Lisbon has always been a cool city, but recently it has gone through a rapid phase of hipsterification. Over the past few years, a huge number of cocktail bars, third wave coffee shops, and international restaurants have opened up in Lisbon.
Yes, you should still visit the castle, Jerónimos Monastery, and all of the other key tourist attractions in Lisbon, and you should definitely give traditional Portuguese food a try as well. But, if you also want a little avocado on toast and a little latte art while you’re here, here’s a more alternative guide to Lisbon.
Lisbon hotels & accommodation ideas
- Raw Culture Art & Lofts Bairro Alto – Very cool New York-style lofts in Lisbon’s Bairro Alto district.
- The Dorm (LX Factory) – Situated in the LX Factory, one of Lisbon’s main hipster hotspots. This hostel has a fantastic selection of bars, restaurants, and boutique shops on its doorstep.
- Lisbon destination hostel – This hostel is situated inside a train station (Rossio), which is pretty cool and also pretty central.
- Lisbon Short Stay Apartments Baixa – Arty hotel that’s right in the centre of Lisbon.
- Brown’s Downtown – If you’re looking for a centrally-located hotel to splurge on, consider Brown’s. All rooms have iMacs, which is great if you don’t have your laptop with you.
Shops & shopping areas in Lisbon
The LX Factory (pronounced el-ee-sheesh) is situated in the Alcântara neighbourhood of Lisbon.
Formerly a collection of factories and warehouses, the buildings have been renovated and turned into bars, restaurants, and shops.
On Sundays, there’s a weekly flea market where you can pick up everything from vintage typewriters to locally-designed clothes.
- Address: Rua Rodrigues de Faria 103, 1300 – 501 Lisboa, Portugal
- When: Shops are open during daytime trading hours, flea market is on Sunday from 10 am – 7 pm
Feira da Ladra
This is one of Lisbon’s most popular markets for picking up second-hand products and antiques, and it may be Lisbon’s longest-running market as well: some historians believe it may go back as far as the 12th Century.
- Address: Campo de Santa Clara, Alfama
- When: 6 am to 5 pm, Tuesdays and Saturdays
Sapataria do Carmo
Established more than 100 years ago, Sapataria do Carmo is one of Lisbon’s leading shoe makers. Pick up a pair of hand-made shoes for a fraction of what you’d pay in most other countries. The shop itself is also beautifully-decorated, and worth visiting for that reason alone.
- Website: sapatariadocarmo.com
- Address: Largo do Carmo 26, 1200-092 Lisboa, Portugal
- When: 10 am – 8 pm (7 pm on Sundays)
Pelcor is a luxury clothing and accessories brand that makes products with one of Portugal’s principal exports: cork. Everything here, from aprons to hat to notepads and wallets, is made from cork.
- Website: pelcor.pt
- Address: Pátio do Tijolo, Nr. 16, 1250-096 Lisboa, Portugal
- When: Daily from 10 am – 7 pm
Founded in 1925, Luvaria Ulisses deals exclusively in gloves. It’s an unusual business to still be running in this day and age, but the shop has no shortage of customers.
If you’re in the market for a pair of high-quality gloves, Luvaria Ulisses is definitely the place to go.
- Website: luvariaulisses.com
- Address: Rua do Carmo, 87-A, 1200 Lisboa, Portugal
- When: Mon – Sat, 10 am – 7 pm
Retro City Lisboa
One of Lisbon’s best vintage clothing stores, with a great selection of clothing and great music as well.
- Website: facebook.com/retro-city-lisboa
- Address: Rua Maria Andrade 43, 1170-215 Lisboa, Portugal
- When: Mon – Sat, 12 – 8 pm
For vintage of second-hand clothing, Humana stores are usually the best place to go. Humana has several stores in Lisbon, mainly along Avenida Almirante Reis.
- Website: humana-portugal.org
- Address: Several locations in Lisbon.
- When: Normally Monday to Saturday – 9h30 to 19h30, Sunday – 11h to 18h30
Street Art in Lisbon
Street art has always been a part of Lisbon’s culture, even before Lisbon became so trendy. Apparently the council encourages it (in some places) as it adds a spark of colour and vibrancy.
You’ll see street art all over Lisbon, and many local tour companies now offer street art tours of Lisbon (see here).
Restaurants, food markets, & places to eat
Time Out Market – One of the best food markets in Europe, the Time Out Market has pop-up stalls from some of Lisbon’s most popular restaurants.
- Address: Av. 24 de Julho 49, 1200-479 Lisboa
Mercado Oriental – An Asian food court that’s situated above one of Lisbon’s most popular Asian supermarkets (Amanhecer). You’ll find small restaurants here from Japan, Korea, and Vietnam, and it’s one of the best places to go for Asian food in Lisbon.
- Address: Rua. Palma 41 A 1o andar, 1100-390 Lisboa
Chinês Clandestino – One of several secret or unlicenced Chinese restaurants that were opened in the homes of Chinese immigrants. Many have been shut down, or have applied for licences, but some still exist.
Unique tours of Lisbon
Lisbon Street Art Tours – Lisbon has some really incredible street art, which is spaced out across the city. Several tour groups offer street art tours, with prices starting at around €21.
Pastéis de Nata cookery class – Learn how to make pastéis de nata (Portuguese custard tarts) at home.
