Best "Pousadas" in Portugal

A castle, a royal suite or a monastery - where shall we have dinner and sleep tonight?
Pousada Palácio de Estoi
Pedro Sampayo Ribeiro Pousada Palácio de Estoi
By Time Out editors |
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“If you can look, see. If you can see, take notice." This sentence comes from Portuguese King D. Duarte's "Book of Teachings", and it was included in the back cover of Literature Nobel prize winner José Saramago's "Blindness".  It could apply to the new Pousadas of Portugal program. Places that have always been in plain sight now make themselves noticed by being members of Pousadas Authentic Venues, a series of locations where you can have lunch, tea, dinner or even watch the Champions League final, in couples or in groups, in private or corporate events - with prices varying according to the number of patrons and the selected menus. Here are the current Authentic Venues.

Recommended: The best things to do in Lisbon.

Best "Pousadas" in Portugal

Pousada do Castelo de Palmela
D.R.
Hotels

Pessegueiro Courtyard at the Castelo de Palmela Pousada

icon-location-pin Greater Lisbon

Going to the Castelo de Palmela Pousada is like travelling in time without driving the DeLorean. The former home of the Order of Santiago is in such a vantage point that you get a view of the Serra da Arrábida Nature Park, the ocean and some of Portugal's most famous vineyards (including properties such as Ermelinda Freitas, José Maria da Fonseca or Bacalhôa). The Pessegueiro ("peach tree") Courtyard is sheltered within the castle, and you can discover it while enjoying a meal serving for up to 30 people; the menu includes the famous "caramela" soup (a strong mix of potatoes, cabbage, sausage, beans and carrots) and partridge pie, or an equally fulfilling alternative, game meat broth with watercress "farófias" and roast pork leg.

Salão Nobre da Pousada de Guimarães
D.R.
Hotels

Main Hall of the Mosteiro de Guimarães Pousada

This small luxury hotel is located in Portugal's cradle, the city where the nation's founder, D. Afonso Henriques, cut the umbilical cord to the kingdom of Leon and promptly went conquering southwards, in a journey of personal and national independence. The Mosteiro de Guimarães Pousada occupies the former monastic home of the Order of Saint Augustine, built in the 12th century by Portugal's first queen, D. Mafalda. The Main Hall is now open for meals, for parties up to 100 people, and two menus are on offer: one with breaded black pork cutlets or cod loins, the other with octopus carpaccio or beef tenderloin steak.

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Pousada do Convento de Évora
D.R.
Hotels

D. João V Suite in the Convento de Évora Pousada

Here, when you wake up, you will be greeted with a view of Évora's most famous monument: the Roman Temple of Diana. A few steps away you will find the Gothic Cathedral, the Cadaval Palace and the renowned Giraldo Square. Smack in the middle of Évora, part of a World Heritage museum-city, the Convento de Évora Pousada keeps some of the minimalism of the S. João congregation of secular canons (the first to inhabit it), despite undergoing major renovations after a fire and the 1755 earthquake. Get ready for dining in one of the Pousada's most beautiful places, the D. João V Suite. The suite is covered in colourful frescos, and it has furniture so gorgeous you will hesitate before sitting on it.

Pousada do Palácio de Queluz
D.R.
Hotels

D. Maria Theatre at the Palácio de Queluz Pousada

icon-location-pin Greater Lisbon

If you want to spend the night and have a time-travelling meal - skipping from past to present -, discover the Palácio de Queluz Pousada, set inside the palace's clock tower, and its Cozinha Velha restaurant, where a fine dessert table pays tribute to Portuguese  traditional convent sweets. Now you can add to that the D. Maria Theatre, where, once upon a time, plays were staged for the namesake Portuguese queen, a jealous type that allowed only men as performers, even in female roles. The theatre has a capacity of up to 30 people, and is both adequate for lunch and "to watch the Champions League final", says Pousadas de Portugal manager Frederico Costa. In this former thespian haven, you can try stewed partridge, lamb carré and orange pie with a citrus and mint micro-salad covered in chocolate flakes.  

