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Lisbon Travel Guide

Alfama

In the Alfama district, narrow, twisting streets and soaring flights of steps wind up to an imposing castle on one of the city's highest hills. This is a grand place to get your bearings and take in supreme views. Because its foundation is dense bedrock, the district—a jumble of whitewashed houses with flower-laden balconies and red-tile roofs—has mostly survived the wear and tear of the ages,

including the great 1755 earthquake.

The timeless alleys and squares have a notoriously confusing layout, but the Alfama is relatively compact, and you'll keep circling back to the same buildings and streets. Although now a somewhat run-down neighborhood, it has a down-to-earth charm—particularly during the June festivals of the Santos Populares—and smart bars and restaurants are slowly moving in.

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