Best known for its bi-weekly vintage market, spectacular viewpoints and striking neoclassical churches, Graça is considered by locals to be an intimate village set within the heart of the city.
Set on Lisbon’s highest hill, which crests two of Lisbon’s oldest neighborhoods Alfama and Mouraria, Graça is Old-World Lisbon, oh-so-traditional yet central enough that you can be in Cais do Sodré central station in a 10 minute bus ride and Avenida Liberdade (Lisbon’s answer to the Champs Elysée) in a ten-minute scooter ride. What will strike you here is the peace. In the summertime, when the streets of Alfama are jammed, you’ll find space, sunlight gleaming off the striking alabaster curves of the majestic Pantheon and… men in uniform. Graça is home to Lisbon’s Navy so don’t be surprised to run into Generals in full regalia or Officers smoking cigarettes in the morning sun like a black-and-white film from the 1920s.
While the traditional heart of Graça consists of a mini high-street of local shops that winds between two of Lisbon’s best viewpoints, Miradouro de Santa Graça and Miradouro da Senhora do Monte, the real gem of the area is the Santa Clara Market and the park that slopes down alongside of it, slanting to meet gleaming views of the river Tejo that flicker and dances between the Jacaranda trees. A favourite among artists, writers and young families, Graça maintains a low-key, local air, yet with undertones of under-the-radar chic. It helps that within 10 minutes, you can be enjoying live fado in one of Alfama’s late night dens. Traditionally a left-leaning neighbourhood, Graça is loved by families as the location of one of the country’s leading public schools, O Voz de Operário, which offers highly-regarded teaching at affordable prices.
- Baixa-Chiado - 15 minutes by bus
- Costa da Caparica- 40 minutes by car
- Portela Airport - 10 minutes by car
- Príncipe Real - 20 minutes by car