Districts of Lisbon
ALFAMA & GRACA
Alfama is like a small village within the walls of the capital. It is the oldest district. It starts at the Castle until down to the hill near the Tagus. Alfama appeared when the city was occupied by the Moors, this the reason why some sections of the district highly remind a medina, with the narrow streets.
Inhabitants : This district has a working-class background, where live together retired persons, working-class families, young people, single people, artists… It’s a charming district thanks to its countryside look and friendly environment. This district is popular for tourists.
Positive aspects : It’s a charming district where a feeling of authenticity remains. At the real estate level, interesting deals can be made especially for restoration projects. Many properties benefit from a view on the river. The most interesting streets can be found in the area of the Cathedrale Sé de Lisboa.
Distinctive features to consider : Parking can be difficult unless owning a garage. Some streets are not accessible by car.
This district is distinguished by its large avenues, some of them tree filed. Here, buildings are more recent, where beautiful architectural buildings stand alongside with even more recent building that present less interest. The particularity of this district is that houses and offices can both be found. Among the many monuments this district counts, the Arenas (Campo Pequeno) is the most famous one.
Inhabitants : The neighborhood is rather populated with wealthy people and families and upper middle class.
Positive aspects : The apartments are generally spacious. The area has a very well public transport links and is surrounded by many small shops. The neighborhood is very close to the El Corte Ingles department store.
Distinctive features to consider : The district is very busy, with a large car traffic. Prices per square on recent properties with high potential and cachet are high.
Bairro Alto is where night persons and students meet, a neighborhood to have dinner, to have a drink… The district is full of bars and restaurants and is very frequented between Thursday and Saturday nights especially. Nearby are also the district of Bica and Santa Catarina, smaller and much more residential.
Inhabitants : The neighborhood is populated by retired persons, artists, immigrants…
Positive aspects : Bairro Alto benefits from a very central localization, just a short walk away from the Chiado and very close to the Baixa below. It includes a lot of restaurants from all types and prestigious ones.
Distinctive features to consider : A neighborhood where the party is daily present, this district offers the inconvenient of being very noisy at night, sometimes the lack of cleanliness can be observed (especially on Sunday mornings). This district is not for those who are looking for quietness and calm.
The Chiado district is adjacent to the Bairro Alto. It is a really different neighborhood, since it used to be the richest part of Lisbon back in time. Some symbolic monuments are situated in the Chiado: Convento do Carmo, the Teatro Nacional de São Carlos (opera)… and several churches. After the tragic fire of 1988 which destroyed several entire streets, this neighborhood was rebuild and counts nowadays with a commercial area of quality. The district is composed of buildings most of them highly renovated or rebuild with character. There, we can find apartments enjoying a breathtaking view on the Tagus. The Chiado is known for its shops, coffees, Theaters, its good restaurants. It is one of the district where property prices are the highest in Lisbon.
Inhabitants : Some retired persons but mostly upper classes and foreigners.
Positive aspects : The Chiado has a really good transport links (including the subway). It offers a cultural and dynamic life. Many cultural attractions.
Distinctive features to consider : Parking is quite difficult in this neighborhood.
Baixa is the really centre of Lisbon. This part of the town is the most representative of the Marquis of Pombal work with squared streets. The Baixa includes the most beautiful squares of Lisbon, Praça do Comércio, Praça da Figueira, Praça D Pedro V (usually named Rossio) and of course Praça dos Restauradores. The neighborhood is basically a commercial zone, a real open-air shopping center, where it is very pleasant to shop. Characteristics: Streets organized in quartering, with uncountable restaurants, coffees and shops from all kind, but also banks and hotels. It is a really touristic neighborhood but mostly a really living district.
Inhabitants : The Baixa doesn’t count with many inhabitants, since it has always been really commercial. However, since the city is being renovated, there a more and more housing buildings. It is a changing neighborhood.
Positive aspects : The buildings and apartments are generally spacious, living there means being close to everything.
Distinctive features to consider : Parking there is quite difficult (unless having a garage), the neighborhood is noisy during the day. However, it turns more peaceful at night after the closing of shops.
