Last updated on June 1st, 2020 at 11:58 am
Lisbon is beautiful, and maybe we are even more impressed by this city because of the stunning architecture. Portugal’s way to live life seems so close to our culture. Maybe this is one of the reasons why we love the city so much. Who knows!? But, today we want to take you around the city for a Lisbon off the beaten path itinerary.
Are you ready to travel to Lisbon with us? If yes, this will be your guide to the top 15 Lisbon hidden gems. You will discover new places and new things to do in the city which are not on a daily guide.
Don’t know if you have had a chance to see any photos of Lisbon, but this city is an amazing discovery at every corner. The unique style of the houses and buildings, making it a dream destination for every traveller in the world.
TOP 15 NON TOURISTY THINGS TO DO IN LISBON
- LX Factory
- Fronteira Palace
- Jardim do Torel
- Feira de Ladra
- Enjoy Belem Riverside on a bike tour
- Miradouro de Nossa Senhora do Monte
- Ler Devagar Bookstore
- Maat – Alternative view of 25th April Bridge
- Doll Hospital/Hospital de Bonecas
- Azulejos Museum
- Chiado, the Parisian neighbourhood of Lisbon
- Enjoy a drink on the top of Topo Rooftop Bar
- Have a taste of Ginjinha
- Make your own Pastel De Nata
- Watch the sunset @ Park Bar
LISBON HIDDEN GEMS
AMAZING PLACED TO BE DISCOVERED IN LISBON
We will take you with us on an amazing itinerary through the most interesting streets in Lisbon. Portugal’s Capital city will surprise you. What made us happy was to discover the miradouros, a kind of panoramic Terrazas on top of the hills of the city. To get up the hill, you can either go walking or take the typical cable railway. Tram 28 is the most affordable way to visit Lisbon, using public transport. This tram will take you on a proper touristic tour of the city, without a proper guide, just following the tram stops. You will discover the best district of the city, and get into the Alfama, the most picturesque borough of Lisbon.
For a well-guided tour, we suggest you check a walking itinerary of Lisbon with a local guide.
If you really want to see another aspect of Lisbon, LX Factory is home to a variety of hipster stores and restaurants.
Considered a trendy shopping and dining area, located under the 25 de Abril Bridge, this place is one of Lisbon hidden gems.
You can visit LX Factory every day from 6 AM, but remember that on Sundays the majority of the shops are closed. There are shops of any kind, and stalls selling antiques and bric-a-brac. Associates the visit of this place with that of Cristo Rei. Check our guide to Lisbon in 3 days to get know better your itinerary.
LOCATION | Lx Factory
BUS | 712, 713, 714, 727, 742, 751, 756, 773
TRAM | 15 OR 18
Located in the district of Benfica, Fronteira Palace deserves to be in your Lisbon off the beaten path itinerary.
Why should you visit it?
Once you will see its baroque garden horned with fountains, statues, lakes and decorated with azulejo tiles, you will love it.
The outside area is stunning and once you will arrive you will be impressed. The inside of the palace got its charm as well but unfortunately, you are not allowed to take pictures. So, if you are an adventure seeker you must see this place with your own eyes.
LOCATION | Fronteira Palace
TICKETS | Garden ticket + guided tour of the interior € 9 – Garden only € 4
BUS | 770 Stop “Palácio Marquês Fronteira”
HOURS FROM JUNE TO SEPTEMBER | Monday to Saturday 10.30 AM, 11 AM, 11.30 AM and 12 PM
HOURS FROM OCTOBER TO MAY | Monday to Saturday 11 AM and 12 PM
GARDEN HOURS FROM JUNE TO SEPTEMBER | Monday to Friday from 10.30 AM to 1 PM and from 2 PM to 5 PM. Saturday from 10.30 AM to 1 PM
GARDEN HOURS FROM OCTOBER TO MAY | Same as above but the opening time is from 11 AM.
TIPS | On Sundays and Holidays there are no visits. The inside is only possible to visit it in the morning with a guided tour.
Jardim do Torel
Loved by locals, this peaceful and romantic garden with an incredible view, it’s one of Lisbon hidden gems. Up at the top of Santana hill is located one of the most pleasant and undiscovered parks of Lisbon.
Shall we talk about the view? Well, it was our first time in the city and we didn’t know how to get around and where to go.
When we found this non-touristy place in Lisbon we were so happy. I think we spent one hour just admiring the beautiful landscape right in the heart of the city, and laying at the sun.
LOCATION | Torel Garden
BUS | 723, 732, 759, 767
PRICE | Free
MAIN ENTRANCE | Júlio Andrade Street
Feira de Ladra
Feria de Ladra or Thieve’s Market is one of the largest flea markets in Lisbon. It’s the place where you will find locals strolling around and heading to a nearby cafe after their shopping.
