A trip to Lisbon isn’t complete without taking in an incredible view or two (or three?) from one of the city’s many scenic lookouts, called miradouros in Portuguese. In fact, Lisbon is known as a city on seven hills and each hill has its own unique garden or terrace offering spectacular views over various parts of the city. Try to see as many miradouros as possible, but if time is of the essence, here are The Culture Trip’s suggestions of the most beautiful in Lisbon.
São Pedro de Alcântara
Easily reachable from the Baixa metro stop and the Glória Funicular, the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara is one of the most visited lookouts in the city. Of course, the splendid terraced gardens with statues and fountain may not hurt in also making this spot one of the most popular. From here visitors can enjoy views of the São Jorge Castle, the Tagus River and down onto the heart of the city center. Perhaps due to its ideal location and fairly spacious size, the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara hosts a few outdoor markets through the year, including a Christmas holiday market, and art vendors also set up shop here.
Portas do Sol
From its perched location over Alfama, Portas do Sol is an idyllic spot to sit and watch the river while enjoying a glass of wine, beer, or coffee from the onsite café or kiosk. Surrounded on one side by charming souvenir shops and traditional restaurants, with winding staircase paths climbing up the hill on either side, Portas do Sol is like a sanctuary in the middle of sightseeing chaos. Not only does this miradouro take in the Tagus River and a few palm trees, but visitors will also see the white dome of Lisbon’s National Pantheon in addition to one side of the beautiful Monastery of São Vicente de Fora.
A short five-minute walk from Portas do Sol is the trellis garden known as the Miradouro de Santa Luzia. This is Alfama’s second lovely miradouro and one of the most romantic spots in the city further decorated with traditional azulejo tilework. Like Portas do Sol, this spot also offers a café for enjoying lunch, snacks and/or a beverage break while simultaneously appreciating the view towards the National Pantheon and the Tagus River.
Peering inward at Lisbon’s center, from opposite the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara, the Miradouro da Graça enjoys a unique vantage point of the castle. It’s also a pleasant surprise after climbing Alfama’s hills, with another snack-filled kiosk and a tree-shaded terrace perfect for hiding from the sun. The Miradouro da Graça is tucked away to one side of the Baroque-style Graça Church (built in the 13th century and also worth a visit for anyone who appreciates Portugal’s azulejo mosaics) with a view of the São Jorge Castle, Tagus River and the 25 of April bridge all in one frame.
Nossa Senhora do Monte
Resting slightly above the Miradouro da Graça is the Miradouro da Nossa Senhora do Monte (Our Lady of the Hill lookout), the highest point in the city. Both lookouts enjoy similar views towards the castle and river, yet Nossa Senhora do Monte’s provide a wider panoramic over other parts of Lisbon. Positioned near a small chapel and slightly off the beaten path, this is also considered one of the more romantic views in the city.
Bairro Alto’s favorite outdoor hangout may just be the Miradouro de Santa Catarina. It’s common to see groups sitting on the lawn and at the nearby café to enjoy the river, 25 of April Bridge and city buildings. Literature enthusiasts will also appreciate this spot for the stone statue of Luís de Camões’ Adamastor monster from Os Lusíads.
Restaurante Rio Maravilha
A summertime Instagram search of Lisbon will populate plenty of pictures showing groups sitting on picnic tables from practically underneath the 25 of April bridge and before a rainbow-like statue mimicking the Cristo Rei Statue on the opposite side of the river. Slightly hidden in the LX Factory (take the elevator to the 4th floor), Restaurante Rio Maravilha is just one of many rooftop bars frequented by locals and ‘in-the-know’ tourists.
Eduardo VII Park
The manicured garden of Eduardo VII Park and the Marques de Pombal monument take center stage when gazing down from the top of this gradual-incline miradouro. Behind are the grand buildings of Avenida da Liberdade and further behind is a glimpse of the Tagus River and the castle. During December, this view also incorporates Lisbon’s Winter Wonderland and Ferris wheel, while in summer visitors will see various fairs and markets, like the annual Feira do Livro. Just above the miradouro is a lovely terrace café, partially wrapped around a shallow man-made pond, called Café Linha d’Água.