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Acântara/Belém

ALCÂNTARA / BELÉM | The President of the Republic knows how to do things. There are several reasons for his official residence to be situated in Belém: the river, the Jerónimos Monastery, the Belém Tower and the Belém pastéis (custard cakes). From Alcântara to Bélem the view is the same, the Tagus river. Alcântara comes from the Arab al-qantara, whose meaning is “bridge” and makes sense with the imposing April 25 Bridge, linking Lisbon to the South Bank. In this area of the city, at the beginning of the last century this was a republican neighbourhood conspiring against the monarchy, fun is guaranteed.

The Alcântara Docks (commonly called Docas) represent a centre of fun (restaurants, bars and discos), occupying old factories and warehouses. No one remembers what Lisbon looked like before you could have a cocktail on the riverside. Not to be missed: "Speakeasy" with live jazz (Cais das Oficinas, armazém 115 at Rocha do Conde de Óbidos, "Espalha Brasas". Grilled meats (Doca de Santo Amaro, Armazém 9) and the "Op Art Café", with the best House Music DJs at Doca de Santo Amaro.

The Belém Tower (considered World Heritage in 1983) was built in honour of the city's patron saint, St. Vincent, at the place where the Great Vessel lay anchored. The tower is on the Right Bank of the river and is a monument to be visited. In the beginning it was surrounded by water on all sides, but today lies on land. The greatest symbol of the Manueline style in Portugal, it has Islamic and Eastern influences.
Do not miss a visit to the Jerónimos Monastery, the Monument of Discoveries, the Tropical Botanical Garden, the Navy Museum, the Electricity Museum and the Coach Museum (one of the world's most impressive collection of coaches). If you have children, take them to the Calouste Gulbenkian Planetarium. It is fun (and education) for sure.

But Belém is not only History. A proof of this is the Belém Cultural Center, at the Praça do Império (a bold architecture project by Vittorio Gregotti and Manuel Salgado), with the city's and country's most comprehensive cultural programs, among the best in Europe (like the Berardo Museum - museum of contemporary art). Try the famous Belém custard cakes at the original bakery (Rua de Belém). There are several rooms, full of fantastic azulejo tiles, with many seats and always busy waiters.

Campo D'Ourique/Amoreiras

CAMPO D'OURIQUE / AMOREIRAS | Campo de Ourique is a neighbourhood with a life of it’s own, in the heart of Lisbon. It is na area with midle-high class residents and with a great tradition of commerce. It is considered one of the town areas with a best life quality. It is not difficult to see people to great each others, families taking a walk or shopping. Politicians, artists and journalists choose to live in Campo de Ourique.

Campo de Ourique did not do part od Lisbon downtown until the XVIII century. Initially it consisted only in a windy slope where lived workers of Alcântara factories. It was always seen as an area with revolutionary traditions. Here began the revolutionary movement of 5th October 1910, that overthrow the Portuguese Monarchy and implement the Republic.

The streets os Campo de Ourique are full of shops, coffe-shops, confectioneries, consulting rooms and offices. Two tramcars, the 25 ( Alfândega/Campo de Ourique ) and the 28 ( Martim Moniz/Campo de Ourique ) make the mobolity easier and give a certain “charme”.
To undestand the environment of tha area, you must make a stroll through the oldest coffe-shops: A Tentadora ( Rua Ferreira Borges, 1 ), Ruacaná ( Rua Almeida Sousa, 31 A/B ) and O Canas ( Rua Saraiva de Carvalho, A/B).

Also indispensable are the visits to Igreja da Santo Condestável ( by Vasco Regaleira ) and to the Mercado de Campo de Ouruque, where you will not resist the chocolate-shop Mercado do Chocolate ( Rua Coelho da Rocha). For the lovers of wine there is the paradise: A Garrafeira de Campo de Ourique ( Rua Tomás da Anunciação, 29-A ). And once the gourmet shops are expanding in the area, let you be seduced by Oil&Vinegar ( Rua 4 de Infantaria, 29 ), Portugal Rural ( Rua Saraiva de Caravalho, 115 R/C ) and Gourmet Glamour ( Rua Ferreira Borges, 88-A ).

