The Bairro Alto was laid out in the 16th century to house ship workers back when Lisbon was a maritime power and its ships planted the Portuguese flag all over the globe. Five centuries later its character survives, as families who call the Bairro Alto home go back generations. In the evening, the Bairro Alto buzzes with a thriving restaurant scene. And various restaurants serenade diners with the folk music of Lisbon's back streets. Traditionally, simple family-run restaurants entertained guests with fado music.