Lisbon has picturesque streets and a scenic waterfront location, but what makes it such a seductive city is its number of hilltop terraces that invite contemplation. These viewpoints (“miradouros”) present the city from a bird’s-eye perspective, and it is here that you confirm that it is indeed one of the world's most romantic and beautiful cities. Miradouro-hopping is an essential part of the Lisbon experience, and a must on clear and sunny days. Most have kiosks to serve refreshments to the many locals and tourists who stop by to take in the views, and are especially popular at sunset.
- Best viewpoints for the sunrise: Portas do Sol and Santa Luzia
- Best viewpoints for the sunset: Senhora do Monte and Santa Catarina
- Best viewpoints at night: Santa Justa Elevator and São Pedro de Alcântara
- Best viewpoints for drinks: Santa Catarina and Graça
- Most romantic viewpoints: São Pedro de Alcântara and Santa Luzia
- Miradouro das Portas do Sol
- Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara
- Miradouro de Santa Luzia
- Miradouro da Graça
- Miradouro da Senhora do Monte
- Miradouro de Santa Catarina
- Miradouro do Parque Eduardo VII
- Miradouro de Santo Estêvão
- Miradouro do Torel
- Miradouro do Jardim da Cerca da Graça
- Miradouro do Chão do Loureiro
- Miradouro do Largo da Academia das Belas Artes
- Miradouro do Recolhimento
- Miradouro do Monte Agudo
- Miradouro de Monsanto (Anfiteatro Keil do Amaral)
- St. George's Castle
- Santa Justa Elevator
- Arco da Rua Augusta
- Discoveries Monument
- Cristo Rei
- São Vicente de Fora Monastery
- National Pantheon
- Amoreiras 360º
- Belém Tower
- Santo Amaro Chapel
- Terraços do Carmo
- Palácio das Necessidades
- Ajuda Botanical Garden
- Basílica da Estrela
From this terrace by the castle, Lisbon looks more like a Mediterranean village or a Greek island than a capital city. All of medieval Alfama can be seen below it, with its white church towers, domes and colorful houses tumbling down the hill towards the river. This is the city’s most photographed viewpoint, not just because of the splendid view, but also because it’s an inevitable stop, as it’s a tram stop and located down the street from the castle gate. In the surroundings are several cafés and restaurants with outdoor seating.
This shaded terrace, on a hill directly across from the castle, is one of Lisbon’s most romantic spots. It’s split into two levels, with a garden laid out in the early 1800s, dotted with busts of mythological and historical personalities. It allows you to gaze down on all of downtown towards the waterfront, and a tile panel from 1952 points out the landmarks that can be seen from here. The tables placed by a kiosk serving refreshments throughout the day are perfect for a relaxing break.
Lush bougainvillea and a view over the rooftops of Alfama attract tourists to this romantic terrace next to a small white church, which has its back turned to Miradouro das Portas do Sol (see above). It’s an incredibly charming and picturesque place, adorned with tiles, including two panels illustrating St. George's Castle being taken over from the Moors in 1147 and Comércio Square before the 1755 earthquake. Everyone takes photos under a pergola, where artists also stand painting or displaying their illustrations of Lisbon.
The terrace of an 18th-century church is a favorite vantage point of artists to paint the city, and its parasol pines provide shade to the many locals and tourists who stop to admire the stunning views of the castle and downtown Lisbon. The kiosk café serving refreshments is a popular meeting point.
See the Miradouro da Graça Visitor's Guide.
You can get a panorama of almost the entire city from this pine-scented hilltop viewpoint. It attracts young couples and tourists on tuk tuks, especially at sunset. They’re watched by an image of the Virgin, which gave the place its name (“Lady of the Mount”) and which stands in front of a small 18th-century chapel.
Once a place where old men sat to observe the ferries cross the river, this terrace is now a popular spot for young locals and tourists to watch the sunset. A statue of the gigantic Adamastor (a mythical sea creature from the national epic “The Lusiads”) faces the port and 25 de Abril Bridge, as everyone sits on the amphitheater-like steps and enjoys drinks from the kiosk.
Downtown Lisbon is framed between two hills, when seen from the top of the city’s sloping central park. Symmetrical box hedging seems to point to the river, as the castle stands on the hill to the left. At the center is the monument to the Marquis of Pombal, who rebuilt Lisbon after the Great Earthquake of 1755. All together, this is the perfect backdrop for an “I’m in Lisbon!” selfie.
See the Parque Eduardo VII Visitor's Guide.
Still undiscovered by many travel guides, this viewpoint is hidden next to St. Stephen’s Church. It’s a quiet spot for a break after a stroll through the narrow streets of Alfama, whose rooftops can be seen from here.
This shady hilltop garden overlooks downtown towards the triumphal arch. Because there are no tourist attractions nearby, it remains one of the city’s top secrets, often only found by chance by those who ride the city’s oldest funicular (Elevador do Lavra) to the top of the hill.
A centuries-old garden below Graça Church was never open to the public until 2015, when it was relandscaped and made accessible to everyone. Around 180 new trees and shrubs were planted, and a new lawn was laid out, now often used for picnics. A kiosk serves refreshments to those who pass by to relax and enjoy the view of the castle.
This terrace, on top of a former market that’s now a parking garage (reached by a public elevator inside the Pingo Doce supermarket by Rua da Madalena), has been partly taken over by the tables of a restaurant, but is open to anyone wishing to stop for a panoramic view of downtown. The castle is just a short walk from here.
Going down this square (Largo da Academia das Belas Artes) in Chiado, you come across a terrace of a private property, which uses it as its private parking lot, with a beautiful view over downtown Lisbon. You’re not allowed to cross the gate, but may snap a photo of the postcard view. A few steps down the sloping square, you get a closer look at the top of the Municipal Palace and of the triumphal arch of Rua Augusta.
