an Instagram guide to Lisbon, Portugal: where to find 10 of the best photo spots in Lisbon

Lisbon quickly won me {and my camera} over, putting Portugal at the top of my list for favourite European countries. The hilly city with its many colourful and diverse neighbourhoods is filled with secret side streets, beautiful back alleys, and magic miraduoros {viewpoints} that culminate in it being a photographer’s delight. Lisbon’s endless Instagram potential is just one of the many reasons people are falling head-over-heels for it.

If my DSLR were a living being, which I totally sometimes believe it is, Lisbon would have stolen its tiny beating heart. My camera strap was forever around my neck, my finger ready at a moment’s notice to snap up every beautiful thing I saw. After reading this post, that totally has a map at the bottom to help you navigate this photography trail, I think you too will be convinced that this is one capital city that truly has an array of aesthetics to fit your style.


here are the best photos spots in lisbon


an Instagram guide to Lisbon, Portugal: where to find 10 of the best photo spots in Lisbon
an Instagram guide to Lisbon, Portugal: where to find 10 of the best photo spots in Lisbon

  1. maat

There is no arguing that in the three years since MAAT, the Museum of Art Architecture and Technology, has been open, it’s caught every visitor’s eye. Tourists in Lisbon are stopped in awe thanks to the museum’s otherworldly exterior design, which contributed significantly to the $20 million dollars it took to construct it. Between the blue sky, the clear water, and the contrasting white building, getting a good photo from MAAT is made pretty simple.

ADMISSION TO MAAT: €5

OPENING HOURS: 11 AM - 7 PM, closed on Tuesdays

an Instagram guide to Lisbon, Portugal: the 10 best places for photos in the Portuguese capital
an Instagram guide to Lisbon, Portugal: the 10 best places for photos in the Portuguese capital

2. sintra

This might seem like a cheat since Sintra is actually a resort town outside of Lisbon city near the foothills of the Sintra Mountains. I went ahead and included it, because it’s easily accessible by train if you’re up for a 45-minute ride! Sintra was a longtime royal sanctuary, with palaces peppering the forested area. The most well-known of the palaces in Sintra is Pena Palace, which is bright yellow and red with an almost whimsical design. It really is like something out of a cartoon. My favourite of the three I visited was Quinta da Regaleira. Though less colourful, it had waterfalls and hidden grottos scattered across its grounds and felt less crowded than Pena.

ADMISSION TO PENA PALACE: €13 to see both the grounds and the inside {prepare to wait in a long line} or €7 to just walk the grounds {this is fine for all the notable photo spots}

OPENING HOURS FOR PENA PALACE: 9:30 AM - 8 PM {you want to be there for opening}

ADMISSION TO QUINTA DE REGALEIRA: €6

OPENING HOURS FOR QUINTA DE REGALEIRA: 9:30 AM - 7 PM daily, last tickets sold at 6:30 PM

ROUNDTRIP TRAIN TICKET TO SINTRA: €4.40

an Instagram guide to Lisbon, Portugal: where to find 10 of the best photo spots in Lisbon

3. belém

You can walk from MAAT to Belém in about 10-15 minutes, depending on how fast you move. It’s not far at all and the view of the water makes it hurry right along. This little parish is known for two major things: 1. its iconic tower and 2. being the birth place of pasteis de natas, the most famous and beloved dessert in Portugal. Grab a custard from the famous Pasteis de Belém and walk across the pedestrian bridge to the tower. You can pay to go up the tower, but I read multiple times online {and was told in person by a local friend} that it’s windy and overcrowded, so I decided to save the money and just meander around the water, admiring it from the outside. If you prefer not to walk in the Portuguese sun, you can take public transport to Belém. Grab a ride on tram 15 or 127.

TRAM TO BELÉM: €1.80, or free as part of a €6.40 daily public transport pass

an Instagram guide to Lisbon, Portugal: the best places for photos in the City of Seven Hills
an Instagram guide to Lisbon, Portugal: the best places for photos in the City of Seven Hills

4. bairro alto

This little corner of Lisbon quickly became one of my favourites. Less gentrified or tourist-ridden than {gorgeous} Alfama, but with all of the colours and murals, Bairro Alto truly had me smiling like a giddy school girl. The locals in this area were super friendly, and it seemed like at every turn I found another side street to photograph.

I visited in June, which is a month filled with festivals across the nation, especially in Lisbon. The Festival of Saint Anthony had residents hanging bright garland across each lane and adding extra twinkly lights to their patios and balconies. Despite the upcoming celebrations, the streets in Bairro Alto were as pictured above— nearly empty, until later in the afternoon. This made it an ideal area of town to take photos in.

