The Santa Luzia viewpoint's tiled terrace offers one of the best views of old Lisbon
This serene viewpoint introduces visitors to Lisbon’s Old Town, the Alfama. It’s a landscaped terrace and one of the city’s most romantic spots, found next to the Church of St. Lucy (“Santa Luzia”), which is the headquarters of the Order of Malta in Portugal. Outside, on the church’s southern wall, are two tile panels: one shows downtown Lisbon before its destruction by the 1755 earthquake, and the other illustrates the Crusaders storming the castle in 1147, after a 5-month siege.
Bougainvillea by the church of Santa Luzia
A pergola climbed by grapevines frames views of the National Pantheon, the Church of St. Stephen (“Igreja de Santo Estêvão”), and the Church of St. Michael (“Igreja de São Miguel”), and provides shade to tourists who sit on the wall adorned with patterned tiles. They’re usually accompanied by artists showing their illustrations of Lisbon, and by musicians providing a soundtrack.
View of Alfama from the Santa Luzia viewpoint
At the center is a bust of Lisbon historian Júlio de Castilho, while hidden behind bougainvillea, up a few steps, is a small terrace with a café serving refreshments. It overlooks the viewpoint of Portas do Sol, just around the corner.
The lower level of the viewpoint, with a reflecting pool
On the opposite side is another series of steps, this time leading down to a terrace with a reflecting pool and more views of Alfama’s terracotta rooftops.
A sunrise view at the Santa Luzia viewpoint
How to Get to the Santa Luzia Viewpoint
Trams 12 and 28 (both departing from Praça Martim Moniz) stop right by the church, but you’ll get there faster if you walk from Baixa (downtown), following the tram tracks -- it’s about a 5-minute walk up the hill from the cathedral. You may also take bus 737, which departs from Praça da Figueira, stopping around the corner from the viewpoint before its final stop at the castle gate.
You may ride the trams and the bus for free with the Lisboa Card.
Largo de Santa Luzia, Alfama
The Decorative Arts Museum is right next to the Santa Luzia viewpoint, and the castle is just a few feet up the hill. Within the castle walls is another viewpoint, the Miradouro do Recolhimento.
Where to Stay by the Santa Luzia Viewpoint
Santiago de Alfama Hotel
It started as a palace in the 15th century, then became a factory, and is now a romantic boutique hotel. It faces Miradouro de Santa Luzia, and is also a good choice for those who wish to stay by the castle. It has just 19 rooms, some facing the garden, and others looking over Alfama.