The Old: Gambrinus
Gambrinus is the natural habitat for suited-and-booted industrious types. Don’t be scared, though: it’s just the result of 60 years of serving the best food in town.
Rua das Portas de Santo Antão 23 (+351 21 342 1466; www.gambrinuslisboa.com)
The New: Alma
At the helm of Alma’s kitchen, Portuguese TV chef Henrique Sá Pessoa mixes cooking and screen talent with aplomb. To avoid disappointment, book three to five days in advance and get ready to enter the showroom of Lisbon’s beautiful people. Surprisingly, the prices are fairly reasonable.
Calçada Marquês de Abrantes 92 (+351 21 396 3527; www.alma.co.pt)
The Old: Hotel Palácio Estoril
Some 40 years ago, the James Bond film crew headed for the Hotel Palácio Estoril, as it was known for being the real European espionage’s favourite hangout. There are no spies now (we think), but all the royal glamour lingers on.
Rua Particular, 2769 – 504 Estoril (+ 351 21 464 8000; www.palacioestorilhotel.com)
The New: Travellers House
Who says the words ‘affordable’ and ‘backpacking’ can’t also mean stylish? Hostelworld.com named Travellers House the number one hostel in Portugal in 2008: it takes pride in being made by travellers for travellers, and quite right, too.
89 Rua Augusta (+351 210 115 922; www.travellershouse.com)
The Old: Belém Walk
See the country’s grandest monument (Mosteiro dos Jerónimos), the most important cultural centre in town (Centro Cultural de Belém) and Lisbon’s biggest tourist attraction: the famous Pastéis de Belém (a café that sells heavenly Portuguese custard tarts); then take a peek into the Mosteiros dos Jerónimos’ cloister.
The New: Cascais’ BICAS
Make like the locals and pick up a bicycle at the centre of the Greater Lisbon Area’s premier coastal town and resort. Here’s the best part: it’s free. You only have to leave your ID or passport and then you can cycle through beautiful scenery, all the way to the Guincho, one of the best beaches in the area.
KLM Royal Dutch airlines (www.klm.com) has frequent flights from Dubai airport to Lisbon with fares currently starting from around Dhs2,500.