Those of you who follow my blog and my recent travels, know that I have a soft spot for Portugal in general, and Lisbon in particular. For the last three years I’ve been visiting Lisbon six times already and shot hotels, restaurants and street scenes for various magazines.
From an outsider point of view, and as a photographer, it is great to see how the city has changed through these year.
The city is buzzing with tourists, the cafe’s are packed with people, new wine boutiques, boutique hotels, trendy restaurants, chefs’ restaurants, colorful tik-tok taxies, yellow trams riding back and forth the historic route of Lisbon. Even the sardines smell better. I call it The Revival of the City.
When Virtuoso magazine has asked me to shoot ‘Lisbon Tasty Renaissance’ a food story about Lisbon, I said Yes right away. Especially since the Portuguese kitchen is one of my favorite.
I was lucky to shoot some of the top chefs in Lisbon, such as Jose Avillez and Joao Rodrigues, who both won a Michelin star. I also shot the new Mercado da Riberia and some other great restaurants and bars. It was a great way to discover Lisbon through the food.
Scroll down for some highlights and addresses from the article, for your next travel in Lisbon.
Mercado da Ribeira
Start your exploration of the Mercado da Ribeira by nibbling on petiscos, the Portuguese equivalent of Spanish tapas, a tradition of small bites that is rising in popularity in Lisbon. These might be a vinegary octopus salad, fried green beans, or local cheeses. Sip wild cherry liqueur and eat a prego, or steak sandwich, served on soft, circular bolo do caco bread. Sample bites of cured ham and sausage, sourdough acorn bread, and creamy cinnamon gelato from Santini, and make sure to buy a small bottle of local piri piri chili oil. With around 30 stalls, you can easily wander and try whatever looks good. One of the best souvenirs is inexpensive but high-quality tinned fish at the Conserveira de Lisboa outpost. For kitchenware and other Portuguese-made finds, browse the shelves of local favorite A Vida Portuguesa. Rua Anchieta 11.
October starts with some great news and with my debut in Marie Claire, UK version.
This is not the first time I have my images in Marie Claire. First time was in Marie Claire Italia, April 2012 featuring my ‘Intimacy under the Wires’ story, and few months later on September, the magazine featured an image of Jaffa Flea Market.
But this time is bigger and better. Deluxe Travel story about Lisbon with some of my fave images of the Portuguese Capital. This piece really makes me want to book a flight and visit Lisbon again.
If you can get your hands on Marie Claire UK, October issue, here are the details;
Must Do: Ride a vintage yellow tram, no. 28 takes scenic route; dine on fresh fish Aqui Ha Peixe in Bairro Alto; bring home stylish gloves from Luvaria Ulisses.
What to Pack: Dresses are the ultimate holiday staple. Go for block colors that can be livened up with some carefully chosen accessories to take you from sightseeing to cocktail sipping.
Stay At:Palacio Belmonte, a luxurious ten-suite hotel inside the walls of medieval Sao Jorge Castle with terrific views over the city. Add in a swimming pool, garden and gorgeous 18th century azulejo tiles and you are all set for a romantic break.
Resource Magazine Summer 2013 edition is out! and my second article in the series ‘Productions of the World’ is now focusing on Lisbon, Portugal. (My first one was on Tel Aviv). If you are a photographer who is interested to shoot in Lisbon, than this article will definitely help you plan it. And if you are not a photographer but still, visiting the Portuguese capital, you will find some great tips and recommendations.
Some people might refer to Portugal as the ‘foster kid of Europe’, not necessarily for its southwestern location in the continent, but mostly for its comfortable Mediterranean climate throughout the year and the warm temper of its people. These two make Portugal as a popular destination to visit, explore and travel.
The Portuguese people love to travel. Therefore it is no surprise that Lisbon, their capital, is a sophisticated, global city with endless opportunities to offer visitors and its native residents. Recently the city has started to wake up to tourism and become more alive, more tourist-friendly and a desired destination among the younger crowds.
