Looking for some hidden gems and unusual places to visit in Lisbon? Some unique spots that are not mentioned in every single tourist guide? Here are my favorite hidden gems in Lisbon – places to hide away when the cruise ships dock at Lisbon’s ports!
We spent more than two weeks living in Lisbon and exploring everything this iconic city had to offer. In this blog post, you will find all the hidden gems and unique spots in Lisbon with photos, descriptions, and locations on the map. Happy exploring!
Read more >>> 33 most famous Instagram photo spots in Lisbon
1. Find the hidden street art by Bordalo II in Lisbon!
Bordalo II is a well-known Portuguese street artist and activist. He is famous for creating usually large-sized street art murals (very often they are animals) out of recycled trash. His works are mounted on the walls in cities around the world.
His work is a method of criticizing the over-consumption in the world. You can see his works in maaany places in Lisbon and Portugal – just search for ‘Bordalo II’ on Google Maps and you will find the locations for all of his works!
His works are very impressive and really stand out as they have the 3D effect – they are not flat paintings on the wall but rather pieces of installation art. They look quite real from afar, however, from up close you can admire the materials that were used to create them.
My favorite was the big raccoon in Belém that you can visit at the same time when you go to the Jerónimos Monastery. And also the bumblebee inside the LX Factory. His artworks are definitely some of my favorite hidden gems to find in Lisbon!
2. Look through the Window of Lisbon at Miradouro de Santa Luzia!
Miradouro de Santa Luzia is amongst the best viewpoints in Lisbon and it is probably one of the most popular places to visit in Lisbon. However, many visitors miss a secret spot near the viewpoint – the Window of Lisbon.
Miradouro de Santa Luzia is located in a small square right next to a church. It is filled with flower bushes, a statue, and tile-covered benches. If you look around there is another level to the viewpoint – you can climb some stairs to find yourself on a lower level.
The lower level also features a small square with a fountain, a water feature, and a green area. It has a big wall covered with a tile illustration depicting Lisbon and another wall facing the Tagus river that features two round windows. This is where you will find the Window of Lisbon.
Obviously, it is not a famous place and there is nothing else to see here, however, many people have asked me about this window on social media, so I had to include it in the list of my favorite hidden gems in Lisbon. Besides, it is just a few steps away from the famous viewpoint. So you might as well check it out!
3. Climb up to the roof of the majestic Basílica of Estrela!
The Estrela Basilica was one of my favorite and most beautiful places in Lisbon! This 18th-century church was ordered by Queen Maria I of Portugal and today holds Queen Maria’s tomb inside the premises of the building. You can visit the church for free.
However, the most special thing about the church is that you can climb up to the roof to see the impressive dome and two bell towers up close. I always love climbing up to the rooftops wherever I can and this basilica offers the most amazing views!
There is a small door to enter the dome and see it from within. It is quite spectacular and incredible! It is hard to imagine what it was like for them to build such a grand and complex building centuries ago. A visit to the roof costs 4 EUR per person.
Basílica of Estrela is definitely one of the most beautiful places and one of my favorite hidden gems in Lisbon! Because it is a bit further away from the city center it gets significantly fewer visitors than other Lisbon landmarks. I highly recommend visiting it if you can!
Location: Basílica of Estrela
4. Explore the abandoned Panorâmico de Monsanto!
Panorâmico de Monsanto is one of my favorite hidden gems and the coolest Instagram spots in Lisbon. This secret viewpoint is actually an abandoned multi-story building that was once a high-end restaurant with scenic views over Lisbon.
The restaurant was opened in 1967 as a restaurant-café and later served for many purposes until it was eventually abandoned. Recently the municipality decided to clean it and make it more presentable as people were still going there for panoramic views.
The building is now full of street art murals and art installations, however, the main attraction here is the view. I like to call it the balcony of Lisbon as it really felt like it when we visited the viewpoint.
It is easily accessible by car (or taxi) as there is a big parking lot right next to it, however, I have heard that many people simply hike there on foot as the road there is very peaceful and goes through the woods.
