Bica, Chiado & Bairro Alto

Sweet Lisbon

07 February 2019

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Bica, Chiado & Bairro Alto

Bica is one of the city’s most traditional neighborhoods, known for its small bars and the funicular that runs through it which has been going up and down the hill since 1892.
This tiny neighborhood, surrounded by Chiado, Bairro Alto and Cais do Sodré was founded in 1597, after a land slide. It was firstly inhabited by fishermen and it´s made of narrow streets with stairs and cobbled stones. In here you can find Rua da Bica de Duarte Belo, which is in the top ten of the most beautiful streets in Europe. The name comes from a 17th century water fountain, belonging to a local merchant in the area. At the time, fountains were the chosen local for social meetings. This neighborhood still maintains the original architecture from 17th and 18th century, since it was little affected by the earthquake in 1755.

At the top, in a 5 minute walking distance is Bairro Alto, a quiet residential neighborhood during the day, bohemian center at night, where you’ll find the more alternative design shops, hairdressers, restaurants, etc. At night it’s a new life, with the crowds showing for dinner and bar hopping. The main appeal of Bairro Alto is the diversity it has to offer, of food, people and styles.

To the right of Bica, also 5 minutes walking, well maybe a little more, due to the steep stairs, you’ll find Chiado, the most elegant neighborhood in Lisbon. Most of the buildings are from the 18th century and their facades were preserved after the huge fire in the 80’s that almost destroyed this quarter. It’s also the neighborhood of theaters, charming old bookshops, beautiful churches, giving it a lively cultural ambience.

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