Lisbon has experienced something of a tourism boom over the past couple of years. Right now, British, French and Spanish travellers alike are flowing through the streets of historic bairros like medieval Alfama and photogenic Baixa, lapping up the year-round sunshine. World-class new museums are pulling in huge numbers, the local food scene has swelled, and seasoned clubbers are lining up to sample Cais do Sodré’s thriving nightlife.
So, where should you start? It’d be relatively easy to stick to your typical guidebook itinerary and never venture out of earshot of another Brit. But you’ll be missing out if you don’t explore beyond the bustling central piazzas. After all, away from the pricey fado bars around the São Jorge castle and the yellow trams that make the 18th-century downtown so popular among visitors, there’s a handful of less trampled areas, like Alcântara and Príncipe Real, that brim with overlooked attractions.
To help guide you around these less familiar parts, we’ve put together a list of the 20 best little-known and slightly unorthodox things to do in the Portuguese capital. Click through to discover the locals’ favourite restaurants, bars, cafés, museums, shops and more.