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Lisbon, Portugal Travel Guide: Experience Afro-Portuguese Culture in This City of Light

Lisbon, Portugal is a captivating destination that beckons travelers from around the world for good reason. Rich history, vibrant culture and warm hospitality make this city a dynamic blend of Old World charm and contemporary flair. For history lovers, the cobbled streets and ancient architecture highlight the city’s intriguing past. Food lovers can indulge in Lisbon’s renowned culinary scene, where Afro-Portuguese flavors intertwine with international influences. Art aficionados can explore the thriving creative scene that showcases talented artists. With its inclusive atmosphere and diverse spaces, Lisbon promises an enjoyable getaway for any solo, group or digital nomad traveler.

Play: Things To Do In The Lisbon, Portugal

African Lisbon Tour

The African Lisbon Tour offers a transformative experience that creates a space for discussion and debate on important topics. For history lovers, this guided tour challenges the historical narratives portrayed in media, textbooks and public spaces. There’s a rich history of Africans in the region. The tour highlights their profound economic, social, cultural, religious and other contributions. It’s a four-hour walking exploration that connects past and present. It concludes with a delightful meal at an African restaurant with authentic flavors and traditions.

Lisbon Small-Group Portuguese Food and Wine Tour

This food and wine tour takes travelers to the heart of authentic Lisbon cuisine. Explore the flavors of the city while sipping on local Port, brandy and wine. Their small bites menu showcases the best of Lisbon’s gastronomic culinary scene. There’s a historic shopping center brimming with tantalizing local sausages and cheeses where guests are guided by a knowledgeable local. There are vegetarian options available at certain stops, and special requirements should be noted at the time of booking.

360º Lisbon: Helicopter Flight, Boat Trip & Old Town Walking Tour

The 360º Lisbon: Helicopter Flight, Boat Trip & Old Town Walking Tour is a unique Portugal adventure. This small group day trip includes a traditional guided walking tour, thrilling helicopter ride and a scenic sail on the Tagus River. After exploring Lisbon on foot, guests hop aboard the iconic yellow streetcar for a ride to the docks. After that, they’ll embark on a picturesque boat trip to Belem. There’s also an exhilarating helicopter flight to enjoy a breathtaking view of the city. The tour ends on a return to Lisbon city center in an air-conditioned van. 

Quake – Lisbon Earthquake Museum

The Quake – Lisbon Earthquake Museum is like stepping into Lisbon in 1755. Visitors can witness the most dramatic and transformative event in Lisbon’s history: the Lisbon Earthquake. There are state-of-the-art simulators, video mapping and interactive 4D technology to experience the captivating history and scientific side of earthquakes. The secrets of a lost time in Lisbon are explored in the museum’s ten groundbreaking immersive rooms. The 1.5-hour tour is available in Portuguese, English, French and Spanish. It’s also an activity designed for travelers of all ages from 6 years old and up. 

2 Hour Lisbon Sunset and Wine Sailing Tour

Enjoy truly breathtaking views of Lisbon while savoring local wine on this tour. There’s live onboard commentary for travelers as they depart from Belem. They will see the Belem Tower, the Jeronimos Monastery, Ajuda National Palace and Commerce Square.

The Retreat Spa

Indulge in The Retreat Spa for the ultimate wellness escape in Lisbon. It’s a sustainable urban oasis dedicated to natural and organic healing. Every traveler deserves a luxury moment. This organic spa promotes health and longevity by restoring the harmony of your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. Their authentic and organic botanical formulas are infused with the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda. Services include everything from soothing massages and couples packages to invigorating body treatments and rejuvenating 100 percent vegan and all-natural facials. There’s also hydrotherapy and prenatal or post-birth massages.

Gourmet: Best Restaurants In Lisbon, Portugal

Cantinho do Aziz

Cantinho do Aziz has a reputation for an extraordinary menu influenced by the rich flavors of Mozambique and other former Portuguese colonies. Found in the Mouraria neighborhood, this restaurant is run by Executive Chef Jeny Sulemange. It showcases the fascinating blend of cultures shaped by the Portuguese Empire. Guests enjoy African staples, like mouthwatering miamba wa macua, a sensational shrimp stew and a delightful chutney-like spread of mashed onions and cilantro. There’s also refreshing Kingfisher beer and cocktails that adds a fusion of flavors in one of Lisbon’s finest dining establishments.

Restaurante Moçambicano Roda Viva

The Restaurante Moçambicano Roda Viva is a multicultural gem in Lisbon’s Alfama area. It takes guests on a journey of flavors, geographies and cultures with a diverse menu that celebrates the richness of global cuisine. The traditional delicacies, like the mouthwatering “mathapa” and the unforgettable peanut curry with country chicken, make this a must-try restaurant. Roda Viva prioritizes direct connections with small farmers and producers. This helps them commit to sustainable practices, promote environmental respect and preserve the ecosystem. They also sell their house brand Ka´Chamba Achar made with local mango and lemon.

