Beautiful skylines, luxurious venues, colourful history and an excellent culinary scene… It is no surprise that Lisbon, Portugal is considered by many as one of the very best European cities to visit. Lined with beautiful atlantic-blue azulejo-tiled facades, mesmerising cobbled streets and surrounded by fairytale-like villages like Sintra and Cascais, Lisbon is the perfect spot for an unforgettable incentive trip, a fun-filled city break or a romantic long weekend filled with dreamy views and delicious food.
At Panoptic, we love being spontaneous and ‘going with the flow’ when exploring a new city. However, with so many incredible things to see and do in Lisbon, it’s important to research and curate your itinerary carefully to make sure you don’t miss out! From the beautiful Belem Palace to the Time Out Food Market, Lisbon is a truly diverse and fascinating city that offers endless options for exploring.
To help you decide what to see, visit and do, Panoptic have pulled together our top recommendations for gastronomy, experiences and accomodation. This is the Panoptic Events guide to Lisbon! We hope it will provide you with inspiration when planning your next trip and curating your perfect Lisbon itinerary. Enjoy!
Lisbon’s Food Scene
Portuguese cuisine is one which is colourful and vibrant – with a new contingent of both local and international chefs curating a wave of innovative and modern Portuguese cuisine. Dominated by rich flavours, bold spices, beautifully tender meats and lots of fresh, delicious seafood, the culinary scene in Lisbon is one of the very best in Europe – offering authentic Portuguese classics and exceptional international cuisine. From cosy, traditional cafes offering up delicious brunches and mouth-watering pastries, to exceptional Michelin-star awarded eateries serving up a sublime array of innovative plates, Lisbon has you covered, and it’s safe to say you will be spoilt for choice on where to dine.
First up we have Palacio Chiado Restaurant – a unique, extravagant institution which pays a true tribute to both Portuguese and international cuisine under the curatorship of Chef Manuel Bóia – whose dishes take guests from the four corners of Portugal to the four corners of the world. The food here is diverse, unique and most importantly, delicious – a perfect spot to enjoy an epic journey of innovative Portuguese cuisine with a global twist.
Next up we have JNcQUOI – located in what was originally a historic theatre, this property is now home to a trendy bar, a high-end clothing store and of course, JNcQUOI, a chic, effortlessly cool eatery serving up a delicious mix of old and new Portuguese cuisine.
Now, for those to really explore the internationally inspired food scene of the city, Il Gattopardo Restaurant located in the Dom Pedro Lisbon Hotel offers elegant fine dining in Lisbon with a Mediterranean twist. Serving up timeless, fresh and seasonal Italian dishes on the beautiful outdoor terrace – enjoy traditional and seasonal Italian cuisine while taking in stunning views of the city.
Bota Sal is another extremely popular eatery, known for its deliciously fresh seafood and seasonal approach to food. Offering mouthwatering plates made up of ingredients like deep-water rose shrimp and octopus straight from the Algarve, this trendy institution may be laid back, but it’s menu certainly packs a punch. It’s the ideal spot after a day of sightseeing to relax and enjoy some excellent cuisine.
For those looking to experience the true taste of Portuguese cuisine, the Time Out Market is a must. This is the perfect spot to sample lots of fresh, authentic Portuguese dishes supplied by a variety of fantastic local restaurants, like their famous, juicy piri-piri chicken. The relaxed, bustling atmosphere of the food hall is perfect for a chilled out evening fueled by delicious foods and Portuguese wines to be enjoyed with friends.
Finally, it would be criminal to visit Portugal without indulging in a few (or several) delicious Pastel de Natas – the famous Portugal pastry tart that can be found in pretty much any cafe in Lisbon. Think buttery, flakey pastry filled with a creamy, sweet melt-in-the-mouth egg custard inside… be warned, these are addictive! If you want to try the best of the best, head to Pasteis de Belem – where the original Pastel de Nata was created!
Experiences in Lisbon
Alongside its vast array of delicious gastronomic institutions, Lisbon is also home to a vast array of stunning historical sights and unique experiences which should definitely be included in your itinerary when visiting the city.
In terms of historic sights not to be missed, Panoptic’s top picks include St. George’s Castle (Castelo de Sao Jorge), which stands on top of Lisbon’s tallest hill and offers stunning views of the Tegus River and Baixa district; Belém Tower (Torre de Belém), a fortified tower first constructed to defend the city which has now become one of Lisbon’s most iconic monuments – and it’s no wonder why, as visitors who take a trip to the top of the tower can enjoy magnificent views over the Tagus River and the statue of Christ the Redeemer; and finally, Jeronimos Monastery (Mosteiro dos Jerónimos) – a UNESCO World Heritage Site home to some of the most breathtaking architecture.
