I’m about to let you in on a secret.
But just you. Because we don’t want the whole world knowing about this and ruining our view.
I accidentally found the coolest rooftop bar in Lisbon. Beautiful view, crisp white wine. Pretty cool all by itself. So what could make that even cooler?? It also happens to be connected to a Gothic convent from the 1300s. For real.
Before we went to Lisbon, I did a ton of research on where to eat and drink, and all the different great viewpoints in town. And there are a LOT. Because it’s so hilly, Lisbon’s got views for days. I had a long list of possibilities and with such a short time I knew we’d never hit even a fraction of them.
But by the time we arrived in Lisbon (delayed by like 4 hours), dragged our bags to our Airbnb, and finally walked around the waterfront, Baixa neighborhood and Praça do Commercio, it was getting toward sunset and we weren’t near any of the viewpoints I’d scoped out (at least that I could tell).
We were pretty disoriented in terms of exactly where we were, but we climbed a bunch of stairs to try and get higher up and came upon this gorgeous old door—the Carmo Convent. It was founded in 1389, built in the Gothic style.
If you’re down in the main Baixa area (this is Rossio Square), you’ll see the tower and the Gothic arches up above…just walk toward there and start climbing 🙂
And behold, Topo Chiado.
It really was a complete accident that we ended up here. We were trying to figure out how to get down from the convent to make our way as quickly as possible over to Castelo Sao Jorge (literally all the way across on the hill in the picture below), and we walked onto the patio while trying to find the stairs.
After conferring for a minute, we decided that it was fate and we should just stay here for the sunset. And let’s be honest, we needed a drink! We ordered a couple glasses of the famous Portugese viñho verde, literally “green wine”. It’s younger and crisp, but doesn’t have that harshness that young wines often have. It often has a bit of effervescence as well. All-in-all it was lovely…and there’s now a bottle sitting in my fridge.
We sat and sipped our wine and plotted our next moves.
Sunset crept over the city as we sat quietly and drank. We were starving but unwilling to leave our little spot.
As the lights came on across the city, we watched people go up and down the Elevador Santa Justa, paying dearly for the view that we enjoyed for free.
What you need to know about Topo Chiado
- Read the reviews ahead of time. We didn’t eat there but a lot of them aren’t super complimentary about the service or food. The service wasn’t amazing when we were there, even though it wasn’t super busy, but the drinks with a view were amazing. So just be aware before you go.
- They’re open 12p-12a, a little later on weekends
- We arrived about an hour or so before sunset, which was perfect timing
- Get the vihño verde—it’s a must-have in Portugal!
- If you can’t make it to Topo Chiado, this article has other great recommendations for views (that don’t necessarily come with drinks)
Any other secret gems in Lisbon you want (a few select) people to know about? Let me know in the comments!