A new generation of venues has popped up in the last couple of years, upgrading the night-life and dining scene. More chef-oriented restaurants are being opened, more bars and clubs pay attention to the design scene and more trendy fashion boutiques are spreading around. Combine this with the history, the architecture, the beaches, and the fact it is a compact city and relatively easy to navigate, and you have a great destination to visit and a diverse city to shoot in.
For the last couple of months I wrote so much aboutLisbon, which is starting to be one of my favorite cities I visit. I’ve visited Lisbon last February as I was writing an article about the city. I’ve discovered so many new locations, hotels, restaurants and nice boutiques and decided to share this information with my Israeli readers.
My recent article about Lisbon is now featured in At Magazine, a Fashion and Life style magazine in Israel. The article will be on an A3 format, especially for the Spring Holidays.
There is nothing like coming to a familiar place for the second time and feel like you never left it. This is what happened to me when I arrived at Lisbon in January for a shoot. I arrived at the airport at 11pm and took a taxi straight to Gat Rossio Hotel, where I was staying in my previous visit. When I got to the hotel, the concierge welcomed me with a ‘Welcome Back Miss Askayo’ so I knew it was going to be a great stay. I raved about Gat Rossio and its young and warm atmosphere in a previous post and it is just getting better.
In my first visit to Lisbon in June I stayed for 48 hours but discovered so much. In my second visit, I already knew my way around and still, discovered so many new places to write about. You can read all my previous posts and recommendations about Lisbon in the following links.
Here is a selection of some new places worth checking when you visit Lisbon; Mostly for their style, design and their great concept.
FonteCruz Hotels is part of the Marriott collection with five hotels in Spain, and the Lisboa hotel (2011) is the first one to be opened outside of Spain and marks the beginning of a new growth route in Europe. The five-starts hotel is located in the fashionable Avenida Liberdade, which makes it a great and accessible location to the city center. The concept of the hotel is an Autograph Collection of old Lisbon postcards. The designer picked original old postcards, enlarged them to a half-wall size and made them as the back of the bed. The hotel is built of two buildings; One is all white, which represents the old part of the city and the other one is all black, which is more modern. The hotel owners also manufacture the Spanish Pinot Noir, which, of course can be purchased at the hotel bar.
Hotel Fonte Cruz Lisboa, Avenida Liberdade 138, Lisboa
If you are more interested in the night life of Lisbon, I highly recommend to stay in the area of Barrio Alto, known as the nigh-life and entertainment district of Lisbon. One of the most beautiful hotels in Barrio Alto is LX Boutique Hotel, which was a historic building, that turned into the current hotel.
Each floor in the hotel is designed and dedicated to a concept related to Lisbon; One floor is dedicated to the fado music, another floor is dedicated to the Tagus river, and others are dedicated to Barrio Alto, the Seven Hills of Lisbon, and Fernando Pessoa, one of the greatest poets of Lisbon. If you are looking for a great night hang out, just cross the street to Pensão Amor, one of my favorite bars in the city.
This might be the most designed hostel in Lisbon, located just across the street from the São Pedro de Alcântara viewpoint, overlooking the Tagus river, Rossio area and Castelo st. Jorge. The hostel is designed and targeted mostly for young travelers who are used to ‘dormitory’ conditions and sleep on bunk beds. There are 90 bunk beds spread across 11 spacious rooms. Each floor has an airy living room with comfortable sofas, where young travelers can hang out and share their experience with other travelers.
If sleeping on bunk beds is not your style, you can stay in one of the four suites Independente offers. The suites are well designed with cute little sun balconies, where guests can enjoy a good breakfast. The hotel atmosphere is very young and hype, maybe because of the majority of the young travelers, and around night time, it is one of the most popular hang out, thanks to the The Decadente restaurant in the ground floor.
