The Neighborhoods of Lisbon
Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal, is one of the oldest cities in the world. You can see its rich history through its monuments and architecture. Today Lisbon is informally divided into the ‘bairros’ or districts. These areas have no clearly defined physical boundaries, but each has a distinct personality. Some of our favorite Barrios de Lisboa are the Baixa, Belém, Chiado, and Barrio Alto districts.
The Baixa district is the downtown area, the heart of Lisbon. It is home to grand plazas, bustling shopping streets, fascinating historical sites, and lively restaurants. The city completely rebuilt the district after an earthquake in the eighteenth century. It mixes traditional Portuguese culture and modern tourism with large avenues flanked by houses covered in traditional tiles and trendy stores and restaurants. On the north side of Baxia is the Avenida da Liberdade, one of Europe's most famous luxury shopping destinations. Known for its high-end fashion retailers, specialty boutiques, and upscale accommodations, many travelers begin their Lisbon adventure here.
Belém is the Southwesternmost district of Lisbon, far from the city center, located at the mouth of the River Targus. Portugal's various explorers set sail from this part of town, and the famous Monument to the Discoveries is in honor of them. Visit the monument's observation deck to get a full view of the marble mosaic at its foot, representing a compass with a world map in the center. Other sites to visit include Belém Tower and the Jeronimos Monastery. These sites are among Lisbon's most visited places and have been declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Belém is regarded as one of the best tourist districts in Lisbon, as it is home to many of Lisbon's most iconic tourist attractions.
The Chiado district is a neighborhood known for being an elegant area where people gather in coffee shops, boutique restaurants, theaters, and museums. Chiado was home to many famous Portuguese poets and artists and is considered the center of Lisbon's intellectual life. Statues of literary figures such as Fernando Pessoa, Luis de Camoes, and Eca de Queiroz grace streets lined with old cafes and fancy shops. Visit Cafe Brasileira, one of Lisbon's oldest cafes. Famous for being the meeting point for intellectuals, artists, writers, and free-thinkers. The cafe opened in 1905, and its art deco interior has remained unchanged. For a unique souvenir, visit the famous Bertrand Bookstore, founded in 1732. A book from the store comes stamped, certifying that you purchased it at the world's oldest bookstore.
Barrio Alto is one of the most picturesque areas of Lisbon. Travel to the top of São Roque's hill for a panoramic view of the city. Here you will find the Miradouro de Sao Pedro de Alcantara, a geometric garden with a panoramic view of central Lisbon. A tile panel illustrates all the landmarks you can see from this viewpoint, including the Avenida de Liberdade, Castelo de São Jorge, and the Miradouro da Igreja da Graça. A quiet residential neighborhood during the day, Barrio Alto transforms into the center of Lisbon's nightlife once the sun sets. The streets are lined with small bars, intimate venues, and great restaurants where you can hear the sounds of live music deep into the night. The revelers spill into the streets during the weekends, creating a carnival-like atmosphere.
With so much to do in Lisbon let us create a customized travel itinerary for your next adventure. Some of our most popular trips include our Lisbon Discovery, Lisbon and Alentejo Luxury Getaway and Lisbon & Porto Combo.