Wondering what to see in Lisbon, but don’t know where to start from? We’ll give you the best tip to experience Lisbon: choose the route of the stunning Lisbon miradouros (viewpoints).
What are the perks?
- Enjoy it at your own pace, that’s why you can either do it in one day or two days (check the 2 itineraries we made for you at the end of the post).
- Except for two viewpoints in this list, they are all FREE so you won’t be charged to have access to some breathtaking views over Lisbon.
- You will pass through the oldest neighbourhoods in Lisbon, in other words, you will get to see with your own eyes how locals used and still live (we’re sure you must have heard already about Alfama or Graça historical neighbourhoods).
- Peek into the cute local souvenir shops.
- If you’re a couple, this itinerary is romantic at every corner you turn.
- Have 360º views of the city.
- The terracotta rooftops are inspiring, and fantastic: cats have their own city up there.
- What you will take home: memories of how Cristo Rei statue, the Tagus river, the 25 de Abril Bridge, the city and the sky above meet in perfect harmony – it’s a never-ending pleasure for the eyes.
Quick note: these routes although scenic, they require some effort. So they’re a fit mostly for the ones who love walking… and contemplation since viewpoints also serve to rest your feet and thoughts. One more quick note: if it rains, you must take extra care, because the roads get even slipperier down the hills.
Ready? Let’s get this started!
Chão do Loureiro Viewpoint
As you’re heading in direction to the São Jorge Castle, and if you’re coming from Rossio square, climbing the São Cristóvão stairs in Mouraria (identified by the street art Fado representation), on your right side you’ll notice a passage next to an elevator. That’s the passage leading to the Chão de Loureiro Viewpoint. The panoramic view accompanied by music is breathtaking.
To note is that a bit farther stays Châpito (we wrote about it here), a special place where you’ll immediately want to book a table for later in the evening.
São Jorge Castle Viewpoint (not free)
To enter St. George’s Castle you’ll have to pay an entry fee of 8.50€. But it’s soooo worthy! Not only because of the stunning panoramic views and the serenity it holds inside, but also because of one element in particular that we reveal in this post right here! We sometimes come to the castle just to spend a quiet afternoon while catching some sun and reading a book. We absolutely recommend it!
Santa Luzia Viewpoint
Situated next to Portas de Sol viewpoint, Santa Luzia is a must mainly because of the columns’ structure and the old tiles roughly preserved on the walls.
Portas do Sol Viewpoint
Why is it called Portas do Sol (The Gates of Sun)? Because here was one of the entrances to the city in the medieval times (you will notice the stone wall). This gate was turned to east where the sun rises. Being close to Sé Cathedral, Lisbon’s most important and iconic religious building, and opening the road down to Alfama, Portas do Sol is special. You won’t get tired of taking pictures of the Tagus estuary and the south bank. Besides, it is often accompanied by music, which turns everything even more idyllic.
Santo Estêvão Viewpoint
A viewpoint in the middle of Alfama is always refreshing after wandering the cheerful labyrinthine streets.
Graça (Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen) Viewpoint
Graça has grace. Being one of the most traditional neighbourhoods of the city, it is also the one that attracts most visitors. Recommended: sit at the kiosk and just let the breeze flow through your hair while enjoying a Ginger-Ale (that sounds like an ad, isn’t it?).
Senhora do Monte Viewpoint
Many claim this is their favorite miradouro because it offers a complete panoramic view over Lisbon. If you’re in Graça already, it’s easy to reach, just ask the locals.
Monte Agudo Viewpoint (secret spot)
This spot is our secret spot. We don’t want to unveil its location since we want to keep it less crowded, and just like the Secret Keyhole of Rome, we invite you to try to discover it by yourself. Anyways, it’s always fun to lose yourself on Lisbon’s streets (pssst, impossible to get lost as long as you keep sight of the Tagus river).
Penha da França Viewpoint
This one here offers a stunning view over the other bridge, the loooong Vasco da Gama bridge. Right next to it, you’ll also find a beautiful church that was built after the 1775 earthquake. It stays not far from Monte Agudo above.
São Pedro de Alcântara Viewpoint
Located near Bairro Alto and Principe Real neighborhoods, São Pedro de Alcantara viewpoint is one of our favorites because it’s not just a passing-by spot to admire the fantastic views over Alfama and the São Jorge Castle, but also a spot to rest your feet, either at the upper balcony kiosk or in the garden beneath. Best time of the day to go: when the sun sets.
Santa Catarina (Adamastor) Viewpoint
We come here so often that we lost the number of photos we took. At the nearby typical kiosk (yes, another one), you can cool off with a Ginger-Ale or wake up with a bica. Right next to it stands the famous Bairro Alto neighbourhood, known for its buzzy nightlife. Be there or be square! 🙂
Santa Justa Elevador Viewpoint
It’s either you take the elevator, and for that you’ll have to wait in line and pay a 5€ entry fee, or, you can do it the local way (the free way), meaning you climb Chiado until you reach the Carmo Church (that hilltop church in ruins you can spot from Rossio square). And it’s right next to it. This terrace that was built last year, offers a view over Rossio square and the surrounding typical Portuguese buildings, some of them abandoned but still enchanting. Proof below!
Calçada do Duque Viewpoint
Starting point: Rossio. As you’re sitting right in the centre of the square, fronting the theatre, on your left-hand side you’ll spot a street that ends with a few stairs. Go that way, climb those stairs. Then climb some more. There you have it: the asymmetrical cropped view over the downtown area and São Jorge castle.
Now that we showed you Lisbon’s easy accessible viewpoints and mostly free, we’ll list below some other incredible viewpoints that stay a little bit farther from the downtown area, but which are all the way worthwhile.
Jardim do Torel Viewpoint
We wrote about the Jardim do Torel park in this post in case you want to leave it out for another day, as it is a special retreat for an entire afternoon, with a nice café nearby.
Tapada das Necessidades Viewpoint
Besides being close to the 25 de Abril bridge, it is also close to one of the most beautiful gardens in Lisbon, that we wrote about in this post right here. The nearby crumbling houses can also be inspiring for photographers who enjoy decadent sceneries.
Eduardo VII Park
Located next to Marques de Pombal Square, the view from this downhill park is probably one of the most instagrammed Lisbon pictures, and as you’ll convince yourself, it is for a good reason. A few more steps upper you’ll reach Amália Rodrigues Garden, where you will find a nice café to rest your feet and stay your appetite for Portuguese pastries (can’t deny how tempting they are).
São Vicente de Fora Monastery (not free)
This monastery is an ideal way to escape the crowds. Stagger uphill again, close to Graça, and enter this impressive monastery not only to enjoy the panoramic view over Alfama and 25 de Abril bridge, but also to get to learn who São Vicente was.
This post has come to an end, not before offering you the two routes we created so you don’t need to bother with figuring out where each viewpoint is located and how to see most of them.
2nd Itinerary: This one is equally worthy because it offers a different perspective over the city and it’s off the beaten path, aka less crowded. Go here to check it out! Starting point: Eduardo VII Park. >>Download it here!
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