Built on seven hills, no trip to Lisbon is complete without scaling a few inclines or hoping on a charming tram in order to summit one of the city’s many peaked streets.
These rolling hills are a recipe for a workout, but they also mean that Lisbon has amazing views. Finding these miradouros (viewpoints) is part of the fun of taking a holiday to Lisbon, and taking it all in from above.
Hidden away in church courtyards, castle walls, and even at the top of a car park – here are where to find the best views in Lisbon.
São Jorge Castle: Overlooking the historic center, São Jorge Castle is already an unmissable part of Lisbon’s skyline. Those who brave the hike up to the hilltop outpost are rewarded with a beautiful view of the city below. Inside the Moorish castle, past the ticket office and down a cobblestone lane is the Miradouro do Recolhimento. This outlook, which is a bit hidden in a small square, has views towards the river as well as back towards the city.
PARK Bar: Along the sloping street of Calçada do Combro in Barrio Alto is a rather unremarkable garage for parked cars. However, it is possible to walk in and take the freight elevator to the last floor where PARK has converted the garage’s rooftop into a terrace bar with sweeping city views. Filled with potted plants and wooden deck furniture, the unexpected bar specializes in Brazilian inspired cocktails and beat-heavy music. Located beside the Santa Caterina Church, the terrace looks directly over the towers and down at the red-roofed city which cascades towards the waterfront.
Elevador de Santa Justa: A well-known site in the buzzing center of Lisbon, the Santa Justa Lift (also called the Carmo Lift) connects the Baixa and Bairro Alto neighborhoods. The beautiful structure plays a very practical role in transporting locals and visitors between Largo do Carmo and Rua de Santa Justa, however the urban lift also offers unbeatable views of the river from the center of the city. On the top floor, there is a kiosk and a lookout with panoramic views of Lisbon.
Miradouro de Santo Estevão: While wandering the warren of tiny streets that make up Lisbon’s Alfama district, it is easy to get lost. With its narrow cobblestone lanes and tucked away fountains, the city quarter is the best place to explore without a map. However, be sure to seek out the Santo Estevão Church before giving up on GPS all together. The 12th century church is pretty in its own right, but the best treasure in the area is in the piazza next to the whitewashed building. Santo Estevão Square hides a miradouro which offers views into the quiet courtyards and traditional homes that make the Lisbon neighborhood so special.
Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara: At sunset locals gather in a small park in Chiado to enjoy an ice cream and watch the sun set over the city from Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara. The area around the view point is filled with shady trees and benches that are perfect for taking in the vista, and perhaps even catching a street performer singing Portuguese fados.
Have you been to Lisbon? Where’s your favourite view in the city?