If you feel tired remember that there is na oasis awaiting for you: The Jardim Teófilo Braga / Jardim da Parada ( Rua Tomás da Anunciação ) is the proof that it is yet possible to feel you are in a village in the center of town.

Estrela/Lapa

ESTRELA / LAPA | In Lisbon “Lapa” and “Estrela” are synonym of history and class. Many of the more traditional families in town have their homes here. Those are excellent areas of residence and very central. Nevertheless they have a very active commerce.

In “Estrela” neighborhood there is a garden and a Basilica that will impress you. The Basilica (built in the XVIII century) situated at “Largo da Estrela”, assembles the baroque and neoclassic styles. The dome and the facade (with two twin towers and statues of saints and other figures) are one of Lisbon postcards. It is open every day until eight o’clock in the evening. In front of the Basilica is the “Estrela Garden" (or Jardim Guerra Junqueiro) with Banana trees, jacarandas and palm trees, ‘guarda-rios’, peacocks and swans. And a musical silence, in one of the most elegant gardens of the capital. Premeditated like the image of romantic english gardens, the “Estrela Garden" has the oldest wrought iron bandstand in Lisbon. It is an excellent space to read a book, to run, or to take a drink. If you have a portable computer bring it with you there is free Wi-Fi here. There are many transports, busses (9, 20, 22 and 38) and tramways (25 and the famous 28).

The institution of “Lapa” as a neighborhood is so since 1770. More than two centuries later it is there that are located most of the Embassies of other countries in Portugal, China, Ireland, Holland, United Kingdom and Sweden are some of them.
In that district you have the feeling of being in an ancient Lisbon, where there is time for everything. Do not lose a visit to the restaurant “A Padaria da Lapa” (Rua de S.Felix, 33-A) “Casa de Cha da Lapa” (Rua do Olival, 8), an elegant and historical space, frequented by many figures of Lisbon’ elite. To relax, enjoy the “Spa Lapa Palace” (Rua do Pau de Bandeira, 4).

For a fado evening, you are in the right place. “Sr. Vinho” (Rua do Meio, a Lapa, 18) is a restaurant/fado house, open since 1975. ‘Bacalhau a Sr. Vinho’, ‘Cabrito Assado no Forno’ and ‘Lombo de Porco com Arroz Árabe e Frutos Tropicais’ are three of the house specialities. When silent is installed it means that one of the fado singers is going to sing. Maria da Fe, Antonio Zambujo and Adelina Duarte are constant presences. We assure you that this is a golden sellection.

Santos | Design District

SANTOS DESIGN DISTRICT | In an area which was previously an industrial site has been progressively occupied by artists, training schools and shops, with creativity being the key-word. Santos, next to the Tagus river, close to Cais do Sodré, is year after year developing into a trendy neighbourhood.
In December 2006, faced with the fact that it had become "a design quarter", economic agents (some of the capital's most important design shops) joined together to created the "Santos Design District": a brand with national and international projection aimed at dynamizing the quarter. Without excesses and with elegance. There are several schools of design, architecture, audiovisual arts, jewellry: ETIC, IADE, UAL. Architecture and design studios, advertising and audiovisual art companies also settled here. And then we have the shops. Vitra, Kartell, Boffi and Bulthaup are represented in Santos.

Another reason for people to flock to Santos is its nightlife. On 24 de Julho avenue (one of Lisbon's longest and most well-known avenues), every other door is a bar or a disco. Not only here. There is guaranteed bustle at "Xafarix", with live music (Rua Dom Carlos I, 69) at "Kubo" Bar (Rua da Cintura) and at "Urban Beach", at "Estado Líquido", great sushi lounge with DJ (Largo de Santos 5A); if you enjoy Thai and alternative places, go to Café; Malaca, at the Clube de Remo de Lisboa (cais do gás, armazém H, 1º) and at "Mao" (Avenida 24 de Julho, 116). The disco "Kapital" (Avenida 24 de Julho, 68) is one of Lisbon's most popular nightspots. The entry can be highly disputed, but once you cross the gate the music makes you forget the waiting.

