The Alfama

The Alfama

Alfama is the oldest city district, the former center of the Moorish Lisbon. Old buildings of historical significance are located here. Alfama was inhabited by Romans and Visigoths, and in the 15th century it was also known as the Jewish Quarter. However, the Moors changed the name and the energy of this place. The fountains and springs found in the area influenced the name itself. The word Alfama comes from the Arabic "ạlḥmẗ" which means "hot fountains" or "baths". Alfama used to be mostly inhabited by fishermen and was considered a poor area.

The earthquake that hit Lisbon in the 18th century did not damage Alfama. Narrow streets, cobblestones, small squares, churches and old architecture are still there today. The old spirit of Lisbon has been preserved, and restaurants have been added where you can hear the characteristic sounds of Portugal, and melancholic music - Fado and eat the best prepared seafood. The facades of the old houses have been renovated but are still in a style befitting this part, with authentic decorations and tiles, wrought iron balconies and flower pots full of flowers. From some of the houses under the castle, hotels have emerged that are among the most visited hotels in Lisbon. You will also find various shops here.

The historically and touristically famous yellow tram 28 passes through Alfama and takes you to the famous castle of São Jorge (Saint George) and to all the parts that should be seen here. That is why it is recommended to take a daily ticket and take tram 28 to visit every part of Alfama. If you are a fan of hiking, take a breath and get ready to climb the hill to discover all the charms of this part of town. But the best option is to take tram 28 to the castle that is at the top, and then go down the street and thus discover every corner of Alfama.

The whole Alfama is in steep streets and slopes, but that is exactly why there are beautiful lookouts here with the most beautiful views of the city. A very charming and romantic area, the unique spirit of Portugal and its Lisbon. Frequent inspiration for poets and writers, especially for Fado songs. Alfama defies modern times, jealously guards its most beautiful side and invites you to step in and feel its medieval cobblestones and experience the history of this city!

Attractions in Alfama that you can see: St. George's Castle, Tile Museum, Church of Sao Vicente de Fora and several other churches, cathedrals, Fado Museum, Military Museum, Museum of Decorative Arts, Roman Theater, National Pantheon, Casa do Bicos.

We recommend that you make sure to stop at the lookouts of Portas do Sol and Graca, Santa Luiza.

Author of the text:

Maja Glavaš, Bachelor with Honours in Communicology. Works in Tourism.
Contact: [email protected]; instagram: travel_europe1

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