Wordtravels

Wordtravels

Bairro Alto

Tram © IK's World Trip
Tram © IK's World Trip

The Bairro Alto district is, like the Alfama, an historic enclave dating back to 1513. It is reached via the Santa Justa Elevator, a structure reminiscent of the Eiffel tower in Paris, from the lower city. The colourful district resounds to the calls of vendors and fishmongers while the windows and balconies are festooned with laundry and bird cages.

At night, the area comes alive with some of the finest fado cafés in the city along streets lit by Victorian lanterns. Fado is the famous brand of music and dance brought to Portugal by African slaves in the 19th century, characterised by songs of sadness and despair. There is no better place in Portugal to experience this musical genre than in the Bairro Alto of Lisbon.