The entire neighborhood of Alfama can be seen from Miradouro das Portas do Sol
This viewpoint is essentially one huge balcony above the ancient Alfama neighborhood. Its panoramic view has illustrated countless postcards, showing what looks like a colorful Mediterranean village cascading down to the waterfront. It’s a mandatory stop for anyone who wants to take the best photos of old Lisbon, with the towers of the Monastery of St. Vincent and the dome of the National Pantheon standing out in the skyline.
The terrace of the kiosk café at the Portas do Sol viewpoint
Contrasting with the charming old houses that have stood here for centuries (many are survivors of the 1755 earthquake), is the modern building of the cruise ship terminal down below.
A statue of St. Vincent welcomes visitors to the viewpoint
The name (which translates to “Gate of the Sun”) is a reminder that this is the best spot for a sunrise view.
It’s faced by the Azurara Palace, an aristocratic residence from the 18th century, which is now the Decorative Arts Museum. It’s worth going inside for the rich collection displayed in several tiled rooms with painted ceilings, and for the views of the viewpoint from the windows.
The café of the terrace below the viewpoint
A statue of St. Vincent holding the symbols of Lisbon (a boat with two ravens) faces the museum, and next to it is a kiosk serving refreshments. For more drinks and light meals, head to the café on the attractive terrace below it.
Tram 28 passing by the Portas do Sol viewpoint
Hidden around the corner from the white church seen above the balcony is another viewpoint (the Miradouro de Santa Luzia), and a few steps from there is the castle. A flight of steps between the balcony and the church is often the starting point of a walking tour of Alfama, as it leads down to the picturesque maze of streets.
Sunrise at the Portas do Sol viewpoint
How to Get to the Portas do Sol Viewpoint
Trams 12 and 28 (which depart from Praça Martim Moniz) stop at the viewpoint, but it’s actually faster to walk from Baixa (downtown), following the tram tracks -- it’s just five minutes up the hill from the cathedral. Alternatively, take bus 737, which departs from Praça da Figueira and stops a few feet away, before its final stop at the castle gate.
You may ride the trams and the bus for free with the Lisboa Card.
Largo das Portas do Sol, Alfama
Where to Stay by the Portas do Sol Viewpoint
Santiago de Alfama Hotel
A 15th-century-palace-turned-factory-turned-hotel is one of the most romantic places to stay in Lisbon. It’s down the street from Miradouro das Portas do Sol and just steps from the castle, and has 19 rooms combining contemporary design and classic elegance.
Convento do Salvador
It’s a 3-star hotel but guests give it five stars for location (it’s just a few feet from Miradouro das Portas do Sol), cleanliness and friendly staff. It’s a former convent, but it’s entirely contemporary, with minimalist rooms and common areas decorated with paintings by contemporary Portuguese artists.