Alfama is the oldest district of Lisbon and is a charming maze of narrow winding streets, which lead from the river uphill to the castle. Contained within this ancient district there are some of Lisbon’s most historically important buildings including the Se Cathedral and Lisbon Castle. But the real charisma comes from relatively untouched district itself revealing the best of Lisbon’s traditional restaurants, architecture and markets.
Memmo Alfama – A member of the design hotel group, this is one of the only hotels in this old town taking advantage of the steep hills for an unparalleled view of the ancient rooftops down to the sea. The walls of glass and clean lines sits within the crumbling original stone, building an ideal design fusion. The breakfast is a wide range of deliciousness but the location creates the perfection, we ate on the terrace admiring the scene. Rooms start from £200.
Rua de S.Miguel – Walk down this narrow cobbled path to find dozens of long-established traditional restaurants, decorated in colourful garlands. My favourites are: Pateo 13, Restaurante Trigo Latino and Fado Maior.
Alfama – Leave a few hours to get lost and discover the beauty in the architecture. My advice, save your legs and start at the top of the hill and walk down to the bottom towards to river. You can also get the tram but they do get very busy.
Feira da Ladra – This flea market in Campo de Santa Clara literally translates as the ‘thieves fair’ and is the oldest, largest and the most vibrant flea market in Lisbon. I arrived around 11am and it was buzzing, I wandered around aimlessly just taking in all the different stalls selling antiques, piles of second hand clothes, tones of tiles and art. I bought a screen print from a local artist for 20 euros, amazing! It took all my strength to withhold from buying the azulejo tiles. Markets open on Tuesdays and Saturdays 6am-2pm.