Getting to Know Lisbon Neighborhoods

Lisbon is an old city, so you will find many old neighborhoods in which you can meet true Lisboans and glimpse their daily lives. From Martim Moniz, a diverse community that has recently gentrified, to the once-industrial Parque das Nações, the city’s picturesque and lively neighborhoods await exploration.

Lisboa 1100-341, 1100-393 Buenos Aires
This is the place to visit if you are looking for a multicultural neighborhood that is getting better and safer every day that passes. Near Mouraria, once a degraded neighborhood, you will find Martim Moniz’s Square—full of life, with many kiosks with esplanades, serving food and drinks from all over the world. Weekends feature the Fusion Market, with DJs, concerts, workshops, and debates. Even the city’s mayor changed his office to this area, to show that is a good neighborhood. From the square, you can see São Jorge’s Castle, up there on the hill, protecting us from evildoers.
1250-096 Lisbon, Portugal
If you want to get a good impression of the historical city of Lisbon, and also see how small the city is, a must do attraction in Lisbon is to take the #28 tram, ‘elétrico 28′. This legendary tram 28 is a tourist attraction in itself. It goes all around town. Of course you can hop on and hop off whenever you want, but tickets are paid every time you take a ride. Beside the #28 tram, the easiest way to reach from Rossio Square to the Barrio Alto neighborhood, is by Elevador da Glória.(in the picture)
1200-445 Lisbon, Portugal
On August 25, 1988, tragedy fell upon Lisbon: A huge fire turned Chiado to ruins, destroying 18 secular buildings. However, Chiado has come back to become the most elegant and trendy neighborhood in Lisbon. Fortunately, some buildings from the 18th century, a few of them renovated after the fire, still stand, remodeled by the Portuguese architect Siza Vieira. With a location on one of Lisbon’s seven hills, the neighborhood is full of old bookshops, theaters, international brands, and local fashion designers. Also, it’s a popular meeting spot for a dinner or a drink in Bairro Alto. Chiado’s streets are a symbol of the liberty of the revolution, since it was on the 25th of April, in 1974, that the Carnation Revolution would leave Largo do Carmo. Also it’s a neighborhood of intellectual life. The writers Fernando Pessoa and Eça de Queirós were habitués of the cafés.
R. do Vigário, 1100-502 Lisboa, Portugal
To get to know the neighborhood and its daily life, nothing beats a stroll through Alfama’s streets. It is the oldest and one of the most typical neighborhoods in Lisbon. Here you might see two women chatting at the window (well, screaming) while hanging the laundry; people sitting outside on small wooden benches or the entrance steps to old houses; and, of course, people listening to fado. The sounds of fado can come from a fado restaurant or from an old tavern (here fado is called Fado Vadio since it is sung by nonprofessionals after drinking aguardiente). On the nights of June 12 and 13, Alfama celebrates Santos Populares, when the streets are adorned with colorful little flags, the air is aromatic with smoke and smell of sardines, the beer is flowing, and music is everywhere.
Pena, 1150 Lisbon, Portugal
There are so many places to visit in this neighborhood, but I don’t see a lot of tourists strolling here, maybe because it’s located in one of the seven hills, Santana. But this is a neighborhood with more than 400 years of history, so if you’re not into climbing those steps, just use Lavra’s lift, it will take just few minutes. Stroll around Casco Velho (meaning “old town”), visit the ancient parish of Campo Santana that in old times served as a bullring and flea market, and skip the tourist trap of restaurants next to Coliseu dos Recreios. Here in Pena neighborhood, you will be among the locals, tasting Portuguese food and enjoying views over Lisbon.
Jardim Teófilo de Braga, (em frente ao nº 26 da rua do 4 de Infantaria), 1350-266 Lisboa, Portugal
A residential neighborhood with traditional commerce, and considered to be the most peaceful in Lisbon, this neighborhood brings together the best of life conditions to those who call this home. Taste a chocolate cake at the pastry shop which sells “The Best Chocolate Cake in the World” (Rua Coelho da Rocha, 99, next to the market). Then walk off your calories by visiting Santo Condestável’s Church, an emblematic monument which was designed by Vasco Regaleira, the architect of the “new churches.”
More from AFAR
Sign up for our newsletter
Join more than a million of the world’s best travelers. Subscribe to the Daily Wander newsletter.
AFAR Journeys
Journeys: Europe
Journeys: Europe
Journeys: Europe
Journeys: Europe
Journeys: United States
Journeys: Sports + Adventure