one of the furniculars in the city, this one goes between Baixa and Bairro Alto (High Quarter, the hill on the west side.)
You can catch it on the west side of Restauradores .
It's cheap, fast, but I don't find it necessary to get up to Bairro Alto. The hill isn't that steep or long, and if you find it that this hill is, take the street route through Chiado that is much less of a grade.
Lisbon’s steeply sloping terrain has always been a serious problem for the transport of people and goods between the high and the low-lying areas. The advent of mechanical traction brought the possibility of a solution. It was at this time that the funiculars and lifts began to appear, the first functioning on sloping terrain, the second operating vertically.
In this regard Lisbon started (from the end of the 19th century) to provide the city with a series of funiculars working up and down the slopes. The first was officially opened in 1884 in the Calçada do Lavra. This was followed by the funiculars on the Calçada da Glória and Bica and they are still working today.
On April 1896 the engineer Mesnier de Ponsard obtained a concession for the construction and running of a lift which would be built vertically from the Santa Justa steps to form a connection with the Largo do Carmo, using a passageway at the top along the road of the same name. Construction began in 1900 and was finished in July 1902 when entered public service; originally powered by steam, it was converted to electrical operation in 1907. In February 2002, along with the funiculars of Lavra, Glória and Bica, also owned by Carris, it was classified as a national monument.
Lavra and Bica operate from 7am to 9pm, and Glória from 7am to midnight which extends to 4:30am in weekends). Santa Justa Elevator works from 7am to 9pm.
Beware of pickpockets as they know that this will be full of potential targets.
And what we have on top of any funicular or elevator? Of course a fantastic view of the city which is always rewarding.
Elevadores are a very good way to climb those many hills that Lisbon have. When you are walking hours around the beautiful Lisbon, you can get a little tired, so ... if you are ... you can take the beautiful yellow elevadores. You have this ones:
Elevador de Bica: from Sao Paulo near Cais do Sodre to Bairro Alto
Elevador da Gloria: from Praza dos Restauradores to Bairro Alto.
Elevador de Santa Justa: from Rua do Ouro to Largo do Carmo (now is close) you can go up but not get out ... is it?? because they are working there.
The most wonderfuls views from Elevador Santa Justa
Lisbon has three working street funiculars: the Lavra funicular (at Almada), the Gloria funicular (between Restauradores and Bairro Alto) and the Bica funicular (between Rua da Bica and Calhariz). The only one that I found useful is the Gloria funicular - which takes you right into the heart of the nightlife in the Bairro Alto. I don't remember the price, but it could have been (february 2004) 1.50 euros.
The second funicular is "Bica" in Lisbon and the departure is from a basement of a building in commercial district if you have a carefull eye you can find this place.Otherwise impossible to ride this avesome transport unit.
There are 4 elevadores (funiculars) in Lisbon taking you from a lower district to a higher one and back. You should definitely experience it, they are great! There's no real timetable, the driver leaves once there are enough people or if he waited long enough. You can use them for free if you have the Lisboa card (see general tip). If not, they cost 1,10 euro one way
1/ Elevador da Bica: from Largo do Calhariz to Rua de São Paulo. It's the one in the picture. To me, it's the most beautiful one.
2/ Elevador da Gloria: from S. Pedro de Alcântara to Restauradores. It takes you to the miradouro de Alcantara.
3/ Elevador da Lavra: from Rua Câmara Pestana to Largo da Anunciada. Just a few streets away, there's a beautiful viewing spot which looks over Bairro Alto and Baixa.
4/ Elevador da Santa Justa: Rua do Ouro. At the moment, this elevator just goes up and down, but the passage to the Bairro Alto is closed. Still worth going up for the nice view over the Castle and the Tagus. This one is more expensive, about 2 euro.
Remember, if you came from the airport via the Aerobus, you can use the elevadores and trams for free during that same day.
Originally known as the Elevadour do Carmo, this unusual structure was one of three lifts built to transport people and goods between the high and low areas of the city. The other two were Chiado and Biblioteca. Construction started in July 1900 after several years of negotiations, and the lift opened in 1902. In 1973 the concession to operate the lift was transferred to the Carris public transport network.
The tower contains two lifts, enclosed in elegant gothic wrought iron. At the top there is a two-level viewing platform – the upper level has a café with views all over central Lisbon – and there is a covered walkway linking the tower to Largo do Carmo.
We used our 7 Colinas card to go up to the viewing platform - I believe the cost is normally around the same as a single bus ticket.
Next to Miradouro de Sao Pedro de Alcantara is the ASCENSOR DA GLORIA or the "GLORIA ELEVATOR". The "GLORIA" is the busiest funicular in Lisbon and takes passengers up and down the hill between the center of the city, from Restauradores Square up to Bairro Alto.
The track is 265 metres long and has an average grade of 18%
Lisbon has several funicular railways that creep up its steep hills and deposit passengers several hundred feet above where they started. This one is the Elevador da Glória. If you don't have an all-day transit ticket, the elevador costs one euro (pay the driver). The ride is short, but atmospheric. The one I recommend most, because very few tourists use it, is on the opposite side of the Av. da Liberdade from Bairro Alto. The Elevador da Glória is just down the block from a tourist information office, so it's pretty crowded.
