You might have been to Lisbon a few times, visited all the neighborhoods, even gone on a day trip nearby and still remain clueless that this place exists. And that’s ok! Because LX Factory is a hidden gem; a very well kept secret of the locals that you can only discover if one trusts you enough to spill the tea! Personally, I consider myself blessed to have a “Lisbon born and raised” friend, who introduced me to this amazing place on my first time in the city!
LX Factory is a pioneer creative hub, located right below Lisbon’s Ponte de 25 Abril, that opened its doors to the public in 2008. It occupies the space of a former fabric factory that dates back to 1846, maintaining the identity of a true industrial site. LX Factory is home to a variety of pop-up stores, hipster cafes, traditional restaurants and cool souvenir shops whilst also serving as a venue for music, fashion and art shows throughout the year.
Down below, I share with you some of the things that made me fall in love with LX Factory, the minute I set foot inside. They are selected carefully, aiming to convince you to book that flight, check-into that room and pay a visit to discover the magic yourself:
The Street Art
Certainly the first thing I noticed when I entered the area. LX Factory is an outdoor art gallery! Art-art-art everywhere! From old school graffiti to watercolour portraits the place calls for your camera, providing you with the most instagrammable backgrounds.
The Concept Stores
One thing I found really special about Portuguese people, in general, is their passion for their roots, their identity. Not in an obsessive way, but as an attempt to offer eclectic, well-crafted products that speak from the heart. Local artists and designers pay attention to the details, even when it comes to the smallest thing, promoting Portuguese culture in a very subtle yet impressive way. From pins to tote bags, from shoes to clothes and accessories every store at LX Factory is worth a visit.
The Flower Truck
The most alternative flower shop is parked straight from the entrance of LX Factory. Yes, it’s a colourful, heavenly-smelling garden on wheels! Here you’ll find all kinds of plants and flowers to give to that special someone or decorate your flat!
The Flea Market Sundays
Every Sunday, a flea market is being held in LX Factory, under the name LX Market. It is a perfect way to support local sellers and dig for some handpicked vintage clothes or jewellery. Make sure to be there early, as the low prices attract many Erasmus people and young locals, who shop on a budget.
The Livraria Ler Devagar
If you love innovative interiors and spend hours smelling the inside of old books you might agree that this is what paradise looks like! One of LX Factory’s oldest residents, Livraria Ler Devagar is recognised as one of the most original bookshops in Europe. Make sure to embark on a bike ride to book wonderland!
You’ll find an abundance of cool bistros, cafes and bars at LX Factory, but the restaurants are a whole other chapter! Each of them pays tribute to the Portuguese gastronomy, giving a twist to typical local food. What I found really interesting was The Therapist’s approach on healthy eating. This place really goes beyond meal serving. They have actually created a clinic and lab, offering organic Chinese medicine and even partnered with Ler Devagar to give bibliography sessions. They also operate school-wise, curating workshops on various topics such as clean eating, carpentry and more. All their dishes are free from dairy and refined sugars but -oh- so full of taste! Other recommendations: Chef Nino, 1300Taberna , Mex Factory , Borogodo.
The Live Events
“It changes when the sun goes down around here” sing the Arctic Monkeys and it couldn’t be more accurate as LX Factory transforms at night! Into what? Well, concert hall, theatre stage, open air cinema, you name it. One thing is for sure; guaranteed fun!
The Neon Lights
Yes, I know it’s part of street art, but it deserves a different level of attention! You’ll find them covering the ceiling of a small tunnel. Very camera-friendly and one of the most signature installations of LX Factory. Even though they are positioned right from the entrance everyone prefers to go there at the end of their visit and- to be honest- pictures turn out to be better in the dark.
LX Factory’s established status and developing recognition are tangible proof of what a community can achieve! With the combined work of architects, artists, designers, cooks and shop owners this place, like a phoenix, rose from the ashes!
How to get there:
To access LX Factory by metro, head to the Alcantara-Terra station. You’ll need to walk a short distance along the river to get to the place. If you rather not walk you can always catch a tram, that’ll leave you very close to the entrance!