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Lisbon Design Guide

Discover the best desgin guide to Lisbon, Western Europe’s creative, and some say most romantic, capital. Even though tourism has almost doubled in the last few years, it’s still possible to experience the historic cobblestone streets of the Alfama district or the beachside beauty of Cascais, the last stop on Lisbon’s legendary troll cars, undisturbed.

Now, as more and more folk are discovering this vibrant city, the art and design world have too taken notice. Events like ARCOLisbon, Lisbon Architecture Triennale, Lisbon’s Fashion Week and the Lisbon & Estoril Film Festival, all bring the global design set to the city, while the Lisbon Triennial and the newly opened Museum of Art and Architecture (MAAT) bring cutting-edge art to the city. Meanwhile, the city’s legendary graffiti culture made it the prime candidate to host the recent International Street Art Festival, while the local government’s efforts to rehabilitate historic buildings and turn obsolete infrastructure into nurturing creative districts have all had the cumulative effect of providing moments of art, culture and beauty that almost anyone can appreciate.

All the buzz has been heightened no doubt by the recent partnership between TAP, Portugal’s official airline, and JetBlue, which has made direct flights to Lisbon even more cost effective and accessible than ever before.

Though it’s still possible to get a table at one of the city’s chicest eateries or explore one of the area’s many palaces unencumbered, we recommend stopping by one of these design destinations, while you still can.

 

SEE  - When in town make sure you add these little pieces of perfect eye candy to your plans:

Pensão Amor

R. do Alecrim 19
pensaoamor.pt

Once an 18th-century brothel in Cais do Sodré, this one space now holds a bar, erotic bookstore, concert space, trendy hair salon, Peruvian restaurant, and artist workshops, with a decor that features painted frescoes, paintings, and vintage interiors that recall its racy past.

MUDE

R. Augusta 24
mude.pt

CURRENTLY CLOSED FOR RENOVATIONS

Home of the Francisco Capelo Collection, this chic museum houses unique design objects from both Portugal and the global design community. Despite being currently closed for a complete refurb - you can still grab some cultural candy with the pop-up exhibitions with MUDE outside. Current highlights include the history of Tattoos and a fascinating insight into Ibero-americana design.

Some of our favorite highlights include António Sena da Silva’s modernist chairs and Joe Colombo’s Mini Kitchen from 1963.

The Gulbenkian Museum

Av. de Berna 45A
gulbenkian.pt

Curated from the rich collection of British businessman, Calouste Gulbenkian, this one-of-a-kind museum houses over 10,500 pieces of Eastern and Western art, all within a modernist space designed by architects Ruy Jervis d’Athouguia, Pedro Cid and Alberto Pessoa.

The Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon, Portugal, design, shop, art, travel, guide

Don’t let pictures of the formal concrete exterior scare you off - the Gulbenkian’s lush natural surroundings will make time feel like it’s standing still.

Jerónimos Monastery

Praça do Império
mosteirojeronimos.pt

One of the most important monuments in Portugal, the 16th-century Jerónimos Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located close to the river in the Belém neighborhood.

Jeronimos Monastery, Lisbon, Portugal, design, shop, art, travel, guide

With architectural styles that range from Gothic to Moorish, Baroque and early Renaissance, the monastery is held up as a scion of the Portuguese spirit of discovery and contains the remains of legendary explorer, Vasco De Gama.

Centro Cultural de Belém

Praça do Império
ccb.pt

An ambitious cultural centre with the aim of promoting cross-genre theater, dance, classical music, jazz, opera and cinema, with a restaurant and cafe with a terrace overlooking the river, the Centro Cultural de Belem (referred to as the CCB) should be on the list of all culture lovers.

MUSEU COLECAO BERARDO

Praça do Império
museuberardo.pt

Also located in the Centro Cultural de Belém (CCB)  - the Museu Coleçao Berardo offers an amazing selection of contemporary art from the XX and XXI centuries.

Museu Colecao Berardo, Lisbon, Portugal, design, shop, art, travel, guide

With free entry, no one should have to pass up the chance to view Chagal’s luminous de Cena para A Flauta Mágica de Mozart.

PARQUE DAS NACOES

Avenue Joao II
portaldasnacoes.pt

Created to house Expo ’98 almost 30 years later it still remains one of the main attractions of the city, and perhaps one of the largest urban redevelopment projects in Europe.

