Lisbon's oldest district lies on the hill between the Castle and the river. It survived the devastating earthquake of 1755 relatively unscathed due to the firm bedrock on which it sits. The quarter's labyrinth of meandering narrow streets, alleyways and steep flights of steps retain an ancient street plan. Some of the buildings still stand on foundations dating from the times of the Visigoths. It was the Arabs who founded the hodgepodge layout of the district and awarded it the name "Al-hamma", meaning fountains or baths. When designing a replacement Baixa district following the 1755 earthquake Marques de Pombal based it on a geometric grid system. He is reputed to have said when looking upon the Alfama that Lisbon could really do with a second earthquake.
Today it's the old worldly charm of the Alfama that draws the visitors. The best way to experience this district is to get lost (which isn't too difficult), amongst the narrow cobbled, mainly traffic-free streets. Meander underneath hung washing and small archways, take in the sounds of canaries singing from their cages, marvel at the numerous flower pots which compensate for the lack of greenery. As you wander, you're sure to encounter a small square or a terrace (miradouro) from which to admire the city, a Fado bar from which the mournful music emanates and smells of grilled fish or meat cooking. On a cautionary note, be mindful of your wallet and camera. That said, the Alfama offers a glimpse into the past and an old-world cultural experience.
|Santa Apolonia on the Blue Line|
Santa Apolonia Station on the mainline
Trains of Portugal Website
This hidden treasure in the heart of one of Lisbon's most picturesque districts has mastered the art of local integration, offering a truly authentic Lisbon experience with unmatched views of Alfama and Tejo River.
27 Travessa das Merceeiras, Sé, 1100-348 Lisbon. Portugal.
38º 42' 36.8" N | 09º 07' 50.4" W
In the heart of Lisbon and ideally located inside the walls of St. George Castle, the Olissippo Castelo Hotel affords one of the most impressive panoramic views of Lisbon. The hotel is located in the famous Bairro do Castelo, between the well known Mouraria and Alfama quarters; it is also the perfect starting place to discover the Patron Saints Festivities which take place every June.
This special hotel combines the familiar atmosphere with modern technology. Above all, luxurious facilities and exceptional service together with the traditional art of Portuguese hospitality.
112 / 126 Rua Costa do Castelo, 1100-179, Lisbon, Portugal.
38º 42' 41.7" N | 09º 08' 08.7" W
The only hotel within St. George's Castle walls, at the top of Alfama, Solar Do Castelo is a small Mansion built on the site of the former Alcaçova Palace. With two floors and a mansard, an inner courtyard and a garden, most parts of the furniture was specially designed for the hotel in a Medieval Contemporary style. You will find welcoming rooms offering complete modern-day comfort, such as free WiFi access.
2 Rua das Cozinhas (ao Castelo), 1100-181 Lisboa, Portugal
38° 42' 47.5" N | 09° 08' 0.2" W
With an outside seating area under a vine arbour and inside the walls are covered with photos of celebrities. Ideally situated within the centre of the Alfama this popular restaurant has a friendly staff and serves traditional Portuguese and Mediterranean food.
Daily: 12h30 - 02h00
7 Beco São Miguel, 1100-538 Lisboa, Portugal.
40º 44' 30.8" N | 73º 59' 21.5" W | +351 218 881 328
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A pleasant bright little eatery in the Alfama with friendly staff and a homely atmosphere with a book exchange scheme. A cosy lunchtime haunt, with a selection of cakes influenced from the Austrian owner's homeland.
Daily: 11h00 - 22h00
93-95 Rua São João da Praça, 1100-521, Lisboa, Portugal.
38º 42' 34.1" N | 09º 07' 54.4" W | +351 218 862 497
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A reasonably priced atmospheric restaurant offers a selection of national specialities. Situated in a romantic courtyard canopied by leafy vines and lanterns. On certain nights there is a Fado show.
Daily: 12h00 - 15h00/19h00 - 22h30
7-7A Beco Azinhal, Alfama - Lisboa, Portugal.
38º 42' 41.0" N | 09º 07' 42.8" W | +351 218 940 558
|Only 9.7km (six miles) south of Lisbon Portela Airport
GET A GREAT DEAL ON YOUR FLIGHT HERE:
|Take the A1 from the north, A12 from the east, the IP7 from the south and the A36 from the west.
Latitude - 38º 42' 40.3" | Longitude - 09º 07' 39.8"
GET A GREAT DEAL ON YOUR CAR HIRE HERE:
|Urban trains services (comboios urbanos) the Alfama's train station Lisboa Santa Apolónia,
• Linha de Azambuja Timetable
Intercity train services (comboios intercidades)
The closest intercity train staion is Oriente station which also serves intercity trains from both the North and South, including the Alfa Pendular Timetable
Trains of Portugal Website
|The Blue line (Linha Azul) goes to the Alfama (Santa Apolónia) from the city centre: Website|
| Carris bus routes to The Alfama from various areas around the city: Website
• 12E: A circular route starting from the Praça Figueira up past the cathedral and the miradouro Santa Luzia and back again: