20+ Hidden Gems in Lisbon That Are Worth Visiting

20+ Hidden Gems in Lisbon That Are Worth Visiting

Already ticked off most of the attractions in the Portuguese capital and looking for something different? You will love these hidden gems in Lisbon!

I am sure you have heard about iconic attractions like São Jorge Castle, Belém Tower and Jerónimos Monastery, but Lisbon has a lot to offer also for those who want to see beyond the surface.

From hidden churches to new azulejos finds, I am sure you will find something new in this travel guide. No matter if you are a frequent visitor or a resident in Lisbon.

When I first moved to Lisbon, we would often grab our camera and wander around for hours. That’s how I gathered this list of secret spots in Lisbon. And that’s how you can save time and head directly to these Lisbon gems.

Let’s dive in and discover the most beautiful hidden gems of Lisbon that are actually worth visiting and will leave you in awe.

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Best secret spots in Lisbon that you will love

Palace Fronteira

Palace Fronteira - one of the hidden gems in Lisbon
Palace Fronteira - one of the hidden gems in Lisbon
Palace Fronteira - one of the hidden gems in Lisbon

Located further away from central Lisbon, Palace Fronteira definitely deserves to be on the list of the best-hidden gems in Lisbon. It is a magnificent 17th-century mansion known for its exquisite azulejos (traditional Portuguese tiles), lush gardens, and rich history.

Constructed in 1640 by Dom João de Mascarenhas, the first Marquess of Fronteira, the palace served as a private residence for the noble family and remains their home to this day. Yes, that is right. And despite that, you can still have access to the palace.

While the palace itself is one of a kind, visiting gardens is one of my personal favorites. Designed in the formal Baroque style, the gardens are divided into terraces and feature manicured hedges, statues, fountains, and ornamental lakes.

And can we talk a bit more about tiles again? It is one of the best places to see azulejos in Lisbon considering the massive tile work featured in the gardens and interior of the palace.

I remember when I first visited Fronteira Palace, they didn’t even have a set schedule and would accept visitors just a couple of hours per day. Since then, a lot has changed, however, it still remains one of the secret spots in Lisbon.

If you are planning to visit the interior of the palace, you will need to join a guided tour. Available time slots are limited, so plan accordingly. You can pick a suitable time and buy your ticket here.

⏰ Instead, gardens are open from Monday to Saturday from 9.30 am to 6 pm (last entry at 5.30 pm).

💶 Entrance ticket is 7 euros and kids under 12 can enter for free. You can purchase your ticket here or at the entrance of the complex.

Elevador do Lavra

Elevador do Lavra in Lisbon
Elevador do Lavra in Lisbon

It is not only the oldest funicular in Lisbon but also the oldest in the world that is still in operation using its original water-powered system. This charming funicular has been an integral part of Lisbon’s public transportation network since it was inaugurated in 1884.

Yet, most tourists focus on Bica, Glória Funicular, Santa Justa, or Tram 28 and completely miss out on Elevador do Lavra. And do you know what is the best part? It brings you to the Pena area of Lisbon which holds many more hidden gems of Lisbon.

On top of that, this is your chance to get some amazing photos with the iconic yellow elevator any time of the day without fighting for a spot with other tourists and selfie sticks.

The lower stop is marked as Lavra – Lg. Anunciada on Google Maps and the upper stop is Lavra – R. Câmara Pestana. It is a short 5-minute ride but trying Elevador in Lisbon is a must and Elevador do Lavra offers a much more relaxing experience than other places.

⏰ From Monday to Friday, it operates from 7.50 am to 7.55 pm. On the weekends and public holidays, it works from 9 am to 7.55 pm. It departs every 10-15 minutes.

💶 If you have the Lisbon Card or daily ticket, you can use any of the Elevadors for free. Other than that, a return ticket from the driver costs 3.80 euros and can be paid in cash only.