The Independente Hostel & Suites, Rua de Sao Pedro de Alcantara 81, Lisboa
I love that restaurant. It is known for its great young vibe, a modern Portugese kitchen and a retro-vintage chic feel. The restaurant, which is part of the hotel, is an attractive meeting place for lunch or dinner. Adjacent to the restauran there is a small bar with a DJ position that plays music every night.
I highly recommend to book Decadenteeither for a dinner or a brunch. Great fresh food, reasonable prices, fun atmosphere and friendly service (The waiter drew for me some directions around Lisbon on the restaurant’s napkins). If you are there on a Tuesday, Decadente offers a new Wine & Dine menu which displays a great selection of dishes and wine tasting by the chef Nuno Bandeira Lima.
The Decadente, Rua de Sao Pedro de Alcantara 81, Lisboa
‘Canned Food goes Gourmet’ is the concept of this new restaurant, which was opened only three months ago in Terreiro do Paco, one of the central locations in downtown Lisbon. Some people might raise an eyebrow when they hear about canned food, but the final result is very surprising and delicious.
Portugal is blessed with fish and seafood, especially sardines, and considered one of the biggest canned fish exporter in Europe, so it was just a matter of time that a restaurant like that will be opened. The menu is rich and diverse, using only Portuguese products. It offers salads, sandwiches, Tibornas (spreads on bread) all presented in a very aesthetic way, accompanied with a range selection of Portuguese wines.
The restaurant was designed by one of the partners, who created a large chandelier, made out of cans. If you make reservations for dinner, you can also enjoy a live concert by a local Portuguese artist. Better make reservations ahead of time for dinner.
Can the Can, Terreiro do Paço 82/83, Lisboa
Lisbon is, no doubt, a surprising city with lots of new places and opportunities.
If you haven’t decided yet on your next holiday destination, or if you already booked Lisbon, I highly recommend to add this post to your list.
For years, I’ve been an avid reader of Travel + Leisure, one of the most leading travel magazines in the world. The magazine serves as an on-going inspiration for my next travel destinations and not once do I buy an issue and highlight some articles and find tips on where to stay, what to see, where to eat and what is the next ‘most desirable’ place these days. Truth is that my in flight read (beside the magazine they give you on the plane) is always the recent issue of Travel + Leisure, and since I’ve started my Travel Photography career, Travel + Leisure was definitely something to look for.
I am so excited one of my Pharmacia Restaurant images has made it to the ‘Lisbon by Design’ segment in November issue. It seems Lisbon gets the exposure it deserves and I’m glad to be part of it.
When I travel to a new place, there are few things I make sure to look for and find (The rest I leave for serendipity): An area where I can find great graffiti and street Art, an area where I can find people hanging their laundry outdoors and the best view of the city.
There is nothing like walking all day in the streets of a new place and then (usually at the end of the day just before sunset) climbing up a mountain, a hill, a tall tower, a bridge, the 43rd floor (in case of Manhattan) the 6th floor (in case of Montmartre in Paris) or anything that helps you see the city in a whole new different perspective. When you are up, overlooking the city, you no longer hear the traffic in the streets (you just see the cars), you don’t see the people in eye level and you don’t smell the street vendor’s food, the smoke or anything else.
It is a sort of serenity. a state of mind. (and an important addition for a Travel Portfolio)
Here are some rooftops locations from Madrid, Barcelona, Bologna, Rome, Florence, Buenos Aires, Lisbon, Paris and Manhattan. If you have more recommendations, please send me a message.
Few days after I wrote this post, I was chosen by Easy Jet Holidays as one of their Bloggers of the month as they chose to feature this post on their website. Check it out and some other great inspiring bloggers.
Truth is, I’ve been wanting to visit Lisbon for a while now. In fact, last year around April, I was talking with a friend about visiting Lisbon for my Birthday. While I found myself in a different place on my Birthday last year, I actually made it to Lisbon THIS year, few days before my Birthday. I was there only for 48 hours; a really express stay as some may say, but thanks to some insiders precious tips and sleeping only four hours a night, I managed to do and see quite a lot.
