Graça Guide: What It’s Like to Live in Lisbon’s Graça Neighbourhood

Graça is perhaps best known for its two popular viewpoints, Miradouro Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen (commonly referred to as Miradouro da Graça) and Miradouro da Senhora do Monte, which offer stunning panoramic views of the city. However, it’s also a popular destination to move to. Gentrification has been slower here, partly due to the steepness of the hill, and although that is changing, it is often possible to find cheaper places to rent here. 

The neighbourhood boasts a range of coworking spaces and some medium-sized supermarkets, catering to the needs of both locals and expats. Graça also features a good mix of traditional and modern bars and restaurants, showcasing the best of Lisbon’s culinary scene.

Public transport in Graça can be limited, especially given the popularity of Tram 28, which is often crowded with tourists. The influx of tuk-tuks carrying tourists up the hill can be a source of frustration for some residents. As a result, residents may find themselves opting to walk or seeking alternative routes. The steep climb to reach the neighbourhood can be challenging, but many find it a great way to incorporate daily exercise into their routine. Once you get used to the climb, however, getting to and from city centre neighbourhoods like Baixa takes less than thirty minutes on foot. 

At night, walking through the nearby neighbourhoods of Martim Moniz and Mouraria can be quite dark, and some people have expressed concerns about safety. While some of these concerns stem from historical reputations, it is essential to exercise caution and be aware of one’s surroundings.

Despite these challenges, Graça offers numerous benefits to its residents. The neighbourhood is within walking distance of the city centre and features a variety of coffee shops, coworking spaces, bars, and restaurants. Despite the tourists around the miradouros, the area maintains a traditional neighbourhood feel, with authentic restaurants and pastelarias (pastry shops) alongside vibrant street art. 

What’s In The Neighbourhood

  1. Graça Viewpoint (Miradouro da Graça): This popular terrace, shaded by parasol pines, offers a stunning view of the castle and the city below. It serves as a gathering spot for both locals and tourists, who often stop here after walking up the hill from Alfama and the castle. Visitors can enjoy drinks from the kiosk while admiring the panoramic views.
  2. Igreja e Convento da Graça: Originally built in 1291, this church and convent were destroyed by the 1755 earthquake and later rebuilt in the baroque style of the late 1700s. The church features a beautiful grisaille ceiling and is worth a visit. However, the main attraction is the convent, which only opened to visitors in 2017 and boasts a picturesque cloister and a series of impressive baroque tile panels.
  3. Senhora do Monte Viewpoint: As Lisbon’s highest viewpoint, Senhora do Monte Viewpoint (Miradouro da Senhora do Monte)offers a panoramic view of nearly the entire city. It gets its name from an image of the Virgin placed in front of an old chapel. The viewpoint has become a popular location for watching stunning sunsets, and a tile panel at the site illustrates the landmarks visible from this vantage point.
  4. Jardim da Cerca da Graça: This park, relandscaped and opened to the public in 2015 after being closed for centuries, offers a wonderful view of the castle. Located below the Igreja da Graça, it serves as a picnic spot for local families and the occasional tourist who happens to stumble upon it. The garden provides a peaceful respite from the city’s hustle and bustle.
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