The Local Walking Route in Lisbon
Kissed by the sun almost all year round, Lisbon shines as the capital of Portugal. The sloping streets and alleyway cobble stones accompanied by colorful houses and crimson rooftops, copper monuments stand guarding historic plazas and whitewashed domes, the city has an aesthetic that embraces both its history and modern, progressive approach. Nestled in the backdrop of the Tagus, you can weave through the alleyways where trams (tejos) make their way past through some of the main attractions. The real Lisbon lies within its neighborhoods, each has a distinct vibrancy and atmosphere, which can only be discovered if you seek them out. So leave the Top 10 list behind, and enjoy our Neighborhood Walking Route in Lisbon.
- Route Name: The Local Walking Route in Lisbon
- Duration: 1 Day
- Best by walking
- Highlights: Jardim da Estrela, local Portuguese treats, Basílica da Estrela, market of Campo de Ourique, hidden bars, and the trendiest shopping district, Príncipe Real
Find an extensive and interactive version of this walking route in the travel guide Lisbon Like a Local, featuring four complete walking routes. Download the travel guide, written by Flavia Motta for €4,99 to get the interactive spots, maps, pictures and local tips.
Begin your trip at the very end of the tram line 28, passing through the districts of Graca, Alfama, Baixa and lastly, Estrela. One of the city's pleasures lies in the oldest gardens in Lisbon, the Jardim da Estrela, a general meeting place for locals and a playground suitable for kids. You’ll see the way locals mingle on a sunny day, therefore, this park is the ideal spot to sit back, lay your towel on the grass, and enjoy people watching as the day go by. Grab some of the best Algarve pastries at Casa dos Ovos Moles to complete your outdoor picnic.
Directly from the Jardim da Estrela is the elegant white structure of Basílica da Estrela, a significant church dating back to the 18th century and built by the Dona Maria I, Queen of Portugal, in honor of her son. Her final resting place is also at this very place. A fitting spot for the Queen as it has a cloister overlooking the city’s spectacular view. Climb up the steps to catch a glimpse of the top.
Campo de Ourique
Next, we’ll descend into the Campo de Ourique, a local market that is the life force of this neighborhood. Take a lunch break at the market. Here, you’ll get a chance to sample an array of authentic and international cuisines in the food court. Quench your thirst with a glass of wine or a sip of gin, soothe your sweet tooth at the Getadaria stand, and taste the diverse array of Portuguese tapas. It’s also a nice place to browse through for trinkets and gifts to take back home.
The residential area surrounding the market will give you an authentic atmosphere where locals carry out their daily activities. Another option for lunch is at Tasca da Esquina, run by Chef Vitor Sobral adding a modern twist on traditional Portuguese tapas, known as pestiscos. Their primary specialty is seafood, so dive into the fine quality of the local cuisine.
The metro station close to Campo de Ourique is Rato (meaning mouse in Portuguese). Legend says it is because of a French silk producer called Monsieur Ratton who used to have factories in the area. While Rato isn’t necessarily the prime touristic location, it is still an interesting neighborhood for those willing to discover some hidden gems in Lisbon. Close by to the Rato metro station is Jardim das Amoreiras, a quaint square that is not as glamorous as the Jardim da Estrela. Right next to the garden is the arches of the aqueduct, which used to supply water directly into Lisbon. A hidden secret is located in the square at the Mãe d’Água Reservoir, where you can access the rooftop and enjoy the beautiful view of the Estrela and Santos area.
A hidden gem is located nearby the Jardim das Amoreiras in a form of a bar called Procópio. The tiny bar is decorated in a 1920s style, plush velvet seats, dim lighting, and dark oak wood counters, perfect to grab a cocktail and enjoy the skillfulness of the bartenders. It may not have a striking sign or flashing banner, but you'll notice it by the small white house with a red door, and two windows.
From the Rato area, you can embark on a shopping spree at Príncipe Real, a trendy hotspot in Lisbon. An eclectic mix of shops, boutique stores, bars and restaurants, you'll find it all at the old palace converted into a shopping mall Embaixada. Don’t miss such gems such as Atalho Real and GinLovers bar. For some pillowy egg tarts that are made out of sweet bread with eggs and coconut filling, head to Pão de Deus at Padaria Portuguese.
Suggested reading for Portugal:
- Road Trip Route Azores São Miguel
- The Best of São Miguel in the Azores
- Things to do in Madeira with Kids
- 5 Magical Spots in Portugal
- West Algarve Surf Beach Route
- Lisbon to Porto Roadtrip Route