Lisbon and Algarve| Where To Go

A while ago I was asked for places to visit for a persons trip to Lisbon and Algarve. So I thought I would produce a blog post on the top finds for these places and things to do. I hope you enjoy and let me know if you have been to any of these places. 




A Brasileira

It’s fancy, a meeting point for friends to have a coffee before a performance or theatre in the places nearby. It has a terrace, so you can sit outside listening the musicians that pass by Chiado.

It has more than 100 years old and it’s a milestone, since it was once the choice of Fernando Pessoa, the greatest Portuguese poet. Back in the days, it was a meeting point for writers, artists and journalists. The inside is decorated by old carved wood and burnished metal décor. If you need to use the toilet, keep the receipt.

 Address: A Brasileira, Rua Garret, 120-122, Lisbon

Contact:351 213 469 541

Opening times: Mo-Su: 08:00-02:00 

Miradouro da Graca

The official name for this viewpoint is Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen, a well-known poet that spent many of her days admiring Lisbon and writing poems from this spot. In her honour, you can find a bust and a plaque with one of her poems; however, you should learn Portuguese in order to read it.

Situated on the hill of Santo André, with a view that can reach the old neighbourhoods like Mouraria, Alfama, Downtown and the Castle and also the river and 25th April Bridge. Have a drink in the esplanade facing Lisbon’s roofs and try to identify churches, monuments and whatever you can distinguish. If you don’t want to climb neither catch the crowded 28 trams, catch bus 712 (Marquês de Pombal) or 726 and leave at Sapadores and then walk a bit.

Address: Miradouro da Graça, Largo da Graça, Lisbon 

FOOD TOUR & COOKING CLASS : Portugal in a fork

 The hotel pick-up (or if elsewhere this could be discussed with the host) at 9.30am heading then to a local market at Benfica neighbourhood where you’ll get to see how a Lisboner shops in a traditional market. You’ll be introduced to the multiplicity of fresh products (meat, fish, bread, vegetables, spices) and how they got prepared in the Portuguese way.  

After this the group will  buy all the food needed head to the cooking location to start the cooking class, including the introduction to Portuguese Gastronomy and regional cuisine, basic ingredients in a Portuguese kitchen, traditional appetizers and main dishes and Portuguese sweets. The cooking class is prepared to be an incremental moment that is saying that by the end of the cooking class our lunch will be ready!

After lunch and you head to Senhora do Monte viewpoint, an astonishing place with a 180° view over the city of Lisbon to pick its most beautiful landscape.

At 3pm (approx) it will be time for a lovely farewell and to head back to your hotel (or if elsewhere this could be discussed with the host)

To book or to find out more click here:  


Igreja de São Vicente de Fora

Portugal’s first king, Afonso Henriques, laid the foundation stone for the first church of St Vincent ‘Outside’ – that is, beyond the then city walls – hardly a month after taking Lisbon from the Moors in 1147. He was fulfilling a vow to construct Christian houses of worship on the sites where Portuguese soldiers and northern European crusaders lay buried. In 1580, Portugal’s then ruler King Philip II of Spain decided to start from scratch and brought in his own architect, Juan Herrera (builder of the Escorial). With Italian architect Filippo Terzi, Herrera designed a new church in Italian mannerist style. It was inaugurated in 1629, but was severely damaged in the 1755 earthquake, when the main dome and roof collapsed on a crowd of worshippers. The big draw are the cloisters, richly decorated with early 18th-century tile panels, some illustrating La Fontaine fables. Inside there’s the royal pantheon of the Braganza family, the last dynasty to rule Portugal. The figure of a weeping woman kneels before the twin tombs of Dom Carlos I and Crown Prince Luís Filipe, shot by assassins in 1908.

Address:Igreja de São Vicente de Fora, Lg de São Vicente, Lisbon, 1100-572

Opening hours: Church 8am-1pm, 2.30-5pm Tue-Sat; 8am-noon Sun

Price:Church free. Cloisters €4; €2 reductions; free under-13s


 Music Season with Gulbenkian Orchestra and Choir, permanent exhibitions of the collections of Calouste Gulbenkian Museum and Modern Art Centre. Also temporary exhibitions, symposia and conferences. The immense garden of lush greenery is fresh and inviting, pieces of sculpture spread between paths and lawns.

The main building houses the headquarters of the Foundation and part of the art collection (ancient Egypt, Eastern art, European painting and jewelry). The Modern Art Centre has paintings from Portuguese artists like Almada Negreiros and Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso. Check if there is a performance in the outdoor amphitheater.

