This is not your typical travel guide. This is an exclusive map to the not-so-touristy places we locals like to keep secret. Since gatekeeping is no longer in fashion, here are my top favorite places to enjoy Lisbon like a true local.
I’ve been calling Lisbon my home for almost ten years. One of my guilty pleasures is seeing the look of surprise and wonder on my foreign friend’s faces every time I take them to one of my secret spots.
I know it’s hard not to fall in love with the charismatic streets of Alfama, the picturesque yellow tram, or everything “bacalhau”. However, if you have been there and done that, and you are looking for unobvious things to do in Lisbon, this is for you.
Relax in Lisbon | Best places to sunbath and hangout
Miradouro Penha de França
Can you believe this used to be my backyard? One of my first apartments in the City was right in front of this viewpoint and I’ve always been surprised by how unknown it is, even to locals. As one of the highest points of Lisbon, this is the perfect place to watch the sunset over the city. Just get ready for the climb of your life.
Where: R. Marques da Silva | https://goo.gl/maps/1843ktFBLRToPdr57
Jardim da Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian
This is the perfect place to sunbathe, read a book and enjoy contact with nature. With its quiet ambiance and little ducks running around, you will find it hard to believe that you are standing right in the middle of a city. When in here, do not forget to pay a visit to Crush Donuts (thank me later).
What: Public Park
Where: Avenida de Berna | https://goo.gl/maps/wT8Bx2s2UDmtLxZy5
Cais do Ginjal
Not exactly in Lisbon, but at a quick and pleasant boat ride away. Cais do Ginjal is the perfect place to enjoy the city’s river view and take the most amazing pictures ever. After exploring the area, you can also sit in one of the two restaurants at the pier and enjoy a glass of wine with some traditional Portuguese food. Just remember to make a reservation in advance!
What: riverside pier
Pro-tip | For the complete local experience, before getting to these places, take a quick stop at the supermarket and stock up on snacks and beers.
Eat in Lisbon |Must try authentic restaurants
At first, you are going to think you are in the wrong place. In a narrow entrance, you’ll find some steep stairs surrounded by walls filled with tags and graffiti. After knocking on the door at the top, you’ll feel like you are getting into someone’s house and dining tables were assembled everywhere. There are a few of these clandestine Chinese restaurants in the neighborhood and they all offer two things: a unique experience and the best food in the world. These places can be pretty hard to find so here is the address for my favorite one: Rua do Benformoso 43. Do not miss on the shrimps on the hot iron plate with garlic, and pair it with some Chinese beer.
What: Chinese clandestine restaurant
Where: Martim Moniz
A place where you can sit at the counter and explore an endless list of fish dishes. My advice? Take some company and order a bunch of them to share. I never got to dessert but everyone says the Caramel Petit Gateau is to die for.
What: fish restaurant
Where: R. Alecrim | https://goo.gl/maps/R86tMNBY8ty2UXG38
My vegan friends all agree on something: this is the best vegan place in Lisbon. An amazing combination of nice staff, good atmosphere and, most importantly, delicious food. If you are feeling bougie, start the night at Orteá for dinner, and then stop by Café Janis for some CBD-infused cocktails. A not so typically authentic Lisbon experience, but still quite fun.
What: vegan food
Go out in Lisbon | Where to have a drink, or two.
As you will probably notice, I’m a fan of inconspicuous doors that lead to surprisingly special places. At first glance, the Crew Hassan looks like a regular coffee shop, but on the inside, you’ll find a place with character where you can dance the night away.
What: cultural space and bar
Where: R. Andrade | https://goo.gl/maps/KAuYANAsuamKUFQz9
We, locals, are not immune to the charming powers of Bairro Alto and the Pink Street. Nevertheless, there are definitely some great alternative neighborhoods that should be on your radar for a night out. One of them is Intendente - an incubator for an interesting underground and eclectic night scene. After drinking a cold beer on the street (a must-do in Lisbon) pay a visit to Casa Independente.
What: cultural space and bar
Where: Largo do Intendente | https://goo.gl/maps/9ngkypGmcnYmbfif9
Probably not the most original tip and if you are familiar with Lisbon you’re most likely familiar with Lux. Yet, you cannot talk about the city’s nightlife and not talk about Lux Frágil. You’ll get kicked out of the country. Trendy but not in an obvious way, cool but without being pretentious, Lux has been on the top list of Lisbon’s clubs ever since I can remember.
Where: Avenida Infanto D. Henrique | https://goo.gl/maps/Fe8eS3DBtdq2XBp78
Shop in Lisbon | Score a unique souvenir
A Outra Face da Lua
You better work on your self-control before coming here or you’ll be taking everything home with you. A Outra Face da Lua is one of the most famous vintage stores in Lisbon. A true insider tip for anyone who is looking for a great selection of curated clothing, accessories, and shoes. From cool second-hand t-shirts to astonishing Hermès scarves, there is something for everyone.
What: vintage fashion store
Where: R. da Assunção | https://goo.gl/maps/fQiT9Vy6kH5v4Uhr8
Don’t run for the hills, this does not mean you have to get a tattoo. Apart from the coolest tattoo studio ever, Casa Tigre also has an amazing assortment of t-shirts, hoodies, and accessories that celebrate the iconic Anjos neighborhood. However, the star of the show is definitely the leather jacket collection, hand-painted by local artists. Still, a tattoo would be a pretty unique souvenir, just saying.
What: apparel and tattoo studio
Where: R. Maria | https://g.page/CASA-TIGRE?share
Cantinho do Vintage
How much space do you have in your luggage? Because you will be considering taking home a Coca-Cola Vintage Fridge after visiting this place. This Lisbon’s hidden gem is an authentic vintage oasis and it is worth the visit even if it is just to daydream. Get lost in a two-story warehouse filled with vintage furniture, neon signs, and much more.
What: vintage furniture and décor
Where: R. 25 de Abril | https://goo.gl/maps/PBxqDUnGWKNd8QED6
Pro-tip | Nothing says I love like a bottle of wine. In Lisbon, you can find amazing wine for as cheap as 3€ in any supermarket. I promise it will be the best gift your loved ones have ever received. Here are some of my favorites: Periquita Regional Red Wine for about 4,99€, Ponte de Lima White Wine for about 3,50€.
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