Europe Written by locals

10 Unique Ways To Explore Lisbon in Portugal

Sunny and warm, Lisbon is a beautiful mix of ancient history, multi-cultural legacy and a super friendly place to spend a few days discovering its gems, tasting its food and walking up and down its hills. Here are some of the best experiences you can have while visiting:

Enjoy Fado music in a typical neighborhood

Lisbon music

Fado is the heart and soul of Portuguese culture. If you haven’t heard it before, there is no better way to do it then in a typical neighborhood such as Alfama. There are many spots all around the area where you can enjoy a show accompanied by a glass of wine and even dinner in some places. From amateurs to well known singers, this is a great way to spend the evening.

Hop on board the 28 tram line

Disclaimer: it may not be easy to get on board this particular tram line. Being one that serves multiple important attractions in the city, it is indeed quite busy. However, don’t let this discourage you! It is one of the most scenic and pretty rides in Lisbon, absolutely worth being a little cramped inside.

Visit the traditional markets

Lisbon city

Lisbon offers a variety of markets: some for food, some for clothes, some for books, you name it. Make sure to check Mercado da Ribeira (the most traditional)  for fresh produce and flowers, Lx Factory for vintage clothing and jewelry and Mercado de Campo de Ourique and Mercado Time Out for lots of restaurants and delicacies.

Gaze over the city on one of the many lookouts

Lisbon city

Watching the city from above is one of the greatest experiences you’ll have on your visit. Lisbon has 7 hills so you can expect great view points all around. Try Miradouro das Portas do Sol and Miradouro da Graça for great sunsets. Almost all of them have a kiosk or cafe so you can make your experience even more delightful.

Cook and eat with locals

Lisbon food

There are a couple of community projects currently changing the food scene in Lisbon. At Cozinha Popular da Mouraria you can cook, eat, have conversations and share food with the local community.  At RDA 69, in Anjos, you can sit with the locals, eat a vegetarian meal for a simple contribution of 3€, and help out in the end by washing and cleaning your dish! They also host movie screens.

Spot the urban art / graffiti

Lisbon art

Walking is a great way to discover Lisbon. Even more so because the city is full of great art all around its walls. You can find street art about Portugal’s history, about its cultural identity and amazing works made by some great renown artists such as Vhils.

 Cool off in some hidden gardens

Lisbon gardens

If you feel like taking a break from all the walking and you just wanna relax in a quiet place, Estufa Fria and Jardim Botânico do Príncipe Real are your best choices. They are like living museums for nature, you can appreciate some of the greenest flora around here. A truly pleasant experience.

 Tour the typical neighborhoods

Lisbon streets

Lisbon is like a big mix in a small place. A visit cannot be completed without wondering the cobble streets of Alfama, Mouraria, Baixa-Chiado and Bairro Alto. The old neighborhoods with their traditional restaurants, narrow alleys and steep streets are a must.

 Dip your toes in the ocean

Portugal beach

Another great thing about Lisbon is how close to the ocean it is. If you are visiting in the summer you can easily access lots of beaches around the areas of Cascais and Costa da Caparica. The water may be cold, but the hot sun outside will help you after your swim!

 Eat a Pastel de Belém at the original confectionery

Pastel de Belem

Not only for the ones with a sweet tooth, the original confectionery of Pastéis de Belém (arguably the most famous pastry in Lisbon) is the prime spot to taste these little delicious custard treats. The recipe is 182 years old and it’s still the same one being used today! The line is long but don’t let it stop you: the sweet reward is truly worth it.

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