32 Free and Paid Spots to See Lisbon from the Top

32 Free and Paid Spots to See Lisbon from the Top

There are ups and downs (pun intended) to Lisbon being called the city of the seven hills. The upside is the chance to see the city from different angles and, most of them, for free. I’m listing 32 of them but I’m sure I haven’t listed them all. Do comment in the end of this post if I skipped one!

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Jardim do Torel | 32 Free and Paid Spots to See Lisbon from the Top

Jardim do Torel

FREE

1. Top of Aljube Museum

This museum surprised me for its straightforwardness, its creative display, and its former History as a political prison during the Conservative Dictatorship. At the cafe on the last floor, you can ask to step out on the balcony (if you’re afraid of heights like me, do it with caution; the balcony is not very wide, but it’s safe). It’s not a completely unobstructed view of Lisbon, but it’s a rare chance to see the city’s medieval Cathedral from a completely different angle.

Closest public transport stops: 12E, 28E (trams), 737 (bus)

2. Miradouro Senhora do Monte

One of my favorite viewpoints in Lisbon, although in windy days it can be a nuisance to stay there for long. It’s usually not overrun by tourists (maybe because it’s not an obvious spot), allows you to have a unique view of the St. George Castle (not picture perfect, true, but different), and after you’ve spent the time gazing at the city from the top you can walk downhill straight into the heart of quiet and secluded Mouraria (the old Moorish quarter).

Closest public transport stops: 28E (tram), 734 (bus)

3. Jardim do Torel

It may not be the clearest view of Lisbon (if you pay close attention to details, though, you can see the top of the old Eden Cinema, now a hotel in Baixa, the garden of Sao Pedro de Alcantara, and the Botanical garden of Principe Real, that people usually miss unless they’re specifically looking for it), but the quietness and the lounge-chair-like park benches make it a perfect spot to get away from the city and relax, or read a book.

Closest public transport stops: 723, 760 (buses), Elevador do Lavra (tram)

4. Parque Eduardo VII

I have to confess that this one usually slips my mind. I see the Parque Eduardo VII as a well-groomed, midcentury-style, urban park and I often forget that its top is also considered as one of the ‘miradouros’ in Lisbon. You can see the whole length and width of the park, the Marques de Pombal statue, and all the way down to the river Tagus.

Closest public transport stops: Marques de Pombal (metro blue line and yellow line), 702, 711, 712, 720, 732, 738, 783 (buses)

View from the Arch of Rua Augusta | 32 Free and Paid Spots to See Lisbon from the Top

View from the Arch of Rua Augusta

5. Miradouro Keil do Amaral (Monsanto)

The Monsanto Park is the perfect spot for travelers (and locals) who like to mix outdoor activities with urban exploring. On one hand, I’m surprised it’s not visited more often by tourists, on the other hand, maybe it’s best to keep it as a quiet place. The Keil do Amaral outdoor amphitheater is a beautifully landscaped part of the park, with an amazing view to the Tagus and the 25 de Abril bridge.

Closest public transport stops: 724 (bus)

6. Miradouro de Santa Luzia

Once a gorgeous spot to gaze over Lisbon, Santa Luzia is, unfortunately, a bit rundown, with a lot of its blue-and-white tiles scraped off, chipped, and broken. But don’t let this discourage you! Bonus points for History buffs: there’s a tile panel on the side of the church depicting Lisbon before the 1755 Great Earthquake.

Closest public transport stops: 12E, 28E (trams), 737 (bus)

7. Miradouro das Portas do Sol

I only visited this one two times in twenty years of Lisbon. One, when I first arrived and was hitting all the must-see spots. Two, when I was showing the city to Dhanish. This has got to be my least favorite viewpoint, mostly because it’s always crowded. I won’t argue that the view is amazing, and the cafes with esplanades do allow you to wind down in the sun while flirting with Alfama. But, you know, if I have to avoid it, then I do. If it’s your first time visiting, you shouldn’t skip it, though.

Closest public transport stops: 12E, 28E (trams), 737 (bus)

8. Miradouro do Monte Agudo

Sometimes I think I know this city like the back of my hand and then she finds a way to surprise me. When I heard about the Miradouro do Monte Agudo I realized there was one spot in Lisbon I hadn’t yet visited, and I was thrilled to start exploring again. Now, I will be honest with you, this one was tough to find. I didn’t have any reference points but the bus stop where I had just got off, and Google maps were not on my side. Finally, after a walk up a steep street, in an extremely hot Summer day, and reassurance from the only two people I passed by on the street telling me I was close, I found the last secret place in the city (until someone tells me about another one). It’s a serene view over the west side of Lisbon, secluded and quiet, but not completely marginal (there’s a small kiosk that serves snacks and drinks).

