The SCOOCS insider’s guide to the Web Summit in Lisbon (with a bonus map!)

One of the most well-known technology conferences, the Web Summit in Lisbon is the go-to conference for everyone in the technology ecosystem. The SCOOCS team will be there, and with our company based in this city, we want to share with you all our best tips on what to do and visit during the Web Summit in Lisbon. Whether it is your first time here or you are already a habitué, we will have tips for you, follow our lead!

web summit in Lisbon
4 November 2018; Web Summit signage prior to the start of Web Summit 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal. Photo by Sam Barnes/Web Summit via Sportsfile

The Web Summit, the go-to conference for the technology sector

The Web Summit was founded in 2009 in Dublin. It started as a 400-attendee conference about business, technology, and startups, and became an international conference in the following years. In 2016 the event started to be held in Lisbon, and the 2022 edition counts more than 70.000 attendees.

Here is how the company itself answers the question “What is Web Summit?”: “At a time of great uncertainty for many industries and, indeed, the world itself, we gather the founders and CEOs of technology companies, fast-growing startups, policymakers, and heads of state to ask a simple question: Where to next?”

What can you expect from the Web Summit in Lisbon?

Is it possible for 2 different attendees to have a completely different experience during the Web Summit? Oh yes, it is! There is a profusion of stages, tracks, and masterclasses, and each attendee can tailor their program according to their goals and interests. There is also the Night Summit, where the attendees are invited to have a drink and continue the conversation.

It’s impossible not to find an interesting track for you if your work is somehow related to technology! There are 26 different event tracks, covering themes such as marketing, innovation, software development, remote work, sustainability, fashion, book industry, music industry, SaaS, healthtech…it’s a long list and a difficult choice!

Where to stay in the Web Summit Lisbon neighborhood?

There is a broad choice of hotels, Airbnb, and other private accommodations in Lisbon of all price ranges. If you want to stay in the Web Summit Lisbon neighborhood, you will have to book as soon as possible, since, as you can imagine, everything will be almost fully booked. You can expect to pay around 1000€ per night on a last-minute reservation.

But don’t worry, if you only could decide to attend the event close to the dates, look for a stay in the Saldanha neighborhood, where you will have a lot of options very close to the city center and a direct metro line (the red line), to the Web Summit. You can also take a look if the Vila Sena hotel still has available rooms or the homeboat company (why not try something different?).

If you are 6-months to 1 year in advance, check out the Tivoli Oriente hotel, with its very well-known Sky rooftop bar and Guilty by Oliver restaurant. You can also take a look at the Moxy Lisboa Oriente, for the best Instagram photos.

Places to visit during the Web Summit in Lisbon

The event is also an opportunity to visit the beautiful city of Lisbon! Our international team is mostly based in the city of Lisbon, we are happy to share with you some of our favorite spots. In this guide, you will find our choice of places to visit on Parque das Nações, the Web Summit district, and the new hype district next door, Beato. We will then suggest our team’s favorites, and also some local experiences you can’t miss out on! Last but not least, if you are more interested in doing a quick tour of the main Lisbon tourist spots, we also have you covered! At the end of this blog post, you will find a map with all the places suggested. Ready to go? Let’s dive in!

Web Summit district in Lisbon – Parque das Nações

Facing the Tagus river, the modern Parque das Nações district has a lot to see and do. You can expect to find contemporary architecture, plenty of gardens, and urban art. Here are our highlights of this neighborhood.

The urban public space of Parque das Nações is full of contemporary art and sculptures. Find here a map of all the pieces and artists you can find in the district. You’ll see, there are plenty of reasons to go for a walk in this area!

Get ready to be transported to an immersive experience! The aquarium, with 5 million liters of seawater, will give you the feeling of walking through the bottom of the Ocean. You can’t also miss the temporary exhibitions.

The Arena Lounge is a circular auditorium where you can enjoy some concerts. You will also find a nice bar, “a rotating lounge with several platforms that allow a progressive view of the surrounding spaces.” Even if you are not lucky to have a concert that night, it is worth the experience!

This district is right on the Tagus riverfront, ideal for nautical activities. There are plenty of options at the Parque das Nações marina. If the weather allows, it’s possible to book a boat tour to have a different view of Lisbon. Or maybe you are looking for a team-building activity – what about some sailing lessons? You can find it all on their website.

Translating literally as the “Knowledge Pavillion”, this is the place to have some out-of-the-box experiences. This exhibition center is most well known for the science exhibitions for children, but your inner child will appreciate riding a bicycle 6 meters above ground, the giant table, or the plasma sphere!

Photo by Tomás Evaristo on Unsplash

The hipster-chic neighborhood next door –  Beato / Marvila

In the last 5 years, the Beato neighborhood is finding its second life as the arty hipster-chic Lisbon district. You will find the best places to go, just next to the Lisbon Impact Hub.

Arroz Estúdios provide a residency space for emerging artists. They host open-air cinema nights and other thematic night events and parties, such as the crypto art festival.

They were the first to settle in the neighborhood 15 years ago and transformed an old war arsenal factory into the most eclectic cultural center in Lisbon. There are dance classes for the community, concerts, theater and dance spectacles, workshops, exhibitions, a bookshop, and also a bar and a restaurant.

In Lisbon, everyone drinks their short and strong coffee in 5 minutes at the counter. Here you are invited to take it slowly while enjoying an authentic and pacific setting. You will feel at home! Enjoy sustainable and healthy meals (with vegan options), and cakes and desserts to die for.

