A City for Lovers: Romantic Things to Do in Lisbon

Lisbon gets hearts a-flutter with its fairy tale castle and palaces, regal monuments and historic cafes and restaurants. In fact, exploring Portugal’s capital is to discover one of Europe’s most romantic cities. Take to the top of Elevador de Santa Justa for an ideal introduction to the Portuguese capital. As dusk falls and the city lights up, Lisbon’s castle provides a suitably dreamy backdrop for a photograph from this historic landmark. Take a selfie with your other half. Relaxing and unwinding together is what Lisbon is all about so why not visit a spa for some down time together.

At Spa at Porto Bay you can indulge in a “his and hers” massage in peaceful and intimate surroundings. Sightseeing Belem, one of city’s most attractive neighbourhoods, is always a rewarding option. Add a little romance to the occasion by taking a horse and carriage ride with Q Tour, which passes the most impressive places to see. A romantic tea for two can be taken in charming surroundings at the Salão de Chá, the beautiful tearoom at the Palacete Chafariz D’El Rei. They also do a superb brunch. Call it a desire if you want, but Tram 28 allows you both to indulge in Lisbon from a vintage streetcar that trundles its way through some of the capital’s narrowest lanes and picturesque quarters. It’s a lovely way to explore. For coffee and cake 1920’s style, head for Café-Pasterlaria Versailles. Here it’s all about savoring the bygone ambiance of yesteryear Lisbon. Back in Belem it’s worth spending time ambling through the UNESCO-listed Mosteiro dos Jerónimos.

This revered 16th-century monastery is noted for its spectacular cloister, which perfectly evokes Portugal’s age of discovery and romanticism. Also exemplifying Lisbon’s historic past is the Palácio Nacional de Queluz and Palácio da Pena. Both are outstanding architecturally and feature landscaped gardens and expansive grounds that offer lazy, hand-in-hand walking moments. And to round off a day together book a table at one of Lisbon’s fado restaurants. Senhor Vinho is one of the best where a candlelit dinner is served with the haunting strains of fado music and singing.

What better way to spend a romantic evening with someone you love than enjoying a candlelit dinner while listening to the haunting strains of fado. This is one of the most respected venues in the city, a fado house tucked away in the residential Lapa district known for its roll call of illustrious performers and a-la carte dining. The restaurant upholds Portugal’s rich, culinary traditions with a delicious choice of traditional dishes, and a list of carefully selected wines. The singing takes place between servings under dimmed light, the hushed audience serenaded with voice and guitar over the course of the evening.

What better way to spend a romantic evening with someone you love than enjoying a candlelit dinner while listening to the haunting strains of fado. This is one of the most respected venues in the city, a fado house tucked away in the residential… Read More

Palácio da Pena

Portugal’s very own Disneyland palace crowns the highest peak of the Serra de Sintra mountain range and is one of the most distinguished landmarks in the region. The 19th-century wonder conjures up an image of a child’s Lego-brick toy with its turrets and domes and colourful pastel facades. Indeed, it’s a hotchpotch of different architectural styles and was commissioned by Queen Maria II for her husband Ferdinand Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. The multi-roomed palace is crammed full of rare and priceless antiques and curios collected from all over the world. Opulent furnishings are found throughout the salons, and the décor is especially lavish in the Ballroom. The Arab Room is another contender for the richest and most extravagant home decoration award. Enchanting and romantic in equal measure, this is a place to let the imagination run wild and live like royalty for a couple of hours.

Portugal’s very own Disneyland palace crowns the highest peak of the Serra de Sintra mountain range and is one of the most distinguished landmarks in the region. The 19th-century wonder conjures up an image of a child’s Lego-brick toy with its… Read More

Palácio Nacional de Queluz

Don’t be put off by the rather incongruous location for despite being situated in the northern suburbs and approached by concrete housing blocks, this 18th-century royal palace stands alone as one of the grandest and most sumptuous in the land. Actually, it’s one of the finest examples of Rococo architecture in Portugal and the interior hides a treasure trove of exquisite furniture and period décor. A highlight is the opulent Sala dos Embaixadores, built by Robillion and featuring a stunning trompe l’oeil ceiling. The palace gardens, embellished with trickling fountains and trim topiary, are laid out in formal symmetry and provide a relaxing and highly enjoyable extension to the tour. During the summer riders from the Portuguese Scholl of Equestrian Art perform public displays of dressage within the grounds.

Don’t be put off by the rather incongruous location for despite being situated in the northern suburbs and approached by concrete housing blocks, this 18th-century royal palace stands alone as one of the grandest and most sumptuous in the land…. Read More

Mosteiro dos Jerónimos

Deserving of its UNESCO World Heritage status, this beautiful and exuberant monastery dates from the early 16th-century and stands as a tribute to the golden Age of Discovery, that period in time when Portuguese navigators sailed unknown oceans to discover strange new lands. The greatest of them all, Vasco da Gama, set foot in India in 1498 to initiate the lucrative spice trade, and it’s in his honour that the monastery was commissioned by King Manuel I in 1501. Spend time in this hallowed building admiring the fabulous filigree architecture; the spectacular nave features an impressive vaulted ceiling. The silent arcaded cloister is especially rich in ornamentation and perfectly evokes the romanticism surrounding those brave and intrepid explorers.

