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Chiado, Lisbon

Chiado in Lisbon is a historic and cultural district renowned for its blend of neoclassical architecture, high-end shops, cafes, and a rich literary and artistic heritage, considered a must-visit place in Lisbon

In Chiado, you can expect to find a lively architectural mix of historic charm and modern amenities, with elegant neoclassical buildings, a variety of high-end retail stores like Hermès, Luvaria Ulisses, A Vida Portuguesa, Paris em Lisboa; numerous traditional cafes with street terraces, like A Brasileira, Benard, and Fábrica Coffee Roasters; and prestigious restaurant like Belcanto (recognized with two Michelin stars) or Cantinho do Avillez (by José Avillez, known for its creative dishes blending traditional Portuguese flavors with with contemporary twists).

Also known for its cultural significance, Chiado features landmarks like the Lisbon Opera House, the Bertrand Bookstore (the world’s oldest operating bookstore), and the Gothic ruins of the Carmo Convent.

A day walk in Chiado

Chiado is located on the western side of Baixa Pombalina, just below Principe Real and Bairro Alto. From Cais do Sodré it is a 500 meter walk along a sloped street… interestingly, the opposite direction is downhill!

At Largo do Chiado, the upper part of the district, you’ll find an artistic atmosphere characterized by numerous daily street performers, art galleries, and frequent cultural events. This area also features notable landmarks such as the statue of Fernando Pessoa and the historic café A Brasileira.

From here, Rua Garrett stretches down as a lively shopping street, leading to Armazém do Chiado. This route intersects with Rua do Carmo, which is lined with a mix of new and century-old stores, offering a glimpse into the vibrant urban life of Lisbon. The walk eventually takes you towards Rossio in the Baixa area, known for its historical significance and as a central social hub in Lisbon. This route through Chiado offers a direct insight into Lisbon’s blend of history, culture, and vibrant city life.

Chiado Main Streets

  • Largo do Chiado: Serving as a pivotal square in Chiado, Largo do Chiado is the junction point for several shopping streets. It is a frequented area, known for its cafes, retail stores, and significant landmarks like the Baixa-Chiado subway station, the Fernando Pessoa Statue, and the luxury store Hermès. It also provides access to Praça Luís de Camões in Bairro Alto.
  • Rua Garrett: As the central artery of Chiado, Rua Garrett extends for 220 meters, connecting Largo do Chiado to Armazéns do Chiado. It is renowned for its diverse array of shops, including both international brands and local boutiques.
  • Rua do Carmo: This 210-meter-long street, running from Armazéns do Chiado to Rossio, intersects with Rua Garrett. Rua do Carmo is characterized by its wide range of shops that offer everything from clothing to traditional Portuguese items. It also features the Santa Justa lift station.
  • Rua Anchieta: This street offers a more tranquil shopping experience, distinguished by its unique bookshops and specialty stores.
  • Rua Nova do Almada: Stretching 250 meters from Armazéns do Chiado to the Museu do Dinheiro in Praça do Municipio, Rua Nova do Almada is a street rich in traditional stores and pubs.

Chiado highlights

  1. Bertrand Bookstore: Recognized as the world’s oldest operating bookstore, it’s a must-visit for its historical significance and vast collection of books.
  2. Carmo Convent (Carmo Ruins): A striking historical site, the Gothic ruins of the Carmo Convent are a reminder of the 1755 Lisbon earthquake and offer a glimpse into Lisbon’s past.
  3. Igreja do Carmo: Adjacent to the Carmo Convent ruins, this church is part of the archaeological museum and showcases historical artifacts.
  4. Armazéns do Chiado: A modern shopping center located in a restored historic building, offering a variety of shops and eateries.
  5. A Brasileira: One of Lisbon’s most famous cafes, known for its Art Deco interiors and as a former haunt of literary figures, including the poet Fernando Pessoa.
  6. Benard Café: Another historic café in Chiado, known for its traditional Portuguese pastries and a cozy atmosphere.
  7. Church of São Roque (Igreja de São Roque): Famous for its exquisite Baroque interiors and historical art pieces.
  8. Largo do Chiado: This bustling square is a central hub in Chiado, connecting various streets and filled with cafes and street performers.
  9. Rua Garrett: A main shopping street in Chiado, lined with a mix of international brands and local shops, offering a lively shopping experience.
  10. Teatro São Carlos: Lisbon’s renowned opera house, known for its beautiful architecture and rich cultural program.
  11. Luvaria Ulisses: A unique glove shop, offering handmade gloves in a traditional setting.
  12. Santa Justa Lift (Elevador de Santa Justa): An iconic wrought-iron elevator offering panoramic views of the city, connecting the Baixa and Chiado districts.
  13. Museu Nacional de Arte Contemporânea do Chiado: A museum showcasing Portuguese contemporary art from the 19th century onwards.
  14. Fábrica Coffee Roasters: A popular spot for coffee enthusiasts, known for its high-quality, freshly roasted beans and modern ambiance.
  15. Chiado Square (Praça Luís de Camões): A prominent square that marks the boundary between Chiado and Bairro Alto, featuring the statue of the famous Portuguese poet Luís de Camões.
  16. Paris em Lisboa: A historic store specializing in fine linens and home decor.

Chiado Overview

Chiado, it’s important to note its role as a hub for theater and the arts, with venues like Teatro da Trindade and the National Theater of Sao Carlos, which offer a range of cultural performances and events. Chiado also hosts the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Lisbon, further cementing its status as a center for artistic and educational excellence. The district’s blend of historical and modern elements is exemplified by the post-1988 fire reconstruction, masterfully led by architect Álvaro Siza Vieira, which preserved historical facades while adding modern amenities. Additionally, the Santa Justa Lift, a unique and popular lift, connects Chiado with the lower parts of the Baixa, offering a distinctive experience.