Local Specialties (Food & Wine) The Best of ....

Bea´s Secret Lisbon

November 17, 2017

My little paradisiacal secret tips about Lisbon and its surroundings are today still unknown and thus remain far from all the touristic crowds. In this way, you will be able to enjoy the beautiful region to the fullest and the Portuguese culture at its purest state.

The Convento dos Capuchos is a Capuchin monastery lying in the Serra de Sintra which is beautifully invaded by the surrounding green nature. I advise you to visit this magical place either very early in the morning or late in the afternoon, the light of the sun making all of the beauty of the place. The opening hours are from 9:30 am until 19:30 pm.

Guincho is a beach like no other! Just a 30-minute drive from Lisbon, following the direction of Cascais, you will find this a wonderful coastline with a superb beach in its middle. In summer it is quite often very windy, but then you can always head for the swimming pool of the hotel Muchaxo, right above the ocean and a perfect place for you to relax. The pool is filled with salt water and surrounded by cliffs, which give it a beautiful natural charm. Just as delightful is the timeless and uniquely decorated is the bar of the hotel. Trust us, it is worth a visit!

Good food guaranteed combined with a social background? Mezze is a new restaurant which was opened in order to help Syrian women and young refugees integrate into the Lisbon community. This Portuguese pilot project is located in the Mercado de Arroios, in the borough of Mouraria, one of the few “bairros” that were spared by the 1755 earthquake. It has gone through many transformations and is now a seen as the birthplace of the Fado.

Time for a break and a nice cup of tea? Relax at the neo Moorish Palacete Chafariz del Rey while listening to some classic music in a private and peaceful atmosphere. This little pearl lies near the river Tagus, at the foot of the old city centre. Be it for a romantic date or to spend some time on your own reading a nice book, it is the perfect place for you to enjoy a relaxing and pleasant moment!

Some of the most beautiful views of Lisbon await you on the other side of the estuary. It is the “Altira-te ao Rio” meaning throw yourself in the river. In order to reach this hidden place, you will have to cross the river with the ferry sailing from Cais do Sodré to Cacilhas. Once there, it is only a short walk to the restaurant offering breath-taking views of the city. You will surely be amazed by the colours and the beauty of the sunset, while savouring a glass of wine.

Portugal is famous for its delicious local specialties. But the trick is to know where to go to try them! One of our still unknown secret tip, lying in the middle of the touristic area of Alfama, Lisbon´s old centre, is the simple but lovely “Cruzes Credo”. This one offers all kind of Portuguese dishes. Try the Bacalhau com Grão (codfish with chick peas) or even the Caldeirada de Peixe (fish stew). And after a tasty main dish, you MUST absolutely try the incredible chocolate cake: a true delight. You might want to bring a bit of patience, but it is well worth it.

The market of Carcavelos is one of the oldest in the neighbourhoods surrounding Lisbon. Every Thursday, starting at 9 in the morning, you can buy clothes from a variety of styles, famous brands, carpets, curtains and much more, and all of this at unbeatable prices.

Is there a better way to get to know a country than learning how to cook its typical dishes? “Kiss The Cook” is an institution which will teach you the recipes of the Portuguese cuisine in a funny and relaxed atmosphere. You will be able to attend the courses at the reconverted ancient printing plant called “LX Factory”. It lies in a lesser known area of Lisbon not too far from the river and offers all kind of fashion, music and art attractions.

Finally, I will advise you to enjoy a cool beer at the “Bar das Azenhas” in the lovely village of Azenhas do Mar. In case you are travelling during the winter when the bar is closed, head to the restaurant “Agua y Sal” just next to the historic bridge. It offers good Portuguese dishes at a very good price. Also the “Bar do Fundo” at the end of the Praia Grande is a great option. Besides good food it offers beautiful views over the beach and the cliffs. In summer it is perfect for a sundowner, listening to good music and spending a delightful night. Could you ever wish for more?

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