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📷 18 ▶ Exploring the old Lisbon-Bairro Alto▶ 🇵🇹 ®️😃

📷 18 ▶ Exploring the old Lisbon-Bairro Alto▶ 🇵🇹 ®️😃

January 2020 · 4 min read · Santa Maria Maior

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Two weeks ago I took an amazingly great refreshing walk exploring one of the oldest parts of Lisbon, namely Bairro Alto.

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Bairro Alto district lying above the Baixa (which is the downtown of the capital) is perfect choice for a day and night exploration:

  • Fashionable residential district built up in the 17th century and still boasting some fine mansions.
  • Now known as the crazy heartland of Lisbon nightlife.
  • Get up into the hills and walk around the narrow cobblestone streets. Lots of cafes, bars and restaurants as well as some interesting sights.

Lets start the journey

So early morning I met a friend of mine at the iconic Marques de Pombal square and we headed off to the old part that is just around the corner.

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Before to make a turn and start climbing the steepy narrow streets we had a nice short walk along the widest central shopping street which is Avenida da Liberdade, or translated from Portuguese meaning The Liberty Ave.

As it was Sunday morning the street was not even close to the usual hustle and bustle.It was totally empty, nearly all stores closed, and hardly to see any pedestrians and traffic.

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Woow, the famous yellow funiculars. We have got to be already in the old part!

Elevador da Gloria

is an iconic funicular in Lisbon. It is worth sometimes going up to this steep hill via funicular. But generally the trip is short, about 250 meters that considering the hard terrain/ steep narrow streep uphill will take you about 5-7 minutes, of course depending on the age and physical conditions.

The price is about 4 Euro, and to be honest the only reason I would get this funicular is if I was extremely tired, or the weather would be too hot, and literally couldn’t walk up the steep hill.

So I wouldn’t waste money! If it is just because of the photo you can easily get it at the start on the bottom or at the end at the top of the hill! Important to add is that it was half empty, as it is winter season, what is not the case in the high season.

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It is a short walk downhill and you will reach the late 16th century Jesuit Igreja de Sao Roque, whose simple/ dull outside architecture make make you get you confused and is kinda deception. You need to walk into, so I do guarantee that you will get shocked by the chapels stuffed with gold, marble and the famous Portuguese azulejos.


FYI, the church was lucky enough to survive the earthquake in Lisbon back in 1755 relatively unscathed. Few buildings in the nowadays downtown survived this apocalypse.


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Just a block down the street from the Church is Praca Luis Camoes. A nice square to stop, have a snack, drink soda and relax after the trek up the hill. I enjoyed seeing sooo many people here, live music, and like the energetic, buzzy, noisy atmosphere of it, surrounded by many Old Yellow Train lines and right in the heart of old Lisbon.


FYI, Luis de Camoes is Portugal's most famous poet and writer, usually referred to as "Portuguese Shakespeare".


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So after a short 15 min break we headed off to our final destination Miradouro de Santa Catarina. Trying to find our way through the labyrinths and tangled alleys and the sharp stairways is a sharp contrast to the downtown streets.

The area has a village atmosphere, but it is a lively enclave of cozy bars, small restaurants and tiny grocery stores. Though uphill and downhill walk, generally the stroll was easy and then...

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and then... we arrived at Miradouro de Santa Catarina!

I was here for the first time, and the vantage point is not the perfect one, you don't get the best view but you can enjoy in front of you in the near distance the Lisbon Golden Gate, or the 25 April Bridge over Tagus river and hardly visible behind it the iconic the Christ the King statue.

But the views are sweeping, was crowded and full of tourists and many locals hanging out here. Next time will come in the evening to enjoy the sunset.

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From here we took a short walk downhills, and in few minutes we reached the mighty Tagus river.

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I am always amazed by the view over the River. Whenever I come here, I do feel relaxed, chilled out and full of positive energy!

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Thanks for stopping by!

I hope you enjoyed my pics. See you soon! ✋



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