Archive for October, 2013


Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

Principe Real is now Lisbon’s trendiest shopping area together with Chiado. And it all happens down one long street, Rua Dom Pedro V which then turns into Rua da Escola Politécnica. It is popular with locals and tourists, who find some of the most original spaces and buys in the city, mostly by local designers. Here are the five shops you can’t miss:

Embaixada, Lisbon

Praça do Príncipe Real, 26
This would be worth a stop even if it were empty. It’s a neo-Moorish mansion from the 1800s across from the neighborhood park and is now one of the city’s main shopping destinations. Its rooms are now shops specializing in design and creativity, mostly by Portuguese designers and brands.

21PR Concept Store, Lisbon

Praça do Príncipe Real, 21
This concept store is just a couple of doors down from Embaixada and also offers “Made in Portugal” products. The best buy here is the famous luxury soaps Claus Porto that are now among Portugal’s most popular gifts, but there is also fashion and accessories.

Solar, Lisbon

Rua Dom Pedro V, 68-70
It’s one of the oldest shops in the neighborhood and still one of the most interesting. More than a shop, it’s a cultural attraction, as a treasure trove of centuries-old tiles that you see in almost every Lisbon church and palace. In business since 1956, it offers pieces from the 1600s to the present, in different styles and at different prices.

Alexandra Moura, Lisbon

Rua Dom Pedro V, 77
Portuguese designer Alexandra Moura shows off her creativity at this boutique full of cutting-edge fashions. She also has a shoe line, beautifully presented in the small mirrored interior.

Nuno Gama, Lisbon

Rua da Escola Politécnica, 46
Nuno Gama is one of Portugal’s best known fashion designers and all of his creations are inspired by Portuguese culture. At this shop he offers his latest menswear collections, including underwear, footwear, and accessories.

5 Spots for a Break by the Castle

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

After climbing the hill to the castle and walking around its ramparts, you’ll surely need a break. Luckily, there are several spots to sit for a drink or meal in the neighborhood, and we’ve selected five that you’ll want to place on your itinerary:

Nata Lisboa

Rua de Santa Cruz do Castelo, 5-11
You don’t have to wait until you go to the Belém neighborhood to enjoy Lisbon’s famous custard tarts. They’re available throughout the city at most cafés and pastry shops, and recently a chain specializing in that pastry was born. There are currently a trio of branches in the city, and one of them is right by the castle gate. With tables facing the castle entrance, here you can have one or several tarts or simply enjoy a refreshing drink.

28 Café, Lisbon

Rua de Santa Cruz do Castelo, 45-47A
Down the same street as Nata Lisboa is another authentic Lisbon experience — having a drink or meal inside an old tram. At least that’s what the interior of this cafe which recreates that of the city’s emblematic trams wants you to feel. But instead of taking you up and down the city’s hills it transports you back in time, with old black and white photos of the city and its trams on the walls.

Wine Bar do Castelo, Lisbon

Rua Bartolomeu Gusmão, 13
Down the hill, around the corner from the gateway to the castle is this wine bar that’s become a tourist magnet with dozens of Portuguese wines by the glass. They’re accompanied by cheeses and charcuterie, perfect for a break at the end of your sightseeing.

Claras em Castelo Restaurant, Lisbon

Rua Bartolomeu Gusmão, 31
A few doors up from the wine bar is this tiny restaurant which specializes in traditional Portuguese food. There are only a few seats inside, but there are a couple more placed outside when the sun is shining. It’s quite a romantic little place where you can also simply stay for a glass of wine.

Chapitô à Mesa Restaurant, Lisbon

Costa do Castelo, 7
For a more complete gastronomic experience with Lisbon at your feet there’s this restaurant further down the hill. It belongs to a circus school but the food is serious business. It now even has one of the city’s most creative young chefs in the kitchen. There’s a more formal dining room with postcard views of Lisbon where a more refined (and expensive) menu is served, and a more informal terrace outside for lighter meals.