Things to do in Lisbon: 7 Underrated Places to Visit
There's a chance that the iconic yellow trams, the cobblestoned narrow streets of Alfama, and the beauty of the city's Riverside prompted you to look for flights to Lisbon. Valid points, but there's a hidden side of the city that's just as appealing. Here are seven of those underrated places to visit in Lisbon.
Museu de Lisboa – Palácio Pimenta
Cemitério dos Prazeres
Fernando Pessoa Statue
Jardim do Torel
Terraços do Carmo
Ruins of an Ancient Roman Theater
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## **A Garden with Ceramic Giant Insects and Animals**
At Museu de Lisboa – Palácio Pimenta ceramic creatures are scattered around the garden at the back. Toads, bees, snakes, snails, and cats on walls and hedges turn this garden into one of the most peculiar and photo-worthy ones in Lisbon.
These creatures were designed and built at Bordallo Pinheiro’s ceramic factory, established in 1884 and named after the 19th Century Realist Portuguese artist.
_Address: Campo Grande, 245
Opening hours: 10am-6pm Tue-Sun_
## **A Graveyard with a View**
Cemitério dos Prazeres is not only the biggest cemetery in Lisbon, it’s also the most beautiful, perfect for enthusiasts of funeral architecture (this was the place where all the aristocratic families used to be buried, so there’s no such thing as a plain tombstone here).
If you find spending time at a cemetery too spooky, just visit for the view to the river and the 25th April bridge. Bonus points if you’re a cat lover, there are plenty of them lazying around.
_Address: Cemitério dos Prazeres (Campo de Ourique)
Opening hours: 9am-6pm Mon-Sun_
## **A Studio that’s Actually a Museum**
Initially, the house designed by renowned Portuguese architect Siza Vieira was supposed to double as a museum and studio for contemporary artist Júlio Pomar. In the end, it was decided to be what the artist has called [an open place for interpretation](http://www.ateliermuseujuliopomar.pt/). The artist, in fact, lives just across the street.
In a chaotic order inspired by the cosmos, Pomar’s pieces are exhibited alongside other artists’ work in an artistic dialogue between different perspectives and different generations.
_Address: Rua do Vale 7
Opening hours: 10am-1pm & 2-6pm Tue-Sun_
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## **The Perfect Fernando Pessoa Statue for Selfies**
Everyone wants to sit with Fernando Pessoa at Brasileira Café and take the selfie that everyone talks about. But there’s a much more interesting one, less than five minutes away, across from the Opera House (Teatro São Carlos) where the poet was born.
This 13-feet-tall statue by Belgian artist Jean Michel Folon may strike you as odd but it’s really an accurate representation of the Portuguese author, with his head in the books, always studying and always learning.
_Address: Teatro São Carlos
Opening hours: 24/7_
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## **A Garden with Lounge Benches**
Jardim do Torel, a tiny garden overlooking the Baixa quarter in downtown Lisbon, has “come sit and read a book” written all over it. Although, with comfortable-looking benches like these lounge ones, an afternoon nap isn’t totally uncalled for.
It takes a climb uphill to reach here or you can take the Lavra tram instead. Most tourists don’t bother to go all the way up there so it’s still one of the few slightly hidden spots in the city.
Opening hours: 24/7_
## **The Best View to the Castle**
The craze to go up in the Santa Justa elevator to look at Lisbon from the top is real. Unfortunately, it’s one of the biggest tourist traps in the city. Sure, riding a 200-year-old elevator is kind of cool but that’s it. There is no must-see attraction here, whatsoever. Besides, the view from up there? There’s a much better one and it’s free of charge (unless you order drinks).
At Terraços do Carmo, just behind the Carmo Convent, you can see the castle and take a good look at the Santa Justa elevator. Isn’t this all you really need? There’s a bar/restaurant at the spot, in case you want to toast to the medieval fortification.
_Address: Terraços do Carmo
Opening hours: 24/7_
## **The Ruins of an Ancient Roman Theater**
Why see ancient Roman artifacts at a museum when you can take a look at an ongoing excavation in the heart of the city? That’s Lisbon for you! Every time there’s a construction, the chances of coming across archeological findings are pretty high.
Since the Great Earthquake of 1755, rehabilitation works in the city have been uncovering a lot of Lisbon’s former settlers. These ruins are just part of a much longer list.
_Address: Rua de São Mamede 3A
Opening hours: Museum 10am-6pm Tue-Sun / Roman ruins 24/7_
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Sandra Henriques Gajjar is a writer born in the Azores and currently based in Lisbon. Since 2014 she’s been blogging about travel, culture, and the people she meets in between at Tripper, a blog about cultural travel to offbeat destinations.