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Lisbon neighborhoods - The most important districts of Lisbon

Lisbon, as the biggest city in Portugal, has a lot of different and iconic neighbourhoods for you to visit. The most known ones are Nation’s Park, Belém, Bairro Alto, Baixa/Chiado, Santos, Alfama, Cais do Sodré, Mouraria and Principe Real. In this part of the city guide we are going to talk about the mentioned neighbourhoods, and give you some information about why you should visit them, what makes them different, and the most important places for you to visit.

This is a good part for you to read if you’re interested in some neighbourhoods but you have no clue about what you should visit. Also check the section where we talk about almost all the places to see, and in that part we gave you a more detailed explanation. 

Parque das Nações 

Parque das Nações is a really good place in Lisbon. It’s truly great for a walk in the afternoon. It’s located next to the river, and it’s the modern part of Lisbon. One of the biggest attractions is the “Telecabine Lisboa” [a cable car], if you want to have the best view of the Nation’s Park this is the place to be. When you are inside the cable car, look down and you will see that you’re almost above the Tagus River. It’s a great experience, especially because the view is amazing, on one side is the Nation’s Park and on the other side the Bridge and the River, you will feel like flying above the river. 

One of the most interesting things to see is  Water Volcanoes, and you will see a lot of people playing around it because it’s really nice. Don’t forget to visit Parque das Nações the place [like a path] where you can see a lot of Flags, from different countries and try to find the flag of your country. You can walk around and see the gardens (breathing some pure air), excepcional architecture, urban art (you will see this around the whole neighborhood), the two Towers of S. Gabriel and S. Rafael, the Marina [where you can see many beautiful boats] and the Vasco da Gama Bridge [has 17km (11 miles) long (which 10km/6 miles pass over water), when it opened in 1998, was the longest bridge in Europe, and still today one of the longest in the world, having the same length as the road-rail tunnel-bridge linking Denmark and Sweden]. 

Also, one place that you really need to visit is the Lisbon Oceanarium [Top 10 things to See in Lisbon], the favorite place not just for the youngest but also for all the family. Full of sea life, curiosities and strange animals. Go to the big Aquarium, and I swear you will feel like you’re inside the Ocean. It’s sometime unique. 

Besides, you have the Portugal Pavilion [architecture building], Meo Arena, Camões Theatre, FIL (International Fair of Lisbon] and the Museum Pavilion of Knowledge. 

Belém

Belém is a place close to the historical city centre of Lisbon, it’s a really important place, because of its history, monuments, and the cultural importance, this i’s a must see place, and a visit that you can not skip. You can also visit the 25th April Bridge , considered one of the longest in the world, and the docks of Belém, a good place to eat, or walk around. Belém is one of the most beloved places by tourists and the reason is something that words cannot explain. A place so rich, that you will love it, in here you will never feel bored! You have so much to see, to try and  learn, it will be the best history class of your life. 

Here you can see the Manueline Architectonic style, iconic Monuments, Humanity World Heritage places, majestic Gardens [Imperial Square], you can eat one of the most iconic pastries of Portugal or you can visit the President’s House. 

 Don’t forget to go to “Pastéis de Belém”, it a typical pastry from Portugal, and it’s a must try. They always serve it really warm, so it will melt in your mouth. Go to try it next to the river, it will be the perfect moment. 

Bairro Alto

The neighbourhood of Barrio Alto is one of the most known and important places in Lisbon. It’s a typical place, and it’s a great way for you to know the traditional Portuguese life, especially the night life. Bairro Alto, the place for parties, great food, the most special places, monuments, chilling with friends and enjoying the Portuguese life. This is the centre of the nightlife in Lisbon, is the place for cheap drinks and Portuguese people like to get a drink and stay on the streets talking, drinking and having a lot of fun.

If you are staying in Lisbon for just one or two nights, Bairro Alto is the place that I recommend you to go for spending a good night out, here’s where you will the discover the typical Portuguese night out.

Besides that you can also listen the typical Portuguese music, called “Fado”. This is one of the most iconic neighbourhoods to listen to, and you can not come to Lisbon and not listen this typical and unique music, that will get you goose bumps.

Here you can also see the iconic Church S. Roque; the Viewpoint of S. Pedro de Alcântara; Lift of Gloria or Lift of Bica.