Jardim do Torel and Calçada de Sant’Ana

Calçada de Sant'Ana - one of the hidden gems in Lisbon
Jardim do Torel in Lisbon

Once you reach the top of the Elevador do Lavra, head directly to Jardim do Torel. This park is one of the most relaxing places in Lisbon and the view of the city is just a cherry on the cake. This park is loved by locals but is a complete gem among tourists.

Later on, make sure you head to Calçada de Sant’Ana and walk all the way down until you reach Praça do Rossio. Or you can walk the other way and head to Martim Moniz Square next.

If you ask me, this is one of the prettiest streets in Lisbon. You can enjoy the walk between typical Portuguese houses, see Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Pena, and don’t miss the residence of the famous Portuguese singer Amália Rodrigues.

At the top of Calçada de Sant’Ana, you will find Torel Palace Lisbon, which is one of the best hotels in Lisbon with a view. If you are not a guest, you can still visit Black Pavilion Restaurant which offers a fantastic panorama of Lisbon.

Church of Nossa Senhora das Mercês

Church of Nossa Senhora das Mercês in Lisbon
Church of Nossa Senhora das Mercês in Lisbon

If you love photography, visiting the Church of Nossa Senhora das Mercês is an absolute must. The facade is a masterpiece of Baroque architecture and it is located in the heart of Santos.

The Church of Nossa Senhora das Mercês was originally founded in the 13th century by the Order of Mercy. The current building, however, dates back to the 18th century, when it was rebuilt in the Baroque style after sustaining damage from the devastating earthquake of 1755.

The opening times are very limited and I personally have never seen it open, despite visiting during opening times as indicated on Google, but if you find it open, make sure you see the interior as well.

While the façade of the church is quite simple, Rua Vale offers a great photo opportunity of this secret spot in Lisbon. I think that is a great and unique spot to get your Lisbon postcard. Zoom lens will add some extra magic to your photo.

Santo Amaro Chapel

Santo Amaro Chapel - one of the best viewpoints in Lisbon
Santo Amaro Chapel - one of the best viewpoints in Lisbon

While the chapel itself is not the most impressive place in Lisbon, it offers a fantastic and very unique view of 25 April Bridge, which is one of the most iconic attractions of Lisbon.

Just like many other locations on this list, we discovered it simply by walking around. Now, you can even find a location on the map that says Miradouro de Santo Amaro.

We used to offer a photoshoot that covers popular spots in Belem and ends with LX factory & this viewpoint and let me tell you that most customers loved this location the most.

If you ask me, this is one of the best sunset spots in Lisbon and photography lovers will get a great angle of the famous bridge. You will see a lot of locals and kids playing around, but this is not a tourist attraction, so it offers a laid-back atmosphere.

Rua da Galé

Rua da Galé, hidden gem in Lisbon
Casa São Miguel in Lisbon

Rua da Galé is a small alley hidden in the Alfama district. Alfama is a great place to wander around and discover secret spots in Lisbon, but I wanted to point out this location because it is tucked away and can be easily missed.

Once again, if you are a photographer, you will absolutely love the color combination and the details of the square so make sure you stop by when visiting Alfama district of Lisbon.

And while you are there, don’t miss Casa São Miguel. It is one of the cutest pastry shops in Lisbon and serves great quality local goodies. Initially, I wanted to add it to the list of hidden gems in Lisbon, but I feel like it has gained a lot of popularity nowadays.

Even if you have only one day in Lisbon, you can easily add it to your itinerary.

Largo do Intendente

Largo do Intendente in Lisbon
A Vida Portuguesa, a must-visit shop in Lisbon

Largo do Intendente is a charming square known for its vibrant atmosphere, historic architecture, and cultural diversity. Situated in the Intendente neighborhood, this square has undergone significant revitalization, but I still consider it Lisbon’s hidden gem.

