Exploring the Ribeira

By Philippa Burne, UK, July 2012

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Ribeira, meaning river, is the area alongside the Tagus (Tejo) River in Lisbon.

Being an important port city for centuries, the riverside is where so much of Lisbon life developed and still thrives.

The city’s biggest market is riverside, the Mercado de Ribeira. Established in 1882, the lovely building is topped by a Moorish dome and the market is worth a visit. Not surprisingly the seafood and fish are fresh and plentiful. There’s inky squid and bacalhau (cod) which is so important to the Lisboan diet that they have enough recipes to eat a different bacalhau dish every day of the year. There are also fresh fruits and vegetables and upstairs on the second floor a more tourist-oriented market space selling port, honey and handicrafts. Note the pictures on the walls showing market traders over the years which were put up in 2007 to mark 125 years of the market. Open Monday through Saturday.

On Sundays the market becomes a busy collectors’ market mainly focusing on coins and stamps. The stalls for handicrafts and local honey and ports are open too.

Nearby is the street Rua Nova do Carvalho, once Lisbon’s red-light district serving the busy port and now a trendy bar and restaurant street.

Along the riverside to the west is the Belem district and here’s where you’ll find much of Lisbon’s significant history and architecture. The wonderful Belem Tower, once a defensive fortress on a mid-river island, now sits riverside and glows gloriously white in the sunshine.

Editor’s Note: This recommendation was taken from our Portugal Things to Do blog. Visit the original post to continue reading the full post and to learn more about things to do in Portugal.

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