Wanderlust Wednesday with Erin Lyons LISBON

Erin Lyons in Lisbon Portugal

If traveling is your passion, we can totally relate!

Whether it’s Paris to Singapore or New York to Moscow, we’ve been there and done it! Ashley Boalch, Erin Lyons, Rachel Wang Pang, Tahera Zamanzada and their friends will recommend the best a city has to offer.

Erin Lyons in Lisbon Portugal


Lisboa (Lisbon for non-Lusophiles)

Who loves it:

Erin Lyons

Best Hotel:

The Inspira Santa Marta Hotel is an inexpensive option (coming in at just over $100 per night) with a central address combining the Old World charm of wrought iron balconies and black awnings with a contemporary interior and Mod lobby. Plus, the hotel is carbon neutral and uses fair-trade coffee and biodegradable toiletries. Then, there is the spa, steam room,  restaurant, and bar with art shows and DJs—luxury amenities at a “steal’ of a hotel. Inspra Santa Marta Hotel, Rua Santa Marta 48 1150-297 Lisbon +351 21 044 0900.

Best Spa or Salon:

I am definitely not a “Spa girl” on vacation, but I have a wonderful suggestion for all the ladies out there traveling with a male significant other. Drop your man at Barbearia Campos, the city’s oldest barbershop, for an old-school wet shave and trim. In the meantime, head over to the nearby Rua Áurea and Rua Augusta for some retail therapy. Then, rendez-vous for a late afternoon drink (I suggest a Taylor’s White PortChip Dry). You will both be in a very good mood! Barbearia Campos, Largo Chiado 4, Lisbon 1200-108 +351 21 342 8476.

Best Shopping:

Let’s face it: shopping is not what it used to be. Most stores are the same in major cities and you can purchase practically anything online. Check out local designer, Alexandra Moura, at her namesake shop (Rua Dom Pedro V 77, 1250-093 Lisbon) for flowing summery dresses.

Best Restaurant:

The Clube de Jornalistas (“The Press Club“) is a restaurant in Lisbon’s Lapa quarter, set in a charming and airy 18th century building with a cozy reading room and a lovely inner garden for outdoor dining. It is co-owned by slow-food movement writer and chef André Magalhães and boasts local specialties such as “bacalhau à brás” (shredded salt cod) and an excellent wine list. Clube de Jornalistas, Lapa/Estrela Rua das Trinas 129 1200-857 Lisbon +351 21 397 7138.

Best Nightclub or Lounge

One of the chicest spots in town is the sleek lounge, Silk, with plush decor and all black finishes. Yes, it is a little overpriced, but it has floor-to-ceiling panoramic views and a candlelit rooftop deck… pretty much all that you want on vacation. Silk, Rua da Misericórdia, 14, Lisobon +351-91 300 9193.

Favorite Neighborhood:

The Lapa quarter is a personal favorite. It is a smart, rather residential section of town where you can stroll around the embassies and old mansions and take in the architecture of the city. It is a good base to discover the city and there are a lot of authentic shops and cafes to explore away form the High Street.
Could you live there: Yes, absolutely. Lisbon is warm … both in terms of its people and its temperate climate. While Lisbon has had a downward-spiraling economy for quite some time, it has been much less affected by recent Euro-wide austerity measures and has begun to emerge as an entrepreneurial center and rival to the innovative, hipster Mecca of Berlin. You are in the middle of a bustling and well-connected city with gardens and seaside, plus you are just an hour away from some of the best surfing beaches in the world in Ericeira and less than an hour away from Sintra, an idyllic town of castles and hiking trails. Fresh seafood and flowing wine mean locals are happy and modest, in a city centered around lifestyle rather than materialism.


Do: venture out of the city center, as there are some lovely and breath-taking nearby beaches (CarcavelosGuinchoPraia da Adraga). Do: go to Pastéis de Belém (Rua Belém 84-92 1300-085 Lisbon,+351 21 363 7423) to sample the gooey custard pastries, “pastéis de nata.” This place is in every book, but it is not a tourist trap, it is really just that good (warm with freshly grated cinnamon on top). Skip: the touristy Fado clubs with overpriced lousy food and mediocre music. Skip: the Elevadores (elevators with city views) (cost is about 10 euros to go up an elevator), go to the Bairro Alto and buy a drink with that money and sit and enjoy a better, more breath-taking view of the city.

Let us know what you think!

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