Hidden Gems in Lisbon
11 spots you shouldn't miss
Latest update: June 15, 2023
In a nutshell: Hidden gems in Lisbon
- We won’t show you the typical sights in Lisbon, but instead the real Lisbon off the beaten track.
- Our Lisbon insider tips for cool markets are the Feira de Ladra flea market and the Mercado Campo Ourique.
- Two cool buildings in Lisbon that can hardly be found in any travel guide are the narrowest building in Lisbon and the Aqueduto das Águas Livres.
- Cool activities in Lisbon include watching a Benfica or Sporting Lisboa soccer game or strolling through Cemitério dos Prazeres.
Those were our top insider tips for Lisbon at a glance. In this article we will tell you about more cool Lisbon insider tips.
Cemitério dos Prazeres
It may sound a bit odd to feature a cemetery as a hidden gem for Lisbon, but the Cemitério dos Prazeres is very much worth a visit.
You’ll find magnificent gravestones lining vast promenades, and if you bring your camera, you’ll be rewarded with an incredible variety of exciting photos.
From the cemetery walls you have a fantastic view of the Tagus River and you can even see the statue of Christ the King on the other side.
Aqueduto das Àguas Livres
The Aqueduto das Águas Livres is a huge aqueduct in the east of Lisbon. It spans an incredible length of 19 km and is up to 65 m high.
It’s strange that so few tourists go to see it, because it’s actually really impressive and one of our favorite viewpoints in Lisbon. All the better, because your photos will be free of other people.
If you climb the aqueduct to the top, you’ll have a great view of the north of Lisbon. You can find the opening hours of the aqueduct here.
Flea market Feira de Ladra
The name literally translates as the thief’s flea market. It used to be the place where you went in search of stolen valuables. Today, however, the name does not mean anything anymore.
The flea market takes place on a large square behind the church of São Vicente de Fora and right in front of the Pantheon Santa Engrácia and scores with a great flair.
This is where you will find anything and everything: In addition to clothing and jewelry, you will also find a lot of trinkets from past times, old magazines and books, furniture, records and much more.
Attention: Bargaining is not really appreciated by the Portuguese, and is sometimes even considered an insult.
For a long time, Mouraria was the poorest part of Lisbon. No wonder, as the neighborhood formed when the Christians drove the Muslim Moors into their own districts outside the city.
The rich history and multicultural flair of this neighborhood are still present today. It’s a very authentic part of Lisbon. A really cool Lisbon insider tip in our opinion!
Nowadays, there are countless great restaurants and cafés here as well. As Mouraria is considered to be the home of Fado, this is where people also like to go out at night.
Our tip: In the Beco das Farinhas there is a great photo project called o tributo. Portraits of elderly residents who have shaped the neighborhood are displayed along the alley. A great idea! You can find more information here.
Soccer in Lisbon: Sporting or Benfica?
One question of faith divides Lisbon: Sporting or Benfica? Benfica is by far the more successful club, but Sporting is also extremely popular. Matches of both clubs are always well attended and definitely an experience for any football fan.
We only made it to a Sporting match this time around, but next time we definitely want to see Benfica play. If you’re a hardcore soccer enthusiast, there’s also a third club in the first Portuguese division: Belenenses Lisbon. But the small stadium in Bélem usually only attracts a few hundred spectators.
How to get tickets for Sporting and Benfica
You can buy tickets for both clubs online and print them out yourself. The tickets are usually only available about 1-2 weeks before the match, and the exact match date and time is only set at short notice.
League matches are usually played from Friday to Monday, and international matches are held during the week.
The web shop doesn’t offer tickets for the most popular matches. In that case, you have to go to the stadium and buy tickets there. You can find information on the presale and the web shop on the two teams’ websites.
Information for Benfica: The Estádio da Luz has a capacity of 66,000 spectators. You can get there via the blue metro line. The stop is called Colégio Militar/Luz. Ticket information is available on the Benfica website.
Information for Sporting: The Estádio José XXI has a capacity of 50,000 spectators. You can get there via the green metro line. The stop is called Campo Grande. Ticket information is available on the Sporting website.
Guided tour of Benfica’s stadium
A guided stadium tour of the Estádio da Luz is also a special experience. You can see the player’s locker rooms, walk across the pitch, and admire Benfica Lisbon’s many trophies. A must for every soccer fan!
Street art in Lisbon
Lisbon is a world capital for street art. We were not aware of this before and were surprised to see how many great works of art adorn the streets of Lisbon.
You can find street art everywhere in the city from Alfama to Belém.
If you are a street art fan, you should definitely join a street art tour. Your guide will not only give you background insider knowledge, but also show you some hidden insider tips in Lisbon for street art. If you’re lucky, you might even get to see some artists at work.
The narrowest building in Lisbon
The narrowest building in Lisbon is located in Rua São João da Mata and we discovered it by accident while strolling around.
We already know narrow houses from Amsterdam. This one is different though – it’s short, not in width, but in depth. We would estimate that it’s no more than two meters! From the side, it almost looks like only the facade of the house was left standing.
The house is a real Lisbon insider tip, because you can hardly find any info about it. However, there are three vacation rentals in Lisbon’s narrowest house – all recently renovated.
So if you’re looking for a really unusual place to stay in Lisbon, this is where to go.