Parque das Nacoes, Lisbon, Portugal, design, shop, art, travel, guide

Inside is the dazzling Oriente Station by Santiago Calatrava, as well as L-o-and the Oceanarium.

O Epicurista

Largo do Conde Barão 49

O Epicurista, Lisbon, Portugal, design, shop, art, travel

Known more for its soaps than its (highly under-rated) perfumes, here you can score rare fragrances from Saboaria Confiança, Miller et Bertaux, and Absolument Absinthe, as well as ceramics by Flemish artist Piet Stockmans.

 


 

 

DRINK

Red Frog

R. do Salitre 5A
1250-196 Lisboa

redfrog.pt

CINCO Lounge

R. Ruben A. Leitão 17A
cincolounge.com

CINCO Lounge, Lisbon, Portugal, design, shop, art, travel

Right in the heart of historic Lisbon, this splashy cocktail bar has an almost intimidatingly comprehensive catalogue of mixed drinks, set inside a chic modern interior with plush red details.

Embaixada

Praça do Príncipe Real 26
embaixadalx.pt

A shopping gallery that’s flourished within an 1800s Moorish-style palace, it’s been said Embaixada is one of the world’s most unusual and beautiful ‘shopping centres’.

Embaixada, Lisbon, Portugal, design, shop, art, travel Embaixada, Lisbon, Portugal, design, shop, art, travel

Fully restored, walk its grand entrance to a leafy courtyard before entering a store area that showcases everything from up-and-coming Portuguese designers to bath products.

Pelcor

Rua D. Pedro V, nº16, Pátio do Tijolo
pelcor.pt

One of the few MoMA-approved destinations in Lisbon, Pelcor offers award-winning cork design pieces, decor, and collectables meant to excite the hearts (and eyes) of design lovers.

FABULAS

Calçada Nova de São Francisco
fabulas.pt

FABULAS, Lisbon, Portugal, design, shop, art, travel FABULAS, Lisbon, Portugal, design, shop, art, travel

Located in Lisbon’s historic Chiado district, this cafe-cum-interior design shop is a dash of vintage mixed with modern comfort, and boasts rustic furnishings, bookshelves, refurbished pieces and a maze of seating areas.

A VIDA PORTUGUESA

R. Anchieta 11
avidaportuguesa.com

Created by journalist Catarina Portas, A Vida Portuguesa sells traditional Portuguese products given a contemporary makeover.

A VIDA PORTUGUESA, Lisbon, Portugal, design, shop, art, travel

Pick up retro-style soaps, interior design objects, furniture, and any sort of ephemera, created by Portas’ trusted team of designers. This shop is ground zero for any and all souvenier shopping.  

LX Factory

Rua Rodrigues Faria 103
lxfactory.com

A must-visit for any artistic guru, this concept design centre features shopping as well as atmospheric eateries, start-ups, advertising companies, communications teams, artists, and temporary exhibitors who are using this space as a pop-up art gallery.

Finally, there's one act of utter self reward that no trip to Lisboa is complete without - the mandatory and delicious Pastel de Nata. You should do this at the almost institutional, Casa Pasteis De Belem. At this centuries-old coffee house Lord Byron and Goethe enjoyed coffee, while it’s rumored that Richard Wagner and Franz Liszt once met for pastries.

Lisbon, Portugal, pasteis de natas, Photo by Felix Kolthoff on Unsplash

The only place to soak up the true Lisboa lifestyle through and through is at cool culture kid of bohemian allure and artistic flair, Casa Amora. A guesthouse filled with humour, fun and rare eclectic flair, kitschy-cute vintage finds are paired against soft gelato tones with such a careful eye for design and detail, it is like staying with an old friend. In Lisbon, you simply won't find us anywhere else. 

EDITOR'S PICK - Where to Stay in Lisbon

We have chosen two real special guesthouse hotels to stay in when in Lisbon - both of which capture the true soul of Lisboa and its incredible lifestyle. 

Casa Amora Lisbon is a guesthouse filled with humour, fun and rare eclectic flair, kitschy-cute vintage finds are paired against soft gelato tones with such a careful eye for design and detail,  it is like staying with an old friend In Lisbon.

Casa Fortunato Lisbon is a little design hotel of wow. A beauteous retreat of apparent heritage paired with a playful, imaginative style narrative of considered design and heirloom nostalgia.

Images © 

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