The territory has opening hours so check that before going! There is a fence and gate that will be closed outside working hours. When we went I also saw a security guard walking around. Entrance to the building and the territory is free.
Tip! Before going there, open Google Maps and check the reviews! Sort them to the newest reviews first and read through them! There might be times when it is simply closed and you don’t want to waste your time by going all the way there for nothing!
Location: Panorâmico de Monsanto
5. Check out Lisbon’s hidden secret – Rua Verde or The Green Street!
Everyone knows the famous Pink Street in Lisbon – one of the most popular spots and most Instagrammable places in Lisbon. But not many know that Lisbon has a new trendy street – The Green Street.
However, I have to say that it is not like its sister – the Pink Street got its name because it is literally colored in pink color. However, the Green Street is not (yet). It got its name because of the abundance of plants and greenery that are put on display on the street.
Green Street is a hidden corner of joy – the somewhat simple street is decorated with plants, lanterns, and colorful Christmas tree tinsels. It hosts numerous trendy cafés, restaurants, and boutique shops. We went there early, but it does get lively later in the afternoon.
Green Street is the perfect place to escape crowds and find a trendy lunch spot to enjoy. It features different cuisines from all over the world so this is definitely a cool spot to check out if you are looking for off-the-beaten-path places in Lisbon!
Location: The Green Street
6. Climb up to the Elevador de Santa Justa for free!
Elevador de Santa Justa is probably one of the most iconic places in Lisbon and one of the most iconic Instagram spots in Lisbon as well. It is an iron elevator built in 1902 to connect different levels of the city. It does look pretty unique!
The iron elevator is 45 meters high and was built in a Neo-Gothic architectural style. Moving around the city has always caused problems because of the hills. So different solutions to that problem have been introduced over time – this lift being one of them.
Taking the famous elevator and driving up to the observation deck is among the top things to do in Lisbon. You can normally see a big line waiting for their turn to go up with the iconic lift. However, you can also visit the top of the elevator for free!
Taking an iconic iron elevator that is more than 100 years old is definitely a cool experience and I have done it myself. However, waiting in the long line was the worst part. If you happen to be there on a hot day then maybe you wouldn’t want to do that.
You can actually climb up to the higher level on foot – you can navigate to the Carmo Convent building which is behind the elevator and from there, you can walk to the upper floor of the elevator for free. It is located next to a bar and is open to everyone.
Those who buy tickets and drive up with the elevator are allowed to climb up a few meters higher and see a rooftop view but it doesn’t differ too much from the one you get for free, so it is up to you to decide. Elevator tickets cost about 5 EUR per person.
Location: Elevador de Santa Justa
7. Find the hidden tunnel of the History of Lisbon!
There is a special hidden gem next to Miradouro das Portas do Sol – one of the most popular viewpoints in Lisbon. Right under the observation deck, you can find a secret tunnel dedicated to the most important historic events that have happened in Lisbon.
The tunnel has numerous comic-style illustrations created by the artist Nuno Saraiva that depict the story of Lisbon. Although this place is located right in the heart of Lisbon, many people simply pass by it and don’t pay attention to this unique artwork!
You can not only learn about different events that have happened in Lisbon but also get a great photo of the tunnel and the towers of the iconic São Vicente de Fora church right through the tunnel (see the first photo!).
Location: Tunnel of the History of Lisbon
8. Enjoy the most charming café in Lisbon – Casa São Miguel!
Casa São Miguel café is probably the most cutest, charming, and picturesque cafés in Lisbon! Especially the outside of the café with the cute decorations, tiles, and little chairs next to the tables.
I always try to find some special authentic places wherever I go and this was one of my favorite finds. It is located in the Alfama neighborhood and is easy to miss if you don’t pay attention around you.
The café offers very nice pastry options as well as tea, coffee, and other drinks. We came here specifically for the pastel de nata and it did not disappoint – I loved it. And I know how to tell between a good pastel de nata and not so good. This was spot on!
If you find yourself in the Alfama district, then definitely stop by for some breakfast or simply a pastry with coffee. This was one of my favorite hidden gems in Lisbon and if I had stayed in Lisbon longer, I would have returned to this little café for sure.
