Explore off the beaten path with Lisbon's best hidden gems

Ticked off the main sites and looking for more? Track down these top 10 hidden gems in Lisbon and uncover a deeper understanding of Portugal's capital.

Your trip to Lisbon will probably include visiting some of the city's famous landmarks and tasting its world-renowned cuisine. What should you do next? How about heading off the beaten path to discover some secret places in Lisbon?

Some of these hidden gems in Lisbon are ideal for spending a day, while others are best seen at night when the city takes on a whole new atmosphere. These hidden places include unusual walking tours, unforgettable day trips, and special classes to help you immerse yourself in the true local culture.

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1. Experience Lisbon through the eyes of an insider

Take a Private Tour with Locals: Highlights and Hidden Gems to discover a side of Lisbon that most visitors never see. Your guide will take you to both the biggest sights and off-beat places, giving you their very special perspective.

Highlights:

As well as showing you the sights on this unique, private tour, your guide will take you for a special snack at one of their favorite eateries.

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2. Get hands-on with Portuguese art at a tile workshop

You can't miss the azulejo tiles all over Lisbon and other Portuguese cities. Learn to make them yourself, decide on your own unique design, and walk away with one of the coolest, most unique souvenirs around.

Highlights:

The Lisbon Tiles and Tales: Full-Day Tile Workshop and Tour offers you a full, immersive trip through the world of tiles. When you're done, leave your hotel's address, and the staff will bake your tile to set your artwork and send it to you.

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3. Enjoy local culinary favorites with a secret food tour

Get off the beaten path and into the kitchen. A local will lead you on a Secret Food Tour of Lisbon, where you'll try the famous petiscos (small sharing plates) and find the best spot in the city to enjoy Porto wine.

Highlights:

All you have to bring on the tour is an empty stomach and an open mind. Don't be afraid to try some unusual flavors, including a delicious sour cherry liquor.

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4. Escape the city for a day to discover a little slice of paradise

Have you heard of Arrábida Natural Park? No? You're in luck. This magical coastal spot is still largely unknown, so you won't need to dodge crowds of tourists on your Full-Day Hidden Paradise Tour. Discover cliffs, stunning waters, and even an old monastery as you explore this beautiful natural environment.

Highlights:

Your guide will take you to the best secret spots in Arrábida, including a magical hidden cave nestled among the park's beaches. This tour is perfect for cooling off in summer, but you can appreciate the wild beauty of the park at any time of year.

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5. Discover the hushed history of secret agents on an espionage tour

You might be surprised to discover a World War II-themed tour in Portugal. The country may have been officially neutral, but it still had its part to play, as you'll see on the City of Spies Guided Walking Tour. Learn about the unique atmosphere in Lisbon that turned it into a hotbed of double-crossing secret agents.

Highlights:

A professional guide will lead you on this thrilling tour through some of Lisbon's most interesting secrets. If you have an interest in history, this is a must. You'll learn about how spies from both sides rubbed shoulders with exiled royals, famous artists, and celebrities from across Europe. It's one of the most fascinating pieces of WWII history and deserves to be better known.

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6. Get a local's perspective on Sintra and Cascais

Many visitors take day trips to Sintra or Cascais, but if you want to see these two gorgeous towns in a different light, go on a Pena Palace, Sintra, and Cascais Tour with Locals. Your guide will show you the secret places that most tourists miss. You'll also learn more about why the people of Lisbon admire these beautiful towns so much.

Highlights:

You're in for an action-packed day as you visit several stunning locations near Lisbon. Your guide will take you to a great mixture of natural and heritage sites along the way. They'll also point out the best shots for photos, including stunning panoramic views and incredible shots of the palaces of Sintra and the grand country estates of Cascais.

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7. See Lisbon's African influence on a special walking tour

From the Moorish occupation to the Portuguese colonies, Lisbon has centuries of shared history with Africa. Take a unique walking tour to learn more about African culture and history in Lisbon, complete with a fresh spin on some of the city's landmarks.

Highlights:

The African History and Heritage Walking Tour has several interesting spots along the way. This trip will include a history of the slave trade, a highly sensitive subject for some visitors. You'll also learn about how, in the post-colonial era, Africans have integrated into Portuguese society, turning Lisbon into one of the most multicultural cities in Southern Europe.

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8. Head back in time with a megalithic tour

What was Portugal like at the beginning of time? Spark your imagination with an Évora and Megaliths Full-Day Tour from Lisbon. You'll marvel at the circles of ancient standing stones, one of humanity's most enduring mysteries.

Highlights:

As well as seeing the megaliths, you'll have the chance to see the cork harvest in action. In modern Lisbon, there's nowhere to hide from cork souvenirs, and now you can see how this remarkable Portuguese industry functions.

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9. Discover Lisbon's urban culture through graffiti art

Portugal is well-known for its historic art, but Lisbon also has a thriving modern graffiti scene. A Kickstart Street Art Walking Tour will take you to the city's hippest neighborhoods, where bright, colorful murals are waiting for you.

Highlights:

One of the most interesting spots on the tour is the Caracol da Graça, with incredible artwork all over the street. Your guide will tell you about the history of graffiti, explaining more about the international artists whose work is on display here.

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10. Skip the bakery line for a masterclass in making custard tarts

Lisbon's pastéis de nata (custard tarts) are the most famous dessert in town. At a 2-Hour Pastel de Nata Cooking Class, you'll learn the secrets of the professional pastry chefs and make a delicious batch yourself.

Highlights:

This hands-on workshop will leave you with the skills you need to impress your friends when you go home. You'll also learn a little more about the intriguing history of this tasty snack, and you'll enjoy some refreshments as you sit to nibble on your very own batch of freshly-made pastries.

FAQs

What are some lesser-known attractions in Lisbon that are worth visiting?

Lisbon has a number of cool art galleries, like the Underdogs Gallery, which offers a fresh take on modern art. There are also some great walking tours that will show you little-known parts of the city's history and culture. These often touch on cool, urban scenes like graffiti or show you little-known parts of Portuguese history.

Are there any hidden or secret gardens in Lisbon that I can explore?

Lisbon is a very green city. As you explore areas like Monsanto Park or Tapada da Ajuda, you're sure to find spots that offer total privacy. One of the most interesting parks to visit is the Jardim Botânico Tropical, which showcases the plants from Portugal's former colonies.

Can you recommend any hidden or secret viewpoints in Lisbon with great views of the city?

You'll have a bit of a trek to get to the Miradouro da Nossa Senhora do Monte. It's worth it, though. Once you get up there, you'll enjoy spectacular views across the city.

What are some lesser-known neighborhoods in Lisbon that are worth exploring?

It might sound strange, but it's worth exploring the neighborhoods in Central Lisbon around the castle. The maze of incredibly narrow streets means that they're packed with interesting sites that few visitors see, including what may be the smallest bookstore in the world, the Livraria do Simão, and the city's fantastic Feira da Ladra flea market.

Can you recommend any hidden architectural gems in Lisbon that are not as crowded as the famous landmarks?

Most of Lisbon's oldest buildings were destroyed in the 1755 earthquake, but there are still some great architectural gems. These include the Campo Pequeno, which was once the main bullfighting arena in Lisbon, and the beautiful Convento de São Pedro de Alcântara. For something a little spookier, visit the Cemitério do Alto de São João, with its eclectic mix of architectural styles.