The Best Guide to Lisbon

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Chiado, Bairro Alto Walking Tour - Page 2

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This is the second section of the walking tour. To the right of the main gate of the Igreja do Carmo is the top entrance to the Elevador de Santa Justa an ingenious contraption of the late 19th century which transport passengers from Baixa (lower) to the ruins of Carmo on the edges of Bairro Alto (higher).

Igreja do Carmo

The ruins of the Igreja do Carmo

The Elevador de Santa Justa was designed by an apprentice of Eiffel (Eiffel of Paris fame) and he was inspired to create a steel marvel in his home city. The cafe at the top provides amazing views over Baixa & Rossio. The Elevador de Santa Justa can get very busy at the height of the summer months.

Turning left from Elevador de Santa Justa top entrance and walking down Rua do Condessa, the walking tour now enters the theatre district of Chiado. Chiado was ravaged by fire in 1985 but over a 10 year reconstruction period Chiado has been restored to its full glory. Chiado was the traditional district of Lisbon's artisans and intellects, and is named after a 17th century poet whose nick name was Squeak this translated into Portuguese is Chiado.


If your energy levels are flagging, drink a Bica (small very strong espresso) at the Cafe A Brasileira the traditional home of the potent drink. To be a true tourist of Lisbon have your picture taken sat next to the statue of Fernando Pessoa a famous portuguese poet. A statue of Squeak is also located in this square in front of the cafe.

Camara Municipal Lisboa

The Lisbon city hall the Camara Municipal Lisboa

By following the pedestrian area down the hill (Rua Garrett) you reach an area of fashionable retail shopping. The shops along this road have protected rents so small family run businesses are inter spaced by big multi national chains. At the bottom of Rua Garrett take the road to the right (Rua Nova do Almada) this leads to the Camara Municipal Lisboa (Lisbon city hall).


By retracing your steps and turning left on to Calcada Nova de Sao Fracisco you reach the Museu do Chiado with its wide selection of modern art. On the parallel street is Lisbon’s second theatre the grand Teatro Nacional de Sao Carlos. At the top of the street is the  Cafe A Brasileira and another opportunity for an injection of caffeine!



By following the pedestrian area up the hill (right from the Brasileira) you arrive at the square of Praça de Luis Camoes. The imposing building at the far end of the square  is the Brazilian Embassy. Praça de Luis Camoes is a hive of activity with trams passing through, tourist mingling and Brazilians justifying their right to stay in Portugal.

 Praca Luis de Camoes in Lisbon

The Praça Luis de Camoes in Lisbon

Bairro Alto by day appears shabby blighted by graffiti the real draw of Bairro Alto is late on at the weekend when the streets become alive with the sound of portuguese and tourists socialising over a glass of portuguese beer. There are numerous small underground bars and restaurants which Fado can be heard wafting out from. Bairro Alto can be explored during the day as there are unique shops but there are far more attractive areas.

After exploring the streets of Bairro Alton head west from Praça de Luis Camoes  along the road to the right of the embassy. Along this road you will pass the second old funicular of Lisbon Funicular Bica which leads down to the lower streets which line the banks of the River Tejo. The Council of lisbon have thankfully reinstated the Bica Funicular as it had been for many years transformed into a strange metallic monument.

Continue further along the road until and turn left into Rua Santa Catrina, this is opposite the large bank. This road leads to the final view point of the tour (The Adamastor View Point)which over looks the River Tejo and the Ponte 25 de Abril suspension bridge and conveniently there is a cafe selling a well earned drink.

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The Best Guide to Lisbon