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How to avoid tourist traps in Lisbon

Are you in Lisbon and would like to avoid the tourist traps in the city? Ignore your guiding book and follow our tips. Be a real traveler in the city.

28 Tram

Imagem: Reprodução time travel turtle

Yes, it is cute and it covers most of the historical part of the city, but to have a ride you might have to wait for more than an hour and when you’re in you might not be lucky to get a sit. It is the busiest public mean of transport in the city, mostly used by tourists and because of that it is a nuisance for the local’s daily life.  However,  there are other alternatives such as the tram 25 or the renovated 24. They do a different route but both are cute and yellow. Another option is to take the 28 tram early in the morning or later in the evening or… might as well walking. It is the best way to  discover the city!

Elevator of Santa Justa

Imagem: Reprodução Glauco Damas

The elevators are another mean of transport which have made people’s lives easier to go up and down the hilly Lisbon. Nowadays the elevators in Lisbon – Bica, Lavra, Gloria and Santa Justa are more popular among tourists. Santa Justa elevator is a beautiful metal construction which resembles to a short version of the Eiffel Tower. However, waiting in line for such a long time to go up for just a few seconds, is it really worth the try? How about walking up to Carmo square and find your way to the upper side of the elevator where you can still see the views, walking through a pleasant passage, without waiting in line.  If you have time, you can even admire the view, sipping a glass of wine in one of the bars. Much better option than waiting in line!

Fado Clubs

When in Lisbon, one of the must-dos in the city is to go and listen to a live performance of Fado music. But be careful when you choose the right place. Some of the fado clubs are too pricey. We always like simple places which capture the real spirit of fado So, if you have the chance, follow our tip: go to places like Tasca do Jaime in Graça or Tasca do Chico in Bairro Alto. They are the best places to listen to fado in an authentic atmosphere.


Imagem: Reprodução NiT

If you find restaurants selling to you paella, as if it is something typical from Portugal (NOT), or spaguetti, pizza, hamburgers and fries, just run away! We have our own fast food! The juicy Bifana or Prego, which go so well with a cold beer! Besides that, we have so many good restaurants with really nice Portuguese food. And our gastronomy is really varied and tasty! So, follow our tip: avoid the main streets with international menus. If you see that customers are more tourists than locals and if you’re looking to something more authentic then it isn’t the place for you! You can always ask your local guide for the best options.  Bom Apetite!

Alfama, Castelo, Belém…where most of the tourists go…

Imagem: Reprodução Sol

We are not saying to you to ignore the visits to Alfama, or Belém or the castle. We don’t deny that Alfama has its own charm, but full of souvenir shops, restaurants and fado clubs to avoid. Belém has its unique heritage, We also don´t deny it. But can you really enjoy its beauty with so many people? Book 1 or 2 days to visit the most touristic places and the remaining days to visit other neighbourhoods like Mouraria, Graça or Madragoa. If you would like to have a more local experience we recommend visiting Campo de Ourique, for example, or why not going further away from the historical center and discover different neighbourhoods with a varied architecture, and a more local and relaxing environment?

Walking Tours

Imagem: Fora da Rota Tours, Fora da Rota Tours – Instagram

As a traveler you probably want to avoid walking tours in large groups. It is impossible to listen or pay attention to the guide and you may feel you are having a very impersonal experience. Have you ever thought in trying a private guiding tour in Lisbon with a local? It’s quite a different experience! Since it is private you can walk at your pace, feel comfortable in asking questions and it is much more easy-going! You aren’t participating in an official tour but walking with your local friend who gives you the best insights of the city, its culture and vibes! That’s what we offer to you! True Travel, Real People!

Take a look at our offers and book a tour with us! Fora da Rota Tours.

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