SBS Presenter Ricardo Goncalves will announce Australia's votes to the world at the live broadcast of the Eurovision Grand Final on Sunday 13 May. We asked the Portuguese-Australian Eurovision tragic for his guide to the 2018 host city, Lisbon.
Built on seven hills overlooking the majestic Rio Tejo, the Portuguese capital of Lisbon offers breathtaking views of this enchanting and historic city, where you can eat, drink and explore to your heart’s content.
Bairro Alto Hotel Terrace Bar
There are dozens of ‘miradouros’, or lookouts, across Lisbon offering stunning vantage points to take in this picturesque city.
One of my favourites is the Bairro Alto Hotel Terrace.
It’s usually my first port of call whether I’m with family or friends, to sip on some local wine, order a cheese board and take in the glorious view.
As you walk out of the hotel, head right to the Baixa-Chiado district to do your shopping.
Another great ‘miradouro’ further away is called ‘Portas do Sol’ and overlooks Lisbon’s historic Alfama district.
The city is full of amazing rooftop bars and new ones are popping up all the time.
Time Out Markets
The Portuguese are well-known for their love of food and wine. This marketplace is the ultimate destination for those things.
The Time Out Market is home to the city’s most famous chefs and restaurants, with dozens of upmarket stalls replicating some of their most popular dishes with a smaller menu.
This place can get really busy, but is very worth it.
Tip: Sit on the stools on the left-hand side of the market at the many restaurants and bars, watch your food being cooked, and have a chat to the chef.
Up the hill from here is the infamous Bairro Alto district,, famous for street-side casual restaurants and an abundance of bars with people streaming into the alleyways with drinks in hand.
Nearby is one of my new favourite food destinations, called Bairro do Avillez, which houses a couple of restaurants within a stunning location. Worth booking.
Pasteis de Belem
No trip to Lisbon is complete without jumping on a tram, train or taxi to the home of the Portuguese custard tart.
You’d be lucky to find a seat inside, but if you don’t, order a six-pack (of tarts) and wander the streets of this historic suburb.
It’s also home to a number of monuments, like Padrao dos Descobrimentos, Torre de Belem and museums like Jeronimos Monastery.
As Lisbon sits along a river, you need to travel a little to hit the region’s beaches, but the effort is worth it.
About a one-hour train ride away is the seaside town of Cascais, home to a wonderful little beach, sheltered from the ocean and great for families.
Along the way, you’ll pass numerous other beaches, but if you want to experience some waves, cross the Ponte 25 de Abril (bridge) and head down to the Costa de Caparica.
Sintra is really one of the most whimsical places in the world.
Ninety minutes by train from Lisbon, it’s been deemed a UNESCO World Heritage area.
Here you can visit romantic palaces built on top of mountains and climb the walls of ruined castles.
Words do no justice.
A wildcard mention is my parents’ homeland of Madeira.
It’s technically not Lisbon, in fact, it’s a small Portuguese island in the Atlantic Ocean, nearer to Morocco than Portugal.
Being an old volcanic island, its landscape is, in my humble opinion, one of the most dramatic in the world, with soaring mountains, green valleys, rocky seaside cliffs and dreamy pebble beaches.
The capital, Funchal, sits at the base of a massive natural amphitheatre, and as a result, is constantly on show.
It’s already a year-round destination for travellers attracted to its all-year temperate climate, to experience the food, wine and hospitality, but it’s also quickly becoming a drawcard for adventure boffins wanting to experience its supreme nature.
Primetime evening broadcasts
Semi-Final 1 – Catch-up at SBS On Demand
Semi-Final 2 – Friday 11 May, 7.30pm, SBS. Live streaming at SBS On Demand and available for catch-up** FEATURING JESSICA MAUBOY
Grand Final – Sunday 13 May, 7.30pmSBS. Live streaming at SBS On Demand and available for catch-up
Remaining LIVE early morning broadcasts
Grand Final – Sunday 13 May, 5am (AEST) SBS and live streaming at SBS on Demand (See voting information here)