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Ford Vignale Lifestyle the view of the Lisbon in the evening

TIME IS THE JEWEL

LISBON: OLD-WORLD CHARM, HIPSTER COOL

Portugal’s capital city has it all – rich history, cool bars, arguably the best seafood in Europe, individualist shops, beautiful beaches and a happening nightlife. So how do you pack it all in during single weekend? Here’s how.

Ford Vignale Lifestyle the statue of Jesus and the bridge

Friday

18:00 Touchdown
Hit the ground running. The metro connection from Lisbon Portela Airport leaves every 5-10 minutes and takes just 15 minutes to reach the city centre.

19:00 Check-in
For genuine Portuguese grandeur, we recommend Belmonte Palacio. Built in 1449, this exquisite medieval palace has featured in films of cinema greats and a top suite costs a mere €2500 a night. Also in the ancient Alfama district, but with a less stellar price tag is the Santiago de Alfama. Then there’s the hip studio and one-bedroom Lisbonaire Apartments, proving that affordable doesn’t have to mean cheap.

20:00 Wind down
Don’t rush. Genuine ‘lisboetas’ eat late so a 9pm reservation will find you in a lively restaurant full of locals. Like at the elegant Tasca da Esquina in Campo de Ourique, base of famous Portuguese chef Vitor Sobral.

23:00 Night cap?
Bicaense
 (Rua da Bica de Duarte Belo 38-42) in the lively Bica district typifies modern Lisbon nightlife. They may be hipster cool, but the laidback local crowd is unpretentious.

Ford Vignale Lifestyle fresh fish and restaurant full of people

Saturday

10:00 Shopper’s breakfast
Consider a strong bica (espresso) with breakfast because we’re hitting the attractive streets and squares round BaixaPrincipe Real and Chiado, the heart of Lisbon’s fashionable shopping life. Shopping here is a refreshingly varied experience. From wonderful old-fashioned emporia like A Vida Portuguesa to über-hip couture stores like Alexandra Moura.

11:00 Refuel
One of the many Quiosques de Refresco (refreshment kiosks) dotted round town makes a good spot to refuel. Try the traditional leite perfumado (perfumed milk) or horchata (almond milk).

13:30 Seafood treat
Lisbon is Europe’s seafood capital. For a top seafood restaurant with a modern twist, try Sea Me. It’s Portuguese-Japanese fusion in a bright, clean setting.

15:00 All change
After recharging physically, reboot mentally with a visit to MUDE (literally ‘change’). There’s always a fascinating exhibition in this Museum of Fashion & Design.

Ford Vignale Lifestyle Lisbon's cloth and convenient stores

18:30 Edible glasses
Drop the shopping off in the hotel and get ready for a night on the town – starting with a trip on the Glória funicular up to the Bairro Alto, with Lisbon’s greatest concentration of bars. Grab one with a view and order a Ginginha do Carmo, a local liqueur that you can have in a chocolate glass to eat afterwards.

21:00 When you just can’t choose…
For a refined whistle-stop tour of Portuguese cuisine, you can’t beat the tasting menu of the wonderful 100 Maneiras. Great views, too.

23:00 Late-night groove
Clubbing starts late here. At famous nightspot Lux the first clubbers wander in around 1am. For a bit more exclusivity, plus stunning 360o views, try Silk.

Ford Vignale Lifestyle oysters and La Vida Portuguesa

Sunday

10:30 The inside track
Enjoy Lisbon’s rich history with a walking tour. The excellent Lisbon Walker offers two on Sunday mornings: Old Town, a stroll through 2,500 years of Lisbon’s history, and Revelation Tour, covering the main sites.

13:00 Slow Sunday
Have your last lunch on a beautiful beach. The nicest beach restaurants are in Sao João. After lunch, saunter along the beach and take a few panoramic snaps of the city, so in a few months you’ll have proof that, yes, it really was that beautiful.

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