Alfama is one of Lisbon’s most genuine neighborhoods – its architecture presents the unique characteristics of old and colorful buildings that give it a joyful character and tranquility. Strolling through the Alfama district is an invitation to get lost among extremely charming streets and alleys. Easy to get lost in, even easier to find!
Alfama is one of Lisbon’s oldest neighborhoods and was founded by the Arabs who gave it the name "Al-hama" meaning 'source of hot water, good water'. You haven’t genuinely experienced Lisbon without getting lost among the paths and charms of the neighborhood that is considered the heart of the city. While walking through the disordered and narrow streets of Alfama, you’ll feel like you’re in a small village, witnessing conversations between neighbors, listening to fado echoing through the stairways and being able to see the Tejo River from another perspective.
The coolest thing about exploring Alfama is feeling the neighborhood’s true spirit and being surprised by the peculiar characteristics of typical buildings with sloping roofs, clothes drying on clotheslines that reinforce the intensity of local colors and the daily life of the residents with their customs.
If the idea is to get to know the most traditional spaces in Alfama, then the calçadinha de Santo Estêvão is obligatory passage, as is a stop to admire the fantastic view from the Santo Estêvão lookout. A sneak peek of the São Vicente de Fora Church, the National Pantheon and the d'elRei Fountain – the first public fountain in Lisbon – are indispensable.
Getting lost in the streets of Alfama is necessary, especially for those who love to be surprised by the typical traits of a culture that has existed for centuries. Rather than describe Alfama, it is best to lose yourself there and enjoy the exceptional feeling of being in and discovering a unique neighborhood. Furthermore, if you’re there in June, have fun at the Sto. António festivities. On June 12th and 13th, Alfama is even more attractive, busy and of course ... colorful and cheerful!