It is considered a hidden gem full of wonders. Once you will reach it you will understand why.
If your trip to Lisbon is coming to an end and you are visiting Feira de Ladra, don’t forget to grab some souvenirs for your friends and family before leaving this place.
LOCATION | Fleamarket
ENTRANCE | Free
BUS | 712, 734, 759
Enjoy Belem Riverside on a bike tour
For sure if you are heading to Lisbon you heard about Belem Tower, which is one of the city’s landmarks.
But, we are not here to share with you the most important sights in Lisbon. In this case, one of the non touristy things to do in Lisbon is coming around the Belem Tower area.
What do you need to do? Just to rent a bike and enjoy a pleasant tour along Belem Riverside.
Miradouro de Nossa Senhora do Monte
One of the most beautiful viewpoints for us was Miradouro de Nossa Senhora do Monte. But most of the highest points on the hills are beautiful to admire the landscape over the Rio Douro.
For those who might don’t know, Miradouro means viewpoint so if you see any sign with this word, it means that somewhere there is a lovely point of view of the city.
The Miradouro de Nossa Senhora it’s a bit hard to reach, so make sure your legs are ready for it. Bear this in your mind: the view is worth the exercise.
From the top, you can see everything, from the river to Baixa district and the beautiful castle.
LOCATION | Nossa Senhora do Monte
ENTRANCE | Free
BUS | 708, 712, 726 but remember that later you will need to walk a bit
TIPS | If you are planning a Lisbon itinerary during summer remember to bring with you some water as it will get hot while walking up to the top.
Ler Devagar Bookstore
Can you guess why Ler Devagar is Alessia’s favourite place? Everyone knows the answer. It’s a bookstore and like in Livraria Lello in Porto, we spend maybe a couple of hours inside this bookshop.
We discovered this place only the second time we went to Lisbon, as you don’t really find it on a daily itinerary. Becoming so popular nowadays, it is an Instagram spot in Lisbon. Ler Devagar Bookstore is really close to the 25th April Bridge. Stunning is the white stairs and the long shelves full of amazing stories.
LOCATION | Ler Devagar
ENTRANCE | Free
BUS | 15 E, 18E, 56, 60, 714, 720, 732, 738, 751, 201 and 203
OPENING HOURS | Monday from 12 PM to 9 PM – Tuesday to Thursday from 12 PM to 12 AM – Friday and Saturday from 12 PM to 2 AM and Sunday from 11 AM to 9 PM
TIPS | It’s the ideal place for one of the best photo spots in Lisbon but if you really love books, you will love this place.
Maat – Alternative view of 25th April Bridge
Before entering the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT), admire the beautiful view of the 25th April Bridge. We think that this place is the right spot to take photos of the 25th Bridge photos.
Now that you enjoyed the beautiful view of the Bridge, you can enter the Museum and discover this new cultural centre of Lisbon. The MAAT’s ambition is to present international and national exhibitions by contemporary architects, thinkers and artists.
UNUSUAL THINGS TO DO IN LISBON
Dolls Hospital/Hospital de Bonecas
Without a doubt, it’s one of the weirdest shops in Lisbon but at the same time one of the world’s oldest surviving doll hospitals. Since 1830, this shop has been adjusting toys and dolls and if you have a doll that needs repairing this is the right place.
It’s a small but unique and interesting museum where you will find everything you would imagine. There is a big collection of dolls from all around the world and drawers full of legs, heads and hands. I know, it might sound a bit creepy but it’s truly interesting.
LOCATION | Dolls Hospital
ENTRANCE | €2 per person
HOW TO REACH | Rossio Metro Station
HOURS | Monday to Saturday from 10.30 AM to 12.30 OM and from 3.30 PM to 5 PM
Known as the National Tile Museums, this place is one of the most important of the national institutions for its characteristic collection of Azulejo (tile).
While exploring Lisbon, or any other city in Portugal, like Porto, you will discover how the tiles are characteristic of the local culture.
It’s for sure one of Lisbon’s hidden gems as not many people know about it. With its blue mosaic collection in the museums, you should really insert this place in your off the beaten path Lisbon itinerary.
Chiado, the Parisian neighbourhood of Lisbon
Chiado is a neighbourhood located in the historic centre of Lisbon and it’s an important commercial and cultural district. Why it’s a Lisbon hidden gems? Compared to Barrio Alto, Chiado is a much smaller district but with a lot to offer. With its historic landmarks, theatres and viewpoints, it’s the place where locals prefer to stroll around.
If you are really interested in a Lisbon off the beaten track itinerary, one of the things you have to do, while exploring Chiado is checking out the viewpoint close by. Santa Catarina viewpoint is a hidden treasure of Lisbon.
