Where are the best photo spots in Lisbon for Instagram?
Lisbon and Instagram are two words that really belong together. Coastal and colorful, Portugal’s City of Light is postcard-perfect.
But let’s face it, it is hard to locate the perfect Instagrammable places in Lisbon that will not turn your IG feed into a big fat cliché.
And in a city like Lisbon, which is popular among travelers and has already been photographed a gazillion times, it becomes even harder.
So, what do you do? Mix conventional with the quirky to create a one-of-a-kind travel page.
Listed below are 13 Lisbon Instagram spots to get a head start.
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The most Instagram worthy places in Lisbon
Casa do Alentejo
First on our list of the most Instagram worthy places in Lisbon is Casa do Alentejo. It is a restaurant set in Palacio Alverca, a 17th-century palace.
Beyond its nondescript front lie elegance and Moorish décor. The restaurant walls are awash with famous azulejos panels and ceramic tile work, beautifully displaying a typical aspect of Portuguese architecture.
The lush palm trees in the front yard set a romantic backdrop for travel pictures.
On the inside, the casa has a museum-like albeit touristy atmosphere that amplifies the luxurious dining experience.
Stunning tile murals and panels make its foyer an ideal setting for selfies. Past the corridor are two halls. Each showcases a different theme, decked with stucco, hand-painted panels, paintings, or neo-Renaissance elements. The restaurant also includes a stunning ballroom where dancing begins at 3:30 PM every Sunday.
Above all, Casa do Alentejo has a peaceful environment perfect to indulge in gastronomy.
Things to Remember: Casa do Alentejo is located in the heart of Lisbon’s ‘Baixa’, at Rua das Portas de Santo Antão. Step in at no. 58, climb up the cobblestone stairs, and there you will find this mesmerizing olde-worlde gem.
Rua Nova do Carvalho, which used to be infamous for the soliciting in an earlier life, has embraced its past and has become a popular nightlife district. The street is now referred to as Pink street, partly as a tribute to its past.
Don’t go looking for the ‘fille de joie’, you won’t find any, they have disappeared together with the dark and decayed nightlife. Gambling places and brothels had to make way and trendy bars and restaurants have taken their place.
Most of the new establishments managed to create unique interiors by retaining the most iconic aspects of their glorious past.
A visit to one of these places is not complete without a picture on Instagram.
It’s not hard to find Pink street, the street got a paint-job in 2013 and the entire asphalt is now pink in line with its unofficial name.
When to go: The best moment to head over to Pink street for your Instagram worthy pictures is during the day since then the contrast between the pink street and the historic buildings will stand out the most.
The closest metro stop is Cais do Sodré, the final stop of the Verde / green line.
Torre de Belém
Few other monuments have such a rich history and have had so many different functions. The richly decorated tower has over the years been both a palace and a prison and a whole rack of other things in between.
It’s a must-do on your Lisbon itinerary.
During a visit to the tower, you can see traces of the many roles the building has performed when Lisbon became a powerful seafaring nation. The names of the rooms refer to the time that is was used as a palace and you will see many loopholes from the time it was used to defend the city.
A visit to the tower will tell you more about its intriguing past but the tower is more photogenic from the outside.
The lavish decorations on the outside are a remnant from when the tower was a ceremonial gateway for the ships that entered the port.
The Torre de Belém is a popular tourist attraction. Plan your visit early if you want to visit the inside or book these skip-the-line tickets which allow you to walk straight in without getting in line.
Miradouro de Santa Luzia
This gorgeous vista is located next to the Santa Luzia church.
The balcony of the Miradoura wraps around the picturesque church and is beautifully decorated with several Azulejos depicting important historical events of the capital.
Attentive visitors will, among others, see tiles that represent the earthquake that hit the city and others that refer to the inquisition.
The Miradouro is a lovely place to take a break.
You can do as the locals and do some people watching with a cup of coffee.
Couples frequent the Miradoura to enjoy romantic sunsets over the old Alfama district and the Tagus river.
Ler Devagar Bookstore
Quirky and a collectionist’s paradise, Ler Devagar or Read Slowly is definitely one of the best snap-worthy Instagram places in Lisbon.
With its unique concept and exhaustive book collection, Ler Devagar has made way in some of the world’s most prestigious publications, including the New York Times. It is also counted as one of the 10 most beautiful in the world.
The antiquated interior of this store is decorated with fantasy elements like the famous flying bicycle and floating cloud.
With its multi-tier book collection, vintage printing machines, a coffeehouse, and distinctive sculptures, it brings a literati’s dream to life. This perfect literary environment is topped by an art gallery located upstairs.
