Chiado and Bairro Alto Travel Guide

Chiado and Bairro Alto

West of Baixa is the fashionable shopping district of Chiado. Although a calamitous 1988 fire destroyed much of the area, an ambitious rebuilding program restored some of the fin de siècle facades. A chic retail complex and hotel on the site of the old Armazéns do Chiado—once Lisbon's most celebrated department store—has given the district a modern focus. Along Rua Garrett and Rua do Carmo are some of Europe's best shoe stores, as well as glittering jewelry shops, hip boutiques, and a host of delis and cafés.

Chiado's narrow, often cobbled streets lead to the Bairro Alto and often follow contours of the hills, which can make getting around confusing. Although the settlement of Bairro Alto dates to the 17th century, most of the buildings are from the 18th and 19th centuries and are an appealing mixture of small churches, warehouses, antiques and art galleries, artisans' shops, and town houses with wrought-iron balconies. It's most famous as a nightlife district, and the narrow alleyways and wide stairwells throng with partiers after dark.

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