Travel: Destination Files: City Files

Alex Cox’s Lisbon

The inside track with the CAKE founder


Casa Fortunato

Comfort meets design in a hotel so stylish the owners decided to move in.

Top tip: Set an alarm as they provide free yoga classes to all guests in their studio.


Taberna Sal Gross

The place typifies the new Lisbon. Down-to-earth, obscure, reasonably priced and with an incredibly welcoming owner and staff, the restaurant serves traditional food from the Alentejo with a modern twist.

Top tip: Go sober. After eating the owner will offer a selection of homemade liquors which you can drink at will.

Bar do Fundo

Quality food meets amazing views at this restaurant on the beachfront at the iconic Praia Grande.

Top tip: Spend the day at the beach before heading to the restaurant in time for a sunset sangria. Also book in advance as you want to guarantee yourself a seat outside on the deck!

A Merendeira

€2.50 for straight-out-of-the-oven pão com chouriço and caldo verde. Portuguese comfort food at it’s best.

Top tip: They are open until from 11am-8am on weekends. Save yourself from a hangover and make this your final stop before heading home.

Restaurant / Club / Bar


Damas combines two of my favourite things – great food and awesome music.

Top tip: Check their schedule for what’s on musically. Some of their shows might shock the senses.



Recently opened, it is one of the few places to invest in a quality sound system and puts on local DJs mostly playing house and techno.

Top tip: Like with Damas, check the line ups. You sometimes get bigger DJs on holiday stopping in for a party.


A cultural association, they have a schedule packed with art exhibitions, yoga classes, vintage markets, and of course, music events.

Top tip: Go for the Wednesday night jam sessions.


Museo do Chiado / Gulbenkian / Centro Cultural de Belem

Stacked full of modern art, visit at least one of these beautiful museums.

Top tip: If visiting the Gulbenkian, make sure to take the time to have a walk around their stunning gardens.



This Italian artist takes the classic Portuguese tile to a new dimension with his classy and original designs.

Top tip: The designs can be requested in any size, so if you want something bespoke don’t be afraid to ask!

Why you love this city?

On top of its wonderfully relaxed nature, charming architecture, great weather and proximity to the beach, Lisbon is finally starting to buzz [again] with the energy you’d expect from a European capital city.

Top tips for travelling here:

  1. Come for at least a week. For a small city there’s so much to do –  and there will definitely be some things you’ll want to do twice.
  2. The best thing about Lisbon is not in Lisbon itself so take a morning / afternoon / day to travel at least one hour outside the city to take in the stunning coastlines.
  3. Jump straight into the ocean. It will revitalise the senses and clear your mind. It’s not that cold anyway….
  4. Get to a Miradouro and take in the sun setting over the city and river with a glass of cold beer or wine.
  5. Take the eight minute boat ride across the river to Cacilhas. You’ll get the best river front views of Lisbon as well as a great selection of seafood restaurants.

Don’t leave without buying to take home?

  1. Queijo de azeitão
  2. Pastel de natas
  3. A good vinho verde
  4. A few bottles of red and white wine
  5. A plane ticket back ; )
Alex Cox

Alex Cox

Alex is the director at the Nova Batida festival (Sept 13-15 in Lisbon, book tickets now!) and founder of Lisbon collective CAKE.

Instagram | Facebook

Alex Cox

Alex Cox

Alex is the director at the Nova Batida festival (Sept 13-15 in Lisbon, book tickets now!) and founder of Lisbon collective CAKE.

Instagram | Facebook

Originally published on
20th June 2019


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