Destinations / May 06, 2018. By Paulo Tavares
Beyond the St. George’s Castle, Jeronimous monastery and Pastéis de Belém don’t overlook local gems – chic boutiques, historic cafés, lush gardens and typical restaurants. The neighbourhood Campo de Ourique offers both traditional and modern experiences of Lisbon as a cosmopolitan city. Just hop on the 28 tram and discover the easy living in one of Lisbon’s most desirable neighbourhoods.
Amália Rodiques the worlds’ greatest singer of Portuguese fado music, her voice came to personify the tones of “saudade” that is the heart of fado. The house where Amália lived since the 1950’s in Campo de Ourioque is now open to the public. Her singing career began at 18 when she won a “Queen of Fado” competition – a title that has been attributed to her ever since. From then on, her fame grew first in the taverns of downtown Lisbon, and eventually throughout the world. Endless awards, tributes, medals, letters and some of her most legendary outfits are on display. Her voice resounds continuously in the whole house to remind visitors why she is truly immortal.
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Fernando Pessoa is one of Portugal’s most important poets and the most widely recognised name in Portuguese literature world- wide. The house where the poet lived the last few years of his life is now open to visitors in Campo de Ourique. It’s most valuable asset is Pessoa’s private library, consisting of 1300 titles in total, over half of them in English.
It is considered an open- air museum because of the architectural works and funerary sculpture. Prazeres Cemetery is the final resting place of some of the countries most illustrious figures. Artists, authors and government figures.
Smaller and more local the the famous Mercado da Ribeira downtown it is also a fine excuse for exploring Campo de Ourique. The market balances old school and innovative, gourmet and more humble snacks, Portuguese and international cuisine.
Also known by locals as “Tasca do João”, the owners of this restaurant are natives of the Northern province of Minho, Ponte de Barca. There is a different meat and fish menu every day. A great place to eat freshly grilled fish, sardines are highly recommended when in season. They serve their cozida à portuguesa (Portuguese stew) on Wednesdays very popular with the locals.
You could spend hours lingering at this charming neighbourhood spot, traditional cuisine leans towards the Alentejo region. Great example of how interesting regional cuisine can be, you can feast on local delicacies like black pig and traditional dishes like Alheira à Trasmontana. Whatever you choose wash it down with a wine from the extensive wine list. There are only 50 seats so book in advance.
This building used to be an old bakery from the early 1900’s. The food is no fills traditional Portuguese cuisine. The service is fast and the daily specials are good value for money.
This bustling café/restaurant offers a great selection of homemade pastries and the best franesinha in the neighbourhood, a hearty sandwich layered with cured pork sausage, ham and minute steak and covered with cheese and a trademark tomato-beer sauce. The secret is in the sauce.
If you like pastéis de nata then don’t miss Aloma, they won the competition for the best pastel de nata in Lisbon in 2012,2013 and 2015.
The best way to get to Campo de Ourique is by tram 28. Enjoy the trip until the last stop ( Cemitério dos Prazeres) and then get lost in Campo de Ourique.
If you prefer to stay in a local neighbourhood rather than the main touristy ones when visiting a city then Sao Bento Hotel in Campo de Ourique is a good option. The hotel has been refurbished recently. It is very well located in the neighbourhood and near all public transport, less than five minutes walk from metro and bus, about a 30 minute walk to the city centre.
I hope this has inspired you to visit Campo de Ourique and if you do be sure to let’s know your thoughts in the comments below.