During my first trip to Lisbon, I visited the main attractions and gathered 3 days from Lisbon. During my second trip, I stayed longer and searched for all the hidden jewels of Lisbon. The capital of Portugal is a crucible of cultures, fresh neighborhoods, markets, bars and much more.

There are some cities where most visitors will visit the same attractions. Not here: two travelers could have completely different experiences if they join the city center or get off the beaten road in Lisbon. There are sprinklers with local dining rooms, cafes, colorful murals and tiles… How many chips!

alfama backstreets lisbon hidden gems
Colorful and hidden places in Lisbon

SENTIAL LISBON

Accommodation: Booking.com / Hostelworld

Getting there: flightSkyscanner), train (Ape), bus (Flixbus)

Activities: GetYourGuide

How to get there: walking / Metro / bus / taxi

Guide: Solitary Planet Lisbon

I’m not saying that you should skip the big-name attractions like Carmo Convent and Jerónimos Monastery in areas such as Baixa, Chiado and Belém, but if you are the kind of traveler who likes to dig deeper, there are a lot of alternative things to do in Lisbon.

Some are local and traditional; others are trendy and peculiar. As I said, Lisbon is not just for a person or trip!

LX Factory

Those looking for alternative attractions in Lisbon should not lose the vibrant LX Factory located halfway between the city center and the historic Belém in the west.

With more than 50 shops, cafes, restaurants and bars, it is a unique place at the time or even half a day.

Shops sell all products from sustainable body to jewelry, clothing, art, home, wine and origami handmade. You can even cut a tattoo or hair before eating in one of the restaurants (the options include burgers, pizzas and even Peruvian-Asian fusion food) and go home.

Address: Rua Rodrigues de Faria 103, 1300-501 Lisboa.

Don’t leave without checking…

Ler Devagar library

Ler Devagar bookstore

Beautiful Ler Devagar bookstore can soon lose its reputation as a hidden gem of Lisbon because more and more people are discovering about it. However, it is a cool place in Lisbon that is not overwhelmed with tourist groups like some of the most important attractions.

With more than 50,000 new and second-hand books, a flying bike pet, permanent and temporary exhibitions, a coffee shop and several pop-up events, it is great and peculiar to a T.

Hours: 10am-10pm, Sun-Weds and until midnight Thurs-Sat.

Livraria Bertrand

Despite being the oldest operating library in the world, Livraria Bertrand is insinuating from the outside, located inside a tile building in Chiado that looks like any other. Inside, it is a dream of literary lovers with dark wooden shelves stacked with classics.

Inaugurated in 1732, he received countless Portuguese intellectuals and authors such as Alexandre Herculano and Aquilino Ribeiro during his three centuries of life. Bertrand is now a Portuguese chain with shops in other cities, but these seem modern and simple in comparison. The original is much more characteristic so you should probably go through your search for hidden jewels in Lisbon!

Address: Rua Garrett 73 75, 1200-203 Lisbon.

Hours: 9am-10pm, Mon-Sat; 11am-8pm Sun.

murals Bordallo II

I love to find street art around the world So, of course, Lisbon was a natural place to visit me. Although there are tons of pieces around the city, I especially liked to find the animal murals Bordallo II made of colorful trash, symbolizing how humans can be wasteful.

The murals Bordallo II are in the following places:

Read more: where to see street art in Porto, Portugal

More street art

Do not stop on the murals Bordallo II: there are tons of street art around the many alternative places in Lisbon.

These are not the only ones; only a few I found while walking:

  • Mouraria area – find the graffiti mural dedicated to the fado
  • Barrio Alto – this pink woman next to a house is one of the murals I found
  • wall of Saudade Mário Belém – I found this walking between Miradouro da Graça and Miradouro da Senhora do Monte
  • The street art tram AKA Glória Funicular – not a hidden gem from Lisbon, but fun!

