We will give you an educated, fun, professional, multi-approach, eye-opening, tour of downtown Lisbon (or Old Lisbon). You will learn A LOT about Lisbon, Portugal, and the Portuguese. Our approach mixes History and Culture with current affairs, current social and lifestyle issues, gastronomy, and so on. We will also give you many recommendations and suggestions for the rest of your stay in Lisbon and Portugal in general. Have a look at our itinerary to have a more precise idea of what you will be seeing on this tour.
Guiding Services and all the info and recommendations you need for the rest of your stay.
What to Expect
Itinerary This is a typical itinerary for this product
Pass By: Bairro Alto, Bica & Cais do Sodre, Bairro Alto, Bica & Cais do Sodre, Lisbon, Lisbon District, Central Portugal
When Lisbon's Bica and Bairro Alto districts close at around two in the morning, people flock to "Pink Street' (Rua Cor-de-Rosa), two pink-surfaced blocks running beneath Rua do Alecrim. In the heart of Cais do Sodré, the street teems with a diverse mix of hipsters, retro, graffiters, emos, alternatives, a little of everything. Conversations trail into the night, punctuated by a cocktail or beer, until the crowd moves on to any of the many area nightclubs. Most of the area appears trashy and forgotten but clubbing here remains an important right of passage for the young, especially since the opening of the Musicbox and Pensão Amor. At one time, this was the heart of our multi-cultural city, where the magnificent open square along the river welcomed sailors from around the world. Several bars recall those days as they kept names taken from foreign cities: Jamaica, Tokyo, Liverpool and so on. Yet everything changes during the day. Thousands of people throng the riverside, arriving via train and ferry, dashing to the metro or busses, everything moving to the beat of a pendulum. Because it's an excellent transportation hub, business is being attracted back to the area. An example is the new Central Station, repurposing former postal service space into an entrepreneurial center. The revived waterfront connects Cais de Sodré to the central Praça do Comércio via a pedestrian walk way.
Pass By: Chiado & Carmo, Chiado & Carmo, Lisbon, Lisbon District, Central Portugal
Chiado is Lisbon's most elegant and trendiest neighborhood. It is where everyone meets for coffee, shopping, or before dinner and a night out in neighboring Bairro Alto. Most of the buildings are from the 1700s, although many were restored in the 1990s by architect Álvaro Siza Vieira, after their destruction by a devastating fire in 1988. It's a neighborhood that flashes back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the "Belle Époque" when writers such as Fernando Pessoa and Eça de Queiroz used to write at the now-historic cafés. It's also the neighborhood of theaters, of charming old bookshops and major international brands, giving it a lively cosmopolitan ambience at any time of the day. (from lisbonlux.com) The Carmo Convent at the time of the earthquake was the largest church in Lisbon, but today the roofless nave open to the sky is all that remains of the arches and rubble that caved in on the congregation as they were attending mass. In what used to be the main altar is now a small archaeological museum with an eclectic collection of tombs (the largest one is of King Ferdinand I), statuary, ceramics, and mosaics. Among the more ancient finds is a remnant from a Visigothic pillar and a Roman tomb carved with reliefs depicting the Muses. Other noteworthy pieces include shrunken heads, South American mummies, a jasper sculpture of the Virgin Mary, ancient tombstones, Visigothic artifacts, and coins dating back to the 13th century. At the entrance of the museum is a stone engraved with gothic lettering, informing visitors that Pope Clement VII granted 40 days of indulgence to "any faithful Christian" that visits this church.
Pass By: Baixa, Rossio & Restauradores, Baixa, Rossio & Restauradores, Lisbon, Lisbon District, Central Portugal
The Baixa district is the heart of Lisbon and comprises of magnificent plazas, wide avenues and grand Pombaline architecture. The district is popular with tourists, as contained within Baixa are many of Lisbon’s major tourist attractions, along with a huge variety of restaurants and outstanding hotels. Baixa has not always been so magnificent, on the 11th November 1755, one of the world’s strongest recorded earthquakes devastated the district and, along with the massive tsunami, killed thousands. The rebuilding of the ruined district was assigned to the Marquis of Pombal, who disregarded the original city layout of narrow streets, and created the first city plan that followed a grid pattern. The buildings of Baixa were constructed in a magnificent neoclassical style (referred to Pombaline architecture) but more importantly, incorporated the earliest examples of earthquake resistant architecture. Rossio is the liveliest square in the city, where people stop to sit and relax, or for a drink at the several atmospheric cafés with outdoor sitting (the most popular is the art-deco "Cafe Nicola" on the western side). On either side of the square are two baroque fountains, and in the center is a monument measuring 27 meters in height. It consists of a pedestal with marble allegories of Justice, Wisdom, Strength, and Moderation, qualities attributed to Dom Pedro IV, whose statue stands on top of the monument. In the 19th century, the square was paved with cobblestones in wave patterns, a design seen today in many other pavements all over Portugal, and that has spread to Portugal's former colonies from Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) to Macao (China). On the north side of the square is the Dona Maria II National Theater, a monumental neoclassical building built in the 1840s. The portico has six Ionic columns (originally from the Church of St. Francis, destroyed in the 1755 earthquake), and crowning the pediment is a statue of playwright Gil Vicente.
Pass By: Castelo, Alfama & Mouraria, Castelo, Alfama & Mouraria, Lisbon, Lisbon District, Central Portugal
The Alfama is Lisbon's oldest quarter. Spread over the southeastern slope of the hill crowned by Castelo de São Jorge, the picturesque neighborhood is composed of a maze of narrow streets, winding alleyways, and steep flights of steps. Its kasbah-like layout is deliberate - this is the city's ancient Arab district, and although there are no Moorish houses still standing, the tightly-packed lanes, small archways, and stone-paved terraces are full of atmosphere and great fun to explore. Lisbon's old quarter offers many things to do. Besides the castle, there are several historic 17th-century churches in the vicinity, as well as the city's impressive cathedral. A clutch of excellent museums provide cultural diversion, and Lisbon's biggest flea market is here. Some of the best views in Lisbon are from lofty squares such as the Miradouro Largo das Portas do Sol - once the entrance gates to the old city.
Alfama wakes up at night, when some of the city's most authentic cafés and restaurants open their doors to serve delicious traditional cuisine and plenty of bonhomie. The neighborhood is also home to traditional fado houses, where this unique Portuguese musical expression can be appreciated in rustic and romantic surroundings.
Pass By: Praca do Comercio (Terreiro do Paco), Avenida Infante Dom Henrique 1C, Lisbon 1100-053 Portugal
The Praça do Comércio is the grandest of Lisbon’s plazas. This magnificent plaza opens out on the Tejo Estuary, and is surrounded on three sides by distractive yellow Pombaline architecture, with the decorative Arco da Rua Augusta as the focal point of the plaza Historically the Praça do Comércio was the location of the Paço da Ribeira, the royal palace of Lisbon, the complex was obliterated by the devastating earthquake of 1755. Though completely destroyed there are remnants of this once mighty palace throughout the plaza. For you as a visitor, there is a lot see and do within the Praça do Comércio. There is the Arco da Rua Augusta viewpoint, the Lisboa Story Centre museum, some of the best photo opportunities in Lisbon, along with numerous fine restaurants and authentic cafes.