WHAT TO SEE IN LISBON: ITINERARY ON FOOT AMONG CHIADO, BAIRRO ALTO AND BAIXA
Here what to see in Lisbon through an itinerary on foot passing by its most important central districts: if you’re a good walker, you’ll take about three quarters of a day, if otherwise you want to take it easier, also a whole day.
MAYBE YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN: OUR ON THE ROAD ITINERARY FROM OPORTO TO LISBON WITH ALL OUR USEFUL INFO
WHAT TO SEE IN LISBON: ITINERARY ON FOOT
Our tour, suggested by Lilly, an italian girl who lives in Lisbon, began exactly in Praca dom Pedro IV (near the train station Rossio): through Rua do Carmo at first, and then Rua Garret (the shopping street), we reached Largo do Chiado where everyone wants to take a photo with Pessoa at the table of the “Brasileira”, the most famous cafè in Lisbon. Going downstairs in front of the statue, you’ll find, one in front of the other, the National Theatre “Teatro Nacional Sao Carlos” and the house where the poet was born, at the number 4.
We reached then Praca Camoes: a little bit before, on the right, is the church “chiesa degli italiani or Chiesa del Loreto” that outside didn’t tell me so much, but inside it’s amazing, like the church on the left “Chiesa di Encarnacao” that we unfortunately didn’t visit; I don’t know why!
So through Rua do Loreto, we could finally take a photo to one of the several symbols of the town: the Elevador da Bica, also defined the artistic funicular thanks to its picturesque decorations, the main reason why it’s often photographed.
We continued straight ahead for another little while until we turned to Rua do Seculo, always suggested by Lilly, to know a historical district, out from the touristic circuits. In this area is the church “Convento dos Cardaes”, a unique and marvellous building, whose walls inside were covered with azulejos. The entry cost is 5 Euro. We had to skip also this monument because it’s normally open just in the afternoon from 14.30 to 17.30 from Monday to saturday, while we arrived in the morning. As a visit here is highly suggested, try to organize yourself in order to be here on time to visit the church.
Going straight ahead again, you’ll reach the “gardens Principe Real”: the park is beautiful and wide; if the weather is good, you can stop here for a snack or to eat your packet lunch. The district is a bit strange: right in the centre of the square we found the singular riproduction of the boxes of the shoes VANS. Looking around we in fact noticed that we were in the famous artists and stilists’ district.
From here we returned back through Rua Dom Pedro V to reach one of the most beautiful panoramic points of the town: Miradouro di Sao Pedro de Alcantara.
From the Miradouro we went straight on until the church “Sao Roque” in Largo Trinidade Coelho: that’s Bairro Alto area. The church was realized thanks to the Italian artist Filippo Terzi and restored after the earthquake. Inside it’s a triumph of the Baroc time with marble, wood and azulejos, but the real art work is Sao Joao Bapstista’s chapel, Vanvitelli’s masterpiece, realized in Rome and moved in a second moment to Lisbon from king Joao v. It’s rich of decorations, mosaics, and precioius stones. Close to the church you can visit a museum that hosts sacred objects.
Open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9:00 to 17:00
At this point of the tour we decided to have lunch in an old monks’ brewery: “Cervejaria Trinidade”. Today is a delicious local rich of arches, wooden tables and coloured azulejos at the walls. The first part of the local, as soon as you enter, is for a quick lunch like beer and delicious sandwiches at low prices: we spent 11 Euro for two persons, ordering 2 small beers and two filled hamburgers. The second part is a restaurant, where prices are obviously higher. Even if you don’t decide to stop here to eat, the local is so beautiful that you can’t skip a visit to it: better if you arrive not later than 12:30 to avoid too much people.
Lisbona – Cervejaria Trinidade
Satisfied for the lunch, we continued our walk until we reached Bordalo Pinheiro, where we took photos to one of the most photographed house: “Ferreira das Tabuletas”, with its wonderful facade of azulejos and enriched with allegorical figures representing the four elements and the seasons; in front of it is the pink coloured theatre “Teatro da Trinidade”.
The next stop was my favourite, the one I loved most: the suggestive church “Convento do Carmo” in Largo do Carmo. In the past it was the most majestic Gothic church in Lisbon, unfortunately destroyed by the earthquake in 1755. What you see today, is what was saved: the three naves without roof. Looking up, you’ll see only arches hanging in the sky: I thinks it’s thanks to this glance the great charm of the church! Inside there’s the Archaeological Museum that tells the history of Lisbon from the Prehistory until the Middle Age.
Opening hours: from Monday to Saturday from 10:00 to 18:00 / 19:00 according to the season
Price (2018): 4 Euro; free until 14. This attraction is included in the Lisboa Card: with this card you’ll pay a discounted entry, that is E. 3,20.
The big surprise for us was to discover that next to the Do Carmo, there’s the end point of the Elevador de Santa Justa! Yes, avoiding the long queue, we were already on the iron footbridge that links the ruins of the church to the Baixa. In the photos the elevator didn’t seem to me so beautiful, but when I saw it live, I relaized to be in front of a great masterpiece realized by an Eiffel’s student, who wanted to build something similar to the French tower in his town. The Eiffel Tour has only a decorative value, while the Elevador has also a functional one, that is to avoid the uphill road from the Baixa, that however we didn’t find so tiresome; you can do it also on foot without problems!