BELÉM & RESTELO
The district of Belém is far from the city center. It is where the Torre de Belém and Mosteiros dos Jerónimos are located, two of the most famous architectural monuments of Lisbon. Apart from its rich heritage, Belém enjoys from its closeness to the Tagus, perfect to go for a walk along the quays, as well as large green spaces. There are residential neighborhoods, especially neighborhoods of individual houses, many of which have gardens. Further up towards the Restelo, huge mansions can be found, where are mostly located Embassies. Today, these two neighborhoods have many luxury residences, enjoying an exceptional view of the Tagus.
Inhabitants : Rather middle-class and upper-class in Belem towards the Tagus, and upper-class or high upper classes in Restelo.
Positive aspects : Belém and the Restelo (at least the more residential parts) are calm and quiet and count a lot of green areas.
Distinctive features to consider : This part of Lisbon is relatively out of the city and is not linked by the metro. Public transport is provided by the bus and tram network. The prices in Restelo are high, Belém is very touristic (especially the part around the main monuments).
PARQUE DAS NAÇÕES - EXPO
This district was almost completely recreated after the Universal Exposition of 1998 in Lisbon. Here, there were many industrial settlements and petrochemical complex, which led to one of the most ambitious project of urban development in Europe, after a colossal construction site. Nowadays, Expo is a residential neighborhood but also a business one, where many public services and corporate headquarters are gathered. Now it is a district characterized by a very contemporary architecture, modern apartments, spacious, generally bright and well furnished. The district has a frontline on the estuary of the Tagus.
Inhabitants : Upper middle classes in activity, quite wealthy.
Positive aspects : The district is well connected, near the airport. The urban planning has been defined globally, with several greenspaces, at the edge of the river. Parking is relatively easy. The district has a large shopping center with a hypermarket and all services.
Distinctive features to consider : The neighborhood is far from the Historical Center of Lisbon. The district doesn’t reflects the typical atmosphere from the town nor its charm.
The hill where the Principe Real is situated overlooks the Avenida da Liberdade from one side and the Bairro Alto and the Estrela district on the other site. The neighborhood is full of charm and authenticity. It is mostly known for its beautiful buildings and specific hotels. Some apartments have an impressive view over Lisbon and the Tagus. It is a popular neighborhood among the foreigners and mostly French people. Today, it offers many trendy shops and trendy restaurants.
Inhabitants : The neighborhood is quite diversified. However, more and more, this neighborhood is being populated by wealthy people and foreigners.
Positive aspects : The district is quite calm and has quite beautiful gardens encouraging you to go for a walk. The neighborhood is very well situated according to the Historical Center and is well connected by buses mostly.
Distinctive features to consider : The neighborhood is expensive per square meter for purchase, because it is very requested. The renting is not that cheap also. Access by car is difficult especially for parking. Therefore, a garage needs to be provided, which increases the prices of the properties offering this option.
SANTOS & LAPA
The districts of Santos and Lapa are neighbors. On the lower part of the hill, Santos extends along the river. Over the years, this district has filled with shops of design, decorating and furniture. Lapa, on the other hand, is located on the higher part of the hill and is a complete residential neighborhood. There are many specific hotels and beautiful wealthy buildings. Many Embassies are in Lapa, as long as the Parliament and the Official Residence of the Portuguese Prime Minister.
Inhabitants : Santos is quite populated with upper middle classes, whereas Lapa is composed of more old families of Lisbon, wealthy for some. It is a traditional neighborhood.
Positive aspects : The 2 districts are very residential and so calm. While Santos is under renovation, Lapa offers more luxurious habitations.
Distinctive features to consider : Parking is not easy, and the two neighborhoods are not connected with the metro. For the prices, Lapa is expensive per square.
CAMPO DE OURIQUE
It’s a residential area, with several traditional shops nearby making it a living neighborhood, representing the urban way of life from Lisbon. The housings are mostly composed by buildings, built around a grid of streets. This neighborhood is near the Amoreiras district.
Inhabitants : The population is evolving. Nowadays, Campo de Ourique is inhabited by wealthy families, but also young couples. The proximity with the French Highschool of Lisbon makes that many French moved in.
Positive aspects : The Market of Campo de Ourique is famous in the whole city. The neighborhood has a large offer in shops, which gives it an undeniable quality of life. There are beautiful renovated buildings, some luxurious residences in construction or in the market.
Distinctive features to consider : The metro doesn’t go to Campo de Ourique, and parking there can be difficult. It’s important to know that the neighborhood is flown over by planes landing in Lisbon.