Overlooking the Atlantic on the very edge of Europe, the continent’s westernmost capital is also its most laid-back, a place to wander among labyrinthine alleys where the air is thick with the scent of grilling sardines. (Though there’s also a burgeoning fine dining scene.) Idle away afternoons in Art Nouveau cafés: Portugal’s connection with Brazil means there’s a serious coffee culture. There’s an excellent museum in the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, and some remarkable historic architecture, especially if you head out to Belém or north up the coast to Sintra. But Lisbon isn’t only about the past. The maritime culture on which its fortunes were built endures in the fishing boats that ply the river Tagus on their way out to sea, but in the old harbour area, the once crumbling buildings have gradually been converted into restaurants, clubs, galleries and design stores that now represent the city’s 21st–century hub.
Rua Rodrigo da Fonseca, 88
Lisbon 1099-039, Portugal
Tel. +351 (21) 381-1400
Fax +351 (21) 383-1783
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Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon