In this article, and more that will follow, I’ll share with you some of the best points of interest I’ve found near my home, in Alcântara. I have personally never been too much to Alcântara before I recently moved here. It sits between the metropolitan movement of Santos/Cais do Sodré, and the tourist haven of Belém, so it’s normal it gets treated as just a point of passage. I really only knew of the two train stations here, Alcântara-Terra and Alcântara-Mar, some of the places I’ll talk about further in this article, and of the fact that it is located under the bridge! Alcântara isn’t small, and is very relevant for the transportation in Lisbon but it definitely lacks the “people” movement of the aforementioned areas, which isn’t all that bad, because that means you can see many fascinating things in Alcântara with relative calm.
Like I said before, Alcântara sits under the 25 de Abril Bridge, a very important landmark in portuguese history. It was the first bridge to connect both sides of the river Tejo, built during the portuguese dictatorship, Estado Novo, and it previously had the name the dictator, António de Oliveira Salazar, the Salazar Bridge. But after the Carnation Revolution of the 25th of April, the bridge changed its name to that of the day of the revolution in order to celebrate the triumph of the people against tyranny. An so today it still sits above Alcântara and its many wonders.
25 de Abril Bridge
Starting right under the bridge, in the Santo Amaro Docks, where you can have a nice meal in one of the many restaurants there, you can follow the river through a Riverside Walkway all the way from Alcântara to Belém. In the hot months of Spring and Summer it’s a most! The cold breeze of the river will help with the heat, just like the shade of from the trees along the side of the walkway, in case you what to have a picnic or maybe just rest in the grass! It’s also very good for jogging, in case you want to exercise a little while in Lisbon. Although it can attract a lot people, especially on the weekends, it never gets too crowded and there are many businesses that rent transportation, from bicycles to crazy looking segways!
Santo Amaro Docks
Alcântara RIverside Walkway
I cannot write this article without mentioning two very popular places in Alcântara, and they’re both next to each other: Lx Factory and Village Underground. Lx Factory is a repurposed factory that now holds many businesses and cultural events. Twice a year, they have an Open Day, where they celebrate the art and creativity of its residents with activities, parties and artistic interventions. And there’s also Lx Market, which is every Sunday from 11am to 10pm, where you can buy clothes, food and craftwork from the participant vendors. Village Underground is a co-working space for arts and culture. It has repurposed old shipping containers and buses to use as work spaces, a restaurant and a meeting room. Both these spaces are very intuned with contemporary arts and design, which is apparent just by looking at them! The visual aspect of Lx Factory and Village Underground is already a reason to take a look, but it can overcrowd.
Village Underground Lisboa
Right next to Lx Factory, is a very low-key museum in Alcântara, Museu da Carris. It first took my interest because of the hangar filled with trams right next to it. Carris is the name of the company responsible for the maintenance and organization of the public transportation in Lisbon, and, though it isn’t the most interesting of subjects, I still think is worth mentioning because there is a big importance given to the trams, especially the older models that still travel around Lisbon, filled to the brim with tourists. So if you´re interested in the history and evolution of Lisbon’s classic transport go ahead and pay a visit, and you can also pay a small commission to travel on a really old, but functioning, model of Tram, without the crowd of the public ones.
Museu da Carris
For the sake of not making this article enormous I'm continuing with more tips on other articles! Take a look if you're still interested!
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