Closest public transport stops: 28E (tram), 712, 726, 730, 734 (buses)

View from the top of Aljube Museum | 32 Free and Paid Spots to See Lisbon from the Top

View from the top of Aljube Museum

9. Miradouro da Graça

I like Graça. It’s usually overlooked as a must-see quarter of Lisbon, like a very honest comment left in my piece for National Geographic Travel. I agree with him; I was totally misled by the star-quality of Alfama, Bairro Alto, Chiado, and Baixa, trying to balance insider knowledge with what the tourists come from. To the eyes of strangers, this old quarter with its 3-storey ‘villas’ (colorful and bright, built for factory workers and their families in the rise of Lisbon’s industrial age) has nothing to see except the ‘miradouro’. Sure, a stop at the viewpoint and a quick espresso at the esplanade up there are mandatory, but take the time to explore the quarter a bit and find “things to see”.

Closest public transport stops: 28E (tram), 734 (bus)

10. Miradouro do “Adamastor”

The actual name is Miradouro de Santa Catarina, but everyone calls it “Adamastor” because of the statue depicting Camoes’ monstrous character from the epic poem “Os Lusiadas”. Although the view is not as romantic and quirky as the ones over Alfama or Baixa, it’s one of the few over the west side of the city (especially over the quarter known as Madragoa).

Closest public transport stops: 28E (tram), Elevador da Bica (tram)

11. Sao Pedro de Alcantara

Probably the most romantic and sophisticated garden and viewpoint in Lisbon. It has the perfect amount of shade, the postcard-picture-perfect, mustard yellow, Elevador da Gloria that takes you downtown (unless you’re ready to brave the steep walk downhill), and a unique view of the castle and Baixa.

Closest public transport stops: Restauradores (metro blue line), Rossio (CP suburban train from Sintra), Elevador da Gloria (tram), 758 (bus)

12. Rocha Conde de Obidos

I really suck at remembering street names because I usually navigate this city by landmarks. Like, take the second right next to the [insert color] building where [insert local business] used to be / is. Not much help if you’re out of town, right? This one is near the National Museum of Ancient Art (also known as, MNAA), where is known as Rocha Conde de Obidos (actually, the garden has a different official name but I won’t confuse you even more). Two great things about this one: it’s next to my favorite art museum in Lisbon and it’s an interesting view to a more industrial side of the city (if you’re into that kind of urban beauty).

Closest public transport stops: 15E, 18E (trams), 728, 732, 760 (buses)

Senhora do Monte | 32 Free and Paid Spots to See Lisbon from the Top

Senhora do Monte

13. Largo da Academia das Belas Artes

This one is probably not an “official” viewpoint in Lisbon (I don’t remember seeing it in guidebooks or tourist maps, but do let me know if I’m wrong), but you’ve realized by now that none of it matters, right? As long as it’s a) reachable and b) high enough to see Lisbon from the top, we tick it off the list as a ‘miradouro’. The downside? It’s a terrace that’s been transformed into a paid parking lot… Kind of a mood killer.

Closest public transport stops: 28E (tram)

14. Miradouro do Recolhimento

Just when you thought you knew all the Lisbon ‘miradouros’ listed… Surprise! The ‘miradouro do Recolhimento’ was renovated one year ago, in 2015, and to be honest with you, I don’t even remember what it was before (if anything). It’s all the way up near the Castle, but worth it (you won’t see Lisbon in all its glory if you’re not willing to climb up a bit).

Closest public transport stops: 12E, 28E (trams), 737 (bus)

15. Miradouro de Santo Estevao

I often get lost walking around Alfama. In fact, I think the best way to experience it, is by getting lost. You’d think it’s frustrating not being able to find your way, but you’ll be so distracted by all your findings that you won’t even notice that the city has its ways to put you back on track. This ‘miradouro’ is one of those I found by accident and didn’t know what it was called (this is one of the reasons why it didn’t make the first edition of “Lisbon Travel Guide for Urban Explorers”*, something I wish to correct in next year’s edition). I realized I hadn’t paid much attention and my descriptions weren’t good enough, so people kept listing all the viewpoints in Alfama and none of them sounded like this one. Until, guess what, I got lost and found it again (of course now I have notes on how to reach).

Closest public transport stops: 728, 735, 759, 794 (buses)

16. Terraços do Carmo

Brand new spot in Lisbon (well, since last Summer at least), designed by renowned Portuguese architect Siza Vieira, and a free alternative to the viewpoint on top of the Santa Justa lift nearby. These terraces are part of the repair plan for the Chiado quarter (led by the same architect), following the great fire of 1988 in the area.

