LISBON Step inside Lapa

Lisbon’s most elegant neighbourhood...

LISBON

Step inside Lapa

Lisbon’s most elegant neighbourhood...

Lapa Lisbon’s most elegant neighbourhood

If for many years Lisbon was a city that time forgot, now it couldn’t be hipper if it tried. Voted one of Conde Nast Traveller’s hottest destinations for 2016, the world can’t get enough of the charismatic juxtaposition between narrow streets, old-school artisans and intricately tiled façades with a rising wave of hipster gentrification and a newly heralded tech boom.

Yet perched on the slopes of one of the city's seven hills, Lapa, Lisbon’s most emblematic and historical neighbourhood shows little sign of relinquishing its Old-World charm.Far from the main characters in Lisbon street life cameo, Lapa has long been home to high society, politicians and ambassadors. Limited transport links means that it remains enveloped in a peaceful bubble, protected from the bustle of the city yet near enough to stroll to neighbouring Santos, just moments down the hill, fast emerging as one of the city’s newest hotspots.

Long time resident and co-manager of boutique bed and breakfast Lapa 82, Maria Kadic explains “Lapa is a unique and peaceful neighbourhood in Lisbon, where every corner offers spectacular views down towards the river, spanning the city and the red spires of the Ponte 25 de Abril bridge.” It is an area of prestigious residential real estate. Peppered with large homes and thoughtfully preserved palaces and mansions, Lapa is regarded as a classic investment for locals and visitors alike.  “Buildings are beautiful and imposing, many of which are home to embassies and Lisbon’s most affluent families.”

Lapa 82 was born out of a long-held dream shared between two friends, Maria and Rita, to launch a boutique bed and breakfast in the exclusive and historical haven of Lapa. Originally two houses, Lapa 82 offers a sophisticated, homely space, characterized by elegant design details that are characteristic of the neighbourhood. We dropped by their charming courtyard for a iced mint-tea on a typically balmy day and some expert tips on the neighbourhood.

Top 5 Lapa Locations:

1. Pastelaria Cristal - Rua Buenos Aires 25A

This quaint little pastry shop is famous among local Lapa residence for their “to-die-for” delicacies and friendly service.

2. Le Chat - Travessa do Olival a Santos 20

The name, meaning The Cat, refers to the rooftop location of this beautiful bar, where normally only cats trespass. Housed within a glass rectangle with rounded corners, this is an unmissable spot for a sunset cocktail or to soak up the dancing lights over the river vistas.

3. The National Ancient Art Museum - Rua das Janelas Verdes, 1249-017

Considered the most important museum in Lisbon, this seventeenth century palace is home to beautiful artwork depicting Portuguese history. When fatigue sets in, step outside into the garden sculpture park and enjoy views over the river and a bite to eat at the museum café.

4. La Boulangerie - Rua Olival 46

This French style patisserie echoes the relaxed atmosphere of a Parisian cafe. Fresh roasted coffee or an artisanal cup of tea perfectly accompany the hand-made menu of breads, quiches, soups and delectable pastries.

5. Jardim da Estrela - Praça da Estrela

Looking for respite in a green oasis? This verdant garden opposite the Basílica da Estrela is perfect for a stroll through the tree lined paths. Home to a variety of exotic trees, plant, flowers, and a vast family of ducks, the open-aired kiosks attract a kaleidoscope of customers looking to relax in Lisbon sun - perfect for people watching.

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