A few steps along the road from the Miradouro das Portas do Sol is another wonderful viewpoint, the Miradouro Santa Luzia. Its low stone wall is decorated with azulejos and overlooks the winding streets, rooftops and churches of the Alfama district, and below these the River Tagus.
The little square takes its name from the small church to one side of it, Santa Luzia. There has been a church on this site since the 12th century, but this one dates from the 18th century and was extensively rebuilt after the 1755 earthquake. On its south wall, facing the viewpoint and a pretty little garden, are two tiled panels. One depicts the Christians attacking St George’s Castle in 1147 and the other shows Praça do Comércio as it looked prior to the earthquake.
On the last morning of our latest visit to Lisbon we took a taxi up the hill towards the castle and got out on the Rua São Tome. Perched above the Alfama district is a little square, the Largo Portas do Sol, with a small stall selling drinks and snacks. This is a perfect place to enjoy a coffee and pasteis while soaking up the sun and admiring the views. This for me is a quintessential Lisbon experience!
From this viewpoint you can see several churches, including the large São Vicente de Fora ("St. Vincent Outside the Walls" - in photo three and behind Chris in photo four), the white dome of the Pantheon or Church of Santa Engracia (photo two), Santo Estêvão (in my main photo) and all the houses and other buildings tumbling down the slopes of the Alfama to the river below.
In the centre of the square is a statue of São Vicente (photo five), the city's patron saint. He is holding a boat with two ravens on it, the symbols of Lisbon.
Lisbon has a lot of viewpoints, but for me this is the most spectacular. The view gives you a sight for lots of different stuff:
- Castelo de São Jorge (St. George's Castle)
- Lisbon typical rooftops
- Rio Tejo (Tejo River)
- Avenida da Liberdade (Liberty Avenue)
- And so on
Plus, on the viewport itself, you have a little garden, a fountain, and lots of artists.
This is very near Bairro Alto, so you can go up to this viewport by the "Elevador da Glória" and experience this old Lisbon elevator.
Go up to the "Miradouro de Santa Catarina" to have beautiful views over the City of Lisbon!
This viewpoint is usually crowded with students drinking beer, young artists playing music and painters.
There, you have some bars to sit and enjoy the beautiful view. There's also an Adamastor statue there!
Metro - Baixa-Chiado Station or Tram 28
Spreading over seven hills, and usually with a bright sun, Lisbon has lots of wonderful sights.
Each hill has a couple of privileged spots, but the castle tops them all. The lift of Santa Justa is another special place, with good views over the castle.
Lisbon has many hills and logically many belvederes. It is used to say there were 7 hills like Rome but the truth is that there are much more. These are great places to stop a bit, relax and take some pictures.
Here are some of the places you can find:
A) Top of the Santa Justa Elevator - In the top of the XIX century elevator you can find a beautiful view over the downtown, the castle and the river. The place is quite small and has an esplanade so it can be difficult to get to. If you don't want to pay the ride in the elevator you can access for free through the Carmo square.
B) The castle is another wonderful place to check the view in particular at the end of the day when the sun sets over the landscape. You will have to pay to enter. The Ulisses tower allows you to explore in more detail the view and is open from 10h and 16h30.
C) São Pedro de Alcântara – A beautiful overlook with some statues and fountains and filled with people day and night. You can see all the downtown and central area of the city.
D) Santa Catarina overlook, or Adamastor (since it has the statue of the mythical being) is a nice small belvedere overlooking the river and set of the nice Noobar bar.
E) Torel garden has a beautiful overlook to the Bairro alto hill, there is a small secluded bar in the place where you can sit and relax and is often empty.
F) Senhora do Monte – For me the favorite overlook in the city. With the small chapel and the wonderful view over castle, river and central city. Next to it you have a small hotel with a nice bar in the top. The service is not excellent but the views amazing.
G) Graça – Next to the old convent this small overlook has wonderful views over the city and a small café.
H) Portas do Sol/Santa Luzia – The nice overlook over the area of Alfama and the river. There are many monuments around and a bar with great views.
Lisbon is known as the city with the 7 hills and when walking around the city you’ll pass many beautiful viewpoints, for instance Miradouro de Santa Luzia and Miradouro das Portas do Sol.
Miradouro de Santa Luzia has nice views of the River Tagus and the Alfama neighbourhood... Miradouro das Portas do Sol also has views of the river and Alfama, and furthermore it has a balcony perfect for photo shooting. There is also a small square with a statue of São Vincent (the city's patron saint)...
Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcantara is a small park and also one of many viewpoints around Lisbon. There is a great view of central Lisbon - and a map made of tiles helps you identifying the buildings you see on the horizon...
