Top 10 – Winter Activities
Lisbon’s year-round sunny days and mild climate make it a perfect destination for a winter city-break. Despite Lisbon’s beaches being all the rave in the summer, there’s plenty to keep you entertained if you decide to visit during the winter. We’ve put together a little list to help you through it:
1. Head to Príncipe Real‘s Embaixada for Lisbon’s trendiest shopping experience. Weave in and out of local shops in this palace-turned-concept store, grab a warm drink at the café inside, and head to Burel to pick up a 100% sustainable wool winter jacket to keep you warm outside.
2. Mini Bar‘s 1950s theatre booths are perfect to have an innovative caipirinha by michelin-starred Chef José Avillez. While you might be searching for outside terraces in the summer, the warm, cosy atmosphere of one of Lisbon’s coolest restaurants is just what you need for some evening drinks this winter.
3. Bringing back the perfect gift for Christmas is a no-brainer, as A Vida Portuguesa‘s traditional gifts – some even in their original wrapping – provide for a wide selection of local, unique products you can take back home. The throwback soaps are one of Oprah Winfrey’s absolute favourites.
4. The panoramic windows of Varanda Restaurant make you feel almost as if you were at an outside terrace, with views over the Parque Eduardo VII, but with all the warmness and comfort of a Four Seasons. The Sunday Brunch is perfect to take the family and the kids can be left at Ritzlândia in the afternoon while the parents enjoy some pampering time at the Ritz Spa.
5. Sintra & Cascais are beautiful in the summer, but head to Sintra in the winter to marvel at the Pena Palace in all its glory; it’s usually surrounded by a mysterious-looking fog that makes it look as if straight out of a fairy-tale. Palácio da Regaleira, just nearby, also benefits from the mist, further adding to its natural mystique. As a bonus, it’s almost always free of tourists in the winter, with almost no queues.
6. While you’re in Sintra, Periquita’s freshly-made, warm Travesseiros are just perfect anywhere, anytime. Have two, really – life is short.
7. The candle-lit environment at Cinco Lounge just makes you want to curl up in one of their comfy sofas and stay there all night. Luckily, you can – all while enjoying their unique cocktail creations, with references to Eddie Izzard’s Star Wars sketch, and one of the best atmospheres to have a drink in the city.
8. Ample ceilings and wooden tables at Mercado da Ribeira almost make you feel like you’re outside, gathering one of Lisbon’s best selection of restaurants at what used to be an iconic market – enjoy some of the Atlantic Ocean’s best produce by having seafood dishes from Sea Me‘s stand.
9. Take the kids (and adults!) on a visit to the world’s best aquarium at the Lisbon Oceanarium. Marine wildlife from all over the world can be found at one of the most beautiful and vast aquariums on the planet, and the sea otters there are almost like local celebrities.
10. Christmas decoration line the trees at the luxurious Avenida da Liberdade – Lisbon’s favourable climate lets you walk down the avenue as you window-shop international designers, while the kiosks have some fantastic hot chocolate to keep you warm as you do so.