Baixa - Chiado

This is the centre of Lisbon for shopping and spending a Saturday or Sunday afternoon just sightseeing or walking through the streets of Lisbon. Here you can find the most iconic monuments of Lisbon such as the Lift of Santa Justa; Augusta Street Monumental Arch; Statue of D. José I; Carmo’s Convent; the iconic Coffee “A Brasileira”. So, go ahead and go for a walk around Baixa Chiado and enjoy the warm sun,  don’t forget your sunscreen, you will need it. 

This neighbourhood can be classified as the place to go for shopping because is full of stores, with the most known brands, and it’s also a great place to go  for a walk, for some drinks or for a coffee. The prettiest thing in Baixa is that in the end of Augusta’s street you will find the river in a Square call Terreiro do Paço, and the view is amazing. 

To get  to this neighbourhood you can take the green line of the  subway  and get off at the stop called “Baixa-Chiado”. 

Santos 

Santos is the place where you can find the design and architecture schools, so here you can find a lot of students and sometimes some University parties. Is a great place for you to go out for some “petiscos” and drink cheap beer in the Santos Square [Largo dos Santos], also after some beers you can go to a club, because the main ones are really close to this place. This place is also known for its bars because it’s a popular neighborhood among the students, with cheap drinks, good environment and with a lot of young people. 

To go to Santos you have to take the tram [number 25 and 15]; the city bus [number 714, 727 and 728] and also the train [stop: Santos], unfortunately, you don’t have subway service here, but don’t worry because it’s also easy to come here walking. 

Visit Santos,during the Santos Populares,is really nice to see the place during these days as it’s full of colours, music, drinks and food, it will be worth it. Invite your friends and go to Santos for a beer. 

Alfama

This is one of the most typical Lisbon neighbourhoods because it used to be the place where the Moors and the Jews used to live, so it’s considered one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Europe. It’s a place full of history. Here you can see a lot of iconic things like the typical portuguese music “Fado”, you can listen to the typical Portuguese music and see the amazing views to the river Tagus and drink good wine. 

Walking through Alfama you will see the real Portuguese people and among the Portuguese it’s called the heart of Alfama (Lisbon).Here you can walk because cars are notusually to ride is this place. 

Our tip for you is to come here during the day, to enjoy the small streets, the food smell and see the Portuguese lifestyle. And at night, to experience the typical Portuguese music, the amazing Fado Heritage.

Cais do Sodré

Cais do Sodré is an amazing neighbourhood for a walk by the river. If you are craving for some good food, I reccomend to go to “Mercado da Ribeira”, where you can try different food from Portuguese to International food. Enjoy the sun next to the river; it’s also a place full  of history, here you can see the  “Square D. Luís”. If you want to go partying at night, you can go to the “Red Light District”, this is an amazing place for party hard, with party for all tastes, and also to see different bars. 

Also, this place is where you need to go after parties to catch the bus back home, so expect to see a lot of people here that are coming back from a party This place has a subway stop called “Cais do Sodré”.



Mouraria

Mouraria is called like that because in the 12th century was the place there the Moors used to live, so expect to find a lot of history and even foreign people in this neighbourhood. Nowadays, this place is known as the place where the foreigners and immigrants liked to be, so except to see a lot of foreigners here. If you want to visit this neighbourhood, you can see in the streets amazing street art and also the typical streets and alleys of Lisbon. 

Besides the ancient history, this place is also full of recent history, because is the bird of Fado. The first Fado music took life in Mouraria neighbourhood. 

Príncipe Real

This is a really nice and beautiful neighbourhood, full of places to visit, antique shops, amazing gardens and Viewpoints. We would advise to go for a walk in this neighbourhood, is for sure a green space. The best garden is called Garden of Principe Real, and here you will find a place where you can go for a coffee or just walk through the garden and see the amazing trees that have funny shapes. 

Visit all the outstanding viewpoints, admire the singular architecture, just go for a walk and chill out with your friends or even alone, it’s a real good place to visit. 

  • Return to Save money in Lisbon - Tips for living on a student budget in Lisbon
  • Continue to Nightlife in Lisbon - A guide to nightclubs and going out in Lisbon

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