“Work hard, play hard.” This manifesto could not be truer when you are planning to make a trip to the Portuguese capital to attend the Web Summit Lisbon. The event takes place between the 5th and 8th of November. If you’ve never been to Lisbon before, here are a few things you cannot miss.
Top 5 Cultural Experiences in Lisbon
At first glance, one might mistake the red bridge that crosses Lisbon for one in San Francisco. Similarly, a glance at the Cristo Rei in Lisbon is easily mistaken for a similar monument in Rio de Janeiro. Lisbon is full of unexpected surprises.
1. Belem Tore
Built in 1519, this tower is probably one of the most prominent landmarks of Lisbon. It used to serve as a defense tower during the Age of Discoveries. The terrace offers perfect views of the surrounding area.
A mere walking distance away, you’ll find the best bakery to taste the famous Portuguese egg tart, pasteis de nata.
2. São Jorge Castle
While the castle itself is not really worth a visit, getting there by riding the Tram 28is an experience in itself and offers a stunning view of the city from above.
3. Jeronimos Monastery
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Jeronimos Monastery is simply beautiful. Built by King Manuel in 1502, it commemorates the success of Portuguese explorer Vasco Da Gama.
4. Praça de Comerico
Located in the downtown area of Baixa, the Praça do Comércio exudes the vibe of a classic European city square. Rebuilt in the 18th century following an earthquake, the square boasts beautiful views of the bay. It is also located strategically as it’s close to most sights in the city and has numerous bus and tram connections. A wise tip would be to book your hotel in this area!
5. Walking in the streets of Alfama
The best way to enjoy Lisbon is to walk, walk and walk. Put the district of Alfama at the top of your list as it is one of the oldest in Lisbon. As I walked through the cobblestone streets I felt like I was visiting a village instead. Getting lost here is just a delight.
I highly recommend you catch some traditional fado music in a small restaurant while you are here.
Top 5 Bars & Restaurants in Lisbon
After hours of the Web Summit is all about networking! Here is a round-up for the best bars and restaurants with a great vibe to drink, eat and enjoy each others company.
1. Lost In – Esplanada
Slightly eclectic in its decor, Lost In offers spectacular views of the Portuguese skyline and its ambiance is somewhat a mix of hipster and cosmopolitan. A little birdie tells us the sangria here is exceptional.
2. The Park Bar
This highly rated venue is one of the most recommended rooftop bars in the city. Take in the sunset and enjoy cocktails with an incredible view. The music before sundown is chilled which just makes for a great place to hang out and chat about the highlights of the day’s events.
3. BA Wine Bar do Bairro Alto
The BA Wine Bar houses over 600 Portuguese wines in an intimate space with superb service. It’s mostly recommended for those looking for an authentic experience in Lisbon, and especially so, if you love your vino!
4. Darwin’s Café, Belém
Not far from the Tower of Belém, the Champalimaud Centre is a biomedical research facility with a waterfront restaurant referred to as Darwin’s Café. Minimalist in its design and architecture and the dishes are delicious while beautifully presented. Book a table on the terrace and enjoy a glass of wine (or two).
5. By The Wine
As its name suggests, this place is all about…. wine, wine and more wine. This Chiado bar gets its stocks from the wineries of Jose Maria da Fonseca, a noted Portuguese winemaker. My favorite part about this place is that you can do a tasting before deciding on a full glass of wine to sip on.