Lisbon: UP THE STEEP COBBLED STREETS OF ALFAMA (2)

Streets of the city were so charming. Although steep and narrow, almost always cobblestoned, they often had elegant mosaics made out of dark stone cuts. Mosaics were frequent – what if I tell you that I went into various metro stations just to see the mosaics? They were so vibrant and colorful, genuine art on the walls!

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Various ceramic tiles’ embedded into walls

And what about small “decorations” like ceramic tiles street and square names, advertisements for shops or cafes, colorful tiles embedded in building walls!

Local, but wordly

Don’t get me wrong, I love European cities, but Lisbon is special, not like any other metropolis in Europe. It contains that local vibe that sometimes make you feel like being in some small fishermen town.

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Metro station mural depicting world explorers

Especially if you are in one of those curvy, steep streets in Alfama district and you cannot see where it goes or that there is a vast square at the end of it. All you see is laundry hanging from small windows, old buildings with plaster peeled off and maybe tram track that curves down along tiny cobbled street.

But than again, you keep walking and you get out to great big square with central statues of Portuguese poets, kings, explorers or generals, huge fountains, restaurants, metro stations, churches and theatres.

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Laundry hanging from windows

There are popular brands, banks, companies you recognize everywhere in Europe, and it’s obvious that this is another European capital in the West.

Small shops and steep streets

One thing that I have noticed (and loved) is the fact that there are shopping malls in the center of the city, but they are often adapted to the city’s architecture. Modest entrances to typical Lisbon buildings with the name tag above the door, and not always those huge shopping centers with glassy walls and enormous revolving doors, stretching on five floors and who knows how many square meters etc.

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Charming buildings’ colors and decorations

Those are all the same – all glass, marble and brass, outside and in. Here, however, somewhat different scenery.

Loved the fact that you can come across small bakery or charming souvenir shop, those specialized in sweets, or bookstores, but also world famous brands and big stores.

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Famous yellow tram

Walking up those narrow streets you even feel isolated. But than again, there is that feeling that you do not know what is yet to come, behind that next curve going steeply up (so much so that you almost touch your chest with your knees). Suddenly, you can be thrown into crowd and the bustle of the city!

Cruising by yellow tram

It is hard to overlook the famous yellow tram that cruises the city. There are lines very practical for tourists to go around, see it all while the tram creaks and turns, hawking to passagers on the street by ringing instead of using a horn.

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Narrow, cobbled streets of the city

By purchasing traffic ticket (all the city’s transport included) for few days or a week, you can hop on and off the tram whenever you see something interesting outside. I even bought a small touristy watercolor painting with yellow tram on it. Well, while in Lisbon, right!

From the square of Mirador of Santa Catarina you can take the so called Bica funicular, one of the area’s means of transport that you will need to use if you want to avoid steep hills. You can also use Elevador de Santa Justa in Ouro Street (the landmark that greeted me to the city, remember!).

Next: STRICT, YET MISCHIEVOUS (3)

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21 thoughts on “Lisbon: UP THE STEEP COBBLED STREETS OF ALFAMA (2)

  1. Pingback: Lisbon: LEGACY OF WORLD DISCOVERIES (1) | Glimpses of The World

  2. I felt like I wrote this post 🙂 Beautiful Lisbon made me feel absolutely the same way. For the first time in my life, a city made me say “I could live here” (other than Antalya). You have anything that you would possibly want.
    I like your writing style so much. And travelling style of course 🙂 Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lisbon is on our bucket list, so thanks for the free tour! I like how you said it has that vibe that makes you feel like being one of the local fishermen – I’ll most certainly remember that when we go visit. When do you reckon is the best month to go?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Was there in November, it was pleasant, sunny, a bit windy. But than again, it’s always windy! 😀 If you want to go to the beach, it’s probably best to go during summer, even though the Ocean is freezing all the time. 😀 Autumn is nice, spring is beautiful!

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  4. I love a place that retains its old world charm despite being modern. And it looks like Lisbon fits this list of places! I’m amazed by the fact that even malls are designed to go with the traditional architecture. And the yellow tram looks too cute. Thanks for sharing this wonderful side of this capital city.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Last week I was staying with a friend in Warsaw, Poland who could not stop talking about how much he loved Lisbon. While I’d love to visit, it isn’t on the top of my list of must-see places, though with his stories and your pics (I love public art, architectural elements, mosaics etc.) I must read up some more about it and see if I can make it work on my next trip to Europe.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lisbon’s historic downtown area including Alfama, Baixa, Chiado, Bairro Alto and Cais do Sodre are amazing areas to enjoy Lisboa at its best, all within walking distance to each other. Could not agree more!

    To visit Alfama in particular and get the fisherman feel, visit Lisboa during the festival of St. Antonio, the patron of our city. The main days are 12./13. of June but don’t worry if you just miss it. There is mini festivals to honour St. Antonio in the streets of Alfama throughout June.
    Don’t forget to listen to some Fado or explore the Fado museum in Alfama to understand why Fado was created by woman waiting for their fisherman to return.
    Cais do Sodre is on the other side of our Praca do Commercial and has an exquisite fish market at time out market and I nearly forgot in April Praca do Commercio hosts a seafood market with some cooking every year. Now I really want to have some seafood for lunch 😉

    Enjoy Lisboa!

    Liked by 1 person

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