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Avenida da Liberdade in Lisbon – 15 TOP tips! (2022)

The famous and elegant Avenida da Liberdade is the 35th most expensive avenue in the world. Do you live in lisbon? In that case, I bet you have been there “thousands” of times. But have you ever looked closely at Avenida da Liberdade? As the Portuguese writer José Saramago would say… “If you can look, see, if you can see, notice”. That’s what we did! Come with us!

AVENIDA DA LIBERDADE (liberty avenue)

It is 90 meters wide and 1 kilometer long, an avenue that stretches from Praça dos Restauradores to Marquês de Pombal. Those who know the “Champs-Elysées” (in Paris), can easily find similarities with “our” Liberty Avenue. Indeed, it was in Paris that we found inspiration for its construction in the late nineteenth century. There we find wide sidewalks, gardens, lakes, large trees, statues, monuments, theaters, many luxury stores, funiculars, theaters, train stations, and much, much more! It is the busiest, most cosmopolitan and most expensive avenue in the Portuguese capital.

A BIT OF HISTORY

It was after the great earthquake that the Marques of Pombal ordered the construction of the “Passeio Público”. It was a fenced space located next to the Restauradores square where the high society of the time strutted their stuff. Later, in 1821, the liberal movement destroyed the wall that isolated the “public promenade” (it had very little of public…), making it accessible to all Lisboners.

It was between 1879 and 1886 that the Liberty Avenue was born. A construction with Parisian inspiration (Champs-Elysées). The result was a wide avenue flanked by sophisticated buildings. In the past, as in the present, it was immediately sought after by those with more economic power.

AVENIDA DA LIBERDADE, LISBON I
AVENIDA DA LIBERDADE, LISBON I

WHAT TO SEE AND DO AT AVENIDA DA LIBERDADE?

Don’t be fooled if you think this is just another Lisbon avenue! When you look closely, you find an impressive number of attractions. Below is a map to help you plan your tour! We hope it will be useful!

APPRECIATING ARCHITECTURE and the Portuguese sidewalk

As always, start by walking! Walk up and down the avenue calmly and observe the architecture of the buildings on Avenida da Liberdade. You will be contemplating constructions that are more than two hundred years old (most of them were built between 1879 and 1886). The Portuguese sidewalk is another of the avenue’s attractions. A particularly beautiful sidewalk, ornamented with abstract designs that have given it the title of the most beautiful in the city of Lisbon.

AVENIDA DA LIBERDADE, LISBON
AVENIDA DA LIBERDADE, LISBON

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KIOSKS

There are many along the wide sidewalks of the avenue. Sit down, have a coffee, enjoy the moment, and watch. Register the moment in your memory. Look at the people in their incessant movement.

KIOSKS AT AVENIDA DA LIBERDADE
KIOSKS AT AVENIDA DA LIBERDADE

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EDWARD VII PARK

It is located at the top of Avenida da Liberdade and extends over 25 hectares. It was first called “Parque da Liberdade” (1902). A year later its name was changed to Park Edward VII of England. A magnificent place and perfect for walking. If you want to know everything about Eduardo VII Park read our article!

EDWARD VII PARK
EDWARD VII PARK

MARQUÊS DE POMBAL ROUNDABOUT

Marquês de Pombal square is the heart of downtown Lisbon. It is the most central point of the capital. It is located between Parque Eduardo VII and Avenida da Liberdade, and in the center of the square stands an imposing statue of the Marquis of Pombal. Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo was the name of the famous marquis. This gentleman was governor of Lisbon between the years 1750 and 1777.  He went down in history as the man who led the reconstruction of Lisbon after the earthquake. Many forget or don’t remember that the Marquis was also a thug who had the Távora family killed in Belém with the utmost viciousness. It would be fairer if history also remembered him as the scoundrel he was!

MARQUÊS DE POMBAL ROUNDABOUT
MARQUÊS DE POMBAL ROUNDABOUT

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY: 3-HOUR EXCURSION ON ELECTRIC BICYCLE

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SÃO JORGE CINEMA AT AVENIDA DA LIBERDADE

São Jorge is one of the few cinemas in Lisbon that I truly enjoy visiting! It opened its doors in 1950 and offers 3 large rooms (two movie theaters and a multipurpose room). Besides the cinema, São Jorge also has theater and dance shows. Today, it is home to prestigious film festivals and has become a must-see for those who like cinema without popcorn.

