Alfama is the oldest district of Lisbon, spreading on the slope between the Castle and Tagus river.
Its name comes from the Arabic Al-hamma, meaning fountains or baths. This medieval district (once a Moorish and Jewish quarter before it became a fishing community) is by far Lisbon’s most emblematic quarter. A village inside the city, made of narrow streets, tiny squares, churches, and whitewashed houses that survived the 1755 earthquake thanks to its foundations on dense bedrock adorned with tile panels, pots of flowers and laundry hanging on a line from the balconies.
There is no better way to discover Alfama neighborhood than putting away your maps and getting lost in its streets, alleys and small squares, allowing your senses to be the guides. Along the way you will experience some magnificent views of the city and river, smell some of the freshest fish being grilled around the corner, hear the sounds of Fado coming out of a restaurant and visit some amazing churches.
This northern city was 2012 European Capital of Culture. Although you may not find it has the same vibes it had that year, it’s still worth a go.
Guimarães is one of the country’s most important historical cities. Its historical center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the city is often referred to as the “birthplace of the Portuguese nationality”.
If that wouldn’t be enough for a visit, the old city center is beautiful.
The medieval town of Mosaraz, located atop a hill in the middle of the interior plains of the Alentejo, is one of the most beautiful in Portugal.
A visit to Monsaraz is also a journey through time. Marked by lime and the shale becomes “Monsaraz Open Museum” every year during the month of July, opportunity to learn the habits and customs of Alentejo in handicraft, food and various cultural performances that are taking place there, including music, theater, dance and art exhibitions.
Considered one of the oldest towns in Portugal, Monsaraz has recorded evidence of settlement since prehistoric times, and was initially a fortress fortified.