Located in the flat lower part between the hills where the neighborhoods of Alfama and Bairro Alto meet, we find the most commercial area of Lisbon.
It is one of the liveliest neighborhoods and the first place visited by almost everyone who arrives in the Portuguese capital.
It is also known as the Baixa Pombalina, in honor of the Marquis of Pombal, the architect of the reconstruction of Lisbon after the earthquake that almost completely destroyed it in 1755 and in which a third of its population died.
Restauradores Square and Rossio Square
Our walk through the Baixa can begin in the beautiful Restauradores Square located at one end of Avenida da Libertade, one of the main arteries of Lisbon.
The Plaza de los Restauradores is characterized by its oval appearance and by the large obelisk that is in its center dedicated to the restoration of the independence from Spain achieved in 1640.
One of the main buildings on the square is the former Eden Theatre, an Art Deco building that was formerly a cinema but now houses a hotel.
Almost without realizing it, you access Rossio Square from this square, another of the main places of interest in Lisbon.
But first you must not lose sight of the Rossio Station, an imposing building that does not go unnoticed and to which your eyes will be directed even if you do not have in mind to catch a train.
Rossio Square is the main square in Lisbon and one of the liveliest. Its official name is Plaza Don Pedro IV, one of the former kings of Portugal and in whose honor there is a statue in the center of the square.
Other important elements to see in Rossio Square are the Doña María II National Theatre, built in 1842 in the same place where the headquarters of the Portuguese Inquisition was located, or the Cafe Nicola, an intellectual café that you should not miss.
The Rua Augusta and the streets of the Baixa
From Rossio Square, different streets lead to the Tagus River that intertwine with another series of streets that go from one hill to another.
In this way, a network of perpendicular streets full of shops and restaurants is built, constituting the most commercial area of Lisbon.
The most important street is Rua Augusta, which is also pedestrianized, so you can easily explore it doing your shopping or enjoying one of the terraces of its many restaurants.
Other important streets in this area are Rua Aurea or Rua da Prata, the latter that takes you to Plaza Figueira, another of the main squares in the Baixa. In this case, it is a square square also very lively and with very interesting buildings.
The Plaza del Comercio and the Triumphal Arch
At the end of Rua Augusta we have another of the most important squares to see in Lisbon, the Plaza del Comercio, which was the gateway to the city for those who came through the Tagus River.
The Plaza del Comercio is one of the largest squares in Europe and the old Royal Palace was located there. But this palace was destroyed and the Marquis of Pombal decided to create an open U-shaped space with one of its parts open to the Tagus River.
The Plaza del Comercio stands out for its yellow buildings (which was replaced by pink during the 1910 revolution). And in the center of the main side of the square, the one that faces Rua Augusta, we find the imposing Triumphal Arch crowned by the allegories of Glory, Valor and Ingenuity and with other different statues that adorn it. It is possible to climb to the top of the Triumphal Arch and have beautiful views of the Plaza del Comercio.
In the center of the square is the Equestrian Statue of José I, the monarch who reigned in Portugal during the earthquake.
Other places to visit in Baixa
At the other end, the one facing Alfama, we find the Elevador del Castillo de San Jorge, which is nothing monumental but will help you get around the slopes of Alfama to reach the castle.
There is also another very important square in the center of Lisbon and from which you have excellent views of the Castle of São Jorge.
It is the Plaza de Martim Moniz where the Fusao Market is also located.
And there is also another place that is very unknown to tourists who come to Lisbon, such as the Roman Catacombs. They are located on Rua da Prata and the lack of knowledge about their existence comes from the fact that they can only be visited for 3 days a year.
If you are one of the lucky ones who visits Lisbon during those days (it is usually in September) we recommend that you visit them and be surprised that the entrance is through a sewer.