It's the least known lookout point in the city, since it only opened in 2015 and has never been discovered by travel guides. It's found not far from the castle and, in the shade of olive trees, you have a beautiful view of Alfama, from the National Pantheon to the Church of St. Stephen.
It was created in 1950, but remains a well-kept secret, perhaps due to its off-the-beaten-path location (although it’s not far from the central district of Mouraria). It’s not even mentioned in guidebooks, but from here you have a panoramic view that goes from the old town to the modern city. People from the neighborhood stop by at sunset, and enjoy drinks from the kiosk café. It has two entrances -- on Rua Heliodoro Salgado (next to number 81) and on Rua Ilha do Príncipe (through a flight of steps next to number 5). The atmosphere is always serene, in the shade of a pergola or pine trees. A tile panel illustrates what can be seen from here.
The fastest way to reach it is by metro, exiting at the Anjos station on the green line.
The largest urban forest in Europe hides an amphitheater with a view of 25 de Abril Bridge, but in between the pines and the picnic areas of Monsanto are many other spots overlooking most of Lisbon. There are several leisure and sports areas, including children's playgrounds, soccer fields, basketball courts, and a skate park. A curious presence in Monsanto is that of squirrels, an animal that had been extinct in Portugal. To get there, take bus 711, which departs from the Terreiro do Paço ferry station (by Comércio Square), passing by Rossio, Avenida da Liberdade, and the Amoreiras shopping mall. It stops at the park in about 25 minutes.
On summer weekends, there are often free concerts in the amphitheater.
15 MONUMENTS WITH VIEWS
The castle crowns Lisbon’s tallest hill, and the panoramic view is the highlight of a visit. The terrace by the entrance gate overlooks the entire city center, while from the battlements by the archaeological site is a view of the churches of Alfama.
See the St. George's Castle Visitor's Guide.
From the top of this Eiffel Tower-like monument are bird's-eye views of the city center, over Rossio Square to the vast waterfront square Praça do Comércio. No visitor to Lisbon should miss it, except those who suffer from vertigo, as you'll feel like you're literally standing above the city.
See the Santa Justa Elevator Visitor's Guide.
The top of the triumphal arch is one of the city’s must-see attractions, if you want to take some of the best photos of Comércio Square and downtown. On one side there’s the square and the river, and on the other is the pedestrian Rua Augusta and downtown’s grid of cobbled streets.
See the Arco da Rua Augusta Visitor's Guide.
Lisbon's most monumental architecture can be admired from the top of this landmark, standing on the spot from where Vasco da Gama left for his world-changing voyage to India. Be sure to look down to see visitors standing on top of the world (a map on the pavement illustrating the routes of the Portuguese explorers).
See the Discoveries Monument Visitor's Guide.
The monument is on the southern bank of the Tagus in Almada, but the panoramic view is entirely of Lisbon. The terrace across from the image of Christ is just above 25 de Abril Bridge, which you can almost touch, and the view goes from the district of Belém in the west to Parque das Nações in the east.
See the Cristo Rei Visitor's Guide.
Very few people are aware of the fantastic views from the rooftop of this monument. The domed National Pantheon stands right below it, and you may also overlook Alfama and 25 de Abril Bridge.
At the top of the National Pantheon, right by the huge dome, you may look out to the river, 25 de Abril Bridge, the Alfama district, and the towers of St. Vincent Monastery right in front.
See the National Pantheon Visitor's Guide.
The top of the Amoreiras towers, which date from 1985, finally opened to the public in 2016. This observation deck is accessed through the shopping mall and there's an admission charge. The view is of 360 degrees above the city, and there are displays indicating the most important landmarks.
See the Amoreiras 360º Visitor's Guide.
Lisbon's newest museum instantly became one of the city’s most iconic buildings. It's a striking example of contemporary architecture, and you're allowed to walk over it. The top serves as a lookout point facing the river and 25 de Abril Bridge, and it’s as much an attraction as the art exhibited inside.
See the MAAT Visitor's Guide.
From the top of Lisbon’s most iconic monument there’s a panoramic view of the river flowing into the Atlantic. Most of the landmarks of the Belém district can be seen from here -- from the Belém Cultural Center to the Discoveries Monument with 25 de Abril Bridge behind it.
See the Belém Tower Visitor's Guide.
Hidden on Calçada de Santo Amaro, not far from the Lx Factory complex, a small chapel dating from 1549 offers a beautiful little-known terrace with views. Usually deserted, it has an excellent view of 25 de Abril Bridge and over the river.
See the Santo Amaro Chapel Visitor's Guide.
Planned by architect Siza Vieira in 1988, after the great fire in the Chiado district, these terraces only opened to the public in 2015. They're behind Carmo Convent and by one of the entrances to the Santa Justa Elevator, and are now a public recreational space with a bar, offering a beautiful view over Rossio Square, the castle and the elevator.
See the Carmo Convent Visitor's Guide.
This terrace with a monumental fountain (and the Tapada das Necessidades park behind it) remains undiscovered by most tourists, and even locals. It’s faced by Necessidades Palace (now the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and closed to the public) and offers a beautiful view of 25 de Abril Bridge.
This beautiful botanical garden from 1768, located across the road from the royal palace, is divided into two levels. The stairs that connect them have a wonderful view of 25 de Abril Bridge and of the Monument to Christ.
The rooftop by the dome of Basílica da Estrela looks out to several of the city’s landmarks. The modern towers of Amoreiras are directly in front, while the walls of St. George’s Castle can be seen in the distance.
See the Basílica da Estrela Visitor's Guide.