Commerce Square

Address: Praça do Comércio, 1100-148 Lisboa, Portugal

The Portuguese Empire’s colonies dotted throughout the Americas, Africa and Asia during its heyday, including Brazil, Goa in India, Malacca in Malaysia, Macao in China and East Timor. Although Portugal's power declined after its colonies proclaimed independence followed by the bloodless Carnation Revolution, the Commerce Square in downtown still offers you a glimpse of the glorious past of this European empire.

Commerce Square is a vast rectangular square sitting near the Tagus river. It was the location of the splendid Ribeira Palace, with shipbuilding facilities, and other administrative establishments that managed the commercial activities between Portugal and other parts of Europe, and its colonies in the Americas, Africa and Asia erected in the area. Unfortunately, an earthquake followed by a tsunami and fire reduced the palace and the buildings to ruins in 1755. After a massive reconstruction, the area was named “Commerce Square”, indicating its new role in Lisbon’s economy. The magnificent U-shaped square is Lisbon's formal entrance, and one of the most visited attractions in the city.

Under the gorgeous arched corridors on both sides of the square are the many artistic vendors, cafés and offices. It would be such a delight to buy a book that interests you, and read it at an elegant bistro. The plaza is also home to Martinho da Arcada, the oldest restaurant in the city established in 1782. It witnessed the ups and downs of Lisbon in the past two centuries. When it comes to The Day of Portugal on every 10th June, the plaza is packed with citizens and tourists for the military parades. It is one of the most anticipated festivals throughout the year.