Step into the soul of Lisbon and feel like a real local visiting Rossio, an elegant square located in the lower city. It is also known as Baixa, the central neighborhood of Lisbon.
Considered the heart of Baixa, Rossio Square – officially known as Praça D.Pedro IV – is a lively rectangular square boarded by elegant palaces with regular lines, which were typical from the Pombaline architecture imposed during the reconstruction of the city after the earthquake of 1755.
The square was also the theather of wicked happenings like the executions of the Inquisition and the militar parades of the regimen. Today Rossio Square represents a real hymn to joy and beauty with its relaxed atmosphere, its lively bars and cafes where local people debate about politics and football.
Act like a local; take a seat, order a coffee and a pastel – those delicious creamy pastries typical of Lisbon – and enjoy some people watching.
The first thing that calls the attention is its stunning tiled floor made with white and black stones that create a waving pattern; you will feel like walking on an ocean that goes beyond the horizon. Don’t be fooled because you are still on the mainland and you can take a look around to discover the other beauties of this square.
Bronze statues and baroque fountains embellish the square; at the center there is a tall column featuring a statue at its top; it is not sure if it represents king Pedro IV or the emperor Maximilian of Mexico.
Among all the palaces around Rossio, the most fascinating one is by far this stunning Neo Classical palace located on the northern side of the square, the Teatro Nacional de Dona Maria, built in the 19th century on the initiative of the eclectic intellectual Almeida Garrett on the place where the Court of Inquisition was previously located.
Look to the north-western corner of the square and you will notice a magnificent facade in Neo-Manueline style; it is the entrance to the Rossio station, a beautiful 3 floors building from 1887.
After strolling around the square, or even before starting your exploration, you should make a stop at one of the many coffee shops located at Rossio Square.
Among the several bars around, the most famous one is the historical Caffè Nicola which was very popular among writers and artists between the 19th and the 20th century; its interiors are decorated with scenes from the life of the poet Manuel Maria Barbosa du Bocage, which plays a key role in the literary heritage of Portugal.
If you have a sweet tooth stop at Pastica Suica on the eastern side of Rossio or the Pastelaria Nacional in the nearby Praça da Figueira.
To discover every corner of Dom Pedro IV Square you can take part in a guided tour of the city: a guide will take you to every corner of Rossio and Lisbon’s attractions.
Rossio is certainly one of the best places to stay in Lisbon: the location is strategic to visit all Lisbon neighbourhoods, and there are many hotel solutions for all budgets.
Rossio is one of the main squares of Lisbon and it is located in the very central district of Baixa, which is easily served by all public transports.
You can walk from Commerce Square to Rossio Square by crossing the pedestrian Rua do Augusta.
City Card allow you to save on public transport and / or on the entrances to the main tourist attractions.