At "A Barraca" Theatre (Largo de Santos,2), besides watching plays, you can have a drink. During Summer, the verandah is specially inviting. In the theatre house, they hold concerts, poetry readings and milongas (Argentine tango marathons on Sundays). On Sundays you can also drop at the Collectors' Fair in Mercado da Ribeira (Avenida 24 de Julho).
Still in Santos, visit the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, old art museum, with its garden and restaurant with a splendid view of the river (Rua das Janelas Verdes), the Museu da Marioneta, puppet museum, (at Convento das Bernardas, Rua da Esperança, 146), and the Nuno Álvares or Santos Garden, an oasis of dense flora.

Rato

RATO | The Largo do Rato is a central and historical area of ​​Lisbon within walking distance of “Estrela”, “Principe Real” and “Amoreiras” areas, where several main streets crossed their ways running either north-south and east-west. Main busses lines and the yellow line of the underground is going through too and give an easy access to everywhere in Lisbon, as the Chiado or the Lisbon airport - in just a few minutes minutes..

Since 1948 this area is designated as “Largo do Rato”.  The name's history dates back to the seventeenth century when Luís Gomes de Sá e Menezes, whose nickname was “Rato” (”Mouse”) gave his nickname to a convent and the street layout to the site where there were located.

In 1881, the Lisbon Chamber decides to change the name to “Rua do Rato”. Later, with the implementation of the Republic in 1910, the area shall be designated as ”Brazil's Square” and finally, in 1948, it returns to its original place name, “Largo do Rato”.

By foot, you can easily go to a huge variety of bakeries and restaurants, from traditional Portuguese food, to the Italian, Indian or fast food. Nearby there are shops, supermarkets and mini-markets. The  “Jardim de principe Real”, “Jardim de Estrela” and  the “Jardim da Amoreiras” are three of Lisbon main public gardens at 5 minutes walking, where you will be happy to have a walk, a rest on the grass those sunny and hot days, or a drink at one of the typical kiosks that are now all around  Lisbon.

Príncipe Real

PRÍNCIPE REAL | Príncipe Real is one of the city's noble areas. Small palaces, charming houses, gardens with history. Next to Bairro Alto, between Rua da Escola Politécnica and Rua de São Bento, Príncipe Real stands out in calm and elegance. The Príncipe Real garden is the landmark of the neighbourhood. There is a reason: a huge cedar tree with more than 20 metres in diameter.

In the 15th. century, this neighbourhood was called Cotovia. A century later it became the garbage dump of Bairro Alto. Only in 1830, Lisbon Municipality turned the rubbish into a square with a romantic garden. In 1959 it was called Praça do Príncipe Real. During the fifties of the 20th. century, the construction of the Patriarchal Water Reservoir was concluded and besides supplying the garden, connected with some of Lisbon's fountains: Século, Loreto and S. Pedro de Alcântara.

The garden (with an area of 3 acres) is inspired on English romantic tastes. At the centre there is a large lake with a jet fountain. Since 1915, the official name has been França Borges garden in honour of the republican journalist. There are other gardens to be discovered. Botanical Garden and Praça das Flores Garden, for example. The latter seems to have come out of a painting. In Summer it is a cool place and the esplanades are irresistible. Do not forget to visit Mercês (or Jesus) Church, Nossa Senhora da Conceição dos Cardais Church, National Museum of Natural History and the Amália Rodrigues House Museum (Rua de São Bento, 191-193).

