1 day in...Alfama, Lisbon

1 day in...Alfama, Lisbon

For a long time neglected by visitors, Alfama is now one of the most interesting districts of Lisbon. Decades of trade and the coming and going of people turned this area of Lisbon into a unique setting, not only from an architectural perspective, but also from the vibes you feel while walking through the cobbled-stone streets and alleys. 


Start your day with a walking tour through Alfama. Many hotels in the area offer free walking tours through the area for their guests. Otherwise check with them to arrange a tour for you. That way, you will learn about the history and present of Alfama, about the people and see hidden corners you wouldn't have thought are there. The guides are locals who have a vast knowledge about their hometown. Make sure to look up the walls on the old houses to discover astonishing tile work.

For a coffee break, make a stop at Poi's Café. Surrounded by lots of books, you can enjoy their tasty coffee and cake to prep you for more sightseeing to follow.

Poi’s Café
Rua de São João da Praça 93-95
1100-521 Lisboa

Jump on the famous tram 28 or simply follow the tracks around parts of Alfama. Just around the corner of the main Rua Augusto Rosa, you can hike up to take a look at the Teatro Romano, originally built for over 4,000 people. Walk further and you reach an observation platform called Miradouro Santa Luzia, where you can enjoy the beautiful views and listen to music by some great street musicians playing traditional Fado music. Also, check out the beautiful tile work on the Igreja de Santa Luzia.

Museo de Lisboa - Teatro Romano
Rua de São Mamede 3 A
1100-532 Lisboa

Miradouro Santa Luzia
Largo Santa Luzia 4
1100-411 Lisboa


If you fancy some alfresco lunch, head to Audrey’s. Their quiet outdoor terrace makes for the perfect stop during a busy day of sightseeing.

Rua de Santiago 12
1100-494 Lisboa

In the afternoon make your way to one of the most important cathedrals in Portugal, beautifully displaying several centuries in its architecture. Known as Sé de Lisboa, the cathedral was rebuilt after suffering from several earthquakes through time. For some beautiful souvenirs and handicraft, look across the street from the cathedral where you'll find a store called "Arte de Terre". A very nice souvenir are the sardine cans with your birth year from Comur, the famous Portuguese cannery factory. You can select from 100 different cans covering 1916 to 2016. Get them for example at Silva e Feijoo, but be aware you most probably won’t be able to carry them in your hand luggage!

Sé de Lisboa
Largo da Sé
1100-585 Lisboa

Arte da Terra
R. Augusto Rosa 40
1100-059 Lisboa

Silva e Feijoo
Rua dos Bacalhoeiros 117
1100-585 Lisboa


A P E R I T I V E 

Late afternoon and/or early evening is the time where you should make your way to Memmo Alfama Hotel (highly recommended for accommodation!) to enjoy the sunshine on their rooftop with stunning views all over Alfama up to the Castelo de San Jorge.

The drinks and Portuguese tapas are superb and you can basically spend all day there, just saying…(psst…their barkeeper mixes the most delicious cocktails…).

Memmo Alfama Hotel
Travessa das Merceeiras 27
1100-348 Lisboa


D I N N E R 

For the ultimate Lisbon experience, pick a dinner place from one of the traditional Fado restaurants, where you can enjoy beautiful Fado music and dive into Portuguese cuisine. A legend in Lisbon is the Club de Fado, which is definitely your go-to place if you have never been to such a place. Whispers say the singer is one of the best Fado singers in Portugal! For a more low-key and cosier feel, head to Parreirinha de Alfama. We love their tile work inside.

Club de Fado
Rua de São João da Praça 86
1100-135 Lisboa

Parreirinha de Alfama
Beco do Espírito Santo 1
1100-222 Lisboa

Or if you fancy some modern Portuguese high-end cuisine, move to Bairro Alto and book your table (in advance!) at Bairro do Avillez. The place is stunning and offers different settings within the restaurant. We recommend to book at the Taberna for the most amazing Portuguese tapas. For some even fancier vibes, check out their Beco Cabaret, combining cabaret with delicious food and drinks.

(Quick tip: If you prefer to walk there from Alfama, there is an elevator bridging Alfama and Bairro Alto at Rua dos Fanquieros 176, called Elevador Castelo. Just bear in mind, the elevator is only open from 8am to 9pm.)

Bairro do Avillez
Rua Nova da Trindade 18
1200-303 Lisboa

Beco Cabaret Gourmet
Rua Nova da Trindade 18
1200-303 Lisboa


Tags: Europe, Portugal