Stroll through streets lined with 18th-century buildings and browse designer fashions in Chiado, a charming shopping district in central Lisbon. Visit antique bookshops and cafés that were once meeting places for writers, poets and intellectuals. Chiado is the perfect place to spend a day exploring. Spend the evening in neighboring Bairro Alto, known for its fine dining and exciting nightlife.
Go to Camoes Square, the junction between Bairro Alto and Chiado, to enjoy a pastel de nata (custard tart) outside Café A Brasilera. Get a photo with the bronze statue of poet Fernando Pessoa, who was known to frequent the café along with other academics and writers.
On the Bairro Alto side of Camoes Square you’ll find the São Roque Church and Museum. This deceptively plain building has a rich Baroque interior. One of the chapels features gold and silver, lapis lazuli (a semi-precious stone) and ivory and is said to be one of the most expensive chapels in the world. Next door you’ll find a museum of artworks from the 16th century.
Just up the street at the Cine Teatro Gymnasio you can enjoy the Portuguese folk music known as Fado. Regular performances take place in the evenings.
One of the most prominent architectural features in Chiado is the Carmo Convent. This Gothic church lost its roof during the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. Snap a photograph of the remaining stone arches against a blue sky. Discover religious statues, mosaics, a carved Roman tomb and oddities such as a South American mummy in the convent’s small museum.
For contemporary art and design explore the fashion and design museum MuDe. See pieces from Christian Dior’s famous New Look collection from 1947. Visit the National Museum of Contemporary Art in the Museu do Chiado to see Rodin’s renowned sculpture The Bronze Age.
Head to Rua Garrett for luxury shopping. Stop in at the Ourivesaria Alianca, an elaborately decorated shop open since 1909 that is now a jewelry store.
Get around the center of Lisbon on foot. Move on using the city’s public transportation, including trams, buses and an underground metro system.