Wherever you wander in the near future, chances are you’ll be looking to reduce your impact on the places you visit. And the good news is, Lisbon has similarly-minded residents who are not only creating innovative tours of the places they call home, but are coming up with ever-more-exciting ways to explore sustainably. If you find yourself in Lisbon, here are some activities to inspire and delight the conscious traveller.
We all love a souvenir or two to take home, and Lisbon has some world-class sustainable fashion to choose from. Try Organii, which has multiple locations across the city as well as a flagship at LX Factory. Here you can also find SkunkFunk (sustainable fashion) and NAE Vegan Shoes. Embaixada is also a worthy stop for any Lisbon visitor: Housed in a 19th century palace, this concept store with a difference houses multiple boutiques which offer sustainable products, including Fair Bazaar, a lifestyle store with stylish wares for both you and your home.
And if buying something new isn’t for you, the Feira da Ladra (flea market) in Alfama operates on Tuesdays and Saturdays and is a treasure trove of antiques and upcycled items, including jewellery made from Nespresso pods.
If you have visited Portugal before, the fantastic local meat and fish will not have escaped your notice. As a coastal city, Lisbon (and its many chefs) enjoy fresh seafood as standard, and anything they do import mostly comes from Spain, so you can rest assured that most of the fresh produce on your plate in Lisbon has a relatively low travel footprint. For real local flavour look out for bacalhau (cod) on a menu, and try some of our favourite places with local ingredients: Erva for modern European dining, Tapisco for Portuguese tapas, try local cheeses in a stylish setting at JNcQUOI and book a table at foodie’s dream Local, which does exactly what it says on the tin, delivering perfectly-cooked local dishes in a stylish yet intimate space.
Although traditional food in Lisbon is very much based around meat, fish and seafood, the city’s culinary innovators have long been tuned into vegan and veggie dining, and there are plenty of places to enjoy outstanding plant-based food. LX Factory houses some delicious vegan options such as The Therapist and Ao 26. Elsewhere in the city try The Food Temple in Alfama.
Lisbon is super hilly which can make it hard to reach those all-important miradouros (viewpoints) on foot. But luckily the city’s public transport is as eco-friendly as it is efficient. Jump on a tram to get from one district to another – you can buy a ticket on board – or for a little more fun, hire an electric bike or tuk tuk. Pay extra for your electric vehicle and you can enlist the services of a tour guide with to show you round the sights (and help you navigate those hills).
Lisbon is a relatively green city with plenty of parks and gardens. But if something a little wilder is what you’re looking for, the lush landscape of Sintra is just 40 minutes away by train, and perfect for a day trip. Get lost in the forest or join a guided hike to soak up some information about the area as you go. To really connect with nature, try looking up Portugal Farm Experiences where you can learn about local agriculture, or book a tour guided by field researchers through Lisbon Naturalist.