Did you know that Lisbon enjoys at least 300 days of sunshine all year round? That’s one of the reasons why so many of us decided to live here and now call Portugal our home.
In this short guide, Kasia Triantafelo, our Head of Community, is sharing some of her favorite places in this fascinating city that she can’t wait to welcome you to!
Note: This isn’t your standard city guide. You can find plenty of resources on Lisbon on the Internet. This is a personal guide from someone who’s been and lived here.
What To Do
Once a manufacturing site for a thread and fabric company (in 1846), this industrial area was then occupied by several companies, to be abandoned and considered an isolated part of the city. It was finally rediscovered and returned to the city as the LxFactory complex.
Today, the LxFactory is home to more than 200 businesses ranging from cafés, restaurants, design houses, show-rooms, shops, offices, commercial spaces, and other projects that link directly to the space’s unique cultural and artistic standing. Great for strolling around and shopping for unique gifts!
Ferry ride from Cais do Sodre to Cacilhas & Almada
Right from the Cais do Sodre ferry station, you can jump on a passenger boat that takes you to Almada and Cacilhas – two towns on the opposite bank of the Tagus River from Lisbon.
Almada is known primarily for the monument of Christo Rei – “Jesus the King.” Cacilhas is a great place for a real Portuguese meal. Fresh fish is grilled in almost every bar and restaurant located by the ferry. Soak up the daily life in Lisbon, stroll around Cacilhas, have some fresh fish for lunch and take a free lift to admire the 25th of April Bridge in all its glory.
Meet local expats at the Lisbon Digital Nomads Meetup.
Every Thursday since 2017, the Lisbon Digital Nomads Meetup is held and welcomes a mix of Lisbon locals, nomads who have settled down in Lisbon, and people who are just passing through. Each week, these meetups take place in a different venue, restaurant or bar, so it’s a nice way of getting to know the city too.
In fact, we partnered with LDN to organize a special edition meetup before the Running Remote conference. It’s happening on Thursday, 20 April and you can register here. Drinks are on us!
Listen to Fado in one of the local restaurants or bars
Fado is a music genre so integral to the Portuguese experience that UNESCO recognizes it as part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. It’s very emotional, raw, and it’s often one of travelers’ most treasured memories of Lisbon.
If you’re in the mood for a full-on fado restaurant which will take you back in time, book a table at Mesa de Frades. Built in a former chapel in Alfama, with the original tiles and murals still on the walls, this place offers the musical lineup between emerging fadistas and established stars, making it a fine experience.
If you are up for something very local, far from tourist crowds, visit Tasca Do Jaime, a local favorite, not far from the Feira da Ladra market. The singers have been known to improvise and perform spontaneously—not necessarily the most refined expression of fado, but definitely one of the most enjoyable!
Visit Lisbon’s flea market (Feira da Ladra)
“Feira da Ladra,” is often thought to mean “Thieves’ Market” (since “ladra” translates to “woman thief” in Portuguese), but the term is actually derived from “ladro,” a bug or a flea found in antiques. A market of this type is thought to have been in place in Lisbon since the 12th century, and the name “Feira da Ladra” was first mentioned in the 17th century!
The market is held every Tuesday and Saturday, from dawn to early afternoon, and it’s great for a stroll around or if you want to shop for antique gifts (hand-made artisan goods, CD’s, books, clothes, coins, antiques and furniture and more).
Unwind in beautiful and unique parks
Check out my favourite ones:
Where To Eat
Some of my favorite places to eat while in Lisbon (you might need a reservation for most of them though these days):
- O Velho Eurico – cozy and very local Portuguese restaurant with a variety of traditional Portuguese food (lots of meat!)
- Mesa de Frades – full-on Fado restaurant (see Fado above).
Chapitô à Mesa – cozy rustic restaurant with an amazing view and local Portuguese food.
- Tasca Do Jaime – very local restaurant with occasional Fado performances.
- Manteigaria in TimeOut – the best (in my opinion) Pastéis de Nata in Portugal! You can also see how they are being made.
- Ponte Final and Atira-bte ao rio in Cacilhas – great for dinners with a view of the 25th April Bridge.
- O Botanista – my favorite vegan restaurant
Where To Go With Children
I know that some of you will be traveling with kids, so I wanted to suggest some places for the little ones too:
- Lisbon’s science museum (Pavilhao do Conhecimento) – great interactive science museum with lots of experiments and games.
- Aquarium (Oceanario de Lisboa) – one of the most impressive and largest aquariums in Europe.
- Surfing classes at Costa da Caparica – for a beach day, plenty of surf schools to choose from there.
- One day trip to Sintra – lots of nature walks, and fairytale-like palaces and castles.
- Trip to Quinta do Pisão – nice walk in nature where you can see farm animals and visit an organic garden.
A Trip Outside Lisbon
Cafe’s / Wine Bars
- Lusophonica is our favourite spot in Cascais to grab coffee / brunch, it’s right beside the Cascais Marina so plenty of other places nearby
- 7Seas has got really delicious tapas and also has a kids play area and bike park right beside it
- The Tasting Room is a charming little wine bar right in the centre of Cascais
- Bar do Guincho is a really nice bar overlooking Guincho beach. Can get windy from time to time, but on a nice day this place has a great atmosphere.
- Monte Mar is a delicious fish restaurant, albeit on the more expensive side
- Dom Quixote is another restaurant about 10 mins outside Cascais but has a breathtaking view of the whole bay
- Páteo do Guincho is not far from Guincho beach but the food there is absolutely delicious