Alfama, the traditional district where Lisbon soul resides

Go to Alfama and try a typical dish in one of its pubs to the sound of fado


Alfama is not only the oldest and the most typical district of Lisbon, but also, the second oldest in Europe following El Pópulo in Cadiz. Currently Alfama covers a part of the parish of Santa Maria Maior and the other parish St. Vincent. Alfama derives from the Arabic name al-hamma, which means baths or fountains. It can be said that this is a kind of village in the middle of the capital, famous not only for its picturesque and traditional appearance, but because it has a relatively small and closed community. It is also a relic of the era that preceded the 1755 earthquake.


This is a district that spreads through streets and alleys, in a web of charming corners where the eyes get lost in colorful clothes stuck in the rails and the magnificent views of the Tagus. Fado can be heard in every corner, coming out of one of the typical local pubs, that spread over Alfama, but also the air feels the smell of roasted fish. It is also worth noticing the tile panels, which are spread throughout the neighborhood.


The most typical neighborhood of Lisbon offers more to do than wander around the streets and eat in a typical restaurant. On the belvederes of Portas do Sol and Santa Luzia the views are breathtaking. On top of Alfama there is the famous  Castelo de São Jorge, which is essential to visit in a trip to Lisbon. In addition to the iconic castle, the main monuments of the Alfama district is the Cathedral, the Church of St. Stephen and the Monastery of São Vicente de Fora.


Life in Alfama continues as a few centuries ago. This district, which is often visited by Portuguese and foreign tourists, is considered the safest of the entire city. It is not only known for its restaurants and fado houses, but also for the festival celebration of the famous Santos Populares, especially on the night of St. Anthony, which takes place from 12 to 13 June.