Nothing beats seeing the city from above and in Lisbon, thanks to its hilly structure, we are lucky enough to enjoy quite a few of the scenic viewpoints! They are popular both with tourists and locals, day and night. Everyone has got their favourite and you will probably find your own too.
Here are the spots you can’t miss:
1. Miradouro da Graça
It’s a picture-perfect spot for a sunset! Located on the hill above the Graça district, it overlooks the downtown Lisbon, the Castle, Tagus River and even Ponte 25 de Abril – a red, grand bridge, that connects two sides of the city. It’s shaded by pine trees and has an open-air café located just next to the Igreja da Graça (one of Lisbon’s oldest churches, by the way). You won’t be surprised then to see how many people choose to spend their afternoons there!
The climb up to this viewpoint gets rather steep by the end, but when you reach it you can reward yourself with a drink and rest 😉
HOW TO GET THERE: Walk up the hill from Alfama or take Tram 28 (get off at Graça stop and walk around the corner, pass the convent building).
2. Miradouro da Senhora do Monte
Standing on top of Lisbon’s highest hill this miradouro has the most glorious views! It is probably the best panoramic view of the city. You can see almost all of Lisbon’s most important landmarks from here. They are actually marked on a tile panel, making it easier to identify them.
This viewpoint is located only around 10 minutes further up on foot from Miradouro da Graça. So it’s easy to visit one after another.
The name translates to Our Lady of the Hill Viewpoint. There’s also a glass-encased statue of the Virgin standing in front of a chapel dedicated to Saint Gens (a bishop martyred in Roman times).
It is even better than the da Graça one, in my humble opinion! But like I said, we all have our favourites, right? The terrace itself is very simple, there’s no café here, just a few benches. Although you might find some street food vendors around as well.
HOW TO GET THERE: Walk up from Miradouro da Graça (turn left on Largo da Graça, left into Rua Damasceno Monteiro, then right and up the Calçada do Monte). OR take Tram 28 and get off at stop Rua da Graça, then turn to Rua da Senhora do Monte.
3. Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara
This viewpoint is probably the most popular one! Because of its close proximity to the city centre, it’s quite easily accessible, even on foot. Well, taking into consideration how hilly Lisbon is in the first place, of course 😉. It provides great views over the lower city, Bairro Alto and Alfama districts, with Castelo de São Jorge in the background. Plus, on the right-hand side, you can see the Tagus River as well.
It’s a landscaped terrace made as a part of a beautiful urban park. Many benches, fountains, sculptures and big trees creating shady spots (and you need them on a hot day!) make it a perfect place to relax. And it’s easy to recharge your energy here, as there are several kiosks around where you can buy drinks and snacks. Quite perfect, isn’t it?
HOW TO GET THERE: You can either walk up the hill from Chiado and Barrio Alto. OR take the Glória Funicular from Praça dos Restauradores. OR take Tram 24 (departing from Praça Luís de Camões) OR bus 758 (from outside the Cais do Sodré station).
4. Miradouro de Santa Luzia
This beautiful viewpoint greatly presents what the Alfama district is all about. You can enjoy the sweeping views over the orange rooftops, a maze of small alleyways and the cruise ships docking along the Tagus River. As you gaze down, you can spot the large white church of Santo Estêvão (Saint Stephen), the dome of the National Pantheon and the spires of São Miguel (Saint Michael) church.
A large terrace, decorated with painted tiles (azulejos) and the bougainvillaea flower-covered pergola are so quintessentially Portuguese too.
There are two tiled panels worth taking a look at here. The first one is on the outside wall of the Santa Luzia church. It portrays the milestone of the Portuguese history of “Reconquista” – freeing the Iberian peninsula from the Moorish occupancy. The second mural shows what the Praça do Comércio looked like before the 1755 quake. You can find it on the boundary of the observation terrace.
There is a small café on the premises as well as bathrooms. To find the latter, walk a few steps up the hill, corner the church, and take the steps down.
HOW TO GET HERE: Walk up from Baixa (it takes roughly 5-7 minutes to walk up along the tram tracks from the Sé Cathedral) or take the Tram 28 or 12 (stop Miradouro Santa Luzia). If you’re visiting Castelo de São Jorge, a walk down the hill should take just a couple of minutes. There is also a bus 737 you can jump on. It departs from Praça da Figueira and stops a few feet away, before its final stop at the castle gate.
5. Miradouro das Portas do Sol
If you walk a little bit further up from Miradouro das Portas do Sol you will find this lovely viewpoint. It is seemingly a big balcony overlooking Alfama, with a café just next to it. The name, which translates to “Gate of the Sun”, is a reminder that this is the best spot for a sunrise view! It looks quite bustling I have to admit, a great place to grab a drink, some food and relax.
A nice addition is also a statue of St. Vincent (the city’s patron saint) holding a boat with two ravens, the symbols of Lisbon.
HOW TO GET THERE: Take Tram 28 or 12 (departing from Praça Martim Moniz), walk up from Baixa or down from St George’s Castle.
6. Miradouro de Santa Catarina
For a slightly different view of Lisbon head here, to the west part of Chiado. This viewpoint, more often referred to as Miradouro do Adamastor, overlooks the Cais do Sodre district, the Tagus River with 25 de Abril Bridge and the Christ the King statue. And why the name, by the way? Well, Adamastor, the mythical giant of epic poet Luís de Camões’ “The Lusiads,” is sculpted on a rock looking out to the Tagus.
There is a small café within the garden and several marble benches along the terrace. It is not the most touristy spot, but one popular among the young, local crowd. Especially in the evenings, with live music playing and the sun setting behind the 25 de Abril Bridge.
Unfortunately, because there is a lot of construction going on in Lisbon, the view is sometimes partly obstructed by high cranes.
Fun fact: Between the 16th and 18th centuries, people came to Miradouro de Santa Catarina to admire the ships that departed the harbour for their voyages of discovery.
HOW TO GET THERE: You can walk from the Baixa-Chiado metro station (around 8 minutes) – head towards Praça Luís de Camões, continue to Rua do Loreto, pass the Bica Funicular to the right and turn right on the Rua Marechal Saldanha. If you’re down on the waterfront by Cais do Sodré, you can ride the Bica Funicular up the hill. Or take Tram 28 (get off at the Praça Luís de Camões or Calhariz/Bica stop).
Have a quick look on the map below to have a better idea where these viewpoints are located:
And for the more interactive version, click here:
If you’d like to see some of the best viewpoints in one go, to save yourself time and effort you should start from the top. So go to the highest point first – Miradouro da Senhora do Monte. You can even take Tram 28 to Largo da Graça and walk from there! Then go down to Miradouro da Graça. Further down you can stop at the viewpoint at the Castle de São Jorge and make your way to Miradouro das Portas do Sol and de Santa Luzia.
And because Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara and Miradouro de Santa Catarina are in different parts of the city, you can visit them while you’re walking around Bairro Alto and Chiado!
Hope that helps 🙂
I bet you will never get tired of those views!