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Pousada Palácio de Estoi
PEDRO SAMPAYO RIBEIRO
Hotels

Main Hall of the Palácio de Estoi Pousada

This small luxury hotel in Estoi, 10 kilometres away from Faro, has a rococo pastiche style unique in the region, with a French-style garden, rigorously designed in geometric shapes. The Palácio de Estoi Pousada is like a fairytale come to life, with walls painted in sugary colours such as marshmallow pink or watery green (like your dream refrigerator). The ceiling has embossed wooden motifs, contrasting with the modern rooms. The Main Hall, which could feature in a Lewis Carroll story, is now available for dinners. Don't forget to take a dip in the tropical showers or the heated indoors pool.

Pousada do Castelo de Estremoz
D.R.
Hotels

Castle Keep at the Castelo de Estremoz Pousada

Sleeping in a castle is nowadays much more comfortable than when buildings had battlements instead of balconies. A night at this castle - built by Portuguese king D. Dinis for his "Holy Queen" Isabel - is a demonstration that love conquers everything, even giant boulders. The rooms in the Castelo de Estremoz Pousada, in Alentejo, maintain a classical decoration, with their four-poster beds, but added contemporary luxuries such as TV and wi-fi. Then there's the imposing castle keep, now open for private meals for groups up to 12 people, with three menus to choose from: one has a traditional tomato soup, sausage and poached eggs, and Brás-style cod; another comes with partridge and mint soup, black pork loins and fava bean stew; and a third includes Serpa cheese on crispy crackers and roast lamb.

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Hotels

Wine Bar at the Viseu Pousada

The former São Teotónio Hospital in Viseu underwent a renovation by architect Gonçalo Byrne to become a boutique inn. The Viseu Pousada has 84 rooms, a spa, a gym, an inner pool and an outer one. There are also three options for dining: light meals at the Grão Vasco bar, breakfast and occasionally dinners at the Dão Lafões restaurant, and the hardy Viriato, offering the best of local cuisine. Actually, make that four options, since there is a new, more intimate venue: the Wine Lounge. The Pousada cellar became one of the Pousadas Authentic Venues, holding up to 35 people. There are two menus on offer: one with roast cod or roast kid goat, the other with a choice of brill and small cockle risotto or lamb carré.

Best of Lisbon

Cascais Christmas Village
JORGE MARTIN
Things to do

The best Christmas markets in Lisbon

There is no way around it: this time of the year Lisbon turns into a Christmas haven. Besides your usual things to do, ice rinks, twinkling lights and the never-ending Christmas markets hit the streets, along with the cold weather. Whether you love or loathe Christmas shopping, if your planning on doing them in Lisbon know that there are more options available than the crowded shopping centres. Whether you’re looking for classic decorations, arts and crafts or that last-minute gift, you can find all you want for Christmas at one of these markets. Here’s our pick of Lisbon’s best Christmas markets. Happy shopping. Recommended: Things you can only see in Lisbon

miradouro graça
© Arlindo Camacho
Things to do

The 33 coolest things to do in Lisbon

With its world-class restaurants, excelling in seafood, its reputation for style and long pedigree in art and culture, Portugal’s first city remains high on every discerning weekend-breaker’s hit-list. Want to know what to do in Lisbon? Wether you’re just here for a short visit (and if so, be sure to check out our best hotels list for a place to stay), or thinking of extending your stay permanently, this checklist will help you find the very best of Lisbon. Discover the landmarks, get a taste of some of that typical Portuguese food or uncover world flavours in the most typical neighbourhoods around the city. Done something on this list and loved it? Share it with the hashtag #TimeOutDoList and tag @TimeOutEverywhere.   Find out more about how Time Out selects the very best things to do all over the world.

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Quinta da Regaleira - Palácio
©DR
Things to do

The best things to do in Sintra

Sintra is a postcard. A postcard full of places cramming with tourists, of course, but also of quiet places to contemplate. And, above all, many tables to rest from the tour and refill your energy. With its fine architecture, significant monuments and museums and hidden treasures, is maybe the best choice for you if you are looking for some out-of-town hours. So save one day on your schedule, put on your hiking boots and visit Sintra, less than one hour away from Lisbon. You won’t regret it – scout's honor!

