Alfama District

Alfama District in Lisbon

Inspired by Lisbon free tour guided by Fred from Lisbon New Tours, we decided to explore Alfama District with him too. Lisbon originated from Alfama, it had the red-light district, yet, its main features are fado, cherry liquor and vino verde!

Main sights

Alfama starts from the huge Lisbon Cathedral built on the site of the destroyed mosque.
Lisbon Cathedral

The place is significant not for Christians and Muslims only: there is a pagan stone laid in the basement of the Cathedral and the star of David carved to commemorate the mass Jewish killing.
Lisbon Cathedral

Lisbon Cathedral

It is often said that Alfama does not need CCTV: local grannies are always on their duty watching people from the balconies in the narrow streets.
Alfama

Alfama

The next stop is the gallery of Mongolian artist who makes paintings with wine and coffee. As a part of the tour, he will write your names in old Mongolian script.
paintings with wine and coffee

paintings with wine and coffee

In the arch called Portas del Sol, you may get to know the whole history of Lisbon and Portugal.

Mirador Santa Lucia opens the great viewpoint of the city.

Alfama alcohol drinks

The patron of Alfama is St. Anthony, his images are all around Alfama.
St. Anthony

One of the best bars of Alfama also carries his name – Amigo Antonio. In this bar situated just next to the church, you may try great vino verde – green wine, the speciality of Portugal. Interestingly, green wine may be white, pink, and red.
Portugal alcohol drinks

vino verde

A piece of advice from Amigo Antonio bartender: the best vino verde (obviously not the cheapest one) is Dato Antonio, the best port wine is Dona Antonia и Ferreira. Also, in Portugal they make a strong drink Bagas (50-55% of alcohol). If you feel like you have tried enough, the best treatment for the hangover is the so-called soup of the tired horse which contains wine and bread. Even children eat this soup!
One may also quench the thirst in one of the drinking fountains of Alfama: the water is drinkable!
vino verde

Now the turn of Ginja comes: it is said that the main ingredients of this liquor are cherry, vodka, and love! You may try Ginja in one of many Alfama bars or straight from the window of the local in one o Alfama narrow streets.
Ginja

Ginja

Alfama fado

Alfama is also known for its fado – traditional songs on sadness and grief. By the way, the songs on sadness may be divided into sorrowful and happy ones. In the happy ones, the protagonist misses his or her love and awaits that they finally get together, while the truly sorrowful ones tell that the meeting is impossible, so there is nothing to be happy about. Every fado performer specialize in the particular kind of fado. Fado is to be enjoyed in the special fado restaurants. We visited the pompous Clube de Fado (to listen to fado here, one must buy an expensive dinner) and the more democratic A Baiuca (you may reserve the table for the dinner which starts from about 25 euros per person, or just come at around 22.30-00.00 to drink wine and listen to fado).

Alfama is, perhaps, the most original district of Lisbon. If you have only one day in Lisbon and you love photography – go there!
Alfama

Alfama

Alfama

Alfama

Yet, Lisbon has many more sights and districts to tell about…