Arroios is not only the largest parish in central Lisbon, but also the most diverse. In this neighborhood, you’ll find different areas from the nightlife-spot Intendente, the family-friendly Estefânia, and the laid-back Anjos. It’s the cosmopolitan heart of the capital, home to hundreds of nationalities who each bring their stamp to this neighborhood. For many nomads, it's where they’ll find a slice of home. Here, the community is core, and many of its venues, cafes and bars have a homespun, lively feel. If you're less impressed with fancy rooftop bars and want Cape Verdean morna, bollywood-y dish spinning, or Korean Bibimbap, Arroios is for you and it’s well-geared for the remote work lifestyle.
Outsite, a coliving house for remote workers, has its base in Intendente and in Saldanha, the tried-and-tested Avila Coworking is a cut above the other coworking spaces in fancier locations. For an exquisite setting and deathly quiet, the hallowed hall of the Biblioteca de São Lázaro is a great option. Arquivo Municipal de Lisboa, the capital’s photographic archive and exhibition space, is another panel-lined library space with a glasshouse-style cafe. For something casual, Brick Cafe is a firm favorite to set up a personal office.
Arroios is home to the restaurant Ramiro, a Portuguese institution that serves excellent seafood as illustrated by its long queue. For tasty plates and a cool crowd, try Cafe Tati or the Mexican-inspired Trinca. Meanwhile, vegetarians should hit up O Gambuzino, which is renowned for its meat-free options. If you’re looking for hard-to-source groceries and dishes from East Asia, the Mercado Oriental Martim Moniz has a no-frills food court that always comes through when hunger strikes.
When the sun starts to set, the best hang-out spots are Largo Café which is usually thrumming with a local crowd and Casa Independente, a 19th-century palace with a beautiful courtyard that stages live music, ranging from Lisbon zouk bass to psychedelic/surf rock. And in the same vibe, Crew Hassan is not only an art gallery and a second-hand vinyl shop with rare Portuguese records, but also a lively dancing spot. For more culture (and shopping), Anjos70 is a vast venue that houses weekend markets, and pop-up events and A Vida Portuguesa has a flagship store in Martim Moniz and is filled with hand-selected Portuguese handicrafts. While Joia, a tattoo and print shop, sells stationary. Artist-led Galeria Monumental and photography lab and exhibition space, XYZ Books, keep the aesthetically-curious happy and for anyone with an interest in tech and 3D-printing, FabLab Lisboa is a low-cost community space where you can bring your projects.
It’s worth noting that Arroios borders Príncipe Real and Avenida da Liberdade, two very well-heeled areas with excellent restaurants and shops. A half-hour walk away, you could find yourself wandering among giant palms in the Jardim Botânico de Lisboa, dining in the romantic, old-school Tascardoso restaurant, or looking at emerging painter’s work at ArtRoom.
A Lisbon-based writer and researcher with her work featured in BBC Travel and SUITCASE Magazine. She never leaves a city without visiting a flea market first.
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