Alternative Lisbon – street art and cool spots you should not miss

If you haven’t visited Lisbon yet, you really should add it on your bucket list!

 It’s an incredible city full of colors and life and it is impossible to forget. I have lived in the Portuguese capital for 5 months and I want to share with you a few of my favorite spots. 

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BORDALO II

I want to start off with this amazing street artist who easily became my favorite one. He is from Lisbon and he uses trash to make incredible pieces representing animals. He recycles any kind of object, from old tires to computer parts and he tries to relate his ideas to sustainability and ecological and social awareness showing that one man’s trash really is another man’s treasure. Yay to creative recycling!

By the AlcântaraTerra station

Lx Factory

Near the Belém Cultural Center

LX FACTORY

In this industrial site in Alcântara you can find a very colorful and creative mini-city with restaurants, bars, shops, art galleries, tattoos studios, one incredible library and much more. It is all decorated with amazing graffitis on the exterior walls.

Tourists usually go to Belém not knowing what they’re missing out on. It’s just by the bridge, 5 minutes before Belém, make sure to check it out!

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VILLAGE UNDERGROUND

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This is a unique co-working community, opened in 2014. It’s made out of shipping containers and double decker buses recycled into office spaces and café. I love the
tetris-like architecture and the cool graffitis you can find all around there.

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GULBENKIAN PARK

Lisbon has many parks but there is no doubt about which one is my favorite: the Gulbenkian Park. I like to call it the “zen park” because of its calm and relaxing environment. You can find green large gardens there, a lake, little waterfalls, a bamboo forest in miniature, diverse water birds that will walk up to you and many other things. If you like art you can also enjoy the art museum.
In my opinion this park is a must-visit.

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STREET ART IN AV. DE BERNA

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This is a piece by AddFuel and Draw to commemorate the day of the Carnation Revolution, April 25th, 1974. The revolution started as a military coup and it led to the fall of the Estado Novo and the withdrawal of Portugal from its colonies.

 

ASCENSOR DO LAVRA

This funicular is over 100 years old and it’s the oldest “elevador” (lift) in Lisbon. It’s accessible from the Metro station Restauradores if you want to take it, or just see it, from down the hill. I actually started touring this area from the top: looking at the entrance of the Ascensor and then walking down to Rua São José.

 

RUA SÃO JOSÉ – RUA MANUEL JESUS COELHO

On Rua São José, few minutes from the Ascensor do Lavra, you can see the incredible art of Aryz.

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On my way there I stopped in some vintage stores on the same street and they’re worth a visit!  

PICOAS STREET ART

On Avenida Fontes Pereira de Melo, near Picoas metro station, there are three empty buildings turned into masterpieces for the CRONO project, which turned many abandoned sites into work of art.

This work was considered one of the world’s top 10 works of street art by the British newspaper The Guardian.

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BLU and Os Gémeos
Ericailcane, Lucy McLauchlan and M. Chat
Ericailcane, Lucy McLauchlan and M. Chat
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Sam3
PANORÂMICO DE MONSANTO – ABANDONED RESTAURANT

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In the heart of the Parque Florestal de Monsanto you can find a completely abandoned site. It was a restaurant built in 1968 and considered having the best view over Lisbon. In fact, from there, you can see the whole city.
The restaurant is near Estrada da Bela Vista and you can get there with the bus 724 or 711.
I was there alone and it was kind of creepy walking in complete silence through dark rooms, only hearing my steps on the broken glass… but a very cool experience!

It’s private property  though so I’m not encouraging anyone to go in from a passage in the fence on the right………

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TRAM 28 

Usually tourists take the historical tram 28 to climb the steep hill from Baixa to Alfama and the castle. Take it in the opposite direction instead and enjoy the little streets and the sharp twists of the tracks… it’s like being on a roller coaster! Look out for some amazing street art. Get off at Alfama to enjoy the view and start a graffiti hunt on the way to the castle.

STREET ART HUNT FROM ALFAMA TO THE CASTLE

There are some stairs on the other side of the street from the famous viewpoint of Alfama: start there and just adventure through the little streets and abandoned sites. I find them incredibly fascinating.

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Be sure not to come back from the castle right away, there are still a few hidden spots to check out.

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FEIRA DA LADRA

In Campo de Santa Clara, 10 minutes walking from the viewpoint of Alfama you can find the Lisbon’s flea market. It’s located by the National Pantheon and held only on Saturdays and Tuesdays.

Fun fact: because of the word “ladra” (a woman thief) many people often think the name of the market is “Thieve’s Market”, but actually the name comes from the “ladro”, a bug found in antiques.

 

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  • TIME OUT

A few steps from the station Cais do Sodré you will find what used to be the best market in Lisbon: now it houses 24 restaurants, 8 bars and a few shops. It is alternative but not hidden and it is always pretty crowded. Not the cheapest place you can find but make sure to check it out! It’s worth a visit.

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  • Near the Gulbenkian Park and the Av. de Berna piece you find two of my favorite places to eat.
GROUND BURGER
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Av. António Augusto de Aguiar 148
SANTO BAGEL
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Av. Marquês de Tomar 76
  • This is my favorite sushi place by the Martin Moniz metro station. You can choose the “all you can eat” option for around €12 and enjoy all the amazing sushi they make.
SUSHI BARREIRO
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Largo do Terreirinho 5

 

 

 

A friend of mine came with me and shot videos of some of the places I just wrote about. Check it out!

 

 

Enjoy Lisbon and happy adventuring!

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