A series on Lisboa – Bairro Alto

A little while ago, I did a series on Rotterdam. I enjoyed it, it gave me a new perspective on a city I’ve know for years, and helped me to stay in love with photography. It was so much fun, that I decided to do this more!

In the second week of June, my girlfriend and I needed a little break, away from our hectic lives in a chilly Netherlands. We went to Lisbon, what gave me another reason, to start a new series. So, for the next six weeks, I’ll take you to the streets of the wonderful capital of Portugal, starting in the old district: Bairro Alto.

Elevador de Santa Justa

Elevador de Santa Justa – The districts of Bairro Alto and Chiado aren’t level, so sometimes you need an elevator to go to another street!

Lisbon, or in Portuguese, Lisboa, is the capital of Portugal. It is the largest city of Portugal, home to over half a million people. Like any city, Lisboa is divided in districts. One of them is Bairro Alto, meaning “Upper District“. The name is not because it is an upper-class district, but because it’s positioned high above Lisboa.


An elevator tram, since there are many steep slopes in Bairro Alto, this surely is useful!

This beautiful district is full of steep slopes, bringing you up and down the city through wonderful small alleys. Although the scenery is very idyllic, the smell is not! Somehow it is very acceptable that the streets smile like pee.

Slopes of Bairro Alto

The gorgeous slopes of Bairro Alto.

Bairro Alto ends at Praça de D. Pedro IV, or the Rossio Square, in the district of Baixa Pombalina. From this square, you have a great view on Bairro Alto above you, looking at the church called “Igreja do Carmo”.

Rossio square

Rossio square, with in the background the district Bairro Alto.

Rossio square, is a wonderful place, but for the male tourist there is a catch: Many people will approach you to sell drugs: weed, hashish, or cocaine. Very annoying, yet harmless men. I think it is not real drugs, so don’t be surprised if you end up smoking oregano! I was asked to buy drugs by 10 guys in 10 minutes, and that is without exaggerating! These men somehow at least have the decency to leave the ladies alone, except for an occasional creepy smile, or maybe a “you look beautiful” towards the blondes coming from the more northern parts of Europe.

Rossio square

If Lisboa would clean up the streets and arrest all “drugs dealers” (not in the picture), this place would be even nicer!

But the beauty of the square isn’t completely destroyed by those annoying lads.

Rossio Square

Rossio Square – What a place!

From Rossio square, you can walk down the street Rua Augusta, through the gates, to the wonderful river Tajo.

Rua Augusta

Rua Augusta and the Arco da Rua Augusta.

One tip: Do not go to a restaurant for diner on Rua Augusta, it’s pricey, and bad! Instead, for diner, wander the streets of Bairro Alto around 8 in the evening and enjoy it there! Or take the tram, and get out at a random place you seem to like…


The yellow tram is for normal public transport. Don’t go in the green trams, they are expensive!

Kind regards,



  1. Marvin

    Cool shot! Humans are ingenious — I wish we could focus that toward making our air and water clean again.

    • Thank you stopping by Marvin! Yes, focussing our capabilities on improving the world would be great. But I guess any improvement has some downfalls too. Complicated, but beautiful world we live in!

      Have a great Sunday, and hopefully good week ahead!


  2. Pingback: A series on Lisboa – Bairro Alto | Window With A View

  3. Wonderful! I’ve been fascinated by Portugal, Lisbon in general for many years. I must plan a trip. Great images.

    • Thank you Fenster!

      Have you ever been there? The Portuguese people are so nice! And the city is very nice too!

      I could recommend visiting it 🙂

      Warm regards,

  4. Pingback: A series on Lisboa – Night-life in Bairro Alto | Luvo Photography

    • Obrigado Sartenada! Portugal is wonderful, and so are the people!

      Have a great day!

      Happy Summer greetings,

  5. I don’t mind, as long as you refer to me, which you did. So thank you for promoting my blog!

    Have a great day!


  6. Pingback: A series on Lisboa – Santo Antonio in Alfama | Luvo Photography

    • Hi Jazz!

      Sorry for the late reply, somehow I missed your comment! But those photos sure look good. I like the panorama of Alfama, what a wonderful district!

      Keep up the good work!

      Kind regards,

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