Lisbon neighborhoods and atmosphere, Lisbon
Laid out in the 16th century, its name means literally "high quarter". It was the first district to have straight streets. Nowadays it looks like a maze where you probably will think first you don´t want to get lost during the night.
However, it´s relatively quiet, but only during day time. At night this area becomes a night life scenenery with many clubs, bars and local restaurants worth to get lost!
Get to Bairro Alto and Chiado by using this nearly 100 years old Elevador de Santa Justa....Art Nouveau?
Chiado was at the end of the 19th century, a fashionable meeting place for intellectuals such as Fernando Pessoa, Almada Negreiros and Eça de Queiroz.
Their most famous haunt was the café "A Brasileira" (see below at restaurants tips), which is still today favoured by the city's art students.
Below Castelo there´s Alfama disctrict which atmosphere was created by the Moors.
During that time it used to be an upper-class residental area but after earthquakes this area has been a place for fishers.
We were here during the daylight as there are not so many interesting restaurants to be courageously explored in the dark evenings on these narrow alleys.
There are many magic places all over lisbon.
but one that should be considered is the "Miradouro da Graça" with a surreal view over lisbon and the end of the day. have a coffee and let the sun warm you up.
It is very nice to walk on the narrow street in the Castelo area and then have a broad view over the urban vains of Lisbon
Lisbon its a kind city. I must tell you that i travel this past December, and it had a lot of fog every day. Unlucky i cant enjoyed like i want it , but i always tell you that this city has a lot of charm.
Its little if we compare with Barcelona, Paris, Madrid
After the fire of 1988 that started in Armazéns do Chiado the neighborhood was rebuilt, regaining it's elegance and charm. Here can be found several old style cafes where, in the beginning of the 20th century, many writers, artists and intellectuals use to go.
Rua Garrett and Rua do Carmo were always famous for having the best stores, especially shoe stores... and also beautiful women walking on them :)
The Armazéns do Chiado is today a shopping center with many stores inside.
Fondest memory: Having a coffee in A Brasileira on a sunny day
After the earthquake of 1755, Marquês de Pombal designs and projects the "new" Lisbon in an effort to rebuild the destroyed city. This area of the city is his work, thus the name Pombalina. Straight and wide streets cross between themselves in a geometric way. These small streets were named according to the shopkeepers and craftsmen who traded in the area.
In this area many interesting monuments and structures can be found. The Terreiro do Paço, Rossio, Praça da Figueira and Praça dos Restauradores are the main squares in this area.. and they can be explored easily one after another just by walking.
Some say that Terreiro do Paço or Praça do Comércio is the most imponent square of Europe. The british call it the “Black Horse Square”. The Royal Palace stood here for 200 years before it was destroyed by the earthquake. When the square was rebuilt turned to be the port of entry for Kings and Presidents. This is the place to start a visit to the Baixa Pombalina
Fondest memory: After a long stay far from Lisbon I always do the same whenever I come back: a walk in the afternoon from Terreiro do Paço to Rossio with a stop for a beer or a coffee in one of the cafes in Rua Augusta, the main street.... and if it's sunny it's just perfect.
the Bairro alto is the high neighbourhood of Lisbon. The first time I went there it looked really sad and run down - the saddest place on earth... it seemed devoid of charm, of atmosphere.
Fondest memory: I went back there at night, only because a friend had insisted, and found it really buzzing, alive with music, pubs, people having fun. At night it turned out to become magical and to show its hidden and truest character... At night, it was all beaut!
After the devastating earthquake of 1755, it was decided that a new city centre be built for The area called Baixa is a - let's call it "dignified" area in Lisbon. it's the low-city... the one that's nearly completely flat. After having been demolished by an earthquake in 1755, this new centre was built - in neoclassical style.
Fondest memory: My favourite part are the wide airy squares surrounded by amazing buildings, and at times lined with statues or arches. Despite the traffic, it's a plesant area to walk. I am particularly fond of Rua Augusta, but not for its cafes and boutiques... the reason is more trivial... it bears my name. How can you not like such a street?
The district of Belem is located a few miles from the centre of Lisbon: it's on the Tagus river and it's the city's original port. it's also the place that's brought Lisbon to be listed as a UNESCO place - because of its amazing monuments.
