EN / FR / NL

Name:
Sophie Ismael 
Blog:
www.aalstyles.com  
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What type of traveler would describe yourself?

I love the quote "be a traveler, not a tourist". When I travel, I love to meet the locals, ask them their hot spots, learn the local language. It's also important to go off the beaten tracks, to venture on foot to authentic districts, to take the train or bus to smaller towns.

Which are your go-to websites or blogs to look for destinations tips?

When I'm looking for destination tips, I first go on quandpartir.com to know when it's the best period to visit the country. Then I check the travel advises by country. I also take a look at routard.com and then I go on Google to find bloggers who visit the destination and I follow the ones which I love the tastes and pictures.

Which apps do you use when you travel?

Google Maps, Dropbox to save my pictures, Uber and Skype.

My Brussels Airlines Reporter Diary // Lisbon

Lisbon-City Guide-Brussels Airlines Reporter-Belgian Blogger-Cristo Rei

During my four days in Lisbon within the context of my partnership with Brussels Airlines, I absolutely fell in love with the charming city on the river Tagus.
My love is so big that even I – who went on Erasmus to Barcelona and who has always applauded the Catalan capital's perfection – am almost becoming jealous of those who chose Lisbon as their university city. Away we go, it's time to share my travel journal with you!
Lisbon-City Guide-Brussels Airlines Reporter-Belgian Blogger-Texte 1When saying 'partnership with Brussels Airlines', you evidently also say traveling with Brussels Airlines! Leaving from Brussels Airport, the flight lasts 2h45. Keep in mind that Lisbon is not in the same time zone as Brussels: when it's 12 o'clock in Belgium, it is 11 o'clock in Portugal. So you win some time when you arrive there! Since last year, Brussels Airlines has a particular offer based on four products each with their own price and advantages. Something for every passenger! Check&Go, Light&Relax, Flex&Fast and Bizz&Class: it's up to you to choose what is important to you during your trip.

Once you arrive at Lisbon Portela Airport, it is very easy to reach the city center: whether it's by bus, taxi, Uber, subway or by rental car. The website Bonjour Lisbonne gives you handy advice to help you make a choice. Once you have arrived in the center, there are several options more to move around the city. It is an absolute must to make a trip around the city by tram, especially the legendary n°28 line that goes via Alfama – the oldest and one of the most typical neighborhoods in Lisbon – and the Elevador da Glória.

Lisbon-City Guide-Brussels Airlines Reporter-Belgian Blogger-Texte 2I see friends leaving on a city trip to Lisbon every week. I've never seen a city become so popular so fast! Is Lisbon the new it-capital of fashion? Definitely! Not only is the city beautiful and incredibly charming, but the last couple of years a large amount of trendy places have seen the light.

With the Lisbon climate, nothing tastes as good as a delicious artisanal ice cream at Nannarella, which is definitely one of the best ice cream parlors in the city. You want my advice? Melt for the fig flavor with actual chunks in it, or choose their other specialty Banannarella (named after the owners) with banana and chocolate. You would almost kill for it! This is just another reason to wander through the Bairro Alto.

Feel like drinking a cocktail? Then there's no better place than The Decadente, with its Chinese interior and unique atmosphere. At the same time it is the perfect place to have a small bite with friends or to enjoy a Sunday brunch. Other restaurants are worth the detour as well: A Cevicheria, thé place to eat ultra-fresh fish perfectly prepared by chef Kiko (I am sure that the interior design and the gigantic octopus on the ceiling will impress you!), LOB Lobster&Secrets for a fancy fast-food lunch with lobster, Popolo for its pimped-out pizzas and burgers, Banca de Pau where you can find the best Portuguese specialties (according to TripAdvisor!), and of course we may not forget l'Oficina do Duque for meals with a bistronomic touch. And if you want to take it to a 'higher' level, you should go to the rooftop bar/restaurant Topo!

Are you staying in an Airbnb and do you feel like experimenting in the kitchen with local products? Go to El Corte Ingles, the mall where I absolutely loved to buy my groceries when I was in Barcelona. More typically Portuguese is the superb Mercado de Campo de Ourique which is completely renovated with super design and at the same time 100% authentic. Meat, fruit, vegetables: you will find everything you're looking for!

Lisbon-City Guide-Brussels Airlines Reporter-Belgian Blogger-Texte 3In Lisbon it is practically impossible to be bored, believe me! To feast your eyes, all you need to do is look up into the sky. There you will find first of all sublime façades of houses decorated with azulejos, those superb decorative tiles out of glazed ceramic.

At the same time Lisbon has become the temple of street art thanks to the Underdogs Public Art Program, an initiative of the Underdogs Gallery. With the support of the public authorities and private owners who are making their façades available to the artists, who dispose of a playground to demonstrate their art. Since these open-air works of art are perfectly indexed, they can serve as a guide to discover the city. I personally discovered those frescos in a vintage side-car motto of João Soares, an excursion suggested by the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon. Extraordinary!

As my guide João Soares told me, the Portuguese capital is synonym for hundreds of museums. It is as if there are museums for anything you could think of. A must-visit is the Museu do Fado, dedicated to the traditional chant accompanied by guitar, expressing sorrow and nostalgia.

Just outside the city is the Ponte 25 de Abril, created by the same architecture agency as the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, and definitely worth the detour. Don't hesitate to cross it when you're going to discover the famous Cristo Rei, one of the highest constructions of the country. Impressive !

Lisbon-City Guide-Brussels Airlines Reporter-Belgian Blogger-Texte 4The Canadian hotel group Four Seasons has managed to completely win me over ever since I went to the pajamas party at the Parisian palace Four Seasons Hotel George V. How is it even possible to resist to those high quality standards, where they permanently seek perfectionwhile still creating a contemporary feeling? Of course, the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon is no exception to this rule! They are very active on social network sites, especially on Twitter and Facebook, they have designed an app dedicated to travelers and an amazing online city guide. For those who love to do sports just like I do, there is the 700m² ultra-modern fitness room with premium material to work out. A true dream! And the cherry on the cake? A 400 meter track on the hotel rooftop with a stunning view on the city and the Tagus. You'll immediately want to put on your adidas Ultra Boost! Do you prefer going for a swim? The 18-meter indoor pool with an average temperature between 26 and 28 degrees is perfect for that. When the purpose of your stay in Lisbon is to relax, the superb hotel Spa will without any doubt fulfill your expectations. Enjoy a treatment with the most natural and traditional Portuguese products, the Portuguese Retreat Massage. 90 minutes of pure happiness, from the scrub to the massage. That will definitely whet your appetite for the Sunday Brunch of the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon, where you can satisfy your hunger until 4pm. Sushi's, gyozas, freshly baked pizzas, a BBQ stand, oysters, exquisite pastry, ... you will find everything you're looking for.

The Independente is young, cool, and has a totally different style, what currently makes it one of the most booked hotels in Lisbon. Linked to a youth hostel as well, it is notably praised by the Louis Vuitton City Guide. Keep an eye on the promotions to find to best prices!

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Sophie is the fourth of our 7 Brussels Airlines Reporters. They will all follow in the footsteps of Belgian's most well-known reporter: Tintin! Just like the world famous comic book character, the Brussels Airlines Reporters will leave on an adventure to help you discover the most beautiful places abroad.


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