If you are an antique lover stroll down Rua de São Bento. You will not be disappointed. There are shops with prices to fit every purse. If you are a theatre lover, you do not have to leave the neighbourhood. Teatro da Politécnica (Rua Escola Politécnica, 56) and Teatro da Cornucópia (Rua Tenente Raúl Cascais, 1ª) are excellent choices. Public transport is easy. Rato metro station is 5 minutes away.

Let yourself be charmed by Príncipe Real and feel like a king... or a queen.

Bairro Alto

BAIRRO ALTO | The Bairro Alto neighbourhood has an altogether different standing: it is the "neighbourhood". That is enough for it to sail through the years since mid-eighties as one of the oldest alternative areas of the town. Everything happens here. Art galleries, bars, shops, restaurants.

During the day,  it is a typical neighbourhood, with small groceries, art schools and shops you do not find elsewhere in town. At night it is the spot for new trends, music, dance and fashion. Like any European capital city.

Built towards the end of the 16th. century, Bairro Alto is a small area bounded on the West by Rua do Século, on the East by Rua da Misericórdia, on the North by Rua D. Pedro V and on the South by Rua do Loreto and Largo do Calhariz. Encarnação and Santa Catarina are the parishes of Bairro.

During the 19th and part of the 20th century, many newspapers and printing houses had their premises here. Hence the names like Diário de Notícias or Rua do Século, two prominent newspapers. This neighbourhood was always patronized by writers and journalists and for a long time was looked with suspicion due to prostitution and popular taverns.

Nowadays, the artists continue to choose the neighbourhood and double glazing makes things easier for those who live here. In Bairro Alto you will find all types of people. And all kinds of offer. Italian, Morroccan, Indian, Thai restaurants are true temptations and if you look carefuuly there are always novelties.

In terms of Portuguese cuisine, rich and with Mediterranean influence, try one of Lisbon's best restaurants, Pap'Açorda (Rua da Atalaia, 57) or other simpler traditional ones like 1º Maio (Rua da Atalaia, 8), Tasca do Manel (Rua da Barroca, 24) or Bota Alta (Tv. Queimada, 35). If you want to loose your head shopping, there is a lot to choose from: Agência 117 (rua do Norte, 117), Aleksandar Ptotihch (Rua da Rosa, 114) or Fátima Lopes (Rua da Atalaia, 36).

To have fun all through the night, discover Clube da Esquina (Rua da Barroca, 30-32), Frágil (Rua da Atalaia, 126) or Purex Clube (Rua das Salgadeiras, 28). The novelty is that most of the night spots close at 2 AM and the next morning the streets are cleaner than a few months ago. Climbing to Principe Real, going down Bica or Chiado will be fine, but Bairro Alto will always feel yours. Your neighbourhood.

Santa Catarina/Bica

SANTA CATARINA / BICA | Santa Catarina parish was born in 1559, in an area corresponding to the slope from Príncipe Real to Boavista. It can still be considered Chiado, Bairro Alto or São Bento. Yes, is is a bit of these. Santa Catarina is mainly a historical area.

The Calçada do Combro, the axis cutting the neighbourhood, portrays old and rich façades. In Santa Catarina, we find palaces converted into art schools, churches, convents. The palaces are many. Pombal Palace (Rua do Século, 65-93), where today functions the Superior School of Dance, Braancamp Palace (Pátio do Tijolo, 25), Marim Olhão Palace (Calçada do Combro, corner of Rua do Século) are just a few examples. Notice Santa Catarina Church (Paulists), in Calçada do Combro and the old Caetanos Convent, current National Conservatoire, in Rua dos Caetanos. Here, you could probably hear classical music in the street, in the mornings. The classes at the Dance School of the National Dance Conservatoire (Rua João Pereira da Rosa, 22) float in the air. It is romantic, to say the least. There is no shortage of artists in Santa Catarina.