Location: Casa São Miguel
9. See the famous Portuguese tiles for free at Convento da Graça!
The incredible Convento da Graça was one of my favorite hidden gems in Lisbon. Convento da Graça is one of the oldest convents in Lisbon located on the highest hill in the city. It was founded in the 13th century and survived the 1755 Lisbon earthquake.
Today you can visit the ground floor of the complex for free – it features a large courtyard lined with archways and some of the most amazing tile illustrations you will see in Lisbon! The illustrations tell different stories and events from the past.
However, there is an extra hidden gem to the convent – you can actually climb on the roof of Convento da Graça! Tickets to the rooftop terrace cost 5 EUR and there is even a drink included in the price. You can opt for a glass of wine or a glass of juice.
The rooftop of the convent gives you panoramic views over the whole of Lisbon. The best views are right next to the bell tower – don’t forget to walk behind it to get the best views! This was one of my favorite viewpoints and hidden gems in Lisbon!
Being one of the oldest convents in Lisbon this place has a historic significance. It feels strange to walk the steps that people walked here many centuries ago and see how they made this place their home as well as a place of worship. Do check it out!
Location: Convento da Graça
10. Check out the 18th-century Amoreiras Water Reservoir!
Amoreiras Water Reservoir is a unique place in Lisbon. Designed back in 1746 this 18th-century reservoir was built to collect and distribute the water that came through the Águas Livres Aqueduct.
Obviously, today it is not functioning anymore however you can now observe the massive aqueduct and the reservoir. The reservoir has an impressive depth of 7.5 meters. You can also climb up to the roof terrace where you will get panoramic views over Lisbon!
Outside, right next to the building, you can observe the Águas Livres Aqueduct. It is absolutely massive and has a length of 18 kilometers. It was built in the 18th century – a time when the city suffered from a lack of drinking water. We visited this site on Sunday for free.
Location: Amoreiras Water Reservoir
11. Stop by the cutest Elevador da Bica!
Everyone has heard of the famous Yellow tram – Tram 28 – that is cruising through the city. But you will often see them packed with locals and tourists alike. And those yellow trams are not really yellow anymore as they are covered with large advertisements.
If you are looking for an authentic experience but don’t fancy standing inside a packed tram then Elevador da Bica might be the right option for you. It is a funicular that connects two streets transporting people along a railway with a sharp incline.
The elevator began functioning in the 19th century and has been redesigned over time. Now it features the famous yellow color and looks similar to Lisbon’s famous yellow tram, but it is not so well known as its famous relative.
It makes this elevator a better photo spot – it not only looks cute and has the iconic yellow color, but it stops for a while so you can easily snap a picture. Tram 28 has a long route and is constantly moving so it is harder to take a photo of them in the streets full of traffic.
For the best photo, I recommend walking to the top of the route and waiting for the funicular there. There are two funiculars going up and down the railway. When we visited one of them was beautiful yellow, but the other one was painted with graffiti.
12. Check out Ler Devagar bookstore in LX Factory!
Ler Devagar bookstore in LX Factory is amongst the most unique hidden gems in Lisbon! It is a one-of-a-kind two-story bookstore with walls lined with bookshelves. It even has a coffee shop on the second level of the bookstore.
If you climb up to the upper level and then walk around the perimeter you can get this cool view of the book-filled shelves and the cyclist on the bike attached to the stairs. Exploring the bookstore brought back memories of Harry Potter movies! It is so cool!
Ler Devagar bookstore is located inside the LX Factory complex. It was once an industrial textile complex but now it is turned into a creative hub hosting unique restaurants, artsy shops, and trendy cafés. If you have time, definitely check out this area!
Location: Ler Devagar
13. Explore Lisbon’s most iconic market – Feira da Ladra!
Feira da Ladra or the Flea Market is the most iconic market in Lisbon! The market is held every Tuesday and Saturday in a square next to the National Pantheon and right behind the São Vicente de Fora church – one of the most beautiful places in Lisbon!
Exploring the Feira da Ladra market is one of the most authentic things you can do in Lisbon. The square is full of blankets and tents put up by vendors who seek to sell or exchange some of their things – old azulejos, antiques, handicrafts, and everything else you can think of!
