Lisbon’s Quirkiest Attractions

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Portugal’s capital city, Lisbon, is full of charm from its imposing castle walls with breathtaking views, to the main square, Praça do Comércio, which is lined with cafes and incredible architecture. It’s no surprise then that the city draws in its fair share of visitors. To escape the crowds, head off the beaten track to these quirky attractions – rewarding the wayward traveller with a great photo or five.

Enjoy a Drink in a Car Park

Every good hipster knows that the more industrial the landscape in which you drink your cocktail, the cooler you will be. In that case, PARK bar, perched atop a car park in Lisbon’s Bairro Alto’s district might just hold the crown for hippest drinking establishment. To enter the bar you must wander in to the multi-storey car park and take the graffiti-laden lift to the top floor. Inside, there is wooden decor and lush green plants with a distinctly beachy vibe. It’s probably worth mentioning that the views are pretty breathtaking – there are 180° views out over the city making it a romantic spot for a sunset cocktail.

picture of the park bar in Lisbon
[Photo by albedo20 – Flickr]

Visit a Hospital for Dolls

The doll hospital on Plaça da Figueira looks a little creepy, but the shop has been mending the children of Lisbon’s beloved toys since 1830 and there’s not much sweeter than that. Inside, there are cabinets filled with doll’s heads, legs, arms and other body parts nestled around the all important operating table. The shop fixes traditional dolls alongside the more modern Barbies and iconic figures. However, there’s no need to start breaking your old toys for the chance to explore this curiosity, guests are admitted for the tiny price of €2.

picture of a doll hospital
[Photo by J Mark Dodds – Flickr]

Ride a Tram up a Hilly Street

Lisbon is incredibly hilly, it’s a city built upon seven hills and whilst that gives the city a lopsided charm, it can get awfully tiring. Never ones to let the matter of a hill get in the way, Lisbon’s residents and visitors can save themselves a leg ache by hopping aboard one of Lisbon’s famous yellow trams. These iconic vehicles can be found across the city but our favourite are those that slowly trudge up short, steep hills so that you don’t have to.

picture of a tram

Experience Great Drinks and Circus School Under the Same Roof

Located in a former prison on an unassuming side street by the castle, you will find a labyrinth of performance spaces and cosy spots in which to sip a cocktail, or nibble on a cake. Chapito is a state-funded circus school by day and a restaurant/bar by night. That’s not to say that the two are entirely separate – you can drink a cup of coffee in the day whilst watching rehearsals or mingle with creative types at dinner. It’s worth seeking out this hidden gem for a buzzing atmosphere and incredible views out over the city from the vantage point of the castle’s high perch.

picture of a woman smiling
[Photo by Filipe Saraiva – Flickr]

Hop in to the Santa Justa Lift

The Santa Justa Lift is an incredibly intricate way to avoid traipsing up the hill from the Baixa district to the Igreja do Carmo church. This church was destroyed by an earthquake in 1755 and yet, the general structure has survived so there are grand swooping columns overhanging concrete floors, all lit by the sun above. This historic site is worth a visit in its own right but the neo-gothic lift up definitely adds to the allure. The lift has gleaming wooden panels encased in a maze of ornamental metalwork and may just be one of the most design-focused elevators you will ever travel in.

picture of the santa junta lift

Self Medicate with Great Food at Restaurante Pharmacia

For a meal out with a twist, head to Restaurante Pharmacia in the Santa Catarina district in Lisbon. The cocktail menu is full of medicine for your soul, from the aptly named Ibuprofen and Morphine cocktails (full of fruit juice and spirits) to a lengthy wine list. It’s not all lotions and potions though, the food menu is full of tempting sounding tapas dishes. The decor is suitably off-key with drinks served in measuring jugs, the bill presented in medicine pots and cabinets full of vials and paraphernalia adorning the walls making for a great photo opportunity.

picture of pharmacy bar
[Photo by Lisboa Cool – Flickr]

To experience the quirky side of Lisbon, compare: Flights | Holidays | Hotels | Car Hire