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Digital Subscriptions > Attitude > July 2019 > As old as the hills

As old as the hills

Tim Heap visits the Portuguese capital and finds great places to eat, a lively art scene, ancient architecture — and pink streets

“Lisbon has exploded as a cool European destination”

One thing we’ve probably all learnt the hard way on our travels is that to really get a sense of a place you have to stay in the heart of the action, and stay on your feet. I’d visited the charming Portuguese capital of Lisbon once before, a few years ago, and although it was clearly a vibrant and historic city to explore, staying out of the centre meant I left not knowing how the different neighbourhoods connected — neither geographically nor culturally and socially.

Since then, it seems that Lisbon has exploded as a cool European destination, synonymous with words such as hip, innovative and up-and coming (as well as cheap) with plenty of think-pieces written as to why this might be the case.

Hell, even Madonna relocated here last year, and if that’s not enough to convince us gays to plan a trip then I’m not sure what is.

For my second visit, I was a guest of AlmaLusa Baixa/Chiado, a boutique hotel that sits right in the city centre, on the perimeter of the Praça do Município, a small square dominated by the city hall. You’d think that would make it a bustling spot but many of the buildings that line the square are uninhabited, and, given that the hotel, which opened in 2015, has only 28 rooms, it guarantees peace and quiet should you want it.

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About Attitude

On the cover: Looking and Tales of the City star Murray Bartlett Inside: Swan Lake dancer Sam Salter, Ben Lewis, meet the countryside queers, and what’s it like to be gay in Brunei?