Bairro Alto & Chiado


Lisbon's cultural and bohemian heart; nightlife and shopping mecca

Bairro Alto is a picturesque working class quarter (dating from the 16th century) that has traditionally been the city's bohemian haunt of artists and writers along with Chiado. Its grid of streets is quiet during the day, but at night becomes the city's vibrant nightlife quarter by excellence. Behind colorful facades is a variety of excellent traditional and international restaurants, Fado Houses, and a multitude of sleek bars and stylish alternative fashion shops that stay open until late at night. Throughout the week - and especially on weekends - you'll find people of all ages, backgrounds, and lifestyles bar-hopping through the cobbled lanes or standing outside with a drink in hand enjoying the city's usual mild nights.

The main commercial streets are: Rua do Norte, Rua da Atalaia and Rua do Diário de Noticias, from where it is easy to reach Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara and Miradouro of Santa Catarina (both garden-terraces with a panoramic view over the city), and two of the city's most interesting churches: São Roque with its magnificent baroque interior and the romantic Gothic ruins of Carmo Church.

Neighboring Chiado is an elegant, sophisticated district of theaters, bookshops, old-style cafes, art galeries, art nouveau jewelry shops and luxurious international names such as Hermés and Cartier. All of this turns it in one of the most prestigious spots in the World - according to a worldwide study conducted by an international company in 2005, ranking it in the 9th position, right after the 5th Avenue, New York, U.S.A., Oxford Street, London, U. K. and the Champs Elysees in Paris, France.

You may see for yourself by checking the opulently gilded Tavares Rico Restaurant opened in 1784, taking a look at the fine portuguese porcelain of the Vista Alegre shop, or checking out the boutique of Ana Salazar, one of Portugal's international fashion designers. Much of the area was destroyed in a fire in 1988, but has since been reborn. It remains one of Lisbon's most beloved districts, with reminders of its past as the center of the city's intellectual life, with statues of literary figures such as Fernando Pessoa, Luis de Camões, and Eça de Queiroz.




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