Just as Hackney is London’s latest ‘it’ place, and Bushwick is New York City’s, Príncipe Real is the place to be in Lisbon right now. The trendy neighbourhood is the Portuguese capital’s Bohemian quarter and is filled with trendy boutiques, quirky art galleries, and international restaurants. From shopping at Embaixada and viewing art at Trema Arte Contemporãnea to cocktail tasting at Cinco Lounge, here’s where to spend your time in this buzzing district.
Lisbon may not be known as the shopping capital of the world, but it’s certainly beginning to make its mark locally and regionally. Fashion bazaar Embaixada is, in part, to thank for this. The open-plan store, set in an 18th century Moorish palace, is a hotbed of local talent and its shelves are bursting with trendy upmarket collections by independent Portuguese ready-to-wear, accessories and jewellery designers. As well as fashion, style-savvy shoppers can also pick up interior furnishings, eco-friendly cosmetics and handmade chocolates.
A testament to the artistic appeal of Príncipe Real, one of Lisbon’s oldest and best-loved art galleries, Trema Arte Contemporânea, moved from the historic Alfama district to the trendy neighbourhood in 2009. Since then, it has solidified its reputation as one of the best places to explore contemporary art in the area, striking the perfect balance between works by Portuguese artists and modern art icons from across the globe.
If in need of a snack, swing by trendy eatery O Prego da Peixaria and pick up one of its famous ‘prego’ sandwiches – essentially a Portuguese burger served in flat bread. Be warned, you may need to queue but the ensuing meat feast you’ll receive makes to wait well worth it.
Touted as the best cocktail bar in Lisbon, Cinco Lounge is one of the city’s coolest and most sophisticated venues. A place to see and be seen, the bar serves up an extensive menu of classic and contemporary cocktails, including an ever-changing list of specialities, so there’s always something new. If you have cash to splash, try the JW Blue Manhattan, featuring rare Johnnie Walker Blue Label whisky.
Spend a lazy afternoon relaxing at Jardim do Príncipe Real (also known as Prince Royal Garden). A lush green space in the heart of the neighbourhood, surrounded by colourful 19th century mansions, the picturesque garden is known for its giant centuries-old cedar tree that fans over the park, providing a shady urban retreat.
When it comes to dinner, you can find all manner of cuisines in Príncipe Real, from Italian and Moroccan to Portuguese and Latin American. A Cevicheria is a popular Peruvian restaurant specialising in fresh flavoursome ceviche. The traditional dish featuring raw shrimp, salmon and octopus in a citrus sauce is prepared in front of diners’ eyes. Meanwhile, the venue’s décor is distinctly Portuguese, reminding you of where you are in the world.
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