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Alternative Things to Do in Lisbon

Marisa Megan

8670 Aljezur, Portugal

Lisbon is definitely the cool new kid on the block, but you’ll have to be in the know if you want be where all the cool kids are hanging out. Discover some of the coolest offbeat, artistic, and hipster hangouts, along with some of the best kept secrets in our alternative guide to Lisbon:

Feira da ladra: Lisbon’s coolest open-air market

Feira da Ladra, Lisbon, Portugal. ingehogenbijl /

Lisbon’s coolest open-air flea market, Feira da Ladra, is the perfect place to find all sorts of vintage goods, artisan creations, vinyl records, and second hand anything. The Feira takes place in the Campo de Santa Clara square, and is the perfect place to enjoy browsing through the vendors’ wares, or simply settle in for some excellent people watching.

Pro tip: Do not buy old azulejos (portuguese ceramic tiles) from open air markets like the Feira da Ladra, as they’ve most likely been stolen off the city’s buildings.

Casa do Pico Alto: a concept design and surf shop

Casa do Pico, Carcavelos, Portugal. Credit: Casa do Pico

Casa do Pico, a concept design and surf shop in Carcavelos (20 minutes outside of the city center), where the only things cooler than the wares are the weekly workshops hosted here. The little shop is home to everything from ceramic painting, hand weaving, and photography to yoga and brunch on Sundays. This spot attracts the coolest crowd of Lisboêts, and visitors are always welcome to join.

Dois Corvos Brewery: Lisbon’s hipster-friendly taproom

Dois Corvos Brewery, Lisbon, Portugal. Credit: Dois Corvos Brewery

Dois Corvos Brewery is an independent, family-owned brewery crafting unique brews and named the best tap room in Portugal by RateBeer. Besides serving up tasty and interesting craft beers, the brewhouse is an excellent place to meet friendly local residents, watch a Benfica match, or simply enjoy a well-deserved drink.

Underdogs: the coolest place to grab a coffee in Lisbon

Underdogs, Lisbon, Portugal.

The Cafe at Underdogs might be the coolest place to grab a coffee in Lisbon, and no, it’s not a hipster haven. Underdogs is an urban art supply store and gallery space that’s the nervepoint for urban art in the city. Their warehouse-style gallery hosts exhibitions from contemporary artists from around the world, and the onsite urban art supply store and café is a hotbed for local artists and art lovers. Attend a workshop or even chat with one of the artists in residency — or, ask the staff if you can join in for what’s hands down the best street art tour of the city.

Casa do Alentejo: one of the most opulent buildings in the city

Casa do Alentejo, Lisbon, Portugal. Credit: Casa do Alentejo

Easily one of the most interesting and opulent buildings in Lisbon, the Casa do Alentejo is an incredible moorish mansion (think the Raids of Morocco) hidden behind an unassuming façade. Built in the 17th century, the building was later restored and now serves as the headquarters for the cultural association of the Alentejo region of Portugal. Sit down at the in-house restaurant to enjoy a traditional Portuguese meal, join in for a cultural event, or simply wander from room to room, taking in the impressive scenery.

Village Underground: Lisbon’s craziest coworking space

Village Underground, Lisbon, Portugal.

This coworking space for the creative and event industries is housed in shipping containers and double decker busses, sitting directly under the 25th of April bridge. For those who love the weird, artsy, and industrial, the Village Underground is your mecca in the city.

LxFactory: an array of arty retailers & unique restaurants

LX Factory, Lisbon, Portugal. KajzrPhotography /

This historical industrial complex in Alcântara houses an array of arty retailers & unique restaurants, and has become a veritable meeting point for everything creative, cultural, and gastronomic in the area.

In a set of uber cool restored factory buildings by the Rio Tejo, you’ll find everything from fashion to books, or vintage furniture to contemporary design stores, alongside an amazing selection of dining options. We’ve highlighted a few of our favorite LX finds below.

Ler Devagar: a haven from the city noise

Ler Devagar, Lisbon, Portugal.

Ler Devagar is well on its way to becoming an iconic stop in the City of Light. Located in the LX Factory, this incredible bookstore has books stacked up to the ceilings, a bicycle by artist Pietro Proserpio floating from the rafters, and old printing presses holding it all together. It’s not only beautiful, Ler Devagar is a haven from the city noise and an absolute must stop for bibliophiles.

Landeau Chocolate: the best chocolate cake in town

Landeau Chocolate, Lisbon.

Time Out Lisboa called it the best chocolate cake in town, while the The New York Times proclaimed the chocolate cake and Landeau “devilishly good.” They certainly have the time to perfect it, seeing as this LX Factory favorite has nothing more on the menu than chocolate cake and drinks. Not a chocolate lover but still have a sweet tooth? Head a few shops down to LXeese Cake, a Landeau cheesecake-lover’s dream.

Lisbon Crooks and Surfers: return to the true roots of surf culture

Lisbon Crooks & Surfers, Lisbon, Portugal.

Lisbon Crooks & Surfers is a surfboard factory that’s looking to rescue the true roots of surfing— friends, good wine, good food, and easy to surf, epicly cool boards. These Crooks are out to show the Lisbon surfing scene that high performance is just a marketing gimmick, and that the best surfer out there is really the one having the most fun with friends.

Stop by this shop to talk about your own custom-fun performance board, or simply have a chat with these super cool cooks who “just wanted to ride the waves with boards made by us, with the real Lisbon soul. Fado, Futebol, e Fátima.”