Lisbon has no shortage of sights, but tourists often overlook one that should be on your must-visit list: the LX Factory. Once an industrial complex, this space’s warehouses have been transformed into an artistic and cultural hub with eclectic shops, art studios, and dining options. As you wander LX Factory, you’ll be able to experience Lisbon’s contemporary creative scene firsthand. In this post, we will explore the history of this venue and give tips on planning your visit to LX Factory.
Exploring LX Factory: Lisbon’s Creative and Cultural Hub
History of LX Factory
LX Factory, located in the Alcântara district of Lisbon, Portugal, started as a manufacturing center in 1846. It was initially established by the Companhia de Fiação e Tecidos Lisbonense, one of the most prominent industrial entities during that era. The complex’s primary function was producing textiles and maintaining machinery related to the textile industry.
In the early 20th century, LX Factory witnessed significant diversification as an industrial center. Grafiset, a leading printing company in Portugal, set up its operations within the compound in 1930 and contributed to expanding its reputation as a manufacturing hub.
The transformation of LX Factory into a creative hub began in 2008, marking a shift from its original purpose. This project involved reconceptualizing the area while retaining its historical essence. Today, LX Factory accommodates creative businesses, art galleries, performance spaces, restaurants, bookshops, and design studios. Likewise, you will find a lot of street art and graffiti in this area.
Things to See in LX Factory, Lisbon
As I said earlier, LX Factory gathers shops, art studios, and restaurants. So, I’ve split the must-see places in LX Factory into different categories so that you can make the most of your visit.
Top Shops in LX Factory
- Ler Devagar: Ler Devagar, which translates to “Read Slowly,” is a bookstore in LX Factory. The store occupies a former printing press warehouse from the 19th century, preserving elements such as the original machinery and gears. The space incorporates multiple levels, including an art gallery, a café, and the primary area containing books. Ler Devagar stands out due to its impressive collection of literary works for Portuguese and international readers covering numerous genres. The bookstore also hosts events, debates, and workshops.
- Wish Concept Store: Primarily concentrating on Portuguese design and craftsmanship, this store presents an extensive selection of clothing, accessories, furniture, and home decorations. Wish Concept Store differentiates itself by promoting local artisans and brands while upholding responsible manufacturing practices.
- More Than Wine: As its name suggests, this store is a must for wine lovers visiting Lisbon. Here, you can find wines from Lisbon, Douro, and other regions of Portugal. Moreover, there’s a selection of Portuguese canned delicacies to enjoy with your favorite red or white.
- Amazingstore: This store sells everyday essential objects made of wood. Amazingstore curates products like sunglasses, clocks, and headphones by environmentally conscious brands.
- Ana Couto & Valérie Lachuer – Jewelry Open Studio: These two jewelers mix their styles and aesthetics to create stunning pieces. This boutique workshop is perfect for those looking for unique, handmade jewels.
Best Restaurants in LX Factory
- Chickinho: A mandatory stop for chicken lovers, this restaurant serves the classic Portuguese peri-peri chicken. Likewise, Chickinho’s menu includes wings, chicken legs, chicken sandwiches and more.
- Micro Burgers & Music: As its name suggests, this restaurant pairs burgers with the best music, including live DJ sets on the weekends. You can also enjoy craft beers and cocktails in this restaurant, a must in LX Factory, Lisbon.
- Beer’s: Speaking of craft beers, LX Factory has a brewery. With a very straightforward name, this bar offers a wide selection of beers and snacks. If you travel to Lisbon with a group, you could get a keg and draft your beer in this restaurant.
- Cantina: This restaurant perfectly captures the essence of LX Factory by using equipment and furniture that previously belonged to a printer. Cantina’s menu consists of international cuisine with Portuguese roots.
- Matchamama: This restaurant’s menu is a fusion of Asian and Peruvian gastronomy. The high-quality ingredients and intense blend of flavors make Matchamama one of the top restaurants in LX Factory.
Top Art Studios in LX Factory
- Samantha Wilson Art: In this studio and gallery, you can buy gorgeous paintings by its namesake artist. Samantha, a Scottish artist, also offers group and particular classes.
- Art Studio Lisbon By Jo Seixas & Grebism: A painting and engraving studio formed by an Estonian and a Portuguese artist. This studio’s motto is “all original, nothing digital,” so you can expect beautiful and original paintings made from scratch.
You can also find tattoo studios, barber shops, and a hostel in LX Factory, Lisbon. Hence, it is an ideal place to spend a few hours on a first trip to Lisbon, especially if you’ve already seen the city’s most famous attractions.
Tips for Visiting LX Factory in Lisbon
How to Get to LX Factory
LX Factory is in the Alcantara neighborhood of Lisbon. To get to LX Factory, you can take tram 15 at Praça da Figueira in Baixa, one of the best areas to stay in Lisbon. The tram takes about 20 minutes to reach the Calvário stop, the closest to LX Factory.
If you prefer buses, you can take the 714 bus also at Praça da Figueira or the 727 bus that runs through Avenida da República. Both buses also stop at Calvário.