Lisboa Menina e Moça is a well-known fado (Portugal’s famous mournful music) that talks about the city being the ‘women of one’s life’. So who better to show us around Lisbon from a female’s perspective than Ines Courela, our local Urban Adventures guide…
“Lisbon is like a menina or girl, with its many personalities and moods, but it’s also the ideal setting for a girl’s adventure. Why? First the sun, then the fantastic shopping and of course the delicious food. Just one thing: no dieting is allowed during your Lisbon visit!
Start with a brunch at The Independente, a hostel with The Decadent restaurant, which is one of the city’s great local secrets. Enjoy the shops in Príncipe Real and Chiado. Must-stop stores include Bazaar Chiado, Gardénia and We Tree, all in Chiado alongside the usual international stores. Head to Bairro Alto’s Rua do Norte for more shopping and a break at Tease.
A good place for great restaurants and shops is LX Factory at Alcântara. Here you can find what has been ranked as one of the twenty most beautiful bookshops in the world, Ler Devagar.
For a girl-meet-boy or girl-meet-girl experience, it’s also good to have a fun walk and get to know the city in a small group of friendly travellers. The Experience Lisbon Walk takes place every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 10.30am. Brush up on Portuguese history, visit neighbourhoods full of cultural diversity, admire classical architecture and enjoy a fun ferry ride while feasting on pastries, cheese, seafood, wine and coffee!
Another girl-meets-guys-and-girls experience is obviously the beaches. From Costa da Caparica to Guincho. From Meco to Ericeira. Please do enjoy the sun and the views! Portuguese boys are used to the ocean, so you can expect to see many surfers and kite surfers, especially at Guincho, Ericeira, Praia Grande and Carcavelos at the Estoril coast.
And for the night, girls should head again to Barirro Alto, but also to Cais do Sodré where you can find real love at the new Pensão do Amor. And amor is the Portuguese word for Love. It’s a bar and disco with several floors and different moods, in a refurbished building that was once a brothel! These are the trendy spots where all the off-the-beaten-track go, and to find out more about after dark hot spots where locals hang out, you can always join our Lisbon Sunset Fado and Tapas evening tour.
But as the city is in fact the perfect company for a girl’s adventure there are also several Lady’s Nights where girls do not pay at clubs and more over all the drinks are free just for them: such as Plateau every Wednesday and Dock’s Club every Tuesday.
Anyone can have fun in Lisbon, shopping and relaxing on one of the most beautiful beaches, enjoying the best food, but mostly the charm of the city relies on its perfect match between modernity and history. A perfect company for any girl…or boy! And maybe this city will also be the girl of your life, as the fado says.”
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* photo by Lauren Horton – Intrepid Photography Competition