Alfama is a quaint, charming, medieval district overflowing with charm. It is the oldest neighbourhood in Lisbon, and the second oldest in Europe. It’s winding, tiled streets survived the earthquake, fire and Tsunami of 1755 and they remain in the same format as before the disaster until this day.
Go for the stunning view points, street art and river views, balconies strewn with hanging laundry and the smell of grilled fish around every corner. Try some authentic Portuguese food and enjoy the ambience of this magical quarter just 5 mins walking from WLFT
Se Cathedral: Built in 1147 shortly after the Portuguese took Lisbon from the Moors.
WHERE: Largo da Se
WHEN: Daily 9am to 7pm
HOW: 6 minute walk from WLFT
Museu do Teatro Romano (Roman Theatre Museum): A throw back to the early 1st century AD when Lisbon was the Roman city of Olisipo, and this site was its 4,000 seat theatre.
WHERE: Rua de São Mamede, nº 3 A
WHEN: Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 6pm
HOW: 7 minute walk from WLFT
1 min walk from the Se Cathedral
Casa Dos Bicos: Behind its façade of diamond-shaped stones lies the personal library of the Nobel Prize-winner for Literature in 1998, José Saramago, one of Portugal’s greatest authors. It also houses an exhibition about his life and work. Outside, under an olive tree, lie his ashes. Built in 1523 by Afonso de Albuquerque, the Portuguese viceroy of India.
WHERE: Rua dos Bacalhoeiros, 10, Alfama
WHEN: Monday – Saturday 10am to 5:30pm
HOW: 10 min walk from WLFT
4 mins walk from Roman Theatre Museum
2 min walk from Praca do Commercio
The Museu do Fado (Fado Museum): Represents one of Portugal’s most important cultural legacies. It explores a musical genre classified as intangible cultural heritage. Examining the artistic and bibliographical careers of dozens of artists and displaying an emblematic painting by the artist José Malhoa, amongst many other references, figures and displays.
WHERE: Largo do Chafariz de Dentro, 1 (Alfama)
WHEN: Tuesday – Sunday 10am to 5:30pm
HOW: 15 min walk from WLFT
5 mins walk from Casa Dos Bicos
Viewpoint Miradouro de Santa Luzia: A romantic viewpoint overlooking the Alfama district and the Tejo River. With a bougainvillea garden and two tile (azulejo = Portuguese tiles) panels. One illustrating the Sao Jorge Castle being taken over from the Moors in 1147, and the other showing Praca Do Commercio before it was destroyed by the earthquake of 1755.
WHERE: Largo de Santa Luzia, Alfama
WHEN: Public viewpoint, always open
HOW: 10 mins walking from WLFT
7 mins walk from the Fado Museum
Viewpoint Largo das Portas do Sol: Meaning the Doors to the Sun. This is the best spot to catch a Sunrise or to sit in one of the kiosks and take in the panoramic view any time of the day. At the center of the viewpoint is a statue of St. Vincent (Lisbon’s patron saint). Order a glass of Vinho Verde (crisp Portuguese, lightly sparkling, white wine) to sip while you edit your insta post.
WHERE: Largo das Portas do Sol, Alfama
WHEN: Public viewpoint, always open
HOW: 12 mins walking from WLFT
1 min walk from Santa Luzia Viewpoint
Museu de Artes Decorativas / Palacio Azurara: Inside the 17th Century Palace of Azurara is the Museum of Decorative Arts, just across the road from the Portas do Sol viewpoint. Here you can view some of the best examples of applied arts from the 17th and 18th century. A common highlight for most people is a stunning 17th century tapestry depicting a parade of Giraffes, oh and the courtyard cafe.
WHERE: Largo das Portas do Sol, 2, Alfama
WHEN: Wednesday to Monday 10am to 5pm (closed Tuesdays)
HOW: 12 minute walk from WLFT
Across the road from Portas do Sol
Sao Vicente de Fora Monastery / Church: Enter through a gate to the right of the façade, and you will find the interior and cloisters are decorated with exceptional 18th-century tiled panels illustrating scenes from LaFontaine’s Fables then head to roof for a stunning view.
The story of this church is not short but lets try, it was built in 1582, to commemorate lives lost in this location during The Crusades in 1147. It was restored after the earthquake in 1855 when it became the resting place for the Bragança dynasty, including Catherine of Bragança, a Portuguese princess who became the Queen of England when she married Charles II, it houses all bodies of the kings from 1640 to 1910.
WHERE: Largo de São Vicente, Alfama
WHEN: Monday to Saturday 9am-8pm. Sundays 9am-12:30pm, then 3pm-5pm
HOW: 20 mins walk from WLFT
10 mins walk from Largo das Portas do Sol viewpoint
National Pantheon: Also known as the Santa Engracia Church, is built on the site of an earlier church that was torn down in 1630, after a man was wrongfully executed there. Legend has it that before dying, he cursed the rebuilding of the church. It did take several centuries to be completed and was only finished in 1966, spooky.
Today it is the National Pantheon, and contains the tombs of several prominent Portuguese figures including presidents, writers, a fado singer, a football player and more.
The building’s interior is covered in beautiful, multicoloured slabs of polished marble and the elegant dome on the roof is one of Lisbon’s most recognisable landmarks. Head up to the terrace for a truly 360 degree view of Lisbon.
WHERE: Campo de Santa Clara, Alfama
WHEN: Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 5pm
HOW: 20 minute walk from WLFT
1 min walk from Sao Vicente de Fora
Castelo de Sao Jorge: The Castelo de Sao Jorge sits on the highest hilltop with the entire city and the river laid out below to see. In 1147 Portugal’s first King Afonso Henriques took the Castle from the Moors. Just 4 years after Portugal was recognised as its own independent kingdom, in 1143.
WHERE: Castelo de S. Jorge, Alfama
WHEN: March to October from 9am – 9pm
November to February 9am – 6pm
HOW: 20 min walk from WLFT
OR 737 bus from Praca Da Figueira