Apart from its obvious charms – great weather, beautiful architecture and fascinating history – Portugal’s capital is emerging from the economic downturn of recent years as somewhat of a creative force. In fact, the hip, creative industries springing up all over the city are part of a government initiative, and this mini-Renaissance is, in part, responsible for an upsurge in the appeal of the city as a corporate destination.
I absolutely love coming to Lisbon. The city has a very cool, positive vibe with a focus on innovation and new technologies. All in all it’s pretty inspiring, so if you do find yourself heading there on business I hope my tips are helpful.
Getting to Lisbon
With an average flight time of 2.5 hours from anywhere in the UK, Lisbon is very accessible. There are several airlines that offer regular scheduled flights to the city from all the major UK airports, including Heathrow, Stansted, Luton and Gatwick.
Once you touch down at Lisbon Airport (LIS), the most reliable way to get into the city without delay is on an airport transfer with Shuttle Direct. One of our executive services will get you there in around half an hour.
The airport is a reasonable size, so if you find yourself having to spend any amount of time there you’ll find enough to occupy you.
Wi-Fi: The entire airport is a Wi-Fi hotspot, but although it’s free to a certain degree (flight information etc.), you’ll have to log on through one of several operators if you want to use it more extensively.
Facilities: All the major banks have ATMs in the terminal and there are lots of retail outlets, ranging from bookshops to fashion and jewellery if you need to pick up a last minute gift on your way home. In terms of food you’re well catered for, with numerous fast-food outlets and cafes.
Corporate Facilities: As well as several business lounges where you can access facilities such as fax and Internet, there are multiple meeting and conference rooms available for private hire.
My Favourite Lisbon Business Hotel
One of the city’s newer establishments (it’s only been open a few years), staying at the very trendy Valverde Hotel is one of my favourite things about coming here. With that wonderful creative ambience I mentioned earlier on, it’s the perfect way to make business feel like pleasure.
Even though it’s boutique, it manages to appeal to the corporate visitor with its excellent appointments, like work spaces in the rooms and super fast Wi-Fi all over the hotel. While there are no dedicated meeting rooms, the fantastic onsite restaurant is ideal for a discrete working lunch. (The courtyard is wonderful in the warmer months)
But the best part about the Valverde is its absolutely unbeatable position smack bang in the middle of Avenida da Liberdade. Like I said – it’s pretty easy for business to become leisure.
A Couple of Others….
The Hotel Avenida Palace is located right in the heart of the commercial and financial district. With spacious luxury rooms (soundproofing is excellent), free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, and a choice of dedicated conference and meeting rooms, it’s ideal for the corporate traveller.
Another hotel that in my opinion deserves an honourable mention is the Turim Av. Liberdade. As well as a central location, free Wi-Fi and an excellent onsite restaurant, their meeting and conferencing facilities include dedicated event staff to take care of all the details.
Wining & Dining Your Clients
Saldanha Mar is my pick for the city’s best venue for an upmarket business lunch. Located in the Doubletree by Hilton, the restaurant takes authentic Portuguese cuisine and adds its signature elegant spin. What it does really well, though, is the incredible seafood dishes, which I must admit get me every time. One day I’ll try something other than the fresh tuna steak, but maybe not – it’s that good.
The all-white décor gives the restaurant a very sophisticated ambience, and I once had a working lunch meeting here for eight VIP guests that was a great success. You can book ahead and request the special business menu if you prefer.
Time to spare…
There’s plenty to keep you busy around the city if you manage to squeeze in some downtime, but even if you don’t have time for an itinerary, just taking a walk to soak up the local atmosphere is wonderfully relaxing.
Many people consider this one of Europe’s most picturesque capital cities and I’m inclined to agree – especially if you’re into architecture like I am. My must-sees are , the jaw-dropping Madre De Deus Convent, the fifteenth-century Gothic Jerónimos Monastery, the chapel of St. John the Baptist in the São Roque church (it’s the world’s most expensive chapel with magnificent gold Baroque mosaics) and, of course, the iconic Belem Tower.
Aside from the architecture (yes, I do diversify occasionally), hopping aboard the famous tram 28 route will take you on a rumbling ride through the lovely shopping streets of Braixa and Chiado and the historic Alfama area. It’s a great way to enjoy a different part of the city if you’re attending events in the commercial centre.
About Shuttle Direct:
As the most renowned and trusted name in the industry, Shuttle Direct‘s range of comfortable, reliable airport transfers is second to none. Book one of our Standard, Executive or Premium services online before you leave home and one of our local drivers will be there to meet you at the terminal. You’ll travel in a discrete, unbranded vehicle and arrive at your accommodation, event or business meeting on time and in style.