Lisbon is a city of seven hills that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean on the estuary of the Tagus River. Its maze of cobblestoned ascents, uneven sidewalks, stairways and elevators is almost like a riddle to explore. The city’s curvaceous terrain also means that it has an abundance of amazing viewpoints, also known as miradouros, each offering a unique perspective of the urban landscape. Here, we compile the very best viewpoints in Lisbon to help you find your perfect spot for romance, sight-spotting or simply taking in the scenery.
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Miradouros of Lisbon: a quick background
Lisbon is a city that will often surprise you with its scenery. When exploring on foot, I lost count of the times I would be walking along a seemingly enclosed street or walkway, only to suddenly emerge around a corner to a breathtaking view.
With this in mind, it’s best to keep your camera handy at all times! Because if you don’t, you’ll often find yourself digging into your bag to get it out and capture the moment.
Miradouros in Lisbon are many in number and typically located on or near the summit of one of its hills, but that’s not always the case. The city offers so many different layers of elevation and such a variety of colourful urban scenery that you will often find viewpoints in the unlikeliest of places.
Several viewpoints in Lisbon have been developed into tourist attractions. You will find well-kept platforms with plenty of space, dedicated seating, barriers, lookout telescopes, maps detailing points of interest among the landscape, and often a restaurant or café with outdoor tables.
Quick tips on exploring viewpoints in Lisbon
Viewpoints in Lisbon provide very different experiences at day and night. You may want to make repeat visits to gain these contrasting perspectives. The most popular time of day to visit Lisbon’s miradouros is often at sunset, especially the west-facing ones around the Alfama (old town).
As you would expect, reaching Lisbon’s miradouros often requires a healthy amount of uphill walking. In general, it’s best to allow a little more time than Google Maps advises if you’re navigating them by foot. Bring water too – you’ll need to stay hydrated!
If uphill schlepping sounds like your idea of a nightmare, but you’d still like to experience the magic of viewpoints in Lisbon, then you can try the popular electric bike tour instead. The tour explores all of the city’s seven hills, and incorporates several of the miradouros we compile in this article. All with minimum effort!
Most of the viewpoints are pretty easy to reach via the public transport, with the iconic no. 28 tram passing many directly. You can enjoy unlimited use of trams and buses in the city with a Lisboa Card.
Seeing the city from the myriad viewpoints is one of the best things to do in Lisbon, but where do you start? Let’s take a look…
Best viewpoints in Lisbon
1. Miradouro da Senhora do Monte
Miradouro da Senhora do Monte (which translates as ‘our lady of the hill’), without doubt one of Lisbon’s most spectacular vistas, is located at the highest point in the city.
Protruding above the Alfama from the rear, this spot offers a simply incredible panorama that encapsulates the entire city landscape. São Jorge Castle stands immediately opposite atop its own hill, and the city sprawls out into the distance beyond, backed by the Tagus River.
Nearly nine centuries ago, Afonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal, set up camp on this very spot as he prepared to conquer the city from above.
The view from Miradouro da Senhora do Monte is particularly impressive at sunset, as the sun drops behind the city horizon. Crowds gather at the miradouro platform at this moment to see the spectacle. When I came along, there was also a local three-piece band playing atmospheric music to accompany the view.
During the daytime the viewpoint is much quieter, but you still may find food and drink trucks to grab some refreshments.
2. Miradouro da Graça
Perched a little lower on the same hill as Miradouro da Senhora do Monte, Miradouro da Graça also offers an awe-inspiring sunset view. Tucked away behind the stone-white Graça Church and Convent, the terrace of Miradouro da Graça faces out west onto the city below.
An open-air café (Terrace Bar Esplanada) has about a dozen tables spread out across the terrace area. You can order a cold beer or some food and enjoy the view, or sit on one of the benches right at the edge.
The viewpoint is lined by pine trees, which provide some shade and respite from the fierce sunshine if you’re visiting during the day.
Straddling the neighbourhoods of Alfama and Graça, the walk up to the viewpoint is a pleasant one. Alternatively, you can reach it by taking the famous no. 28 tram and getting off at Graça.
3. Miradouro das Portas do Sol
Situated in the heart of the Alfama, Miradouro das Portas do Sol is Lisbon’s most photographed viewpoint. As you can see in the photo above, I was lucky to catch it at a moment when the full moon was twinkling down onto the old town buildings.
The name, however, actually translates to the ‘door of the sun’. That’s because this is an east-facing miradouro, and thus a great option for witnessing a Lisbon sunrise.
A large balcony platform is perfectly positioned to gaze out across the red rooftops and colourful walls of the Alfama neighourhood. This impressive view is punctuated by two standout landmarks: the large white dome of the National Pantheon, and the rising towers of the Monastery of São Vicente.
There’s a lovely chilled vibe here in the evening. It feels wonderfully calm, despite the chortling of passing trams and the rumble of wheels as kids skate on a nearby platform.
Like Graça, Miradouro das Portas do Sol is directly on the route of the no. 28 tram. It’s also easy to reach by foot from downtown, with a fairly gentle uphill gradient on the way.
4. Miradouro de Santa Luzia
Miradouro de Santa Luzia is perhaps the most romantic of Lisbon’s viewpoints. Not for the view itself, but for the setting.
This spot is hidden away just a few paces around the corner from Miradouro das Portas do Sol. The view is pretty much the same: the Alfama rooftops and National Pantheon looming large, broadened out with a fuller view of the Tagus River.
The observation deck is set underneath a charming pergola, lined with blue-and-white tiles and intertwined with grapevines. It’s easy to see why this miradouro is so popular with instagrammers and local couples.
You can watch the sundown from here and then walk a short distance to see Lisbon Cathedral lit up in the dark.