Chiado is often associated with the Montmartre of Lisboa. The Parisian neighbourhood, with its bohemian atmosphere, is unique. Completely destroyed by a fire in 1998, and restored just recently it’s been out of touristic guides for a while. Newly, people visiting Lisbon are discovering this cosy district, often closed by the popular Barrio Alto.
Enjoy a drink on the top of Topo Rooftop Bar
Considered one of the local spots in Lisbon this rooftop bar it’s worth visiting. Topo bar has become the ideal place for the sunset and after-work spot for locals.
With its extraordinary view from São Jorge Castle and Mouraria, to the viewpoints of Graça and Senhora do Monte.
If you are looking for amazing things to do in Lisbon, this rooftop bar is one of these to point in your list.
LISBON OFF THE BEATEN PATH
Have a taste of Ginjinha
What is Ginjinha? It’s a local Portuguese liquor made of gunja berries, sugar, sour cherries and other ingredients. It’s a typical local red drink which you have to try if you are in Lisbon.
Even if you don’t like liquor at least you should give it a chance.
Usually, it’s served in a shot glass with a cherry at the bottom of the cup and it’s a good way to start the day. There are so many places where you can find it, the only thing you need to do is look for a Ginjinha bar.
Below you will find the one we suggest you check the map of Lisbon for more information on how to reach the Ginjinha Sem Rival.
LOCATION | Ginja Sem Rival
Make your own Pastel de Nata
You might already know that a typical sweet in the country is Pastel de Nata. We absolutely love it. It is easy to say, let’s go to try one. Everyone is good when it’s time to eat, but what about making it yourself?
An alternative thing to do in Lisbon is booking a cooking class and making your own Pastel de Nata.
Of course, you will be helped and guided to make sure the final result is acceptable. It’s a funny and different way to discover Lisbon while cooking.
Book here your class and have fun while making your own dessert. We always foster our reader to take part in activities that make you feel the local culture. Check here the availability and prices of a cooking class in Lisbon.
If you are not really looking into making you own Pastel de Nata, those are the places that we suggest if you want to try this delicious dessert:
O Mercado do Peixe
TOUR SUGGESTED | A food and wine tour of Lisbon
A special mention to Pastéis de Belém
LISBON SECRET SPOT UNVEILED
Watch the sunset @ Park Bar
Are you looking for non-touristy things to do in Lisbon? Why not check out Park Bar for a lovely sunset. The first time we visited this place we thought that it didn’t exist. We had to go inside a parking garage. From there we spotted a covered lift which was going up to the top floor.
How strange right? It didn’t look normal to us so we waited a bit and actually we found out that locals were going up.
What did we do? We went up, of course. It was the best decision ever. The view was absolutely stunning and we were so glad that we decided to go up even because it was time for sunset. It was a win-win. Happy and with a lovely view in front of us.
Visiting the Park Bar is a proper definition of a hidden gem of Lisbon. You are on the perfect guide, while there are not that many tourists because it is difficult to find. Check the below location, to be sure you are in the right place.
LOCATION | Park Bar
ENTRANCE | Free
HOURS | From Tuesday to Saturday from 1 PM to 2 AM – Sunday from 1 PM to 8 PM – Monday closed
How to plan your Lisbon off the beaten path itinerary
We had such a great time in Lisbon and not only because we were celebrating our anniversary. We realized that there were so many things to see and do in Lisbon that we wanted to come back to explore more.
After the first time, we decided to plan our Lisbon off the beaten path itinerary to be able to see the real-life of the Portuguese city. When visiting a new country or city, keep in mind that is not only what you see online. Every city, every country has got something to tell and you just need to find it.
Try to personalize this guide as much as you can with things you love. Below we have placed a list of interesting posts you might like and make easy to plan your own Lisbon Itinerary.
Best time to visit Lisbon
We are on budget travellers, so we will also cover this aspect when talking about the best time to visit Lisbon. Influencing our choice of planning a trip, there are many variables, like weather conditions of the period, accommodations and flight prices.
Taking all these factors into consideration, we can assure you that over the crowded and hot summer, the best period to visit Lisbon is in late spring. From about late April to mid-May, the city of Lisbon is at its most beautiful time of the year. The Jacaranda, which is really popular among the streets of the capital, begin to blossom and many of its squares and avenues turn purple.
June is another month to watch out, because of the presence of many traditional religious functions around the city. Portugal is an extremely catholic country. Avoid August at all, too crowded in our opinion. But maybe you should also consider winter in Lisbon, the prices are at the minimum and full of comfortable accommodations. The weather in winter could be good, thanks to the position of the city, looking at the Ocean.
