The Alfama is Lisbon’s oldest and most atmospheric quarter, a labyrinthine maze of narrow streets, steps and alleys wrapped round the steep lower slopes of the Moorish castle. Walking round the area is a must for any Lisbon visit. It’s the street life that’s the interest here, much of it continuing in the same way as it has for centuries, with children playing in the roads and alleys, and families cooking fish on tiny grills outside their houses. Appropriately in an area which is home to many fado clubs, there is also a museum dedicated to the Portuguese music, while around the Alfama are further distractions in the form of the city’s cathedral, two historic churches containing national pantheons, a fantastic market, and museums dedicated to a Roman theatre, decorative arts and – further east – Portuguese tiles.
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