5. The walls of São Jorge Castle
As well as being one of Lisbon’s most historic buildings and headline attractions, São Jorge Castle is also a great place to find a city view. The castle has loomed over the city from its hilltop for centuries, and is a national monument.
Unlike most of the Lisbon viewpoints we compile here, the castle is not free to enter, but the €10 fee for adults is well worth it. In the complex you can explore freely inside and outside the castle grounds.
Best of all, you can climb up onto the castle walls and walk around most of the circuit on top. The views are spectacular from here, and you get a different perspective from each side of the castle as you wander along the ramparts and inside the watchtowers.
Looking down from this vantage point, you really get a sense of how difficult it must have been for any invading forces to try and conquer the castle!
6. Miradouro do Chão do Loureiro
One of the ways to find your way up to São Jorge Castle is via a sequence of two free elevators from the Baixa district, downtown Lisbon’s commercial centre.
At the top of the second of these lifts, Elevador Castelo, you emerge directly onto the viewpoint of Miradouro do Chão do Loureiro. Sitting a rung below the castle on the crest of the hill, it offers a similar view, but you can spy more detail in the scenery from the slightly closer vantage point.
This miradouro is also one of the best places for spotting Lisbon Cathedral in the skyline, which you can see off to the left from the platform. Depending on the time of day, you may be serenaded by a guitar-playing busker as well.
Want to take it a notch higher? You can have a romantic dinner at Zambeze, an East African restaurant that overlooks the viewpoint with an outdoor seating area.
7. Santa Justa Lift
Elevators and funiculars are an integral aspect of navigating Lisbon’s hills and neighbourhoods. The standout among these is the Santa Justa Lift, which links the ground-level streets of downtown Baixa with the trendy uphill Bairro Alto.
The Santa Justa Lift has stood for well over a century, its huge neogothic iron structure jutting out into the city skyline. At its top level, a viewing platform offers a beautiful panorama of the Baixa streets below, the castle on the hill opposite, and the sprawling Alfama.
The elevator itself costs €5.15 to ride (or free with the Lisboa Card), although you don’t actually need to use it to reach the top. It’s possible to climb up for free by navigating a maze of alleys and stairs. This helpful article explains how to do it.
Once you’re at the top of the elevator you can pay €1.50 to go up to the highest viewing platform. Even this isn’t completely necessary to enjoy the view, though; you can see it from within a caged platform on the same level as the elevator, albeit just below the top platform.
8. Parque Eduardo VII Observation Deck
Lisbon has many green parks, and perhaps the most impressive of these is the 64-acre Eduardo Park at the heart of the city. Not only is this a beautifully manicured green space, but it also provides one of the city’s most breathtaking views.
A tall white monument stands close to the apex of the park in homage to the revolution of 25 April 1974. Around the base of the monument is an observation deck, from where you can gaze down across the sloping green park filled with hedge sculptures towards a gaping city vista below.
Another monument, Marquês de Pombal, stands poignantly at the bottom of the park. In many ways it is Lisbon’s centrepiece. This giant column and statue punctuates the view from the park’s observation deck, surrounded by city scenery against a backdrop of the blue Tagus River.
The park is lined around the edges with wide walkways. If you’re an early riser, this is a great place to come for a morning run and enjoy the view. Or
9. Pilar 7 Bridge Experience
The Ponte 25 de Abril Bridge is one of Lisbon’s greatest feats of architecture. Completed in 1966, the huge red suspension bridge stretches more than two kilometres in length across the Tagus River, and it has even been used as a filming location for James Bond movies.
Since 2017, it has been possible to visit a new experience centre at the bridge and ride in an elevator up to an observation deck at the top.
Tickets to the Pilar 7 Bridge Experience cost just €5, which you can book here. Before ascending to the platform, you take a journey through the history of the bridge’s construction and get a glimpse of the mechanics inside the structure.
Finally, you are whisked up to the viewing platform at the top of the pillar. Don’t look down if you’re afraid of heights! But while this is not for the faint-hearted, the view of the bridge, river scenery and surrounding city is amazing.
Unfortunately, the lift was closed for maintenance when I visited, so I wasn’t able to witness the view in all its glory. But the staff kindly took me to a lower viewing platform midway up the bridge, which is where I took the photo above.
10. Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara
While several of Lisbon’s most popular viewpoints are concentrated around the Alfama and São Jorge Castle, over in the neighbourhood of Bairro Alto you will find an alternative perspective.
Bairro Alto translates literally to ‘high neighbourhood’, and so it’s not surprising that it is home to some beautiful miradouros. The best among these is Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara.
This is more than just a viewpoint – it has the feel of a community meeting place. The terrace area is broad, encompassing a park and sculpted gardens. People gather in groups, sit contemplating on benches, or peruse the pop-up stalls where local artists sell their work.
A lookout telescope and detailed map enable you to take a closer look at the scenery. It’s an expansive view that incorporates much of the central city, with the castle protruding from the hilltop on the horizon, and the towers of the cathedral standing out against the blue river.
The journey to Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara can also be fun. You can reach it from downtown Lisbon by taking the cherished old Glória Funicular, which has been running since the 19th century.
Map of viewpoints in Lisbon
The map below will help you locate the Lisbon miradouros we highlight in this article:
Have you visited any other viewpoints in Lisbon that we missed? Let us know about them in the comments below.
Check out our article on the best food markets in Lisbon to explore the city’s culinary scene.
Do you work remotely? Read our guide to taking a workation in Lisbon for insights into getting the most out of a working getaway.
Looking for the best places to stay in Lisbon? We stayed at three My Story Hotels in the heart of the city. Read our full review of My Story Hotels.
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