There is no denying that the Lx Factory in Lisbon’s Alcântara district, next to the iconic 25th April Bridge, has a vibrant hippy-chicness and creative energy about it and as a result it is very popular with both Lisboetas and tourists who want something a little different from the standard shopping centres. The Lx Factory (‘Lx’ is pronounced ‘el sheesh’ and comes from the abbreviation often used for Lisbon) is a 23,000m2 complex of shops, cafés, bars, restaurants and small businesses in a former industrial area of Lisbon, which from the 1840s housed textile manufacturing, food processing and printing companies until it was finally abandoned and fell into disrepair. In 2008 the site was revived as a new creative space with small (but expensive) independent shops, ranging from clothing, jewellery, cosmetics and eyewear to wine, canned fish, books, art and home décor, alongside restaurants selling dishes from around the world, including one located in the original factory canteen of the former printing company. Many of the buildings on the site are as they were when they were abandoned and this gives the place a certain grittiness. The Lx Factory really comes alive after dark when the bars become full of young Lisboetas on a night out and the atmosphere changes completely from that of the daytime. The independent spirit of this place makes it the perfect location for drag events which are run by a group of drag queens at a venue in the complex. There is even a hostel in the complex, the Dorm, which adds to the youthful, communal spirit.
In keeping with the bohemian vibe, the Lx Factory boasts a large variety of urban art throughout the complex (and in the separate, but similarly creative, Village Underground co-working community next door, which has shared workspaces made of double-decker buses and shipping containers). Many pieces are by respected urban artists, such as Bordalo II, Mário Belém, Hugo Makarov, Mariana Dias Coutinho and Derlon, that even people a bit too old to embrace the Lx Factory’s youth-centric nightlife scene can still enjoy in the daytime!
Lx Factory, Rua Rodrigues Faria 103,Lisbon
Tram 15; buses 714, 727, 732, 751 (nearest stop Rua da Junqueira e Alcântara); train from Cais do Sodré or Cascais ( Alcântara-Mar station)