Here you’ll find travel reports about Chiado. Discover travel destinations in Portugal of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

14 travelers at this place:

  • Day31

    Day 31: Exploring Lisbon

    March 18, 2017 in Portugal

    Exploration time! Out of the house at a reasonably decent time, and caught the bus into the city centre. Lisbon is very spread out along the waterfront, and the main downtown and oldest areas were several kilometres east of us. The bus took about 20 minutes where we alighted at the Praça do Comercio, the main square on the waterfront. Hundreds of Boy Scouts around for some reason, I guess they're having one of their gatherings!

    Checked out the statues nearby and the waterfront itself, before we walked further east into the Alfama district. This is the only part of the old city that actually survived the earthquake of 1755 (I should mention that modern estimates put it at 8.5-9 on the Richter scale, that approx 45,000 of 200,000 residents perished, and 85% of the buildings were destroyed). But the Alfama is the old Islamic district that partly survived, so it was interesting to walk around.

    Very different from the rest of the downtown, with narrow windy streets going off in random directions, unlike the main area which felt very Parisian with wider boulevards. Also a lot of use of vertical space - Lisbon is very hilly so there were steps, ramps and little bridges everywhere making navigating a bit difficult.

    Stopped at a nice-looking restaurant for lunch where the staff very kindly moved us a table to the spare front entrance so that we could sit with Schnitzel. Shandos had bacolod, a local speciality made from codfish. Wandered up to the main cathedral where we took turns waiting outside while the other visited. Thought I witnessed a miracle when a young boy in a wheelchair spotted Schnitzel, stood up and walked gingerly over to pat him, but then his broken-legged older brother hopped over and reclaimed his chair! Alas.

    The cathedral was another building which had survived the earthquake with only minor damage, but it didn't particularly grab either of us. Very picturesque exterior though, set on a hillside with old-style trams constantly rumbling past. Tram number 28 is the "tourist tram" which basically does a lap of the main tourist sites.

    We decided against doing a loop as every single tram going past was jam-packed with people essentially hanging out the doors and so on. It was a sunny Saturday, and Lisbon is apparently the seventh-most visited city on the continent, so hardly surprising! Lots of Brits about probably on weekend trips, and a lot of Americans too. We've noticed far more Americans in Portugal than we did in Spain.

    Continued walking and exploring until we ended up at the Sun Gate lookout, where we had a commanding view of the water and the eastern reaches of the city. Quite busy up here as well, trams rumbling past, buskers singing, Africans selling selfie sticks. Had a drink at a kiosk before walking back down past the cathedral and into the downtown area. The streets here are all on a strict grid pattern and flat, so navigating was much easier.

    Found a Vodafone store and bought myself a SIM card as I was having withdrawals from no data! Came across the Elevador de Santa Justa, which is one of the world's oldest outdoor elevators. It's from the late 19th century, built of wrought iron and originally powered by steam (now electric) and takes you up to a viewpoint over the city. But given the queue, the cost and the fact that we'd just come from a viewpoint, we decided to skip.

    Feeling fairly tired at this point, we grabbed a couple of Portuguese egg tarts (they are everywhere here!) and ate them while sitting in a nice square. We were both quite footsore by now in the late afternoon, and Schnitzel although not complaining was most definitely pooped. Decided to catch an Uber back to the hotel which we did!

    The ride back gave us a nice view of different areas - the narrow windy streets of the oldest areas, wide Viennese and Parisian boulevards with cycleways and trams in the centre, leafy suburbs on the hills, and then back down to the grungier university area where we're staying.

    Once we made it back we felt fairly disinclined to head back out again, so we spent the evening relaxing, reviewing footage in my case, and sated ourselves with a supermarket pizza for dinner!
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  • Day73

    Lisboa - Bairro Alto & Chiado Stroll

    March 13, 2018 in Portugal

    I was excited to see sunshine when we woke up this morning, later turning to partially cloudy. It would be a good day to explore another historic Lisbon neighbourhood. Yesterday we walked 11 km but today’s stroll would only be 8 km, although much of it was uphill. We headed downhill to the centre where we got help getting uphill to Bairro Alto, or “High Town”, by taking the funicular. It was a very steep hill and the funicular provided a noisy, rough ride to the top. There was a park-like viewpoint of the city below. We used Rick Steve’s tour book again to do an interesting self-guided tour.

    One of our stops was at Sao Roque Church, one of Portugal’s first Jesuit churches. There are numbered panels on the floor that were tombs for plague victims. In the 19th century, parishioners complained about the idea of having rotting victims under their feet and the tombs were emptied. One of the more ornate chapels, the Chapel of St. John the Baptist, was taken from the Vatican and reassembled here. We walked through the busy neighbourhood admiring the architecture while dodging cars and trolleys. We ended up on Rua Garrett in the upscale Chiado district where we enjoyed lunch at a patio restaurant. Our son, Garrett, didn’t know he was named after a Portugal poet, a Romanticist, and neither did we!

    One last gradual uphill climb, about 2 km, and we were back at our hotel. It was a great day!
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  • Day7

    Rue Augusta - Baixa Chiado lisbon

    June 12, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 66 °F

    as you walk under the arc you enter this big pedestrian mall. Very busy, even though no cruise ship terminals.

    WE walked up the Rue Augustata under the arch towards another square at the top a few blocks away. Flat walking

    as you walk looking up th side streets gives you views to the Bario alta on the left (west) and the Alfama on the right ( east).

    -a couple of "human" statues, and looking down one side street towards Ce church.

    The Baxia is a flat valley in between the Bario Alto and the Alfama. You get that feeling of being down low. This is why this area had so much damage in the earthquake from 1755.

    • -it was rebuilt quickly by Pombal and it looks like any other Lisbon colonial city. Easily obtained materials, set architectural style, the same 3 stories. Built it quickly to get people housed, no great big churches.

    • -Exterior decoration was only adopted in the l9th century after the Portuguese in colonial Brazil discovered tht the tiles protected against humidity.

    • The black and white cobbled sidewalk –Calcada- is uniquely Portuguese. Mosaic limestone and basalt cobbles first cut and laid by 19th century prison laborers. To this day patterns are chosen from a book of acceptable designs.
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  • Day7

    Rue Augusta - Baxio Chiado Lisbon

    June 12, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 66 °F

    The mall along Rue Augusta
    -Looking up a side street towards the Castle in the Alfama area
    -a nice sweet shop, old wood frame, not the cast iron like we have in our Gastown, but wood. We saw one piece that had splintered off.
    -like those street lamps!

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