Officially called Santos-o-Velho, literally meaning Santos the Old, this riverside neighbourhood is one of the oldest parts of the city and was home to the opulent mansions of the upper classes in the 18th century.
While Santos is certainly one of the most well-preserved places in Lisbon, it is not stuck in the past. In recent years, Santos has reinvented itself as the city’s design hub with cutting-edge creative schools, like IADE, high-end decor stores and an enviable collection of galleries.
Santos has a Notting Hill or Le Marais type vibe. Find your entrepreneur family with their matcha tea and yoga habits alongside breakfast cafes and a community feel.
In recent years, Santos has undergone development in its infrastructure, particularly in terms of transportation and public spaces. The area is already well-connected to the rest of Lisbon, with several bus and tram lines, as well as a major train station that serves regional and long-distance routes.
Santos has also seen the development of several new public spaces, including the Jardim da Estrela, a large park that hosts a lake, playgrounds, and a café that serves food and drinks throughout the day.
In addition to these projects, Santos has also seen the renovation of several historic buildings and the construction of new residential and commercial properties. These developments have helped to revitalise the neighbourhood and make it a more attractive destination.
The area has a rich history that dates back to the 16th century, when it was a popular location for the city's aristocracy to build their palaces and estates. In the 18th century, Santos became an important industrial center, with several factories and warehouses located along the Tagus River.
During the 20th century, Santos experienced a period of decline, as many of its industrial facilities closed down and the area became increasingly impoverished. However, in recent years, there has been a revitalisation of the neighbourhood, with new businesses, restaurants, and cultural institutions opening up.
Today, Santos is known for its historic architecture, including several grand palaces and churches, as well as its lively nightlife and cultural scene. Its allure is only growing as the area continues to evolve and change with the times.
During the day, Santos has a village-like vibe with new cafes cropping all the time, a farmers’ market, locally owned shops and an ever-growing collection of restaurants serving up dishes from every corner of the globe - you’ll never run out of places to eat! Though it doesn’t have the same 24-hour-party spirit that neighbouring Bairro Alto exudes, Santos has an excellent nightlife scene with plenty of bars to enjoy drinks with friends and family.
One of the great things about Santos is that it rubs elbows with some of the city’s best-loved bairros with Lapa, Cais do Sodré and Bairro Alto all just a 10-minute walk away. A popular choice for families, Santos has two excellent universities, IADE and ISEG, and leading schools, such as Redbridge, Lycée Français and the British School of Lisbon, are within easy reach.
Trendy, well-connected Santos occupies a wonderful location at the edge of the river.