The square is surrounded by colorful buildings, many of which have been renovated and repurposed into trendy cafes, restaurants, and shops. The architecture of the square reflects Lisbon’s rich heritage, with a mix of Baroque, Neoclassical, and Art Nouveau styles.

The highlight of the square is the building covered with azulejos that you will find right next to the A Vida Portuguesa, which is a must-visit shop in Lisbon. And if you want to enjoy local nightlife, Casa Independente is one of the best places in Lisbon.

Also, a lot of tourists don’t know that this used to be the most dangerous area of Lisbon, however, it changed after they opened a police station in the Largo do Intendente. It attracted new bars, restaurants, and eventually even tourists completely changing the district.

In fact, this is one of the best areas to stay in Lisbon, because it offers great value for money.

Mouraria & Rua João do Outeiro

Mouraria - one the less popular spots in Lisbon
Mouraria - one the less popular spots in Lisbon

Mouraria is one of Lisbon’s most historic and multicultural neighborhoods, known for its rich cultural heritage, vibrant atmosphere, and narrow winding streets. Located just east of the city center, Mouraria is steeped in history and has long been associated with Lisbon’s Moorish past.

Its name is derived from the Arabic word “Moorish,” reflecting its heritage as a melting pot of cultures and civilizations. Over the centuries, Mouraria has been home to a diverse community of immigrants, including Moors, Jews, Africans, and Asians.

Today, Mouraria retains much of its traditional charm, with its labyrinthine streets, historic buildings, and lively squares. You can wander through its narrow alleys, admiring the colorful facades, ornate tiles, and hidden courtyards that dot the neighborhood. 

I would say that Mouraria is a less popular cousin of Alfama which means that you can enjoy historical Lisbon without big crowds and busy streets. And Rua João do Outeiro is probably the best starting point to explore Mouraria.

This street is one of the secret spots that you won’t find in other Lisbon guides, so don’t miss out. Once you reach Jasmim da Mouraria, make sure you stop by the cute square. That’s also where I took the photo that you see above.

Igreja and Mosteiro de São Vicente de Fora

Igreja and Mosteiro de São Vicente de Fora in Lisbon
Igreja and Mosteiro de São Vicente de Fora in Lisbon

Despite its convenient location in the heart of Alfama, most tourists miss out on the gems that are hidden inside the Igreja de São Vicente de Fora. Many would appreciate the façade as they pass by but there is more.

The construction of the Igreja de São Vicente de Fora began in the late 16th century and was completed in the early 17th century. The church is dedicated to Saint Vincent of Saragossa, the patron saint of Lisbon, whose relics are housed within its walls.

Inside the church, you will be greeted by a lavish interior decorated with altars, woodwork, and beautiful frescoes. The main altar is dedicated to Saint Vincent. The church also houses the tombs of several Portuguese kings and queens, including King Afonso VI and Queen Maria I.

The complex of the church includes a cloister, a chapel, and a library. The monastery is known for its stunning tile panels, which depict scenes from the life of Saint Vincent and other biblical stories. 

You can also climb to the top of the monastery’s dome for panoramic views of Lisbon and the Tagus River. I am sure these views will take your breath away.

An adult ticket costs 8 euros, but you can get a reduced fare if you are under 25, over 65, or have a Lisbon Card. Children under the age of 12 can visit for free. It is open every day from 10 am to 6 pm and the last admission is at 5 pm.

Casa do Alentejo 

Casa do Alentejo in Lisbon, Portugal

The Casa do Alentejo is a hidden gem in Lisbon, especially for those exploring the city for the first time. Its entrance can be easily overlooked if you’re not familiar with its location, and at first glance, the palace may seem unassuming and easy to dismiss.

Originally built in the late 19th century as a palace for the Counts of Valenças, the Casa do Alentejo is a stunning example of Neo-Moorish architecture, featuring intricate tilework, ornate stucco decorations, and elegant Moorish arches. 

