Referred to simply as ‘O Bairro’ by Lisboetas, Bairro Alto needs no further explanation. A lively cultural hub of Lisbon, its plethora of art galleries, trendy bars and restaurants means its evolved into the place to see and be seen, where locals meet to catch up with friends over dinner or coffee, raise a toast to the end of another workday, party into the early hours, peruse the boutique shops and tea houses, or pause to admire the views.
One of Lisbon’s oldest neighbourhoods, Bairro Alto was the natural stomping ground for intellectuals, journalists and writers in the early 20th century, when the abundance of taverns and street workers meant it garnered a somewhat seedy reputation. Today, Bairro Alto is home to a myriad of residents, from intellectuals to artists, designers to young professionals. A docile, bohemian bairro of small grocery shops, art schools and boutiques by day, after dark the streets course with an effervescent energy. Streets Rua da Atalaia, Rua do Diário de Noticias and Rua da Barroca are particularly famous for their numerous bars and restaurants, offering everything from music and dancing to fashion and gastronomy. It’s usually thanks to double-glazing that residents and revellers coexist peacefully.
Bairro Alto is a small district bordered to the West by Rua do Século, to the East by Rua da Misericórdia and is set on the slopes that unfold down to the River Tagus, perched above Cais do Sodre and Baixa. With excellent public transport routes, it offers easy access to most of the city’s main neighbourhoods and city centre.