Each year we go away as an office to explore the architecture and culture of another country. This year we set our sights on Lisbon in Portugal, the city of 7 hills – and trust us we felt all of them by the end of the weekend.

Our trip started with an architectural tour around 3 beautiful modern buildings; the Tertiary School of Music by Joao Luis Carrilho da Graca, the Dominican Monastery and Cultural Centre by Jose Fernando Goncalves and Paulo Providencia and finally the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (maat) by AL_A Amanda Levete.

We hired bikes and cycled to the top of Parque Florestal de Monsanto through the forest to visit the Restaurante Panoramico de Monsanto. The cycle up some of the famous hills was great practice for all those doing the triathlon this year; we wont mention the electric motors involved. Originally designed by Chaves da Costa the building has now been abandoned for more than a decade and is covered in graffiti and falling apart, but the iconic views over Lisbon are still as breath-taking as ever. The 7000sqm building constructed in 1967 is most well-known for being a restaurant but was also a bingo hall, a nightclub, an office and a warehouse. Although work has now begun on making it structurally safe for visitors the future of the iconic building is still unknown.

After surviving the 3 hour cycle ride we drank celebratory sangria in the sunshine overlooking the water and then went on to visit the Sao Jorge Castle and the ruins of the Convento da Ordem do Carmo in the center of Santa Maria Maior. The Moorish castle at the top of one of the many hills has beautiful view of the Tagus River and the historic Lisbon center. The ruins of the Gothic Church, destroyed in the earthquake of 1755, house some interesting ancient relics and famous tombs.

Barrio Altos lively atmosphere and impressive selection of bars on the narrow cobbled streets of the old town were the perfect introduction to Lisbon, a true street party with drinks and music flowing. We enjoyed a rooftop bar at the top of an inconspicuous looking car park, once out of the tiny graffiti covered lift the sunset views over Lisbon were beautiful and the g&ts werent bad either.

And of course no trip to Lisbon would be complete without sampling some local delicacies – ginjinha and pastel de natas – which went down extremely well.