IT Girl Series: Lisbon

This is the first in my travel logs – trying to prove to my parents/brother that I am a self-sustaining independent traveller (hence, IT Girl).

However, this is a bit of a cop out – we went to Lisbon as a family, so this post doesn’t necessarily demonstrate my independent capabilites when travelling…Instead, this is more of a record of our time in Portugal’s capital.

The Hotel

We stayed in the beautiful Torel Palace – a real treat in terms of both service and design. Composed of two former homes – one painted a navy blue, the other pink – Torel Palace perches on the edge of one of Lisbon’s many hills. It’s pool looks out over the city and is a truly wonderful place to be, especially at sunset. The interiors were utterly lovely – each room has been designed with such taste and effort. It now serves as inspiration for my future home – I really didn’t want to leave!

What to do: LX Factory

Our visit to the LX Factory is one of the only things to prove my abilities as an IT. I’d thoroughly done my research and half-pushed my brother and dad to come along.

The LX Factory, while slightly outside central Lisbon, is easily accessible by tram. Having been converted from an industrial factory some years ago, it is a haven for those seeking independent retailers, artists, cafes and restaurants. On almost every external wall, wanderers will see some fantastic art, making it an incredibly stimulating and inspiring environment. There were great shops: a magazine retailer based out of a shipping container, an Indian clothing shop… the list goes on. My favourite was perhap Ler Devagar Bookstore. The shop occupies what was a former printing factory. The sky high walls are covered in books of every kind, with a stencil like sculpture hanging in the centre of the room. A must for any book lover out there – I could have easily spent hours there.

Azulejos (Tiles)

You could spend the good part of a day seeking out all the tiles of Lisbon. This is a tiny snapshot of all of the tiles we saw whilst wandering around the city. The history behind them is fascinating – check out this BBC article for a detailed explanation.

Where to eat some good grub

The food in Lisbon was undoubtedly some of the best I have ever consumed. If you’re into your food, the Time Out Market is the perfect place to grab lunch and to soak in the colours of the food market. There were also some great small artsy shops about, too.

The best meal we had during out time in Lisbon was at a tiny restaurant called Snr Lisboa. I honestly cannot put into words how amazing the food was – just please go!

Of course, one cannot neglect to mention the famous Pastel de Nata. I must have had at least one a day during our stay. Whilst some may argue that there are certain places to go to for the best Pastel de Nata, every single one I ate was just as good as the last.

What else…

  • Get up the Santa Justa lift! The queues are horrendously long during the day, but go up at 7.30/8pm: there will be no people and you get to see the city twinkling away.
  • A day trip to Sintra is a must according to both tourists and the Portuguese themselves. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to visit (we were heading South to the Algarve) but we’ve made plans to return to visit the fantastical castle ASAP!

Lisbon in three words: happy, delectable and arty.

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