Six viewpoints that overlook the Portuguese capital
With its red rooftops, historic buildings and proximity to the River Tagus, Lisbon is one of Europe’s most scenic cities. We recommend some of the best viewpoints for admiring incomparable panoramic vistas.
1 Miradouro das Portas do Sol
For many, this viewpoint offers the most emblematic views of Lisbon: a picture postcard of the maze of alleyways and red roofs of the Alfama neighbourhood – the city’s oldest – with the River Tagus in the background. The image also includes the Church of São Vicente de Fora on a hillside, and the white dome of the National Pantheon (formerly the Church of Santa Engrácia). Portas do Sol is named after a door in the old Arab wall that stood here and was destroyed by the 1755 earthquake. Facing east, it is one of the best places watch the sunrise in the city. It has a café with a terrace and a lounge bar, and you’ll find street musicians in the area around it. Trams 28 and 12 stop right in front of it.
2 Miradouro de Santa Luzia
Perhaps Santa Luzia’s views are not as spectacular as those of the nearby Porta Do Sol, but the place itself is prettier, with stone benches under a bougainvillea-covered pergola and walls covered with broken tiles that give the place a slightly ravaged air so characteristic of the city. It is one of the most photographed spots in Lisbon, and a favourite place for the many painters who visit with their brushes and canvases. It offers a panoramic view that includes the white houses of the Alfama neighbourhood, the port on the River Tagus – where cruise ships occasionally arrive – the towers of the Church of San Miguel and Saint Stephen Church, and the dome of the National Pantheon. It is located next to the Church of Santa Luzia. You can reach it on tram 28.
3 Miradouro del Castelo de São Jorge (St George Castle)
This is another of the city’s unmissable enclaves. São Jorge Castle sits on the summit of São Jorge hill, the highest in the old town. The castle is one of the most visited monuments in Lisbon. In the past, it was a Muslim fortification and then a royal palace (the King of Portugal received Vasco de Gama from his trip to India here). The current structure was built over the palace’s ruins, which were destroyed by the 1755 earthquake. From here, you can take in a 360° panorama of the Portuguese capital and enjoy fabulous sunsets. On clear days, you can see all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. You can get there on trams 28 and 12, or you can take the Baixa lift. You must purchase a ticket to the castle in order to access the observation point, but it’s truly worth it.
4 Miradouro da Graça
If you don’t want to enter the San Jorge Castle, you can visit this viewpoint instead. You’ll find it nearby, next to the Church and Convent da Graça. Although the locals call the place ‘Miradouro da Graça’, its official name is Miradouro Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen, in honour of one of Portugal’s most important 20th-century poets. From here, you can see the Convent do Carmo, the Santa Justa Lift and the Alfama and Baixa neighbourhoods. The place has a café. Nearby, you’ll find several terraces that were meeting points for Lisbon’s poets during the last century.
5 Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara
At the other end of the city, in Barrio Alto, one of Lisbon’s most picturesque and lively areas, you will find this beautiful two-tier viewpoint, with gardens, benches, sculptures and kiosks where you can stop and enjoy a refreshment. From here, you can see San Jorge Castle, the Lisbon Cathedral (Sé), the Graça Convent and the hermitage of Nossa Senhora do Monte, as well as much of the capital’s old town. The viewpoint has a big map engraved in tiles that helps visitors identify the buildings they see.
6 Santa Justa Lift
This Neogothic lift connects Baixa with Chiado, one of Lisbon’s most bohemian neighbourhoods. Built between 1900 and 1902, it is 45m high and has two wood-clad lifts. After getting off at the last level, a spiral staircase leads us to a viewpoint at the top that offers a detailed view of the city’s old town. The platform lets visitors appreciate emblematic spots such as San Jorge Castle, Rossio Square, the ruins of the Church of the Carmo Convent and the streets of Baixa. First known as the Carmo Lift, it was declared a National Monument in 2020. You’ll need to buy a ticket and there is usually a queue, as it is one of the city’s main tourist attractions.