Alfama is one of Lisbon’s oldest and most picturesque neighbourhoods with many colourful buildings, a labyrinth of narrow, steep cobbled streets and Castelo de São Jorge, the famous fortress sitting on top of the highest hill in the city. Alfama is also home to Portugal’s national folk music, Fado. Lately, a growing number of wealthier investors have begun to renovate old houses and crumbling façades that now flourish as new restaurants and modern apartments for sale. With an office in central Lisbon, we have an in-depth knowledge of the best properties for sale in Alfama and our property experts will help you find the perfect apartment to suit your lifestyle, whether you are looking for property as an investment or perhaps if you are relocating.
The quaint medieval district of Alfama was once the Moorish and Jewish Quarter of Lisbon and then developed into a fishing community. It is the second oldest neighbourhood in Europe and still has the feel of a small village, not only because of how it looks but because of its tight-knit local community. It is now a highly desirable neighbourhood for local and international investors looking for a property for sale in Alfama. Set on one of the city’s seven hills, extending from the river front and running inland until the neighbouring border of Graça and São Jorge Castle, this is quintessential Lisbon. Just minutes away is the emblematic Avenida da Liberdade and the historic centre with its bohemian, Bairro Alto and trendy, Chiado.
Life in Alfama continues much as it has done for centuries due the fact thanks to its rock-solid foundations, it remained standing when the rest of Lisbon crumbled during the 1755 earthquake. Tourism has flourished in the area, and nowadays, besides those who are visiting, you can find people of all nationalities living here, as well as the typical Portuguese families, who have maintained the tradition of meeting in squares, chatting with and observing the passers-by and enjoying family life in their neighbourhood. As you wander through its picturesque labyrinth of narrow streets and small squares, let your senses take over, absorb the colours of the garlands hanging in the small squares, the smell of clean laundry hanging out to dry from balconies and the sounds of Fado spilling out of the many taverns. With some of the most stunning views in town, Alfama boasts a variety of viewpoints from the simpler ones to the more elaborate ones with typical Portuguese tile-work and even a swimming pool.
You can understand a bit of Portuguese history looking at the diverse architectural influences of places such as the exotic Moorish palaces. Restaurants are in abundance. There is a wide variety of choice ranging from very simple taverns where you can eat an authentic, home-style Portuguese lunch for just €8 all the way to contemporary chef’s bistros with designer décor. Another Alfama classic is the Feira da Ladra. Held every Tuesday and Saturday in the upper part of Alfama, it is Lisbon’s main flea market. Colourful and vibrant, you will find all sorts of bric-a-brac, vintage clothing and vinyl’s, handicrafts and very charming characters. Once there, you can’t miss the São Vicente de Fora church and The Pantheon, two of the most visited spots in Lisbon. The popularity of this neighbourhood among the Portuguese and especially among foreigners makes for an interesting market for short-term rentals. It is at the heart of Lisbon’s historical centre, absolutely charming and with tourism on the rise, apartments for sale in Alfama are a pretty safe bet as far as investing in real estate.
Alfama’s streets wind down from Castelo de São Jorge to the Tagus River with panoramic views from the city in newly-renovated apartment buildings. Our properties for sale in Alfama are perfect for families who want to live in a soulful and traditional part of the capital. Bathed in natural light, thanks to its elegant light colour scheme and large windows, São Mamede’s three-bedroom apartment enjoys high moulded ceilings and amazing views over the river, the 25 de Abril Bridge and the cathedral. Santa Helena has two bedrooms, balconies and a separate office – perfect for those who work remotely. If you cherish a traditional neighbourhood with narrow cobbled streets, little shops and a sense of community, this is the perfect area to call home.
The charm of the traditional neighbourhood together with the cultural heritage makes it an interesting long-term rental investment as the authentic location and spacious apartment interiors will attract families. This area is being reborn, becoming a shining example of Lisbon’s most authentic lifestyle whilst being a step away from other iconic areas such as Graça and Baixa. The neighbourhood has experienced significant regeneration thanks to wealthy investors restoring old houses and opening new hotels, restaurants and apartments. Properties for sale in Alfama can reach up to €9,000 per sqm and they’re all eligible for the Portuguese Golden Visa Programme and tax benefits from the Non-Habitual Residents Programme.
Properties for sale in Alfama are a good choice for both short and long term rentals thanks to its charming atmosphere, observation decks (miradouros) over the hills, central location, historic architecture and authenticity. The area is constantly evolving and there is the feeling that Alfama has enormous potential to grow. Whilst prices for high-end apartment developments range between €7,000 per sqm to €9,000 per sqm, due to limited stock and high demand, there remains strong potential for further growth.
Taking a walk through the narrow steep streets is the best way to see Alfama. It has great observation decks as Miradouro das Portas do Sol and Miradouro de Santa Luzia. Enjoy a wide variety of traditional crafts stores, bars and restaurants. The historic tram Nº28 winds its way through Alfama to Castelo de São Jorge, the fortress from the 11th century with wonderful views of the city and the Tagus River. Between streets of exquisite architecture, you will find many fine religious monuments such as Sé Cathedral, Panteão Nacional, São Miguel Church and São Vicente de Fora Monastery. In the evening, dine out on traditional Portuguese cuisine whilst enjoying live Fado music and good wine. Baiuca and Tasca do Chico are among the top restaurant recommendations.