Let’s go back to Saturday 13 may 2017. Portugal wins the biggest music festival of the world for the first time. The whole country gets crazy! Portuguese people just love music and the Eurovision Song Contest and they love to show that to the rest of the world.
In May 2018 Lisbon will be the center of the world for 3 days. The city where thousands of fans will be. Time to see Lisbon’s hotspots, taste the great Portuguese food and enjoy the friendliness of the Portuguese people.
Fly to… the Eurovision Song Contest 2018
TAP, the national airline of Portugal is the best way to enjoy the Portuguese friendliness. Enjoy a comfortable flight to Lisbon and get a snack on board with a good glass of wine or watch a movie on long haul flights. This, all with the Portuguese smile of the crew.
Enjoy a good stay in Lisbon
If you stay the full week of the contest, you need a good bed. Lisbon has a staying for every budget. You can easily find a great hotel close to Lisbon’s hotspots. If you like luxury for a good price, A good choice will be the 5 star Altis Avenida Hotel. After a long walk in the city, you can enjoy a nice room, a good dinner or enjoy the wellness in the Altis Grand hotel.
But why not stay at the Late Birds hotel. This all male Gay urban resort lies between the two gay areas of Lisbon. The Late Birds Lisbon is housed in a completely restored, late-18th century building with twelve very comfortable climate-controlled rooms, lounge, beautiful garden and UV-treated swimming pool. It’s an oasis after a long day of visiting the city. Regarding nightlife, the guesthouse is less than a 10 minute-walk from all gay venues (Bars, Clubs and Saunas) and the most famous and typical restaurants of Bairro Alto, Chiado, Principe Real, Santos and Cais do Sodré.
For the real fans who want to enjoy the atmosphere of the Eurovision song contest, stay at Myriad hotel. This beautiful hotel, close to the water, is at walking distance of the big concert hall. For sure, you will meet a lot of artists in this hotel.
Walk, walk and walk
The best way to enjoy the city and the many quarters is by foot. But wear good walking shoes. The streets of Lisbon go up and down and do not forget to count the many stairs of the city. But if you get tired, make a stop for a snack or a drink. For the short timers, just take one of the old fashion trams. They bring you to all the places you like.
What you see is what you get: the hotspots
If you stay a whole week, go visit the city. Lisbon has great things to offer. You maybe decide to stay some more days after the contest. Let’s start with some interesting museums.
MNAA, the ‘Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga’ is the main museum. It’s housing the most relevant public collection from the 12th till the 19th century: painting, sculpture, silver, gold and jewelry. Take your time, because you need several hours to enjoy all of this. And take a look to the beautiful architecture of the building. It’s amazing.
Next stop is the ‘Museu da Agua’. It manages and promotes a group of buildings and monuments built in the eighteenth and nineteenth century. They mark an important period in the history of Lisbon’s water supply. You can follow a ‘museum route’ or make an underground walk with a guide. It’s magnificent and special.
Lisbon Story center is a space dedicated to the city of Lisbon that combines knowledge and technology. It offers a 60-minute journey through time travelling across 20 centuries of history of the capital, from its foundation to the present day. A must to see.
Love the Brooklyn Bridge? Then visit the ‘Ponte 25 de Abril’. It was built by the American Bridge Company, which constructed the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge, but not the Golden Gate. With a total length of 2,277 m, it is the 32nd largest suspension bridge in the world. Until 1974, the bridge was named ‘Salazar Bridge’. The name ‘Ponte 25 de Abril’ commemorates the Carnation Revolution. You can get in ‘Pilar 7’ and visit the open view point. You not only can see the traffic of the city, but imagine that you are in Rio. Enjoy the big ‘Jesus Christ statue’. But in the first place experience an amazing view from the platform.
Lisbon is an example for the world how to use ugly walls of buildings. They just make art of it with amazing street art. Buy the guide of all the pieces and enjoy magnificent paintings through the whole city. Some of them are from ‘Berdalo II’ and were used in a street art festival. You need at least 2 days to see them all.
Lisbon has many points of view like ‘Pilar 7’. For the Eurovision song contest fans, go lunch at ‘Myriad hotel’ and then take ‘Telecabine Lisboa’. It brings you to ‘the Park of Nations’, the latest area of Lisbon. You have an amazing view of Lisbon and the concert hall. Maybe you will spot one of the artists of the Eurovision song contest.
At the end of the ride, you can visit ‘Oceanario de Lisboa’. It’s an example how an aquarium should be. The amazing central aquarium, that symbolizes the Global Ocean, hosts about a hundred species from four oceans. Surrounding this big aquarium, four marine habitats create the illusion that there is only one and single ocean. You see corals, sharks, penguins, sea otters and the most beautiful fish of the world. Take your time between the rehearsals because you surely need several hours to visit this place.
But the trendiest place is for sure ‘LX Factory’. Take an old factory site and transform it to the best place to visit: it hosts a Hostal, bars, trendy shops and restaurants. You still see the remains of the old factory. They used them in the different locations. The many rooms of the factory are used for small companies. I loved this place and worth a visit!
After a long day walking, take one of the old trams in the city to see the hotspots on an easy way. A special way to visit trendy Lisbon is by ‘Tuk Tuk’. They are Eco and bring you to one of the new trendy breweries of the city.
Enjoy the food of Lisbon
Lisbon has many places to eat and depending on your budget, you will enjoy the Portuguese specialties.
Use the app of ‘the Late Birds hotel’ and find the best cantinas of Lisbon. These restaurants for small budgets give you delicious meals in the places where people of Lisbon go eat themselves.
At the ‘Terreiro do Paço square’, the main square of Lisbon, you find ‘Can the Can’. This beautiful place with terrace offers you great food and an amazing view. It’s a typically Mediterranean cuisine, one defined by the use of natural, healthy ingredients as made the most of of Mediterranean peoples for more than 5,000 years.
The dishes are so healthy because they are based on a combination of fresh vegetables with quality canned fish, a product, rich in Omega 3 oils and without the need of preservatives.
But they do not just serve conserves. They use the best conserves within a concept of Mediterranean gastronomy. They elevate the conserves we use to the level of exclusive gastronomic products, at the same time as innovating in their recipes, joining fresh ingredients and placing a premium on quality of preparation and presentation.
If you like to try the great gastronomy, then visit the restaurants of Chef Jose Avillez. He stands out for his enterprising spirit and his willingness to always go one step further. He has several restaurants in Lisbon like ‘Belcanto’, ‘Bairro do Avillez’, ‘Mini Bar’, ‘Cantina Peruana’, ‘Cantinho do Avillez’, ‘Café Lisboa’ and ‘Pizzaria Lisboa’.
‘The Palacio Chiado’ is an elegant palace built in 1781 with beautiful architecture. In one place you have several restaurants and bars. You can order from all of them: meat, fish, and sushi. The architecture of the building is amazing! So enjoy during your dinner.
But Lisbon’s national product is ‘Pastel de Nata’. It’s a Portuguese egg tart pastry. Taste it and for sure you will love it.
For lunch, try the Portuguese tapas: ‘Petiscos’. The best place is close to Altis Avenida Hotel.
The gay life is divided in 2 parts. One with the LGBT friendly bars and terraces. The other one for the bars, discos and cruising places. Again, take the app of ‘Late Birds’ and know the best places to go. But first take a nap after a day of walking. The fun starts late in the weekend. So enjoy the city and make new friends. You surely come back!
So, let the best win the Eurovision Song Contest and come back to see more of this great city… with TAP of course!