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Visit Lisbon like a Local - Our Secret Places & Off the Beaten Track Tips

03 November 2022

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We, the Secretplaces team, are based in Lisbon. As a guide to some of the most beautiful and authentic places to stay, we thought it is about time to share our local knowledge and favourite spots in Lisbon with you. True secret places that have not been set-up to cater for the masses of tourists arriving every day but that still have the original Portuguese charm.

Walk around the city

The best thing you can do to get an authentic feel of Lisbon is to walk around its streets and get to know the neighbourhoods. Besides the city centre and Alfama, there is many beautiful and more authentic districts like Príncipe Real, Santos, Estrela or Campo de Ourique.

Street view Lisbon 

Authentic Secret Places in Lisbon

We highly recommend checking out these authentic and Portuguese-owned places that are not touristy & ‘hip’ but will show you how the city was before it was discovered as a top ten travel destination.

  • Tu & Eu - reasonable traditional Portuguese cuisine, no reservations so it is recommended to arrive early to get a table
  • Taverna Alfacinha - super small Portuguese cuisine, very good seafood paellas
  • Doce Real - best empanadas and super friendly owners
  • Pastelaria 1800 - Local, cheap and very fast
  • Taberna da Esperança - Altentejano food to share
  • Pastelaria Versailles – old style coffee and pastry shop near Saldanha
  • Da Noi - modern food, cool ambiance, hidden
  • A Obra - modern food, nice to sit outside, green street
  • Café da Garagem - beautiful view and cool vibe
  • Pavilhao Chinês - hidden gem, decadent in a good way, quirky and fun, going back two centuries
  • Merendinha do Arco – great typical Portuguese cuisine in the city centre
  • Cantinho Lusitano
  • A Baiuca – a beautiful Fado restaurant with a lot of charm
  • Marisqueira Nunes – great seafood restaurant near the Jerónimos monastery
  • Tasquinha do Lagarto – local Traverna
  • Ze dos Cornos – a favourite of the locals for a reason
  • Ze da Mouraria – fado restaurant with traditional food and famous for its great cotfish

Tu & Eu

Café da Garagem

Expensive & high quality

  • Cervejaria Ramiro
  • 100 Maneiras
  • Belcanto – Michelin star restaurant
  • Mercado Campo de Ourique
  • Mezze in the Mercado de Arroios – authentic Syrian restaurant, run by former refugees
  • Ponto Final - famous for its view and fresh fish, on the other side of the river, always fully booked so try to reserve in advance or get there early and get in line to get a table with no reservation
  • Atira-te ao Rio - beautiful sunset view, very nice staff & food quality, great fresh fish, you also need a reservation or get there a bit before the opening hour and you will get a table


Fun Bars in Lisbon

Lisbon is well known for its great nightlife, though it can be very overrun and a tourist trap if you stick to the main party streets. Hence why we collected this guide of some places we recommend if you are looking for a night out with a good atmosphere.

  • Di Marzano - Best Cocktails and nice atmosphere
  • Vago - Hipster chic but good vibes and cocktails
  • Vino Vero - cool, young and great tapas
  • Café Janis - expensive but fun Cocktails
  • Procópio
  • Café Klandestino
  • Casa Independente
  • Pensão Amor - also loved by local Portuguese people
  • O Bom o mau e o vilão - also locals come here
  • Machimbombom - fun place, good ambience
  • Primo do Quejio
  • Rude
  • Mona Verde Rooftop bar and restaurant
  • Topo Martim Moniz Rooftop Bar


  • LUX
  • Irmão
  • Casa Reîa
  • Hungry4

Coffee and pastry Coffee and pastry

Delicious Bakeries in Lisbon

We know that France makes great pastries and Scandinavia the best cinnamon rolls. But did you know that you can find pastries from all around the world: french pain au chocolat, croissants or cinnamon buns, but of course also the big variety of Portuguese pastries and baked good the country has to offer. Because Portuguese love their pastries just as much as the French or Scandinavian people.

Portugal is known for Pasteis de Nata and it is simply impossible to find “the best” because everyone you ask has a different opinion. But the writer of this article is in charge of telling you theirs: Manteigaria.


You can get the most famous Pastéis de Nata at Pastéis de Belém. The place is super touristy and overcrowded – but it is possible to avoid the long waiting line if you just get them to-go. They are indeed very delicious, but Manteigaria are just as fresh and better in my opinion.

  • Manteigaria Fábrica de Pastéis de Nata – possibly the best but hard to tell
  • A Carioca Vegan Nata - vegan pastéis de nata and actually so good!
  • Simpli Coffee - not a bakery but their pastries they sell are so good
  • Barü.Ba Pastry - amazing little pastry artworks
  • Scoop’ n Dough - amazing Donuts & Ice Cream, very well rated on Tripadvisor and has won many awards
  • Copenhagen Coffee Lab - super delicious cinnamon buns


Fauna & Flora

Heimcafe Heimcafe

Heim Café

Brunch in Lisbon

Fancy Brunch in Lisbon

Brunch in Lisbon is amazing. Might remind you of Australia or California, if you’ve ever been, but so much cheaper! Lisbon is known for its amazing brunch cafés: less local, more hipster-fancy but with very good food, coffee and pastries. You can get an amazing big brunch and coffee for less than ~18€

