Santa Clara 1728: set in a building dating back to the 1700s, this hotel is all about the minimalist design, where sparse equals stunning and austere luxury. Scandi furniture populates the bare Portuguese palace, against a backdrop palette in shades of white. Operated by the same group who runs the high-end equestrian center in Comporta, Cavalos na Areia. A chic bed & breakfast option in historic Alfama.

The Lisboans: Brand-new apartments furnished in mid-century modern style with antique decorative objects - think old globes and back issue National Geographics - this option is centrally located, and next door to the hip restaurant Prado. They actually run the place, and stock the apartments with fresh breakfast goodies. When you need to fill your pantry, just hop around the corner to their elevated version of a bodega.

Memmo Principe Real: if you prefer a full-service hotel, this option is in a cool part of town, and features contemporary architecture and happening public spaces with great views to people watch while sipping sunset cocktails.

Verride Palacio Santa Caterina: stylish interiors in a renovated townhouse, featuring fabulous stucco work, blue and white tiles dating back decades, and lots of windows that allow the Lisbon light to shine bright. There's a small pool on the rooftop too overlooking the Bica neighborhood below.

The Lumiares: boutique hotel amenities with apartment-like accommodations. Sleek design, lovely spa and a central location make this an all-around good choice.


Prado: hipster, farm-to-table in Chiado with jungalow style decor

100 Maneiras Bistro: inventive, sleek, less formal than the 100 Maneiras Restaurant in Barrio Alto

Cantinho do Avillez: elevated take on traditional Portuguese by star chef Jose Avillez in Barrio Alto - get a table in the dining room with open kitchen to watch the action and take a photo of the cute plate wall art.

Cantina ze Avillez: if you’re in Alfama, this is Jose Avillez’s take on hearty homestyle cooking

Cafe com Calma: super cute cafe between Alfama and the aquarium, a place where locals dine on fresh versions of typical light dishes. Have to love the insta-friendly setting with pink walls that feature the area's signature plates arrangement as art.

Barrio Avillez: multi-level destination for Jose Avillez’s casual dining. Try the Taberna for Portuguese tapas or the upstairs Pateo for Peruvian favorites in Chiado/Barrio Alto.

Alfonso e Gordo: traditional Portuguese dishes in a cozy, rustic setting - Chiado

Aqui ha Peixe: fresh fish, upscale in Chiado/Barrio Alto

Cervejeria Ramiro: probably the most famous restaurant in Lisbon thanks to Anthony Bourdain's (R.I.P.) visit in one of his No Reservations episodes, this place is a mecca for fresh fish. Very casual, and just a bit north of the town center.

A Cevicheria: Peruvian ceviche at its best, good for a light lunch at the bar counter in Principe Real

Cantinho do Aziz: for a taste of Portuguese East Africa, or Mozambique, head to this up and coming neighborhood (Mouraria) for spicy fish dishes deep in the heart of Lisbon.

Solar dos Presuntos: good, old-fashioned food. This is fine traditional Portuguese cuisine in Santo Amaro.

Hello Kristof: café for hipster coffee and pastries - Barrio Alto

Dear Breakfast: café serving breakfast all day, think avocado toasts and pretty lattes  - Barrio Alto

Copenhagan Coffee Lab: of course anything Scandi is cool, and of course the coffee is top!

Nicolau: the only decent café in the midst of tourist central in Chiado

Manteigaria: the best Pasteis de Nata in terms of flavor, eat your pastel while it's hot and taste the delicate vanilla flavor that only this places knows how to infuse.

Pasteleria de Belem:  the second best Pastis de Nata, served with little bags of powdered sugar and cinnamon to "make it your own", a special treat when visiting the Monastery of Jeronimos.

Pasteleria Alcoa: for a fancier take on traditional pastries, good option if you're being hosted for dinner and need to bring dessert.

Nannarella: for the tastiest gelato - Principe Real

Maria da Mouraria: old brothel-turned-fado restaurant, the charming and rustic decor sets the stage for fadoistas tunes and hearty local dishes.

Pao de Trigo: near Cabo de Roca if you’re driving out of Lisbon to the Western tip of Portugal, charming and rustic with excellent fish and meat.


Loja das Conservas: destination for all kinds of conserved fish, not just sardines, and with cool vintage packaging

Ceramicas de Linhas: ceramic tableware in a variety of styles and prices

Cortico & Netos: ceramics, ceramics, and more ceramics - this place specializes in both vintage and modern tiles.

Solar Antiques: for centuries-old tiles, museum-like quality...think an Aladdin's cave of tiles!

A Vida Portuguesa: architecture recalling historic shops, showcasing the best of Made in Portugal lifestyle goods

The Feeting Room: multi-brand boutique featuring upscale local designers

Livraria Ler Devagar: beautiful bookstore at LX Factory with high-ceilings opening up several stories of shelves lined with books of all genres. A unique bicycle work-of-art hangs from the ceiling punctuating the space.

Puro Cal: cool interior design store at LX Factory for modern decorative objects, a curated selection of blankets, pottery, furniture, and paintings by local artists.

Chi Coracao: colorful wool blankets and jackets in the tradition of Serra da Estrela region

Burel Mountain Originals: for modern and chic wool blankets honoring heritage craftsmanship

Embaixada: pop in if you have time to quickly peruse the concept space, but it’s not a must

Claus Porto: beautifully designed outpost of the Porto-based apothecary selling high-end, niche perfumes, soaps, lotions; the mini soaps make a great souvenir.


Museu Calouste Gulbenkian: off-the-radar museum in a more residential area just outside the center, this is Lisbon’s best kept secret. Beautiful gardens, stunning architecture, phemonomal curation of artwork spanning thousands of years. Don’t miss.

Monastery of Jeronimos: yes it’s touristy but it’s a downright beautiful example of Manueline late Gothic architecture. And it happens to be right next to the famous Belem pastry shop to taste some of the best Pasteis de Nata and as well as near MAAT -- the museum of art, architecture, and technology.

LX Factory: a bit of Williamsburg in Lisbon, formerly an industrial district turned arts compound with studios, fun cafes, hip restaurants, and interesting boutiques. The Livraria Ler Devagar bookstore has a spectacular design, and the Pura Cal boutique has great local home goods.

Topo: bar terrace in Chiado for sunset drinks

Monumento dos Restauradores: for views of the city and water in horizon

Santa Justa: you don’t necessarily need to pay the lift ticket to enjoy the wonderful view from this tourist elevator high above the historic center. Peeking through the net fence makes for more unique photos and you save spending on the entry fee.

Carmo Convent: head over to see this picturesque square and convent, with small kiosks in the plaza to grab an aperitif and soak in the impromptu concerts held by the talented street musicians. It's on the way to Topo terrace or Santa Justa lift.

Barrio Alto and Principe Real: walk around these neighborhoods for more independent shops and photogenic streets without the crowds of Alfama and Baixa/Chiado. For even less commercial streets, head to the medieval lanes of Mouraria.

TimeOut Market: skip this unless you enjoy throngs of tourists. Overrated and not worth it.