Alfama District

Lisbon’s most atmospheric neighborhood by a landslide, the Moorish district of Alfama is a medieval maze of alleyways, nooks, and crannies. One of the oldest sections of the city (it survived the 1755 earthquake), it’s a living museum of Lisbon life, filled with fascinating, postcard-perfect scenes. Before exploring, it’s best to get the lay of the land from the Largo das Portas do Sol viewpoint, where you can see the Alfama’s crowded, rust-orange rooftops spilling toward the Tagus River, punctuated by iconic buildings like the St. Vincent de Fora monastery, the National Pantheon, and the Santo Estêvão Church. Afterward, head deep into the neighborhood and get lost among balconies strung with drying laundry, street vendors selling grilled sardines, and the sounds of fado, Portugal’s melancholy national music.

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View of Alfama District, Lisbon

From the top of Castelo de São Jorge, the sun cast its last few remaining rays of the day on the red-roofed district of Alfama.

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