If you have visited Lisbon, then you know that Lisbon is a city of hills located on the Tagus River (Rio Tejo). Lisbon is a city of seven hills to be exact, known in Portuguese as “cidade das sete colinas.” The Romans called Lisbon Olissipo, due to its resemblance to Rome which also has seven hills.
Located at the top of these hills, which are the highest points in the city, are miradouros or viewpoints. These unique viewpoints are a great way to experience Lisbon from above. Did you know that many consider Lisbon to be one of the most beautiful cities in Europe?
While the views are great, many of these miradouros feature gardens, mature trees, and small kiosks (quiosques de refresco) offering drinks and snacks. Whether you visit one of these viewpoints or all nine, you will gain a new appreciation of the beauty of Lisbon.
This is my list of 9 of the best viewpoints in Lisbon, Portugal.
1 – Miradouro do Castelo de São Jorge
Miradouro do Castelo de São Jorge might be Lisbon’s most iconic viewpoint. Unfortunately, the viewpoint is not free. It will cost you €10 to enter the grounds of São Jorge Castle where you will find the expansive viewpoint. But, the price is worth it for the incredible views. Looking out over the sea of red rooftops below is stunning. As you walk along the castle walls, you can see many of Lisbon’s top sights. This includes the 25th of April Bridge, Tagus River, Commerce Square (Praça do Comércio), and Rossio Square (Praça Dom Pedro IV). Opposite the castle is Bairro Alto and the Carmo Convent. You can even seen Belém in the distance. If you only have time for one viewpoint in Lisbon, this is it.
2 – Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara
Another iconic viewpoint in Lisbon is Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara. This viewpoint is located next to the top of the historic Gloria Elevator (Ascensor da Glória). This funicular has been transporting passengers along Calçada da Glória between Restauradores Square (Praça dos Restauradores) and Bairro Alto since 1885. The views of Baixa, Alfama, São Jorge Castle, and the Tagus River from the viewpoint are stunning. While the view is great, the actual viewpoint is a wonderful place to relax. At the viewpoint you will find plenty of benches, shady trees, a fountain, a garden, statues, and a map of Lisbon. While this viewpoint can get busy, especially for sunset and on weekends, there is plenty of space for everyone. Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara is also great at night when the city is lit up.
3 – Miradouro do Elevador de Santa Justa
One of Lisbon’s most iconic sights is the Santa Justa Lift (Elevador de Santa Justa). On top of the elevator is a viewpoint known as Miradouro do Elevador de Santa Justa. This 150-foot iron elevator opened to the public in 1902. It connects Baixa and the lower town with Carmo Square (Largo do Carmo) and Barrio Alto. In the past, the main purpose of the lift was to transport passengers. Today, the lift is a popular tourist attraction and landmark. Located at the top of the lift are two viewing platforms. While you can peak through the fence from the entry-level platform for free, I recommend purchasing a €1.50 ticket to access the top-floor viewing platform. The unobstructed views of Baixa below you and São Jorge Castle perched high above are some of the best in the city.
4 – Miradouro de Santa Luzia
Miradouro de Santa Luzia is one of the most beautiful and romantic viewpoints in Lisbon. While the view is stunning, the viewpoint itself is beautiful. The terrace features a garden, pond, and pergolas covered in bougainvillea, providing shade in the summer. Under the pergolas you will find couples, photographers, and guitarists. Also here is the Church of Santa Luzia (Igreja de Santa Luzia) with its blue and white azujelos tiles. On the side of the church are two 18th-century tile panels. One of the panels shows Commerce Square (Praça do Comércio) before the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. The other depicts the Crusaders as they retook the castle from the Moors in 1147. From the viewpoint, you can see the dome of the National Pantheon along with the towers of Saint Stephen Church (Igreja de Santo Estêvão) and São Miguel Church. Below you is the sprawling neighborhood of Alfama as it meets the blue waters of the Tagus River. Up the way from Miradouro de Santa Luzia is Miradouro das Portas do Sol.
5 – Miradouro das Portas do Sol
A few steps away from Miradouro de Santa Luzia is Miradouro das Portas do Sol. The name Portas do Sol translates to “Gate of the Sun.” From here, you get a commanding view of Alfama and its maze of streets below. Like a postcard, you have Monastery of São Vicente de Fora, National Pantheon, and Saint Stephen Church (Igreja de Santo Estêvão) in front of you. The contrast in colors between the red tile rooftops, white facades, and blue waters of the Tagus River is striking. A large statue dominating the terrace is St. Vincent, patron saint of Lisbon. In his hand he holds a boat with two ravens, a symbol of Lisbon. Like many viewpoints in Lisbon, you will find a small kiosk café serving coffee, beer, and other refreshments. While you enjoy your drink, keep an eye out for the famous Tram 28 as it passes by.
6 – Miradouro da Senhora do Monte
Miradouro da Senhora do Monte, located north of São Jorge Castle and Miradouro da Graça, is my favorite viewpoint in Lisbon. This viewpoint, which offers sweeping panoramic views of the city, is one of the highest viewpoints in Lisbon. You can see it all from here including São Jorge Castle, Baixa, and Bairro Alto. In the distance is a wonderful view of the Tagus River, Christ the King statue, and 25th of April Bridge. Be sure to bring your camera as you will be taking lots of photos. At the viewpoint is a small park with benches and trees providing shade in the summer. While you won’t find any kiosks here, it’s not uncommon to find food carts selling drinks and snacks.
7 – Miradouro da Graça
Located northeast of São Jorge Castle is Miradouro da Graça. This small viewpoint borders the Graça Convent and Church (Igreja da Graça). Dating back to 1271, this covenant is one of the oldest in Lisbon. The viewpoint is also known as Miradouro Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen, named after a poet who would frequent this spot. The viewpoint is a popular meeting spot for locals in the summertime, especially at sunset. Do as the locals do and order a drink from the small kiosk café shaded by pine trees. Miradouro da Graça offers a wonderful view of the city below dominated by the castle and the 25th of April Bridge in the distance.
8 – Miradouro de Santa Catarina
While not as popular as other viewpoints in Lisbon, Miradouro de Santa Catarina is one of the best spots to view the 25th of April Bridge, the Christ the King statue, and the Tagus River. And, this is one of the best spots in Lisbon for sunset, especially with a drink in hand bought from the small kiosk café located on the terrace. To locals, the viewpoint is known as Miradouro do Adamastor. Adamastor, whose statue overlooks the terrace, is a mythological character created by Portuguese poet Luís de Camões. Adamastor symbolizes the Cape of Good Hope and the dangers Portuguese maritime expeditions faced at sea during the Age of Discovery. In the past, this viewpoint was a popular spot for watching ships as they sailed down the Tagus to locations around the world.
9 – Miradouro do Recolhimento
Located only steps away from São Jorge Castle, Miradouro do Recolhimento might be the least known viewpoint on my list of the best viewpoints in Lisbon. Before 2015, the terrace was closed to the public. Thankfully, the terrace has since reopened as a peaceful garden with benches and mature olive trees. From the viewpoint you can see the towers of the Monastery of São Vicente de Fora, the dome of the National Pantheon, Saint Stephen Church (Igreja de Santo Estêvão), the Tagus River, and the rooftops of Alfama. If you plan on visiting Miradouro do Recolhimento, plan on arriving early as the viewpoint closes at 7:00PM in the summer and 6:00PM in the winter. The viewpoint is also closed for lunch everyday between 1:00PM and 2:00PM.