Originally constructed as a private residence, the building underwent a series of transformations after the family abandoned it. It served first as a casino, then as a social club, and even functioned as a school for a while.

The first floor houses a modest tavern and a few local boutiques, while the second floor boasts a beautifully adorned restaurant. However, while visually appealing, the dining experience may not live up to expectations.

I recommend you go up to the second floor to see it but end your visit there. The second floor is open from midday to 3 pm and from 7 pm to 10.30 pm.

Casa do Alentejo is open every day and there is no entrance fee which makes it one of the best free things to do in Lisbon.

EmbaiXada

EmbaiXada - one of the best hidden gems in Lisbon
EmbaiXada - one of the best hidden gems in Lisbon

Are you looking for high-quality souvenirs from locally sourced materials and ingredients? If the answer is yes, head to EmbaiXada for some shopping time and discover one of the best-hidden gems of Lisbon.

Inside you will find several concept stores, designers, and even a restaurant that is famous for its gin cocktail selection. EmbaxiXada is housed in a historic Moorish palace in Lisbon, so even if you are not here to shop, eat, or drink, make sure you stop by and see the beautiful interior.

On Sundays, EmbaiXada hosts the Real Fado experience. Prices vary from 20-30 euros and the show lasts one hour. Click here to purchase your ticket and find more information. Keep in mind that they offer shows in other locations as well, so make sure you pick EmbaiXada.

⏰ It is open every day from midday to 8 pm with an exception for Sundays when it works from 11 am to 7 pm.

💶 There is no entrance fee as it is a public shopping mall.

Pavilhão Chinês

Pavilhão Chinês - one of the secret bars in Lisbon
Pavilhão Chinês - one of the secret bars in Lisbon

A short walk away from EmbaiXada, you will find Pavilhão Chinês, which is another underrated place in Lisbon. It is a bar and a cocktail lounge housed in a former grocery store and it offers eclectic decor, an extensive collection of vintage toys, and curiosities.

The walls of the bar are lined with shelves overflowing with antique knick-knacks, vintage posters, and an impressive array of toys from various eras and cultures. The ceiling is adorned with intricate chandeliers and ornate moldings, adding to the venue’s old-world charm.

Despite its name, the Pavilhão Chinês is not a Chinese-themed bar; rather, it takes its name from the 19th-century building’s original function as a Chinese grocery store. However, the eclectic mix of decor gives the bar a distinctly nostalgic and exotic atmosphere.

In addition to its unique ambiance, the Pavilhão Chinês serves expertly crafted cocktails, which are made with precision and care by talented bartenders. The menu features a wide range of classic and innovative cocktails, as well as a selection of fine wines, spirits, and beers.

It is open every day from 6 pm to 2 am. You might find it pretty empty at 6 pm on a weekday, but it gets busy later in the day, especially on the weekend. 

Patriarcal – Panificação Reunida de São Roque

Patriarcal - Panificação Reunida de São Roque - one of the historical cafes in Lisbon

If you are visiting Principe Real early in the day, head to Patriarcal and enjoy your morning coffee in a historical cafe in Lisbon. It is one of the few local cafes left in the area so definitely don’t miss it.

This pastry shop serves all the Portuguese classics including Pastel de Nata and great local coffee. If you are looking for a flat white or macchiato, this is not the place for you, however, they offer typical Portuguese espresso and some other options with milk.

The interior of the bakery retains much of its original decor, with tiled walls, marble countertops, and vintage signage adding to its nostalgic appeal. And welcoming aroma of freshly baked bread and pastries is just the cherry on the cake.

⏰ It is open every day from 6 am to 7 pm. Early opening time is a great indication that this cafe serves locals daily.

💶 When it comes to prices, you will be surprised how affordable it is. And hopefully, return for more!

Mercado de Campo de Ourique

I am sure you have heard about TimeOut Market in Lisbon, but that is not the place where locals go. And I am here to offer you a great alternative with a similar concept. Not only Mercado de Campo de Ourique is loved by locals, but it also offers better prices.

