Things to do in Lisbon by locals

Happily lacking monumental tourist traps, even the biggest tourist destinations in Lisbon hardly capture what the city is all about

 

For an authentic experience in Lisbon, start with the amazing “Miraduoros” (viewpoints). Peppering the tops of the city’s seven hills, each one has its own unique character and diverse patrons; and most can be reached easily via tram or funicular.

Next, explore antiquated Alfama. This is the birthplace of Fado music and home of the Fado Museum. To be sure, you will get lost in Alfama’s narrow winding streets and uneven stairways, but that’s kind of the point, isn’t it? The “Fiera de Ladra” (Thieves’ Market) on Tuesdays and Saturdays is a must-see, with a playful array of junk, crafts, and innumerable hidden treasures at very flexible prices.

On the way to Lisbon’s ever-popular beaches, stop in Belém’s expansive park, and – whatever you do – don’t miss the beloved national pastries at Pastéis de Belém – they’re better than sex. Almost.

In Lisbon, June means all-day barbecues brimming with sardines, local fare, and cheap drinks accompanied by live music and lots of colour in nearly every public space. June, July, and August belong to big and small-name music and arts festivals that draw artists from every style and niche genre. Late autumn and winter just happen to be the best times to catch good surf on the Portuguese coast – and if you’re land-locked, the smell of roasted chestnuts in the city’s streets is soothing enough to give anyone a good case of the “warm-fuzzies.”

Year-round, Lisbon’s nightlife is comparable to any of the best in Europe. Bairro Alto, being the city’s main bar district, is where young locals and visitors mingle over 1€ beers and low-priced cocktails. After 02h, head to any of the city’s renowned nightclubs along the river, where the parties don’t stop until morning. Hopefully you’ll have enough energy to grab a tasty Portuguese “petisco” and mingle in one of Lisbon’s local after-hours cafés before finding your way to bed.


10 Things To Do In Lisbon

This capital city of Europe tends not to feel or behave like one.

Offering amazing value and incredible sights, sounds, and flavours as well as one of the biggest reputations for night-life in all of Europe, some thing is still understated.

Unpretentious and casual with come-as-you-are tendencies toward pleasure seeking and relaxation, and simultaneously rich with history and filled with stories, the city has plenty to absorb, while offering a reprieve from the frenzied atmosphere of Europe’s more tourist-heavy destinations.

Plan your trip to Lisbon with our favourite 10 things to do.

Restaurants

Dining in Lisbon can be a downright heavenly experience. Appropriate for any budget, there are innumerable cafes, tascas, and restaurants offering simple traditional fare at shockingly low prices.

Sweet pastries, succulent steaks, fresh seafood, and amazing combinations abound.

Of course, the possibilities are endless, so explore some of these suggestions, ranging from the bottom-line local favourites to the high-end cuisine and chic bistros praised by international foodies and the Portuguese culinary aristocracy.

Check out our recommendation for best restaurants in Lisbon.

 

Best Bars

Bars in Lisbon vary from under-dressed and comfortable, to stylish and urban chic, all of them offering simple pleasures at great values.

Designed to give locals a place to meet and mingle, the environment inside these hip, well-stocked watering holes, always provide visitors with an experience of Lisbon that captivates patrons of all backgrounds with great music and spirited energy.

Don’t miss the best bars and cheap drinks in Lisbon.

Clubs and Nightlife

Lisbon’s thriving nocturnal party scene, with famous destinations like Lux and Kapital as well as smaller more intimate pubs and discos spread throughout the city, makes this European capital a playground for night owls.

Keep in mind – drinks are cheap, music is everywhere, and many doors don’t close until morning.

Enjoy the best clubs and nightlife in Lisbon.

 

Fado

My heart aches, but I like it! The soft, moody melodies and longing in the words sung by one heart-wrenched individual define Lisbon’s brand of fado from its counterpart from Coimbra.

Truly belonging to Portugal’s people, these songs of love and loss translate to all listeners in their viciously beautiful and sombre candour.

Find our selection of the best fado music clubs in Lisbon.

 

Live Music

Live music blares in Lisbon’s night-time districts and imparts an eccentric energy to the viewpoints as well. Bars in Bairro Alto tend to offer free concerts every night of the week, though you never know exactly what you’re going to get; maybe world music, maybe reggae, fado, funk, indie, jazz or soul – there’s no boundaries.

