It is a spacious apartment (200 sqm/2300sqft) situated in a peaceful and safe street in a residential area in central Lisbon. It can house, very comfortably, 10 people on proper beds. It has a lot of common space and it is ideal for large travelling parties.
The flat is 10-15 minutes’ drive from the airport. It is never more than 10 euro taxi ride depending on the time of the day and your luggage.
It is a two-floor flat with internal stairs. It has a large living room with dining table for 10 persons and kitchen fitted the way one can make and serve a nice dinner. It has a total of 10 beds in 5 bedrooms with 2 beds each. There is also a library/playroom on the upper floor adjacent to one of the rooms with a bathroom. There are enough wardrobes to keep your things.
All in all, there are 3 bathrooms with shower. The guests in the flat are usually groups of friends or families that easily sort the »who sleeps where« issue.
The flat is decorated as a place for living. I am glad that people like it. I used to work as an architect, and I am happy not to have lost the touch.
There is everything there - from TV, HiFi, WiFi and all the imaginable household appliances. Actually it is filled so a family could live there full time. It used to be our family home, but we, sort of, moved away, and keep it as a pied-à-terre in Lisbon.
It was recently redone and redecorated, therefore it is quite clean and comfortable. It is on the top of the 1910 building with traditional ceramic tile façade constructed for upper-middle class Lisboners of the time. Therefore, the ceilings are high, the windows are large, and the oak floorboards aged most beautifully - they gained the glossy reddish hue and they look like cherry-wood, which gives additional charm to the space.
The apartment is situated in a residential and peaceful area close to most areas of Lisbon interesting for tourists. Yet it is quiet. By the way, Lisbon is one of the safest capitals in Europe, and in the neighborhood you may walk alone at any time at night, even if you are a woman. I have not heard of any act of violence that ever happened in the neighborhood.
From there one can walk to most of places of interest in the inner city. Alternatively, you can take yellow Lisbon tram which can be seen through the window as it passes, literally, around the corner. Yet, it cannot be heard.
There are several nice restaurants in the neighborhood (there is a map in the flat with all of them marked and described – a good pizza place with wood oven, one of the most famous Portuguese grill houses in the city, THE most famous shellfish place is 5 minutes away, and THE most famous Chinese restaurants 10 min away. I also love a small Nepalese restaurant around the corner). If you want to eat at home, there are two large supermarkets with everything you need. One of them is just 50m away next to the green market, grocery shops and good butchers, pharmacy, cashpoint and several late-night convenience shops.
In our street, just 5 minutes up the road, at the top of the hill, there hides one of the nicest secrets of Lisbon, a cafe on the hill with a most beautiful panoramic view over the city frequented mainly by the cool locals. I love spending my afternoons there: they have WiFi, cold beer, nice things to snack and the most wonderful view.
A bit further, 3 tram stations or 10 minutes of slow walk away, just next to the parish church there is the most visited viewpoint of Lisbon, Miradouro da Graça. It must not be missed.
So, when I stay in Lisbon and wake up in this flat, I first get out to the terrace, look at the roofs of the city on seven hills, the red suspended bridge like the one in San Francisco and the Christ like the one in Rio, and I think How beautiful it all is. Then I stroll or ride a bike (rarely do I take a tram) to Graça to have a coffee with a view there (Portuguese espresso really good!) and a toasted sandwich in rustic bread (one more of Portuguese simple specialties one must try). Then, if it is Saturday or Tuesday I walk to the flee/antique market right next to Graça. There I always find nice things to see and to buy. One might spend hours there looking and bargaining for antique tiles, china, arts and crafts. If it is not the market day, it is there where there historic Alfama district of Lisbon begins. It is a medieval Marrakesh-like labyrinth of streets. From there one can walk to the cathedral and the castle. It is a most pleasurable walk. I have been leaving in Lisbon for many years and still today, the city manages to impress me almost every day. I still find amazing how beautiful and picturesque it is, how baroque, antique, yet modern, how it was made according to the human measures and how comfortable it is.
At night, the closest fancy place to visit is just three blocks away. It is the “Largo do Intendente” piazza. Some years ago it was the ghetto of inner Lisbon, with all the disturbing images it can offer. Since then, recognizing the potential of a beautiful rundown area, the mayor of Lisbon moved his offices there and it became one of the fanciest places in the city, with nice bars, art-shops and restaurants. It is amazing to see how the things can change overnight. In the summer, on the Intendente square there are concerts open to public and it has become the place to go out in Lisbon.
If you want to go further away from home you can take the underground. The metro station (Anjos) is 5 minutes down the road from the flat. You can even go out at night by metro - it closes at 1:00 am. Anyhow, taking underground in Lisbon is neither necessary, nor feasible. There are plenty of cabs and they are not expensive at all. By taxi one gets from home to any place in the central city for 5-6 euro, while the underground train ticket costs 1.8 eur per person per ride. So, believe it or not, taxi comes out cheaper. Not to forget that every drive through this magnificent city is quite an experience. So, one just gets out in the street, and stands on the corner. At any time of the day or night, it is a question of minutes before the first cab appears. You can also phone a cab (in the flat there are cards of several taxi companies) but it is additional 0.80 per ride and there is no need for that, except once you are to go to the airport. At night, when coming back home, it is enough to tell the address to the driver. He will know where to go.
The flat will be cleaned and the bedding changed right before your arrival, and towels will be fresh.
In Lisbon it rarely gets too warm, especially at night, but thanks to the thick walls and the permanent sea breeze one does need air-conditioning in the downstairs rooms. Upstairs, it is bright and from time to time one has to use it.
If it rains, it is very nice to spend an evening in the library/playroom upstairs. There I left plenty of books in several languages to be read on the roof terrace or in the cafe with the view up the street. There is also a TV with good knows how many channels in all the imaginable languages and a collection of nice DVDs with movies. Mainly European cinema, some in English, some subtitled.