Been there, done that? Here are five unique experiences to cross off life’s bucket list when you visit Lisbon:
– Tour the city in a moto-sidecar
From the breathtaking vantage points of its seven imposing hills, Lisbon offers its visitors an unusually wide perspective. But it’s down on the street that things really start to get exciting!
Discover the city from the ground up in an exhilarating tour from the sidecar of a vintage motorcycle, driven by an experienced rider. Head down tree-lined Avenida da Liberdade and across the squares and traditional quarters of Alfama and Castelo São Jorge, ascend through the narrow cobbled streets before stopping in Bairro Alto and Chiado. A Four Seasons experience that’s as exhilarating as it is educational, and one thing’s for sure: your holiday snaps will never be the same again.
– Watch world-class live performances for free in one of the city’s oldest and most iconic squares
Festival ao Largo takes place in the lovely square facing the grand 18th Century Teatro Nacional de São Carlos in the trendy Chiado district. Until the end of July, Lisbon’s locals and tourists alike can catch 18 shows, where the audience is treated to anything from Beethoven and Mendelssohn to Bizet and Wagner. Interpretations of more contemporary composers like Gershwin and Copland are also performed. One or two evenings are invitation only concerts, but the majority are complimentary and seats are available on a first-come first-served basis. If you can, grab a table at Café Lisboa‘s outside terrace for the best seats!
– Be dazzled by the views of Lisbon from its al fresco rooftops
When the owners of PARK decided to transform the rooftop of a 7-storey high parking lot just off Bairro Alto into a bar, it became an instant success. PARK is still the “it” spot in town. With possibly the best view over the city, the River Tagus and the bell tower of Santa Catarina Church, the rustic atmosphere created by designer Joana Astolfi with small potted trees, wooden tables and converted wooden crates is Lisbon’s first “suspended garden”. A vast selection of cocktails, Gins and burgers make PARK the ideal setting for an early-evening cocktail while savouring the last rays of sunshine. Silk is a rooftop bar where guest-list reservations are a must, for this exclusive, uber-chic club—ask the hotel concierge to book you in. It’s worth it for the almost 360º views of Lisbon from the terrace and heady blend of jazz, blues and dance music.
- Enjoy Lisbon's gardens with live music from MEO OutJazz
Every Friday through Sunday, in May through September, Lisbon hums with the sounds of cool jazz. MEO OUT JAZZ Festival invades main squares, gardens and parks in Lisbon, and thousands of ‘alfacinhas’ gather to celebrate good music outdoors. The city becomes a livelier, even more vibrant place. The event attracts old and young, families and groups of friends all looking for a different way to spend their afternoons. To start off your weekend in style, musicians spread their good vibe as of 6pm on Fridays. Jazzy Saturdays and Sundays begin at 5pm and the most charismatic venues become the perfect setting for these relaxing afternoons - Jardim da Estrela, Jardim da Tapada das Necessidades and the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara are just some of the gardens chosen for MEO OUT JAZZ.
– Take in the river views after visiting a 16th Century Monastery, and a Museum of contemporary art, all in one morning
One of the most advanced biomedical research centres in the world, the Fundação Champalimuad is also one of the city’s most acclaimed architectural marvels, as well as a fantastic place for an afternoon stroll. Inside, Darwin’s Café offers what has to be one of the most unique terraces in Lisbon, sitting on top of the Tagus river and serving delightfully light food. It’s the perfect spot to go after a day of exploring UNESCO World Heritage sites (Mosteiro dos Jerónimos and Torre de Belém), as well as the Museu Colecção Berardo – the museum’s collection of modern and contemporary art is one of Europe’s finest, and in it you’ll find iconic pieces by Andy Warhol, Salvador Dali, Jeff Koons, Roy Lichtenstein, Marc Chagall, Francis Bacon and Alexander Calder, to name a few, showcased together with acclaimed Portuguese artists such as Carlos Calvet, José Pedro Croft, Eduardo Nery and Julio Pomar in this modern setting.