I didn’t buy anything however it was a whole vibe to walk around and explore. People hold on to the most bizarre stuff, haha! I have never been into the antiques anyway, but I found this place super charming. One of the coolest hidden gems in Lisbon for sure!
Location: Feira da Ladra
14. See the stunning secret in Lisbon – the Palace of Fronteira!
Hidden near Monsanto forest park is one of the most beautiful places in Lisbon – the Palace of the Marquesses of Fronteira. It is a stunning 17th-century palace with an expansive garden. You can either visit the gardens on your own or join a guided tour of the inside of the palace.
The palace is still the private residence of the Marquesses of Fronteira so only a part of the palace is accessible to the public. We only visited the gardens and it was very much worth it. You can tell that a lot of work was put into creating this place.
The gardens feature a pond with black swans, fountains, numerous sculptures, and benches to sit on. The whole area is full of decorative bushes and blooming plants. But the central piece of the garden is the wall next to the pond.
The big wall has stairs on both sides where you can climb up to the upper part of the wall. It is lined with statues of the Kings of Portugal. The whole wall is blue and decorated with beautiful glazed tiles.
Hidden in the corner of the garden you will find a special chapel. It is covered with stones, seashells, and broken porcelain and glass. It was my favorite place in the gardens. If you have extra time then definitely check out this hidden gem in Lisbon!
Location: The Palace of Fronteira
15. Have breakfast at one of the oldest cafés in Lisbon – A Brasileira!
A Brasileira is a place of history – being opened in 1905 it is one of the oldest cafés in Lisbon! Back in the day, it became a popular meeting place for such intellectuals as lawyers, doctors, teachers, writers, and artists.
Right outside of the establishment, you will notice a bronze statue of a well-known Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa. It was put there to commemorate the artist who paid regular visits to the café.
The architecture of the café is luxurious, especially the Parisian-style facade. If possible I highly recommend coming here for breakfast! Even if you only take one of their exquisite cakes and enjoy it with a cup of coffee.
Location: A Brasileira
16. Admire the most beautiful rail station in Lisbon – Rossio railway station!
Rossio railway station is one of the busiest and central train stations in Lisbon located right next to the famous Rossio square. The station was built in the 19th century in the Neo-Manueline architectural style and boasts one of the most beautiful building facades in Lisbon!
The architecture is what really makes it special, especially the facade. The entrance goes through two intertwined horseshoe-shaped portals decorated with ornate details with a small statue of King Sebastian of Portugal in between. It is a true gem yet often gets overlooked!
The small more-than-a-hundred-year-old statue was actually accidentally destroyed in 2016 (somebody tried to climb up to take a selfie and broke it), so this must be a replica. If you happen to be there, definitely stop by to take a look or even get a photo!
Location: Rossio railway station
17. Marvel at the magical garden viewpoint at Miradouro do Jardim do Torel!
Lisbon is full of amazing viewpoints, but those famous places often get too crowded and too loud. But there are some viewpoints that are just as wonderful but often get overlooked. One of those is Miradouro do Jardim do Torel.
The hidden viewpoint is actually located inside a beautiful city garden with trees and bushes that offer some shade during those hot Portuguese summer days. It is a peaceful oasis in the middle of the buzz – a true hidden gem in Lisbon!
I really liked this viewpoint because of the peacefulness it offers – it is less known than others, it is hidden inside the garden and it feels like a secret corner to get away from everybody. There are benches in the shade with scenic views over Lisbon.
Because it is located inside a garden, it has working hours, so make sure to check that before you come here. This is probably not the place to watch the sunset during summer because it closes at 8 PM. But it will be perfect during the day!
Location: Miradouro do Jardim do Torel
18. Find the secret street art neighborhood – Graça!
Graça neighborhood in Lisbon (it is now called São Vicente) is known for its street art and different paintings on the walls. If you happen to visit the Convento da Graça (another one of the hidden gems in Lisbon) then stop by to see some street art!
