Tips from locals


Exploring a city like Lisbon can be done in different ways. You read all the travel guides you can find, view all kinds of videos about the city on Youtube.com or browse the internet in the search for a good site, full of tips from locals.Restaurant Cervejaria Trindade, LissabonWe regularly talk to residents of Lisbon, Lisboetas, about what they actually find the most beautiful thing about their city. Because to be honest, nobody knows a city better than a local. Why would you only visit the standard tourist sights if you can also get insider tips from locals? Those locals often know best where you can find that one hidden coffee shop, or where you can get the best pastéis de nata in Lisbon (Spoiler: it’s not Pasteís de Belem!).
Luis’s Lisbon (73) (retired engineer) “I really love the history of my city. Unfortunately, the 1755 earthquake destroyed a large part of Lisbon, so lots of great buildings and monuments no longer exist.The top 3 local tips from Luis:

1. Convento Carmo “I like to come here to enjoy the silence, right in the middle of the city. The ruins themselves are impressive, at least as important are the relics found in the museum: from an Egyptian sarcophagus to Azulejos from the 18th century! ”

2. Sé de Lisboa “I am not a deeply religious man, but the devotion and religious energy that hangs in this cathedral is almost tangible. A wonderful place to relax on a busy summer afternoon. ”

3. Praia da Adraga “As a teenager, I liked coming to this beach. I walked along the shoreline with friends, philosophizing about life. And occasionally, we’d also met girls.”

Known and loved

And do not be mistaken, sometimes all those super famous sights are also worthwhile according to the locals! Castelo de São Jorge for example. Its in all the guides. On every website. Every top 10 list about Lisbon talks about it. And guess what? The locals also love it! Okay, they can go inside for free, but still. And we completely understand, the views from the castle are phenomenal! Here you will find all insider tips we got from the locals. We keep this list of recommendations as up to date as possible.




Going for coffee in Lisbon – serious business!

Koffie - cimbali apparaat

Do you like coffee? And do you want to get through your holiday in Lisbon without the stress of not knowing how to order a coffee the right way? Then stop what you were doing right now and read on with due attention, for this article will tell you everything…

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Easter in Lisbon – traditional food

Semana Santa is an important week for Catholics in Portugal. In many cities there are Easter processions, you can also find a couple in Lisbon. Vooral in het noorden van Portugal, met name in Braga, wordt Pasen groots gevierd. In the north of Portugal, especially in Braga, Easter is celebrated…

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Ribeira das Naus – down to the beach in Lisbon

Ribeira das Naus - richintg comercio

Looking to cool off during the hot summer days, but your visit to Lisbon is just too short to go to the beach? Don’t panic! Grab your beach towel and head to Ribeira das Naus! Ribeira das Naus is the promenade along the Tagus River between Praça de Comercio and…

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Pastelaria Versailles – old soul in young pastelaria

Versailles - bar naar achter

Even though Pastelaria Versailles is one of the oldest pastelarias in Lisbon, compared to the city centre of Lisbon this pasteleria is not super old. Pastelaria Versailles was opened in 1922. Even though that’s less than a 100 years old, the interior suggests otherwise. Pleasant and hard times In the…

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Ginjinha sem Rival – have a ginjinha without rivals

Ginjinha Sem Rival - bord met drank

Ginjinha Sem Rival literally means Ginjinha without a rival. It’s funny that this little bar is called this way, because just a stone’s throw away you’ll find enough other Ginjinha bars. Maybe they think they’re without any competition… We don’t think it matters much if you get your Ginja at…

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New Year’s Eve – experience the New Year in Lisbon

Are you arriving in Lisbon for new year’s eve, celebrating the new year in Lisbon? Prepare yourself for a grand party! Enjoy one of the great advantages of celebrating New Year’s Eve in Lisbon: individuals are not allowed to have fireworks. Fireworks shows In Lisbon (just like the rest of…

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Bolo do Rei – traditional Christmas cake from Lisbon

If you spend Christmas holidays in Lisbon you will notice that in the average Portuguese family the Christmas party is not complete without a Bolo do Rei (King’s Cake) on the table. DThe Bolo do Rei, a traditional Portuguese cake, has its origin in French, from the galette des rois….

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O Velho Eurico – in the heart of Alfama

O Eurico - buitenkant

** Update May 2019 Due to the poor health of the owner, the restaurant is permanently closed ** Looking for typical Portuguese food in a typical Portuguese restaurant in the heart of the typical Portuguese Alfama neighbourhood? Then Restaurante O Eurico is the place to go. This typical Portuguese restaurant…

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A Tribute – an ode to the inhabitants of Mouraria

A Tribute D

The English photographer Camille Watson runs her studio in one of the oldest neighbourhoods of Lisbon: Mouraria. “A Tribute” shows a series of portraits of the older inhabitants of this district. Inspired by the district, the old houses and the original inhabitants of this district, she decided to start this…

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Santuário da Peninha – hidden gem in the Pena

Convento da Peninha - paleis en kapel

Santuário da Peninha is a hidden gem in the Pena mountains where few tourists come. Which makes this a very nice and quiet place. Especially for an attraction in the middle of the Pena. Actually, Santuário da Peninha is not completely hidden, the shrine of Peninha is next to Palácio…

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Casa Portuguesa do Pastel de Bacalhau – say cheese!