Originally built in the 1930s, the market underwent extensive renovations in 2013 and was transformed into a modern food hall, hosting gourmet food stalls, restaurants, and specialty shops.

One of the highlights of Mercado de Campo de Ourique is its diverse selection of food stalls, which offer everything from freshly prepared seafood and grilled meats to artisanal cheeses, pastries, and desserts.

You can come for breakfast, enjoy a hearty lunch, petiscos in the afternoon, a big dinner with friends, and even drinks in the late hours. The market offers a lively yet relaxed atmosphere and is one of Lisbon’s best-kept secrets.

⏰ It is open every day from 10 am to 11 pm with extended hours on Saturday. 

Museu Nacional do Azulejo

Museu Nacional do Azulejo in Lisbon, Portugal
Museu Nacional do Azulejo in Lisbon, Portugal
Museu Nacional do Azulejo in Lisbon, Portugal

As you can see throughout this travel guide, azulejos is an important part of Portuguese culture. Most visitors want to know where to find azulejos in Lisbon and completely overlook Museu Nacional do Azulejo.

Housed in the beautiful former Convent of Madre de Deus, the museum showcases a vast collection of tiles spanning over five centuries, offering visitors a fascinating journey through Portugal’s tile-making tradition.

It is known for its impressive collection of azulejos, which includes decorative panels, individual tiles, and architectural elements from churches, palaces, and private residences throughout Portugal.

The museum’s exhibits trace the evolution of tile-making techniques and styles, from the Moorish-influenced designs of the medieval period to the intricate blue-and-white motifs of the Renaissance and Baroque eras.

In addition to its permanent collection, the National Tile Museum also hosts temporary exhibitions, educational programs, and cultural events that explore various aspects of tile-making and its significance in Portuguese art and culture. 

⏰ It is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm. The museum is closed on Sundays.
💶 The entrance fee is 8 euros and you can purchase your ticket here.

Did you know? Winter in Lisbon is the best time to explore museums. This way you can avoid the crowds and save on accommodation & other activities. Get familiar with seasonal activities and discover when is the best time to visit Lisbon for your preferences.

Jardim da Estrela

Jardim da Estrela in Lisbon

While the Basilica of Estrela is quite popular among tourists, Jardim da Estrela is often left behind. But if you are wondering where to relax in Lisbon, this beautiful park should be on top of your Lisbon itinerary.

Created in the 19th century, Jardim da Estrela is one of Lisbon’s oldest and most beloved parks, known for its romantic ambiance and timeless beauty. It is perfect for strolls or picnics on sunny days, especially if you are visiting Lisbon in spring.

The highlight of Jardim da Estrela is its charming duck pond, where visitors can relax and watch the resident ducks and swans gliding gracefully across the water. It is one of the most romantic things to do in Lisbon for couples.

Nearby, a playground entertains children, while benches and shaded areas provide seating for you to rest and soak up the serene atmosphere. Or you can choose the cafe in the park instead, but keep in mind that it is a simple establishment with limited options.

⏰ It is worth noting that the park is closed at night. Opening hours are from 7 am to midnight which gives you plenty of time to enjoy the greenery of Lisbon.

💶 Also, there is no entrance fee since it is a public park.

Church Santos-O-Velho

Church Santos-O-Velho is another gem tucked away in the Santos area of Lisbon. While the pink pastel colors of the church are hard to miss, most tourists pass by without blinking an eye.

Dating back to the 14th century, this beautiful church is one of the oldest in Lisbon and holds great significance both architecturally and culturally.

The interior of the church features a nave with vaulted ceilings, ornate altars, and beautiful stained glass windows, but the pink paster exterior is worth mentioning as well.

The church is home to a stunning 17th-century altarpiece, attributed to the popular Portuguese sculptor Machado de Castro, as well as a collection of beautiful azulejos depicting scenes from the life of Saint Anthony of Padua, the patron saint of Lisbon.

