The best “bifanas”, cool restaurants, flea markets, specialty coffee and cockatils beside the Tajo River. A local creative reveals 25 cool things to do in Lisbon
Planning a trip and you have no idea of cool things to do in Lisbon? You’re in the right place.
We convinced Lorena Fernández, a visual storyteller based in Lisbon with thousands of followers on Instagram, to share with us all her Lisbon hidden gems.
Lorena shared with us more than 230 Lisbon hidden gems, however in this article we reveal only 25 cool things to do in Lisbon. Get ready to know where locals go when they want to …
- Plan a memorable dinner
- Enjoy a concert inside an amazing bookstore
- Walk through a flea market
- Sink your teeth into the best “bifanas”
- Taste cocktails beside the Tajo River
- Find that perfect souvenir
- Feel inside a design magazine
However, if you’re eager for more you must take a look to our Lisbon Guide App, featuring all her 231 Lisbon hidden gems. We promise it will not disappoint you!
Get the App now on the App Store
In this article, we have split all her tips in the cool ones (15), the top ones (6) and the ones to do at night (4). Let’s discover her recommendations.
What are the best 15 cool things to do in Lisbon?
Eager to know cool things to do in Lisbon? Those out-of-the-ordinary experiences that locals love and won’t share with tourist? That’s what we’ll share will you right now. Left the expensive tourist traps for someone else and discover with us the authentic Lisbon, for half the price.
1. Sip specialty coffee at Hello Kristof (and shot there your best Instagram picture in Lisbon)
When funk and groove is in trend, Hello, Kristof brings the heat with simple, delicious offers that sets you up for any sort of occasion. Whether with friends or simply working, the cafe’s fresh juice and exquisite coffee will be the things you need to kickstart a bright new day in Lisbon. A whole host of unique gifts and treats await, with all that you see assured of great undeniable quality. When everything is this good, you’ll say hello to anything.
2. Attend a concert or exhibition at Ler Devagar, named one of the top 10 most beautiful bookstores in the world
At Ler Devagar bookstore, you’ll find that reading is the state of mind that you should be in when you enter. An imagination come true, Ler Devagar has a history of change that has come from a hard life, being moved from place to place from its origins in Bairro Alto. Accepted into LX Factory, this bookstore is everything readers are looking for, with concerts, exhibitions and events just abound. Named one of the top 10 most beautiful bookstores in the world, it’s no secret that Ler Devagar is special place of its own.
3. Drink premium cocktails right beside the Tajo River
Could you imagine yourself drinking premium cocktails right beside the Tajo River? Pitcher Cocktails makes that a fantastic reality. Its inspiration came from Northern Europe, where it was born to cool off the city of Lisbon underneath the summer mornings and afternoons. Pitcher Cocktails was then transformed, serving a vessel that contains a wide variant of cocktails. Whether you’re a biker, a tourist or even simply there to enjoy a good view, Pitcher Cocktails is sure to brighten your day.
4. Find hidden gems at “Feira da Ladra”, the most popular Flea market in Lisbon
Lisbon’s flea market is called “Feira da Ladra”, often thought to mean “Thieves’ Market” in Portugese, but derived from ladro, a bug or flea found in antiques. Since its inception a long time ago, the market has become a hit in the Lisbon area, where traders offer everything from junk to unexpected treasures. Held every Tuesday and Sunday, from dawn to the early afternoon, you’ll find occasional bargains from hand-made artisan goods to antiques and more, offering you a chance to grab any unexpected treasures you find.
5. Taste Prado’s dishes mixed with the best ingredients Portugal hast to offer
Sink your teeth into Prado’s excessive seasonal dishes mixed with the freshest of ingredients that celebrates the best that Portugal has to offer, from land to sea. Located on a calmer street, a bit off the beaten track, Prado’s everyday menus are all varied, all according to what is freshest at the current moment. Prado dares the adventurer in you to come and grab a taste, a dab of a great culinary experience, and if you’re packing the heat, you’ll soon be back for more treats.
6. Find that perfect souvenir in “A vida Portuguesa”, a store with every single cute thing in Portugal
Have you ever wondered if the possibility of buying every single cute thing in Portugal over the years is ever possible? You’ll be surprised by A Vida Portuguesa’s history, quality, and old market delivering to you all of your heart’s quenching desires for cuteness. Rediscover your childhood again, reliving the past and contemplating the future with all that you find right here in A Vida Portuguesa. Keep the memories that you love, and keep them forever.
