Wanna go local in Lisbon? No problem! Our local guides know the city like the backs of their hands, and have come up with these five tips for local things to do in Lisbon. Best part, they’ve added in a few cool “pro” tips for getting the most out of your visit.
1. Explore Belém’s Monuments
One of Lisbon’s most monumental and historical areas is Belém. It was from here that many of the great Portuguese explorers embarked on their voyages of discovery during the 15th and 16th centuries. During this time, Lisbon saw the construction of great monuments like the Belém Tower and Jeronimos Monastery. Today, these monuments and their surrounding museums are essential for any visitor to Lison. Pro tip: the entrance is free on Sundays until 2pm! If you want to go for pastries and drinks in this area afterwards, one of the best places is the Pastéis de Belém, which serves delicious and authentic pastel de Belém, or custard tarts.
2. Stroll the flea market
Lisbon’s flea market is locally called Feira da Ladra, loosely translated to “Thieves Market.” The market starts at the Arco de São Vicente between National Pantheon and Monastery of San Vicente, and is held every Tuesday and Saturday from 5am to 5pm. Here you can find new or secondhand objects, handmade artisan goods, books, clothing, antiques, and many other things. For food around here, try As Marias com Chocolate, which is next to the flea market in Campo de Santa Clara. For a good restaurant in that area, try also Santa Clara dos Cogumelos.
3. Chill out with with locals at the Outjazz festivals
From May until September, Outjazz festivals are a series of free music festivals held every Friday after 6pm and Sunday after 5pm. Locations can vary according to the week, which makes it even more special since the festival is then held in all kinds of gorgeous places in Lisbon such as old squares, hotels, museums, and train stations, to name a few. Another great thing about Outjazz is that you can bring your own drinks and food — perfect picnic opportunity with friends!
4. Visit Fabrica Braço de Prata
The Fábrica Braço de Prata is an abandoned war material factory that has been converted into an events space. It has 12 rooms, from concert halls and art galleries to a theatre, jewellery shop, secondhand store, bar, dining rooms, and bookstores. It also has a huge yard and terrace that is often a dedicated spot for summer concerts and ball games for children on Sunday afternoons. Head here for a drink, visit the exhibitions, and chill out with friends in an alternative environment.
5. Live it up in Cais do Sodré
This area was an old port occupied by sailors and “night girls,” shall we say. In late 2011, the Cais do Sodré area was given a makeover, and is now a booming nightlife district. Live music venues, burlesque clubs, and tapas bars began to pop up with astonishing frequency, and soon thereafter, Cais do Sodré had upstaged Bairro Alto as Lisbon’s most happening nightlife district with a bohemian vibe. Stop by Pensão Amor, which is a very different place to hang out and grab a drink, and check out Sol e Pesca for delicious authentic food.
Inspired to experience Lisbon like a local? Check out one of our cool Lisbon city tours!