Alfama, Lisbon’s oldest, picturesque neighbourhood & history

Alfama is certainly the most famous historic and oldest neighborhood in Lisbon.

Alfma near Feira da Ladra azulejos

Beautiful azulejos (ancient tiles), Beco dos Loios, near Feira de Ladra (thieves market).

Alfama miradouro Tagus

Miradouro St. Luzia, famous viewpoint halfway between Sé Cathedral and the Castelo Sao Jorge.

Nearby: viewpoint (miradouro) Portas do Sol

Tram electrico 28 Alfama

Alfama famous tram ‘electrico 28’

A ‘must do’ and cheap Lisbon attraction.This legendary tram is a tourist attraction in itself. It goes all around town and you can ‘hop on hop off’.

Alfama history fado restaurants

Square near the Fado Museum, Largo do Chafariz de Dentro, a lot of small fado restaurants

Alfma is a narrowed maze of streets, nowadays with many fado restaurants  and picturesque houses. The name Alfama originates from the Arabic word Al-Hamma meaning ‘fountains’ or ‘baths’. The area contains many important historical attractions.

Alfama Chafiraz del Rei from 1747

Chafiraz d’ El Rei, a palace built in 1747, for many years a pigeons’ home.

Nowadays this beautiful building is restored into a romantic hotel with grandeur

Alfama June 2008

After the Mourish domination (7-12 century), Alfama became inhabited by the fishermen and the poor, and the neighborhood of the poor continues to this day.

Alfama history

In the 19th C. Alfama was a gloomy, dirty and depressing area as a result of unhealthy living conditions. Today the poorer classes continue to live here, mainly in houses in need of renovation. Insufficient heating and draughty walls ensure poor living conditions, especially in wintertime.

Alfama History old people

At present some of the houses are being renovated.

Alfama history old houses

…..more about Alfama…and street guide

Lisbon 2006 Alfama overview

22 Responses to “Alfama, Lisbon’s oldest, picturesque neighbourhood & history”

  1. I adore Alfama. I manage to get lost there every time I go and always discover interesting places as a result 🙂

  2. […] Lisbon, pastelaria (cafe) ’O trenta e um (31) , Alfama. […]

  3. […] nearby  Alfama historical centre […]

  4. […] International trains arrive in Lisbon every day, mainly to Santa Apolónia Station and to the Gare do Oriente. Estação Santa Apolónia, opened on May 1st 1865, is the oldest railway terminus in Lisbon, situated in the city’s central part on the bank of the Tagus river in the historical district of Alfama. […]

  5. […] her career in Mouraria where she grew up and performed many times in bar ANOS 60. Together with Alfama, the area is a muddle of very narrow streets and small squares, which gives the visitor a glimpse […]

  6. […] close to the historic Alfama neighborhood, a very nice street to walk around at Lisbon’ city center is Rua dos […]

  7. […] Alfama. This tram is increasingly as popular with pickpockets as it is with tourists. […]

  8. […] wonderful old house with three floors in historic Alfama is an excellent location to spend a perfect holiday in the heart of historic Lisbon. The owner is […]

  9. […] Alfama. This street is close to the legendary Feira da Ladra (’thieves market’) […]

  10. […] The trips are organised by Transtejo, starting at Praça do Comércio ferry terminal, at the foot of the hill dominated by the Castle of São Jorge (Castle of Saint George) and the historical neighborhood Alfama. […]

  11. […] view on the Alfama, the oldest district of […]

  12. […] huis te huur, op een gunstig plekje (Beco da Lapa) in de historische wijk Alfama, dichtbij de vele culturele attracties van Lissabon en  (fado) restaurantjes. Kasteel São George […]

  13. […] small but very charming 300 years old house is situated in a quiet area of  Alfama, one of the most popular neighbourhoods of Lisbon. Nicely renovated (3 floors, a maximum of 5 […]

  14. […] Alfama, at lunch time (almoço). The most famous historic and oldest neighborhood in Lisbon.  I manage to get lost every time I walk there…! It’s still like a kasbah, this labyrinth of lanes (becos) paved with pebbles, tiny alleys, steps, arches, courtyards and small squares. Houses, shouldering each other, with tiles (azulejos) and wrought iron balconies with lazy cats, birds in cages and sometimes a sleeping dog…. […]

  15. […] The name Alfama originates from the Arabic El Hamma and means something like ‘fountains’ or ‘baths’. The area contains many important historical attractions More….. […]

  16. […] famous flea market Feira da Ladra .  The Moorish influence is still present in Alfama and in Mouraria, where the Moors kept on living in the city after the conquist and gathered in […]

  17. […] António was born in 1195 in Lisbon’s oldest neighborhood Alfama, where the small church of Santo António da Sé now stands. Young people write letters asking him […]

  18. […] with Alfama, the Mouraria area is a muddle of very narrow streets and small squares, which gives the visitor a […]

  19. […] Miradouro de Santa Luzia is a very popular look-out point from the Alfama area of Lisbon, next to the Santa Luzia Church. Various small gardens along the edge of the walkway […]

  20. […] is a maze of little, narrow streets, situated between Graça (beautiful city viewpoint), Alfama and Costa de Castelo  (Castle of Saint George) is nowadays a ‘multiculti’ […]

  21. […] Alfama is the most famous historic and oldest neighborhood in Lisbon, a narrowed maze of  tiny streets and stairs. Together with the nearby district Mouraria ( ‘where the Moors live’) the oldest areas in Lisbon. Nowadays the Moorish influence is still present. […]

  22. […] de Sao Jorge – Castle of St. George Alfama – The oldest part of Lisbon Se (Cathedral) – first church in Lisbon Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Museum The Bairro Alto […]

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