From EUR 190
The Baixa district boasts of the grandeur that Portugal once commanded, with wide avenues and magnificent squares. The area was completely rebuilt after the 1755 earthquake and was one of the first cities to follow a grid plan street layout. Baixa is the heart of Lisbon and is where many of the capital’s finest tourist attractions are located.
Our Lisbon Iconic Neighbourhoods tour begins from the Praça Dom Pedro IV square, which is regarded by many Portuguese as the centre of their city. The Praça Dom Pedro IV is a prime example of the Marquis of Pombal vision for the entire area of Baixa with wide open spaces with grand monuments and buildings.
Praça Dom Pedro IV or more commonly know as Rossio is famous for its nauseating wave pattern stone paving which stretches the length of the square.
Along Rua das Portas de Santo Antao is the liveliest area of Baixa during the night as the restaurant swell catering for hungry tourists and the Portuguese attend the shows in the theatres.
Within the district of Baixa there is a unique blend of specialist shops with few large brand stores, this is thanks to the council of Lisbon which protected the price of rents. The control of rents has allowed the preservation of many small family businesses, some of which have been owned by the same families for generations. These stores line the 5 streets that lead south in Baixa selling many traditional produce of Portugal.
Lisbon Iconic Neighbourhoods walking tour continues by heeding south from Praça Dom Pedro IV along the pedestrian street of Rua Augusta. This street has numerous open air cafes and street artists selling their wares. Leading off to the right is the Elevator de Santa Justa designed by Raul Mesnier de Ponsard an apprentice of Eiffel, who build the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
The Arco da Rua Augusta enters on to the the most import square of Lisbon, the Praça do Comercio, this was the old commercial hub of Lisbon; were sailors traded their exploits from the new world and arrange finances for further voyages. Many of the cross streets are closed to traffic, making window-shopping more enjoyable.
The western part of this grid of streets is known as the Chiado. It’s the city’s most sophisticated shopping district. In 1988, a devastating fire swept the area, destroying many shops, particularly those on the periphery of Rua Garrett. The area has bounced back with vigor.
Bairro Alto by day appears shabby blighted by graffiti and the neighborhood may be best known for its nightlife nowadays, but making our way through the winding streets we’ll uncover how many of its historic buildings hold the key to understanding Lisbon’s past. 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 like Carmo Convent.