Considered by Lisboetas to be amongst Lisbon’s loveliest neighbourhoods, Príncipe Real is named in homage to Queen Maria II’s firstborn “Royal Prince”. Calm and elegant, this neighbourhood offers a more peaceful alternative to Bairro Alto, its charmingly boisterous neighbour. Set on the pinnacle of one of Lisbon’s seven hills, Príncipe Real slopes up from one of the city’s best view-points, São Pedro de Alcântara, where artisanal market-stalls selling fresh lemonade draw young families, while gentrified residents soak up the views in the shade of the olive trees. The colourful, elegant mansions of this residential district are connected by a patch-work of noble squares, with century-old trees, tranquil ponds and flashes of spectacular views over the city and glittering Tagus River.
In recent years, this charismatic district has evolved into one of Lisbon’s trendiest areas to buy property. Like many of Lisbon’s trendiest neighbourhoods, Príncipe Real’s evolution has been driven by the renovation of historic buildings into new residential developments, attracting a young, trendy crowd. The lovable juxtaposition of tranquil squares and leafy plazas with a vibrant social and economic scene has turned it into one of the most sought-after areas to live in town. Once only known for its whimsical antique shops and gay bars, it’s now considered one of the city’s hippest spots for shopping. In 2013, a crumbling 19th century romantic mansion on Praça do Príncipe Real was reborn as the “Conceptual Shopping Gallery” Embaixada, while down the road you can find Entre Tanto, a converted 18th century mansion turned into a concept store, divided into trendy spaces dedicated to design shops, fashion and cuisine.