Commerce Square

What makes Commerce Square so unique? Its elegant symmetries, its palaces, or its unbreakable connection to the Tagus river? Come and find it out!

Originally it was the site where the royal palace used to exist, then it became a square and then a parking spot. Today Commerce Square (in Portuguese Praça do Comércio) is one of the biggest and most suggestive squares of Europe.

The result of elegant symmetries and neoclassical virtuosities, despite its name Commerce Square is not dedicated to trade. This wide pedestrian area represents the symbol of the restoration of Baixa, an historical district of Lisbon. Its construction was ordered by Marquis of Pombal, the Prime Minister of King Josè I.

The square is characterized by a square shape of 170m on each side; three of which are boarded by elegant palaces, while the fourth side faces towards the Tagus river. The square is located near the main port, which back in the days was full of ships sailing to or coming from very distant countries. For ages the square has been considered the “door to the city”.

Be charmed by the unique atmosphere of this square, which is beautiful during day time and absolutely charming at night. It is impossible to think that this square was used as a parking area. Luckily things have changed and today Commerce Square is an unmissable attraction for all tourists visiting Lisbon.

What to see at Commerce Square

Commerce Square enchants its visitors thanks to its size and its atmosphere; as soon as you step in you will be fascinating by its extraordinary view.

Rua Augusta Arch

Enjoy a long walk around the square. A great starting point is Rua Augusta Arch – which you might have already seen if your hotel is located in the Baixa district. This monumental arch connects the square to Rua Augusta – one of the main streets of the city center – to Commerce Square and to another important square of Lisbon, that is to say Rossio Square.

The decorative statues on the arch represent some important protagonists of the history of Lisbon, including the explorer Vasco da Gama and Marquis of Pombal.

Palaces and statues of the Kings

The buildings around the square are governative offices; one of them is home to the Lisboa Welcome Centre, the tourist information center of Lisbon.

If you move towards the center of the square you can admire the majestic statue of King José I, made by Joaquim Machado de Castro in 1775.

Cais das colunas

As you keep walking towards the river you will see the most emblematic monument of the square; “just” two columns that carry a very profound symbolic meaning for the city; Cais das colunas represent the “imaginary” entrance gate to the city.

Between the columns and the square there is an elegant marble staircase that gently goes towards the river.

Caffè Martinho da Arcada

Before finishing your visit around the square make a quick stop at the historical caffé Martinho da Arcada, which back in the days used to be very popular among artists, writers, and musicians, including the poet Fernando Pessoa and the fado singer Amália Rodriguez. You can sip your coffee reading a book or enjoying some people watching as you feel you also were some artists, dreamers, travelers or nostalgics from the past.

A little bit of history

Commerce Square as we see it today is very different compared to how it was before 1755. Before the terrible earthquake that destroyed Lisbon there wasn’t a square. This was the location of the royal palace or Ribeira Palace, which was strategically built outside the city walls, near the port and the administrative structures that managed the trade between Portugal, other European countries, and overseas colonies.

Once destroyed by the earthquake, the palace was not rebuilt on his original location but it was moved to Belem. A new square was then designed according to the new standards of the Baixa Pombalina,

Did you know…

Useful information


Praça do Comércio, 1100-148, Portugal


Bus stops

  • Terreiro do Paco (34 mt)

Where is located Commerce Square

Commerce square is located in the heart of the city and it is easy to reach because it is an important hub for all public transports in Lisbon: here you will find subway, bus and tram stops.

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Rua Augusta Triumphal Arch

Rua Augusta Triumphal Arch

Also Lisbon has its triumphal arch: Rua Augusta arch, the noble gateway to the center of the city, in Commerce Square.
Lisboa Story Centre

Lisboa Story Centre

The memories of a city in a museum; the Lisboa City Center will help you travel back in time to discover the history of Lisbon from its origins until today

How to save on transport and entrance fees

City Card allow you to save on public transport and / or on the entrances to the main tourist attractions.

Lisbon Card: 24, 48, or 72-Hour Pass
Lisbon Card: 24, 48, or 72-Hour Pass
Enjoy free admission to top attractions and discounts at various landmarks. Available for 24, 48, or 72 hours, the Lisbon Card provides unlimited free access to the public transport system.
From 27,00 €

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