Lisbon is built on seven hills... so to visit it, you will have to go up and down... The best way to discover the town is by foot but believe me... it is quite exhausting! So to help you to climb a hill, you will find several lifts called "Elevadores'" . The most typical one - or the one that is the most on post cards is the "Bica elevador" . The street is very steep and narrow and it is very picturesque. And the area is really beautiful : lots of houses with hanging clothes, very deep views....
Apparently this elevator used to connect the lower and upper parts of the city but I don't think you can really go anywhere from up top now, so it is here as a novelty and a great place for views looking down on the city. It was built, as it seems were a number of structures in Portugal, by a student of Gustaf Eiffel in the early 20th century. It does indeed offer great views from the top, which is about 30 steps above the top of the elevator ride. It is where I took the panoramic picture on my Lisbon introduction. Runs from early in the morning until 10:00 or 11:00 p.m. Cost is 1.20 Euros or a BUC-2 ticket for 2 rides at 1.40.
Just to the side of near Praca dos Restauradores is a very steep and narrow street which leads up to the Bairro Alto and where the Gloria Elevador da Gloria operates. This is apparently the busiest elevador of funicular in Lisbon and dates back to 1885. Today it is operated by Carris on a daily basis from Operating 07.00am to 12.55am-0055am.
The Santa Justa Elevator is a remarkable masterpiece designed by an apprentice of Gustave Eiffel and used to make the connection between the Baixa (downtown) and Bairro Alto (high neighbourhood).
It was opened in 1902, when it was steam powered, then in 1907 it became electrical and was the only vertical elevator in Lisbon in public service. Made entirely of cast iron, and embellished with filigree, the lifts within the tower go up to 45 metres and carry 25 persons in each cabin of which there are two. In a romantic neogothic design, this elevator is really something that you cannot afford to miss!
The Glória Funicular is one of the funiculars existent in Lisboa, right downtown, most precisely on the Restauradores Square. It makes the connection between this square and Bairro Alto (literally High Quarter) on a 265 metres journey up or down the hill.
When you go out of the funicular you will find on the right side the S. Pedro de Alcântara belvedere, from where you get a magnificent view of downtown Lisboa and Castelo de S. Jorge. Just across the road, slightly to the right, at Rua de S. Pedro de Alcântara, n.º 39-49, lies the Instituto do Vinho do Porto, where a vast range of port-wines may be tasted and purchased in the sumptuous surroundings of the Palácio Ludovice (1749).
The Glória funicular opened on 24 October, 1885, and since then two funiculars have been going up and down, carrying locals and tourists on a journey though not being particularly rich in landscape, is still unique and very nice!
The Glória is the busiest funicular in Lisboa and also the most accessible for tourists as it lies next door to the main tourist information office in the Palácio Foz.
It is 265 metres long and has an average gradient of 18%.
Operating hours are 07h00m - 00h55m every day.
Saint Justa Elevator (Elevador de Santa Justa) First opened to the public in 1902, It was designed in a neo-Gothic style by Raoul Mesnier du Ponsard who had been an apprentice to Gustave Eiffel (designer of the Eiffel Tower in Paris).
The Elevator rises vertically some 45 meters from Rua de Santa Justa in Baixa to Largo do Carmo it offers some great views of the city and the River Tagus.
it costs € 2,80 for 2 trips and is open every day between 8.00 a.m. to 9.00 p.m.
The Santa Justa Elevator is a remarkable masterpiece designed by an apprentice of Gustave Eiffel and makes the connection between the Baixa (downtown) and Bairro Alto (literally High Quarter).
It was opened in 1902, when it was steam powered, then in 1907 it became electrical and was the only vertical elevator in Lisboa in public service. Made entirely of cast iron, and embellished with filigree, the lifts within the tower go up to 45 metres and carry 25 persons in each cabin of which there are two. In a romantic neogothic design, this elevator is really something that you cannot afford to miss!
The café at the top affords magnificent views over the city centre and Tejo river.
You can use bus tickets in Elevador de Santa Justa.
The Elevador da Santa Justa is designed by an apprentice of Gustave Eiffel and used to make the connection between the Baixa (downtown) and Bairro Alto (high neighbourhood). Nowadays, the connexion is closed, so you can just go up and down with the elevator. Note that it's still worth it because of the nice views you get from Baixa and the Tagus river, from a height of 45 m.
Personally, I don't find the exterior of the elevador beautiful. The interior is much nicer and made of wood.
If you came from the airport with the Aerobus, you can use that ticket the same day for free access to the elevator.
