The Santa Justa Elevator starts from Rua de Santa Justa and finishes 45 metres up, skywards. Much as i found its "architecture" interesting, I felt no interest in taking that lift. Officially, on top there's a cafe, restaurant, viewing platform and a walkway alongside the ruins of the Carmo monastery.
Unique Suggestions: Do not trust the Lonely Planet when they tell you that you'll have too queue up for hours (basically do not get up at an unholy hour for it) - when we passed by there was a long queue of 1 person
Fun Alternatives: IF you really want to see the Carmo monastery... ok, do it... if it's the views you want, chose one of the many belvederes around town: they are free - the elevator is not
Elevador Santa Justa (the Eifel elevator). Built by a student of Gustave Eifel this iron elevator resides a tacky restarant at the top.
Unique Suggestions: Have a beer at the top.
Fun Alternatives: The views of Lisbon are as nice at Bairro Alto, go there instead.
Every guide tells you to go on one of the elevators (are there more than one?) to go from one low part of the city to another. This is all very nice and beautiful, at least in your mind, as the only thing you do is go up and back down again. I thought you would go up and stay there. Consider this: why do you need to pay sth like 10 euros to go up some 10 meters in an ancient elevator and just go down without seeing the view (if there would be one)? I think it's a bit too much...
Unique Suggestions: Feel free to do it anyway! It might be a worthwhile experience, and if it is, please let me know!
Fun Alternatives: You can also go by foot, and pass many nice buildings/shops/people!
To my mind much more interesting than standing in a (crowded) elevator.
I didn't get caught in this one, but a lot of other people did. The Elevador Santa Jústa is an interesting piece of civil engineering, but it is basically an elevator that goes up a few stories, with a bridge then connecting it to a street higher up the hill in Bairro Alto. It costs one euro to go up it, which takes about ten seconds. I guess one euro's not a lot of money, but you probably get just as much entertainment out of simply watching someone else do it! (I'd also class the Elevador da Glória in this category.)
Fun Alternatives: There is another elevador on the opposite side of the Av. da Liberdade from Bairro Alto, rising up to the hill on the east side of the boulevard. It also costs one euro to go up, but it's far less crammed with tourists, and is actually used by elderly Lisboans who are just trying to get up the hill.
Many people are recommending the Santa Justa Elevator as a way of getting up to Bairro Alto. This elevator goes up to the footbridge but, it is closed. You can only walk up to the top but, it's nice for a coffee if it's not too windy.