Situated between the neighbourhoods of Bairro Alto and Baixa Pombalina, Chiado is a traditional shopping area that features a mix of old and modern commercial establishments. Many of the buildings in this elegant and trendy location were first built in the 1700s, though many of them have been beautifully restored to give Chiado the wonderful charm and appeal it is renowned for today. With theatres, bookstores and cafes dotted throughout the area, there will be plenty to keep you occupied. Despite being just a small part of Lisbon, Chiado truly is a place that’s easy for those who visit to fall in love with. And that’s why people return time and time again to this awe-inspiring hidden gem, with many people looking for a place to call home at the end of it.
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Tragedy struck in Lisbon in 1755 when an earthquake, combined with fires and a tsunami, wreaked havoc to Portugal’s hilly, coastal capital city. Despite the devastation, The Igreja de São Roque was one of the few buildings to survive relatively unscathed.
Originally built for the Jesuits, this whitewashed church was once a shrine which housed a relic from Sao Roque (Saint Roch), a Catholic canonized for his healing of plague victims. The church itself is made up of the chancel, eight side chapels and five other altars in the transepts. The most notable of all is the side chapel dedicated to St John the Baptist, although the paintings in the inner sacristy are also worth seeing.
Pay a visit to one of the most beautiful bars in the whole of Lisbon and count the thousands of bottles they have on display. By The Wine is one of the top spots in Chiado for relaxing with a glass of something sparkling in your hand. The concept is a wine bar as well as a wine store, with all of the popular products and brands by the company available to try. What is unique about this place is the decor, which sees a large number of bottles covering the ceiling (rumour has it there are more than 3,000). Pistachios are offered as a snack, while cheese and charcuterie boards make the perfect accompaniment.
To really see what Chiado has to offer, why not pay a visit to Topo Chiado? It’s a rooftop bar and restaurant, where you can see views right across Lisbon. Not only will you be dazzled by what you see, but you’ll also be able to enjoy some delicious cocktails and great-tasting food while taking in the sights on offer. During the day there is a fairly relaxed atmosphere, but for something a little bit different, pop along on a night time.
Music lovers will be fascinated by what’s on offer at Louie Louie. This quaint little store, which is hidden away and accessed via a quiet stairway that connects Rua Nova de Almada to Rua do Crucifixo, has thousands of new and second-hand CDs and records available. There is a wide range of music genres to choose from here, so you’re sure to find something that you’d enjoy listening to. This includes a mix of Portuguese and Brazilian music, so you may want to try something new!
Even if you’re not a lover of books, you’ll still be in awe when you pay a visit to the world’s oldest bookstore. First established back in 1732, Bertrand is still operating today. It first opened closer to Bairro Alto, at the corner of Rua do Norte and Rua Direita do Loreto. However, the earthquake that hit in 1755 meant that the store reopened at a new address, Rua Garrett. The Bertrand group now has a large network of bookstores located throughout Portugal, with the city of Chiado being one of them. In this particular store, there is a cute little cafe where you can sit and enjoy the Fernando Pessoa painted walls.
One of the main places to visit in Lisbon is the Baixa district, which is located to the east of Chiado. Though they are within easy walking distance of each other, there is also a metro line that connects the two. The main metro station is “Baixa-Chiado” and is on both the blue and green metro lines. To avoid climbing the steep hill between Baixa and Chiado, be sure to take the exit for “Largo Chiado”. There are also a number of buses, taxis and trams around the area, making it easy to get around and travel to places close by.
Similar to most countries within Europe, the whole of Portugal typically tends to see warm temperatures and nice weather conditions. Chiado has a mild climate throughout the year, and you can expect to experience average highs of 24°C during the summer months. As the colder weather starts to creep in, you’ll tend to see those temperatures drop to around 11°C. November is the month that sees the most rainfall, which can be around 128mm on average. Compare this to the 4mm that’s generally expected in July, and it sounds like a lot. However, this is what the weather will be like in the whole of Lisbon too, not just Chiado.
Often referred to as a place that’s been well-known for attracting some of Lisbon’s intellectuals, Chiado is home to some of the most elegant restaurants and luxurious cafes in Lisbon. No matter your taste preferences, you’re sure to find something to suit you. Among the variety of restaurants you’ll be able to treat yourself to some truly delectable Portuguese food, as well as other popular cuisines.
Chiado is conveniently located close to Lisbon Airport, so travelling to and from the region if you’re flying in is relatively easy. The airport itself is connected to the Lisbon metro network, which means you’re able to hop on one of the many bus services to get into the city. Alternatively, there are taxis that regularly run people to and from the airport.
As a small part of Lisbon, Chiado can be found close to the River Tagus. Thanks to this, there are a number of coastlines that are located nearby. To the west of Lisbon lies the Oeiras-Estoril-Cais coastline, which offers a sea with calm waters and sandy beaches. Head north from Lisbon and you’ll hit the Sintra coastline, which is made up of cliffs and offers unspoilt scenery that will take your breath away. The Costa da Caparica coastline is south of Lisbon and offers a large stretch of beaches that spread along to the western coast.
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