Lisbon is the bohemian’s dream city. The heart and soul of Portugal has so much to offer potential destination wedding couples, from its picturesque, shabby-chic streets to its unique beaches. As a Lisbon wedding planner, I have the inside scoop for you today on the three main things you should consider when analysing Lisbon as a wedding location; atmosphere, accommodation and accessibility. I will also suggest 3 great wedding venues you should check out in the Lisbon region.
Also check out my guide to weddings in Porto as I also plan weddings in Porto too!
Photo by Piteira Photography
Lisbon has a completely different air to it than Porto. As the capital city, the most surprising and doubly enchanting thing about it is how shabby it is in a very unique way. It’s historical significance is obvious with stately monuments and ancient tiles. But this is mixed up with alleyways coated in graffiti and faded paint. Lisbon captures that oh so elusive word “saudades” or longing for what once was.
Sounds depressing doesn’t it? Well it isn’t.
The Lisboeta spirit is a colourful melancholy as one of my friends once said. It’s a city of cool artists and businessmen, masterchefs and grandpa’s cafes, buzzing nightlife and quiet mornings. It’s like a giant Portuguese village with every aspect of the Portuguese culture ramped up to one hundred in the best possible way.
The river Tejo is pretty and welcoming. It leads out to the coast where many great Portuguese explorers once journeyed to “discover” the world. With that comes some interesting beaches although admittedly, not my favourites in Portugal. The coastal region of Cascais is the uptown neighborhood with sandy beaches and high end wedding venues. You could argue that Sintra is in the Lisbon region or Estremadura region but I’m going to leave Sintra for its own segment coming very soon!
All in all Lisbon casts a very rare spell on visitors and if you love the eclectic, bohemian vibe, it’s the perfect place for your wedding in Portugal.
As Portugal’s capital city and given popularity, Lisbon has so much to offer visitors when it comes to accommodation. Of course you have the big 5star hotels which are antique and perfectly located, like the Tivoli Avenida or Hotel Rossio. You also have some adorable B&Bs and guesthouses like the Shiadu group which I am a huge fan of. As with Porto, there are Airbnbs popping up everywhere too at prices as low as 40€ a night in very central locations. Whatever you or your wedding guests need, you can find a place in Lisbon.
Lisbon has the largest airport in Portugal making it the easiest spot to fly into from all over Europe. If you are Canada, the United States or the Middle East, you’re also in luck as there are direct flights into Lisbon’s airport too. From Australia and New Zealand or elsewhere, it may be trickier. Often you will have to fly into Dubai and then take a connecting flight to Lisbon. You can find out more on my blog about travelling to Portugal.
Within Lisbon, it is equal parts easy and difficult to get around. I’d say the easiest way to travel in the city is by metro which is very straightforward. It only has four lines - can all Londoners and New Yorkers rejoice - which are the yellow line, blue line, red line and green line. These are all labelled in English and the train attendants also speak a range of languages to help you. The buses are much trickier to navigate and I find the best way to use the bus system is to ask the bus driver if he is passing the stop you need.
Google Maps works very well in Lisbon as do Uber and MyTaxi apps which are inexpensive and amply available.
In the downtown districts of Baixa Chiado near the Terreiro do Paço, most things are within walking distance but, as with Porto, beware of steep cobbled streets. This is not the city where you can walk in heels (I speak from very embarrassing experience).
Photo by Piteira Photography
Top wedding venues in Lisbon
Forte da Cruz
Forte da Cruz is a literal fort on the beach. What more could you possibly ask for?! You can host your ceremony on the battlements overlooking the ocean and then have a lovely dinner and party inside the stonewalls. Though it is an ominous structure, it’s truly beautiful and a great option for a wedding in Lisbon.
Herdade da Emberiza
This venue is so unique! Located about 30mins North of Lisbon city and set amongst tranquil Portuguese countryside, you will love this modern rustic location. The views are spectacular and the authenticity can't be faked as this venue is an active farm with stables and other animals! It is perfect for intimate celebrations of 50-75 people and we love its unique building.
Palácio dos Marqueses da Fronteira
This uber exclusive palace was such a find for me as a lisbon wedding planner. As the Marquis and his family still live in this centrally located mansion, it it cared for with the utmost respect due to its fragile surroundings. The gardens and outdoor areas are truly a sight to behold with here, as are the antique azulejos in all their colourful glory. A must see if you want to get married in Lisbon.
A wedding in Lisbon is for you if:
You are a bohemian couple who love the shabby chic look
You are enthusiastic about Portuguese culture
You enjoy cities
You want a historic and/or beachside wedding
You love Lisbon!
I hope this guide to weddings in Lisbon was helpful for you. Check out this link for more info on weddings in Portugal as I tackle the different regions for you.
Ta ta for now!
If you're interested in getting married in Lisbon, get in touch!