Words & Photography by Sivan Askayo

Portugal’s comfortable Mediterranean climate and its warm, loving citizens have made the country one of Europe’s most popular destinations. I visited Lisbon for the first time in 2012, before the city was as popular as it is today, and I fell in love with its old-fashioned flair. I’ve since returned many times, and, whenever I’m there, I’m happily surprised to see the city’s growth and new waves of creativity. I feel like I’ve witnessed Lisbon welcome tourism and grow more alive and sophisticated over the years.

When Virtuoso Life asked me to go to Lisbon and photograph the trendy Príncipe Real neighborhood last year for a City Guide, I couldn’t say no. There’s nothing like returning to a familiar place for the 20th-or-so time and feeling like you never left.

A new generation of venues had popped up since the last time I visited, upgrading the city’s nightlife and dining scenes. More chef-oriented restaurants had opened, more design-forward bars and clubs had debuted, and there were trendy fashion boutiques everywhere. Lucky for me, I got the chance to photograph some of the best of them.

Here, a few of my favorite photos from the trip:

The rooftop at Bar Terraço Limão in Lisbon
Lisbon has lots of rooftop bars, and one of the best is Bar Terraço Limão, with its great views of the city and the Tagus River. I highly recommended you arrive just before sunset.
A waitress at Beco Cabaret Gourmet/
José Avillez is one of Portugal’s most renowned chefs, with 11 restaurants in Lisbon and Porto. Beco Cabaret Gourmet is in Bairro Do Avillez, the chef’s food hall in the Chiado neighborhood. The dinner-only restaurant offers a very unique menu and live cabaret.
A bowl of tagliatelle at Beco Cabaret Gourmet in Lisbon.
Tagliatelle with giant red prawn, fennel, and caviar at Beco Cabaret Gourmet.
Colorful shirts in the Ecola boutique in Lisbon.
One of my favorite places to shop in Príncipe Real is Embaixada, a collective of indie boutiques in a grand nineteenth-century palace. There’s a café on the ground floor and rotating art exhibitions throughout. It’s is a great meeting place for creatives. Pictured here is Ecola.
Rossio Square in Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon’s Rossio Square and the Column of Pedro IV monument.
Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT)
The Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT) is a beautiful landmark located on the riverfront in the historic district of Belem. Take a cab or the tram to get there from the city center, or, if it’s a nice day, rent a bike and ride along the river. The museum is small and only has a few exhibits, but they’re all wonderful. The building’s facade resembles the scales of a fish, and looks different from every angle. Pro tip: For the best photos, visit in the afternoon to catch the golden hour’s light reflecting off the building.

See more of Virtuoso Life contributing photographer Sivan Askayo’s photos at sivanaskayo.com and on Instagram @sivanaskayo. 

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