A Local’s Guide to Lisbon is part of a series collaboration with Spotted by Locals Lisbon

Charming Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in the world. With its unique tram rides, intimate Fado performances, and great restaurants, there’s plenty to discover on and around the city’s seven hills. And thanks to those hills, there’s no shortage of spots from which to enjoy panoramic pleasures. From ancient castles to the Tagus River, here are the city’s most iconic views and where the locals go to take them in.

A Local's Guide to Lisbon: Topo Restaurant

Topo: Hip Rooftop Bar with Ancient Views

Make friends with Lisbon locals six stories above the city. Topo is a popular rooftop hotspot serving up cocktails and Portuguese snacks. Go for the views over the whole of the city, but stay for a prego (traditional beef sandwich) or the peanut sauce-drenched chicken satay. Whether enjoying the indoor or outdoor spaces, there’s no better view of São Jorge castle off in the distance.

A Local's Guide to Lisbon - Bar 38 41

Bar 38º 41′: Drinks on the Water

Bar 38º 41′ gets it name from its geographical coordinates—a nod to the country’s many famous explorers of centuries past who sailed west from Portugal to discover new lands. With a large terrace on the edge of the Tagus River, it’s the perfect spot to take in sweeping river views, sunsets, and live music.

A Local's Guide to Lisbon - Museo do Oriente

Museo do Oriente: Bridge Views with a Side of Brunch

The main attraction at the Museo do Oriente is an eclectic collection of Portuguese and Asian art. Be sure to buy a ticket that includes brunch or lunch in the museum’s fifth-floor restaurant. On the menu: traditional brunch items like pancakes and croissants, and Asian specialities like gyoza, a Japanese dish of wonton wrappers stuffed with pork and cabbage. While dining, enjoy a panoramic view of the Ponte 25 de Abril suspension bridge.

A Local's Guide to Lisbon - tram in Alfama

Bairro de Alfama: Food, Fado, and Panoramic Pleasures

Ancient Alfama was founded in the fifth-century and its labyrinth of irregular yet picturesque streets, hidden gardens, and alleyways all seem to lead to sweeping views of Lisbon. Head here to enjoy the neighborhood’s panoramic pleasures, and wander around to the many tascas (bars that serve light bites) where you can hear Fado, a type of popular Portuguese song accompanied by mandolins or guitars.

A Local's Guide to Lisbon: Bairro Alto

A Hotel in the Heights: Hotel Bairro Alto

Located at the fantastic Praça Luis Camões, Hotel Bairro Alto is a charming luxury hotel in the center of Lisbon. In Bairro Alto, Lisbon’s most popular nightlife and shopping venues are within convenient walking distance. After a day of exploring, go up to the hotel’s top-floor terrace with its outdoor seating and breathtaking city views.


A Local’s Guide to Lisbon photos by Jason Briscoe, Chadner Navarro, Altis Hotels, Museo do Oriente, Ilsang Moon, Hotel Bairro Alto

About Spotted by Locals

Spotted by Locals is a series of apps and blogs with up-to-date tips by locals in 60+ cities across Europe and North America. To get more local tips, visit the Spotted by Locals website or download the app.