Alcântara (Neighbourhood Guide)

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This article refers to Alcântara, a neighbourhood in Lisbon. For more places in Lisbon, check out the guide to neighbourhoods in Lisbon

Alcântara is a residental neighbourhood in Lisbon. In recent years, it has become a popular neighbourhood to live in and visit mainly due to the LX Factory, a small collection of former factories that have been turned into hipster coffee shops, independent boutiques, and co-working spaces. 

The genterification is spreading into the rest of the neighbourhood as well, and what once was a fairly traditional Lisbon neighbourhood now also contains a few speciality coffee shops, burger bars, and other modern amenities. 

Besides the LX Factory, Alcântara doesn’t have a lot to offer tourists and most people just visit it as part of a day trip — usually on their way to or from the nearby neighbourhood of Belém. As a place to live, however, Alcântara is quite appealing due to its proximity to the city centre, green areas, and good transport links to both the city centre and nearby beaches like Carcavelos and Cascais. 

Accommodation

Short-term

If you’re visiting Lisbon for a few days, Alcântara has lots of great accommodation options including the luxurious 5-star Pestana Palace heritage hotel, The Dorm Hostel in the LX Factory, and plenty of great Airbnbs and apartments.  

See & Do

  1. The LX Factory – Formerly a collection of industrial warehouses, the LX Factory is a collection of red brick buildings that house coffee shops, bars, restaurants, and boutique shops. It also hosts a weekly Sunday market, LXMarket, that features vintage clothes and products as well as some organic produce stalls. 
  2. Eat out at The Docas – Situated beside the marina just below the 25 de Abril bridge, and with fantastic views of the River Tagus and the Cristo Rei statue across the river, The Docas is a popular place for lunch and dinner. 

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Green areas: Alcântara has a fantastic green area beside the river and between the “Docas” and Belém, which is a popular area for working out, cycling, and walking. 
  • Access to bridge: Alcântara is located right next to the Ponte 25 de Abril, so it’s quite and easy to get out of the city and head south. 
  • Okay noise levels: Although there is a constant hum below the bridge and a small amount of noise from overhead planes, Alcântara is fairly quiet. 
  • Supermarket: Alcântara has a Lidl, as well as several smaller supermarkets. It also has a great market as well (in the same building as the Lidl). 
  • Not too busy: Alcântara attracts plenty of tourists, but they usually stay around the LX factory. The rest of the neighbourhood is quite calm. 
  • Cycle lanes: While there aren’t cycle lanes in Alcântara itself, there are lanes between Alcântara and Cais do Sodré. You can also cycle to Belém by the river

Cons

  • Distance from city centre: Alcântara is located outside of the city centre and, unless you’re willing to walk for an hour each way, you’ll need to rely on public transport or taxis to get in and out. 
  • Rising prices: House prices in Alcântara, both to rent and to buy, are usually quite high due to its trendiness.  

Public Transport

While Alcântara doesn’t have a metro connection (yet) you can get to the city centre by bus or by tram (tram 15). During the day, the more modern articulo trams are used while the more traditional trams are used at night. 

But while Alcântara isn’t on the metro, it does have two train stations: Alcântara-Terra and Alcântara-Mar. Alcântara-Mar connects Cais do Sodré with Cascais, which is ideal for getting to the beach in the summer, while Alcântara-Terra goes to Oriente which is useful for visiting the Vasco da Gama Shopping Centre in Parque das Nações. Many companies have offices in Parque das Nações as well, so this train is useful for commuting. 

Keep Fit

For those that want to keep fit, Alcântara is a good neighbourhood to live in. 

First of all, there’s the green area down by the river. From here you can run to Belém in one direction or to Cais do Sodré in the other direction. Monsanto, the largest green area in the city, is also close by (although you’ll probably need to take a taxi to get there). 

For those that want to swim, there’s Alvito Municipal Swimming Pool. There are also padel courts next to the Docas area and directly below the bridge.  

 

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Article originally published on 23 September, 2020

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