ADMISSION: free

OPENING HOURS: always

the best places for photos in Lisbon, Portugal: an Instagram guide to the City of Seven Hills
the best places for photos in Lisbon, Portugal: an Instagram guide to the City of Seven Hills
an Instagram guide to Lisbon, Portugal: the 10 best places for photos in the Portuguese capital

5. lisbon’s plentiful street art

One of the {many} things I loved about Lisbon was all the murals and street art that peppered the city. Some of my favourite was found in the Alfama neighbourhood in the Eastern part of the city. There was no shortage of political satire, cartoonish characters, or pretty to look at pieces scattered down every alleyway in this beloved section of Lisbon.

My favourite roadside artwork from Lisbon was the plastic fox, but the trash raccoon {pictured far right} was a pretty close second. These animals are a part of a series by Bordalo II that is meant to make onlookers think about the impact of pollution and litter on wildlife.

ADMISSION: free

OPENING HOURS: always

the best places for photos in Lisbon, Portugal: an Instagram guide to the City of Seven Hills

6. tram 28

The little yellow Tram 28 puttering through the curves and hills of the city makes for a quintessential Lisbon image. Riding on Tram 28 is rickety, bumpy, and can be crowded if you choose to hop on in the middle of the day. Go early in the morning to avoid the heavy crowds, or visit during the shoulder-season. Also, make sure to keep your bags in front of you, since Tram 28 is known for being a bit of a pickpocket haven.

TIP: Buy the day transport pass. It’s good for the metro, tram {including magical #28}, the funicular, and all city buses, which makes it a very economical way to get around. Instead of paying €3.80 for a single ride, cop up the €6.40 for the day pass and take advantage of all the sites further out of the city center you’d like to see, like Belém.

COST OF TRAM RIDE: €3.80, or free as part of a €6.40 daily public transport pass

an Instagram guide to Lisbon, Portugal: the best places for photos in the City of Seven Hills
an Instagram guide to Lisbon, Portugal: the best places for photos in the Portuguese capital

7. LX Factory

I specifically saved my visit to the LX Factory for the last day of my week-long trip to Lisbon, because on Sundays the industrial-space-turned-artsy-hangout hosts a flea market complete with vintage clothing, ethically made soaps, and organic treats. It was the perfect end to my time in the capital city. Don’t forget to visit the bookshop!

ADMISSION TO LX FACTORY: free

OPENING HOURS: varies from store to store

an Instagram guide to Lisbon, Portugal: 10 of the best places for photos in the Portuguese capital

8. village underground

Village Underground is a community of people that supports artists and creatives that identify with underground culture. The village is a co-working space and a place to make music and art. The double-decker bus doubles {see what I did there?} as a café and bar. There are art installations, floral couches, and shipping containers covered in murals to spark all kinds of creativity in your photography here.

ADMISSION TO VILLAGE UNDERGROUND: free

OPENING HOURS: I couldn’t find the exact

an Instagram guide to Lisbon, Portugal: the best places for photos in the City of Seven Hills
an Instagram guide to Lisbon, Portugal: the 10 best places for photos in the Portuguese capital

9. the pink street

Instagram followers of mine may have seen my little rant about the state of this picture hotspot. I got there early in the morning, to beat the crowds and grab photos without people in them. While there may have been no people on the painted street, there was an abundance of plastic waste from the surrounding bars and the smell of late-night drunken urine on the road. Instead of the pretty, pink picture I envisioned, this place was actually a total dump— a serious let down. Despite reality not meeting expectation, the pink street is another spot in Lisbon that makes for a colourful picture you definitely don’t want to miss out on.

ADMISSION: free

OPENING HOURS: always, since this is a public road

an Instagram guide to Lisbon, Portugal: the best places for photos in the City of Seven Hills
an Instagram guide to Lisbon, Portugal: where to find 10 of the best photo spots in Lisbon

10. elevador de santa justa

The Elevador de Santa Justa, its modern official name, is another one of Lisbon’s public transport options that has evolved into a tourist attraction of sorts. Built in 1902, it stands nearly 150 feet tall over the city with a killer view of the Baixa neighbourhood. If you think the elevator looks a bit similar to the Eiffel Tower, you’ve caught on to the fact that its designer was an admirer of Gustave Eiffel. In fact, the lift’s engineer used many of the same construction methods as Mr. Eiffel. Funnily enough, the lift can carry a maximum of 20 people up, but can only take 15 people down.

COST FOR TICKET TO RIDE LIFT: €5.15 for a ride up, or free as part of a €6.40 daily public transport pass

OPENING HOURS: May to October from 7:30 AM - 11 PM daily + November to April from 7:30 AM - 9 PM daily


map

NEED HELP NAVIGATING ALL THE BEST PHOTO SPOTS IN LISBON? Don’t worry, because I made you a map!


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an Instagram guide to Lisbon, Portugal: the 10 best places for photos in the Portuguese capital
an Instagram guide to Lisbon, Portugal: the 10 best places for photos in the Portuguese capital