Hidden gems in Lisbon, Portugal
Tuesday, 26 April 2022
With an age-old history to uncover and melt-in-your-mouth culinary delights, Lisbon is a city rich in culture and compelling in character. Although exploring the city’s main tourist attractions such as the São Jorge Castle and Tram 28 are a must, it’s the hidden gems that will make you see the real Lisbon and fall under its spell.
To find out about some of the must-visit places away from the crowds, we uncover some off-the-beaten-path treasures in this dynamic city.
The miradouros around the city aren’t a secret, however, they are vastly underappreciated as an attraction in the city. Roughly translating as viewpoint, across the seven hills Lisbon is built on you can find viewing platforms perfectly placed to show you the best sides of the city. Whether you enjoy a walk or are just looking for the perfect photo opportunity, finding a miradouro is a must. Some of the best are Miradouro do Senhora do Monte, Miradouro das Portas do Sol and Miradouro do Arco da Rua Augusta.
Museu Nacional do Azulejo
You can’t go to Lisbon and not be impressed by the stunning tile work all around the city, known as azulego. For those that want to see more, we suggest you go to the east of the city and pay a visit to Museu Nacional do Azulejo, the national tile museum. Housed within a 16th-century monastery, the building is reason enough to go but here you can enjoy a visual history through tiles, with some dating back to the 1500s. One of the most talked-about exhibitions is on the second floor, where you can see an early history of Lisbon depicted in tiles.
If you are looking for a unique place to take in the city and grab some food and a cocktail, you should seek out PARK, a rooftop bar hidden away at the top of a multi-story car park. Not signposted from the street, you’ll have to search out for the entrance (tip: you’ll need to find the lift and take it to the sixth floor). Be aware, the bar can get crowded during sunset as it offers such a great view of the city, so we suggest getting in early to get a seat, however, once you’re in you can enjoy great cocktails and, in the evening, there is often music acts to enjoy.
Ler Devagar Bookstore
We know that, for book lovers, visiting some of the most beautiful and noteworthy bookstores around the world is a dream and you’ll be pleased to know that Lisbon is home to one of them - Ler Devagar Bookstore. Located in LX Factory, a hub of arts and culture set-up in an old factory, you’ll find books from floor to ceiling (and the store is three stories tall!), an antique printing press and an in-house coffee shop. So, why not find a novel and sit a while?
READ MORE: Essential guide to Lisbon, Portugal
On a sunny day, there is nothing more relaxing than wandering the streets of a city like Lisbon with its relaxed vibe and beautiful architecture. A great way to make the most of that activity is by searching out some of the city’s renowned street art. With bright pops of colour and curious figures depicted around the city, there is plenty to look for and it allows you to get off of the beaten path and make your own adventure. One notable artist is Bordalo II, who creates colourful nature-inspired murals and installations out of trash.
Hospital de Bonecas
A museum and working doll hospital, Hospital de Bonescas is not your run-of-the-mill attraction in Lisbon. Fixing dolls since 1830, this doll hospital restores dolls, toys, carnival costumes, craft miniatures and doll clothes. With a fantastic collection of toys from the ages, a workshop with a dedicated team repairing toys and a collection of over 3,000 dolls, this is a totally unique location and makes you think about your own beloved childhood toys.
Hidden gems in Lisbon:
- Museu Nacional do Azulejo
- Ler Devagar Bookstore
- Street Art
- Hospital de Bonescas
If you are stopping off at Lisbon on a Gran Canaria cruise, you can now impress your travel buddies with some of these amazing hidden gems. So, whether it’s a street art tour that takes your fancy or cocktails in a hidden rooftop bar, there is plenty to look forward to.
For more tips, guides, and advice, make sure to visit our blog.