 SÃO JORGE CINEMA AT AVENIDA DA LIBERDADE
SÃO JORGE CINEMA AT AVENIDA DA LIBERDADE

LAVRA ELEVATOR

Virtually unknown by most Lisboners, the Lavra elevator started operating on April 18, 1884. It is the oldest elevator in the city of Lisbon! It started by moving by a water counterweight. Later, it switched to steam and nowadays it is electricity that provides the energy it needs for its life.

It makes the connection between Câmara Pestana street and the Anunciada square (located 59 meters high). Once you reach the top, you will find nearby the Santana field garden and the Torel garden. If you want to experience this symbol of the city, know that it is available between 7am and 8:30pm (weekdays) and between 9am and 8pm on weekends.

LAVRA ELEVATOR

ROSSIO STATION

The construction of the magnificent Rossio station began in the 1880s. It is located between Praça dos Restaurantes and Praça do Rossio and is surely one of the most beautiful train stations in the country. Several buildings were sacrificed to make room for the station’s nave. 11 years later, in 1891 it was finally inaugurated!

It is visited every year by thousands of tourists who see there what many of us (Portuguese) have not yet seen, a work of great beauty. Highlights include the main facade with 8 doors and 18 windows adorned with Manueline arches.

ROSSIO STATION
ROSSIO STATION

MONUMENT TO THE DEAD OF THE GREAT WAR

A monument designed by Maximiano Alves and dedicated to the Portuguese who perished in World War I. It was designed in 1920 and inaugurated in 1931. It consists of a figure that symbolizes the homeland and is crowning the soldier. Supporting the fatherland are two soldiers in a colossal effort. On the monument can be: “In the service of the Fatherland, the effort of the Grei”.

MONUMENT TO THE DEAD OF THE GREAT WAR AVENIDA DA LIBERDADE LISBON
MONUMENT TO THE DEAD OF THE GREAT WARAVENIDA DA LIBERDADE, LISBON

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OTHER STATUES – AVENUE OF LIBERTY

Also on Avenida da Liberdade we can find statues that pay tribute to some great Portuguese writers: Alexandre Herculano, Almeida Garret and António Feliciano de Castilho.

OTHER STATUES ON THE AVENUE OF LIBERTY
OTHER STATUES – THE AVENUE OF LIBERTY

TIVOLI THEATER CINE

The construction of the Tivoli theater lasted four years. It opened its doors in the distant year of 1924 and was, at the time, a space essentially dedicated to the seventh art. Only the best movies of the moment were shown there, the silent movies of the 1920s. In the following decade, more precisely in 1930, Tivoli showed for the first time a sound film – “Love’s Parade”.

But ballet and theater also had a place at the Tivoli. In 1925, a theater group was created and very daring plays for the time were performed there.  Since 2012 it has been called the Tivoli BBVA theater, a name that is the result of a partnership between a production company and the bank.  

The architecture of the building shows a geometric shape that harmoniously fits in the block it is part of. In case you are thinking of going to Tivoli, check its agenda HERE!

TIVOLI THEATER CINE
TIVOLI THEATER CINE

FAMOUS STORES ON AVENIDA DA LIBERDADE

It is a perfect place for those who like to do expensive shopping! Along the avenue you will find premium stores from the most varied business areas. I must say in all honesty that this is what least interests me on this Lisbon avenue. But, if you, my dear reader, are rich and like to spend money, here is an (abbreviated) list of stores where you can do so. Happy shopping!

  • Burberry
  • Carolina Herrera
  • Cartier
  • Dolce  & Gabana
  • Emporio Armani
  • Gant
  • Gucci
  • Foreva
  • Hugo Boss
  • Lanidor
  • Loja das Meias
  • And more, much more…

GLORIA ELEVATOR

It started operating in the year 1885 and is the most famous funicular in Lisbon. It was initially moved by water counterweight and started operating with electricity in 1915. It makes the connection between São Pedro de Alcântara Street (Bairro Alto) and Restauradores Square. Once you reach the top, take the opportunity to appreciate the city from the magnificent Mirador de São Pedro de Alcântara. The Glória elevator is so famous that it served as the inspiration for a song. We close the article in the best way, with Rádio Macau and their Glória elevator (1987).

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EDUARDO VII PARK
EDUARDO VII PARK (click on the image)
TIME OUT MARKET
TIME OUT MARKET (click on the image)
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