No matter what you’re looking for in terms of live music, it can be found in Lisbon, often for little or no money.

We have made for you a selection of the best live music bares in Lisbon.

 

Museums

Get culture! The museums of Lisbon encompass centuries of history and span an array of niche interests.

Portuguese culture at the fado and tile museums balances out with all the antiquities, the natural history and local as well as international modern / contemporary art exhibits showcased in well-coordinated expositions throughout this culturally rich city.

Visit the best museums and art venues in Lisbon.

 

Old School Portuguese

Drink like a Tuga! Of course, your guide book recommends a number of places to experience ‘authentic’ Portuguese style, but none compare to the small unnamed haunts you can find that, while aesthetically bare, offer unadulterated views into the daily lives of Lisbon dwellers.

These are places where people go for snacks and drinks in between daily to-dos. Great for relaxing at low prices, these old school “tascas” (taverns), offer just what you need and don’t bother dressing it up with touristy gimmicks and pandering.

Taste the Lisbon flavour at traditional portuguese pubs and restaurants.

Lisbon is Gay

Gay and lesbian – it’s all queer. Lisbon considers itself a very gay-friendly city, but centuries of Catholic dominance still make public sentiment quite conservative.

While public opinion is changing for the better, you still don’t see many public displays of affection outside of a couple of neighborhoods. The most gay-friendly neighborhoods are the Chiado, Principe Real, Bairro Alto, and Santa Catarina.

Enjoy the LGBT nightlife in Lisbon, top gay clubs and bars.

 

Tattoos and Drugs

Rebel, rebel. This information has been compiled for you rebellious ones out there. Below is a list of places where you can get clean and quality tattoo work done. Each one is different and the best option is to drop by a few and speak with artists and check out their work.

And while we here at Oasis Hostels do not condone the use of drugs while visiting the Portuguese capital, we do know drugs exists, and believe a little information can go along way to having a safe visit.

Here is our recommended tattoo shops and parlors in Lisbon.

 

Parks and Green Spaces

The Grass is always greener in Lisbon. When the sun is out and the birds are singing, there is no better place than the Portuguese capital to spend a day outside. Here is a list of some of our favorite parks.

 

Football

O árbitro está comprado. Even though Portugal is a small country, we have a tremendous love for all things football. From Cristiano Ronaldo to Jose Mourinho, Portugal holds its own among football’s elite.

Going to a game in Lisbon can be lots of fun, especially since two (Sporting Club de Portugal and Benfica) of the three “big teams” right here in the city.

If you are a football fan, here are the football teams and stadiums that you could visit in Lisbon.