I've read on some other VTers' pages that you should skip this elevator that takes you from Baixa (the Lower Town) up to Bairro Alto (the high neighborhood). In my Lonely Planet guide, it also only recommended riding the elevator if the lines weren't too long. However, when I visited in February, there was no line at all and the ride only costs 2 Euros, so it's well worth it for the views. There's even a cafe on the top that provides amazing views over the city (although the seating is cramped and your meal will be interrupted by a constant stream of picture taking tourists). The viewpoint gives you the best overhead look at Baixa in the city and you also get an amazing view of the Convento do Carmo at the top.
The elevator was designed by a disciple of Gustave Eiffel (yeah, THAT Eiffel), Raul Mesnier du Ponsard and clearly was influenced by the more famous wrought iron Parisian wonder. It opened in 1902 and for the 100-plus years since, it's been saving Lisbonites from the steep climb to Bairro Alto. When you're walking down Rua Augusta in Baixa, you're sure to see the massive structure rising almost incongruously from the elegantly planned neighborhood below.
This old elevator, built in 1900, seems built by Eiffel, but it's maked under the project of a portuguese engineer, Raoul Mesnier de Ponsard.
You can get a great pleasure: climb it and see a greet sight - the old part of the city.
I've no words to describe it...
Next, you are near Bairro Alto, typical streets, with many restaurants and, at night, you can dinner while you listen the Fado alive!
As a "seven hills" city, Lisbon has some steep areas. By the end of the 19th century, several lifts were made. Some of them disappeared, but four were kept and modernized, still being useful to make the visits descending, and some of them even transformed in national monuments.
That's what happened with Santa Justa elevator and Lavra, this one sharing with Bica the circumstance of staying a little "out of the beatten path", thus not so useful for tourists as the other two.
Gloria elevator starts right in central Restauradores square, and it is very useful to go up to "Bairro Alto"
This building/public elevator is dated from the end of the 19th century. Built in iron, the elevator is also known as Elevador do Carmo and connects the Baixa Pombalina to the Bairro Alto
On top is a passage for circulation and a platform where a panoramic caffe is installed. From both spots the view over the city is amazing...
This lift is really just a platform for getting views of the city from, but boy are they good views. It was once used by locals to get from the Baixa to the Barrio Alto area but since a fire destroyed the platform you can only go up and down. It only costs a few Euros and the views from the top all around are excellent, to the Castle, across Rossio and down to the docks. There is also a cafe at the top, although getting a table may be tricky as there are only a few. Try to be there at sunset for some excellent photo opportunities. If you used the Aerobus to get from the airport your ticket gives you free access to this as long as you go on the same day.
With the vertical elevator as backdrop, or during the trip itself, every single angle possible has been photographed. Photographed millions of times, the photogenic edifice is an irresistible attraction.
And there’s a very good reason: the elevador de Santa Justa offers every visitor one of the most gorgeous views of the city of Lisboa, which is not surprising given that the elevator is 45 meters high.
The Elevador de Santa Justa is a public transport vehicle from the era of iron architecture, which rises from the Rua de Santa Justa, in the Baixa, to the Largo do Carmo. It is now the only vertical elevator in the city, with the other one, at the Biblioteca, having disappeared in 1915.
The elevador’s construction was licensed July 6, 1899, with the pioneering project’s responsibilities given to the French engineer R. Mesnier du Ponsard, while the construction itself was handled by the Elevadores do Carmo company.
The attractive elevador de Santa Justa has a structure made of iron, with a 25 meter long viaduct supported on a pillar of reinforced concrete and, at one of the extremities, a metallic tower 45 meters high.
It’s easy, therefore, to understand the emotion one feels during the moments of the slow journey up, headed toward the sky. But when you get out, when the doors open and the cool wind caresses your face, there is a sea of beauty in front of you.
If you prefer, instead of walking directly forward toward the Largo do Carmo (the Convento is under construction, and can’t be visited, but the Largo, by itself, is magnificent: there’s a church, tascas, esplanadas, a fountain and the Carmo barracks, a key element in the Revolução dos Cravos in 1974, as well as providing access to the Chiado), you can climb to the top of the elevador, where you can see Lisboa from a unique perspective, relax at the beautiful esplanada, catch a few rays of sunshine and feel the city vibrating below. It’s well worth the trip, the walk and the moments up there on top, near the sky.
The angle is at a gradient of 18% in most places and runs for 265 metres. It only takes around a minute or so to complete the journey to the upper station on Rua de Sao Pedro de Alcantara, but certainly the only means to get up to the top of the hill unless you are fairly fit and want to walk it.