Lisbon is an all-round show pony when it comes to cracking views (all those hill-climbs have to count for something), but the InterContinental takes the cake for having one of the best. Pair the sweeping city vista with the hotel’s prime position near the swanky Avenida da Liberdade and you’ve got yourself a winner.
The 30-year- old InterContinental recently underwent a renovation, so everything here is looking exceptionally swish. Choose from a classic room, executive room or suite—complete with marble bathrooms—and doze off in a cloud-like bed surrounded by cozy furnishings at the end of the day. Despite its size (there are 331 rooms for the picking), the hotel atmosphere feels calm, which is partly attributable to the low-key staff who keep things humming along nicely in the background. The hotel includes a 24-hour gym, private parking and onsite dining. The Akla restaurant is credited with having some of the best steak tartar in the city and also has an exemplary wine cellar with a vintage wall of stunning azulejos (Portuguese tiles). After dinner, you can nip up to the funky Uptown Bar with its mirrored walls and colored lights for a nightcap.
Location: The hotel is located near Lisbon’s most beautiful tree-lined shopping street, Avenida da Liberdade, which is flanked by nineteenth century buildings with exquisite façades. The Marquês de Pombal metro is 500 meters away and can zip you downtown in around ten minutes.
Museu Calouste Gulbenkian: This museum includes both the founder’s private collection as well as modern exhibitions showcasing Portuguese art from the end of the nineteenth century to the present day. Guided tours are available.
Jardim Zoológico de Lisboa: Lisbon’s renowned zoo has a range of animals from around the globe, including gorillas, elephants, dolphins and lemurs.
Level Eight Rooftop Bar & Lounge: When you’re up eight floors chilling on this rooftop, the views are darn good. Better still, the cocktails ain’t bad either.
JNcQUOI: This trendy fashion and gastronomy fusion sits on Avenida da Liberdade and has a men’s clothing store on the lower level, oyster bar and deli on the mid-level, and a fine dining restaurant upstairs. Front up on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night between 10pm and 2am to join one of JNcQUOI’s bathroom gigs. Yep this place has a cool loo, and yep, DJ-rockin’ toilet parties are a thing.
Avenida da Liberdade: This is Lisbon’s premium shopping strip, where you can tread across beautiful mosaic pavement under the arch of towering trees. The building façades along this street are also stunning, so what better place to drain some pennies?
Miradouro do Parque Eduardo VII: This lookout is located on the border of the park named after one of Portugal’s most famous fado singers, Jardim Amália Rodrigues. Walk up the long gentle slope from Avenida da Liberdade and past a statue of the Marquês de Pombal to admire a sweeping city view across the manicured gardens.
Good for: The InterContinental is well-suited to luxury travelers and business travelers alike (the ballroom has serious wow factor and there’s a 24-hour business center). It’s also a prime spot for anyone wanting to partake in some high-end retail therapy.
Amenities: Room service; free wi-fi; minibar; restaurant; bar; laundry service; concierge
Time Out tip: Explore the Portuguese islands of the Azores without leaving Lisbon by popping into Mercearia dos Açores. This specialty grocery store sells uniquely Azorean products such as local cheeses, sweet bolos lêvedos bread and pineapple liqueur. On the last Thursday of every month they hold product tastings with a local chef.
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Rua Castilho, 149