Guide to Lisbon’s Chiado district

Lisbonne

Are you planning a trip to Portugal? If Lisbon is where you’ve decided to put down your suitcases, don’t miss a visit to the Chiado district.

Lisbon’s Chiado district is a chic shopping area, bustling with trendy boutiques and bars. Here, locals love to stroll to the shops or enjoy a coffee on a sunny terrace.

It’s also where the cultural life comes alive. Visiting Chiado? The district is full of cultural discoveries. Theaters and museums abound. An intellectual and literary atmosphere envelops the district. Chiado takes its name from the poet Antonio Ribeiro, also known as Chiado. Bookshops, refined boutiques and cafés abound.

The Chiado district in a nutshell

Tram 28 dans le quartier de l'Alfama à Lisbonne

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Olena Z

In Lisbon’s Chiado district, old and new are side by side. In this shopping district, tourists come to buy books as well as clothes, or to meet at the terrace of a café.

Inhabited since Roman times, Chiado lies between Baixa Pombalina and Bairro Alto. After the earthquake of 1755 and the fire of 1988, reconstruction restored the district to its former glory. When you visit Chiado, you’ll be seduced by the beautiful 17th-century buildings.

Chiado is an old district where artists and Lisbon’s wealthy population used to gather. Today, culture and the gentle way of life are very much in evidence. You can go shopping or take in an opera at the Teatro Nacional de São Carlos. Then stroll through the green spaces of São Pedro de Alcântara.

What to see and do in Lisbon’s Chiado district?

Chiado is one of Lisbon’s most emblematic and refined districts. To visit Chiado, focus on the district’s rich and emblematic cultural sites. Here’s a small selection.

São Carlos National Theatre

Lisbonne - Théatre National

Photo credit: Flickr – Steluma

Take advantage of your visit to Chiado to drop in on the São Carlos National Theatre. The best way to get there is, of course, to attend an opera performance. The Teatro Nacional de São Carlos is Lisbon’s main opera house. With its extensive program, the theater is as majestic as its building.

Inaugurated in 1793 to replace the old theater, the theater was coveted in the 19th century, particularly by European artists. It’s true that the National Theater played an important role in European music. Indeed, the presence of illustrious guests such as Strauss was of great importance.

Other theaters are located in the upper part of the district, and will catch your eye during your visit to Chiado. These include the Teatro São Luiz and the Teatro da Trindade.

A Brasileira café

a brasileira

Photo credit: Flickr – Art-Ko

If there’s one café you must visit, it’s the famous A Brasileira. It’s one of Lisbon’s best-known cafés, but also one of the oldest.

The poet Fernando Pessoa loved to spend time in the Chiado district, and in this particular café. If intellectuals used to come here to chat, today it’s a symbol of that era of development for Lisbon. Today, this café in particular attracts the curious and gourmands. The Art Deco decor is superb.

On a sunny terrace or indoors in the shade, order a gourmet coffee or delicious cocktails.

Chiado National Museum of Contemporary Art

MUS2E NAT LISBONNE

Photo credit: Instagram – kelssandiego

This contemporary art museum has been open since 1911. Located in this beautiful historic district of Lisbon, the Chiado Museum of Contemporary Art boasts 12 special rooms. The museum is part of an innovative project to highlight modern and contemporary art in Portugal.

Carmes church

Just a five-minute walk from Chiado station on streetcar 28, the Carmelite Church lies in ruins. A vestige of the Lisbon earthquake, it was mainly destroyed in 1755. You can still imagine the majestic Gothic structure, as you walk towards the nave and its great pillars.

This is where you’ll find the small Carmo Archaeological Museum. It’s a charming place to visit.

Luís de Camões Square

placa lisbonne

Photo credit: Instagram – shamsudheen_safnas

As you leave the metro for Chiado, turn right to discover the Luís de Camões square. The bronze statue at the heart of the square refers to the writer of the same name. Among other things, it shows him wearing a laurel wreath and carrying a sword. The various stone statues represent different personalities of Portugal.

The square separates the Chiado district from Bairro Alto. It is often a privileged meeting point.

The Ferreira house in Tabuletas

Façade décorée d'un vieux bâtiment à Lisbonne

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Madrugada Verde

Not far from the Praça do Carmo, at Largo Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro, make a detour to pass the Maison Ferreira das Tabuletas. The façade is one of the most beautiful in Lisbon. The beauty of the Azulejos building is impressive.

Lively shopping streets

chiado

Photo credit: flickr – Mafalda2001

Chiado is a popular shopping area. Don’t miss the trendy boutiques on rue Garett and rue Carmo. You’ll find plenty of souvenirs and objects by artists and designers. With a little browsing, you’re sure to find something you love.

You’ll be amazed by the diversity of objects, both original and vintage. You’ll be spoilt for choice.