Fondest memory: The monuments: old ones like the tower of Belem, and new ones like the monument to the nation’s Age of Discoveries. And then again the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos: never have I seen such intricate patterns on a monastery. It's a real delight to the eyes.
The Alfama is the oldest area in Lisbon: it's very quaint, with narrow winding streets nestled upon the hillside. There are many discoveries to make - at every twist or turn: old churches, statues, beautiful old buildings, a castle.
Fondest memory: Above all Alfama is a maze: we tried to navigate it with a map, but it proved useless - we would see something nice in the distance, and we would forget about where we were planning on going. And yet... Alfama's not only beauty: at times it gives you the impression (wrong, I assume) of poverty, of decadence.
My Lisbon is a place where dogs are happy: they stand by windows and look out to see what's going on, or else roam the streets at night looking for a partner to make love to. I have seen the strangest dogs in Lisbon - doing the strangest things. Although I'm not a dog lover, I got the love the dogs of Lisbon
Fondest memory: Animal aside, "my" Lisbon is a city of many faces: the old quaint houses in Alfama, the wonderful monuments of Belem, the fashionable avenues of the Baixa and the buzzing nightlife of the Bairro Alto. Many faces - one charm.
Favorite thing: You can reach me in Alfama from “Praça da Figueira”, near “Rossio – downtown” (take bus 37) or from “Rua da Conçeição”, a downtown street (take tram nº 28 – very fun)... Than you get out in the “Miradouro Santa Luzia and Miradouro Portas do Sol” (they are both very close)... If you enter Alfama in the narrow stairs of Miradouro de Portas do Sol, you go down until Saint Michael´s Church (Igreja São Miguel)... Behind the church you see what is in the Photo... The small plazza where I live, isnt it lovely??? Than call me on my mobile, becouse I m near by... Of course a visit from you and giving you my mobile number will only happen if we get trusty in Virtual Tourist, if I am not busy and we have exchanged contacts... I like to mingle and to receive but do not force it k?
Visit Alfama, where I live (to visit me see my next tip - nº 2), its one of the oldest quarters and some architecture its original long before the great earthquake in XVIII century.... The streets are tighten and mix stairs, small plazas and arches... Really incredible...
You can reach Alfama from “Praça da Figueira”, near “Rossio – downtown” (take bus 37) or from “Rua da Conçeição”, a downtown street (take tram nº 28 – very fun)... Than you get out in the “Miradouro Santa Luzia and Miradouro Portas do Sol”, they are both very close to the terrace called 'Cerca Moura' in this photo...
Than you can either visit the castle or go all the way down thorough those labyrinth streets... Is safe, many tourist do it... When you reach down the outer avenue near the river, there are lots of buses - 46, 9, 59 that will take you back to downtown, others go to Cais do Sodré plaza, like nº 28 or nº 105...
I was not raised there but rented a small remodelled apartment since April 2001 and found some real quality of life... People are very nice and welcoming, living in a very special way, keeping lots of traditions in all life features...
In this neighbourhoods everything its typical and unique, is just like being in a small village, cosy and safe, and enjoying the privilege of the city centre, near all major locations...
Go to the Expo. centre and out the other side and walk to the water gardens. Fun fountains that catch you unawares,resturants. Our children loved this and then we went onto the Oceana,(may have spelt it incorrectly) anyway, it's a HUGE aquariam and is amazing! It also has rooms with penguins and ice! as well as tropical areas. Hours of entertainment.
Then try out the cable carsthat go along the river,great views but remember to sit still as they can sway alarmingly!
One of the best things about Lisbon is that it has managed to retain an old-fashioned, slightly worn and tattered feel. As you walk the cracked cobblestoned streets, you are bound to see graffiti sprayed on faded, ochre-colored walls, clothes hanging from second floor windows and the occasional building that is falling into aged and neglected disrepair. I loved it!!
Some cities, particularly in the States, are so architecturally homogenous and are kept so antiseptically clean and tidy that it borders on boring. Lisbon, on the other hand, is a tangle of funky streets, blending a spectrum of styles, colors and textures. It marries the old world with the new and this diversity of sights makes it fascinating to explore.