Recommended: The 33 coolest things to do in Lisbon

Henrique Sá Pessoa no seu restaurante Alma
Fotografia: Arlindo Camacho
Restaurants

All the Michelin-star restaurants in Lisbon

The first Michelin Guide gala to be held in Portugal dictated just two more stars for Lisbon restaurants in the 2018-2019 season. In total there are now eight restaurants in the great Lisbon area that can proudly boast this star from the most important gastronomic guide in the world. You can find them from downtown Cascais to a quick trip to Sintra, or just by walking up and down Chiado, now considered the center of high gastronomy in Lisbon. All of them are, of course, on our meticulously compiled list of the best restaurants in Lisbon, so be sure to check it out if you’re looking to find some more affordable, yet still delicious options in the city. If you want to try the best of the city, all under one roof, then the Time Out Market is the place to visit. Recommended: The 148 best restaurants in Lisbon

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vhils,avenida da india
©DR
Art

Open-air artwork to peek at and take pics in Lisbon

Vhils, Bordalo II, Aka Corleone, Tamara Alves or Mário Belém are some of the most impressive names in the urban art scene in Lisbon. In recent years, the city has become one of the world's capital of urban art, with major names like Obey Giant, Eduardo Kobra or Os Gémeos leaving their mark at Lisbon's walls. But seeing all the best works in one day might be difficult, so embark with us on an alternative tour around the city.

Recommended: The 33 coolest things to do in Lisbon

Restaurants

21 dishes you need to try at the Time Out Market Lisboa

Ten thousand square feet. Tens of restaurants. Famous and award-winning chefs. The Time Out Market can be quite a challenge for the indecisive. If this is your first trip and you still don't have a favourite spot (or if you have been to several stalls in the food hall, but like to try new things), take our tips. Here are 21 dishes you absolutely must try at the Time Out Market, from soups and appetizers to desserts, including traditional Portuguese and international entrées.

Recommended: The 33 coolest things to do in Lisbon

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Piscina do Sheraton Lisboa Hotel & Spa vista do topo
Fotografia: Arlndo Camacho
Hotels

The best hotels in Lisbon

Are you in for a quick stay or a longer one? Did you come for romance or to hang out with friends? Is the family in tow or are you by your lonesome? Lottery winner or penny-pincher? Whatever your tourist profile or your ideal vacation are, you will find something to like among our collection of the best hotels in Lisbon. Make your pick and enjoy your stay. Recommended: Best things to do in Lisbon

Torre de Belém
Fotografia: Arlindo Camacho
Attractions

The best Lisbon attractions

With so many top Lisbon attractions to tick off, with all the museums and free things the city has to offer, your sightseeing checklist could get very long indeed. That’s why we've put together this list of the city’s essential sights – here you’ll find architectural wonders, spectacular palaces and the best viewpoints in Lisbon. 

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eletrico
Fotografia: Arlindo Camacho
Things to do

101 Things to do in Lisbon

Discover the city with our list of the very best things to do and see in Lisbon. From picture-perfect views that will light up your Instagram feed to the biggest hotspots in town, classic attractions to places kept a secret even to the locals, there are more than just 101 things to do in Lisbon. But we’ll start from there, for now. Wether you’re just here for a short visit (and if so, be sure to check out our best hotels list for a place to stay), or thinking of extending your stay permanently, this checklist will help you find the very best of Lisbon. Discover the landmarks, get a taste of some of that typical Portuguese food or uncover world flavours in the most typical neighbourhoods around the city. 101 things to do in Lisbon isn’t enough for you? Not to worry, you can still hit some of Lisbon’s best museums, art galleries or take a stroll through the most beautiful gardens and parks. If you’re on a schedule, check out some Lisbon tours to help you cover the most ground.

Rio Maravilha
© Arlindo Camacho
Restaurants

The best Lisbon restaurants

Some of these best Lisbon restaurants are new, some have been going for years. What they all have in common is great food, ambience and service.  Recommended: The best fish restaurants in Lisbon

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