Prior to the pandemic, Lisbon, Portugal was experiencing a serious travel boom for going on a decade. If you know anything about the Western European destination, it’s easy to see why. It’s got a Mediterranean climate, Instagrammable architecture (which will still be a thing when the pandemic ends, we promise), and bustling city life. Meaning good food and even better parties. Best of all, Lisbon is relatively cheap to visit, with direct flights from both Delta and United.
Oh, and it’s weed friendly.
It’s easy to make a case for why Lisbon will be one of our (and perhaps one of your) first stops once it’s safe to travel again. But with a city as culturally rich as this one, where should you go first? In order to create the coolest possible travel guide that we could, we linked up with Portuguese tastemakers and cultural icons HOLLY and Alexandra Moura.
HOLLY is one of Portugal’s most prominent hip-hop producers, frequently cutting records with Lisbon’s best rappers and an international cast of performers that have made him globally recognized and widely respected despite only being 25. In 2017, he won A-Trak’s Goldie Awards Beat Battle.
In promotion of his new mixtape, Dark Skies and Holy Grail, HOLLY connected with Portuguese designer and stylist Alexandra Moura — who has showcased her designs at international fashion weeks and dressed many of Portugal’s A-List artists including Gisela João, Sónia Tavares, Dino D’Santiago, and now HOLLY himself.
So we thought — who better to guide us on the coolest possible trip through Lisbon than two of the city’s most prominent tastemakers? Check out HOLLY and Alexandra Moura’s guide to the city they love below.
HOLLY: This is one of my favorite restaurants in Lisbon! I’ve been to all the top vegetarian restaurants in LA and I can tell you that this one beats any of them. The food is delicious and the prices are very affordable.
During lunchtime, they do a buffet which is great to try a lot of different plates. They also have a small garden outside where they do massages and where you can chill after a great meal.
Alexandra: Dr. Bernard is a friendly beach restaurant, a surf center, and a wellness platform just in front of Costa da Caparica beach. A place where you’re surrounded by contemporary aesthetics, with good food and an incredible view of the beach where the Atlantic presents us with its smell and where the sand turns golden.
HOLLY: You most likely have heard about the famous ‘Pastéis de Nata’ already — the famous egg tart from Portugal. Well, there’s a lot of different companies doing them, but the best/most historic one (and my personal favorite) is the ‘Pastéis de Belém’. Their bakery is situated in Belém, about 20 minutes away from the city center, and once you taste them you will never forget them.
I’m hungry already just from thinking about them!!
Best Fado House
HOLLY: Mesa de Frades is a fado house [folk-singing pub] in Alfama. I’ve only been here once but it’s one of the most famous fado houses in Lisbon and a great place to listen to good fado and taste typical Portuguese food. It’s also a really good place if you are planning on going on a date!
It’s a must to go place if you want to experience the magic of fado in Lisbon.
Best Place To See Art
Alexandra: Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology is a wonderful building from Amanda Levete in front of Tejo river. An experience in many ways. An incredible white building, almost like a nave, planted next to the incredible Tagus River. Here the surroundings of nature, all the light so characteristic of Lisbon, combined with contemporary art and technology make us shoot into another world.
Best Club Or Place To Party
HOLLY: Lux Frágil is one of the best clubs in the world and it’s a historical mark in the Portuguese club scene. It’s been open for 20 years already and the 3-floor building is the perfect place for an epic night. The rooftop has a great view over the Rio Tejo while the 1st and 2nd floor are great to rave and show your best dance moves. There’s also some really trippy decoration inside that takes the magic of this place to another level.
Best Way To See The City
Miradouro Panorâmico Do Monsanto
HOLLY: The ‘Panorâmico de Monsanto’ is an abandoned restaurant that you can freely visit and get an amazing view of the city of Lisbon. It’s hard to explain how beautiful this view is through words, but it’s a great place to get out of the city for a little bit and meditate on the beauty of Portugal.
It’s also situated in the middle of the beautiful forest of Monsanto in Lisbon, one of the most beautiful nature spots in the city!
Alexandra: Skate Park in São João do Estoril, near the beach, and with amazing spots to Skate and BMX. The coming together of generations, the love of skateboarding and urban art, all with an incredible view under the sea.
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Alexandra: An incredible garden with centuries-old trees. space for socializing outdoors and a wonderful kiosk to drink a beer. The friendliness, two fingers of conversation, a great coffee, and the classic greeting by Mr. Oliveira “Good morning in the morning”, make this place a 2nd home, where green parrots greet us and where Jacarandas turn the walks into a fragrant lilac rug.
Best Place to Stay
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As Lisbon is coming back to a new kind of normality, we want you to know that we are still here. We have our doors closed and may not know when we will be able to welcome our first guests, but we are looking to the future with optimism. We see this period as an opportunity to re-focus and nurture what brought us all together: our sense of community, art, creativity and purpose. While we wait for brighter days to come, we will use this time to share projects and ideas of the talented people that are connected to Hotel Hotel. We hope to see you soon! . Numa altura em que Lisboa regressa a uma nova normalidade, nós também retomamos o contacto por aqui. Infelizmente ainda de portas fechadas e com data de abertura incerta, mas com um olhar optimista em relação ao futuro. Sabemos que este tempo é também uma oportunidade de nos voltarmos a focar e nutrir a base deste nosso projecto: o nosso espírito colaborativo e de comunidade, artístico, criativo e com propósito. Acreditamos muito no potencial do Hotel Hotel e enquanto esperamos por dias mais risonhos, vamos continuar a apoiar e a partilhar os projectos e ideias das talentosas pessoas que estão ligadas a nós. Até breve! . Photo: @francisconogueira . #ohotelhotel
Alexandra: This is the place to dream with your eyes open and sleep like a beast, in the quietness of nature, in the heart of Lisbon. Opening soon… Inside we stroll through contemporary art, neon mixes with beautiful flower beds, tiles with fabrics, design with an interior garden.
All of this takes us to the quiet rooms where we relax after a day spent in the heart of Lisbon.