In Chiado most of the buildings were originally built in the XVIII century (many of them rehabilitated in the 90s by architect Alvaro Siza Vieira after a devastating fire in 1988), but this area is a journey to the late XIX century and early XX century, the “Belle Epoque” period when writers like Fernando Pessoa and Eça de Queiroz used to frequent its famous cafes. This is also the theater district, place of old bookstores, national and international brands designers stores which give Chiado a lively and cosmopolitan atmosphere, any time of the day.
Next to the apartment you will find Carmo Convent ruins, one of Lisbon’s most beautiful and touching images. These ruins are a monument to the devastation caused by the 1755 earthquake, although its Gothic architecture is clear evidence of the XIV century. In the ancient altar (which keeps the old coverage) we may now find an archaeological museum with an eclectic collection of small treasures like some mysterious mummies from South America.
A 5 minute walk distance you will find the bustling Praça de Camões which separates Chiado from Bairro Alto, the two liveliest areas in the city. In the center, there is a statue of the poet Luís de Camões with other smaller figures below, also related to the Portuguese culture. Behind the statue there is a terrace and a kiosk with fresh drinks. The square is especially busy at night, serving as a meeting point before dinner and drinks in Bairro Alto.
Only a 2 minute walk away you will be at Rua Garrett. This shopping street is not very big but it’s where all the Lisboners choose to meet. It is the heart of the vibrant Chiado, home for shops and most popular cafes in the city, as well as the Chiado Department Store which is a shopping center nowadays. Some of the favorite shops on this street include the oldest bookstore in the world (Bertrand), Casa Pereira, Gardenia, Hugo Boss, Lanidor, Massimo Dutti, Nespresso, Nike, Paris em Lisboa, Pull & Bear, Swarovski and Zara, as well as one of the finest shops in the city, Tous. Inside Benetton store you will find one of the most beautiful old elevators in Europe.