Take a funicular trip on Bica Lift. Since 1892, it goes up and down between S. Paulo and Calhariz. It is very useful if you want to have a closer look at the river. In terms of restaurants, the neighbourhood excels in variety. Traditional restaurants live side by side with trendy restaurants. Both will serve you well: "Príncipe do Calhariz" (Calçada do Combro, 28/30), "Adega das Mercês" (Travessa das Mercês, 2), both with typical Portuguese food and "Be Gold" the trendy restaurant (Rua da Rosa, 153). One of Lisbon's more original beauty salons, is situated in Santa Catarina, to be precise at 14D, Rua da Rosa.

At "Dress Up", the concept is "fast make-up", that is, in ten minutes (five euros) you do the hair and a make-up for a party. There are also clothes and shoes. At night, follow the example of those who now begin to exchange the Bairro Alto bustle for Bica. Funicular, where all waiters and DJs are actors and Bicaense (Rua Bica Duarte Belo, 44 and 42A, respectively) are just two of the most frequented places.

And because the views are some of the best things in Lisbon, Santa Catarina belvedere (known as Adamastor), deserves a visit. Next to the belvedere, at Noobai Café, you will spend one of the best evenings of your life. The terrace is very pleasant and River Tagus looks like a movie setting. Try the salads, toasts and teas. On Fridays and Saturdays closing time is at midnight.

Chiado

CHIADO | Coming to Lisbon and not going to Chiado is like going to Rome without seeing the Pope. In a sentence, Chiado is where Lisbon's history and urbanity meet.

This touristic area of the capital begins at the Brasileira café, on Rua Garrett. Opened in 1905, It´s one of Lisbon's postcards. On the side walk café, you will find different urban tribes and a statue of the famous Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa, who offers his laps for tourist photos.

Nearby, you will discover two churches reminding the vanished towers of Santa Catarina Gate. The Church of Loreto, built in 1528 by the Italians living in Lisbon, was partially destroyed by the 1755 earthquake, but later rebuilt; it's one of the places to be visited in Chiado. The Church of Encarnação, inaugurated in 1708, was also hit in 1755 and rebuilt later. But Chiado has more than just two churches to see.

Luís de Camões square, which any Lisboner will call Largo Camões, is not just a passing place. Sit on the steps of the poet's monument and enjoy the bustle that Chiado has. Do not leave Chiado without inquiring about the theatres. São Luiz Municipal Theatre was one of Lisbon's first cinemas. Today, it is a municipal theatre with a rich and varied programming. Also glimpse the Teatro Trindade and the S. Carlos Opera House.

This is one of the city´s best shopping areas. You will find international brand shops (Hermès and Hugo Boss, for example) and great Portuguese designers like José António Tenente (Tv. Carmo, 8) StoryTailors (Cç. Do Ferragial, 8) or Atelier Alves/Gonçalves (Tv. Guilherme Cossul, 16).

It is not difficult to come across public figures, mainly artists. There are several art schools in the area, like the Fine Arts Faculty. Even if you are not an expert, venture into the Chiado Museum - National Museum of Contemporary Art (Rua Serpa Pinto, 4) besides well-cared exhibitions, it has a pleasant patio to have lunch or simply sip a coffee. There is also a big offer for meals: Café Royale, New Wok and Kaffee Hause are some excellent choices.
Walk the streets with care, the movement on the sidewalks is always heavy and the trams are constantly passing. You are in Lisbon. And Lisbon never stops.

Cais do Sodré

CAIS DO SODRÉ | The Cais do Sodré is a typical area of Lisbon, along the Tagus with many faces.
Sodré is the name of a 15th century family with businesses in this neighborhood which has always been linked with the maritime trade. Over time, the entire area from the waterfront to the two blocks north of it became known as "Cais do Sodré”.

The "Wharf of Sodré" is a terminal of the ferries that link Lisbon to Cacilhas and Almada across the river, and is also a train and subway station as well as a major bus stop. Across the station is Praça Duque da Terceira, a square named after the Duke of Terceira whose bronze statue stands at the center.

