You can taste flavours from the four corners of the world, from the best dim sum in the city at Grande Palácio Hong-Kong to top-drawer Mexican at El Taco Chingón. You can get cultivated at the neighbourhood’s many cultural centres, and discover historical treasures such as the neoclassical São Lázaro Municipal Library, the Portuguese capital’s oldest.
The temporary closure of Arroios metro station hasn’t taken the wind out of the area’s sails: hop off at another stop such as Anjos, or rent a scooter in Praça do Chile and discover the neighbourhood on two wheels.
EAT The longest queue on Almirante Reis speaks for itself: the venerable Ramiro remains one of the best seafood restaurants in town. Shovel down clams, peel some prawns, share a plate of ham, clean out a stuffed crab, split a traditional prego sandwich and empty some beers.
DRINK Occupying a nineteenth-century palace, Casa Independente was the place that put Arroios back on Lisbon’s nightlife map. It’s an artistic project of the Ironia Tropical cultural association, so it’s not just a good place for a drink but also a restaurant and live music venue.
DO From exhibitions and fairs to plays and live gigs, anything can happen at the Mercado de Culturas: a multipurpose space in the old nave of the Mercado do Forno do Tijolo. By 2021 it will have a new neighbour: the House of Diversity, housing Lisbon’s official support centres for LGBTQ+ people and minorities.
STAY Neya Lisboa Hotel keeps racking up awards thanks to its eco-credentials. It’s energy-efficient, recycles as much as possible, has bicycles for guests and its Viva Lisboa restaurant serves a Mediterranean menu made from seasonal, locally sourced ingredients.
LOCALS SAY ‘There are lots of independent things happening, young people, artists and people from all over the world. A neighbourhood that people used to be afraid of is now Lisbon’s dynamic, intercultural hub.’