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Lisbon is an old city, and Alfama is its oldest district. This was where Lisbon started, and during the Moorish occupation of Portugal in the 8th century, Alfama constituted the entire city of Lisbon. However, over the centuries, the city slowly grew and spread west. In time, the old houses of Alfama became the residences of fishermen and the poor people of the city.
The powerful earthquake that struck Lisbon in 1755 had mercifully little effect on this neighborhood. And the cobblestone streets and ancient buildings remained more or less intact, giving the neighborhood its historic charm today. During the Portuguese Age of Exploration, Alfama became a notorious district frequented by sailors and criminals. But in a way, this is partly what saved the neighborhood from development. More or less abandoned by the city planners who were busy reconstructing the rest of Lisbon, Alfama stayed just the way it was.
The growth of tourism in the late 20th century was a boon for this historically disadvantaged district. Suddenly, the old buildings, family-owned restaurants, ancient churches, and winding streets were highly desirable. Now, Alfama is one of Lisbon’s most popular areas with tourists. The moment you see it for yourself, you’ll understand why.
As the historic heart of Lisbon, Alfama encapsulates much of what makes the city so charming. This charismatic district is home to many of the city's most important historic buildings. And although nowadays it is geared toward tourists, it's still an extremely atmospheric place to visit.
See the spiritual side of Lisbon at Se Cathedral. The oldest church in the city, this impressive monument, was built in 1147 and has survived earthquakes and the city's reconstruction for nearly a thousand years. The atmospheric interior is the perfect place to take a break from the heat and enjoy some peace and quiet.
Explore Lisbon's secular power at the Sao Jorge Castle. The imposing walls of this fortress date back all the way to the Moorish occupation, and the castle has been pivotal in the history of the city and the country for centuries. An on-site museum will give you a crash course in Portuguese history, and the Castle Hill offers an enviable view over Lisbon.
Pay tribute to some outstanding Portuguese personalities at the National Pantheon. This grand 17th-century building is the final resting place of Portuguese presidents, writers, explorers, and even legendary soccer players.
Treat yourself to some thrills on the number 28 tram as it races through the narrow streets. Running right through central Lisbon, the iconic yellow tram will treat you to some magnificent views of the coast and let you see Lisbon like a local.
Take some time to relax in Alfama's largest square at the Largo das Portas do Sol. Enjoy a stunning view over the rooftops of Lisbon as you sip a cool drink or enjoy a meal, and you'll understand exactly why Alfama remains one of Lisbon's most popular districts.
Terreiro do Paco is the closest Metro station to Alfama. Situated on the south end of the neighborhood next to the water, it is served by line Az.
The number 28 tram runs right through the heart of Alfama. As well as being a convenient way to get around, it's also a tourist attraction in its own right. That means it can get very busy in the summer months, so plan ahead. Tram 12E also serves much of the district.
Bus line 737 winds its way through Alfama's narrow streets from the estuary to the castle. It's a good alternative to the tram in the busy summer months.
As a neighborhood that long predates the car, Alfama was made to be walked around. And today, that's still the best way to experience the unique charm of this historic neighborhood for yourself. However, Lisbon is a hilly city, and climbing Alfama's steep streets in the summer sun can quickly get tiring.
Make things easier on yourself by leaving heavy luggage with a Bounce partner in Alfama. No matter how big your bags are, Bounce can help you find somewhere you can drop them off to be safely looked after. Go see the sights and come back whenever you're ready to pick up your belongings again.
The Fado Museum: Fado is a uniquely Portuguese artform. These traditional songs are hauntingly beautiful, and Alfama is one of the best places in the world to experience them. The Fado Museum in Alfama can help you understand more about the history and traditions wrapped up in this music. But really, the best way to experience it for yourself is to visit a Fado bar. Luckily, Alfama has plenty to choose from. Grab a drink and take in this quintessentially Portuguese tradition.
Belem Tower: The Fado MuseumSee the ancient defenses of the city at the Belem Tower. Built to defend the port in the 16th century, this tower was the point of departure for explorers and profiteers that carried Portuguese culture and influence around the world during the Age of Exploration. Now, the tower allows you to climb the steep stairs up to the roof and enjoy sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean. This historic tower is no place for heavy bags, so make sure you leave yours at a luggage storage facility in Alfama before you visit.
Lisbon aquarium: Take a journey into the sea at the Lisbon aquarium. Located close to the city, this state-of-the-art facility is home to sharks, jellyfish, turtles, and other residents of the deep. Don't miss the regular feedings, and learn more about the aquatic life not just of the Portuguese coastline, but of the whole world. Large bags aren't allowed inside, so be sure to leave yours at a luggage storage shop near Alfama before you go.
Convenient to the Met, which does not allow luggage at coat check. Very easy check in and check out process, with lovely people at the front!
This was so cool!!!! Great service, extremely easy to use, and totally affordable! I didn't know where I'd leave my luggage while we explored San Fran, so I easily Googled luggage storage and found this company. At first it was a little odd dropping my bag off at a chocolate store, but the lady at the register was able to immediately pull up my reservation without any problems and then she put a lock on my suitcase and gave me a card to get it back with. She pushed the bag to the back of their storage room and I came back about 6 hours later to pick it up. Great service, I will definitely be using this again when I travel!
Can’t believe I haven’t used this service until now. So easy & convenient. I 100% recommend.
The price for luggage storage near Alfama is just €5.00/bag for the entire day.
There are multiple locations in the Alfama area which can be booked through the Bounce platform including near Santa Justa Lift, Lisbon Portela Airport, and Rossio railway station and all over Lisbon.
Yes. Every bag is tagged with a security seal and comes with the $10,000 Bounce Guarantee. Every location is required to uphold tight security precautions. You may be asked to show ID and you will be required to use a credit card to book through Bounce in advance. With hundreds of thousands of bags stored, you can count on Bounce to handle your baggage near Alfama.
Yes, there are storage lockers and many other luggage drop off points in the Alfama area. Bounce has multiple luggage storage locations nearby Alfama and in the broader Lisbon area where you can conveniently store your luggage with full security and the $10,000 safekeeping gurantee.
The top-ranked middle to high-range hotels near Alfama are Rossio Garden Hotel, Americano Inn Rossio Hotel, and Residencial Florescente. When traveling on a budget, the best hostels near Alfama are Travellers Home, Living Lounge Hostel, and Pensão Residencial Norte.
The most popular restaurants to visit when near Alfama are Time Out Market Lisboa, Cervejaria Ramiro, and Museu da Cerveja.
Check out the nearby Miradouro da Nossa Senhora do Monte, Edward VII Park, and Lisbon Botanical Garden.
While nearby, you can check out St. George's Castle, Carmo Convent, and House of the Spikes.