Lisbon’s Sé neighbourhood is one of the typical areas of the old quarter of the city. It takes its name from Lisbon’s cathedral, known as “a Sé” . It is set on half of a hill and so most of its streets are very sharply inclined. The buildings are old – some of them are over a hundred years old – and every street is still paved with cobblestones which gives it that authentic, typical charm. This is a great neighbourhood for students to live in Lisbon.
Plenty of attractions
Attraction number one here is obviously the Sé. The Cathedral is nearly 1000 years old and it’s the oldest church in the city. There’s a lot of singing throughout Sunday masses if you care to attend and during the summer months it’s common for weddings to take place on Fridays and Saturdays. Other attractions include the Saramago foundation, down by the riverfront – a museum dedicated to the portuguese writer that won the Nobel award.
Fine foodie neighbourhood
You’ll find plenty of restaurants in the area and some of the are out of this world – but it’s not always easy to find them. Really close to the Cathedral, there’s Cruzes Credo, a small restaurant and café that does really great burgers. Leopold, down São Cristovão street, is a tiny restaurant with really cutting edge, modern dishes. It’s a one man affair: the chef himself takes your orders, cooks the food, and then serves it. Nearby, the quirky Baldraca is where the best pizza in Lisbon is served.
The typical tram stops right in front of the Sé. In one direction, it goes up Graça (really nice views) and down to the multicultural Martim Moniz neighbourhood. On the other, it goes through Baixa (historical lower town), up the shopping district Chiado, and past São Bento and Estrela – finally arriving in Campo de Ourique, a neighbourhood known for having a great quality of life as well as nice restaurants and cafés. The metro is nearby too – depending where on the neighbourhood you are, you can either catch it on Terreiro do Paço, Baixa/Chiado, or Martim Moniz.
Living in Sé can be affordable but it’s not cheap: the rental rates have a huge range. It’s a great area to live in because it’s central, close to plenty of attractions, historical and near to many public transport options. Live-alone options, such as studios or 1-bedroom apartments, tend to be somewhere between €500 and €700, but if they’re particularly new or luxurious, the rent can be twice as that. 2-bedroom apartments are always a little over €650 and can range up to €800/900. There aren’t many apartments with more than 3 or 4 rooms in the area as all the buildings are quite small.
Fact sheet: Sé
One place to eat: Cruzes Credo, great burgers and relaxed atmosphere. Address: Cruzes da Sé 29
One place to drink: Taberna Moderna, the best gin and tonic of the city. Rua dos Bacalhoeiros 18A
One place to study: The tables at Pois, Café are big enough to spread out your books but wi-fi is capped at an hour for some strange reason. Rua são joão da praça 93-95
One thing to see: The Sé. We’ve been through this – see above.
One thing to do: Get lost in the cobblestone lanes, following nothing but your curiosity.
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