The Old Neighbourhoods

Chiado by Chiado Lisboa

In 1988, Chiado suffered one of the biggest fires in the history of the city. From the ashes of that fire, the Associação de Valorização do Chiado was born. 30 years later, this community of locals and merchants gather to share and promote everything that concerns one of Lisbon’s noblest neighbourhoods.

A Brasileira

Rua Garrett, 122

One of the most iconic places in Chiado, this historical café started out importing and selling coffee beans with the curious tradition of offering its customers a free cup of coffee. Today it has become a must-see, thanks in part to the Fernando Pessoa statue outside that is the backdrop for millions of photographs every day.

Paris em Lisboa

Rua Garrett, 77

In 1888, two historical events happened in the history of Chiado: Fernando Pessoa was born and a Portuguese shop entirely dedicated to the latest Parisian fashions opened its doors. It was in this place that Princess Amélie, the last Queen of Portugal, would hand pick products for the Royal Household.

Bertrand Bookshop

Rua Garrett, 73

The world’s oldest functioning bookshop, as confirmed by Guinness World Records in 2011.

São Carlos National Theatre

Rua Serpa Pinto, 9

One of Portugal’s main concert halls, a delight for connoisseurs of opera and classical music. You can still watch big productions in this beautiful building. It has been a national monument since 1996.

Alfama by Marcha de Alfama

Alfama, one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Lisbon, has several sensations to offer to those who explore in meandering streets and alleys. Marina and Carina have been representing the neighborhood in the parade Marchas Popularesfor over two decades and they manage a page dedicated to these typical marchas. They assure you that it is in Alfama that this tradition is strongest.

Chafariz de Dentro

Largo do Chafariz de Dentro

Chafariz de Dentro, or the Inner Fountain, earns its name from having been built within the old city’s walls. It is a great place to feel the freshness of the water and to imagine what it was like when this fountain was the source of freshwater for the locals.

The Wash-house

Beco do Mexias

Ancient trades gave the alleys and streets of Alfama its fame. One example of this is that of the washerwomen, who used the public wash-houses to do laundry. Although there are few of them left today, you can still catch a glimpse of them now and then. Even if you don’t see one, you can always catch a trace of their passage in the narrow Beco do Mexias, from the unmistakable perfume of laundry hanging from the clotheslines.

Lucindas

Rua de São Miguel, 41

Alfama hides a surprise behind every corner, nook and cranny. One such surprise is Lucindas, an old grocery store where you can taste some of the finest petiscos (or Portuguese tapas). The place is named after the owners’ grandmother, Avó Lucinda.

São Miguel Church

Largo de São Miguel

The heart of the neighborhood is the square Largo de São Miguel. It’s where you can feel the life and vibrancy of the locals. In the mornings, you can listen to the local rumors, news and small talk being whispered and exchanged. In the afternoon, the church bells ringing fill the square. And of course, exactly when you least expect it, the unmistakable strumming of guitars announcing that Fado is going to be sung,

Campo de Ourique by Campo de Ourique

Jorge Lima, who lives in Campo de Ourique, contends that this neighbourhood is one of the city’s most charismatic. There are very few things, he says, that beat a morning spent in the café A Tentadora.

A Tentadora

Rua Ferreira Borges, 1

Ferreira Borges street, known among the locals for its various cafés, starts in an emblematic building designed in 1912 by Ernest Korrodi. Here you’ll find the Tentadora pastry shop, a Campo de Ourique classic.

Padaria do Povo

Rua Luís Derouet, 20A

This place has been baking bread since 1904, when the King D. Carlos I suggested it should be built to allow bread being sold to the local population as cheaply as possible. Today, it is more than a café or a restaurant, it is a house of history and a place where locals and their friends hang out.

Barbearia Diamante

Rua Saraiva de Carvalho, 128

Men have been getting their beards shaved and hair cut in Diamante barbershop as early as 1915. Today, you can still admire some of the antique objects that make a part of its hundred-year old history in the shop that has been renovated by its new barbers.

Livraria Ler

Rua Almeida e Sousa, 24C

The Ler bookshop is close to Fernando Pessoa’s old home, which is now a museum and a library. This bookshop has a vast selection of national and international books.