5 reasons to fall in love with Bairro Alto

We love our corner of Lisbon.  Bairro Alto has a charm of its own that makes it feel special and unique.  It’s partly to do with geography – perched as we are at the top of one of Lisbon’s seven hills – but it’s also down to history; that wonderful old-worldliness that comes from being one of the oldest neigbourhoods in Lisbon.  And of course it’s all about the people.  Bairro Alto is a strange (but wonderful) mix of an older generation who have lived here for years and a much younger generation of incoming artists and creatives.  The traditional and the bohemian living side by side; it shouldn’t really work, but it does.  Beautifully.

Our visitors love this little corner of Lisbon too.  For lots of reasons, but we have tried to whittle it down to the top 5.  So, here goes; the top 5 reasons to fall in love with Bairro Alto:


1. The view.  Bairro Alto’s position at the top of the hill means the views are fantastic.  The most famous one is directly opposite The Lumiares at the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcãntara and the crowds flock here in the summer to take a look.  But our favourite viewpoint – and yes, we’re biased! – is from the Lumni rooftop bar where you can enjoy Lisbon’s rich tapestry with a very delicious cocktail in hand…

2.  The alleyways.  Yes, we know that sounds strange but think Harry Potter and Diagon Alley and you’ll get the picture.  Bairro Alto’s  cobbled alleyways, strung with colourful banners and framed by Juliette balconies and pink and ochre walls,  are famous for one particular reason; during the day they are sleepy and laid back – you can shop at the gorgeous little boutiques or have a quiet snack at a lunchtime cafe – but at night everything transforms.   Shutters are thrown  back and as if by magic dozens of restaurants and bars materialize; all absolutely tiny, so patrons have to spill out on to the street.  Never fear though, if you are staying at Lumi, the sound proofing means you won’t hear a thing once you decide to turn in for the night!bairro_alto_alleyway


3.  The food (and drink!).  We are incredibly lucky to have some of the best restaurants and bars in Lisbon right on our doorstep.  Take a look at our favourites on the blog…Our top ten (and a bit!) places to eat in the neighbourhood  bairro_alto_restaurant_menu

4.  The shops.  Again, some of the best shops in Lisbon are well within walking distance; everything from one-off boutiques and vintage stores to specialist shops selling Portuguese wares of ceramics and perfumes, shoes and chocolate,  jewellery, gloves and hats – unique and hand-made gifts that you simply wouldn’t find anywhere else.  See our top ten….Our Top 10 Favourite Shops in the Neighbourhood


Os Chapeleiros, Rua da Rosa 181

5.  The hub.  Bairro Alto lies at the beating heart  of historic Lisbon – hence you can walk to all those fab restaurants and shops (see above).  But you can also stroll to museums and art galleries  or if you fancy heading out for the day there are two train stations round the corner which will take you to Belém or Sintra or the beaches of Estoril and Cascais (you can be on the beach within forty minutes!)  And then of course there is The Gloria Funicular (a National Monument no less); where else can you step back in time and climb aboard a centenarian tram to take you downtown?




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