Petiscos Tasting Tour by E-Bike – Cycle around Lisbon on an electric bicycle, stopping off at small bars and restaurants to sample petiscos (tapas).
2.5-Hour Food Tour by Segway – No need to worry about Lisbon’s big hills!
Popular bars in Lisbon
The following are a few bars that are worth visiting in Lisbon. This doesn’t do the number of great Lisbon bars justice: you can just head out to the Bairro Alto or even Cais do Sodré, and you’ll find plenty of great watering holes simply by wandering around.
Situated on top of a multi-storey car park, Park Bar is one of Lisbon’s most unique bars. To get to it, you have to climb the often dirty and gratified stairs up to the roof of the car park where the bar is located. There are no signs to indicate there’s a bar upstairs, which makes it all the more rewarding when you get to the top.
- Website: Facebook.com/Park-Bar
- Address: Calçada do Combro, 60 1200-109 Lisbon, Portugal
A rooftop bar (on top of a shopping centre) with great views of Lisbon Castle and across Martim Moniz square. There’s also a Topo bar in Chiado and Belém.
- Website: Facebook.com/TopoLisboa
- Address: 6th floor, sala I, Commercial Center Martim Moniz, Praca Martim Moniz, 1100-341 Lisbon
Located in a former tobacconist in Cais do Sodré, this unique bar retains all of the trappings of its predecessor. The owner is a cocktail fanatic with a special affinity towards good quality rum. There’s no menu: he’ll ask you your preferences, and make something based on that – often involving rum.
- Website: Facebook.com/A-Tabacaria
- Address: Rua de Sao Paulo 75-77, Lisbon 1200-426, Portugal
You-need-to-ring-the-doorbell type of hipster bar that’s known for its cocktails.
- Website: barfoxtrot.pt
- Address: Travessa Santa Teresa 28, 1200-405 Lisboa
One of the most unusual, but most interesting, bars in Lisbon. Just about every wall is packed with dolls, toy trains, old mugs, souvenirs, and other curios from around the world.
- Website: facebook.com/pavilhaochineslisboa
- Address: Rua Dom Pedro V 89, 1250-093 Lisboa
Craft beer is a relatively new phenomenon in Portugal, a country which traditionally only really served Sagres or Super Bock. Over the past few years, several microbreweries and bars stocking craft beers have sprung up – particularly in Lisbon.
Duque Brewpub is one of several new microbreweries and craft beer specialists. The bar has 9 taps, serving brews from other Lisbon and Portuguese breweries, as well as more than 50 different bottled craft beers.
- Website: duquebrewpub.com
- Address: Calçada do Duque 51, 1200-156 Lisboa, Portugal
3rd wave & modern coffee shops in Lisbon
Recently, there’s been a new wave of hipster coffee shops opening in Lisbon and, if you’re craving a latter or aeropress coffee, you won’t have to look very far.
It’s worth mentioning that normal coffee shops in Portugal (pastelarias) serve good coffee. Many Northern European countries need hipster coffee shops because the rest of the coffee is so poor, but Portugal doesn’t traditionally have this problem. The coffee here is usually always good – well, the espressos anyway.
Copenhagen Coffee Lab
A roastery and coffee wholesaler that’s originally from Denmark, but has set up several coffee shops in Lisbon. They offer a wide range of coffees that you won’t find on other menus: V60, Aeropress, and flat whites. Of all the hipster coffee shops in Lisbon, this is probably the most popular.
- Address: Several locations in Lisbon including Alfama, Alcântara, and Príncipe Real (see locations).
- Website: copenhagencoffeelab.com
Fabrica Coffee Roasters
Fabrica Coffee Roasters have three locations in Lisbon: on Rua das Flores, Rua das Portas de Santo Antão, and a pop-up at Estação do Oriente in Parque das Nações. As well as being a coffee shop, they also sell their own coffee, craft beers, and coffee equipment.
- Address: Rua das Flores 63 1200-193 Lisboa (the most central of their locations)
- Website: fabricacoffeeroasters.com
Lisbon is too small to really have big hipster neighbourhoods like Brooklyn or Kreuzberg, but a few of the most popular hipster neighbourhoods are:
LX Factory (Alcântara): A collection of warehouses and factories that have been renovated into restaurants, coffee shops, boutique shops, and bars.
Marvila: Like the LX Factory, this area was once a factory neighbourhood. Today, it’s home to several craft beer breweries, coffee shops, restaurants, and Fábrica Braço de Prata, a building used for concerts, talks, and art exhibitions. It’s also a neighbourhood with great street art.
Beato: Following in the footsteps on Marvila, Beato is quickly gentrifying. It’s not quite as cool as Mavila, but it’s getting there.
Village underground (Alcântara): A very cool and Instagram-deserving coworking spot and destination for pop-ups and other creative events (the entire place is made from shipping containers and old busses). It’s located near the LX Factory, so you can easily visit both in one go.
Principe Real: One of Lisbon’s most upmarket areas with lots of great restaurants, bars, and art galleries.
Chiado: Although Chiado is right in the city centre, and home to many large multinational shops, it’s also home to several smaller boutiques and specialist shops including Luvaria Ulisses (the shop that makes the handmade gloves).
Bairro Alto: The Bairro Alto is Lisbon’s main bar and going out area, and it’s always a fun place to go out at night. Although it’s fairly empty during the day, you’ll find a few small boutique shops here as well.