Please make sure you check the opening time before you plan your visit but don’t get discouraged by the main gate as they always keep it locked. The entrance is actually from the left side of the church.

Palace of Queluz

Palace of Queluz near Lisbon, Portugal
Palace of Queluz near Lisbon, Portugal
Palace of Queluz near Lisbon, Portugal

The Palace of Queluz is one of the hidden gems near Lisbon.  It is a magnificent royal residence that represents the elegance of 18th-century Portuguese architecture. Locals call it “Portuguese Versailles” while the tourists often miss it.

Constructed as a summer retreat for the Portuguese royal family, it served as the official residence of Queen Maria I and Dom Pedro III. Designed in the Baroque and Rococo styles, the palace features opulent interiors, beautiful gardens, and rich historical significance.

The interior of the Palace of Queluz is equally impressive, with its lavishly decorated rooms, magnificent halls, and exquisite furnishings. Highlights include the Throne Room and the Music Room.

You can easily spend a couple of hours visiting the beautiful rooms of the palace and wandering around the gardens. The best time to visit the Palace of Queluz is from late spring to early fall.

It is located only a 30-minute ride away from Rossio Train Station in Lisbon, which makes it an easy day trip option from Lisbon. This is a great alternative if you want to see the palaces of Portugal but don’t want to deal with the crowds in Sintra.

⏰ The palace is open every day from 9 am to 6 pm. The last admission is at 5.30 pm, however, you certainly will need more than 30 minutes for your visit. Gardens close at 6.30 pm.

💶 The entrance fee for the palace and gardens is 13 euros, while a separate garden ticket will cost you 6 euros. Reduced fares are available. You can buy your ticket here.

In conclusion… 

20+ Hidden Gems in Lisbon That Are Worth Visiting

This is the end of the best-hidden gems in Lisbon and I am sure that this article will help you unlock the secrets of Lisbon. What is the first location on your hidden gem itinerary?

I would love to hear your feedback, so feel free to leave a comment below. If you need further help with planning, check out these Lisbon travel tips, hotel recommendations, or food guides.

Pin it for later and save the best hidden gems in Lisbon!

20+ Hidden Gems in Lisbon That Are Worth Visiting
20+ Hidden Gems in Lisbon That Are Worth Visiting

26 Comments

  1. Wow! I wish I saw your post back when I visited Lisbon a few years ago – so many hidden gems to see! Hope to visit Palace Fronteira and Church Santos-O-Velho On my next trip to Portugal

  2. We are actually back in Lisbon this year so your post is great for pre-planning to see some of these great hidden gems. We would definitely want to visit Palace Fronteira , the Jardim do Torel and wander along the Rua da Gale for the colour. We have missed the Museu Nacional do Azulejo on every visit so your post is a great reminder to not miss it this time.

    1. I am glad to hear that this post will help you plan your next trip to Lisbon! Museu Nacional do Azulejo is the best place to learn about Portuguese tile work, so I am sure you will love it as well. Thanks, Linda!

  3. Love these hidden gems. I have done the touristic tour of Lisbon a few years ago and cannot wait to visit some of these on the next one. Thanks for sharing!

  4. So many hidden gems in Lisbon!! I really need to start planning my next trip!! Both the jardin and the embaixada look absolutely stunning!

  5. Your blog post came right when we are planning to visit Lisbon. Thank you for this great list of hidden gems. Will definitely include Palace Fronteira and Jardim do Torel and Calçada de Sant’Ana. 🙂

  6. I love how vibrant the buildings are- so colorful! and so many beautiful historic places to explore!

  7. I’m falling in love with Lisbon all over again thanks to your post. You’ve captured the essence of the city so beautifully!

  8. These hidden gems you found are simply striking! I’d love to visit and take a ride on the Elevador do Lavra and learn history at the museum.

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