Elegant, bustling Chiado has long been Lisbon’s calling card. Draped over a hill that runs down from Bairro Alto to Baixa and the River Tagus, most of the buildings devastated in the 1988 fire were restored by architect Álvaro Siza Vieira to create one of the more refined and sophisticated spots in the city. Now populated with a myriad of shops, designer ateliers and restaurants, Chiado has evolved into a honey-pot for the city’s increasing number of international visitors.
A hypnotic mix of modern and the traditional characterises life in Chiado. A historic meeting point for the city’s artists and intellectuals, Chiado’s mosaic-ed squares make for great people watching, with literary heroes such as Fernando Pessoa, Luis de Camões and Eça de Queiroz immortalized in stone in many of the squares and plinths; the most famous of which, Praça Luís de Camões, divides Chiado and Barrio Alto and remains a favourite spot for Chiado’s old-world bohémes to meet for an aperitif before dinner. Despite the tourist bustle and international brands, you can still find the artisan ateliers of some of Lisbon’s most renowned designers tucked down the side-streets, while its plethora of theatres are a pillar of Lisbon’s cultural soul.