In regards to the unique experiences this city has to offer, Lisbon and its surrounding regions are not short of options. For a truly unforgettable experience, we highly recommend the Sintra Jeep Safari. Starting off at the beautiful coast of Cascais, the full day tour leads through the breathtaking, hilly landscape to Sintra where you can discover the protected coastal region, admire the views and visit the magnificent Pena Palace and world-famous region of Sintra, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Another fantastic activity for an incentive trip in Lisbon is to take a boat ride along the blue waters of the Tejo River. From ferries to boats to motor yachts, to sunrise to sunset cruises, there’s something to suit everyone and there are several great Tejo experiences to enjoy throughout the year.
Finally, while in Lisbon, we strongly recommended squeezing in a day trip to Cascais. With a golden sandy beach, a shimmering, turquoise-blue coastline, pastel-coloured facades and a quaint, bustling city centre to explore, this charming town is definitely worth making the day trip for. It’s also very easily accessible from Lisbon with trains departing every 20 minutes. So, what’s stopping you?
For luxurious, unique and tranquil accomodation that is perfect for incentives, events, conferences or simply relaxing after a long day of exploring the city, Lisbon has an endless supply of fantastic options. The only difficulty is selecting which one…
First up we have Hotel Palacio Estoril. Located in the centre of Estoril, this world-famous establishment which opened in the 1930s on the Portuguese Riviera is just a stone’s throw away from the beach and only 20 minutes by train from the bustling Lisbon city centre. Combining the charm and elegance of a European Palace with the service and facilities of a modern hotel, Hotel Palacio is full of glamour, charm, history and the art of welcoming guests, having hosted statesmen, movie stars and royalty, making it the perfect place for an unforgettable incentive trip, meeting, conference or event. It was even the setting for the James Bond ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ film. Impressive, right?
Next, we have Hotel Vincci Baixa. This exclusive 4 star hotel situated in the very heart of Lisbon combines contemporary styles with touches of classicism and modernism, where guests can immerse themselves in the inspiring, bohemian spirit of the Portuguese capital. Offering luxurious accommodation, latest-generation services and a desirably central location, Hotel Vincci Baixa is a fantastic option to consider when selecting the perfect accommodation for your Lisbon stay.
Another excelleant option is Quinta da Marinha Hotel. Located in the beautiful Sintra-Cascais National Park, this luxury spa and golf resort overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and features 2 exceptional restaurants and an 18-hole golf course. This 5 star resort combines luxurious accommodation with nature, relaxation and wellness and is ideal for those looking to explore the fairytale-like regions of Sintra and Cascais while remaining close to the city centre of Lisbon.
Whether you are staying for business or leisure, Dom Pedro Hotel in Lisbon is focused on providing comfort and tranquility. Desirably situated in the heart of Lisbon’s city centre, in Amoreiras, this 5 star luxury property offers guests elegant rooms and envious views over the city and Tagus River – making it perfect for those looking to explore Lisbon from a central and convenient location. Featuring over 250 rooms and suites, a vast array of relaxation amenities and home to the beautiful Il Gattopardo Restaurant, alongside a full range of services for the organisation of conferences, meetings and events, Dom Pedro Lisbon caters for just about everything and everyone and is perfect for an unforgettable incentive trip, meeting or event.
Lastly, we recommend the Governor’s Palace Hotel. This beautiful, traditional property situated in Belém pays homage to the country’s rich cultural past and is a powerful reminder of Portugal’s Golden Age. Featuring hand-painted woodwork ceilings, 21st-century interpretations of the tile work echoed in the mosaics in the swimming pool on cushions and carpets, and carefully restored, beautifully bright 17th century blue and white tiles in the former barque chapel, this unique hotel preserves cultural heritage while offering contemporary accommodation to guests. With fantastic spa facilities, indoor and outdoor pools and an excellent restaurant serving up innovative plates, this 5 star boutique hotel revives historical heritage whilst investing in intimacy, quality and refinement – making it an idyllic setting to stay, reflect and relax in the middle of the city.
Ready to give Lisbon a visit?
Book your next incentive travel trip to Lisbon with the help of Panoptic. At Panoptic Events, we deliver world-class experiences cross-sector that amaze and inspire. We have the expertise, network and solutions to assist you with the design and implementation of travel, events, activities, tours, transportation and programme logistics. Simply tell us your story, and we will create your legacy. If you would like to find out more about our services, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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