Lisbon Neighborhoods - TurtleBu
Very narrow streets with whitewashed houses touching each other, old women selling Ginjinha and a smell of charcoal from the grills spread throughout this neighborhood. This is a must-go and must-see place in Lisbon! Alfama represents the heartbeat when thinking about Portugal and specially Lisbon culture. Here you can still join neighbors having long chats just by leaning on their windows or you see a paraphernalia of clothes drying outside. On top of the hill is not only Sao Jorge Castle but also viewpoint Portas do Sol which is facing the river.
There is a lot to see and do in Alfama such as Tiles National Museum, Lisbon Cathedral, Castle of Sao Jorge or Fado Museum. We have consolidated this information in the section Lisbon… 40 things to do and places to go.
The Moorish quarter was once a ghetto of Moors and has been home for minorities and immigrants coming from India, China, Bangladesh and Africa during the last few years. However, more and more of the historical buildings refurbished and restored have been restored. Nowadays, it is one of the most vibrant and prominent neighborhoods of Lisbon. Hosting some of the best bars and restaurants in the city this is the place to join a young, diverse and multicultural crowd.
Mouraria well known as the birthplace of Fado music where singers such as Mariza lived and had their breakthrough. Even the legendary and infamous Severa used to live and sing in a wrath and pain through the streets. She is considered by many to be the mother of Fado as the first one singing this style of music.
Another old neighborhood of Lisbon is located on the northeast side of Sao Jorge Castle. Considered the Notting hill of Lisbon, Graca is one of the poshest and most visited places. Here you find plenty of beautiful cafés, restaurants, bars and cake shops. In our opinion, what is more charming about this cheeky neighborhood, are the miradouros and the beautiful typical tiled houses. At Miradouro Sophia de Mello Breyner and Miradouro da Senhora do Monte you may find two of the best views of Lisbon.
For more info about this check Lisbon… 40 things to do and places to go.
If Graça is the Notting Hill of Lisbon, Bairro Alto and Baixa Chiado could be something like the Soho or Oxford Circus of Lisbon. It is an old neighborhood that has grown outside the city walls and established its own as a trendy place. Baixa do Chiado is located on the western side where can find a big shopping zone. The quarter hosts several theatres such as as the opera house São Carlos Theatre and one of the oldest and most emblematic cafés of the city “A Brasileira”. The café was frequently visited by famous Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa. On the top side of Rua Garret is Do Carmo Square with one of the most peculiar churches. It has had its ceiling completely destroyed during the earthquake of 1755 with only the side walls remaining.
Bairro Alto is located on the Eastern side of this quarter. Once a dodgy area known for prostitution, nightlife, drugs and rock’n roll, it has become a popular place for Lisboetas to go out and have a drink or simply start the night. Mixed crowds reaching from intellectuals, artists to night owls roam through the cobble streets heading for restaurants, fado houses, cafés and bars. From Thursday to Saturday all streets are fully packed with “drinkers” holding their wines, cocktails or beers. This neighborhood goes as far as Principe Real, which is known to be a gay area. Not far from here you will also found one of our favorite bars called Pensão do Amor (Rua do Alecrim, walking down to Cais do Sodré), the popular viewpoints Miradouro do Adamastor and famous Elevador da Bica.
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Lapa and Estrela, Campo de Ourique, Santos-o-velho, Alcantara are more residential neighborhoods rather than tourist hotspots. However, there are still some highlights to explore:
Lx Factory: Alcantara
Lisbon Village Underground: Alcantara
Museu da Carris: Alcantara
TimeOut Market: Santo-o-Velho
Palácio Assembleia da Républica: Estrela, Largo do Sao Bento
Basilica da Estrela: Estrela
Casa Museu Amália Rodrigues: Estrela / Sao Bento
Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga: Lapa
Casa Fernando Pessoa: Campo de Ourique
Aqueduto das Águas Livres: Campo de Ourique / Rato