. Lisbon is the place to discover, learn, and experience.