5 reasons to go off the beaten path and explore Campo de Ourique when in Lisbon
If you’ve scheduled a trip to Lisbon, come and discover A-City-Within-The-City: Campo de Ourique, the Lisbon neighborhood that is shielded from the tourist crowds, right in the heart of the city.
It’s timeless and enchanting, thanks to its traditional Portuguese traits and the breath of fresh air brought to you by artistic influences that have been thriving since the 19th century; along with innovations in the gastronomical lifestyle of today, enjoyed by Lisboners and their families, who live here or visit, just to take pleasure in local Portuguese culture.
If you’re still not convinced that Campo de Ourique deserves your visit, we promise that by the end of this post you’ll be ready to immerse yourself in a typical Lisbon experience.
1. TRAM 28: “Life is a journey, not a destination”
Your adventure starts at the last stop of the iconic tram 28. Enjoying the trip from the tram stop to Campo de Ourique is already reason enough to put the motto “life is a journey not a destination” into practice. The walk to the neighborhood is a journey back in time through ancient architecture, narrow streets, tiles, gardens and churches that present the city of Lisbon in a romantic and inviting rhythm. See the route and times here.
2. A WALK THROUGH THE HISTORY OF A PLANNED LISBON
Contrasting with the more popular Lisbon neighborhoods, Campo de Ourique is flat and has a straight layout, which makes it the perfect neighborhood for all ages and to discover on foot. In fact, walking the streets of Campo de Ourique is like plunging into the history of a planned Lisbon. The neighborhood had its urban project approved in 1878.
Architectural relics explain the trajectory of the neighborhood from the time when it was still a group of farms, until the introduction of Art Nouveau. Be sure to include these stops in your itinerary:
– The neighborhood’s 1st block (between Ruas Ferreira Borges, Infantry 16 and Correia Teles)
– Pastelaria A Tentadora, at door no. 1 of Rua Ferreira Borges, located in a building that is one of the neighborhood’s main symbols and one of the most beautiful examples of Art Nouveau.
– The building that houses the Concorrente stationery shop, right in front of A Tentadora, dates back to 1913, with tiles painted by the Portuguese artist José António Jorge Pinto. This building is also an important mark in the history of Lisbon, and the country, because it was here that the first grenade was launched on the night before the revolution of October 5, 1910, which saw Portugal transition from a monarchy to a republic.
– The old Cinema Europa, one of the symbols of the history of cinema in Lisbon, was inaugurated in 1931 and had its doors open until 1981. In this century, it was converted into residential spaces, but kept the emblematic statue “Mito da Europa” on the façade. On the ground floor you’ll find a cultural center with a library that is extremely cherished by the neighborhood’s residents.
3. RELAX TO THE SOUND OF BIRDS AND CHILDREN
There’s always time to stop and contemplate the Parada Garden (originally called the Teófilo Braga Garden). It’s the neighborhood’s green lung with its kiosk and benches, where everyone meets up, where it’s possible to observe daily life: neighbors reading the newspaper, walking their dogs, retirees playing cards or young people having coffee at the kiosk, chatting with parents or grandparents, while children challenge each other to races around the trees. Around here, time still passes at a speed that allows us to enjoy the good things in life, the people and a genuine place where everyone knows your name and where there’s always time to stop, feel and live.
4. THE FLAVOR AND FRESHNESS OF CAMPO DE OURIQUE FOOD MARKET
Installed in a magnificent 1934 building, which was renovated in 2013, the space was redesigned to accommodate a food court, the first of its kind in Lisbon. This market is a popular meeting point in the neighborhood (and one of the coolest markets in Lisbon!), where dozens of food and drink stalls that have something for everyone, coexist with a traditional market where chefs and locals do their daily, always fresh, shopping. A real market-to-table experience that is worth tasting and sharing!
5 – EATING WELL IS THIS NEIGHBORHOOD’S TRADEMARK
Did you know that this is where you’ll find “The Best Chocolate Cake in the World”? And that’s exactly how we start off our Lisbon Market, Food & Cultural Walk. It’s actually not surprising when we take into account that Campo de Ourique has always attracted thinkers, poets, artists, foodies and chefs, lending it that cool and creative vibe it still has today. And there’s no doubt that it was gastronomy that reshaped this neighborhood, becoming its trademark. You’ll find genuine cafes and restaurants serving the most delicious Portuguese tidbits, there are irresistible terraces for a late afternoon drink, there are acclaimed chefs opening up contemporary restaurants – an eclectic mix that coexists in an extremely tasty way. Plus:
– A Padaria do Povo: located in an emblematic building and founded in 1904, under King D. Carlos, the collective’s main goal was to provide cheaper bread to the parishes of Campolide and Santa Isabel. In 2013, this centennial space was reborn and became a great place for relaxed dining and leisure time. From bread to daily dishes, this bakery promises to conquer by taste and experience.
– Pigmeu: charisma defines this spot that is deemed addictive by most foodies. Its marketing is a great hint regarding the best thing on the menu: “everything pig”.
– Oui, we speak French: the influence of the French community in the neighborhood brought to Campo de Ourique a delicious combination of flavors. Patisseries and cheese shops à la France, without losing Portuguese tradition, make Campo de Ourique the city’s true foodie garden. Maître Renard for cheese and Pâtisserie Dacquoise for pastry, both deserve a gastronomical visit.
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