At dawn, that's where the "Mercado da Ribeira Nova" is taking place, the Lisbon's covered market, the “Halles”, tuesday to sunday from 5 a.m. onwards. This market is composed of about 50 stallholders, true ambassadors of local products: fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices, olive oil, wine and other cookery specialities of Portugal… as well as flowers, meat, fish and seafood.

However, the "Mercado da Ribeira" has recently been converted into a "market of flavors"; the second hall is nowadays the shelter of a lot of restaurants for all tastes and many "happenings". The project is managed by Time Out Lisboa magazine, which presents a project that includes a food court and cultural attractions. It's found on the ground floor, divided into 30 spaces with seating capacity for 500 people inside, and three terraces outside for another 250. There's also a kiosk facing the garden of Dom Luis Square, while inside there are still five stands where top chefs present their dishes, together with stands of different brands offering local products. Indeed the typical atmosphere of an authentic market. It has been the city's main market since it opened in 1892 with a grand oriental dome, and an interior mostly made of iron. For sure, it is worthwhile to go and visit, by day or by night

Next to it, you will find another square, Praça Dom Luis. It's filled with palms and other trees, and is overlooked by a 19th century statue of the Marquis of Sá da Bandeira.
Rua Nova do Carvalho behind the market was for decades known as the city's "red light district", with bars named after northern European capitals to attract their sailors who stepped off the boats nearby. It's now a seedy-chic street lined with hip bars and clubs, quite popular at night. This is one of the beating hearts of the Night "alfacinha" present in the street "rosa" (meaning “pink” and the floor is actually painted in pink color). Here, the party may end later (or earlier...) with the first train or the first ferry, or in front of a famous "Cacau da Ribeira", the famous cocoa served in a famous coffee of the market place.

Av. Novas/Saldanha

AV. NOVAS / SALDANHA | Avenidas Novas (New Avenues) is one of Lisbon's select areas. It is not quite in the center, but it is still very central. It is not an historic area, but it is full of ancient buildings. It is an area of offices, shops and passage.

Eduardo VII Park, in the continuation of Avenida da Liberdade, is, in spite of its location, more associated to Av. Novas and is one of Lisbon's great gardens. The large sloped lawn, stretching over more than 60 acres, was opened at the beginning of the 20th. century and was meant to continue Avenida da Liberdade. On the Northwestern corner of the park, in the place of an old basalt quarry, we find the Estufa Fria conservatory, with a great variety of exotic plants, brooks, waterfalls, palms and trails, fuchsias, flowering bushes and banana trees and the Estufa Quente conservatory with luxuriant plants, lakes and cacti as well as tropical birds.

Near the conservatories there is a lake with huge carps and a children's playground shaped like a galleon. At the Northern top we find the Monument dedicated to the April 25 Revolution inaugurated in 1997, sculpted by João Cutileiro and a subject of controversy due to its shape. Next to it we have the Amália Rodrigues Garden in honour of the diva of Portuguese fado.
The Lisbon Book Fair is held every year in spring in the central area of the Park.
At the top of the Garden we have El Corte Inglés, the Spanish landmark for all types of shopping and 14 cinemas.

Going to the Praça de Espanha - Spain Square, you may see the beautiful Palhavã Palace, actually the Spanish Embassy, and in front one of Lisbon's Cultural Centers: Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. It has been created by the heritage of this Armenian philanthropist legacy, who let this foundation to Lisbon. Beyond the magnificent gardens, you may visit the Museum of Modern Art, of Ancient Art, or assist to one of many dance, music or other arts performances.

Upon reaching Saldanha, you immediately realize that you are in an European capital. Many storeyed buildings, heavy traffic, students and workers in a hurry. Shops and brands from all over the world, highly sophisticated restaurants, shopping malls. The most prominent are, undoubtedly, Atrium Saldanha, Saldanha Residence, Dolce Vita (the old Monumental cinema house) and the small and oldest of them all, Imaviz. All these shopping malls were built having in mind the people, without the excess of the huge commercial areas in the outskirts. That is how Saldanha is: small details of luxury and modernity.

