Lisbon Rossio Square: Pastelaria Suíça, shoeshine boys, street traders, lottery ticket sellers & begging hands
The beautiful and very popular tourist attraction Rossio Square, the popular name of the Pedro IV Square (Praça de D. Pedro IV), is located in the Pombaline Downtown of Lisbon and has been one of its main squares since the Middle Ages. It has been the setting of popular revolts and celebrations, bullfights and executions. Nowadays Rossio is a preferred meeting place of Lisbon natives and tourists alike and the most congested area for traffic in the city center.
Rossio, December 2008, just around the corner of Pastelaria Suíça, a cafe/restaurant very popular with tourists.
The Rossio Square has been a meeting place for people of Lisbon for centuries. Some of the cafés and shops of the square date from the 18th century, like the Café Nicola, where Barbosa du Bocage , a Portuguese poet, used to meet friends.
Famous Café Nicola, Praça Dom Pedro IV 26 (founded in 1929). It was here that the first Portuguese women dared to break the male stranglehold on cafe-going. Rossio’s cafes are popular for sitting and watching the world go by.
Most locals prefer to sit inside. During World War II this place (Suíça means Switzerland) was the meeting point where those in exile negotiated their tickets to freedom.
Pastelaria Suíça terrace, Praça D. Pedro IV 96/101. Locals appreciate this cafe/restaurant just as much as tourists. The waiters are not always very nice. Being a tourist, be aware of pickpockets: while enjoying a delicious cálice de vinho do Porto (a glass of Port Wine), somebody tried to steel my friend’s bag from under her chair. Happily a friendly waiter warned us just in time! Be aware when you visit touristical attractions and terraces. Nearby you can taste a Ginjinha, a liqueur made of a cherry-like berry, a typical Lisbon spirit.
Street performances (‘living statue’), newspaper vendors, street traders (offering cheap watches or ‘jewellery’), lottery ticket sellers, ‘psssst drugs’ sellers and begging hands……….also some lovely shops, like the unique hatmakers shop Chapelaria Azevedo Rua (opened in 1886)
And, of course, in wintertime, the unmistakeable smell of roasted chestnuts (castanhas assadas)
Lisbon Rossio lottery ticket seller