Alfama, Lisbon is a charming and historic neighborhood that is a must-visit for anyone traveling to Portugal. This picturesque area is known for its narrow streets, colorful buildings, and traditional Fado music. It is also the oldest district in Lisbon, dating back to the Moorish occupation in the 8th century. With so much history and culture to explore, here are 10 things you must visit in Alfama.
1. São Jorge Castle
Perched on top of a hill, São Jorge Castle is one of the most iconic landmarks in Lisbon. This medieval castle dates back to the 11th century and offers stunning views of the city and the Tagus River. Visitors can explore the castle’s walls, towers, and gardens while learning about its rich history. It is also a popular spot for watching the sunset over the city.
2. Sé Cathedral
Located in the heart of Alfama, the Sé Cathedral is a Roman Catholic church that was built in the 12th century. It is one of the oldest and most important churches in Lisbon, with a mix of Romanesque, Gothic, and Baroque architecture. Inside, visitors can admire the beautiful stained glass windows and intricate carvings. The cathedral also houses the Treasury Museum, which displays religious artifacts and treasures.
3. Miradouro das Portas do Sol
For breathtaking views of Alfama and the Tagus River, head to Miradouro das Portas do Sol. This viewpoint is located at the top of Alfama’s hill and offers a panoramic view of the city. It is a popular spot for taking photos and enjoying a drink at one of the nearby cafes.
4. National Pantheon
The National Pantheon is a stunning Baroque church that was originally built as a church for the Order of Saint Francis. Today, it serves as a mausoleum for some of Portugal’s most important figures, including presidents, writers, and singers. Visitors can explore the church’s interior and climb to the top of the dome for a bird’s eye view of Alfama.
5. Fado Museum
Fado is a traditional Portuguese music genre that originated in Alfama. The Fado Museum is dedicated to preserving and promoting this cultural heritage. Visitors can learn about the history of Fado, listen to recordings, and even attend live performances. It is a must-visit for anyone interested in Portuguese music and culture.
6. Feira da Ladra
Feira da Ladra, which translates to “Thieves’ Market,” is a popular flea market held every Tuesday and Saturday in Alfama. Here, you can find a variety of items, from antiques and vintage clothing to souvenirs and handicrafts. It is a great place to pick up unique gifts and souvenirs while experiencing the local market culture.
7. Casa dos Bicos
Casa dos Bicos, also known as the House of Spikes, is a unique building in Alfama that dates back to the 16th century. It is named after its façade, which is covered in diamond-shaped spikes. Today, it houses the José Saramago Foundation, dedicated to the Nobel Prize-winning Portuguese writer. Visitors can explore the museum and learn about Saramago’s life and work.
8. Miradouro de Santa Luzia
Another stunning viewpoint in Alfama is Miradouro de Santa Luzia. This terrace offers a picturesque view of the neighborhood, with its colorful buildings and tiled rooftops. It is also home to a beautiful garden with a fountain and a statue of Saint Luzia. This is a great spot to relax and take in the beauty of Alfama.
9. Museu do Fado
For a deeper understanding of Fado music, visit the Museu do Fado. This museum showcases the history and evolution of Fado, with interactive exhibits and audiovisual displays. Visitors can also see artifacts and memorabilia from famous Fado singers. The museum also hosts live performances and workshops, making it a must-visit for music lovers.
10. Private Tour with Portugal Magik Tours
To truly experience the beauty and history of Alfama, book a private tour with Portugal Magik Tours. This award-winning tour company has been operating in Portugal for over 12 years and offers luxury vehicles and knowledgeable driver/guides. They offer a variety of tours, including a private tour of Alfama, where you can explore the neighborhood’s hidden gems and learn about its fascinating history. Book directly here on their website, https://portugal-magik.com/tour/full-day-best-of-lisbon-highlights-private-tour/ , or contact them by phone at (929) 534-7500 (From USA).
In conclusion, Alfama is a must-visit neighborhood in Lisbon, with its rich history, stunning views, and vibrant culture. From exploring medieval castles to listening to traditional Fado music, there is something for everyone in this charming district. So don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience Alfama’s beauty and book a private tour with Portugal Magik Tours today.