Bairro Alto is a place that truly changes from night to day. In daylight this bohemian district is a sleepy place, hungover from the previous night, with not much going on except for the trendy shops down Rua do Norte.
When the sun sets a new life begins, with restaurants opening their doors, and crowds showing up to spend their bar-hopping night.
The bars are small, forcing everyone to spill out onto the streets and creating a street party atmosphere.
Rua da Atalaia, Rua do Diário de Noticias, and Rua da Barroca become filled with caipirinha-sipping crowds, most under 40, but mixing different urban tribes, straight and gay.
It's a place inhabited by old ladies and young artsy hipsters, giving it a vibe that is simultaneously old-fashioned and avant-garde, a shabby-chic neighborhood that really needs no name. It's simply the "bairro," the neighborhood where everything happens -- at night.
Crossing the street Calçada do Combro we step into the small Bica neighborhood, known for its famous funicular. This is another picturesque neighborhood that goes down the hill, together with neighboring Santa Catarina which is known for its terrace viewpoint.