Lisbon’s best attractions: Alfama

Nuno Caetano

Licensed Broker


One of Lisbon’s Best Attractions

Alfama is one of the oldest and most emblematic neighborhoods of Lisbon, having survived the great earthquake in 1755.

Alfama is Lisbon’s oldest neighborhood, spreading on the slope between the São Jorge Castle and the Tejo River.

Alfama is one of the most authentic and historical neighborhoods of all times, and its special architecture expresses that so intensely and spiritually that visitors are overcome with emotion.

It stands as a time capsule to the years before the 1755 earthquake that destroyed much of Lisbon, and thus conserves many traits of its Visigothic roots, Arabic influence and fishing port heritage, making it a magical district all year round, and a true pleasure to wander around.

Through “becos” (alleys) and “largos” (small squares), let yourself go and surrender to the feelings and enchant of this labyrinth space where you will always be welcomed with a warm smile and a friendly face. Don’t forget to wear very comfortable footwear to climb the many hills!

Alfama is a delightful maze of narrow streets, picturesque colorful houses and churches, with a unique charm and genuinely friendly atmosphere. Full of history, sights, views, cafés and restaurants, Alfama has always been the inspiration for Fado songs (Portugal’s traditional and most popular music).

When living in Lisbon, spending a night at a “Casa de Fado” or Fado restaurant is an essential experience and Alfama, cradle of Fado, is the ideal place to come in the evening to hear the traditional melancholy Portuguese singing at its purest.

Fado houses such as Casa de Linhares or Pateo de Alfama are sites of excellence to enjoy a candlelit dinner, accompanied by songs you’ll understand even without speaking the language.

Above and surrounding Alfama is the hill of São Jorge’s castle, and the cathedral (the Sé) is about halfway up. Both are incredible choices for sightseeing. The view from S. Jorge Castle is the most impressive in the capital.

From the S. Jorge Castle you can see almost every part of Lisbon, and the Tagus River walking side by side with the city. S. Jorge Castle dominates the skyline of Lisbon and offers unprecedented and stunning views of the city.

BY: Nuno Caetano