In a sunny day take a blanket or beach towel and lay down near the lake with a book and the ducks’ company

 Address: Gulbenkian, Avenida de Berna 45, Lisbon

   Contact: +351217823000

Secret Food Tours Lisbon

 When you book a food tour with our group, you will get the chance to taste traditional ginjinha, some of the country’s famous pastries and best ham and cheeses. A food tour in Mouraria would be incomplete without sampling some “petiscos” (Portuguese tapas). During your epicurean outing, our guides will entertain you with stories about the area, along with a rich understanding of the city’s food and top tips about the best places to visit for the rest of your vacation. Daytime or evening, when you come on our food tours in Lisbon, you will get to enjoy some of best Portuguese food and wine, guaranteed to get your taste buds tingling. To start, your local Portuguese guide will take you to a nice “Garrafeira” to enjoy a delicious Porto wine. Next, we will show you where to eat the best “Bifana” in town. Our Bifana will be served with a fresh “Imperial” (portuguese local beer) The visit will continue in the heart of Mouraria district where you will enjoy the stunning view over the city and all the beautiful old tiles Let’s not forget to try some sardines and have a “Ginjinha” (portuguese local liqueur) The tour also take you to a visit of a shop where you will buy delicious Portuguese cured meat and the best selection of cheeses! Next, we will show you one of the best hidden gems in Lisbon, an old palace where you will taste some traditional handmade “Petiscos” The tour can’t end without you tasting the famous and hand-made traditional Portuguese pastry “Pastel de Nata” Oh, and of course there’s our delicious Secret Dish too!

For more information or to book click here:


Time Out Market Lisboa

 Have you ever heard of curated burgers? Curated nigiri? Curated pizzas, sandwiches or even curated cod? Probably not. After all, Time Out Market is the first market in the world where everything has been chosen, tasted and tested (with four or five stars, and not one star less) by an independent panel of city experts: Time Out’s own journalists and critics. More than 40 spaces with the leading representatives in all the food categories that help make Lisbon what it is – and tastes – all together under one roof. Find out everything you need to taste – and what Time Out had to say about it.

A concept created from scratch in 2014 by the team at Time Out Portugal, with only the best ideas and business projects in Lisbon – according to the editorial team – which can stay in the market from one week to three years. If it’s good, it goes in the magazine, if it’s great, it goes into the market.

On the one hand, 24 restaurants some of them from very well-known Portuguese chefs, 8 bars, a dozen shops and a high-end music venue called Rive Rouge, all with the very best in Lisbon (the best steak, the best hamburger, the best sushi and the best live performances, amongst others); on the other hand, home to some of the city’s best known (and longest-running) market vendors of meat, fish, fruit and flowers. 

For more information click here:





Visit Silves

Silves lies inland, surrounded by valleys of orange groves and dominated by a red sandstone castle that stands proudly against the skyline. The centre of culture during the Moorish occupation of the Algarve, Silves was home to poets and orators until the Knights of Santiago took the city in 1242. Visit the castle and its Cistern of the Enchanted Moorish Girl (Castelo de Silves: open daily; 282 445 624). The lovely cathedral, nearby, dates from the 13th century (Largo da Sé: open daily except public holidays). There is also an archaeological museum (Rua das Portas de Loule: open Tue-Sun; 282 444832).

Walk along the Via Algarviana

This 186-mile walking route runs from Alcoutim, near the Spanish border, right across the interior of the Algarve to Cape St Vincent in the far west. It is well marked, and along the way are signs indicating distances to the nearest settlement and points of interest. The route takes you well off the beaten track and is particularly scenic in springtime when the fields are covered by wild flowers.

More information
Contact: Project Via Algarviana: Head Office: Rua de S. Domingos Nº 65 . 8100-536 Loulé; 00 351 289 412 959

Visit a fish market

For me, nothing gives a sense of place better than a food market, and in the Algarve that means fish. Olhão, on the eastern side of the Algarve, famous for fishing since the Middle Ages, has the best both in terms of architectural exterior and an interior, with more than 80 stalls. The variety and abundance from the Atlantic is impressive: dorada (sea bream) and robalo (sea bass) are the crème-de-la-crème but octopus and squid are also popular, as well as clams, percebes (goose neck barnacles), and lagosta (rock lobster). Stop for a coffee at any of the little pavement cafés outside to dry out your feet afterwards.

Open: from 7am until about 1pm; closed Sundays, and on Mondays it has limited produce.
Address: Avenida 5 de Outubro, 8700 Olhão
Contact: 289 707 298



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