The Alternative Side of Lisbon

Retrox

“Alternative”, a word used to describe something out of the ordinary and usually the complete opposite of traditional. We associate it with fashion, music, places and even people.

Many times I get ask what is my favorite type of music and even though I like most things, I often reply alternative or indie. I guess these words have managed to find their way into my life as something that describes me.

This search for something different is one of the reasons why I started this blog. Though not too far from my hometown in Cascais, Lisbon is turning into my second home! And as most places we live in, it’s easy to become blind to its quirkiness.

I was living in Cascais for almost 9 years, and only a week ago I managed to visit this vintage shop right next to the stop where I once waited ages for the bus to take me to high school.

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Every so often I find these “alternative” places in Lisbon and all I want to do is share them with the world!

If I were to name the “alternative” areas of Lisbon I would say the following: Anjos, Intendente and Braço da Prata. Still, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any hidden gems around the city centre, far from it!

This week I stumble upon two places that I think are worth mentioning here!

Our grocery shopping trip to Lidl last Friday lead us to Retrox, a small vintage shop that has anything from books to furniture. It’s been open for a year already but I’ve only came across it now. The owner, Josiane Lima, was extremely nice and told us to meet her at a storage area just around the corner, to see what else she had to offer!

If you’re looking for unique vintage items, Josiane will help you find it. Since our last purchase at the flea market came with its own inhabitants, it’s safe to say that I wouldn’t mind paying a little bit more to get something original and free of bugs!

A cafe, concert venue, vinyl shop and apparently a storage room, Crew Hassan is one the most unique places in Lisbon. The first time I visited this place I was coming from an exhibition and just stopped here for a beer. It wasn’t until later that I discovered all the features this place had to offer like vintage clothes, dance classes and occasional snacks.

I’ve been meaning to visit EKA Palace for a while and last weekend, despite the rain,  I finally got on a bus and headed to Xabregas! The old looks of this building and the spooky atmosphere when you first get in made it a little bit intimidating, but as soon as you pass the illuminated “E” standing on top of the big doors you will be amazed.

This non-profit organization is constantly presenting events, like the one we saw “Feira Morta”, a fair for self-publishing artists, mostly illustrators to showcase their work. But the art went beyond their little stalls, the walls had all sorts of artistic displays and everything just screamed “alternative” to me.

The food smelled delicious so I couldn’t help but try a piece of hazelnut cake, definitely recommend it! I look forward to hanging out on their patio during summer and get to know more “alternative” people.

You might not consider yourself alternative but have you ever felt the need to do or see something different? Let me know in the comments what is your definition for alternative and what you consider to be the best alternative spot in your town 🙂

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