Divide and conquer: Lisbon’s best neighborhoods21st August 2015
As a melting pot of cultures, nationalities, history and gastronomy, Lisbon is unquestionably one of the most amazing cities in Europe. Just like any other truly cosmopolitan city, its areas become defined over time, the result of distinct districts each with their own special delights. Let’s take a look at some of the best…
This whole area was completely destroyed by the earthquake of 1755 and was fully rebuilt in the many years after. As a result its architecture is of Pombaline-style: geometric specifications, neoclassical and sober. It is now the beating heart and business centre of Lisbon, fully alive by day and also at night too. A large part of Baixa is pedestrian-only and the streets will lead you to famous squares like the Praça do Comercio and Praça Rossio.
Located to the west of Baixa, at the top of a hill, it is a sophisticated district, famous today for its range of traditional and upmarket shopping boutiques and vibrant foody scene. From legendary coffeehouses – A Brasileira – to china and porcelain houses – Vista Alegre – the cultural and gastronomical offering is diverse. If you want to benefit from a spectacular view of Lisbon and the River Tagus, this is one of the best places to go.
Alfama & Graça
These two neighborhoods are the city’s oldest and have all the charms of a small village with narrow and medieval streets. Alfama is said to be the birthplace of Fado music, and today local fishermen still live there. These areas were built around the walls of the Sao Jorge castle and you can feel the history as you walk through them. Here you will find many restaurants bars typical of an area, which seems to be apart from the rest of the city, yet is actually its second heart.
You’ll reach this bohemian district by tram. Filled with bars, restaurants and clubs it is a landmark of nightlife in Lisbon. Most of the city’s higher altitude buildings were untouched by the earthquake, so there you will find the same colors and charm as you would in Alfama and Graca.
Belém - is the closest neighborhood to beach suburbs, where the Tagus River reaches the Atlantic. Many of Portugal finest monuments are located in this area. The Mosteiro dos Jeronimos (see Lisbon's history news ) and the Museu Nacional Dos Coches are among Lisbon cultural jewels. This district will give you a glimpse into Lisbon’s old magnificence.
This charming residential neighborhood is an extension of Bairro Alto. Its colorful architecture will remind you of Moorish civilization with its arched windows, pyramidal spires and oriental-style domes. This district is a peaceful place to live in, for it is full of gardens, squares and sophisticated shops.