In a city known for its seven hills, it’s no wonder that the views are incredible.
Lisbon’s rollicking landscape means that you can always climb higher to find another awe-inspiring miradouro. Here are just a few Lisbon locales where the views are more than a match for the steep ascent.
Miradouro das Portas do Sol
If there’s any Portuguese word worth knowing on your search for the prettiest view in Lisbon, it’s miradouro. This term translates to “viewpoint,” so you can count on enjoying gorgeous scenery at any spot with this label.
The Miradouro das Portos do Sol opens up to a view of the Tagus River and Alfama neighborhood, and it’s located near several major attractions, including the Decorative Arts Museum, São Vicente de Fora Monastery, and Castelo de São Jorge. The miradouro is also home to a statue of Vincent, Lisbon’s patron saint, holding a ship containing two large ravens. What’s more, everyone’s favorite way to get around Lisbon — Historic Tram 28 — stops near this viewpoint, letting travelers combine multiple sightseeing excursions in one journey.
This miradouro offers spectacular views all throughout the day, but there’s no better time to visit than during Golden Hour. Keep your camera at the ready to capture some breathtaking sunset shots!
Elevador de Santa Justa
If you’re staring at the word “elevador” and hoping it means that you won’t have to hike a steep hill or traipse up a never-ending staircase, you’re in luck! This 147-foot (45-meter) elevator transports its passengers to a platform overlooking Lisbon’s Baixa district. By day, the panoramic view shows off the city’s terracotta roofs, but after nightfall, it delivers gasp-worthy views of Lisbon’s warmly lit streets.
If you get close enough to the structure, you’ll notice that the turn-of-the-century elevator looks like a distant relative of the Eiffel Tower. There’s a good reason for that — it was designed by one of Gustave Eiffel’s architecture students.
The most important thing to understand before visiting is that the local transportation company operates the Elevador de Santa Justa, since it’s the easiest way to travel between upper and lower Lisbon. As such, you can use your transportation pass to ascend or descend the elevador (if you don’t have a pass, you’ll need to pay five euro). Regardless of whether you use a transportation pass or not, you’ll need to pay a separate (small) admission fee to access the viewing platform itself.
Castelo de São Jorge
One of the most iconic vantage points in Lisbon, the Castelo de São Jorge is a must for anyone traveling to the Portuguese capital. With its strong, stone walls framed by bushy treetops, the castle is visible from afar, and it offers incredible views of the city in return.
The original Moorish castle dates back to the medieval period, although much of what you see today is a 20th-century reconstruction. Regardless, the views steal the show away from the castle itself. It’s no coincidence that the castle looks out over the Tagus River and most of the city; after all, it was a defensive fortress long before it became a tourist attraction.
Take time to explore the grounds as well. If you’re interested in history or archaeology, you’ll enjoy the free tours included in the price of admission (just under nine euro for adults), and no real view-chaser will be able to resist peeking over the castle ramparts.
Here’s an insider tip — pause next to the oxidized green cannons that face the rest of Lisbon. They’ll point you in the direction of the best views!
Miradouro da Nossa Senhora do Monte
The Miradouro da Nossa Senhora do Monte is the highest point in the city, which means that its panoramic views are unbeatable. Located on the hill opposite Castelo de São Jorge, it doesn’t only offer sweeping views of the castle, but it also opens up to the river, rooftops, and ruins of old Lisbon.
Despite its unrivaled elevation, Senhora do Monte is usually quiet and uncrowded, unlike the other vantage points on this list — so, if you’d prefer to drink in Lisbon’s views without being surrounded by throngs of people, this is the miradouro for you. Perfect for watching soft sunrises and sunsets, Senhora do Monte will leave you feeling a cathartic sense of calm.
You’ll find this miradouro near a chapel on the Rua da Senhora do Monte in the Graça district.
Cover photo by Takoyaki Lisbon