Mother-Daughter getaway to Lisbon
This year for my mum’s birthday, I prepared a special gift — a getaway in Lisbon. When I was studying at Lisbon University and she came to visit me, I remember we always had such a great time together. I wanted to recreated those days again. Plus, Lisbon makes my mother happy, she has always great stories and memories about this city, specially from those days before and after the revolution 25 April 1974, when she was visiting her sister, who used to live there.
“Stories…the testimony of human contact.”
Whenever she speaks about Lisbon, her eyes light up, she puts a funny smile on her face and while walking those streets together, I can always imagine her like a young girl, singing Fado and wandering on the hills of Lisbon. It is true what they say, life is made of memories. I want to share these thoughts with my mother and remember the places we were together, alive and happy. Lisbon was a gift to both of us. This is the most occidental city of Europe. It has 3 million habitants and it’s a beautiful city to be at with lots of life, history, entertainment, amazing restaurants and ah! the views
Places to stay in Lisbon
We stayed at PortoBay Liberdade Hotel. We’ve choosen this hotel for several reasons: central location, 5 star hotel services with excellent reviews and a spa. I was overwhelmed by the service and attention to details. We wanted to have the option to relax indoors since it was winter and it might be raining outside, so the local spa with a nice relaxing pool was so convenient. Other good option to stay in Lisbon, is PortoBay Marquês Hotel, which I’ve reviewed previously in this article.
7 Things to do in Lisbon with your mother:
- Walk along Avenida da Liberdade. It’s sort of like walking along Champs Elysées of Paris, maybe better…:) This one kilometre long avenue connects the main roundabout of Marques de Pombal with the Baixa area. I love the old Kiosks with terraces, some of them with live music; the dreamy wooden benches bellow the sycamore trees and the typical Portuguese pavements with beautiful cobblestone designs. Some local buildings have a stunning architecture, mainly from the XX century. I particularly like the Eden Cinema and Condes Cinema which is now the Hard Rock Cafe. You’ll also find some of the most luxurious shops in this avenue, it’s very easy to get lost windowshopping…
- Taste the drink “ginginha” at Largo São Domingos – This is an old favourite of ours. This place is busy, day or night.
- Hop on a panoramic bus tour and visit Lisbon’s main attractions. It’s a 48-hour hop-on hop-off bus ticket so perfect for a weekend getaway. It has two scenic routes. We enjoyed the Tagus circuit, which includes the highlights of Belem. The full circuit lasts about 1h30m with 19 stops. You can listen to the recorded commentary by audio headphones and overview the city from the top deck. Relaxed, easy-going. You can book it here.
- Enjoy the tiny houses and history of Mouraria. Mouraria is definitely one of my favourite neighbourhoods of Lisbon. It feels like a world away with that typical vibrant atmosphere of Lisbon. Children playing in the streets, clothes hanging on the balconies, women sitting by the window and fado playing in the distance…Walk along Rua das Farinhas and go down the stairs of Largo de São Cristovão to see some amazing street art.
- Relax with a switch-off massage (120 min, including a 15 minute nap)! This ritual is sooo relaxing! I’ve fallen asleep even before the nap time! It begins with a feet massage with a warm feet bath, followed by deep and slow movements. After you that, you lay down in a bed prepared with aromatherapy pillows and have a full body massage with pressure being applied to specific neuromuscular points that relieve the stress. It allows you to completely disconnect from the outside world, let me tell you… You are then covered with a fluffy duvet, lights go dim and you take a deep nap. Wake up call is made through the sound of tingsha bells. When I woke up , it was as if I was floating in a cloud of aromas and peace…
- Go to the theatre/cinema. We love Lisbon Coliseum and Politeama Theater! We used to see amazing plays from Filipe la Féria. This time, Politeama was showing the musical Amália but unfortunately it was sold out… so remember to book in advance! Instead we went to the UCI cinemas and saw “Lalaland” at El Corte Inglês shopping centre! Highly recommend this movie…
- Go Shopping! Here’s a list of some Lisbon shops you can’t miss! Another good spot for shopping is LX Factory – a nice combination of shops, restaurants and stylish class.
Places to eat in Lisbon?
– Join a food tour. This is one of the tastiest, authentic ways to discover the hidden food gems of Lisbon. Célia Pedroso, author of the book Eat Portugal, was a fabulous guide! During this 3 hour tour, we were able to taste some of the best treats of Lisbon, including amazing wine and the typical “pastéis de nata”. Satisfaction garanteed!
– Casa do Alentejo is located in a magnificent palace built in the late seventeenth century which belonged to a noble family. It was once the first casino of Lisbon, called the Majestic Club offering gambling in lavish rooms and luxurious parties. Today it is the headquarters of the Association Alentejo (Region of South Portugal) which promotes cultural and social services related to this region. It has also a lovely tavern serving some of this region’s delicious food.
– Share a memorable meal together at Bistrô4! We’ve had a menu prepared by Chef João Espírito Santo, with the orientation of Benoît Sinthon, chef of The Cliff Bay – Il Gallo d’Oro, (2 Michelin stars). (average price of a meal is 35€ per person) I’ll let the images speak for themselves…One of the best meals of my life, for sure!
I ‘m so grateful I could share this weekend with a beautiful lady, my mother. I hope it inspires you too. See you soon!
My stay at the Hotel PortoBay Liberdade was courtesy of PortoBay, but the views expressed are my own.