7. Enjoy visual arts, music, theatre, dance and cinema creative projects at Carpintarias de São Lázaro
After a reintroduction earlier this year, the Carpintarias de Sao Lazaro has returned as a multidisciplinary and contemporary pole of creation. With over 1600 square meters spread over three floors, you’ll find creative projects blending through visual arts, music, theater, dance, cinema and more. The building’s open terrace atop allows for concerts and for art pieces to be showcased, allowing for visitors to spend a good time at this new cultural center with programs that will never disappoint.
8. Sink your teeth into the best bifanas in Lisbon at “As bifanas do Afonso”
Located down a corner, As Bifanas do Afonso provides all of the desires you need to sink your teeth into gorgeous bread and their lovely bifanas. Where there is culture, history and great, inexpensive food, this restaurant is an ensemble piece to many of the city’s wonders and works as one of the best servings of bifanas you could ever find in Lisbon. With great local food at such great prices, what else could you ask for?
9. Walk around LX Factory, a trendy mix of everything that you love in one place
At LX Factory, you can find more than 50 shops, restaurants, cafes and bars for you to sink your fingers and dip your toes into enjoy. In the Alcantara district of Lisbon, you’ll find a trendy mix of everything that you love, where numerous significant cultural events are held and has become one of the most visited arts centers of Lisbon. This ultra cool, urban tourist attraction will leave you buzzing with their multicultural restaurants and brings the eclectic European essence straight to you.
10. Re-charge your batteries at Prado Mercearia, an amazing space that seems taken right out of a design magazine
A fantastic local market and deli store, Prado Mercearia offers a great variety of high-quality local products to ensure that it tops the list of reasons for you to come back to Lisbon. With every little space and interior design as if taken right out from a design magazine, this adorable shop is also an excellent stop for great gift items for when you’re travelling and happen to be right around the corner. The cafe represents everything great about Prado and Portugese food, with a taste of immediate satisfaction.
11. Support local creatives with revolutionary ideas, and discover the next generation of art work
Ó!Galeria offers all an authentic interior design experience through a refined and contemporary approach, by working very closely with the local Portugese artisans and collective designers. It had all started way back in Porto, when Ó! Galeria Lisboa opened its doors up and offered a store in the space that was once owned by a mini-mart. For all of the best art features and artistic endeavours when can possibly handle, Ó! Galeria is more than just a treasure trove of creativity.
12. Plan a memorable dinner inside a gallery with river views
Is it possible to be a contemporary house gastronomy, gallery for art and design, and a place for many forms of cultural expression formed into one? Espelho d’Água is just that, and so much more. Emerged with a concept that is in tune with the original architectural identity of the building, this restaurant has since been both an eatery and gallery that allows you the chance to grab a meal while you take in the views of the magnificent Tagus River. Does it get better than this?
13. Indulge yourself in the tastiest “pasteis de nata” in Lisbon
Only recently opening up its second branch in the Baixa area, Fábrica de Nata is pretty much still a newcomer within the pasteis de nata scene. But what the shop does serve is still equivalent quality that keeps tradition and popularity with each pastry sold. Here, you’ll find the dreams of acquiring the tastiest pasteis de nata possible, all crunchy and creamy to the taste. From just a single euro, you could have yourself an attractive pastel de nata that tastes just like heaven.
14. Discover all the prettiest azulejos Lisbon has to offer in one place
Cortiço & Netos is unlike any other azulejo shops in the Lisbon area. With over hundreds and hundreds of different designs and tiles, this veritable museum showcases the overarching style and enigmatic presence of its history, making it a great place for anyone looking to grab a one-off decorative bargain. Over the years, the rich history of all that is on display at Cortiço & Netos will give one the satisfaction they can’t find anywhere else.
15. Discover all the best gastronomy Lisbon has to offer at Time Out Market
Proclaimed the best of Lisbon, Time Out Market Lisboa was a concept first created in 2014 by the team at Time Out Portugal. Since then, the market has consisted of 24 restaurants, 8 bars, a dozen different shops and a high-end music venue for you to shop among Lisbon’s best. Time Out is also home to some of the city’s best known vendors of meat, fish and fruit flowers. With a huge attraction waiting for visitors day and night, the Cais do Sodre neighbourhood is always spectacular.
16. Take a break at Jardim da Estrela, and admire all of the exotic and beautiful plants in Lisbon
The delightfully maintained park, Jardim da Estrela, opposite to the magnificent Basilica da Estrela that lies to the west of Lisbon, is open to the public everyday from the early hours to midnight. The Jardim da Estrela contains all of the exotic and beautiful plants captured in this well-maintained garden, conjuring magical sights for all. This makes Jardim da Estrela the perfect place to whisk your time away under the glorious Lisbon weather and taking a break without losing sight of the splendid scenes.
What are the 6 top things to do in Lisbon?