Duque de Saldanha Square - a tribute to the Portuguese soldier, politician and statesman - is the center of this area of the town, managing to perfectly blend Lisbon at the beginning of the 20th. century and Lisbon in the 21st. century.

In terms of public transport it could not be served better. There are several busses to all parts of the city and we have the metro (Yellow Line) linking Odivelas to Rato and the (Red Line) linking S. Sebastião to Alameda.

Baixa

BAIXA | Begin going down “Santa Justa” Elevator (Largo do Carmo/Rua do Ouro). You will be in downtown of Lisbon, which means, now, welcome to Lisbon.
The downtown of Lisbon (or Baixa Pombalina) is the visiting card of Lisbon. To walk downtown is to relive the XVIII century. All that area was rebuilt after the earthquake in 1755, by “Marques de Pombal”. The streets are parallels and perpendiculars that create a mesh almost perfect. The buildings, all similar to each other, look like a stage design. In many ways the rebuilding of Downtown was pioneer : The earthquake-proof systems and the sewage system are an exemple of that.

Today this area of town is excellent area of commerce and services, a meeting place for Lisbon residents and tourists. “Rua Augusta” has a very accelerated pace, mainly during the day. It is there where you can purchase goods, all kind of price.
You can have lunch in an outdoor place, buy flowers , attend the street shows. At the end of “Rua Augusta” you will see the triumphal “Arco” as a passageway to “Praça do Comercio” (or Terreiro do Paço) 36000m2 a majestic square built with the intention to reinforce King D.Jose I power. So impressive as the square and just in front of it, is Tagus river. From “Cais das Colunas” the view doesn’t leave anybody indifferent.

Downtown you can find very pleasant coffee-shops and restaurants at a very good price… and genuine. The “Café Gelo” (Praça D.Pedro IV, 64) is an example of a coffee-shop that didn’t fade into time but became actual. The pastry is diverse and you will be satisfied. They also serve meals.
A little more ahead (at number 24 and 25) is “Café Nicola” which nickname Academy let us guess that long ago it was a meeting place for intellectuals and artists. Without a doubt it’s a preserved treasure in the heart of the capital. On the other side of the square, the enormous esplanade in a Parisian style, is “Pastelaria Suiça”. Let it dazzle you.

Renew your clothing and home. There are many suggestions. For handbags and purses, “J&J” (Rua da Prata, 134-136), for hats “Chapelarias Azevedo” (Praça D.Pedro IV, 69 and 72). For house goods “Soho Interiores” (Rua da Madalena, 216). If you are looking for the pleasure of a book take a look at “Oficina do Livro” (Praça D.Pedro IV, 23) or “Circulo de Leitores (Rua do Ouro, 224).
At “Rua do Ouro” (as the name suggests) there is a big concentration of jewelers shops. In some of them are worthwhile to go in, just to look up the decoration.

Finish the evening in great style at “D. Maria II” the biggest theater house in Lisbon. And because the town history is made every day, the art helps you to be part of it.

Sé/Castelo

SÉ / CASTELO | Sé and Castelo occupy a small area of the city, but it is  a world to those who let themselves fall in love. Here you can hear the beat of Lisbon’s heart. We are at one of the central points of the capital.  Take a trip on the mythical 28 tramcar and descend towards Santa Luzia belvedere or climb on foot, passing by Lisbon’s Cathedral Sé. It will be worthwhile.

After the conquest of Lisbon, in 1147, D. Afonso Henriques ordered the destruction of an existing mosque, to build the mother-church over it. Later on it was raised to metropolitan cathedral by D. João I. The Cathedral Sé is the city’s greatest symbol of Romanesque architecture and deserves a visit.

Residents and tourists crisscross during the day, in the Castelo area. You will find groups of people with cameras on their shoulders and women at their windows putting the washing to dry or watering the flowers.

