From the castle to Bairro Alto
If you’re enjoying a visit to Lisbon, make sure to set aside a day for strolling relaxedly around the city’s historic centre.
Begin by admiring the breathtaking view over the city and the river from the Castelo de São Jorge. With the sun beating down from a seemingly endless sky, admire the intricate patterns of the thousands of roofs and the blue reflections of the river with the opposite bank in the distance. In order to arrive at this very special viewing point, we suggest that you use the city’s most characteristic form of transport: the tram (either number 12 or 28).
Next, make your way down through the narrow streets and alleys of the typical old quarter of Alfama. In June, this part of the city is brightly decorated in order to celebrate the feast of Lisbon’s patron saint, St. Anthony, providing a genuinely popular view of the capital and its life. In the Largo do Chafariz de Dentro, stop for a while to visit the Museum of Fado and listen to the city’s own very personal soundtrack.
Carry on to Terreiro do Paço and appreciate the imposing grandeur of this large square opening onto the River Tagus. Between April and October, don’t miss the opportunity to take a boat ride and enjoy an entirely different view of Lisbon from the river.
Amidst the daily hustle and bustle of the Baixa Pombalina, Lisbon’s central downtown area, take a ride on the lift of the Elevador de Santa Justa, designed by one of Eiffel’s disciples, all the way up to the city’s Chiado shopping district. Enjoy a stroll through this historic part of Lisbon at its most bohemian and elegant and don’t miss the opportunity to admire the modern art at the contemporary art museum, the Museu do Chiado. Take advantage of being in this fashionable district to do some shopping, or simply to do nothing by taking your seat on one of the pavement cafés and terraces and appreciating the pace and excitement of a capital city.
In Bairro Alto, the quintessential heart of the city’s urban culture, there is a great abundance of clothes designers and design shops, and all kinds of different bars where you can go for some fun and entertainment later on in the evening. In the nearby Largo Trindade Coelho, don’t forget to stop for a while and let your attention be caught by the imposingly austere façade of the Igreja de São Roque, stepping inside to admire its beautifully decorated interior. Give your eyes some time to rest their gaze on the view from the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara, with its wonderful panorama of the castle, from where you started out on this brief tour. Have a peaceful and unhurried dinner at any time in Bairro Alto, and then step forth to enjoy all the excitement of the Lisbon nightlife.