Top 15: Best Free Things to Do in Lisbon

Like A Local Guide • 1 Mar, 2019

What are the best free things to do in an amazing city like Lisbon which rests on seven hills and is blessed with beautiful old neighbourhoods? Our local editor Rita has picked some of her favourites. Take a look!

1. Stroll around Feira da Ladra

Feira da Ladra literally translates to ‘Thief Fair’ and is the oldest market in Lisbon. It sells a mishmash of all sorts of things – from vintage evening gowns, to hand painted tiles. Even if you don’t have a budget to buy anything, the market is a fascinating place to walk around and take a few photos!

3267279502_424849a06e_bPhoto credit: fedee P

2. Hang out with ducks at Gulbenkian

Gulbenkian is a huge concrete bunker of a museum surrounded by a garden with a lake. There’s an impressive amphitheatre on site that hosts regular concerts but for some free fun – head to the lake and lay down on a blanket to watch the ducks and soak up the sunshine.

13e7142f0d925fcd54f0f19f71d02eb8Photo credit: Rita Alves

3. Observe local life at Jardim do Príncipe Real

Jardim do Principe Real has been a favourite spot in Lisbon for locals to hang out for centuries. Old men like to come to the garden to play cards, families take their kids to the playground, and couples sit in the shade of the stunning cypress tree, which is more than 100 years old. What’s more, there’s a Biological Products Market every Saturday with deliciously fresh fruit and vegetables for sale.

5762822663_74b58d42e5_bPhoto credit: Paulo Guerra

4. Smell the roses at Jardim da Estrela

Popular with families, Jardim da Estrela is a splendid garden with two playgrounds, a bandstand and a terrace café where locals enjoy spending warm and sunny afternoons. And if you’re craving more of Lisbon’s green spaces, check out the secret gardens tour.

2330107954_41816e73f1_oPhoto credit: Pedro Tavares Silva

5. Dive into the multiculturalism of Martim Moniz

Named after a noble knight, Martim Moniz is a square full of life and one of the most multicultural areas in Lisbon. There are Chinese grocery stores, Indian eateries and Turkish kebab shops on this block. On weekends there are often a DJs spinning tunes in the square and local kids playing football.

14911374450_e6567712a1_kPhoto credit: ludovic

6. Take in the view at Miradouro de Nossa Senhora do Monte

Lisbon is a city spread out over seven hills, which means there are some wonderful viewpoints to enjoy. Although it’s not the most popular of the peaks, Miradouro de Nossa Senhora do Monte is the highest point in the city and offers truly breathtaking views of Lisbon, without the tourist crowds.

2681728282_f74c342913_oPhoto credit: Nuno Morão

7. Sing Fado in Largo do Chafariz de Dentro

Located in one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Lisbon, Largo do Chafariz de Dentro is a square where you’ll find charming cafes, grocery stores and friendly locals drinking Aguardente and singing Fado songs…join them! If you’re keen to explore some of Lisbon’s other historical neighbourhoods, why not connect with a local guide by booking a walking tour.

Things to do in Lisbon: Alfama Photo by Rita Alves

8. Sunbathe at Ribeira das Naus

Once an old boatyard, Ribeira das Naus has become the place to go if you want to enjoy the sun. With a large grassy area and wide steps that lead down to the water, you’ll find locals and visitors laying about on deckchairs and drinking beers in the afternoon. On a hot day there’s the added bonus of a breeze coming off the river.

20576157314_fb6c8cd0a4_kPhoto credit: Diego BIS

9. See the sights at Santa Luzia Viewpoint

To take in the beauty of Santa Engrácia’s dome (also known as National Pantheon), Santo Estevão’s Church and the two white towers of São Miguel’s Church, head to Santa Luzia Viewpoint. If you fancy learning about some of the city’s history while you enjoy the view, why not book a tour.

23441074444_8a3f7d080f_kPhoto credit: Guillén Pérez

10. Check out Centro Cultural de Belém

Stretching across 140,000 square metres, Centro Cultural de Belém is one of the most impressive buildings in Lisbon. This cultural centre hosts opera, ballet and symphony concerts – as well as international conferences and events. It’s always a hive of activity and well worth checking out.