Closest public transport stops: Santa Justa (lift)

Sao Pedro de Alcantara | 32 Free and Paid Spots to See Lisbon from the Top

Sao Pedro de Alcantara

17. Largo do Palacio das Necessidades

Here’s another one I had totally forgotten about as a ‘miradouro’ (damn, I do that a lot don’t I?). I think for most of us it’s just another square with a garden in Lisbon, that’s why maybe I’d forget to list it here. It’s right next to the (often overlooked) park of Tapada das Necessidades, usually deserted (except for the people on their lunch break who work nearby), and overlooks part of the west side of the city (including the red 25 de Abril bridge).

Closest public transport stops: 773 (bus)

18. Miradouro do Chao do Loureiro

If there is one thing this city does well, is to reinvent herself. I have mentioned it over and over on all my posts about Lisbon – we always bounce back on our feet. Or maybe Lisbon is like a cat and she always lands on her feet. Whatever the metaphor I choose to use, you get my point right? This ‘miradouro’ is built on a terrace on top of an old building in Baixa, that used to be a market and is now a parking lot. The whole space, with a cafe and a restaurant, was designed to be a lounge area, feel-good spot, to enjoy Lisbon.

Closest public transport stops: 737 (bus)

19. Miradouro de Santo Amaro

The perfect combination of local architecture (with its pavement of ‘calcada portuguesa’), industrial flair (the red 25 de Abril iron bridge, Golden-Gate-lookalike), and romantic view (recommended at sunset). Think of it as more of a neighborhood square than an actual tourist attraction.

Closest public transport stops: 15E (tram), 714, 727, 732, 742, 751, 756, 760 (buses)

20. Miradouro da Penha de França

This is one of the ‘miradouros’ that looks a lot better in photos than it does in real life… Sorry, had to be blunt here. It needs a lot of TLC and looks like, maybe because it’s not easily accessible, no one really cares about it. But, this is not a “best of” list, so I think this one deserves mentioning too. If the weather is good, and the benches aren’t occupied by passionate, hormonal teenagers (like when I went there…), it’s still an okay spot to sit and look over Lisbon. A bit too close to the road for my taste, because I like to let my mind wander off when I’m admiring something, and the occasional car is a bit distracting.

Closest public transport stops: 730, 797 (buses)

Miradouro da Penha de França | 32 Free and Paid Spots to See Lisbon from the Top

Miradouro da Penha de França

21. Old Panoramic Restaurant in Monsanto

Perfect spot if you like to photograph abandoned places and have an attraction for post-apocalyptical settings. If not, still great to visit for one of the most amazing views over Lisbon. It’s not something the city is proud of (and frankly I don’t even know who should be accountable for it…), so don’t be surprised if it’s not super publicized. I still think there’s an odd, rugged beauty to it.

Closest public transport stops: 711, 724 (buses)

PAID

22. Mosteiro de Sao Vicente de Fora

It costs €5.00 if you want to explore on your own and €6.00 if you want a guided tour. Pretty reasonable to visit the Monastery and the Church, pantheon to the last Portuguese royal dynasty, and be amazed by the country’s favorite decorative item: ‘azulejo’. On top of that, the ticket includes access to the roof for amazing views over Alfama and the river Tagus.

Closest public transport stops: 28E (tram), 734

23. Jardim Botanico da Ajuda

It’s not the highest viewpoint of Lisbon, but the fact that you’re looking at the posh quarter of Belem from a royal 18th Century garden just makes it cool. Oh and being welcomed by a rare white peacock after you purchased your €2.00 ticket, definitely makes the detour from the Ajuda Palace worthwhile.

Closest public transport stops: 18E (tram)

24. Torre de Belem

Perfect spot to take a decent photograph of Padrao dos Descobrimentos from afar, especially if you don’t have the time to go on a sailing tour in the river Tejo. €6.00 is the price you’ll pay for this unique opportunity (if you really insist on collecting photos of Lisbon that most people don’t have).

Closest public transport stops: 15E (tram)

View from Padrao dos Descobrimentos | 32 Free and Paid Spots to See Lisbon from the Top

View from Padrao dos Descobrimentos

25. Padrao dos Descobrimentos

Frankly, €5.00 to get to the top of the Padrao seems a bit pricey (well, at least from a local’s point of view). However, this is your only chance to see Lisbon from the top from a new perspective. From here you can see all the way from Torre de Belem (on the left) to Ponte 25 de Abril (on the right), not to mention a spectacular view of Mosteiro dos Jeronimos and the pink marble world map tracing the Portuguese Age of Discoveries.

Closest public transport stops: 15E (tram)

26. Elevador de Santa Justa

A classic, and often with long queues, spot to view Lisbon from the top. I like the lift on its own; the cast iron structure is so different from its surroundings. People used to take the lift often as public transportation, but it doesn’t happen as often since it became such a popular tourist attraction.