Mambo African Bar & Restaurant

Mambo African Bar & Restaurant is a Black-owned establishment that serves African cuisine with vegan variations of fufu, made and tapas. Located on Rua da Silva in the Santos Lisboa neighborhood, Mambo is a meaningful place because it means a lot to the community. They contribute to overcoming the challenges faced by people of color in starting businesses in Portugal. The menu pays homage to the owners’ roots and offers a variety of tapas, soups and specialty African dishes on Fridays. Mambo has live music full of cultural richness and diversity.

Cinco Lounge 

The Cinco Lounge is for travelers seeking the sophistication and style of downtown Lisbon. It’s a dynamic cocktail culture where contemporary meets classic styles in the heart of the city. They have meticulously crafted drinks made from the finest spirits and freshest ingredients. With a constantly evolving seasonal menu, there’s always something new and exciting to taste. It’s all about unwinding in a comfortable atmosphere. The carefully selected music sets the perfect ambiance, but doesn’t overpower the conversation. With a warm and friendly staff dedicated to exceptional service, this modern cocktail lounge.

Neighbourhood

Neighbourhood is known as Lisbon’s best coffee shop with its extensive beverage selection. There are classic brunch dishes with a twist and more inclusive options for vegans, vegetarians and gluten-free diets. There’s something on the menu for everyone at this pet-friendly spot. Neighbourhood showcases unique products from local small businesses, bubble suppliers and the legendary Senhor Rito hot sauces.

Stay: Best Places to Stay In Lisbon, Portugal

Story Flat Lisbon Alfama

The Story Flat Lisbon Alfama will make any traveler ponder moving there. Situated in Campo de Santa Clara, guests are steps away from the flea market. The picturesque viewpoints of Portas do Sol, Graça and Senhora do Monte to the historical landmarks of St. George’s Castle and the Fado Museum make this spot a must-see.

The apartment has a panoramic view of the majestic Tagus River and terracotta rooftops. It is located on the 3rd floor and can accommodate up to four guests in a cozy bedroom with a double bed. There’s also a living room with a double sofa bed fully equipped kitchen and a modern-style bathroom. It’s close to Santa Apolónia train and metro station. There’s also are local craft shops, cafes, restaurants and easy access to other charming neighborhoods, like Bairro Alto, Chiado and Baixa. 

Amazing Apartment And View at Alfama

This apartment is an exceptional loft nestled in a 17th Century palace in the heart of the enchanting Alfama district. This unique accommodation is ideal for couples or families with children. Enjoy the convenience of a well-equipped kitchen, reliable WiFi, standard cable TV and a dedicated workspace. Families will appreciate the availability of a crib with additional amenities like a hairdryer, refrigerator and microwave for convenience.

Palácio Príncipe Real

The captivating Palácio Príncipe Real has the perfect fusion of design and Old World charm. The spacious bedrooms are accompanied by their personalized and attentive service. Guests can indulge in the delightful à la carte breakfast, served until midday, in a serene atmosphere. After a long day of excursions, enjoy the on-site Paz Wellness Spa with soothing treatments like aromatherapy massages, all-natural facials, rice powder exfoliation, and sound massages with Tibetan singing bowls. There’s also an enchanting oasis of the terrace and lush garden leading to an Asian-style solar-power heated infinity pool. Guests can enjoy breakfast on the terrace outside or by the pool after an early morning swim.

Get Away: Getting To and Around Lisbon, Portugal

By Air 

The Lisbon Portela Airport is the best way to travel to Lisbon and numerous airlines offer flights to Lisbon from major cities worldwide. The convenient and efficient location gives travelers options, but it’s still advisable to compare prices and flight schedules to find the most suitable option. Flight and accommodation prices are lower during the shoulder seasons compared to the peak tourist season. 

By Car

Navigating Lisbon by car can be a convenient way to explore the surrounding areas. However, Lisbon’s city center can be congested with limited parking. When renting a car, it’s advisable to learn about the city’s traffic regulations and parking zones. Consider using a GPS or a navigation app to navigate the narrow streets and find parking areas. Be aware of the various toll roads in Portugal and double-check what payment methods are necessary. 

By Public Transit

Lisbon has an excellent public transit system that includes the metro, trams, buses and trains. The Viva Viagem card can be recharged to use in all modes of public transport. The metro is useful for getting around the city center and reaching the rural areas. Trams are an iconic staple of Portugal’s infrastructure and offer a charming way to explore historic neighborhoods. Buses provide extensive coverage, reaching even the more remote areas. Plan itinerary routes using Lisbon’s official public transit app or website to avoid congestion during peak hours.

Explore Lisbon, Portugal on Foot

For travelers new to the Lisbon, Portugal area, exploring the city on foot is an excellent way to see the vibrant atmosphere and discover hidden gems. The charming, narrow streets and picturesque neighborhoods make it highly walkable. Start by exploring the historic Alfama district, wandering through its winding alleys and enjoying panoramic seaside views. Stroll along the waterfront promenade of Cais do Sodré and take in the beauty of the Tagus River. Don’t miss the iconic Bairro Alto district, which is famous for its vibrant nightlife and trendy shops. Keep comfortable shoes and a map or the Citymapper app handy to embrace the joy of wandering through Lisbon’s colorful streets.

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