Jardim da Estrela
Jardim da Estrela is one of the few green havens in the otherwise cramped Lisbon and is perfect for extended afternoon picnics, sunbathing or strolling. It also hosts many events such as jazz concerts, open air cinemas, antique markets and Christmas markets.
The park is especially popular with Lisbon’s families with young children. There is a big playground, a pond where you can look at turtles, and two kiosks for snacks. That’s why the Jardim da Estrela is one of our tips for traveling with kids in Lisbon.
A fun fact we found out about later: when the park was built in the 19th century, there was a cage with a real lion. Crazy, right? You won’t find a lion in Jardim da Estrela today, but you will find plenty of other animals.
Mercado Campo Ourique
The Mercado Campo Ourique has been around for some 90 years. The market is still a true Lisbon insider tip and not yet overrun by tourists. It’s a great alternative for those who feel the Time Out Market is too hip and bustling.
The concept is the same: at the outer stalls you can purchase fresh ingredients such as meat, fish, fruit and vegetables. In the center, you’ll find food stalls with delicacies from all over the world – welcome to foodie heaven!
And if you find an ingredient and don’t want to wait until you get home to try it, some food stalls will also cook your purchases for you.
The space has been renovated, but it has managed to retain its 1930s charm. A stroll through the market is also great for rainy days.
Our Lisbon restaurant tips
Portuguese food is incredible – especially if you don’t only go to the typical tourist spots. It’s not that easy to find out where the locals eat in Lisbon. That’s why we’ll share our Lisbon restaurant tips with you.
Our favorite restaurant: Casa da India
Casa da India is our favorite restaurant and actually is its own Lisbon insider tip. It’s not one of those hipster places, but rather authentic and traditional. Don’t let the name fool you though, they serve typical Portuguese food – super tasty and relatively inexpensive. It’s best not to show up too late, as it’s always packed.
- Taberna da Rua Florales: A simple restaurant with a daily changing menu. There’s usually a long line outside, so be sure to bring along some time. You can taste your way through many small portions, similar to tapas.
- Parreirinha de St. Vincente: Tucked away in the middle of an otherwise very touristy Alfama is this very authentic Portuguese restaurant. Based on its appearance, you wouldn’t really expect the food to be this delicious. Waiters don’t speak English, but you still always somehow get what you want.
- Escondidinho de Cacilhas: A terrific seafood restaurant right by the ferry dock on the other side of the river Tagus. We can highly recommend the seafood platter; it’s big, so you have to be hungry. You can combine it with a visit to the Cristo Rei statue.
- Ponto Final: Another great place on the other side of the Tagus River to enjoy the sunset, good fish and delicious wine along the river bank.
- Lama Lo: You can get fresh falafel and salads here. Even Basti tried some, although he’s not usually a big fan of falafel.
- Lupita: Pizza is always a good idea, and we can especially recommend the pizza from Lupita. Nice and crunchy and there’s a wide selection. Yum!
- Restaurant and Bar Chulho: Very tasty Nepalese food at reasonable prices. We love small, unassuming places – so for us this was just right.
- Flora e Fauna: This place serves fantastic breakfast, fluffy pancakes, bowls and more. It’s very stylish and the many plants make it a gem in the city.
- Vegan Nata: A family-run bakery with two locations in Bairro Alto and Campo de Ourique. They make completely vegan Pastéis de Nata. So also for people with lactose intolerance or an egg allergy.
Our shopping insider tips for Lisbon
What would a trip be without the right souvenirs? To make sure your suitcase is full for your trip home, here are our tips for shopping in Lisbon. If you’re looking for small boutiques and unique stores, you’ll definitely like these!
- Calçada Sacramento: A shopping street very close to the Elevador de Santa Justa with small stores. Our favorite is Ás de Espadas, a vintage store with colorful second hand clothing.
- Embaixada: A shopping center in an Arab palace in Principe Real. There are lots of concept stores, pop-up stores and unique boutiques.
- Feira do Rélogio: Lisbon’s largest market – much more authentic than some of the more mainstream tourist markets. You can find everything from food to clothing to some simple trinkets. The market takes place on Sundays between 7am and 2pm.
- Avenida da Liberdade: A boulevard in Lisbon with numerous expensive brands. It is often compared to the Champs-Élysées in Paris.
- A Loja Azul: A cute little store with beautiful pictures and handmade ceramics. The best part: many pictures are small enough to fit in your luggage as a souvenir.
- A vida Portuguesa: The perfect store to buy souvenirs. You will find a great variety of vintage products, all connected to Lisbon of the 1950s.
- Retro City: The name says it all – this is where you can find cool vintage clothes. It’s easy to get lost browsing through the variety of vintage clothing, so bring plenty of time.
- Symbols Lisboa: A beautiful concept store near the Time Out Market. You can find anything from sweaters to bags here. Perfect for design lovers.
- Cerâmicas na Linha: Beautiful ceramics, and no cheap fakes as they are often sold to tourists. You can pay per piece or per kilo.
Special tip: Check out Lojas com historia! It’s a project that wants to draw attention to Lisbon’s long established stores. Just browse the website for cool stores! It has everything from hat makers and glove designers to a library.
Do you know some hidden gems in Lisbon?
Have you ever been to Lisbon and have other great insider tips for us? Have you tried one of the tips and would like to tell us if you liked it? Please let us know in the comments below!