Penha de França Guide: What It’s Like to Live in Penha de França, Lisbon

Penha de França is a neighborhood in Lisbon that offers an authentic Portuguese experience, with its low property prices, lack of tourists, and a mix of Portuguese and Brazilian residents. While some parts of the area may feel a bit rundown, it is an affordable alternative to more gentrified districts like Estrela, Graça, and Arroios.

Living in Penha de França has its advantages and disadvantages. On one hand, residents enjoy the genuine Lisbon experience, with the opportunity to interact with locals and discover hidden gems like the “secret” miradouro (viewpoint) next to the freguesia (parish) swimming pool. The area also boasts some of the best pastelarias (pastry shops) and small Portuguese restaurants in the city, offering delicious food at low prices.

However, the neighbourhood’s public transportation is not as well-connected as other Lisbon districts, with the nearest metro stations (Alameda and Arroios) being an 8-10 minute walk away. Some parts of the area may also feel isolated at night. 

Despite these challenges, many residents find Penha de França to be a safe and enjoyable place to live, with a strong sense of community and an escape from the tourist crowds. 

What’s in the Neighbourhood?

  1. Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Penha de França – This beautiful church, built in the 18th century, is the heart of the neighborhood and offers stunning views of Lisbon from its terrace.
  2. Miradouro da Penha de França – A hidden gem, this viewpoint offers breathtaking panoramic views of the city and is a perfect spot to watch the sunset.
  3. Piscina Municipal da Penha de França – The parish swimming pool is a popular spot for locals to cool off during the hot summer months.
  4. Jardim da Cerca da Graça – This charming garden, located on the border of Penha de França and Graça, provides a peaceful escape from the city bustle.
  5. Mercado de Sapadores – A local market where you can find fresh produce, fish, and meat, as well as experience the authentic Lisbon shopping atmosphere.
  6. Paróquia de São Jorge de Arroios – Another beautiful church in the area, known for its stunning interior and historic significance.
  7. Biblioteca Municipal de Penha de França – The local library, housed in a historic building, offers a quiet space to read or study.
  8. Parque da Quinta das Conchas e dos Lilases – A large park with walking trails, playgrounds, and picnic areas, perfect for a family outing.
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