Lisbon: the locals' four favourite places to get away from the tourists!

Lisbon is Europe's capital par excellence for a weekend getaway (or more, as there's plenty to visit outside the city!). Since your arrival, you've admired the azulejos in the Fronteira Palace in the Fronteira Palace, taken the famous yellow tram around the city, queued up to taste the famous Pastéis de Belém, watched the sun set over the Tagus and its red bridge, similar to the one in San Francisco...

Yes, but each time you were surrounded by tourists, you had the impression that you were missing out on the 'real' Lisbon. But don't panic! With our selection of the locals' favourite places to escape the tourists, you'll feel almost at home!

Old Lisbon street overlooking the Tagus River
© neirfy / 123RF

The view from Eduardo VII Park (Parque Eduardo VII)

Did you know that Lisbon is known for its many hills? In fact, the city is built on high ground and has no fewer than seven hills (hence its nickname, "the city of 7 hills"). These seven hills represent as many viewpoints (called miradouros), the best known being Miradouro da Santa Luzia and Largo das Portas do Sol.

To get away from the tourist cameras, you'll need to head away from the city centre, towards the Marques de Pompal district, to reach the Eduardo VII Park. You won't want to miss this park with its huge statue of the Marquis of Pombal, famous for helping to rebuild Lisbon after the 1755 earthquake.

The view over Lisbon from the top of Eduardo VII Park
© bloodua / 123RF

The Eduardo VII Park is well known to Lisboans, as it is here that World Cup football matches are shown on giant screens. The statue of the Marquis is also the rallying point for football fans when the national team wins a match.

For a breathtaking view of the city, climb to the top of the park to reach the Portuguese flag flying in the air. The Carlos Lopes pavilion is also worth a look before you leave the park!

The Carlos Lopes pavilion in Eduardo VII Park
© tashka2000 / 123RF

Practical information

📍 Address:

Parque Eduardo VII, 1070-051 Lisboa

🚍 Access:

  • buses 706, 709, 720, 727, 738, 774 to Marques de Pombal stop
  • yellow or blue metro line to Marques de Pombal stop

⏰ Opening times :

24h/24h (the park does not have a gate)

👛 Fare :

free

🌳 The park also has a greenhouse. For more information on opening times and price, ask directly at the park.

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Feira da Ladra flea market

Less well known than the deceptively underground LX Factory, which is mainly frequented by tourists, the Feira da Ladra flea market has been around since the 13th century. It is one of the city's largest and oldest markets. Literally "the market of the thief", this market was historically the preferred place for thieves to sell their booty.

Rest assured, today the market is well frequented (although beware of the hawkers) and locals flock here early in the morning to pick up the best bargains. The flea market is full of surprises! You'll never know in advance what you'll find, and that's what makes it so charming. It's the ideal place to bargain for unique holiday souvenirs and original gifts for your loved ones.

Practical information

📍 Address:

Campo de Santa Clara, 1100-472 Lisboa (near the National Pantheon and Saint Vincent Church).

🚍 Access:

  • bus 712 or 734 to the Cç Sao Vicente stop
  • tram no. 28 to Cç Sao Vicente stop
  • metro line bleue to Santa Apolonia stop

⏰ Opening times :

Tuesdays and Saturdays, 9am to 6pm (but be aware that traders start packing up their goods at 4pm)

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The Graça district, Lisbon's most authentic neighbourhood

Tourists tend to concentrate on the Bélem and Alfama districts, but it would be a shame to restrict themselves to these areas (although we at the Editorial Office have also fallen in love with the colourful houses of the Alfama!) The Graça district is located on the highest hill in Lisbon and is crossed by the famous yellow tram. Few tourists venture here, yet this typically Portuguese district is quiet and cosmopolitan. Unpretentious and far from the hustle and bustle of the tourist trade, it's while strolling through Graça that you'll be able to observe the people of Lisbon going about their daily business.

Stroll through the streets and you're sure to come across some street art. The Largo da Graça square, with its many restaurants and shops, is a great place to stop for a bite to eat or a spot of shopping. Finally, the Miradouro da Graça, located just opposite the church, is a favourite vantage point for locals to admire the sunset over the city's rooftops.

Sunset from Miradouro da Graça
© diegograndi / 123RF

Practical information

📍 Address:

The Graça district is located near the São Jorge castle.

🚍 Access:

  • buses 12E, 28E, 734, 10B to Graça stop
  • tram no. 38E
  • green metro line to Martim Moniz stop

Experience an authentic fado evening

Fado is the soul of Lisbon. This musical genre was born in the working-class districts of Lisbon and is an integral part of local life. Attending a fado show is therefore a must for any stay in Lisbon, to soak up the atmosphere of the city.

Unfortunately, fado shows can be a bit of a tourist trap, and tourists are often attracted by dinner packages. Fado cannot be enjoyed in noise, and silence is essential to fully experience the emotions of the fadists (the fado singers) and musicians.

The small theatre of Fado in Chaido offers an intimate show with passionate singers and musicians, who invite the audience to give their voices. The immersion is larger than life, thanks to the scrolling images of Lisbon in the background.

Even if you don't understand Portuguese, you're likely to be won over by the emotions and get goose bumps from the beauty of the songs about love, death, jealousy, melancholy... The show starts at 7pm and lasts about an hour, which is a great way to discover this musical genre without getting bored!

Practical information

📍 Address:

Rua da Misericórdia 14, 1249-038 Lisbon

🚍 Access:

  • bus 758 to Baixa-Chaido stop
  • green or blue metro line to Baixa-Chaido stop

⏰ Opening times:

Monday to Saturday, 7pm

👛 Price :

20.50 euros (from age 4)

Link to the official website to book your ticket.

by Alexiane Derail
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