Fodor's Expert Review Praça do Comércio
Known to locals as the Terreiro do Paço after the royal palace that once stood on this spot, the Praça do Comércio is lined with 18th-century buildings fronted by expansive esplanades. Down by the river, steps and slopes—once used by occupants of the royal barges that docked here—lead up from the water, and sunbathers strip down to catch rays during the summer. The equestrian statue in the center is of Dom José I, king at the time of the earthquake and subsequent rebuilding. In 1908, amid unrest that led to the declaration of a republic, King Carlos and his eldest son, Luís Filipe, were assassinated as they rode through the square in a carriage. In the summer, live samba bands play at sunset while vans sell potent cocktails.