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48 Hours in Lisbon: What to See, Eat and Wear

A whistle-stop tour of Portugal's colourful, culture-filled capital

A brief but brilliant weekend trip to the continent is always the best solution in the face of minimal annual leave and the unreliability of British weather. Increasingly, such getaways are taking place in pastel-filled Lisbon, which as well as being full of culinary and visual delights, is a short two-and-a-half hour flight from London. Pack a well-curated bag and journey out on Friday evening, ready to start fresh in the morning.

Riverside Art and Freshwater Delights

Upon rising, head straight down to Belem, where the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology snakes up from the riverside in a single undulating, tile-clad curve. While most will visit for Amanda Levete's architecture alone (and for a stroll along the walkable roof), it would be foolish not to venture inside, where the expansive galleries play host to a multidisciplinary, multinational programme. Lunch on the terrace of Sud Lisboa, before an afternoon of wandering around the many nearby landmarks.

Of course, while in Belem, it would be sacrilege not to indulge in some confectionary at Pasteis de Belém. Resist, however, the temptation to queue for the postcard-(or, rather, Instagram-)perfect yellow tram, and instead taxi east to Páteo at Bairro do Avillez for an early dinner. Here, you'll find traditionally prepared seafood in a bright, spacious courtyard, courtesy of José Avillez. End with several nightcaps at Pensao Amor, a brothel turned cocktail bar that's just on the right side of trashy.

A Day on the Tiles

Wake early and breakfast near the Praça do Comércio, an emblematic 18th-century arcade that opens up to the Tagua estuary, before venturing along the coast to Museu Nacional do Azulejo (the National Tile Museum). Housed in a former convent, the museum stands as a monument to Portugal's ceramic arts and is one of the largest such collections in the world.

Spend the afternoon visiting the appointment-only Galeria de Arte AFK. With a strong focus on photography and painting, AFK is a well-curated gallery, which works to promote new local and international artists. Finally, sample some authentic Portuguese gastronomy at Jockey, before embarking homeward.