Related activity: guide street art tour with a group

Coleção Berardo Museum

Museu Coleção Berardo

From fine art to contemporary, there are galleries in Lisbon for each area of interest. The Chiado National Museum of Contemporary Art is the best known contemporary gallery Coleção Berardo is a fantastic and less well-known jewel that also shows art from the second half of the 20th century onwards.

It is located in Belém where the main attractions such as the Monastery of Jerónimos, the Belém Tower and Belém Cakes usually have queues around the corner. In contrast, Coleção Berardo is the perfect place to escape the crowds and feel thoughtful. Entrance is €5.

Address: Praça do Império, 1449-003 Lisbon.

Hours: 10am-7pm every day.

Secret Garden LX in Miradouro da Senhora do Monte

Senhora do Monte is one of the most famous panoramic views of Lisbon, but most people miss this peculiar location of Lisbon right below it. After noting it at Google Maps, I wondered how to get into the earth because it is not remotely obvious.

Although you may feel that you are breaking and entering, you must persevere by pushing your way through an insufficient door in the viewpoint and following the steps down. You’ll get there. Secret Garden LX, a hidden bar with colorful murals, views of the urban landscape and a solid range of beers, wines and cocktails.

Embaixada (Principle Real area)

Embaixada alternative lisbon attractions

For a secret hidden in the sub-market neighborhood of Lisbon, they have Embaixada on his radar because he probably wouldn’t mess with him. Located within an old mansion, this collection of boutique stores has several floors decorated with Moorish details such as large pillars, tiled floors and stunning artworks.

Although the prices were a bit high for me, I loved sailing through the many boutiques that sell clothes, jewelry, home items and accessories. There’s even a gin bar!

Address: Praça do Príncipe Real 26, 1250-184 Lisbon.

Opening hours: 12pm-7pm, Mon-Sat, 11am-8pm, Sun.

Then, stroll through the botanical gardens, head to the point of view of the nearby sunset. Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântaraor enjoy handmade coffee and chocolate Bettina & Niccolo Corallo Coffee.

Barrio de Mouraria

During a fabulous tour with food Flavor of LisbonI discovered the charming neighborhood Mouraria. Despite being near Baixa, it has a completely different vibration. Instead of large adjoining streets, this hidden gem of Lisbon is a labyrinth of alleys with colorful houses where the locals hang their clothes from the upper floors.

Mouraria
Secret places in Lisbon

Translator as ‘Death Quartet’, this historic city houses Asian, African and Arab communities. Another notable resident in the 1800s was Maria Severa, the first famous fado singer who died only 26 of tear or tuberculosis, depending on who you talk to.

Fado is a kind of Lisbon music freely translated as ‘fate’. Find a Show or Learn About Your History in the Fado Museum in Alphama.

In the meantime Mouraria, look at the murals of the fado in Rua dos Cavaleiros, admire the street portraits of the locals (many of which had to go away due to the gentrification) by the artist Camilla Watson, and visit The old house of Maria SeveraNow a restaurant and a music room.

Friends Da Severa

Os Amigos Da Severa Lisbon off the beaten path

A specific hidden gem in Lisbon Mouraria neighborhood is this bar teeny-tiny with space for a few customers (standing) at the same time. He would have gone through his incessant façade if it weren’t for our guide to Taste of Lisbon who brought us inside.

For those who don’t know ginja, this liquor made of brandy or fortified wine is a hidden treasure of Lisbon. Many tourists try it in popular bars in Baixa as A Ginjinha But I preferred to get him off the beaten road in Lisbon this historic bar.

Don’t let the sweet, cherry flavor fool you: gin has a power of up to 24% alcohol!

Continue the alley outside to admire portraits of the favorite singers in the neighborhood.

Museu Nacional do Azulejo (Museo Nacional de Azulejos)

Museu Nacional do Azulejo

The capital of Portugal has all its classic museums dedicated to history and art, but there are some peculiar places in Lisbon for an alternative museum experience. One is Museu Nacional do Azulejo or the Museum of Tiles.

Located in an old convent founded by Queen D. Leonor in 1509, this is THE place to admire works of tile art. The enormous works of art were much more detailed and impressive than I could have predicted. I could have marveled all day in the intricate designs.

