Coming to a new city can be exciting and exhausting at the same time. There is all that excitement to get to know the place and explore it, but at the same time there is this feeling of being a little too lost sometimes. What helps me a lot is to get an overview of the city´s important and interesting neighbourhoods and like that sort out, where and when to start exploring. That´s why I put together this post about the neughbourhoods of beautiful Lisbon!
Probably the most popular neighbourhood to visit among tourists besides Belém, Alfama captures with a maze of small pretty alleys. With pastel coloured houses and laundry dangling above your head it is exactly what you´d expect a southern European village to be like. Actually it is even better. Sights to see include Castelo Sao Jorge and Igreja da Sé.
Baixa was all rebuilt after the 1755 earthquake and is now Lisbon´s geometrically structured comercial center. If you were wondering about a place to shop in Lisbon you just found it. The huge Praça do Comércio offers a wide view over the Tajo River and the famous Ponte 25 de Abril – Lisbon´s Golden Gate.
With its dense net of small cobblestone alleys that have – like most houses as well – a shabby charme to them, Barrio Alto tells stories of great nights out. Nights with new friends, other travellers, well nights that make for good stories. It is Lisbon´s party headquarter for good reason.
Chiado is neighbouring and similar to Baixa, with lots of shops, restaurants and cafés. Apart from that it has a famous elevator that gets you up to a view point, such as a bunch of pretty squares perfect to take a rest and enjoy the sun.
If you´re looking for an authentic Lisbon neighbourhood, that isn´t flooded with tourists wander the streets of Graça. There are loads and loads of tiled houses -many ruins too though – and even if it is lesser known here you´ll find the most beautiful view over Lisbon from Miradouro de Nossa Senhora do Monte. Other than at crowded Castelo Sao Jorge the view is completely free – once you´ve made it all the way up there.
Two of the most famous sights to see in the Portuguese capital can be found here: Torre do Belém and the Monastery dos Jerónimos, an incredible building with lots of detailed decorations. And of course don´t forget to grab Pasteis do Belém at the famous pastry shop. They really are that good, so the line that routinely forms in front of the door isn´t a coincidence. There are other really good Pasteis de Nata though, but more on that another day.
Parque do Naçoes
The area of the 1998 EXPO can be visited for leisure purposes today. There is a mall, a row of restaurants and a concert hall, but the two most characteristic monuments for this part of town are Torre Vasco da Gama and the Vasco da Gama Bridge, that are an amazing sight, seen from the cable car running along the river bank here. Talking of the river bank, this is a nice stroll in summer, when the Breeze from the Tajo gives you a little refresh. Or even go for a run by the water.
What is your favourite part of Lisbon?