Where to stay in Lisbon
While we are accompanying you to go for an off the beaten path itinerary in Lisbon, you should consider getting your accommodation in one of the authentic locations. If you are visiting Lisbon for the first time, we suggest you find accommodation in Chiado. One of the most beautiful districts of the city will welcome you in style. Many Airbnbs are located here, and wide prices ranges are ideal for backpackers or on budget travellers.
Other locations where you should look for are Principe Real, Barrio Alto, Alfama and possibly Avenida da Liberdade. Those locations are ideal for travellers due to the presence of many restaurants, buzzing bars and cute streets. Below we will give you a selection of accommodation for every price range. Check also our Discount Code on Airbnb, which gives you up to 45$ discount worth on your next booking.
HIGH PRICED LOCATION IN LISBON
LV Premier Anjos AR | High price for one of the most interesting locations in Lisbon. Rich in features this place is ideal also for families.
Designer Apartment in one of Lisbon’s Trendiest Quarters | Not so far from the Chiado District, one of the trendiest accommodations featured in our guide. Check Availability and Prices.
MID-PRICE ACCOMMODATIONS IN LISBON
Sweet Inn Apartments | Amazing apartments in the Alfama District, finely furnished with everything you need.
Check This!!! Dona Graca Lisbon Apartments | One of the best in our guide. Think about a white villa, with gardens and an amazing pool. Interesting. Good price and relaxing vacation. Check the photos.
ON A BUDGET ACCOMMODATIONS IN LISBON
Ribeira Tejo by Shiadu | A guest house within metres by the Commercial Square
Alfama Suite | A cosy apartment in the heart of Alfama from just 50$ per night
Lisbon Serviced Apartments | Basic apartments in the heart of Lisbon, near Marquis of Pombal Square
SafeStay Lisboa Hostel | A comfortable hostel close to Rossio Square.
Check this!!! Lisbon Central Hostel | Located in the Alfama District, this should be the name on your list of accommodation for budget travellers.
Lisbon Chillout Hostel | The Garden and fantastic atmosphere make it a good accommodation overall. The cheapest on the market with great features anyway. Check this Hostel for your next trip.
How to get to Lisbon from the Airport
BUS | The bus will take you from the outside of arrival at Lisbon airport, directly to the city centre in 45 minutes. This is the cheapest way to reach Lisbon. The ticket for the bus cost 4€.
TAXI | An alternative way to reach your accommodation in Lisbon is to hire a taxi. The ride will take approximately 30-45 minutes, and will cost about 10 euro. We always suggest you book your ride in advance, avoiding high fees for the season, raising prices, and scams. This is the cheapest Taxi Ride we found for you, and also the safest.
Check availability. You can also book an Uber from the Airport of Lisbon to the city centre. Check our code for a discount.
ESSENTIALS THINGS TO PACK BEFORE TRAVELING TO LISBON
CAMERA | With beautiful landscapes Lisbon is one of the city that has inspired us at most. Please don’t leave your camera at home. Check our Camera Gear.
TRIPOD | This our priority in order to make better photos. Take with a tripod, we use a lightweight one, which you can carry without much troubles. Check our Tripod.
POWER BANK | Never run out of power. Carry with you an extra battery or a power bank like us. Check this budget one.
REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE | Be environment friendly, don’t waste plastic. We use a chilly bottle, which we refill every time we can. Check what we suggest. Alternatively spend a little more for a filtered water bottle.
DO YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT OUR OFF THE BEATEN PATH ITINERARIES? CHECK OUR GUIDES
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GRANADA HIDDEN GEMS | The beautiful city of Granada has got many hidden gems which are not present on daily guides.
EXPLORE SEVILLE HIDDEN GEMS | See Seville from a different perspective and explore Seville off the beaten path.
ITINERARY OF BARCELONA OFF THE BEATEN PATH | Plan your itinerary of non-touristy things to do in Barcelona with our help.
MORE ABOUT PORTUGAL? CHECK OUR POSTS
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PINK STREET LISBON | A pink corner in Lisbon, the clubbing scene of the Portoguese Capital
INSTAGRAMMABLE PORTUGAL, AVEIRO, PORTO AND LISBON | Portugal is amazing and here you can explore all the most instagrammable places in the country.
HOW TO SPEND ONE DAY IN PORTO | If you have got only 24 hours in Porto, this itinerary will help you to see the best in the city.
THINGS TO DO IN PORTO IN WINTER | Explore Porto in winter and fall in love with the city even in wintertime.
FROM LISBON TO SINTRA, DISCOVER SINTRA IN ONE DAY | Fancy for a day trip from Lisbon? See Sintra in one day for a fairytale itinerary.
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