Instagram post 2278519492002506080_8013724256 Get ready for #takeaway #yummyfood #goodtimes @souldoughpizza @aldeiadapraia_
To order call ✔️ 938 830 633 | fridays to sundays: 17-21hs ✔️ Margherita 9€
✔️ Marinara 9€
✔️ Pesto Heaven 13€
✔️ Mushroom Kingdom 13€
✔️ Gorgonzola Blues 12€Please respect the minimum distance of 2m when picking up your favourite 🍕🍕🍕🌈 www.aldeiadapraia.pt
Instagram post 2277659659120450504_8013724256 Get ready, the wait is over ☀️ From Friday you will be able to order #takeaway from @souldoughpizza
#pizzanapoletana a partir da sexta-feira 🤩Call 936 830 634 to order your most favourite | Agradecemos que faça a sua encomenda ligando para o número 936 830 633 | Friday to Sunday: 17-21hs| | Sexta a Domingo: 17-21hs| ✔️margherita - 9€
✔️marinara - 9€
✔️pesto heaven - 13€
✔️ Mushroom Kingdom - 13€
✔️ Gorgonzola Blues - 12€
Please respect the minimim distance of 2m when picking up your goodies 👍
#deliciousfood #bettertimestocome #makethebestofit❤️ #staypositive #stayhome #takecareofeachother 🌈🌈
www.aldeiadapraia.pt
Instagram post 2268287793385718069_8013724256 Caros clientes⭐ apenas para informar que o nosso supermercado Amanhecer, continua aberto diariamente entre as 8-18 hsDear customers, just to inform you that our supermarket is open daily from 8-18hs.##covid_19 #sintraportugal #praiadasmaças @aldeiadapraia_
Instagram post 2261684238076202197_2325610449 ✨Come and join our free walking tour today, meeting point 11.45 at the reception! ✨Be part of our 2-hours historical experience, where you will hear a lot of fairy tales about queens and caliphs, devastating battles, brave Spanish warriors, politics, and power struggles!
Instagram post 2261015450255578912_2325610449 ✨Hello Oasis Backpackers! No plans? Come and join us! ☀️Free walking tour every morning
🥘Tapas tour
💃🏻Flamenco show
🍻Drinking games
🍸Pub crawl every night ✨Direct book on the website: www.oasisbackpackershostels.com
Instagram post 2260648347656692386_2083646805 Ha sido un Domingo increíble. Thank you Granada.
Credits: @renetteyan thx for the amazing shot!!!
Instagram post 2259768474305802289_8013724256 #praiagrande at #sunset- what a beautiful spring day 🌞 #goodtimes #beautiful #happydays❤️ www.aldeiadapraia.pt
#familytime #outdoors #oceanlife #lifestyle #sunset #sunsetphotography #dailydose #love #health #feelinggood
Instagram post 2259561382567311079_8013724256 #volleyball🏐 na @aldeiadapraia_ leva os seus filhos e brincam no ar livre com muito 🌞🌞 e #boaonda 😍😍 || #goodvibes only this weekend @aldeiadapraia_  take your #kids #friends #furyfriends for a spin and a game of #volleyball and a #pizza and a #beer or #wine or #theperfectlemonade afterwards
www.aldeiadapraia.pt
#goodtimes #outdoors #nature #harmony #worklifebalance #weekend #weekendvibes #kidstime #family #familytime❤️ #picnique #praia #beach #sunset #sunday #saúde #surf #healthylifestyle #goodfood
Instagram post 2258970118965033404_2083646805 ❤️❤️❤️ #repost @hosteldoctor
🥰 We love hostels with character!  @oasisbackpackerhostelgranada is in a traditional Granada old style building with an atrium and balconies all around. They have street art tours, tapas tours, paella on the terrace, flamenco in the caves - everything you could want to have a fantastic time in this awesome city!We love the view from the roof terrace of the snow on the Sierrra Nevada 🏔 mountains and the beautiful Alhambra palace.Part of the group of Oasis Backpackers hostels in Spain and Portugal, this charming hostel has Arabesque influences in its decorations and is in the heart of the tapas-filled old town. 🍤🍻 We love the location and history of this hostel, thanks team for showing us a great time in Granada!! Olé 💃💃 🇪🇸🇪🇸 #goodtimes #flamenco #granada #hostels famoushostels #besthostel #oasisbackpackers #dreamteam
Instagram post 2253957491280697331_8013724256 Tasty beer | cerveja boa and most importantly #goodvibes ⭐️⭐️⭐️no
@hopsanddrops @aldeiadapraia_  #weekendvibes #craftbeer #goodtimes #aldeiadapraia #sintraportugal #portugal #colares #lisbon #taproom #beer #beerlovers #artisanbeer #beerlover ❤️ #goodvibesonly✨
www.aldeiadapraia.pt
Instagram post 2253813990534491566_8013724256 Beautiful days @aldeiadapraia_ 🌞🌞🌞 getting ready for the weekend @souldoughpizza @hopsanddrops @invino.pt @pura_pancake @il_gelataio2019
Bom fim de semana para todos #weekend #weekendvibes #springiscoming #spring #goodtimes #outdoors #familytimes❤️ #sintraportugal #sintralovers #praia #praiadasmaçãs #surf #skate #fun #portugal🇵🇹 www.aldeiadapraia.pt/surfyogacamp
Instagram post 2253269570219743638_2083646805 Musicians around town, let's have some good time this Tuesday!!! Bring your own instruments if you want, and some love & good vibe!  Spread the word!Let's make Tuesdays great again!!! :P  #jamsession #openmic #oasisbackpackersgranada #opening #famoushostels

FIND A GREAT HOSTEL TO SLEEP IN...

Check out other great hostels in Europe...
Some Questions? Check our FAQ...