The beautiful and very popular tourist attraction Rossio Square, the popular name of the Pedro IV Square (Praça de D. Pedro IV), has been the setting of popular revolts and celebrations, bullfights and executions.
Nowadays Rossio square is a preferred meeting place of Lisbon natives and tourists alike and the most congested area for traffic in the city center.
Rossio Square Lisbon
This 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.
UPDATE September 1, 2018
On August 31, 2018 Pastelaria Suiça – a veritable symbol of Rossio – closed its doors forever. It is said a 5 star hotel will be built here ..
Pastelaria Suíça was a traditional Portuguese cafe/restaurant, famous for its huge variety of delicious cakes and pastries.
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.
Be aware of pickpockets
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