Gillian White

Correspondent

  • New York City, New York, USA

Gillian White is a correspondent who lives in New York City and covers the Portugal’s Sintra, Algarve and Lisbon for Forbes Travel Guide. White is a freelance journalist with a nagging case of wanderlust. Her motto when it comes to experiencing a new location is always “food first,” with a side of old-fashioned sightseeing. Whether it’s trekking through dense woods or navigating bustling cities, Gillian’s favorite part of traveling is the opportunity to meet interesting people and learn new things. The Columbia University alum has been published by Wall St. Cheat Sheet, Bloomberg News and Hipolitics.com.

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  • On August 16, 2012
    Gillian White answered the question: Gillian White

    What is the best time to visit Lisbon?

    Lisbon is the largest city in Portugal and one of the most sun-drenched capital cities in Europe, with its temperate year-round weather making it an easy destination to fall for. Still, timing is everything when planning a trip here, so first and foremost our Forbes Travel Guide editors recommend avoiding the winter months if possible, when the sometimes steady rain can put a serious crimp in your outdoor exploration plans. Conversely, the scorching daytime temperatures during the heart of the summer may prove too much for avid walkers. A trip to Lisbon is probably best taken during the intermediate seasons of spring and fall, when the mild weather will clear the way for you to experience all Lisbon has to offer.
  • On August 16, 2012
    Gillian White answered the question: Gillian White

    What is the best thing to bring home from Lisbon?

    Picking out souvenirs to bring home with you as happy reminders of your trip to Lisbon is one of the most fun shopping experiences you’ll enjoy during your time in this vibrant European capital – and ideally you’ll want to find something that speaks to Lisbon’s unique character. With that in mind, our Forbes Travel Guide editors feel that one of the city’s most distinguishing features is the beauty of its cobblestone streets and striking facades of its structures and residential houses. To take a piece a piece of it home, head to the shops of Bairro Alto, where you can purchase hand-painted tiles very similar to the ones you see lining buildings throughout the city.
  • On August 16, 2012
    Gillian White answered the question: Gillian White

    What are the five best Lisbon food experiences?

    There are several food experiences and specialties well worth indulging during your visit to Lisbon, in addition, of course, to dining on gourmet international cuisine in its finest restaurants. Since you probably won’t have time to get to everything – at least on one visit – our Forbes Travel Guide editors feel these are the five culinary treats that belong at the top of your to-eat list:
     
    1. Pasteis de Nata: These little egg tarts, originally from the city’s Belém district, are a great morning or afternoon snack. You can find them at cafés and restaurants throughout the city, but Casa Pasteis de Belém is one of the most popular spots that carries them.

    2. Ginjinha: A delicious liqueur made of sour cherries, ginjinha is a Lisbon specialty taken as a shot with a piece of fruit at the bottom of the cup. Go directly to the source – the Ginjinha store – to try this sweet cherry-infused libation.

    3. Bacalhau: This dried, salted codfish is served several different ways, including with boiled potatoes and cabbage. Trust us, it’s much tastier than it may sound.

    4. Port Wine: The most famous Portuguese wine with a touch of brandy is predictably available in abundance in Lisbon. To learn more about the history of the drink, book an educational tasting at the Port Wine Institute in the city’s Chiado district.

    5. Seafood: Portugal’s seaside location means you’ll have access to some of the freshest seafood in all of Europe – and Lisbon’s local chefs have mastered the skill of dressing up the many delights of the sea without weighing it down with unnecessary sauces or garnishes.
  • On August 16, 2012
    Gillian White answered the question: Gillian White

    Where is the best nightlife in Lisbon?

    Like many other European capitals Lisbon has a well-earned reputation for a diverse nightlife scene sure to please both late-night clubbers as well as those in search of a relaxed evening with a fine bottle of Portuguese wine – and our Forbes Travel Guide editors feel Bairro Alto, in particular, offers the best of both worlds.
     
