Portugal Bairro Alto District

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Sue Wolfe

About this spot
Bairro Alto (“the upper neighborhood”) is a relatively new neighborhood compared to some of Lisbon’s other districts. It got its start in the 16th century when urban expansion made its way outside the walls of the historical city.

It was popular with merchants and aristocrats early on, but a couple of newspaper offices move in, then bars to serve the journalists who worked late into the night, followed by brothels. Soon Bairro Alto was known for its bohemian lifestyle. The district is quiet during the day but at night it is one of the city’s most vibrant nightlife locations. Behind graffiti-ridden facades you will find restaurants, Fado houses, and a multitude of bars. It has few tourist attractions—but it is a popular place to dine out. There are over 220 family-run restaurants and bars in this compact area.

The Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara is a terraced garden in the Bairro Alto which gives you a panoramic view of the city and Castelo de São Jorge.

Bairro Alto is also home to two of Lisbon’s richest churches—the Igreja de São Roque has the world’s most expensive chapel and Igreja de Santa Catarina’s altar is a beautiful example of gilded art.

Walk around the area to take in the street art—especially along Rua da Vinha, Rua de São Boaventura and Calçada da Glória.

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