Lisbon’s multiethnic street Rua do Benformoso has a unique vibe. Plus: A bunch of music venues, a Fado bar and a little gallery you should know about.
1) Rua do Benformoso
If you only have time to do one thing in Lisbon, stroll along Rua do Benformoso. This narrow, cobbled stone street connects the multiethnic inner-city neighborhoods of Martim Moniz and Intendente. It is both: the old and new Lisbon. Slightly run down, this former working-class street is now home to Chinese stores, Indian restaurants, Bangladeshi barbers and bars with locals with a migration background. It is only slightly off the touristy Baixa district, but offers you a very different vibe, sound and view of Lisbon.
This little gallery is in the heart of bohemian Bairro Alto district. The neighbourhood has changed quite a lot over the last years with rents and prices going up and tourists coming in. But gallery owner Marcelo Duarte still found a way to live his dream with little money. Drop by for a chat about contemporary art, DIY exhibitions and making things happen the punk way.
Disgraca is Lisbon’s best non-commercial place for live music under the radar. It also a great place for a beer, a chat and a vegan meal off the common tourist trails. This place is about politics, music and exchange.
4) Tapas Bar and Fado Restaurant Bela Vinhos E Petiscos (Alfama district)
The best bar and restaurant for Fado music and tapas food in Lisbon. Period! (Rua dos Remédios 190)
Created in 1994 as a non-profit organization by a civic initiative, Galeria Zé dos Bois (ZDB) is an art center based in a big eighteenth-century house in the heart of Bairro Alto. Expect Indie bands, exhibitions and laid-back atmosphere. I saw “Hand Habits” there.