How to Plan a Non-Traditional Bachelorette in Lisbon

Ditch the phallic straws and get the girls together for a trip to one of Europe’s most dynamic cities

Updated 05/24/18
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Not every bride wants a traditional bachelorette (penis straws, panty games, and groom-related trivia), and that’s OK. If you fall into this category, we have the perfect destination for your last hurrah before you tie the knot.

Lisbon is one of Europe’s most vibrant cities. Food, culture, and fun—Portugal’s capital has it all, plus an unwavering authenticity that has charmed travelers for centuries. On top of that, there’s attractive architecture, a dynamic culinary scene, and many modern draws.

Here’s how to plan an epic girls getaway in Lisbon:

See the Sights

We totally get it, you’re tired if classic bachelorette games, but how many brides can say they’re done a scavenger hunt that included snapping a picture in front of the ornate arcades and statues in Praça do Comércio? Just a thought.

Of course, you can always eschew the typical trapping altogether and opt for a sightseeing extravaganza, AKA a guided walking tour of all the historic highlights!

Afterwards, how about a little retail therapy? The Champs-Élysées is to Paris as Avenida da Liberdade is to Lisbon. This wide, leafy boulevard is lined with 19th-century buildings, fashionable stores, charming hotels, and tasty restaurants. Shop ‘til you drop at designer outposts (think: Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Prada) as well as chic boutiques with more modest price tags. The iconic avenue leads north to Marquês de Pombal roundabout and the verdant Eduardo VII Park—an excellent spot for an afternoon picnic.

Taste the Local Flavors

There’s no shortage of specialties to sip and savor in Lisbon. Start your day with a traditional pastry (or two) from Pasteis de Belem.

Next, get the girls together for an authentic culinary experience. Airbnb offers an array of immersions that are great for groups, from cooking classes to wine tastings and vineyard visits.

Also on the itinerary for foodies? Hit up Time Out Market Lisboa, located in the Mercado da Ribeira at Cais do Sodré. The prosciutto stall is a must—but try to resist the urge to fill up too fast, instead slowly ease into trying lots of different delicacies.

Love tapas? Don’t miss the daily-changing menu at Taberna da Rua das Flores. Fans of seafood can feast on fresh-caught fare at the numerous waterside restaurants, such as Espaço Espelho d'Água and Bica Do Sapato.

Hit the Town

Ain't no party like a pre-wedding party in Portugal’s capital. But seriously, Lisbon isn’t the place to get to bed early.

Kick off your PM adventure at Cinco Lounge, renowned for its incredibly creative cocktails. Then it’s off to Red Frog, a stylish speakeasy that serves prohibition-era tipples.

Slog back some liquid courage, before making your way to the “king of Lisbon clubs,” LuxFrágil, an eternally trendy disco, housed in an old warehouse. Feeling wild? Dancing until dawn is the norm at the notoriously debaucherous Music Box. Or continue the booze crawl at the drinking dens in Bairro Alto. Majong and Maria Caxuxa earn raves reviews among locals and travelers alike.

Craving late-night nibbles? Venture to MiniBar Theater, a gourmet hotspot helmed by José Avillez. And whatever you do, don't leave without seeing a fado show at O Faia.

Stay in Style

After so much excitement, resting your head will feel oh so good. Wondering where to catch a few winks? Lisbon abounds with awesome accommodations, ranging from opulent to affordable.

Our top picks for a five-star stay? Olissippo Lapa Palace boasts a posh spa, heated outdoor swimming pool, and beautiful landscaped gardens. An unbeatable location and retro glamour are the calling cards of Altis Avenida Hotel. While the InterContinental Lisbon epitomizes contemporary luxury with its sophisticated suites and sweeping views of Eduardo VII Park.

Budget-conscious bachelorette-goers, we’ve got you too! You can score a room at the nearby Eurostars Lisboa Parque for just $128. Another wallet-friendly option is NH Lisboa Campo Grande, which rings in at just $105 a night—meaning more money to put towards fun-filled activities and mouthwatering meals.

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