Closest public transport stops: Baixa-Chiado (Metro blue and green lines)

27. Arco da Rua Augusta

Until they restored the arch and opened up the terrace at the top as a viewpoint, I didn’t even know the arch had a terrace at the top! The ticket costs €2.50 and I love the view for two reasons: 1) you get to see Praca do Comercio from the top and 2) you can see, very clearly, the contrast between composed Chiado (on the left), geometric Baixa (in the center), and spontaneous Alfama (on the right).

Closest public transport stops: Terreiro do Paco (Metro blue line)

28. Castelo de Sao Jorge

I have mixed feelings about this Castle, especially because I think it’s an incredibly overpriced attraction. Portugal is not short on medieval fortifications, and most of them in better shape. However, I do understand the historical importance of the monument and what it represents to Lisbon. The view from the top of the highest hill is amazing and paying €8.50 to look over Lisbon from a historical point of interest is worth it.

Closest public transport stops: 737 (bus)

Parque Eduardo VII | 32 Free and Paid Spots to See Lisbon from the Top

Parque Eduardo VII

29. Cristo Rei

Funny thing: sometimes the best view to a city is not in the city… (I should know. I live across the river from Lisbon and my view is priceless). Cross the river towards Cacilhas to visit our very own Christ the King statue (a replica of the one in Rio de Janeiro), and to see the whole of Lisbon from left to right (or right to left). Ticket costs €4.00.

Closest public transport stops: 101 (bus) at Cacilhas; must take ferry boat from Cais do Sodre to Cacilhas

30. Amoreiras 360 Panoramic View

For a long time, seeing Lisbon from the top wasn’t entirely possible. People collected glimpses of the city from several ‘miradouros’ and other high places, but not exactly a fully 360-degree view. Have I been lying to you since the beginning of this post, then? No, not quite. I think all perspectives of Lisbon are beautiful and you should definitely pick your favorites after this. At the top of the Amoreiras towers (within walking distance from Parque Eduardo VII), for €5.00, you can finally see the whole of Lisbon for 15 minutes.

Closest public transport stops: 711, 713, 723, 748, 753, 758, 774, 783 (buses)

31. Basilica da Estrela

Funny story about this one… Have you read about it before, how I had a mild panic attack at the top and didn’t know if I had the guts to go down? Well, eventually the idea of experiencing the bells tolling every hour convinced me I was being silly and I decided to woman up. Costs €4.00 and a climb of 114 steps (via a very narrow staircase) to view the surrounding area of Estrela and Campo de Ourique from the top.

Closest public transport stops: 25E, 28E (trams), 713, 720, 738, 773, 774 (buses)

32. Panteao Nacional

The National Pantheon is not just an oddly shaped Baroque church in Lisbon; it has its own unbelievable story, so much so that it has originated a saying – when things are taking so long that it seems that it will never happen, the Portuguese say “it’s worse than the construction of Santa Engracia!” That’s because the church of Santa Engracia, known today as the National Pantheon, took 284 years to be completed. Pfff, and you thought La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona was taking too long… Costs €4.00 to visit the Pantheon, as well as the dome to see Alfama from the top.

Closest public transport stops: 712, 734 (buses)

View from Cristo Rei | 32 Free and Paid Spots to See Lisbon from the Top

View from Cristo Rei

Tell me, what spots did I miss? Have you found a secret viewpoint you’d like to tell me? Share it with us on Facebook or Twitter. If you’re not much of a talker, follow us on Instagram and Pinterest for your daily dose of travel inspiration.

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20 Comments

  1. 1

    This is awesome. I haven’t been to Lisbon yet, but I do know that I love myself a good lookout spot when traveling. Who knew there were SO MANY? This is extremely helpful for those who are traveling to the area and want to see from above. Thanks a lot for sharing!

    • 2

      And the good part about these viewpoints is once you start to get to know the city, you can recognise the spots you’ve been at. It’s s hilly city but not that big, fortunately 🙂

  2. 3
  3. 5

    I’m heading to Lisbon in a few weeks! I absolutely love Padrao dos Descobrimentos and I found so many views that I want to see. This is an incredible resource that I’m pinning for later so I reference again when planning my trip.

  4. 7

    It looks like I just fast tracked a new location to my travels! These views are awesome – although I feel like my legs might burn after all that hiking lol

  5. 9
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  7. 13

    Can’t believe there are so many places to get a good view in Lisbon! Will save this guide for when I have the opportunity to travel there. Thank you!

  8. 15

    I loved Lisbon and really enjoyed exploring the ups and downs of the city…this would have been a great list to make sure I got to see it from as many viewpoints as possible 🙂

  9. 17

    I’ve bookmarked this for a later date. I love Portugal and have to been Lisbon & Porto. However with only 2 days in Lisbon we didn’t manage anyway near enough of the sights you’ve listed. All look truly amazing. I can’t wait to go back and discover more.

    • 18

      Lisbon is a small city but with lots of hidden corners, so no wonder you couldn’t see everything at once 🙂 Hope you come back soon!

  10. 19

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