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
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.
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.
I took this Praça do Comércio pic (Commerce Square) from the ferry , also known as Palace Square (Terreiro do Paço).
This is one of the most magnificent squares of Lisbon and was once the main maritime entrance to Lisbon. The name Palace Square is clearly a reference to the Palace that was located here for 400 years, until the 1755 earthquake that almost completely destroyed it.
A mini cruise is a real must in order to enjoy Lisbon, a city overlooking the river Tagus (Tejo) and the ocean.
Centuries of history will emerge from its monuments scattered along the hills.
I could see the cruises and wondered how fantastic should be a cruise on the river Tagus.
I didn’t go on a mini cruise but I crossed the river in Ferry boat, I could enjoy the views as well. :-)))
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...
Favorite thing: During the spring and summer months it is possible to take a 2-hour river cruise that leaves from Comercio Square. From there it passes by Alfama towards Parque das Nacoes. It then returns to the center towards Belem (where you can get the same views of Belem Tower that the explorers had when they departed from there), and finally back to Comercio Square.
Favorite thing: Miradouro in portuguese means view point and there are many miradouros around Lisbon. The one I liked the most is miradouro near the Castelo de São Jorge in the center of the city. From up there ou can see Praça do Comercio, Baixa, river Tejo, the statue of Cristo Rei... It's just spectacular!
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.
Favorite thing: Lisbon has so many great vantage points from which to observe the brightly colored roofs and facades. On our first day in town, we walked through a misty rain up into the historic Alfama district. The sun shone through the wet air and the combination of light and wetness made the buildings sparkle. The red roofs and the pastel shades make the atmosphere almost festive, even on a quiet, rainy day.
Much like Rome, Lisbon is built on seven hills and from each of these hills you can look out over the city and the river below. Seeing the sweeping views is impressive, but be prepared to navigate the steep and often leg-cramping hills. Your efforts (or that of a tram or taxi) will be rewarded with great photo opportunities. Elevated viewpoints are always an effective way to get oriented when you're visiting a city for the first time, so I'd recommend climbing on your first day in town. Take a map and you'll get a sense of the layout of the town.
This is a shot through the beautifully decorated ironworks on a window at the Miradouro de Santa Luzia in the Alfama.
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.
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)
Miradouro Santa Luzia, view of Alfama
Along the route of “eléctrico 28” there is a good view of the Alfama quarter. You see the red roofs fitting into eachother and in the background the river Tejo to the east. At the miradouro there is a lovely open air café where you can get a good espresso (called “uma bica”). This picture was not taken there!