LISBON Santos: Lisbon’s Newest Epicentre of Cool

Perched on a hill facing the river, Santos is home to a kaleidoscope of art aficionados, architects and designers. Design pioneers Paris:Sete shine a light on life in Santos.

LISBON

Santos: Lisbon’s Newest Epicentre of Cool

Perched on a hill facing the river, Santos is home to a kaleidoscope of art aficionados, architects and designers. Design pioneers Paris:Sete shine a light on life in Santos.

Santos, Lisbon

A kaleidoscope of art aficionados, architects and designers call Santos home.  Originally an industrial area thanks to its proximity to the Port and Old Ship Yard, the neighborhood was branded the Santos Design District in 2005 and has only recently emerged as a residential area thanks to a provocative mix of old-world charm and forward-thinking new builds. Now a breeding ground for some of Europe’s most highly revered design shops and a myriad of galleries, bars and restaurants, it’s stepping into the spotlight as Lisbon’s newest epicenter of cool.

One of the most prominent names on the Santos scene, Paris:Sete, was a pioneer in bringing the best of international contemporary design to Portugal. “Santos is changing year after year”, explains founder Gustavo Brito, who was one of the creative pioneers to put down roots in Santos as early as 1996, thanks to its “central location, great exposure in the city, and proximity to the river and docks.” Now housed in a renovated Art Deco warehouse that reflects their innovative concept and diverse home-wear and design collections, Paris:Sete has evolved into a leading light on Lisbon’s design scene.

“The real magic of Santos comes from its people”, muses Gustavo, “there is this sense of belonging to something, where neighbors greet familiar faces by name each morning, and then, as the day draws to a close, the energy changes as ‘foreigners’, people from the rest of Lisbon, come down to join us for a sunset drink.” One of the city’s fastest moving districts, 2011 saw the installation of Portuguese energy company EDP’s headquarters, bringing with it 1800 employees and a big boost to local commerce. Since the traditional Mercado da Ribeira was taken over by Time Out Magazine in 2014, new restaurants and a buzzing nightlife have positioned Santos as one of the city’s hippest spots to for locals to both live and work, helped along by affordable rents and a property market with a strong potential for growth.  Busy as it is, we talk to Gustavo about his insider spots not-to-be-missed.

Top 5 Santos Locations

 

1. Petiscaria Ideal

For a simple yet buzzing dinner, Petiscaria Ideal in Santos is IDEAL. Traditional tapas style dishes are perfect for sharing in this small, convivial space.

Rua da Esperança, 100 -102. Santos

2. Kampai 

This is a very portuguese sushi restaurant, with the fresh fish caught of the coast of the Azores islands.

Calçada da Estrela, 35 - 37. Santos

3. A Travessa

Nestled in the historical Bernardas Convent, this is one of the most beloved restaurants in Lisbon, an absolute classic.

Travessa do Convento das Bernardas, 12. Santos

4. Transboavista VPF

Set in a palatial 900 m2 space, the Transboavista art building is an innovative platform for contemporary art and thought.

Rua da Boavista, 84. Santos

5. Vera Cortês

This gallery has been responsible for the launch of young artist and is a compulsory stop on the contemporary art aficionado's itinerary.

Avenida 24 de Julho, 54 1º E

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