The park is divided into two levels. The upper level has a small fountain, a café/kiosk, and a monument dedicated to Eduardo Coelho, who was the first chief of the famous newspaper ‘Diário de Noticias’. The lower level contains some flower beds and several busts of heroes and gods from Greco-Roman mythology, for instance Ulysses. In the evening people gathers at Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcantara for a beer, a drink, or a glass of wine…
From Portas do Sol viewpoint you can enjoy Lisbon’s old neighborhoods. Narrow steep streets from one of Lisbon’s most iconic places: Alfama. Old worn houses that contrast with rehabilitated ones. You can also see the Tagus River and the other side of Lisbon.
Next to the viewpoint there is a restaurant with a big promenade where you can enjoy the landscape and eat some light meals or drink natural juices.
To get there: There are to trams that go there: 12E (departure from Praça da Figueira and 28E departure from Martim Moniz)
If you have to choose just one of the many overlooks in Lisbon, this should be the one.
Facing the castle, with Bairro Alto in your back, this is a mandatory stop for picture.
And after or before the picture don't forget S. Roque church, only a few meters distant.
This garden is located near the top of the Gloria Elevator and offers some staggering panoramic view across the city to St. George's Castle and central Lisbon. A map made of tiles marks all the distinctive buildings, and the lower geometric garden contains busts of heroes and gods from Greco-Roman mythology, such as Minerva and Ulysses. A memorial was erected in the garden in 1904, dedicated to the first chief of the famous "Diário de Noticias", Eduardo Coelho. Eduardo Coelho (1835-89) founded the daily paper in 1863 and led it for its first 25 years.
The Miradouro de Santa Luzia is a very popular look-out point from the Alfama area of Lisbon. Next to the Mannerist Santa Luzia Church, this look-out provides visitors with spectacular views of the Tejo and the neighbourhoods along the river, while the various small gardens along the edge of the walkway are filled with beautiful local flowers during the spring and summer months.
This viewdeck is the easiest to access among the viewdecks in the city as it's within the usual tourist walking area in downtown lisbon. It offers a panoramic view of of downtown Lisbon, Castelo São Jorge and the Alfama district, and the big park on the leftmost, Parque Eduardo VII. From this vantage point, the city's famous landmarks can easily be spotted, and one can appreciate how this city is atop (seven) hills. The viewdeck has some benches and a small garden at the lower level. The street-level terrace has some big trees, and the shade they offer is a great place to cool oneself in during summer after an excursion to the Bairro Alto area.
Lisbon, like Rome, is built on 7 hills and this makes miradouros (or overlook places) a popular spot to see the lower parts of the city, the river and the sides across it. One popular miradouro we found in Alfama is Miradouro de Santa Luzia, next to the church with the same name.
In this area there are street entertainers (like some guys playing instruments and a girl juggling some bowling pins), restaurants and cafés with outdoor sitting for you to relax, have a beer/coffee and enjoy the views.
Not very many cities possess views such as these. Pause from a walk and from a roaming about the old city and go up to one of her fine miradouros or lookout and contemplate the place.
The miradouros of Lisbon are the ideal vantage points from which to look at and admire this city. A city that is without comparison. Lisbon has many hills and upon these hills there are three most prominent perches or miradouros perfect to survey the breathtaking expanse of the city. The highest point above the Baixa is the most famous of all, the besieged and war-weary walls and terraces of the Castelo de Sao Jorge. Right pararell to it on the next hill is the miradouro of Nossa Senhora do Monte - solemn and least visited.
The other great and astonishing lookout is the Miradouro de Sao Pedro de Alcantara in the Bairro Alto district on the opposite hill across. This is a miradouro with a view of a thousand histories. A view like no other...so captivating and let's you never forget...to not forget her shattered past, triumph and a most generous face. A past traversed by Phoenicians, Celts, Vandals, Sueves and Alans, Romans and the Moors. Not to mention the brazen Spaniards. The first king of Portugal Afonso Henriques made the final claim in 1147.
You will never see a view of a city from a hill such as hers. Embracing and potent in her eternal narcissism. In the mid-1800's, an English traveller upon seeing the city declared Lisbon to be 'the most narcissistic city of all cities.' A narcissism which came about as a result of her frontal face having been smashed, defiled and shattered by the a most devastating earthquake of 1755.
From this destruction which brought about a wholesale flattening of land mass, a tsunami killing more than 40,000 souls, a conflagration that followed levelling everything in its path. The high-rising hill which all had sat there before, brought down in gravel and dust. A sunken and flattened out plateau, afterwards a concerted rebuilding carried out to resurrect the levelled off area to make the Baixa which has since become the lower part of town and the central hub of Lisbon.
On both sides, the other hills stood intact, shaken but unrepentant. A new and much-reconstructed face of Lisbon after 1776.
You look down below either from the citadel upon the ramparts of the castelo high above the Alfama or from a slope in Bairro Alto. From either miradouros you survey a sentiment-filled city caldera and across the entire expanse of Lisboa's countenance. As your look lingers, her hand touches your face and a gaze to make you - along with her - so gladdened and forever longing for returns.