Lisbon Stories and Tips

Lisbon Day 1 - Alfama, Mouraria, Baixa

The colorful streets of the Alfama and Mouraria, the imposing Elevador de Santa Justa, the Casa dos Bicos, the Elevador da Bica charming, the squares Praça de Comércio and Praça da Figueira of the Baixa and the famous shopping street Rua Augusta are among the friendliest and most beautiful sights of Lisbon.

Sometimes you just can only be happy that an incompetent taxi driver leaves you 3 km away from your destination. In our case we had to traverse trough many narrow and winding streets and staircases before reaching our final destination Mouraria. Our first contact with Lisbon could not be better. Colorful, picturesque, local, charming, country, cozy ... it's only a handful of adjectives that can describe Alfama. Even the Casa dos Bicos, one of the most famous 15th century buildings in Lisbon, shows no match for the charm of the Petiet lit streets where locals live in Lisbon and enjoy life.

For our stay in Lisbon we had rented an apartment in Mouraria, a picturesque district in the south of the city mainly inhabited by migrants from outside Portugal, including Paskistani and Africans. They arrived in Lisbon when the government of Caetano was replaced by a democratic government that made Angola and Mozambique independent what caused many people to go to Portugal in the hope of a better future. They are small and colorful shops, cozy restaurants and pubs. Our apartment, located on the first floor of an old house in the street, Rua de São Cristóvão was, provided along the front overlooking the narrow street and along the back a viewpoint over the central part of Lisbon. The Elevador de Santa Justa, the Convento do Carmo and Praça da Figueira are just some of the sights from our balcony you could admire in the kitchen.

Praça de comércio
At two minutes walk from our apartment was Praça da Figueira, a square in which the various streets of Lisbon end. One is the Rua Augusta, a nice street with lots of drinking and dining. It is a typical tourist attraction, but one that exudes coziness.

On the south side of the Baixa, at the end of Rua Augusta, is the Praça de Comercio, a large square that stretches to the banks of the Tagus. It has long been used as a parking lot, but since 1997 has been completely re-paved and made car free. In the middle of the Praça de Comercio you will find the equestrian statue of Dom José I in memory of the same king who offered to help the victims of the earthquake of November 1, 1755 which destroyed much of Lisbon. Along the north of the square, just before the banks of the Tagus, is the imposing triumphal arch that one of the most beautiful sights of Lisbon belongs.

Elevador da Bica
The Elevador da Bica is not actually a real lift, but a tram that an interconnection between the Bairro Alto and a small district just before just before the quays of the Tagus is located and a maritime atmosphere. It is part of a series of five lifts (Elevador de Santa Justa Elevador da Gloria, Elevador da Lavra and Elevador da Bica) in Lisbon, which always aim to overcome the height between the hills.

Praca Luis de Camões
Praça Luis de Camões is ideal for a coffee break. It is a pleasant square named after the 16th century poet and located in the popular Chiado district. Chic shops (which is the most famous Rua Garret), department stores and pastel arias are just some examples of what can be found in Chiado.

Elevador de Santa Justa
The Elevador de Santa Justa is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful sights of the city. Especially at night, when the elevator is lit, the Elevador de Santa Justa fairytale beautiful. n theory, this lift was used to cross the 30 meters height difference between Baixa and Bairro Alto, but it's actually very easy to do on foot.

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