  • Heim Café - very beautiful food, amazing creative dishes, great waffles, nice location and you can sit outside
  • Flora & Fauna - great big brunch menu with many different options, big venue with many indoor and outdoor seating
  • Marquise - nice backyard to sit outside and amazing pastries, very pretty interior and great breakfast and lunch with a more selected menu
  • Hello, Kristof – magazines, coffee, pasties and brunch, small but has great vibe, the menu is selected but the food and drinks are of great quality
  • Dear Breakfast – they have three locations and you can find all the brunch classics on their menu, well prepared and the staff is super nice
  • Comoba - nice ambiance and food, it is possible to work with a laptop here so there are many digital nomads
  • Miolo, Belém - very pretty interior and the food looks stunning and tastes great
  • Fábrica Coffee Roasters - best coffee, roasted in Lisbon and amazing banana bread as well as a small breakfast menu
  • Melbourne - sweet little brunch menu, you can sit outside in the morning sun

Places and cafés to work or study from in Lisbon

If you are staying in Lisbon for more than a weekend and you plan to work or study here, you may find yourself in a lot of cafés where it is not allowed to work on your computer. For this reason, we have collected a few places where you can easily spend your home office day.

  • Chick & Slip
  • Padaria Portuguesa
  • Goethe Institut - with nice cafetaria and outside area with view over the city
  • Copenhagen Coffee Lab
  • Municipal Library of St. Lazarus

Valdo Gatti

Great Restaurants to try in Lisbon

  • Valdo Gatti Bio Pizza - great pizza, big menu with a lot of variety, super friendly staff
  • Caja Pasta Fresca Italiana - very reasonable pasta, super delicious, the Tiramisu is a dream
  • O Botanista - high quality food, a bit more expensive but made with special ingredients and a more creative cuisine
  • Shiso Burger – Burger but Asian, a very fun cuisine to try
  • Lupita – a small shop with a few seats with great fresh pizza and a nice vibe
  • The Green Affair – amazing vegan dishes and desserts for a pretty cheap price, menu is changed seasonally
  • Organi Chiado - daily changing menu with a great variety of freshly made dishes
  • La Sharada - possibly the best pizza in town
  • Sushi (Rua das Trinas 22) - amazing Sushi all you can eat for 15€ with great quality, the venue is simple but nice
  • Farès - middle eastern cuisine with amazing quality, great cocktails and a wonderful ambience
  • Café Manhã - middle eastern cuisine, a big menue to choose from dishes from many different countries
  • ODAAN - a hidden Indian place, not pretty but the food is exceptionally great and it’s cheap
  • Nona goes crazy
  • Dallas Burger - super nice burgers and the fries are a dream

Church in Lisbon

Museums to check out

If you come to Lisbon, you will realize that there is a museum around every corner. From a national coach museum in Belém, to a national tile museum, to Museum de Marinha, Museum de Oriente, about Design and Fashion, Pharmacy, Money or Contemporary art. There is many many museums to stroll around in Lisbon on a bad weather day.

  • Museu de Arte
  • Contemporary art museum
  • MAAT
  • MUDE

View from Atira-te ao Rio Restaurant & Bar

River view at sunset 

Miradouro da Senhora do Monte

Miradouro de Senhora do Monte

Sunset Spots & Rooftops in Lisbon

  • Atira-te ao Rio Restaurant & Bar – if there is no table available, it is possible to only get drinks and watch the sunset
  • Park Rooftop
  • Java Rooftop – fancy cocktails and a great sunset view
  • Lumi Restaurant & Rooftop
  • Camo Rooftop – the restaurant is not great but the bar is nice and there is a lot of seating space
  • Miradouro de Santa Luzia
  • Miradouro das Portas do Sol
  • Miradouro da Senhora do Monte – the highest viewpoint with the best view
  • Miradouro da Graça - very famous but still wonderful views
  • Miradouro do Monte Agudo - not really touristy, better known among locals
  • Miradouro de Santa Caterina
  • Jardim do Rio - easily reached by a short ferry ride from Cais do Sodré

Miradouro do Monte Agudo

Other recommendations

  • LX Factory – an old factory venue with cool local stores, food and overall an amazing vibe
  • Feira da Ladra - flea market on Tuesdays and Saturdays in Alfama
  • Jardim do Principe Real market on the weekend
  • The Botanical Garden – here you can see many trees and fauna from all around the world, great to escape the city and get into nature
  • Parque Eduardo VII – you get a great view from the top over the city and Linha d'Agua
  • Jardim de Estrela - very charming park and the Basílica d'Estrela
  • CineSociety's open air and rooftop cinemas from May to October (Tickets sell out fast)
  • Christo Rei on the other side of the Ponte de 25 Abril bridge

View from the Christo Rei

What to do around Lisbon

  • Costa da Caparica - very long beach with white sand and crystal clear water
  • Daytrip to Cascais
  • Beaches in Estoril
  • Daytrip to Sintra and visit the fantastic palaces and castles
  • Cabo do Roca - westernmost point of Europe
  • Hike down to Praia da Ursa
  • Praia do Guincho


Cabo do Roca and Praia da Ursa


Where to Stay in Lisbon

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