We’re two steps away from Alfama and another two steps from Mouraria, neighbourhoods that portray Lisbon’s soul so much. This is the place where you can still feel the scent of freshly washed clothes laid out in the sun and the unique smell of grilled sardines on an old rough grill.
Alfama hugs us with its narrow and twisting streets, rocks us with its fado, and makes us want to stay. And for those who think they might be lost, there’s always a way out: either to Castelo de São Jorge or to the river that looks almost like the sea.
Fado is a popular Portuguese music genre and one of the few traditional urban sounds of the world. Born in the streets of Lisbon, between Alfama and Mouraria, it quickly gained international projection. Alfama is the perfect place to hear Fado singing, either in a professional Fado House or in a traditional Portuguese restaurant where neighbours frequently improvise.
Sé de Lisboa
It’s the oldest church and the single cathedral of the Portuguese capital. Most commonly known as “Sé de Lisboa”, this amazing piece of history was edified on top of a Muslim Mosque which was built on a former Visigoth Christian temple.
These layers from different historical times can be appreciated in the archaeological excavations of the 14th century cloister. This monument of immense historical, spiritual, and architectural value is very much worth visiting.
Casa dos Bicos
This curious building from the XI century survived intact to the 1755 earthquake that destroyed a huge part of Lisbon’s riverside area. Inspired by the Italian architecture of the time, its façade has more than one thousand studs and the upper floors display masterful Manueline-style windows.
Originally, it was used as a residence of Afonso de Albuquerque, Governor of Portuguese India. Keeping its exterior intact, but with its interior fully renovated, it now hosts the José Saramago Foundation, the Portuguese Nobel Laureate.
It’s one of the most popular attractions in the city and anyone taking its tour will understand why. It starts in Praça de Martim Moniz and it ends in Prazeres, or between Graça and Estrela, for those who prefer the shorter itinerary. It all starts in a picturesque electric-powered carriage that travels through some of the capital’s most emblematic neighbourhoods and monuments.
Get ready for an historic journey.
Castelo de São Jorge
The castle of Lisbon rises on the top of the highest hill of the Portuguese capital, offering one of the most stunning and breath-taking views of the river and the city. It’s a romantic sight that has been around for more than one thousand years and the perfect spot for a picnic.
Praça do Comércio
With open arms towards the river, it’s one of the biggest squares in Europe. In its original version it functioned as a hosting spot for those who arrived in Lisbon by boat. Nowadays. we can enjoy the XVIII architecture once the original was destroyed by the 1755 earthquake.
It’s a lively and colorful flea market that sells second-hand objects and clothing. It takes place every Tuesday and Saturday starting at dawn and ending at dusk. It had several locations until it established itself in Campo de Santa Clara in the early XX century. The ideal entrance is by Arco de São Vicente where the famous 28 tram stops.