The jewel of Lisbon’s East End, Marvila is undergoing an exciting period of transformation. Overlooking the River Tejo, shipping containers highlight this neighbourhood’s working-class roots whilst it’s evocatively named central street, Rua do Açúcar (Sugar Street), is lined with warehouse buildings converted into vintage furniture stores, artists’ ateliers and co-working creative hubs. Taken as a whole, Lisbon’s East End includes the sister neighbourhoods of Beato and Xabregas which run from Santa Apolonia train station along the waterfront towards Chelas and Parque das Nações.

Strolling through its quiet, traditional streets, it might be hard to see why this area is tipped by experts to be Lisbon’s answer to London’s Shoreditch or New York’s Meatpacking District. However, if you scratch beneath the surface and take a look at the creative forces gathering here and what is set to open over the coming years, this prediction has serious foundations. The driving force here is Hub Creativo Beato, a 100,000 sqm (35,000 sqm in the first phase) hybrid innovation space set to open in 2019 in Beato.

Uniting leading international and local talent across technology, creativity, entrepreneurship and innovation, global giants such as Mercedes-Benz and Web Summit have already established their Lisbon headquarters here. This spirit of entrepreneurship adds an exciting injection (and serious footfall) to the array of cutting-edge galleries, such as the Filomena Soares Gallery, Tomaz Hipolito and Underdogs, while cultural venues like the Meridional Theatre and the fabulously eclectic Fábrica Braço de Prata, a former artillery factory turned musical jam centre provides the stage for artistic talents from across the globe to come together. Artisanal breweries such as Fábrica Musa, Dois Corvos and Lince offer authentic experiences from cutting-edge Portuguese craft breweries for after-work drinks for creatives already installed at entrepreneurial hubs like Phosphoreira.

Make no mistake, Marvila and Beato’s rise is no longer a secret, so properties aren’t such a steal as they were five years ago. Yet, the potential bubbling here is explosive. Already the home of the world’s largest tech conference, Web Summit, Lisbon is positioned as one of the emerging key global cities and Marvila is her evolving entrepreneurial hub. With prime properties fetching up to €6,000 per sqm, apartments for sale in Marvila and Beato are still a fraction of international counterparts such as San Francisco, London and New York. Property-wise, expect Brooklyn style-lofts and modern developments intermixed with converted colonial houses.

  • Lisbon Portela Airport - 11 minutes by car
  • Avenida da Liberdade - 15 minutes by scooter
  • Cais do Sodré - 20 minutes by bus
  • Sintra - 1 hour by train

The experts say

With its entrepreneurial, industrial feel, Marvila and Beato is the place for young couples, creatives and entrepreneurs who will benefit from the area’s intellectual and creative stimuli. Whilst Lisbon is famous for its hills, Marvila is resoundingly flat which makes it a good choice for young couples, although the minimal expanse of green space at present is something to take into consideration. Plans are in motion, led by Italian architect Renzo Piano, to shift the shipping containers and revitalise the waterfront with a 9-hectare park, equivalent to 13 football pitches. While there are no metro or train stations to connect Marvila with Sintra and the rest of Portugal, there are fast-lane buses which take locals into the central Cais do Sodre and Time Out Market in a smooth 20 minutes.

Three insiders tips for Marvila

Learn: How to scale walls at Lisbon’s leading Parkour studio.
Eat: Feast on Argentinian steak and dance the tango at the vibrant dining den El Bulo Social Club

At glance

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