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Our Staff Favorites

Looking for events and activities around Lisbon? Check out our staff’s top picks. From interesting events to famous attractions, we’ll give you an insider’s look at all the best the area has to offer.

  • opera house

    Dress for the Opera at Teatro São Carlos

    Once you've seen all of Lisbon's beautiful exteriors, from its historic cobbled curves and romantic river cruises to its craggy hilltop castles, treat yourself to a ticket inside one of its most glamorous artistic venues. Teatro São Carlos is the sparkling refurbishment of Lisbon's original Opera House leveled by an earthquake way back in 1755. It reopened its doors in the city's Chiado neighborhood in 1793 and has played host to world-renowned operatic and symphonic performances ever since. Lauded as the city's theatrical masterpiece, Teatro São Carlos maintains its historical integrity while welcoming the best and brightest the stage has to offer. Performances are scheduled every season. Looking ahead to summer, tumbling into the square in front of the Teatro São Carlos, will be outdoor classical music concerts and performances. These are free to the public and a must-go during the warmer months when daylight lingers well into the evening.

  • sunset cruise

    Cruise the Tejo River at Sunset

    Though warmer weather begins to brighten Portugal in February, it's still considered to be an off-peak tourist month. So get ready for good news. Prices for activities are cheaper and with fewer foreigners to rub elbows with, you and the locals will practically have the city to yourselves!

    So after winding through the streets bursting with their colorful cafes and boutiques, why not roll up to the dockside for a different perspective and cruise the Tejo river. BYX is one boating company that offers sunrise and sunset tours that, ride after ride, shine a romantic light on Lisbon's photogenic landmarks. Both boat cruises last about two hours with a drink, each included in the ticket price. At 69,90 euros for two, the river tour could make for a very special Valentine’s Day memory for you and your sweetheart. Find the boat at Belém and climb aboard for an unforgettable ride.

  • portugal city street view

    Stroll Through Bairro Alto

    Spend a day in Bairro Alto! Trade your winter coat for a light sweater and get lost in Lisboa's charming central district. Tuck into any number of inviting bars and cafes to sip with the locals. Mix in by sampling local spirit to whet your appetite for a photogenic stroll through some of western Europe's most colorful alleyways. Take your time to admire the tiled houses and seemingly ancient buildings lining the sloping, elevated streets.

    You'll get a workout in the hilly city so don't despair if you can't decide between treats in those tantalizing cafes. Try them all! To reach a spectacular scenic overlook, and to save a few steps, rise above Bairro Alto in the Santa Justa Elevator. For €2.80, you can reach what some call the best view in Lisboa. Then again, climbing Bairro Alto's back streets will take you to the same viewpoint, if with a little extra effort.

  • king cake bolo rei

    Sample Portugal's Seasonal Sweets

    Don't miss some of the holiday season's sweetest and most festive treats unique to Portugal. Almost anywhere you dine, you'll find these winter favorites decorating cafe menus. Read our list of the top three holiday treats to try so that you can prime your taste buds first. 

    “Bolo-Rei," or “king-cake” in English, is a traditional Lisbon dessert served only at Christmastime. Its name refers to the Three Wise Men who visited Jesus when he was born. Studded with candied fruits and dusted with sugar, it even looks like royalty.

    Rabanadas are another Christmas delicacy. A cousin to French toast, this Portuguese egg bread is practically pastry. Indulge in a variety of flavors from chocolate and cinnamon to lemon and orange.

    Finally, aletria, or sweet pasta is a dessert made from vermicelli. The tried and true recipe includes egg yolks, milk, sugar, lemon or orange peel, and cinnamon.

    Save room and try all three!

  • lisbon portugal cityscape

    Walking in the Footsteps of Royalty

    If the sun fades during your Autumn sojourn to Torres Vedras, trade sand for castles to explore a history that predates Portugal itself. Forte de São Vicente hugs the highest hillside within Torres Vedras. A younger site by Portuguese standards, it was built to defend against Napolean’s army in the early 19th century. Castelo de Torres Vedras dates back to Roman rule and rises above the steep forestland north of the city center. Portugal’s first king lived here, succeeded by several others. By clearing the trees and terra-cotta rooftops, you’ll enjoy panoramic views back over the city. Both sites mark points of interest along the Grande Rota das Aldeias Históricas, a walking trail that covers 600km. Hop on the trail to join the backpackers or hire a guide to lead your journey. The trail is divided into 12 parts to make it accessible to all. Click here for more information.

  • couple drinking wine

    Exploring Lisbon’s Wine Country

    After you’ve sipped and savored a few new favorites in our restaurants, get out to explore the wineries in and around Torres Vedras. Wines here capture the unique characteristics of the Lisbon Region which was once known as Estremadura. It runs alongside the wind-swept Atlantic Ocean and stretches inland to the DOC regions of Torres Vedras, Óbidos, and Alenquer, where some of the region's leading wineries are located.

    Famous for its traditional whites and easy drinking reds, this picturesque countryside west and north of Lisbon boasts a total of nine DOC regions growing indigenous and international grapes, including Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Cabernet. Many of the region's wineries are open to the public for tours and tastings, including Torres Vedras' stunningly architectural Adega Mãe and the award-winning Casa Santos Lima, which is said to be the largest producer of “Vinho Regional Lisboa” and “DOC Alenquer.”

    À sua saúde!