4432668628_6f438c4ae2_oPhoto credit: Ricardo Amado

11. Stand in awe of Torre de Belém

Rising out of the sea, Torre de Belém looks like something out of a fairy-tale. This beautiful tower, which stands at the mouth of the Tagus River, was built in the 16thcentury and has become the most iconic building in Lisbon. Other buildings to marvel at in the area include Jeronimos Monastery’s, Church of Santa Maria de Belem and the Discoveries Monument. There are some amazing stories behind this part of Lisbon and booking a tour is a wonderful way to experience everything the area has to offer.

Must do and things to do in Lisbon: Torre de BelemPhoto by Alex Paganelli

12. Watch pasteis de nata being made

Sweet custard tarts, served warm with cinnamon sprinkled on top. If you’ve never tried Portugal’s most famous dessert – natas – then you’re in for a treat! The best place to watch these delicious pastries being made is Manteigaria where you can view chefs masterfully making the tarts behind the counter. Why not take a pastry workshop while you’re in Lisbon?

Pasteis de nata in Lisbon. Pastel de nata workshopPhoto by Felix Kolthoff

13. Get arty at Coleccao Berardo

This modern art gallery is located in Belem and showcases a range of contemporary art exhibits that include works from Picasso, Dali and Warhol. Admission on Saturdays is free!

14. Appreciate the modern side of life at Parque das Nações

Most travellers head to Lisbon to take in all the old buildings but if you’d like a break from history and to see a more modern side of the city – take a trip to Parque das Nações which is locally known as Expo Park. Back in 1998 Lisbon played host to the World Fair at this site and it’s now a place where you can enjoy a few outdoor art sculptures, as well as stroll along the waterfront.

15. Search for street art

From giant portraits of political figures, to quirky cartoon characters – there’s plenty of colourful and intriguing street art all around Lisbon. Head to Mouraria to see a wall full of art that pays tribute to the music of Fado – and then to Bairro Alto, where you’ll find murals of Combi vans next to illustrations of uprisings.

Street art in Lisbon, PortugalPhoto by Suad Kamardeen


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Like A Local Guide is about stepping off the tourist trail and finding cool and cosy spots where locals like to spend their time. We built a website and mobile app to bring insider recommendations from around the world to your fingertips.


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    Local life in Principe Real?! That's funny since the place is full of tourists and there's not a single portuguese living there... but i guess this applies to most neighbourhoods in Lisbon
    Pedro • Jul 15, 2019 • Reply
    In Lisbon 19 May - 25May 2019 and wondered if there is opera or musicals at this time?
    Linda • Apr 13, 2019 • Reply
    Do you mind if I quote a couple of your articles as long as I provide credit and sources back to your blog? My blog is in the very same niche as yours and my visitors would truly benefit from a lot of the information you provide here. Please let me know if this alright with you. Thank you!
    dang ky 188bet • Apr 02, 2019 • Reply
      Sure! As long as you give credits and links we don't mind :)
      Kris Härsing • Apr 04, 2019 • Reply
    Great selection. I've been to Lisbon in June. Out of all these places I can definitely recall being to Martim Moniz. This chilled area has such a pleasant vibe, there were also some people there doing yoga, massages or just having beers.
    Lena • Mar 30, 2019 • Reply
    […] course, Lisbon has its share of excellent museums, walking tours, famous things to do and see in the centre and out in the historic district of Belem, and there are of course plenty of reasons you should […]
    5 Alternative Things to Do in Lisbon for Under €5 – Indefinite Adventure • Mar 28, 2019 • Reply
    Hi, Check out our website for more recommendations about Lisbon: You can also join Like a Local community to get in touch with other locals and recommend some of your favourite places in your hometown:
    Kris Härsing • Mar 15, 2019 • Reply
    Wonderful site you have here but I was curious if you knew of any message boards that cover the same topics talked about in this article? I'd really love to be a part of community where I can get comments from other knowledgeable individuals that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Appreciate it!
    2 Person Kayaks • Mar 15, 2019 • Reply
    Everything is very open with a very clear description of the issues. It was really informative. Your website is extremely helpful. Many thanks for sharing!
    datingsite • Mar 12, 2019 • Reply
    […] Top 10: Best Free Things to Do in Lisbon […]
    Lisbon Tourist Attractions / Travel Guide / Tips / Blog • Mar 05, 2019 • Reply
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