Experience Lisbon like a local at these 10 attractions

If you’re looking for a unique and memorable way to explore Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, you might want to check out these 10 under-the-radar experiences that will make your trip unforgettable. These are not your typical tourist attractions, but rather hidden gems that will show you a different side of the city and its culture. Whether you’re into art, history, nature or food, there’s something for everyone on this list. And the best part is, you don’t have to worry about crowds or queues, as these are mostly known only by locals or savvy travellers.

Bargain hunt at Feira da Ladra

Feira da Ladra, which literally means “thieves’ market”, is Lisbon’s oldest and most famous flea market. It’s held every Tuesday and Saturday in the Alfama district, near the National Pantheon. Here you can find all kinds of treasures, from antiques and vintage clothing to books and vinyl records. You never know what you might discover at this eclectic and colourful market, where bargaining is part of the fun.

Explore the Museu da Água

Museu da Água, or the Water Museum, is a fascinating place that tells the story of how water has shaped Lisbon’s history and development. The museum is located in a former 18th-century aqueduct that supplied water to the city until the 1960s. You can visit the impressive Barbadinhos Steam Pumping Station, where you can see the original machinery and learn how it worked. You can also walk along the aqueduct’s arches and enjoy the views of the city and the river.

Admire the Museu do Azulejo

Museu do Azulejo, or the Tile Museum, is a must-see for anyone who loves the distinctive blue-and-white tiles that decorate many buildings in Lisbon. The museum is housed in a former convent and showcases the history and art of azulejos, from the 15th century to the present day. You can admire thousands of tiles from different periods and styles, as well as learn how they are made and restored. The museum also has a beautiful cloister and a chapel with stunning tile panels.

Discover LX Factory

LX Factory is a creative hub that occupies a former industrial complex in Alcântara, under the 25 de Abril Bridge. It’s home to dozens of artists, designers, entrepreneurs and cultural events that give life to this alternative space. You can explore the various shops, galleries, studios, cafes and restaurants that offer original and innovative products and services. You can also check out the street art that covers the walls and buildings, or visit the amazing Ler Devagar bookstore, which has a huge collection of books and a suspended bike.

Enjoy Miradouro da Senhora do Monte

Miradouro da Senhora do Monte, or the Lady of the Hill Viewpoint, is one of the best spots to enjoy a panoramic view of Lisbon. It’s located on top of one of the city’s highest hills, in the Graça neighbourhood. From here you can see the castle, the river the bridge, and the rooftops of the old town. You can also visit the small chapel dedicated to Our Lady of the Hill, who is said to protect Lisbon from earthquakes. It’s a peaceful and romantic place to watch the sunset or the stars.

Learn at Museu Nacional do Desporto

Museu Nacional do Desporto, or the National Sports Museum, is a place where you can learn about Portugal’s sporting achievements and culture. The museum is located in the Palácio Foz, a beautiful 18th-century palace on Restauradores Square. You can see exhibits that showcase various sports disciplines, such as football, athletics, cycling and sailing. You can also try some interactive games and simulations that will test your skills and knowledge. The museum also has a library and a cinema that offer sports-related books and films.

Relax at Jardim Botânico da Ajuda

Jardim Botânico da Ajuda, or the Ajuda Botanical Garden, is the oldest botanical garden in Portugal and one of the most beautiful in Europe. It was created in 1768 by the royal family as a place to study and collect exotic plants from around the world. The garden has more than 5000 species of plants, arranged in geometric patterns and terraces. You can admire the diversity and beauty of the flora, as well as the statues, fountains and greenhouses that adorn the garden. You can also enjoy a stunning view of the river and the Belém Tower from the upper level.

Visit Museu da Marinha

Museu da Marinha, or the Navy Museum, is a place where you can discover Portugal’s maritime history and heritage. The museum is located in the Belém district, in the former royal palace where the kings used to oversee naval expeditions. You can see more than 17,000 items that illustrate Portuguese naval achievements, such as ships, models, maps, instruments, uniforms and weapons. You can also learn about the explorers, sailors and battles that shaped Portugal’s role in the world.

Listen to fado at the Museu do Fado

Museu do Fado, or the Fado Museum, is a place where you can immerse yourself in the soulful music that is part of Lisbon’s identity. Fado is a traditional genre of music that expresses the feelings and emotions of the Portuguese people, especially those related to love, longing and nostalgia. The museum traces the origins and evolution of fado, from its roots in the 19th century to its contemporary expressions. You can see exhibits that display fado memorabilia, such as guitars, posters, costumes and records. You can also listen to some of the most famous fado singers and songs.

Remember at Museu do Aljube Resistência e Liberdade

Museu do Aljube Resistência e Liberdade, or the Aljube Museum Resistance and Freedom, is a place where you can learn about the dark period of Portugal’s history when it was ruled by a dictatorship from 1926 to 1974. The museum is located in a former prison where many political opponents and activists were detained and tortured by the regime. You can see exhibits that document the repression and resistance that marked this era, as well as testimonies from former prisoners and their families. You can also visit the cells and isolation rooms where they suffered.

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