In a city built on hills, narrow and winding cobblestoned streets feature inclines and declines like no other. Walking around Lisbon is actually quite the workout, but every cloud has a silver lining, and in the capital city of Portugal, that silver lining is the fact you get some truly stunning lookouts to get a view from.
In this article, I’ve tried to gather a comprehensive guide as to where you can get some of the best views, whether that’d be from Lisbon’s famous miradouros, on top of monuments, or from rooftop bars.
We’ll begin with the miradouros, which translates to viewpoints.
These are scattered all over the city, with many offering a balcony or terrace of some kind, where many people sit and enjoy the company of family and friends while having a glass of wine.
Near the neighbourhood of Graça is Miradouro Sophia de Mello Breyner Anderson, one of the most visited viewpoints in the city. This viewpoint benefits from the fact it's located somewhere on the fringes of the old city, making it a good place to be if you want to see the whole of Lisbon in a frame.
Other viewpoints I got to visit were Miradouro das Portas do Sol and Miradouro de Santa Luzia, both located closer to the heart of downtown where you'll get a better view of monuments such as the Panteão Nacional, a church located next to the River, gracing the front of many a postcard from Lisbon.
As mentioned, viewpoints are aplenty in Lisbon, and almost always very clearly demarcated and signposted so they're easy to get to. It's hard to say which one is best as they all offer stunning views, it just depends on what you want more of in your frame.
And not even 10 days in Lisbon was I able to view every single miradouro.
Next, we’ll be covering some good lookout points from the top of important monuments.
Located on the edge of Praça do Comércio, the Rua Augusta Arch is a monumental arch built to commemorate the rebuilding of the city after the 1755 earthquake that devastated much of the city.
For a fee of a few euros, you can get a ticket to a lift up to a room where you can see the clock of the Rua Augusta Arch tick. From there, you take a flight of winding stairs up to the top of the monument where you’ll be greeted with a view of the historic Praça do Comércio square buzzing with life as it faces the river.
Looking the other way, you’ll be faced with a view of the rest of the city, and it was from here that I got some stunning views of the city skyline, because you’re really right at the edge of the heart of downtown, and this was definitely worth the small fee.
If it’s sweeping views of the rest of the city from one of the highest points, it might do you good to head to Castelo de São Jorge.
Given how it’s one of Lisbon’s premier attractions, this castle probably won’t be somewhere you’ll have to go out of your way for.
Also a ticketed attraction, this is truly one of the best views of Lisbon if you’re after grand, sweeping views. You’ll immediately head out to an open terrace when you enter, and it’s from here you’ll see the city from the edge, so Lisbon’s red-roofed buildings will blur into one, with a view of the river to the left of the city and the Ponte 25 de Abril bridge featuring prominently.
Plane supporters will have a field day as well as I spotted around 5 airplanes flying over the city from this viewpoint in around an hour.
Of course, entering the castle itself you’ll have more views from up top, but personally nothing beat the ones below for me.
Lastly, I’ll add the view from Rio Maravilha, a gastropub in LXFactory and its accompanying rooftop bar.
Located in the neighbourhood of Alcântara is LXFactory, an industrial space turned into a creative hub for art lovers, nightlife, and posh local boutiques for anyone looking for something with a great atmosphere and vibe.
Because Alcântara is located somewhere off the downtown area, on the opposite end of where Castelo de São Jorge is from Lisbon’s centre, you’ll be somewhere closer to the neighbourhood of Belém and the Ponte 25 de Abril bridge.
Away from the view of River Tagus, you’ll see a very suburban view of Lisbon and it’s buildings.