The murals are pretty massive and very impressive. Some of the most iconic ones include a mural by Shepard Fairy, and by the artist OzeArv. In the same neighborhood, you will wind a beautifully painted tunnel – the perfect spot for a photo!
I love how massive those murals are! And I do hope they remember to renew them from time! The whole neighborhood is filled with beautiful art and I am only showing you a small part of it. I hope you get to walk around there and see them for yourself!
19. Check out the scenic views from Miradouro do Recolhimento!
Miradouro do Recolhimento is definitely one of my favorite hidden gems in Lisbon. Although it is rather a simple viewpoint, you can get a beautiful photo combination of the frame and the striking towers of the church and the pantheon in the background.
You should take note that this viewpoint is located inside a playground area that has opening hours. There is no entrance fee or any other restrictions to enter this area except for the opening hours. Outside these hours the gate will be closed.
Location: Miradouro do Recolhimento
20. Snack lovers! Pay a visit to the Potato Project!
It is only fair that I include some food spots in this list! I am an absolute lover of french fries and I can eat potatoes any time of the day. One of my favorite spots to go for snacks in Lisbon was the Potato Project.
The Potato Project offers freshly-cut deep-fried fries with numerous toppings of your choice. There are classic combinations, but you can choose your own as well. I went for truffle fries, but my husband chose LX fries and they were both amazing!
Location: Potato Project
21. Admire the unique tile house at Largo do Intendente!
Largo do Intendente is a small square in the heart of Lisbon right at the feet of the highest hill in Lisbon. If you happen to go to Miradouro da Senhora do Monte – one of the most famous viewpoints in Lisbon – then maybe walk past Largo do Intendente!
This somewhat simple square features one of the most iconic buildings in Lisbon – the old Viúva Lamego factory with an unmatched tiled facade. The whole front of the house is covered with absolutely beautiful tiles with detailed paintings.
When we visited the building looked rather abandoned. It seems that nobody is occupying the premises, but I do hope that someone takes the initiative and preserves this beautiful hidden gem in Lisbon.
Location: Largo do Intendente
22. Forget Pastéis de Belém – there are better places to try the famous pastel de nata!
You cannot possibly visit Lisbon and not try the world-famous pastel de nata egg tart pastry! We spent two weeks walking around Lisbon and trying out more than a dozen places that serve pastel de nata. And I have something to say!
Instagram lied to you! Pastéis de Belém might be the original factory that started producing the famous egg tarts, however, I am all about what tastes and feels the best. And Pastéis de Belém did not serve me the best pastel de nata in Lisbon! I’m sorry!
So I highly recommend you to try different places! Don’t rush to Belém to try their tarts because there are fantastic places that sell them in the center of the city. My favorite place was Manteigaria – they had the most perfect natas and they bake them right in front of you inside the shop!
Another fantastic place was the Santo António pastry shop. It is located near the São Jorge Castle. The shop has two floors and they also bake them in front of your eyes! In 2019, this place received the 1st place award for the best pastel de natas!
Another place worth mentioning is Fábrica da Nata! I love their interior which is decorated with illustrations on tiles. And they also had a unique logistics system – the plates with natas are sliding along a pipe at the ceiling, haha! Worth a visit!
23. Walk by the unique flower wall at the Museum of Saint Anthony!
First of all, I have to warn you – it seems that the cute wall covered with flowers next to the Museum of Saint Anthony is not a year-round thing. The flowers seem to only be a thing during the sunny season. But it makes for the perfect photo spot in Lisbon!
It seems that the wall changes over the seasons and it turns into the wall of ceramic dishes during winter. In any case, this spot is located right next to some of the most iconic places in Lisbon, like the Lisbon Cathedral, so walk by and check it out!
Lisbon is a city like no other – rich in history, picturesque from the many viewpoints, beautiful with art and colorful tiles as well as tasty if you try those iconic pastel de nata egg tarts. I have been to Lisbon many times and I already can’t wait to go back.
I hope you enjoy your time in Lisbon as much as we did! And I hope you will get some travel inspiration from this blog post to make your trip to Lisbon – one of the oldest cities in the world – even more adventurous, fun, and exciting!