Deserving of its UNESCO World Heritage status, this beautiful and exuberant monastery dates from the early 16th-century and stands as a tribute to the golden Age of Discovery, that period in time when Portuguese navigators sailed unknown oceans… Read More

Café–Pasterlaria Versailles

Whisk yourself back to the dapper days of the 1920s by stepping inside this veritable gem of a café. This is one of the finest examples of an early 20th-century Lisbon teahouse, and the bygone ambiance is absolutely beguiling. The building stand replete in original décor – marble walls, decorative stained glass panels and custom-made counters filled with an amazing selection of cakes, sweets and all manner of homemade goodies. Busy waiters in smart waistcoats and bow ties staff tables in quiet indifference – they’ve seen it all before. But for the first-time visitor, this gleaming reminder of a gentler age is a wonderfully romantic and captivating experience.

Whisk yourself back to the dapper days of the 1920s by stepping inside this veritable gem of a café. This is one of the finest examples of an early 20th-century Lisbon teahouse, and the bygone ambiance is absolutely beguiling. The building… Read More

Tram 28

To really experience Lisbon in a novel and romantic fashion, hop onboard the number 28 tram. These bright yellow streetcars shake, rattle and roll their way over the city’s most picturesque neighbourhoods to follow a meandering track past monuments, museums and miradouros (viewpoints). The tram connects Martim Moniz in the Baixa (downtown) district with Campo Ourique, an area west of the city centre. Along the way, the carriage trundles by under the shadow of landmarks like São Vicente de Fora in Alfama and the Sé (cathedral). Further on it snakes around Praça Luís de Camões in Chiado, one of the capital’s prettiest squares, before hissing and creaking towards leafy Estrela, known for its church and landscaped gardens. And the best thing about the journey is that once you’ve reached the end of the line, you can do the same excursion in reverse.

To really experience Lisbon in a novel and romantic fashion, hop onboard the number 28 tram. These bright yellow streetcars shake, rattle and roll their way over the city’s most picturesque neighbourhoods to follow a meandering track past… Read More

Salão de Chá

The tearoom at the Palacete Chafariz D’El Rei exudes exceptional charm decorated as it is with original period furniture, which is an architectural signature evident throughout the hotel. Non-residents can join guests for brunch in the salon or at a table in the beautiful art nouveau mirror lounge, noted for its outstanding Venetian mirrors and rare lamplights. Brunch is adapted from the breakfast menu, a healthy, hearty choice of bread, croissant, assorted jams, cheese and cold cuts accompanied by crisp and juicy bacon and light, fluffy scrambled egg. Tea, coffee, hot chocolate and freshly squeezed fruit juice is also served. The menu lists additional delights such as yoghurt, fruit salad and pancakes. The setting is certainly romantic and ideal for couples or small, intimate gatherings. On warm sunny days the verandah is the perfect to place to enjoy a gin and tonic well into the afternoon.

The tearoom at the Palacete Chafariz D’El Rei exudes exceptional charm decorated as it is with original period furniture, which is an architectural signature evident throughout the hotel. Non-residents can join guests for brunch in the salon or… Read More

Q Tour

Belém Q Tour Photo courtesy of Paul Bernhardt

Clip clopping around historic Belém in a horse-drawn carriage is arguably the most romantic way to take in the sights of this enchanting Lisbon suburb. Departing from outside the UNESCO-listed Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, the route passes other notable sights like the serene Palácio Belém and the Padrão Descobrimentos, the remarkable Monument to the Discoveries. The equine saunter also takes in Jardim Afonso Albuquerque and Praça do Império. The slow rhythmic pace and the echo of horseshoe on paving stone induce a wonderful sense of yesteryear. A century ago this is how Lisbon’s citizens would have travelled, and the peaceful and unhurried ambiance is tangible.

Clip clopping around historic Belém in a horse-drawn carriage is arguably the most romantic way to take in the sights of this enchanting Lisbon suburb. Departing from outside the UNESCO-listed Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, the route passes other… Read More

Spa at Porto Bay Liberdade

Enjoying Lisbon as a romantic couple extends to experiencing the delights of the city’s various spas and wellness centres. At Porto Bay Liberdade, the hotel’s Spa facility offers a fabulous his and hers massage experience, the Best Time Together. Described as a “sensorial journey for two”, a luxurious footbath is followed by an all-over aromatherapy massage, using the scents of exotic ylang-ylang flowers and vanilla. The ritual for two continues with the application of a deep cleansing moisturising lotion. The peaceful and intimate setting further enhances the sensation of relaxation and wellbeing.

Enjoying Lisbon as a romantic couple extends to experiencing the delights of the city’s various spas and wellness centres. At Porto Bay Liberdade, the hotel’s Spa facility offers a fabulous his and hers massage experience, the Best Time… Read More

Elevador de Santa Justa

As selfie opportunities go, few match the views to be had from the Santa Justa viewpoint, the platform at the top of the Santa Justa elevator, located in Lisbon’s Baixa district. Built by architect Raol Mesnier du Ponsard and inaugurated in 1902, the 32-meter Neo-Gothic lift is one of the city’s most iconic structures. Passengers can choose to ride to the top of the tower from Rua do Ouro or climb the spiral staircase accessed from a walkway in Largo do Carmo. Either way, if you’re looking for a romantic snapshot with Lisbon unfolding in background, this is the place to hoist the selfie stick and smile into your smart phone.

As selfie opportunities go, few match the views to be had from the Santa Justa viewpoint, the platform at the top of the Santa Justa elevator, located in Lisbon’s Baixa district. Built by architect Raol Mesnier du Ponsard and inaugurated in… Read More

As seen on the Heatheronhertravels.com

 

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