When I lived in Lisbon (I left in 1972) the city was divorced from the river. Ugly and dirty banks, abandoned buildings, dangerous territory!
With EXPO 98 Lisbon rediscovered the river, and now Tejo is not only the traditional theme for poems and fado, but also a well maintained resource, with lots of places where we can safely stroll, rest, or practice any kind of sport. I was not invited, but I do celebrate the second marriage of Lisbon to the river Tejo.
"Wow! What a lovely colour! What tree is that?"
I couldn't answer to my friend Jordan, marveled by the colours of Lisbon in June.
Now I know - it's Jacaranda. One of the beautiful trees that shine under Lisbon's sun.
The eastern part of Lisbon was awful, a true shame for all. The needs to embellish the area to receive EXPO exhibition, gave a "face-lift" to a large area, and some old and degraded buildings were recovered.
Now, travelling in Marvila it's a true pleasure to those that once knew the area and confirmed that, when man wants everything has a solution. Even at a price...
From Castelo São Jorge you can see Lisbon’s old town, the river but also a more modern part of the city. It’s beautiful when the sun is going down and the river shines with its light.
Is also a “must see” of the city and one of the main attractions, but in lower and middle season it’s quite quiet.
Climbing to the top of the towers is also “mandatory” even if the stairs seem too steep, but it’s all worth it.
To get to the Castle, just catch the bus at Praça da Figueira (737) or prepare yourself to climb to the top!
Favorite thing: If you plan to visit the castle (Castelo de Sao Jorge) that sits high on the hill overlooking downtown Lisbon, then you will take a bus or tram, or you might even opt for a nice hike up the hill, that will bring you EXACTLY to the overlook in Alfama called Miradouro da Graca. Take a moment to walk over and look, the river Tagus sits below you and the Vaso de Gama bridge lies off to your left.
Due to Lisbon's excellent location on 7 hills, it offers many magnificent viewpoints called "Miradouros". The most popular one is the Miradouro do Castelo at the castle, from where almost the entire city can be seen.
To admire superb views of the castle itself and parts of the city you should visit the Miradouro da Graca at the Largo da Graca (tram #12 or #28).
The Miradouro da Santa Luzia overlooks the Alfama district and the mouth of the river Tejo. It is situated on a terrace near the Church of Santa Luzia (tram #12 or #28).
Other popular viewpoints are the Elevador de Santa Justa and the Cristo Rei Statue. Please read my "Things to do" and my "Off the beaten path" tips for more information about these two viewpoints.
The rustic feel of Lisbon is what I love about this city, especially the neighborhood of Alfama. On a clear, sunny day, I would have loved to have brought my painting gear and capture the very scenic views I saw.
Fondest memory: Roaming around the rustic and quaint streets of Lisbon.
For a wonderful, panoramic view of Lisbon and St. George's Castle, you must visit MIRADOURO DE SAO PEDRO DE ALCANTARA.
A large azulejos tile map marks the distinctive buildings seen before you.
The lower geometric gardens contains busts of heroes and gods from Greco-Roman mythology. Next to the Garden is Gloria Elevator, a funicular that takes passengers up and down the hill between the center of the city.
For wonderful views of the city, particularly the Castle, you must go up SANTA JUSTA LIFT or ELEVADOR DE SANTA JUSTA, also known as Carmo Lift, as it connects downtown streets with the uphill Carmo Square.
Located at Rua Aurea and Rua de Santa Justa, our VT Group got in line to enter a booth with a wooden interior, which accommodates 24 people - actually our whole VT group. Cost was 2,60 Euros per person.
Designed by Raul Mesner de Ponsard, an engineer born in Porto and an apprentice of Gustave Eiffel. Construciton began in 1900 and completed in 1902. Originally steam powered, it was converted to electrical in 1907. The Iron lift is 45 metres tall and is decorated in Neogothic style. The top story, the terrace, is reached by helicoidal staircases which were roped off during our visit.
The cage-like floor that we were on, still offered wonderful views of Lisbon Castle, Rossio Square and the Baixa neighbourhood.
Lisbon is a city built on hills (seven in total) and it makes the most of these with a number of beautiful vantage points laid out as small parks known as miradouros. Wherever you go in the Bairro Alto and the Alfama in particular, you are never likely to be far from somewhere from which to pause, rest from the climb, and look out on the roof-tops of the city. And it isn’t just tourists who take advantage of these opportunities. Locals too seem to really appreciate their city and take the time to admire it from these viewpoints.
Some of the best include:
~ Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara, near the top of the Gloria funicular in the Bairro Alto (photos 1 and 2 were taken here)
~ Miradouro de Santa Catarina, also in the Bairro Alto but at the southern end, not far from the top of the Bica funicular, with views towards the River Tagus
~ various places in and around the Castle of St George (where photo 3 was taken)
~ Miradouro da Graça, near the church of the same name, north of the Alfama
Once I was said you can either love or hate Lisbon. Fortunately, if it is true, I am among those people who LOVED it since the first moment I got in touch with it. If you have loved Lisbon, you will adore Istanbul as well.
Erasmus experiences in Lisbon must be marvellous.
Fondest memory: Every "miraduoro" (= view point) in Lisbon at sunset is wonderful, my fauvorite one was St. Luzia (Alfama, Electrico 28)
Lisbon by night is well worth seeing, because most squares, churches and historic buildings in the Baixa district are beautifully illuminated. Among them are: Praca Dom Pedro IV (Rossio), Praca da Figueira and the Praca do Comercio.
Another great area for fantastic nightviews is the Doca da Santo Amaro from where you can enjoy the views of the illuminated Ponte 25 de Abril and the Cristo Rei Statue. Please read my "Nightlife" tip for more details.
Favorite thing: All around Lisbon are paths and squares made up of small square blocks. They are all hand chipped and shaped so that fit amazing well together. The use of mosaic paving style came into being in 1840 with the use of basalt and marble blocks in black and white. Today craftsman mainly use their skills for patching roads and paving.
Favorite thing: Around Lisbon you will see several buildings with their façade’s covered in giant paintings. Some are displaying advertising while others have renovations going on behind the covers which depict what the building will look like when work has been completed.
Favorite thing: There are two terraces in Alfama that are great viewpoints over the city. One is Miradouro de Santa Luzia by a small white church and the other is Miradouros das Portas do Sol. Two great places to watch the city lit by the late afternoon sun before climbing up to the castle.