Set below Castelo São Jorge, Mouraria is one of Lisbon’s oldest neighbourhoods. One of the only ones to survive the 1758 alongside neighbouring Alfama, it’s as equally charismatic and characteristic. A stroll through its narrow, cobble-stone streets, home to independent shops, artisan workshops and an intimate convivial community, is like stepping back in time, charming vignettes at every turn. The birthplace of fado, Portugal’s lamenting folk music, it’s no surprise that locals refer to Mouraria as the city’s soul. Thanks to its central location in the city and historically cheap real-estate, this heritage has taken on a multi-cultural tone in the last decade, traditional families joined by a new wave of artists and immigrants.
In recent years, a multi-million euro renovation project, pioneered by Lisbon’s Camera Municipal and local developers have begun to refurbish old buildings, churches and squares, preserving the area’s rich architecture and supporting merchants, while injecting new life and increased security into the area. These improvements are opening the barrio to a new breed of residents, from young families to sharp investors. Strong transport links via buses and the metro connect it, like a beating heart, with the rest of the city.