After swapping her beloved hometown, Porto, for Sardinia, London and Buenos Aires, Joana has now been happily living in Lisbon for three years. These are her five current favourite spots.
5 x JO&SO's favourites in Lisbon
Joana and Sofia Lacerda founders JO&SO
JO&SO is a collection of the cool places to stay in Portugal, handpicked by Portuguese sisters Joana and Sofia. It’s like a list of recommendations they would give to friends who plan to visit their beautiful country. They visit all the places they feature, and to help show the soul of each place, they get to know and interview the people behind it. Their Instagram account will make you want to pack a bag and head to Portugal straightaway.
1) Memmo Alfama
Memmo Alfama is a boutique hotel tucked away in a maze of cobbled streets in the soulful neighbourhood of Alfama, Lisbon’s oldest and most charming neighbourhood. However, this is not just a cool place to stay. As a local, I love visiting the gorgeous rooftop bar for a drink and some Portuguese petiscos (snacks). The picturesque views and the red infinity plunge pool make it one of the best places in the city to enjoy the sunset. Read our full review on our website.
2) Prado Mercearia
Prado Mercearia is a stunning grocery store near my house and the place I currently visit the most. I come here to buy the delicious Portuguese organic produce they sell, and also to enjoy a meal in the evenings, which is prepared by a guest head chef who changes every month. They serve small dishes that pair perfectly with the organic Portuguese wines. As a bonus, the team at Prado Mercearia is super friendly and knowledgeable, which means I always end up learning something new about how a product is made or about the region that produces it.
3) Taberna Salmoura
Taberna Salmoura is one of those restaurants where I always have an incredible meal. It’s a relaxed tavern in the heart of Alfama, serving traditional Portuguese cuisine with a creative twist. The menu is always changing because they use the freshest produce the season has to offer. The dishes come in small portions to share - for two people I suggest at least four plates so you can taste a variety of flavours. The craft beer is delicious, and the wines come from small producers. If they have Octopus Rice written on their charcoal board, go for it. It's heavenly.
4) Topo Chiado
If you are planning to visit Lisbon’s iconic Elevador de Santa Justa (an elevator located inside a gothic tower no less), but get discouraged by the queue, go through the alley and up the stairs to Topo Chiado. Here you will enjoy equally wonderful views - sans crowds - and with a cold drink in hand. It’s one of those places you wouldn’t find unless you knew about it. I love bringing friends here for the first time to see their surprised, happy faces.
5) Guincho Beach
One of the perks of living in Lisbon is that it’s easy to escape the city buzz, which is exactly what I tend to do on the weekends. During summer I most likely head to the beautiful beaches that surround Lisbon: Caparica, Guincho, Praia Grande in Sintra, Meco or a bit further, Ribeira D’ilhas in Ericeira. If time is a factor, I recommend Guincho: it offers a dramatic landscape, it’s popular with surfers, and it’s just 30 minutes from the centre of Lisbon. As a bonus afterwards you can visit nearby Cascais, Lisbon’s pretty little coastal town.
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The 500 Hidden Secrets of Lisbon reveals off-the-beaten-track places and interesting details for anyone who's keen to explore Lisbon's best-kept secrets.
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