There are four elevators operating in Lisbon :
Santa Justa is the best known, a vertical elevator built upon Eiffell's plans, and linking the street with its name to Chiado. Is a touristy "must see" and useful to use.
Operating time 7 AM to 9 PM in winter,7 AM (9 Am on Sunday and holidays) to 11 PM in summer
Glória is a special tram linking Restauradores to Bairro Alto, also very useful to tourists.
Operating time 7 AM (8 AM on Sunday) to 12 PM (4.30 AM on Friday and Saturday)
Lavra is also a special tram, linking Largo da Anunciada to R. Câmara Pestana, "out of the beaten path".
Bica is technically identical, but linking a high place to a higher one, in the steepest hill of Lisbon. It starts in Bica, near Chiado, and goes up to S. Paulo.
Operating time 7 AM (9 AM on Sunday and holidays) to 9 PM
Since August 2013 there is a 5th elevator in Lisbon. This one is FREE (so far) and links Rua dos Fanqueiros (building number 170-178) to the castle. Interesting solution, that I didn't try... yet!
Like the trams, the funiculars of Lisbon are a must see in themselves. These sloping trams will drag you up the steepest of Lisbon's embankments to some of its higher districts, like Bairro Alto. They are slow, often cramped, and with long queues even in the evening, but you will probably want to take them rather than getting one of the boring buses. The one pictured here is the elevador to Bairro Alto.
..........and use it to the full. Go up (or down) all the elevadores, take the Santa Justa 'ascensor' (lift), ride tram 28 from terminus to terminus, take tram 12 around Alfama, use tram 15 to go to and from Belem...all brilliant fun.
You can buy a day ticket from Metro stations and from various agents (showing the 'Mob' sticker), and use it for trams, buses, Metro and elevadores. For 6 euro plus 50 cents for the re-chargeable card (April 2014) it's still a real bargain.
You can just pay the elevadore or bus driver, but that will work out more expensive of course. Elevadores charge 3.60 for a return trip.
On my first visit I really enjoyed the elevadores. I hadn't realised that they ran through 'ordinary' streets with pedestrians and children and dogs and just a few inches from front doorways. The same applies to the trams, especially when travelling through Alfama. And I did see some near-misses by trams and elevadores on both visits.
Using the elevadores and trams really is an absolute 'must' for Lisbon...you'll see such a lot more of the city.... although unfortunately they are not easily accessible for those with mobility difficulties.
Because Lisbon is build on several hills there are some elvators to make it easier to get up the hills. Elevador de Santa Justa is an elevator that brings you from Baixa (Rua de Santa Justa) to Bairro Alto (Largo do Carmo).
Elevador da Bica is a funicular in neighbourhood Chiado that brings you up from Rua de São Paulo to Largo Calhariz - Rua do Loreto.
As you might see on the picture it's a very steep way, so to keep you from exhaustion it's a comfortable way to go the upper part of Chiado.
It's easy to forget that Lisbon's 4 funicular elevadores, plus the wonderfully ornate cast-iron Santa Justa elevator (1902), were initially put in place for purely pragmatic reasons...to help residents get around their city...and still fulfil this function. They may be hugely popular with visitors, including me, but the fact that they run from the very early morning until late at night (after midnight on Fridays and Saturdays) tells you that they are still well-used (and presumably needed) by locals.
On my first visit I was astonished by how close to houses, front doors and windows the elevadores pass, let alone how near to the pedestrians walking up and down the steps which run alongside. I can absolutely see why they still need drivers (though I think it must be a rather boring job)...even if the technology didn't need human input avoiding random dogs, children, drunks and tourists-taking-photos certainly does!
I've ridden all the elevadores now except the Santa Justa lift. I don't like lifts, not even beautifully ornate cast-iron ones!.
Da Bica (climbs 200m built 1892) goes from near the Ribeira indoor market up to Bairro Alto, with some superb views over the water on the way.
Da Gloria (265m, built 1885) is a shorter run, from Placa Restauradores up to Bairro Alto and terminating by Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara, a shady 'park' (mostly stone and concrete) with wonderful views across the city and a very pleasant refreshment booth with deckchairs.
Do Lavra (188m and the oldest, dating from 1884) takes you from Largo da Anunciada, near Restauradores, up to Travessa do Torel. Walking down from here to Largo Martim Moniz takes you through a warren of steep streets, with tiny shops, even tinier eating-places and a great deal of washing hanging out to dry.
Regardless of the exterior graffiti, all of the elevadores are beautiful inside with their glossy wooden interiors and slippery bench seats. Although powered by electricity, rather than their original water-power, an elevadore ride is definitely evocative of times past.
A return ticket for any elevador cost 3.60 euro in April 2014, but a 6 euro dayticket will allow you to try them all out much more cheaply. All are within reasonable walking distance of each other and easy to find during a day spent exploring the heart of the city.