I am drawn to Lisbon mostly because it is a mix of a European city with a Mediterranean climate.
It is a very laid back city, sometimes even provincial, and its compact size makes it relatively easy to navigate. Just take the legendary tram no. 28, and you can see all the touristic attractions in one day or two.
Rumors have it that the city has started to wake up recently and becoming more alive, so I figured I had to check it by myself.
Here is my express guide to Lisbon; Where to Stay, Shop, Sip, Party and Eat.
When I travel, I am always looking for these cute little places to stay in. I’m not looking for grand hotels with red carpets or velvet ropes. It is not my style. Especially not when I am traveling for work. All I need is a comfortable bed, warm shower, free Wi-Fi, a lot of light, friendly staff and a good breakfast. I found it all and more in the Gat Rossio hotel, part of the GatRooms hotel chain in Europe.
In fact, it was my sister who recommended me on the hotel (It is usually the other way around) as she stayed there on her honeymoon a few years ago. ‘They have a really good breakfastbuffet’ she told me ‘and a spacious roof deck where you can eat your breakfast’ she added ‘and the staff are so helpful and friendly’. I didn’t have to look further. I loved the clean design, the simplicity and functionality of the space and of course, the great breakfast room where everyone gathered to sit around long tables, enjoying fruits and pasteis de nata, the well-known Portuguese cakes.
Hotel Gat Rossio, Rua do Jardim do Regedor nº 27-35 e Travessa do Forno nº 9-13. Lisboa
When I am in New York, I love shopping in Anthropologie. It is sort of my ‘go-to’ store for design and inspiration for everything that has to do with my tiny apartment. In Lisbon I found the Portuguese equivalent in A Vida Portuguesa, an eclectic store that holds only Portuguese brands and products for the home; from hand-made olive oil soaps to home decor, shoes, pantry, pastry, vintage posters, you name it. There is also an online store, but there is nothing like visiting the store and smelling the soaps and candles.
A Vida Portuguesa, Rua Anchieta 11, 1200-023 Chiado, Lisboa
It is not a secret that where ever I go and travel, I keep looking for the best coffee in town. Some addictions apparently are hard to be cured. I found KaffeeHaus by chance, while walking in the streets of Chiado area, known for its elegant, sophisticated theaters, bookshops, old-style cafes and luxurious international brand names clothing stores. Even though KaffeeHaus is far from being an old-fashioned typical Lisbon cafe (on the contrary, it has more of a Vienna style) I loved its design, the colorful posters on the walls and the young crowd. Nonchalant, relaxed atmosphere with great coffee and friendly easy going service. (One of the barmen is hard to miss)
Definitely the hottest spot in the city, Pensão Amor, or ‘Guesthouse of Love’ is a chic boudoir style place in Cais do Sodré area, down the hills of Barrio Alto, the upper district in the city, also known also as the hub of night-life. It serves mostly as a bar that serves drinks and Peruvian food, decorated with frescos and endless images and art of nude women. Don’t skip the small bookstore at the back and the pole dance room, decorated with leopard and gold. Highly recommended to make reservations. The place is getting crowded quite fast.
Martinho da Arcada is Lisbon’s mythological oldest cafe. Thanks to a friend’s recommendation, I passed through it just to experience the phenomenon and look inside. The cafe was founded in 1778! as Café do Gelo (the Ice Cafe) and mostly sold beverages and ice. After having passed through the hands of a set of different owners, in the early nineteenth century it was called the Casa da Neve (the House of Snow) and sold ice cream to the best of Lisbon’s society. Only in 1845 it received its current name after its owner at that time, Martinho Bartolomeu Rodrigues, who turned it into one of the finest and most popular cafes in the city. Its history of over two centuries is closely linked to the social, political and cultural life of Lisbon. If you come for dinner, highly recommended to make reservations.
