The closest airport is Lisbon International, a 20-minute drive from the hotel, with flights to many destinations in Europe, particularly in the summer months from June to September.
Santa Apolónia station, a 10-minute drive from the hotel, serves CP trains to major Portuguese cities such as Oporto, Coimbra, Aveiro and Faro.
The hotel is well served by public transport and there’s plenty to explore on foot in Memmo Alfama’s neighbourhood, so you may not need your own set of wheels. If you’re planning on exploring further afield, the hotel is an easy drive from the cathedral square; go along the left side of the cathedral and take the second street on the right, Travessa das Merceeiras: Memmo Alfama is at the very end of the cobbled alley. Public parking near the hotel costs €15 a day including valet parking (from 9am to 5pm); it’s best to drop your bags off at the hotel first.
Hop on the eléctrico 28, Lisbon’s retro yellow tram that trundles past the end of the alley. It’s been dubbed the ‘tourist tram’ with good reason: just hop on and off to take in the city’s flea market, panoramic views from the hilltops and the downtown and historic districts.
Worth getting out of bed for
Spend your days gently meandering down charming neighbourhood paths: Alfama is a labyrinth of mediaeval alleyways, tiny plazas and hidden staircases. Stop to marvel at the city’s most iconic landmarks, the Sé Cathedral and the imposing São Jorge Castle. Nearby Chiado and Bairro Alto are excellent for shopping; pick up a pair of butter-soft leather gloves at Luvaria Ulisses (+351 213 420 295). No Lisbon visit could be complete without a tour on the trundling tram 28, or a refuelling pit-stop at Pastéis de Belem (+351 21 363 7423) for velvety custard tarts, just round the corner from the architectural splendour of the Jerónimos Monastery and the fairytale Belém Tower. Embark on your own treasure hunt at the Feira da Ladra (the ‘thieves market’, now a bustling and perfectly legal affair) to pick up some quirky one-of-a-kind souvenirs, or wind down from a day of sightseeing with a walk along the sparkling stretch of the River Tagus.
Below the cathedral, Taberna Moderna (+351 218 865 039) adds contemporary flourishes to the traditional tavern, with stainless steel hanging lamps, mismatched chairs, and an inspired fusion menu. Portuguese, Spanish and Japanese flavours mingle in heaped plates of fideua (a paella-like noodle dish), cuttlefish rice and grilled sesame tuna. A highlight is the Lisbonita Gin Bar, serving only gin from its 70-strong collection, and mixed just as you like it by the expert bar staff. Down a winding Alfama street, intimate Duetos da Sé (+351 218 850 041) is a family affair serving classic Portuguese dishes; the cream tart with cinnamon ice-cream gets rave reviews. Live jazz and Fado performances set the mood if you stop by in the evening. A 20-minute stroll from the hotel, Taberna Tosca (+351 218 034 563) serves traditional Portuguese tapas, or petiscos, on the serene Praça São Paulo. Dine inside the cosy low-lit tavern or outside on the square, next to the 18th-century church. Let the sommelier guide you through the extensive wine list: order by the glass for the perfect pairing with each small plate of local cheeses, fresh seafood and cured meats. Hailed as serving the best seafood in Lisbon, Cervejaria Ramiro (+351 21 885 10 24) is a laid-back local favourite. Start with sizzling garlic prawns, fresh lobster and crab plucked from the in-house tanks, follow with a hearty steak sandwich and wash it all down with cold, crisp beers. The restaurant doesn't take bookings, so arrive early or be prepared to queue.
Pois Café (+351 218 862 497) nestles at the back of the cathedral, a bright and cheery space under lofty arches. Stop by for comforting soups, hearty lunches, a cocktail or a slice of something sweet from the Austrian bakers.
By day, Guilty (+351 211 913 590) serves paper-thin-crust pizzas and indulgent pasta dishes from the open-air kitchen. Come nightfall, after the last sinful chocolate fondant has been devoured, the cowhide-covered restaurant floor becomes a club dancefloor, where resident DJs and mixologists keep the party going until the small hours. If you’re in the mood for something more traditional, the renowned Clube de Fado (+351 218 852 704) plays host every night to melancholy-fuelled Fado performers. Go full-on traditional with bacalhau and grilled goat chops beneath the stone columns and curvaceous arched ceilings.