If you’re visiting Lisbon there are some things you must do. Here you’ll find the Lisbon landmarks and cool museums. Let’s discover now what are for us the top things to do in Lisbon.
17. Get fascinated with Belém Tower, the Lisbon landmark, and walk around its beautiful surroundings
The Belém Tower, known affectionately as Torre de Belém, was officially the Tower of Saint Vincent, a 16th century fortification located in Lisbon that has served as both a fortress and a ceremonial gateway to Lisbon. This little gem has transformed into a landmark for the city, a place where converging tourists spend their time with the beautiful surroundings and park, located just right on the water. A fairy tale brought to life, it can’t ever get better than this.
18. Enjoy the stunning view from “Santa Justa Lift”, and discover one of Lisbon most famous ventures
One of Lisbon’s top attractions, the Santa Justa Lift provides the best retreat that showcases the brilliant sights and scenes atop Lisbon’s teeming districts. Situated at the end of Rua de Santa Justa, the lift connects the lower streets of Baixa, making it one of the fastest ways to get to the Bairro Alto district. Built in the same style as the Eiffel Tower, the lift’s similar features have become popular with tourists, making it both a stunning observation deck and a great meeting point.
19. Admire the Jeronimos Monastery, Lisbon architectural marvel, proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage
Proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983, the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos born from the 16th century work of architecture became part of Portugese identity and culture. More commonly known today as the Jeronimos Monastery, you’ll find the rich history and evolution of the monastery with a visit to the gallery and through the subtle differences in the arcs and pillars if you can spot them. Truly a must-visit monastery that is decorated in awe, elegance and inspiration.
20. Listen to the heartbeat of the undercurrents, trends, and ideas running through Lisbon at CCB
The Belém Cultural Center, referred to simply as CCB, became host of numerous international exhibitions (from photography to mixed-media installations), cultural events and congresses, lending to its name as being an arts complex with the city’s largest auditorium. Inside, you’ll find a terrace cafe and restaurant on the first floor a great place to relax while you explore the rich history beyond.
21. Walk around the Champalimaud Foundation, an endless source of inspiration for architecture lovers
Established by António de Sommer in his will, the Champalimaud Foundation was primarily dedicated to aiding development of advanced biomedical research programs and the interdisciplinary provision of clinical care. For lovers of architect, you’ll find plenty to appreciate in the building’s distinct modern scientific institute. Designed by the Indian master architect Charles Correa in 2011, the Champalimaud Foundation is open to visitors from all over the world, and a must-see if you’re heading down for a visit to Lisbon.
22. Get captivated through minimalist architecture and provoking art at MAAT
MAAT, short for Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology, created by Amanda Levete opened to the public in 2016, which had coincided with the city-wide Lisbon Architecture Triennale. Covered in 15,000 white three-dimensional ceramic tiles, the museum boasts an undulating form that connects its grand rooftop terrace with the waterside promenade, which boasts a different colour at any different time of day. With gallery spaces and a wide-open view to marvel at, your time at Lisbon will never be shortchanged.
What are the 3 cool things to do in Lisbon at night?
There is no better way to finish your days in Lisbon than discovering some of its amazing nightlife. Let’s us show you now what are the things to do in Lisbon at night.
23. Enjoy undeniable views and sunsets at Lisbon coolest Rooftop Bar
Located on the ninth floor of the four-star Hotel Mundial, the Rooftop Bar is where you will be able to enjoy undeniable views and sunsets that are held throughout the entire summer. Local DJs will help you spice up your afternoon delights and live jazz performances gives you the opportunity to relax in the panoramic views of Baixa Pombalina and Sao Jorge Castle. This accessible spot makes for an entrancing atmosphere that never goes out of style.
24. Taste a cocktail at Pavilhão Chinês, undoubtedly one of the most incredible places you’ve ever seen
The Pavilhão Chinês will undoubtedly be one of the most incredible places you’ve ever seen, with all the glamour that has gone with the passing of time. The purposeful obscurity of Pavilhão Chinês allows you to discover a superb collection of art, consisting of small pieces, all chosen with lavish taste, that have lasted decades. This old-fashioned bar has since become one of the most important heritage sites where you can learn its rooted history from in the charming romantic city of Lisbon.
25. Listen the best DJs in town in one of Portugal’s most renowned venues
One of Portugal’s most renowned venues that have captured the eyes and ears of people all over the world, LuxFrágill has also since become one of Lisbon’s biggest nightclubs. Since its inception in 1998, this venue has hosted weekly events in diverse music tastes of house, techno and disco, but not exclusively to any of its genre. The venue is divided into club spaces, bars, and terraces, well-known for its stunning waterside location as you bask in the performances of world famous DJs.