Wander down (to save your legs) through Alfama's steep, narrow, cobblestoned streets and catch a glimpse of the more traditional side of Lisbon before it too is gentrified. Linger in a backstreet cafe along the way and experience some local bonhomie without the tourist gloss. Early morning is the best time to catch a more traditional scene, when women sell fresh fish from their doorways. For a real rough-and-tumble atmosphere, visit during the Festas dos Santos Populares in June.
As far back as the 5th century, the Alfama was inhabited by the Visigoths, and remnants of a Visigothic town wall remain. But it was the Moors who gave the district its shape and atmosphere. In Moorish times this was an upper-class residential area. After earthquakes brought down many of its mansions (and post-Moorish churches) it reverted to a working-class, fisherfolk quarter. It was one of the few districts to ride out the 1755 earthquake.
The best way up the hill is the number 28 tram from Martin Moniz Square, look at the views, then enjoy the wander back down.
Tours & Tickets
If you have only a day to discover the city, indulge in a private tour of Lisbon combined with a visit to Sintra, a World Heritage town nestled beautifully in ... Read more
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)
Combine a morning sightseeing tour of Lisbon with an afternoon exploring the Estoril Coast, Cascais and the romantic mountainous region of Sintra. If you are ... Read more
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)