Near the iron footbridge are several tables where you can drink something admiring the great panoramic view over Lisbon. Already from the iron footbridge you can have a nice view over the town, but to have a complete one without grates, you have to go up to the terrace through a small spiral staircase: the view from over there is invaluable, maybe the most beautiful in Lisbon after the one from Sao Jorge’s castle in Alfama. The red roofs of the houses, the light coming from the ocean and the dizzying heights left in my mind a lasting memory.
A little problem: the ticket to take this Elevador costs for tourists E. 2,80, otherwise if you have the Viva Viagem h24, is already included in the daily cost of 6,30 Euro. With this payment however you can only reach the iron footbridge, while to go up to the terrace, you have to pay something more, if I can remember well Euro 1,50 per person. It’s absurd I know! However believe me: it’s worth all this! If you don’t have the Viva Viagem I’d suggest you to go on foot until the iron footbridge (following our path), and with what you spare, can go to the terrace!
A trick:if you don’t have the Viva Viagem and you dont’ feel like walking, there’s another lift in Rua do Carmo, the street behind the Santa Justa (you’d see the Santa Justa from behind). There’s a shop “Ale Hop”: it has inside a lift that takes you up to the church from behind: I saw local poeple taking it, and it’s completely free!
Here we were back to the starting point in Praca Dom Pedro IV, known also as Praca Rossio for its nearness to the station: what impressed me of Prsca Rossio is the peculiar striped and waved floor that seems to give movement to the square. Praca dom Pedro has always been the people’s square ando also today it represents the popular heart of the Baixa of Lisbon. Unfortunately it wasn’t spared to the earthquake of 1755 and all buildings around were destroyed. They were built again later in the Pombal style, from the Prime Minister’s name at the time of Reconstruction: these building are those we see today! The most important palace of the square is the theatre “Teatro Nacional Dona Maria” with a columned porch , while in the centre there’s the statue of Dom Pedro IV, one of the kings of Portugal, 27 metres high, and the Baroc fountains with the bronze mermaids. Right from this square, looking up, you can admire the shape of Convento Do Carmo: amazing!
In the end from Praca Rossio, we walked towards the famous Praca do Comercio through the very long way “Rua Augusta”, that finishes with the arch “Arco Augusto”. It was realized on the base of the models of the great Roman triumph arches and decorated with several effigies, among which is the figure of Pombal: it gives access to the great and squared Praca do Comercio, a side of which is open to the river Tejo.
Praca do Commercio is one of the most beautiful and majestic square in Lisbon, and one of the biggest in Europe, overlooking some elegant administrative buildings belonging to the Colonial period. During sunny days the buildings have very bright and vivid colours, making a contrast with the blue of the sky that gives to the place, together with the light coming from the river, a sense of freedom! In the centre of it is the bronze sculptural complex dedicated to king Jose’ I, realized by one of the most famous artist of the past time: Machado.
In this square you’ll find also locals where to eat something quick, and relax under the warm sun of Lisbon: we tasted the “Paco d’Agua” to eat a maxi toast (divided into two parts because was enormous) and drink two beers for about 12 Euro, but they also offer hamburgers, crepes and salads. Food was very good but kindness wasn’t their strenght and the service quite slow.
WHAT YOU HAVE TO EAT IN THIS AREA:
Along the Rua Augusta you’ll find restaurants, bars and locals where you can taste the famous Pastel de Nata or the Pastel de Bacalau, (fried cod): they’re so delicious! The first is a puff pastry filled with warm cream you can taste to the Fabbrica de Nata, while you see the work process of the cake. The second is a fried cot, not heavy and very crisp you can buy in an ancient and historical local of this central street, Casa Portuguesa Pastel de Bachalau, prepared according to the traditional receipt of 1904: you can’t leave Lisbon without tasting at least one of the two!
At about 18 we reached another attraction from Praca do Comercio in 15 minutes by tram (E15), in spite we were enough tired: Lx Factory, a creative and eccentric district in the heart of the town. Here below you’ll find all useful info for Lx Factory and our visit.
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THE MEANING OF TRAVEL FOR ME
In the last years I follow what Dalai Lama says:” At least once a year go to a place you’ve never been before”.
After years of sufferings and sacrifices, I’ve decided that life is too short and too unpredictable to continue waiting to do what I like and what makes me happy.
I like exploring the world where I live, take photos of it in general but also in its details, film it to hold back those subtle emotions that you could forget over time, and in the end share with you what I’ve seen and felt through my articles.
Travel is for me Love – Freedom – Gratitude
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Sono stata a Lisbona ma non ho ancora visto tutto e nel tuo articolo ho trovato molti spunti spunti interessanti.
Ciao Gabriella, sono contenta di poterti dare qualche spunto nuovo, magari per la prossima volta 😉 grazie mille per la tua recensione!