The Bairro Alto appears as an intricate maze of narrow lanes. During the day it is always crowded by people hanging around in shops and cafés, while at night the numerous pubs provide all sorts of entertainment.
To get to Bairro you can take the ascensor da Gloria from Praça dos Restauradores to Rua de São Pedro de Alcântara with its homonymous miradouro, or the elévador de Santa Justa, which starts from the Baixa and rise to Largo do Carmo, passing by the fascinating open air ruins of the Igreja do Carmo.
This small church was almost entirely destroyed by the earthquake of 1755. Inside the convent adjacent to the church stands the archaeological museum, which hosts works from prehistory to the Middle Age.
The Bairro Alto has lived two lives: born as a borough for merchants during the age of discoveries, it turned into the headquarter of the major national newspapers in the 19th century, and again into a gangster district in the hands of local criminality.
Today the Bairro Alto represents a very fashionable district, full of bars, restaurants, discos, fado clubs, tascas and ... some brothels. It is also considered an alternative district, hosting cultural initiatives, performances, avant-garde structures, fashion ateliers and gay clubs.
Both the Bairro and Chiado are full of second-hand book stores and antique shops.
For a relaxing stop you should go to the botanic garden, Jardim Botânico, with plants from all over the world. The entrance from the Bairro Alto is next to the faculty of sciences of the university of Lisbon, while the lower entrance is from Avenida da Libertade.
South of the Bairro Alto:
Going back toward the river you can take the ascensor da Bica descending Rua do Loreto until Rua de São Paulo: in a couple of minutes you will get to Cais do Sodré station, passing by the Ribeira Market, an indoor building which hosts the food market on the ground floor, and a series of craftsman shops on the first floor.
Along the river, toward west, the dock area begins. This place was the old headquarter of warehouses, but thanks to a recovery and restoration project, it has been converted into a fashionable area, with pubs and restaurants. Further on lie the museum of Alcântara and the museum of Belém.
On the opposite bank of river Tejo stands out the statue of Cristo Rei.
The statue measures 110 mt from the ground, and is visible from any part of the city.
It was built in 1959 as an imitation of the famous statue in Rio de Janeiro.
Mercado da Ribeira
Avenida 24 de Julho
Jardim Botânico/Museu Nacional de História Natural
Rua da Escola Politecnica, 58
Winter opening time: 9 am-18 pm (entrance from Rua da Alegria closed by 17 pm); Saturday and public holidays: 10 am-18 pm (entrance from Rua da Alegria is closed). Summer opening time: 9 am-20 pm (entrance from Rua da Alegria closed by 18 pm); Saturday and public holidays: 10 am-20 pm (entrance from Rua da Alegria is closed).
Full ticket: Euro 1,50
Half rate ticket (for students, adults over 65, Young Card holders): Euro 0,75
Free admission for kids under 6.