Unlike the usual bookstore, there is always something going on in Ler Devagar. The cozy place holds concerts, exhibitions, lectures, and events frequently. And yet, despite the ongoing cultural activities, readers can find in it a quiet corner to read leisurely. Readers can also enjoy their books with a cup of tea straight from the industrial bar.
Every Sunday between 11:00 to 19:00, this iconic bookstore turns into an exciting market fair. Sightseers can find and buy a variety of kitsch antiques, comfort food, vintage clothing, urban crafts, plants and more.
It’s a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
Things to Remember: Der Devagar is located in the former LX Factory. Hop into bus number 56, 60, 714, 720, 727, 732, 738, 751-15E, 18E-201, or 203 to reach here. Anyone can pop in here to get a cup of joe, look at art, read a book, or admire the quirky bookstore.
Miradouro da Senhora do Monte
Number 6 on this list is another one of Lisbon’s picture-perfect vistas.
The capital is located on seven hills, an aspect that you may curse as you continuously climb and descent when you wander through the city but these splendid vistas make up for all of the efforts.
This lookout is Graca’s highest point and views over most of Lisbon. The expansive views over the city are complemented by the backdrop of the castle that towers over the city on the other side.
Finding this Miraduoro is like finding a needle in a beautiful haystack. It is often missed because it is located just outside the city’s boundaries.
Many people visit the Miradoura da Graça instead. The latter offers equally stunning views but because of the lesser crowds, it is easier to create stunning pictures at the Miradouro da Senhora do Monte.
It is also a much more peaceful and magical experience.
How to get there: The Miradouro is a short walk from the Rua da Senhora do Monte off the tram 28 stop on the Rua da Graca
Praça do Comércio
This huge square at the edge of the meandering Tagus river used to be the beating heart of the capital. The square is lined by impressive historical buildings that showcase the grandeur of the time.
The other name of the square is Terreiro do Paço and refers to the time that the Ribeira Palace took the center stage. The latter was, unfortunately, along with large parts of the city, destroyed during the dramatic earthquake of 1755.
The equestrian statue of King Dom José I is centrally located on the square and survived the earthquake. It was this King that ordered and oversaw a swift reconstruction of the city to show the resilience of the city and the country to the neighboring countries and trading partners.
The Arco da Rua Augusta, the main gateway to the city, is the icing on the cake of the reconstruction. The arch was constructed to commemorate the earthquake and took 120 years to complete.
The arch was opened to the public in 2013. You can now get to the top to get a birds-eye view of the underlying square, the Baixa district, and the city’s cathedral.
Bairro Alto is not one particular place but a whole district full of Instagram-worthy spots. The district counts 2 nice miradouros (Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara and the Miradouro de Santa Catarina ), a lot of colorful street art and some of Lisbon’s best Azulejos.
It is a district where you can wander around with your camera for a few hours, after every corner you discover another lovely spot.
Street art lovers mustn’t miss the Urban Art Gallery, the Rua Vinha, Rua São Boaventura and Travessa dos Fiéis de Deus. The city has given the young and creative souls a place to showcase their talents in these streets and they are all decorated with one or more beautiful artworks.
After you’ve spent a few hours in the bohemian Bairro Alto district you can use the Santo Justa elevator, another Instagram-worthy monument in central Lisbon, to get back down to Baixa, the commercial center of the city.
Make sure to make a small detour along the Casa do Ferreira das Tabuletas before you board the elevator. It would be a shame to miss this beautifully decorated house with Azulejos.
Santa Justa Elevator
The impressive vertical steel structure of the Santa Justa elevator dominates the Baixa district and can be seen from far as one walks along the pedestrian Santa Justa commercial street. The Santa Justa elevator is the only remaining vertical elevator in the city, it celebrated its first century in 2002.
Daily hundreds of Lisbonners use the elevator to travel from the Bairro Alto district to Baixa and back. These days the elevator is also very popular among tourists. There can be long queues to ride up while the queues to come down tend to be somewhat shorter.
At the top of the elevator sits an observation platform that offers phenomenal views of Baixa. If you look into the opposite direction you see the ruins of the Carmo church and monastery.
No photo collection of Lisbon is complete without a picture of this iconic elevator.
Alfama is one of Lisbon’s oldest neighborhoods. A large part of the district survived the destructive earthquake of 1755. The district is made up of a maze of narrow cobblestone streets.
Alfama is the area where you can also find the iconic yellow old trams. Tram 28 squeaks and moans as it climbs the steep slopes and winds through the narrow streets.