Guided tours in Chiado

To learn more about Chiado’s neighborhood life, you can opt for a guided tour. Several options are available.

Fado guided tour

Groupe de fado à Lisbonne

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Sopotnicki

To visit the Chiado district, go on foot with a guide. There are tours lasting 2h30 to 3h, so you won’t miss a thing. The average price for a tour in French is €55.

Free tours are also available with an English-speaking guide. At the end of the tour, everyone gives what they wish. You’ll discover the ruins of a medieval convent, the famous Café A Brasileira café and the São Domingos church.

Tailor-made guided tours are also available. Discover Chiado through the musical culture of Fado, the district’s trademark. Enjoy one of the many typical shows.

Food tour

Pasteis de Nata, Lisbonne

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Olesya Kuznetsova

Guided tours depart from Chiado to discover the local gastronomy, including the famous pasteis de nata. This experience costs €30.

The flavors of Portugal can also be discovered at the wine-making level, with tours around the great vintages. Embark on a journey of flavors, with a special stop in Lisbon’s Chiado district.

Tuk Tuk tour of the historic center

Tuk-tuk dans le quartier d'Alfama à Lisbonne

Photo credit: Shutterstock – portumen

Discover Lisbon’s Chiado district on board a Tuk Tuk. Enjoy the baroque architecture of the historic center in this unique means of transport. Count €40 for 1 hour.

Discovery on board a Beetle

Tour en coccinelle de Lisbonne

Photo credit: Shutterstock / ermess

It’s one of Lisbon’s most popular activities: discover Lisbon and Chiado in a convertible Beetle. French-speaking guides take you through the history of the district and beyond. In the open air, the experience is unique and fun.

For a guided tour in this beautiful little historic car, expect to pay around €90.

Guided tour on streetcar 28,

chiado

Photo credit: flickr – Mafalda2001

To visit the Chiado district, you can opt for a personal streetcar tour. Experience life in the Chiado district as the locals do. Take inspiration from their way of life during your visit.

Tramway 28E takes you to the Chiado and Barrio Alto districts. If you stop at the Chiado stop, you’ll be on Garret Street, near the A Brasileira café.

The best hotels to stay in Chiado

A visit to Chiado is a pleasure. Make the most of your stay in this beautiful part of Lisbon. We suggest you discover the following hotels:

  • Corpo Santo Lisbon Historical Hotel: this 5-star hotel is historic and reminiscent of the beautiful noble houses of the 17th century. With the fine services offered by this hotel in Chiado, expect to pay between €180 and €300 per night.
  • LX Boutique Hotel: appreciated for its typical Lisbon charm. You can sleep here in elegance from 110€.
  • Lisbon Arsenal Suites: ideal for budget travelers, we recommend this hotel’s excellent location. Rooms start at €56 per night. The location is perfect, with bars, restaurants and the Chiado metro stop just 600 meters away.

Where to eat in Lisbon’s Chiado district?

There’s no shortage of good addresses in Lisbon’s Chiado district:

  • If you want to discover traditional cuisine, head for Casa Da India in the chic Rua do Loreto. If the façade isn’t very appealing, inside you can eat delicious grilled chicken, sardines or cod. Enjoy simple, delicious Portuguese cuisine.
  • You can also book a table in the popular restaurant Popular Do Capela. For typical cuisine and generous dishes, expect to pay €35.
  • Locals are familiar with the Cantinho das Freiras, a restaurant run by a Catholic association. For €6.50 with a simple main course and dessert, you can enjoy a unique view. This inexpensive address in Travessa do Ferragial looks like a self-service restaurant, but with a beautiful view of the Tagus.

How do I get to the Chiado district?

The Lisboa Card gives you access to numerous tourist sites, with unlimited means of transport included. So there’s no need to worry about how to get around. With the Lisboa Card, you can use any form of public transport. In addition to the metro, streetcar and bus, you can now also ride the funiculars. You can also take one of the trains to the beaches of Cascais or Sintra. The Lisboa card can be purchased for 24, 48 or 72 hours.

Otherwise, the 24-hour transport pass in Lisbon costs €6.40. Excellent value for money. You can take the metro, bus and streetcar, as well as the Elevador de Santa Justa elevator, with just one ticket. Here’s how to get around Chiado by public transport:

  • Metro: stop at Baixa-Chiado station, either on the green or blue line.
  • Bus: take line 28 E to the Chiado stop.
  • Streetcar: to get around more typically, try streetcar 28. It runs along Rua do Loreto, between the Chiado and Bairro Alto districts.
  • The panoramic elevator: to visit Chiado from downtown Lisbon, don’t hesitate to take the elevator, the Elevador de Santa Justa. It provides easy access to the district. With its 45-metre height and neo-Gothic motifs, it’s an attraction in its own right. Its upper platform also offers a beautiful panorama.