Martinho da Arcada, Praça do Comércio 3, 1100-148 Lisboa
I happened to meet one of the owners of Taberna Ideal, a young energetic Lisbonnaire girl, who is running three restaurants at once with another partner. I really liked the vintage feel of the space, but yet contemporary, the eclectic style and choice of furnitures together with the wall decoration, that made the place feel very earthy and welcoming. I liked the simplicity of the design, a checkered paper as a table mate for example. So simple and yet, so brilliant. The menu keeps the regional taste; tibornas, snacks, salads, main dishes and pans (free-range chicken with almonds, quail pie with sausage, cod au gratin with bread) and a large variety of wine. The atmosphere is young and hip and it is always crowded during dinners and weekends. Make sure you spend at least one meal there when you are visiting Santos-o-Velho neighborhood in Lisbon.
Taberna Ideal, Rua da Esperança, 112-114 1200 Lisboa
A travel for me is not completed unless I find the best place to get chocolate, dark chocolate. I have this habit of looking for a good cup of coffee and the best chocolate in town. I found Xocoa while strolling one of the main streets in Baixa (I think it was rua Aurea) and the smell of the chocolate hit me that afternoon. I spotted the store sign and went right in. The highlight of Xocoa is chocolate bars covered with gummy bears and colorful candies; The owner of the store just told me it is their best seller. I bought a bunch of these to have as a snack while touring the city. All chocolate pralines are hand-made, with a Portuguese chocolate blend. Do not miss on that.
Xocoa, Rua do Crucifixo, 112-114, Baixa-Chiado,Lisboa
Lisbon offers a variety of good food in a good feel atmosphere all over. 48 hours are definitely not enough, but it left me with a taste for more. I will be back.
While I am having this Lisbon’s crush, here are some of my favorite images of the city that express the Lisbonnaire Flair as I call it and some essential information:
No matter how long you have spent or visited in Lisbon, there is always something new to discover and fall in love with. One rule of thumb when you visit the city- Don’t miss out an overview of Lisbon from one of the hills. Maybe you heard it before, but Lisbon is also called ‘The City of Seven Hills’ (even though there are more than seven). It is easy to navigate and locate yourself if you know on which hill you are standing;
São Jorge : Where the castle with the same name is still standing.
São Vicente : Where the São Vincente de Fora Monastery and the Alfama area stands.
Sant’Ana : Between Martim Moniz square and Rua Portas de Santo Antão (São José Hospital)
Santo André : Largo / Miradouro da Graça is the top of this hill.
Chagas : At Largo do Carmo
Santa Catarina : Around Largo Camões, Bairro Alto
São Roque : Around Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcantara, Bairro Alto.
While the legendary Tram no.28 will take you up the hills of the city, I highly recommend to get off when you reach a hill peak and walk around the area. There is nothing like discovering the city by foot and interact with the locals.
Don’t skip on snacking on sardines. This is what makes Lisbon so special and known for. I ate some grilled sardines with mayonnaise on top (even though a local friend told me she never heard of such a combination) and it was delicious. I hardly eat sardines, but those I ate in Lisbon are completely different from the canned ones I know from home.
My two favorite districts in the city are Alfama; a maze of cobbled stones streets with old houses and old churches stretched down the hills of this historic quarter andBairro Alto – Chiadowhich is mostly known as Lisbon’s night life quarter, and one of the up and coming popular neighborhood, with new hip boutiques, trendy restaurants alongside old fashioned ones.
Oh, and one more thing not to miss; Have a Ginjinha! It’s a cherry-berry liqueur the locals drink in small plastic cups. Better hang out at Cafe ‘A Ginjinha’ in Largo de São Domingos 8which became a tourist attraction.
There is no better way to end a busy day by having this Portuguese drink and feel like a real local.