Even the passages and corridors are an odo to Portuguese sugar.. If that wasn’t enough, you’ll run through the church and the cloisters. Mother of Deus located in the heart of the museum.

Practical information:

  • Address: Rua Me. Deus 4, 1900-312 Lisbon.
  • Hours: 10am-1pm & 2-6pm, Tues-Sun; closed Mon.
  • Price of entry: 5€.

Tip – when you buy your Tile Museum Tickets, there is a combo option to include the National Pantheon. If you plan to visit (which I recommend for the rooftop view), buy the combo ticket to save money.

Although the Tile Museum is within walking distance of the city center near the Xabregas area, the advantages of visiting include the fact that it is close to several other hidden gems of Lisbon including not one but two street art murals Bordallo II (including the mural of monkeys that are previously imagined) as well as…

Cemitério do Alto de São João

Cemitério do Alto de São João unusual things to do in lisbon

A 20-minute walk from the Tile Museum is another non-tourist place in Lisbon. Cemitério do Alto de São João is full of elaborate tombs that look like mini temples. With impressive architecture of different periods and typical tiled floors, it is large but peculiar instead of remotely morbid.

Built in 1833 during a cholera outbreak, it also houses famous Toureiros (fuels), World War Soldiers and members of the Asian community, briefly winning the name, Eastern Cemetery. This is perhaps partly why he developed an eclectic theme other than traditional Catholic cemeteries.

I have visited similar places Milan and Zagreb (I promise I’m not obsessed with cemeteries!) so, if you’re interested, take a look at my guides.

Direction: Stop Alto de São João 3, 1900-053 Lisbon.

Getting there: Take the Green Line subway to Telheiras and get off Rice. From here, take a bus or walk for 15 minutes. It is open from 9am-5pm every day and until 18:00 in summer.

The cemetery is not far from my next hidden gem in Lisbon…

Cultural centers in Arroyo

Anjos cultural centres

Located away from the city centre to escape the typical tourist crowds, there are plenty of fresh and peculiar things to do in the Lisbon Anjos neighborhood including several cultural centers.

One is Anjos70, an alternative place known for pop-up markets and alternative yields. I visited to navigate the weekend fleas market, brimming with boutique clothing, peculiar art, jewelry and coffee carts. Take a matcha latte and stay at the content of your heart without pressure to buy.

Other peculiar places nearby include BUS – Centro Cultural Paragem parties and live music events, and Crew Hassan, a two-level local (open from 3pm) with vegetarian food and night jam sessions for €2.

While in Anjos, wet the views of the city Monte Agudo Viewpoint and enjoy the food scene. There’s tasty brunch in there. Fauna & Flora, authentic Japanese food Kapitan Ramen and – although not a hidden gem of Lisbon after appearing in Bourdain Unknown Parties – seafood without equals in Cervejaria Ramiro.

Cafe rooftop on the Pollux store (Chiado)

Cafe rooftop above the Pollux shop quirky lisbon places

If you’re looking for non-tourist things to do in Lisbon, I’d tell you to avoid Chiado as a general rule. However there is an exception that can be found in Eighth floor of the POLLUX building.

This elegant coffee terrace can only be reached walking through the accessories store below and capture the lift. If you weren’t looking for him, you’d never find him. Most tourists don’t!

Have coffee or lunch, looking down on the busy streets. Prices are a bit high, as you can expect from Chiado. I didn’t eat here, but I can answer for the coffee.

Address: POLLUX, R. dos Fanqueiros 276, 1149-031 Lisbon.

Field Market of Ourique

Mercado de Campo de Ourique

For an alternative to the busy (and expensive) Time Out Market, consider a trip to Field Market of Ourique. Expect everything from a local fish market to honey and homemade jam, Portuguese wines and global favourites such as falafel, pizza and sushi, as well as some authentic Lisbon dishes.

