As quintessentially ‘Lisboeta’ as they come, authentic Alfama will have you charmed in seconds. A picturesque labyrinth of narrow paths winding down the hill, intriguing aromas infuse the air and charming vignettes of daily life abound. Stroll the streets to catch lamenting rifts of Fado, Portugal’s national folk music, which was born here in Alfama. Once home to the city’s fisherman, you can still find some of the tastiest sardines in town.
Spread over the south-eastern slope of the hill, and crowned by the Castelo de São Jorge, Alfama is the city’s ancient Arab district. The name Alfama is derived from al-hamma, meaning baths or fountain, and the kasbah-esq layout, with its atmospheric, narrow lanes, small archways, and cobbled terraces derives from this heritage. A village within a city, Alfama’s convivial atmosphere is defined by locals who know each other by name, chatting as they go about their day-to-day lives. Lately, the neighbourhood has experienced a regeneration thanks to the restoration of old houses and the opening of new restaurants. Metro transit is available on the outskirts of the barrio, with a handful of bus routes and Tram 28 covering much of the area.
The Property Market in Lisbon
Having come out of economic struggle in 2010, the real estate market in Portugal has seen a consistent rise. The price of property for sale in Lisbon increased by 4.9% between 2017 and 2018. Portugal and Lisbon alike have excellent housing markets, which generally tend to offer good value for money. Because of this, Portugal has the highest owner-occupation rate, with nearly 70% of the population owning their homes.
Unlike many European capitals that have become nearly unaffordable, Lisbon allows individuals to buy a house in central and prime locations, making an ideal property investment. A large proportion of foreign investors are French and Scandinavian, who have made Lisbon their second home. They, along with others, benefit from the low taxes and low-cost of living in the city.