Article by Kaye Holland from TNT Magazine who stayed in Petite B&Bs 'B&B Rita' in Lisbon!

"Lisbon itself is easily one of Europe’s loveliest cities. Portugal’s charismatic capital sits atop seven steep hills - it’s a bit of a slog to get to the top but trust TNT when we say that you won’t regret the effort for a second (unless you forget your smartphone), as stunning vistas of Lisbon’s pretty pink and yellow tiled walls come as standard.

Seeing the sights from the back of a bus doesn’t cut it in Lisbon. Instead hop aboard one of the old fashioned trams: number 28 will take you to the colourful Feira da Ladra flea market (open Tuesdays and Saturdays) at Campo de Santa Clara.

Alternatively, head west on tram number 15 (take from the centre Square 'Praca do Commercio') to Belem for a culture fix. One of the jewels in Lisbon’s crown, this quaint neighbourhood is chock full of museums (the new Museum of Art and Technology (MAAT) opened on October 5) and maritime history (this is where the Spanish Armada assembled in 1588.)

But arguably Belem is best known for its freshly baked pastels de nata and the place to try these famous custard tarts is Pasteis de Belem (pasteisdebelem.pt) - this iconic pastry shop has been making them, right before patrons’ eyes, since 1837. Push past the tourists and nab a table in the shady courtyard - the perfect place to enjoy an excellent coffee and pastel de nata, in peace.

For more of Portugal’s famous cozinha portugesa, make for Mercado da Riberia (Avenida 24 de Julho) - a fabulous market which has the air of a permanent festival - and get stuck into sardines (the unofficial symbol of Lisbon) and Sao Jorge cheese, washed down with excellent local wines that are sold by the glass.

And don’t worry about the extra calories you’re consuming… you’ll burn them off climbing up to Sao Jorge Castle, a majestic Moorish castle. That said if you’re feeling lazy (well you are on your holidays, after all), sign up to an electric bike tour with Bikes and Company (www.bikescompany.tours/en/) who will help ensure you scale Lisbon’s seven hills with ease… Back in baixa (downtown), browse the old style cafes, boutiques and theatres in Chiado, a rejuvenated neighbourhood that’s currently the hottest corner of Portugal’s capital with buzzy new bars and chi chi boutiques opening every week.

Further afield Sintra - the fairytale city that inspired Lord Byron - makes a great day trip. But whenever you venture, the sound of Fado - Portugal’s famously melancholy folk music - pervades the air evoking a sense of saudade (something Portuguese writer Manuel de Melo described as "a pleasure you suffer, an ailment you enjoy”). Little wonder then, that Lisbon has attracted adventurers and explorers since time immemorial… 

This explorer’s Lisbon base was Ana Rita’s apartment - high quality yet homely accommodation that’s just 20 minutes’ walk from the city centre. Homestay seems to have sussed out what 21st century travellers want: spacious rooms, airy communal spaces and super friendly hosts (before I even admitted that I didn’t know where to start, Ana Rita had drawn up her top tips on a tourist map) without splashing much cash.

 As I sunk into my comfortable bed at Ana Rita’s for the final time, I had the feeling that everything was right with the world - even though everything is wrong. So there you have it… why spend weekend after weekend in grey, drizzly Britain at this time of year when Madrid and Lisbon are buzzing and that ‘summer holiday’ feeling is still in the air…"

To see B&B Rita on the Petite B&Bs website CLICK HERE

 

 

LINK TO OFFICIAL ARTICLE