To immortalize yourself on the tram you better head to either of the end stops of the line.
You risk encountering long queues at these stops but oftentimes you cannot board at the stops along the way as the trams are already jam-packed with tourists.
The district houses many of Lisbon’s highlights and is best discovered on foot.
Keep your eyes peeled as you head out to explore the district.
As you make your way from one highlight to the next you will come across many charming sights and hidden gems that stand for the strong appeal of the city.
The Castello de São Jorge
This castle sits on Lisbon’s highest mountain and watches over its inhabitants day and night. What once started as a small fort in the 5th century has become a gigantic castle with 11 towers.
The castle served most of its life as a military fort but the premises have also been used as a military hospital and prison. Later on, it became the home for several of the Portuguese royals and explorers. It was during that period that the land was seriously expanded and the fort also underwent several improvements and expansions for the comfort of its residents.
What can be seen today is only a fraction of the grandeur of that time but as you visit the castle grounds and the building, that houses a museum today, you can imagine how it must have been to live here.
The castle grounds are extensive and most visitors spend 2 to 3 hours to take everything in.
The view of the city from the castle walls is majestic and it is a very pleasant place to enjoy the sunset. After sunset, the castle is also nicely lit.
There are two entrances to the castle, a first entrance at the Largo do Chão da Feira and a second one at the Largo do Menino de Deus.
If you do not want to hike all the way up, you can use the free lifts at Rua dos Fanqueiros and Largo Chão do Loureiro.
Sé de Lisboa, Lisbon Cathedral
Truly the most Instagram worthy place in Lisbon for the sore eyes!
Boasting the grandeur of a medieval fortress, Lisbon Cathedral is the city’s landmark and the oldest building.
It was commissioned by the first king of Portugal in 1150 to be built on the site of an old mosque.
Steeped in history, Se Cathedral stands as a symbol of Portugal’s Catholic conquest against North African Moors. The high solid wall with two massive clock towers on either side certainly has the built-to-last look.
Despite its resemblance to a bastion, the interiors of this cathedral appear predominantly Romanesque with enchanting Gothic choir and ambulatory. Under the rib-vaulted ceiling is the main chapel which exudes Neoclassical architecture.
The chapel is also the resting place of King Afonso.
Other photogenic highlights of the cathedral include its Baroque sacristy and stunning rose window.
History buffs will be thrilled to visit its tourist sections located at the back. These segments include the religious nave, transept, sanctuary, and the partially excavated cloisters. The cloisters reveal relics of old mosque’s underlying foundations on which the cathedral was built.
Some of the findings excavated over recent years have proved to date back as far as the Roman era.
Things to Remember: Se Cathedral is located in Largo da Sé in Alfama. Visitors can walk up from Baixa or take tram 28. The best time to visit the cathedral is between 9:00 to 19:00.
Elevador da Bica
Elevador da Bica, also known as Ascensor da Bica, is a vintage funicular that creaks up and down the steep, strait Rua de São Paulo since 1892.
Not only is it most-photographed and hence Instagram-worthy tram in Lisbon, but it also acts as a window to other Instagrammable places in Lisbon.
Take the tram that climbs up the steep route to photograph a lovely sight with pastel-hued houses on either side and the river at the far end. The yellow tram complements the pastel yellow buildings, their green verandahs, and the blue river. Talk about palettes!
Hop on and keep the camera ready to shoot the most iconic photograph as the two trams cross each other.
The Bica tram leads to the neighborhoods of Bairro Alto and Bica. They are known for their unique buildings, petite shops, and restaurants. Decorated by artists, the tram shares the effervescent vibe of the nightlife that it witnesses in Rua da Bica.
Just 3 minutes away via Rua do Loreto is the unmissable viewpoint called Miradouro de Santa Catarina. Offering a sweeping view of rooftops in Lapa and Madragoa neighborhoods, this Miradouro is the spot to take pictures for Lisbon Instagram feed.
Things to Remember: The entrance to the funicular is tucked in an arch of a building located on Rua de São Paulo, 234. A tram stops here every 15 minutes between 7:00 to 21:00 on Monday-Saturday. The timings change from 9:00 to 21:00 on Sundays and public holidays.
You should keep your camera ready at all times when you explore Lisbon.
The best way to discover the city is to quietly wander through the quiet narrow cobblestone streets.
In this article, we listed some of the impressive highlights of the city but to take in the real atmosphere of the city you need to head to the alleys, the bars, and the many fado places.
For a complete Lisbon itinerary, check out our 3 days Lisbon itinerary.
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