• John Marques

Summer in Lisbon: A Quick Guide

View from Tivoli's rooftop bar Skybar

The view from Tivoli's rooftop over Avenida da Liberdade.

After living in this city for so long (for those who don't know I am Portuguese and used to study in Lisbon for my bachelor's degree) and being able to come back only often, I have to always visit my favourite places and to explore the new ones in a city that is now in a constant change with new destinations and options every single time I visit.

Dinner table at Flores do Bairro at Hotel do Bairro Alto

Dinner table at Flores do Bairro.

The Food

One of them is Flores do Bairro inside the Hotel do Bairro Alto, a restaurant with a strong focus on Portuguese cuisine. This place has become one of my favourite places in town, that I always end up going back to. Headed by chef Bruno Rocha, the restaurant is usually not very packed despite the fantastic food, and you can usually get a table easily. Unfortunately, it is closing soon due to the hotel's expansion project but hope they re-open again in the new space.

Sushi platter at Yakuza First Floor by Olivier

Sushi plater at Yakuza First Floor.

Another strong recommendation I have to include is Yakuza First Floor, the Japanese restaurant signed by Portuguese restaurant mogul Olivier da Costa. A mandatory stop for me since it opened, either with friends or by myself at the bar overlooking all the food preparation. If you stop by, there are two things you need to try: first the fish tacos for starter and the sushi roll with truffle and quail egg - it is one of the best things I have ever tasted.

At the Café Colonial in Memmo Hotel Principe Real.

New Spots in Town

Since the city became a trendy place to visit and tourism flourished, a lot of bars and restaurants keep opening. One of them is Café Colonial in Memmo Principe Real Hotel, either for a meal or coffee and drinks. This ended up being one of my go-to spots during my stay, a place with good food and an even better view over the city as you can see in my pictures.

Dinner at the Varanda restaurant in the Four Seasons Ritz Lisbon hotel

Outdoors dinner at the Varanda restaurant in the Four Seasons Ritz Lisbon.

Even though it's not new, there's another place I visited for the first time for Dinner that impressed me - The Varanda Restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon. I went for dinner with one of my friends as guests of the hotel, and we ended up having the signature tasting menu by chef Pascal Meynard.

Click on the images above to open the gallery and see the full pictures.

The food was superb, the service delightful and ended up being the most refined and enjoyable gastronomic experience I had in town. This has to be one of the best dinner spots and based on my previous experience there, the outdoors breakfast on the balcony during summer is one of the best experiences you can have in Lisbon.

Photoshoot at JNcQUOI

My photoshoot at JNcQUOI, see all the photos here.

Another brand new place worth mentioning is the JNcQUOI restaurant in Avenida da Liberdade (Where I did my photo shoot, see it here). A fine dining destination with an incredible interior design that takes elements from the original architecture and mixes it with contemporary and unusual elements.

Prada store in Lisbon

The Prada storefront in Avenida da Liberdade.

Shop the Town

During this trip, I got the chance of shopping a bit and can suggest a few of my stops. One of my favourite brands, Versace, opened a store in the luxury shopping district that is Avenida da Liberdade. A two-floor shop worth visiting for all your Italian/baroque needs. A mandatory stop for any fashionable man is the brand new Fashion Clinic store inserted in the JNcQUOI concept space with cool brands like Tom Ford, Gucci and Givenchy among many others. Another delightful shop I ended up visiting was 21PR Concept Store, a small concept store in the Principe Real district with a curated selection of goods from handbags, decor pieces, fragrances and much more.

Last but not least is Torres Joalheiros back in Avenida da Liberdade, I went there to check a couple of Rolex and Franck Muller watches for details and the staff was just exceptional. You can see the shot with this striking Franck Muller Double Mystery.

Franck Muller Double Mystery at Torres Joalheiros

The Franck Muller Double Mystery at Torres Joalheiros shop in Avenida da Liberdade.

Wandering Around

Every time I go back, I like to walk around town and appreciate the architecture, watch people and whatever is happening around me. My suggestions will mostly focus on my favourite part of the city for now, the downtown area. Here you need to highlight the Chiado district with its famous ice cream shops, pastry shops, distinctive architecture and the iconic statue of Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa always surrounded by tourists.

Another place close-by is Principe Real. The district is well known for its conceptual and creative stores during the day, with particular attention to the Embaixada "Mall" that is not only an architectonic wonder but also a gathering of creative shops and brands. During the night it becomes vibrant, with many trendy spots to dine and several bars for an eclectic crowd.

An obvious location based on my previous suggestions has to be Avenida da Liberdade. Also very close, it is a one-stop for all your luxury and designer shopping needs with brand names like Cartier, Gucci and Patek Philippe adorning the streets. Here you can also find many great hotels like Sofitel Avenida, Tivoli Avenida or Valverde Hotel. A few good restaurants and bars are also in the surroundings, like the always trendy Skybar rooftop and the restaurant Olivier Avenida.

Architecture's detail in Lisbon's Chiado district

Detail of a building in Chiado's district.


When it comes to sightseeing and museums, there are always a few places I always visit no matter how long I stay in town: one of them is the National Museum of Ancient Art and the second Berardo Collection Museum. The collections at these two museums couldn't be more different but always deliver a great experience and open your mind to different times and other perceptions of life.

At the Hotel do Chiado rooftop

At the Chiado Hotel rooftop lounge.

Going Back

There still is a lot to explore around this town, and I will surely go back to it once I travel back to Portugal in December. But after all this, it was time to head back to Dubai and say "See you soon Lisbon".

#Travel #ChiadoHotel #HotelDoBairroAlto #YakuzaFirstFloor #Ritz #JNCQUOI #FranckMuller #Chiado #Sofitel