Castelo was one of the areas hit by the 1755 quake, but rebuilt in an almost spontaneous way. In 1938-1940, reconstruction inside the castle turned it into a symbol of Portuguese nationality and identity.

Go through S. Jorge Arch, Praça das Armas and the medieval remains of the Old House of the Governor of the castle’s garrison, before entering the castle. Be bewildered with the views over the city and Tagus River. Right in front of the gate, on the other side of Chão da Freira Street, you will find wine and souvenir shops. There are esplanades with menus in English and French, typical taverns and old groceries with fruit cases on their steps.

Do not be surprised to see scaffoldings on buildings under reconstruction. Time is unforgiving.
Don´t worry about lunch or dinner. Restaurants Divina Sedução (Rua Augusto Rosa, 4), Clube de Fado (Rua São João da Praça 92/94) and Marquês da Sé (Largo do Marquês do Lavrador, 1) are excellent choices. In the last two, you can hear fado.

Remembrances of the city, you will find at Coisas com História (Rua Augusto Rosa, 9). Traditional sweets, await you nearby at Arte da Terra (Rua Augusto Rosa, 40).

Alfama

ALFAMA | Alfama is to Lisbon what Amália Rodrigues is to Fado. Irreplaceable. And you cannot enjoy a Lisbon experience without coming here. No point in concealing: the streets will be narrow and disorderly, the smells will be contrasting, the noises will mingle with the sound of the Portuguese guitar.

This is its charm. The authenticity and spontaneity of the neighbourhood will seduce you in a minute. Forget the city and venture yourself. Besides being a perpetual winner of Lisbon's popular march contests, Alfama is one of Lisbon's oldest and typical neighbourhoods. The Arab influence here is clear.  Starting with its name "Alfama" which derives from “al-hamma” (baths or fountains). During the Muslim presence, two areas were defined: an aristocratic area (Alfama do Alto or High Alfama) within the Moorish Wall and another more popular (Alfama do Mar or Alfama of the Sea), a kind of suburb. The Christian influence broadened the limits of these areas.

However, still today we feel the atmosphere of a Kasbah with alleys, arches and steps. In Alfama, you will feel in a small village. Chatting with the neighbours, going to the grocer or the tavern, listening to the fado and seeing the Tagus. Here, everything is possible. The belvederes of Portas do Sol and Santa Luzia are the ones that offer the most incredible views of the city.

Right on top of the neighbourhood is the Saint George Castle, the fort was a royal palace until the 16th. century, and the S. Vincent hill. If you are an admirer of sacred art, do not miss the Santo Estevão and São Vicente de Fora Churches. And when you see Chafariz de El-Rei or the King´s Fountain you will understand why the neighbourhood is famous for its fountains. Any visit should be on foot. Cars cannot circulate in many streets and the trams bypass many nooks.

Because the Fado thrills and makes Alfama thrill, step into Largo do Chafariz de Dentro. Here you will be introduced to the history of the most Portuguese music of all. It is the Fado Museum. If you see a building with a façade full of sprouting angles, do not find it odd, it is the famous Casa dos Bicos. In Alfama, there are many restaurants offering excellent meals. "Santo António de Alfama" (Beco de São Miguel, 7) and "Malmequer Bemmequer" (Rua de São Miguel, 23-25), as well as the fado houses "Clube de Fado" (Rua São João da Praça, 92-94), "Parreirinha de Alfama" (Beco do Espírito Santo, 1) or "Dragão de Alfama" (Rua Guilherme Braga, 8) are good choices. During the summer, you can enjoy several street cafés/restaurants, like "Páteo 13" for some excellent sardines or charcoal grills. As the Santa Apolónia station (train, bus and metro) is only a few steps away, coming or going from Alfama could not be easier. And you can be sure: you will be received with open arms. Or with closed eyes. Silence, Fado singing is about to being!