What is the LX Factory in Lisbon and Why Should You Go?
Prior to your trip to Lisbon, I would be very surprised if you didn’t hear the term LX Factory thrown out once or twice during pre-travel discussions. It is fast becoming one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Portuguese Capital, if not the country itself.
What is the LX Factory? Read on and I’ll tell you all about it.
OPENING HOURS: Daily
ADDRESS: R. Rodrigues de Faria 103, 1300-501 Lisboa, Portugal
METRO STATION: Alcantara Mar
What is the LX Factory in Lisbon?
The LX Factory is a co-operative working venue that is inhabited by restaurants, bars, galleries, bookstores and various concept shops. It is situated right on the edge of the Tagus, halfway between the Cais do Sodre and Belem.
The LX Factory was, until very recently, nothing more than an abandoned factory yard. The grounds made for the perfect base upon which to build this now thriving attraction; a mix of indoor and outdoor space of grand proportions.
You’ll wander the LX Factory as you would an outdoor mall; there are various entranced into different factories that all hold the various business.
Every day, thousands of people from all over the world gather together in this yard to eat, drink, shop and enjoy Lisbon youth & street culture.
Note that while the LX Factory is open seven days a week, from early morning until late at night, all the different business have their own individual hours of operation that they uphold.
Attractions at the LX Factory in Lisbon
Lot’s to do and lot’s to see in this collective ground; even if you’re not in the mood to eat you can still have almost a full day of action at the LX Factory.
The first thing you’ll notice is the street art. The LX Factory is a trendy, urban space and so various local artists are brought in on a regular basis to add to the overall aesthetic of the space.
Along with the graffiti are, there are also actual art installations placed throughout the factory grounds, mostly on the walkways. These are works of local Lisbon based artists who were either commissioned by the city or whose works were found to be apt for the space.
One of the main factories on the grounds is an old printing press. All of the machinery is still here and you can actually venture up and climb through the giant machines. This is on your left as you enter the LX Factory main entrance.
You won’t miss it, because the factory is also now a massive bookstore with floor to ceiling books surrounding the old press machinery in the center. In addition to this, the bookstore has built a small art house cinema in the adjacent loft. There are daily screenings of nouveau films available.
Best Things to Eat at the LX Factory in Lisbon
Truth be told, the world is your oyster when it comes to cuisines in the LX Factory. You can find just about every major global cuisine in some form, as well as ample vegan, gluten free and even fruitarian options.
My go-to at the LX Factory has always been the Mexican food. Mez Cais LX is on the far end of the grounds and is one of Lisbon’s most authentic Mexican dining experiences.
The artisanal hotdog spot is always a vibrant little street corner as well. The name escapes me, but you’ll walk by it shortly after entering the grounds and you’ll see the many outdoor tables scoffing creative looking hotdogs to the sound of 80s music in the background.
The fruit vendors work the streets from a cart. They do fresh squeezed juices and smoothies right in front of you, which are really refreshing while walking around in the summer heat.
Nightlife at the LX Factory in Lisbon
The LX Factory by day and the LX Factory by night are two very different experiences. Day time is very calm, vibrant and family oriented. By night, the mood shifts into a more whimsical, expressive and gratification based environment where everyone is out for a good time.
There are a number of bars in the LX Factory, the most popular one is on the roof; it overlooks the Pont 25 Abril bridge illuminated by night, and the water below. It’s a glorious place for a date or a nightcap after your dinner in the grounds.
Most of the bars are open until 1am. Some of the restaurants stay open until 1am too, and become social spaces the later the evenings get.
That being said, there are no actual music venues or dance clubs in the LX Factory as of yet. Most visitors come for dinner, move to one of the bars for a few drinks afterward, and then when everything starts closing they group venture back toward the city center where they can continue to drink and dance in Bairro Alto, or on the pink street.
Getting to the LX Factory in Lisbon
Coming from the city center (Bairro Alto, Chiado), the LX Factory is about a twelve minute journey by car. Lisbon’s taxis and Ubers know the place well, and when it comes time to leave there are always a gathering of cars just outside the gates waiting to take you onward.
To get to the LX Factory by metro, catch the train to the Alcantara-Terra station. The entrance is a short walk toward the river, you can’t miss it. You can also catch a tram if you’d rather not stroll.
While this is an important attraction to Lisbon, it is by no means the most cultural or most historic. I highly recommend combining your exploring with a guided walking tour through Lisbon where you can encounter other impressive attractions in all their glory as well.