    After a long dinner here in the neighborhood, we recommend taking in a Fado performance at Tasca do Chico or heading to romantic Cinco Lounge, where the menu features more than 100 cocktails made with top-shelf spirits. If you feel like making it a late night (or early morning, as it were), swing by Incognito, where international DJs play a mix of techno, pop and indie music throughout this hidden split-level establishment that doesn’t have an outside marquee.
  • On August 16, 2012
    Gillian White answered the question: Gillian White

    What is the best way to see Lisbon in one day?

    Don’t worry if you’re only passing through Lisbon: A day is more than enough time to see many of its top attractions, taste some of its signature specialties and basically fall in love with this charming city. We’ll warn you in advance, however, that this whirlwind tour just might leave you making plans to extend your stay.
     
    Our Forbes Travel Guide editors recommend starting in Baixa, where you can snap photos of magnificent Commercial Square, walk along Tagus River and duck into cute cafés to snack on Lisbon’s famous pasteis de nata, a rich Portuguese egg tart.
     
    After you’ve had your fill hop on the yellow Tram 28, which winds through several popular neighborhoods including Alfama, Chiado and Bairro Alto. Hop off in Alfama to tour the oldest part of the city and visit St. George’s Castle before heading north to Chiado for shopping and lunch at historic Café A Brasileira. Burn off your lunch by walking uphill to the Principe Real district to browse antique shops, or head west to Estrela to check out the gorgeous basilica and Estrela Gardens.
     
    Finish your day off in lively Bairro Alto, where you can enjoy a spread of authentic Portuguese cuisine at Restaurante Principe Calhariz for dinner and sip cocktails at any number of bars and cafés.
  • On August 16, 2012
    Gillian White answered the question: Gillian White

    Where is the best shopping in Lisbon?

    Lisbon offers a diverse selection of well-known name brands along with specialty shops and vendors unique to the city. In particular, you can easily spend an entire day taking in the idyllic scenery and browsing for souvenirs in Chiado, our Forbes Travel Guide editors’ pick for the best shopping district in the city.
     
    Located between Bairro Alto and Baixa, Chiado has a nice mix of high-end stores, smaller independent boutiques and quaint book shops. Vehicles are restricted in much of the area, too, making it an ideal location to slowly wander and window shop. You’ll also find a rich variety of restaurants and cafés here, including ever-popular Café A Brasileira, one of the oldest cafés in the city’s Old Town.
  • On August 16, 2012
    Gillian White answered the question: Gillian White

    What are the five best things to do with kids in Lisbon?

    Slowly exploring labyrinthine cities such as Lisbon can prove daunting for energetic kids constantly on the lookout for the next adventure, but that won’t be a problem in a city as diverse as this one. Our Forbes Travel Guide editors have picked the five most fun things to do with children in Lisbon, from riding cable cars to traipsing ancient castles:
     
    1. Lisbon Zoo: Yes, you might be able to visit a zoo back home, but we’re guessing it doesn’t compare to this one. Kids will enjoy the normal spectrum of zoo activities, plus cool extras including cable cars, the Animax amusement park and one of the most impressive dolphin shows you’ll ever see.

    2. St. George’s Castle (Castelo de São Jorge): Visible from most areas of the city, St. George’s Castle has roots dating back to medieval times and is the former home of Portuguese royalty. Much of the castle has deteriorated over the years, but it still looks like a scene from a fairy tale. Kids will love climbing around on the towers – as well as the views from the top of them.

    3. Park of Nations (Parque das Nacões): Kids and adults alike will enjoy exploring this thoroughly modern part of Lisbon, which was revamped in 1998 when the city hosted Expo ‘98. The site includes water gardens, cable cars, striking views of the Vasco da Gama Bridge and tours of the area on toy trains.

    4. Carousel: Located at the entrance to the Lisbon Zoo, the opulent carousel is a fun and easy ride for everyone before or after a visit to the zoo.

    5. Lisbon Oceanarium: The city’s oceanarium is the largest aquarium in Europe and home to more than 8,000 plants and animals. Kids can get face-to-face with sharks, stingrays and a variety of other wildlife that live in the giant tanks representing four oceans. Guided tours are available, and this is also a great place for an outdoor picnic.