Square Largo do Carmo Lisboa Portugal
Square Largo do Carmo is well located in the heart of Lisbon in the Bairro Alto district right near the Lison city centre.
On our recent trip to Portugal, we stayed in one of the many charming little streets that lead off Square Largo do Carmo and we honestly think this is the best area to stay in Lisbon while you are visiting.
The area is full of narrow streets, alleyways with stacked tight apartment buildings painted in bright colours and little restaurants around every bend. It’s one of those neighbourhoods that you see in photos of yester years. Where to stay in Lisbon you may ask…well we think right here is one of the best areas to stay in Lisbon!
Square Largo do Carmo is located about 100 meters up the hill and I mean up hill from Rossio train station. Lisbon is not called the city of 7 hills for no reason and Avenida de Liberdade is 300 meters away. Largo do Carmo is just far enough away from the main Lisbon City Centre area to be nice, quiet and peaceful with a constant flow of tourists during the day.
Unfortunately, Square Largo do Carmo was not once so peaceful. It was the site of some major incidents in the carnation revolution of 1974 that led to the over through of the Prime Minister and ended 50 years of The Estada Novo regime. The Portuguese National Guard is located in a building on the square just off to the side of the Carmo Convent. If you are lucky you will see the changing of the Guard. Our girls Willow, and Marley were fascinated by this.
Largo do Carmo is a great place to relax with a drink or a bite to eat. Like many squares in Europe, it’s ringed with restaurants and bars offering all types of international cuisine. We can highly recommend International restaurant which served an amazing lamb curry. Just on the outside of the square was Faco&Garfo Restaurant which served a good value Portuguese fair. Most of the restaurants tend to have a happy hour in the afternoon serving mojitos for 3 euros which we loved. You will often see musicians and all types of artists performing in the square of an evening. We witnessed jugglers and fire eaters. The kids loved this and it kept them entertained why we enjoyed a jug of Sangria or a cocktail. I must say the music some the musicians were playing was fantastic. We were more than happy to give them a few euro’s when they did the rounds collecting tips for playing.
Located on one side of the Square is the Archeological Museum, the gothic ruins of the 14th century Igreja (church) Convento do Carmo or otherwise known as Carmo Convent.
The main nave of the Carmo Convent is a survivor of the 1755 earthquake that struck Lisbon. It is the most recognisable building in Lisbon that still stands from the day the earthquake and tidal wave flattened most of the city. This is now home to an archaeological museum. The museum is small and seems to have no real order about what’s on display inside. It features tombs, mummies, books and artefacts from the bronze age in Portugal. For me, the museum was just a side show to the amazing architecture that is the ruins of the Convento Do Carmo. It’s hard to explain but the frame of the roof still stands of this magnificent Gothic design church with its high roof arcs and domes. Carmo Convent is one of the must see Lisbon sights.
The walkway beside The Carmo Convent provides you access to the Santa Justa Lift. Santa Justa Lift is an iconic sight in Lisboa and connects the lower city area with the higher Square Largo do Carmo and Biaxia neighbourhood. The elevator was opened in 1901 consisting of a metallic tower, observation platform, walkway and base. On the top floor of the Santa Justa Lift, there is a kiosk and lookout, with panoramic views of the Lisbon city centre. Connections to the floors below can be made by two spiral staircases, with different patterns on each storey as well as the Lift.
The view at night from the top platform is amazing, especially with the streets of Lisbon lit up for the evening. If you catch the Santa Justa Lift up to Square Largo do Carmo it cost 5 Euro a person. If you enter from Carmo for the view it costs you nothing.
Just a short walk from Largo do Carmo is Jardim de São Pedro de Alcântara. It is a small park overlooking the Lisbon landscape. This park was built 1864 with two tiers of available access and some of the finest views over Lisbon. I went up to the park at 6.30am one morning and watched Lisbon wake up. It was amazing as the sun was rising in the sky and the colour of the rooftops became more pronounced.
This park is very popular in the evening with locals and tourists alike. The garden has a small pond and gazebo and plenty of viewing points of the east side of Lisbon. There are a small bar and cafe on site to grab a snack and beer to relax.
We can totally recommend this neighbourhood of Lisbon to stay in and we cannot wait to get back here. For us, as a family, Lisbon was an absolute win! Wyld Family Travel will be back to see more of the amazing places in Lisbon.
Why not stay in the heart of this area!
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