Opened to the public for the 1st time in 350 years, Palácio do Grilo is a restaurant and a live theater, or a “theater restaurant”. A unique experience on a sensorial and aesthetic playground. This is a project from French architect and entrepreneur Julien Labrousse, owner and manager of 2 Parisian theaters (Elysée Montmartre and Le Trianon). 

If you like urban art, you can’t miss the Underdogs Gallery. You can visit the gallery exhibitions and also find its itinerary of public urban art.

Local’s pick – The SCOOCS team favorites

We couldn’t write this article without asking our team about their favorite spots. Here you will find our selection of places to have a little time for yourself, take and deep breath, and travel without moving from Lisbon. 

In this paradise in the city center, you can take a walk in the gardens, visit the museum of modern art or the Gulbenkian permanent collection, attend a classical music concert or even have a coffee with a view of the gardens. Visit the Gulbenkian is the deep breath you need if you need to take a break from the Web Summit’s fast-paced environment. 

If you are in desperate need of green and peace, the greenhouse is the place to go. You will find a cold and a hot greenhouse with plenty of different plant species from all over the world.

If you are looking for a Lisbon belvedere that is not overcrowded, you have just found it! Close to the main Lisbon Avenue (Avenida da Liberdade), but inserted in a residential neighborhood, this garden will offer you an outstanding view of the city. However, if you intend to go walk from Avenida da Liberdade, get ready to climb one of the famous Lisbon 7 hills.

It was once the main city church where all the royal weddings took place, but a series of unfortunate events, such as the 1755 earthquakes, made this church be rebuilt more than 1 time. A fire in 1959 was the last tragedy suffered by the building. After that, the church was not completely renovated. We can still see the scars created by the fire, which creates an impressive atmosphere.

The best-kept secret in the Lisbon city center. It looks like a normal building on the exterior, but once you enter inside, you will find a Moorish-style patio and baroque ballrooms on the first floor. The place keeps the same allure of the time when it was one of the firsts Lisbon casinos. Now it’s the headquarters of the Alentejo region association. It’s possible to visit, but also to have a meal on the tapas patio or the restaurant on the first floor.

Gulbenkian Gardens Image by Bernardo Ferreria from Pixabay

Have the best local experiences while supporting local businesses during the Web Summit in Lisbon

The Lisbon city council created a label to showcase and protect the historic shops of Lisbon: Lojas com História. We picked our favorite places where to taste Portuguese delicacies or find the best wine while visiting the most beautiful places and supporting authentic local businesses.

You can’t leave Lisbon without tasting this sour cherry liqueur. And to do so, the best thing to do is to go to the source! Created by monks as a cough remedy, the recipe was introduced in Lisbon by Mr. Espinheira, in this same place where his 5th generation continues to ask every day “with or without them?” – meaning if you would have the liqueur with or without some cherries in your glass. We recommend them, for the full experience. 

Founded in 1905, this coffee shop was one of the responsible for the introduction of the coffee passion among the Portuguese. It was once the meeting point of intellectuals and artists and the whole ambiance invites to time travel!

Inspired by the old Parisian cafés, this is the oldest pastry shop still operating in Lisbon. It stays in the same family since the opening. This is the place the go if you want to taste the best Portuguese pastries.

The “national wine cellar” stocks one of the most comprehensive collections of Portuguese wines. You can find Portuguese wines from all regions and ranges of prices, including some premium and exclusive bottles. Take a virtual tour of the website to learn more!

This grocery shop keeps the tradition of the beginning of the 20th century. Here you will find the finest Portuguese products: cheese, ham, canned fish, salted codfish, olive oil, and much more!

The main Lisbon tourist spots – the SCOOCS itinerary

It’s your first time in Lisbon and you don’t want to miss the main tourist attractions? Or you have been here before, but you liked our historic districts so much that you want to come back? We have some itinerary suggestions for you! If you prefer to have a guide, you can contact Inside Lisbon or Lisbon Sustainable Tourism. If you want to do it by yourself, just follow our lead, and check the map we prepared for you at the bottom of this page!

The Alfama Itinerary

Going up Alfama hill doesn’t have to be difficult. Did you know there is an elevator to bring you up the hill? There are 2 elevators actually – Pick the first one at Rua dos Fanqueiros number 176, and you will arrive at the top of Rua da Madalena. Here, walk a little bit to Largo do Chão do Loureiro, where you have a second lift to the top of the hill. Appreciate the views from the Miradouro de Santa Luzia first and next, from Largo Portas do Sol. Take the stairs down on Rua Norberto de Araújo, and take a walk through Alfama to the Lisbon Cathedral. You will then be some steps away from downtown and Augusta Street Arch.

The Baixa/Chiado itinerary

Enter the Rossio train station and take the escalators. Then go up on Calçada do Carmo to Largo do Carmo. Enjoy the view from the top of the Santa Justa elevator, and the Carmo Convent, and learn more about the 1974 carnation revolution. Then, take a stroll in the Chiado and Rossio area, and find some of the amazing experiences we have told you about at the top of this article!

The Belém itinerary

Belém has a lot to see, but we recommend that you start with a Belém pastry (it’s the only place in the world where they do those, and it’s a long walk!), with the Jerónimos Monastery. Then, take a walk to the Belém Tower (with a stop at Centro Cultural de Belém if you have the time), and then come back by the riverside until you reach the MAAT and its bold architecture.

The SCOOCS map of Lisbon treasure spots and itineraries

Find here all the spots and itineraries mentioned above!

Have you enjoyed these Web Summit in Lisbon tips and would like to have more?

Visit us at the Web Summit! Come meet us at our booth on November 4th at Pavilion 1, Stand Number B109! We will take part in the Web Summit Startup Programme! If you would like to know more about this program, click on the button below!

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