This market never feels too crowded so you can relax while wandering around the stands and deciding what to order; glass of wine in hand.

sushi hidden gems lisbon

Although it is a fresh market, I preferred food options in Time Out as they were more inventive and ‘Portuguese’. There he is. That’s it. local food in Campo de Ourique but has more than one international feeling. But then who doesn’t love sushi and wine?

Address: 12-10.30pm.

Address: 106, Rua Coelho da Rocha 104, Lisbon.

Free

The Internet can lead to believing that fado programs can only be accessible with an expensive dinner package. Budget travelers you will be happy to know that this is far from the truth: many Barrio Alto bars offer intimate evening concerts for the small price of buying a drink.

As I mentioned, Fado is the typical Portuguese music originating from Lisbon. If your ingo skills are not strong, a small research will tell you that the fado talks about tearing, fate, the lives of the poor, and the sea (perhaps because many men worked as fishermen).

It’s not amazing, but it’s worth experiencing when in Lisbon. A few bars known for free fado programs include Tasca do Chico (usually require a reservation), Tasca do Jaime and Solidó.

Feira da Ladra Thieve Market ’

Feira da Ladra

Shopping Santa Clara Market (also known as Feira da Ladra or ‘Thieves Market’) is a wonderfully strange thing to do in Lisbon. It is a true mix of souvenirs, handicrafts and old scrap as individual shoes and broken watches.

On Tuesday and Sunday in the morning, the eclectic mix of stalls is overwhelmed in the streets, extending from the colorful wall of tiles to the church of Saint Vincent de Fora. Browse the content of your heart and collect some good in this jewel hidden in Lisbon… Or just marvel at the strange articles and wonder how on earth they got there!

Feira da Ladra lesser visited places lisbon portugal

Monastery Sao Vicente de Fora

Marking the beginning of the market is a church that does not initially stand out from the other Catholic places of worship in Portugal. But around the back is a charming courtyard with tiles and flowers leading to a hidden monastery that can be visited for just €5.

Monastery Sao Vicente de Fora was commissioned by King Philip II of Spain who ruled Portugal in the seventeenth century. The interior has tiled floors, blue tiles adorning the walls, painted ceilings, statues of Catholic saints and other great and ornamented details.

Hours: 10am-6pm, Tues-Sun; Mon closed.

Address: Largo de São Vicente, 1100-472 Lisbon.

Price of entry: €5 including crypt, cloister, cistern and roof.

Alternative views

There are so many points of view in Lisbon, but some are routinely packaged; you’re going to be tightening around people to take a look at sunset.

less touristic viewpoints
Miradouro da Penha de França

Changing the popular panoramas for these points is a unique thing to do in Lisbon:

Miradouro da Penha de França – next to a small church and a clock tower dotted with urban murals, it is a hidden gem of Lisbon that arrives at sunset. Then head to an authentic Ukrainian dinner at a modest restaurant, AkcenttA short walk.

Monte Agudo Viewpoint – due to its location away from the city center (the nearest metro station is Arroios), this miradouro with a small bar receives much less visitors than those from the center. Better yet, it is a few steps away from the cultural centers of Anjos that I mentioned earlier.

Miradouro da Graça – this is a small viewpoint at the top of the stairs Caracol da Graça aligned with street art. Take photos of this unusual place in Lisbon before drinking in panoramic views from the top. Your camera will be happy even if your legs are not!

Fado Museum & Alfama backstreets

fado museum

Alfama as a neighborhood could not be described as outside the beaten track Lisbon: it is one of the best known parts of the capital of Portugal. However, there are so many hidden jewels nestled in this decorated small streets of cozy taverns with meals of 5 € to museums in old prisons (Museu do Aljube).

Another peculiar place is the Fado Museum, detailing the rise of Portuguese popular music. From the handicrafts of the humble fishermen to a UNESCO-protected trade, the museum is a captivating place to escape the crowds. Entrance is €5.

Address: Alfama, Largo do Chafariz de Inside 1, 1100-139 Lisbon.

Hours: 10am-6pm, closed on Monday.

I hope you like these hidden gems in Lisbon!

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