We love the Bacalhau pastries that you can usually get at any pastelaria. This is something different though, Casa Portuguesa do Pastel de Bacalhau serves a very special Pastel de Bacalhau! For years we usually walked past this bacalhau pastelaria in the Baixa and never visit it, because I always…

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Igreja de São Roque – seemingly boring facade

Many times I walked past Igreja de São Roque, never really noticing this church. Why is that?! I don’t get it either. It’s a massive building on the corner of a very narrow road (R. São Pedro de Alcântara) that leads to the Ascensor Gloria and Instituto Dos Vinhos Do…

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A Vida Portuguesa – traditional Portuguese products

It’s not just Lisbon as a city that is experiencing some sort of second life. A lot of traditional Portuguese products are being marketed as ‘new’. A Vida Portuguesa is just the place for that: they sell products from the past as if they were invented just yesterday. If you…

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Confeitaria Cistér – clattering coffee cups

The sound of coffee cups and saucers clattering together as a result of cleaning up the dishes reminds me a lot of those real old-fashioned pastelaria. I have visited many pastelarias in my life and I get very sentimental when I hear that specific sound. Upon entering the pastelaria Confeitaria…

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Embaixada – alternatief shoppen

If you come to Lisbon to do some shopping, then Embaixada is definitely a place that you shouldn’t miss. At this moment this beautiful building is used as a concept store with many (pop-up) shops. According to locals this is one of the better places in Lisbon to discover new…

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Veneziana – oldest ice cream shop

Tucked away in a corner near Praça dos Restauradores you will find Veneziana. This is the smallest and oldest ice cream parlour I have seen in Lisbon. The store is small, but the terrace is normally gigantic. Currently (and unfortunately for the owner of Veneziana), a few buildings next to…

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Parque Infantil do Alvito playground in Monsanto

This is certainly one of the coolest playgrounds we have encountered in Lisbon: Parque Infantil do Alvito. Large, clean and something to do for all ages. The playground is located outside the tourist center and is not easy to get to if you don’t have a car. But because the…

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Óbidos – fortress city with ginja

The city of Óbidos, surrounded by castles walls, is an one hour’s drive north of Lisbon. In Óbidos time appears to have stood still. This city is located near the sea and had an important strategic function in defending the Portuguese territory in the past. The city is built on…

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Hospital de Bonecas – the Lisbon dolls hospital

So your doll is sick, what do you do? In Lisbon, people have been going to the doll doctor at the dolls hospital for generations: Hospital de Bonecas, right in the centre of town. The dolls hospital has existed since 1830 and has cured all kinds of dolls over the…

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Typical Portuguese food – posta Mirandesa

If there’s one thing for which I can wake my Portuguese friends Isabel and Luis, it’s posta Mirandesa. Well, when it’s prepared in a very good restaurant, that is. Isabel is the best Portuguese cook I know, but she doesn’t do this dish. Not because she can’t, but because the…

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RC Restaurante – value for money!

We love to stroll through Alfama and discover new places. And on this particular day we walked from the Pantheon land passed the tiny RC Restaurante near Santa Apolónia station. We noticed this restaurant because it is indicated on the outside of the restaurant that a menu costs only €5…

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Convento do Carmo – photogenic ruins in Lisbon

In the middle of the city of Lisbon, between Chiado and Bairro Alto, you can find Convento do Carmo, the Carmo monastery. This impressive ruin mainly shows the traces of the great earthquake of 1755. But there is a lot more more than just that. At first you might think…

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Fado bar A Tasca do Chico – search for new talent

A Tasca do Chico is a fado cafe in the Bairro Alto district. This restaurant, which is actually more of a bar, is very small and is always filled with people, especially on fado nights! Don’t expect too much from the staff, they are not particularly friendly and usually they’re…

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MAAT – Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology

The museum MAAT, which stands for Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology, was opened in the autumn of 2016, making it one of the newest museums in Lisbon. Youngest member on the banks of the Tagus For a number of years people have been working hard to make the banks…

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Parque e Palácio de Monserrate – 1001 nights in Sintra

In many travel guides and on various travel blogs we read that Palácio de Monserrate is not as spectacular as the other sights in Sintra. We respectfully disagree with that. The atmosphere in this palace is indeed very special. On the ground floor there are Arab influences that definitely recreates…

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Gelados Santini – The best ice cream in Lisbon*

It is never too cold to eat ice cream! And besides, in Lisbon it’s never really cold. Gelados Santini is one of the best ice cream shops in Lisbon. Gelados Santini has been making ice cream since 1949 and since 2010 they have their own shop in Rua do Carmo….

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Fábrica da Nata – new kid in town

Fábrica da Nata is the new kid in town when it comes to pastéis de nata, and definitely a must visit! Since March 2016, this specialist in pastéis de nata has been opened in the centre of Lisbon. This bakery is not fannying about and has opened a second branch…

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Praia da Adraga – popular beach with locals

Praia da adraga reddingsboei

In less than 45 minutes, at about 27 miles from Lisbon, you can reach the most beautiful beach in Portugal, perhaps in Western Europe: Praia da Adraga. At the end of a narrow, winding road that leads you from the N247 through the town of Almoçageme, you are met by…

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Confeitaria Nacional – Lisbon’s Oldest Pastelaria

Confeitaria NAcional plakkaat

Confeitaria Nacional is not only one of the oldest pastelaria in Lisbon, it is actually one of the oldest in Europe! This bakery has been in business since 1829 and was once the official bakery of the Portuguese king at that time. Inside you’ll find, besides tourists, many Lisboetas who…

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Pastelaria Beira Gare – lunch for every budget

Around the corner of Rossio square, just opposite Rossio train station, you can find Pastelaria Beira Gare. From the sidewalk you can see the cheerful waiters behind the bar doing their thing. In front of the window the cooks prepare the salgados (savory pastries) and sandwiches. You can visit Pastelaria…

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A Ginjinha – drinking Ginja with the locals

What gin is for the British is Ginjinha (or Ginja) for the Lisboetas. Everyone in Lisbon knows someone who distills this drink in their backyard. If you’re not that lucky, or don’t have your own distillery at hand, then you can buy a shot of Ginjinha on the street everywhere…

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