I no longer see going to Lisbon as traveling. Indeed, we book flights, we rent an apartment, and we go out to do some sightseeing and indulge into local dishes. And we take photos. Lots of photos. Yet it doesn’t feel as if we’re on a trip.
The moment I return to Lisbon is the moment I return home. The city’s look and feel, and the rhythm of daily life suit me perfectly.
On our latest visit – early September this year – we spent ten days in the city. We chose Príncipe Real as home base, a neighbourhood we knew it would match our style perfectly: central yet not touristic, with plenty of nice places to hang out yet mostly residential.
Praça das Flores, a quaint little square just a few blocks from where we lived became my favourite place in Lisbon. Sitting on a bench there, next to the small fountain, and looking at the pastel coloured residential buildings along the hilly streets of Príncipe Real, I felt the gentle embrace of this old city at the edge of Europe. Praça das Flores – the name engraved on a stone plate, against an amber coloured facade. The Square of Flowers. Rua da Palmeira and Rua do Jasmim just around the corner. The Street of Palm Tree and the Street of Jasmine. It’s not hard to see that beauty has always been an essential element of life here.
From gracious street names and façades covered in colourful azulejos, to leafy squares and breath-taking miradouros – everything in Lisbon is inviting you to take a moment and look around. And what is beauty if not an invitation to contemplation?
Here are some of my favourite shots from Príncipe Real, accompanied by my notes / reflections – as taken while there. At the end, you’ll find some of our favourite addresses in the area.
I cannot finish this post without sharing with you our favourite addresses in Príncipe Real:
- Copenhagen Coffee Lab (pictured above) – Danish coffee place in the heart of Lisbon, serving fresh brews made of beans brought directly from their micro-roastery in Copenhagen.
- Lost In – Café-restaurant with a large terrace overlooking the city, extension of an Indian inspired clothing shop.
- Hamburgueria do Bairro – Delicious artisanal burgers (vegetarian options also available) served with home made fries.
- O Prego da Peixaria – Trendy lunch room serving “the best prego (traditional Portuguese steak sandwich) in Lisbon. Fish and sea food options are also available, and they come wrapped in the same soft, home made bread, whose recipe is “locked away from sight.”
- Largo ao Tacho (pictured above) – Mouth-watering petiscos (traditional Portuguese snacks) and Portuguese dishes, in a modern interpretation. The atmosphere is that of a neighborhood tavern, with beautiful decor and a cosy terrace.
- Praça das Flores (pictured above) – Romantic little square, with a small garden and fountain, one of Lisbon’s quietest corners.
- Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara (pictured above) – One of the most romantic viewpoints in Lisbon, looking over downtown, toward São Jorge Castle and the Tejo river.
- Jardim do Príncipe Real (pictured above) – A relaxing garden and square to watch the world go by, at the shade of a century old cedar tree. There is also a café with outdoor seating, and two kiosks serving refreshments. Saturday morning is the day to buy fresh fruit and vegetables at Biological Products Market taking place in the square.
- Embaixada – The Portuguese shopping gallery in a 19th century new-Arabian Palace, gathering under its roof the best of Portugal’s brands and artists in the fields of design, fashion, and crafts.