Looking for the perfect and coolest location for your destination hen weekend? Etain has put together an epic lowdown on the Portuguese capital, Lisbon. It’s the perfect spot for a long weekend in the sun. There are frequent flights with Ryanair and Aer Lingus that won’t break the bank. Lisbon combines the best bits of beach holiday and city break, so if you’re not sure which your bride-to-be will prefer, you don’t have to choose! We’ve asked our Lisbon lovers to give us their feedback and their fave places and activities for a hen party in Portugal. Read on for our recommended Lisbon hen party ideas.
1. LX Factory
Our ladies in Lisbon recommend visiting the LX Factory which are former industrial buildings that now house lots of arty shops, markets and cool places to eat and drink. There are lots of restaurants in the complex but top of the recommendations was the roof terrace in Rio Maravilha which is a gastro pub that looks out over the river. Enjoy drinks and snacks or dinner with a view before hitting the tiles.
Image via Reddit
2. Rua Nova de Carvalho
Our brides also sent us in the direction of the Cais de Sodre for lots of cool and quirky spots. You’ll know when you find it as you’ll recognise the insta-friendly pink pedestrian street. The area was originally the red light district but has had a makeover in recent years and is now known as the trendy end of town. There’s lots of bars and nightlife, but also lots of coffee and brunch spots too if you want a colourful backdrop with your brekkie.
2. Boat Party
You can’t do a destination hen without getting some yacht life action in. Our ladies loved cruising around the bay, topping up their tan and enjoying some bubbly on the waves. These cruises cost about 30 a head for 2 – 3 hours including drinks, and there are sunset options if you fancied very glamorous pre-drinks. There are lots of providers but these two were sent our way. Rentaboat and LIsbonbyboat
4. Sky Bar
The Sky Bar in the city centre got several recommendations for night-time cocktails with views over downtown Lisbon. If you’re there in high season (May to Sept) the EPIC is the dream location which can serve up daytime drinks beside the rooftop infinity pool. This is in the EPIC sana hotel where you can reserve an area for the gang during the daytime.
5. Bus Tour
Our hen veterans heartily recommended checking out a private hire bus tour option, not least because there are lots of hills in Lisbon so it’s not the most heel-friendly. They said even without private hire, it’s worth factoring in some transport back-ups. The bus tour, was a fun way to cover a lot of ground in the city and save energy and feet for some dancing later on. There is also an option to privately rent a tram for your group depending on numbers. More details here.
6. Food Tips
We’ve heard lots of good things about eating in Lisbon, and you have to make sure that you check out their famous Pasteis de Natas (custard tarts) while you’re there. The Time Out food market is a great place for a foodie bride and they often host cooking classes including learning to make pasteis (although you might just want to stick with the eating.
The vibe in Lisbon is mostly casual dining and there are lots of tapas style offerings which are always a winner . For margaritas and tacos we can endorse the Mexican restaurant Pistola y Corazon and for a very pretty and healthy girlie brunch we recommend Fauna & Flora.
There are lots of gorgeous beaches around Lisbon and as they’re near the Atlantic coast, very popular for surfing, so a hen party surf or SUP lesson is a great option for an afternoon activity to blow off the cobwebs, head to Cascais , where these guys factor in their beach bar into their package Moana Surf School. If your hen squad prefer to spend their beach time chilling there are plenty of beach bar options like Delmare Cafe. Lisbon has no beach in walking distance but all the nearby beaches are about 20 minutes and you can get there by v reasonably priced train or tram – Just make sure you have packed the suncream and prosecco!