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Lisbon's Bairro Alto district is a highlight of Portugal tours

When you're exploring a major city for the first time, the fast pace and big crowds can sometimes become a bit overwhelming, and a respite is in order. This is a common pitfall of people exploring the city of Lisbon on a tour of Portugal. Luckily, the Portuguese capital is home to a number of districts where you can get away from the throngs of tourists for a few hours and explore a different part of the city. This is especially true for Bairro Alto, a historic neighborhood that lends a suburban feel to a the city.

Stop by the gardens
It's always interesting to see lush gardens in the middle of a city, and you will have plenty of opportunities to do so in Bairro Alto. In particular, you may want to spend an afternoon relaxing in Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcantara. This picturesque garden is not only a beautiful addition to the city in its own right, it also provides you one of the best views you're likely to find in Lisbon, and taking in the famous St. George's Castle from afar will certainly stand out as a highlight of your trip. 

Take a ride
Not far from the relaxing atmosphere in Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcantara is the Gloria Elevator. This famous funicular has been a well known part of Lisbon for more than 125 years, and it brings tourists up the steep hill from the center of the city to Barrio Alto. While there are other ways to get around the city, few are quite as unique - and historic - as the Gloria Elevator. 

Visit Sao Roque 
It may seem easy to dismiss the Sao Roque Church on appearances alone. After all, compared to some of the more ornately designed buildings in Europe, it may not stand out that much. However, its exterior doesn't even begin to touch on what it houses inside. A veritable art museum, each chapel inside the church's walls is replete with some of the best Baroque pieces you're going to find. All of the chapels are impressive, but the fourth one on the left is often recognized as the world's "most expensive chapel." The room was designed with everything from gold and ivory to porphyry and lapis lazulli, so it certainly lives up to its name. 

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