Inaugurated in 1902, the Santa Justa Lift Lisbon is a landmark of the city. Located at its heart, the Lisbon elevator offers splendid views all around over the rooftops. Have a look at the photos! A place not to miss on your itinerary. Below is my guide to help you plan your visit.
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Why take a ride in the Santa Justa Lift in Lisbon?
The Lisbon elevator is one of the best attractions in the city for a couple of reasons:
- for the surprising architecture as it was designed by Raoul Mesnier, a student of Gustave Eiffel (the architect of the Eiffel tower...). You recognize the metal work
- for the practicality as it avoids climbing one more hill, in this hilly city
- for the views at from the viewing platform - you can most fo the main monuments in all directions including the castle and the National Theater
More photos and details after the planning tips.
PLANNING TIPS - Santa Justa Lift, Lisbon
How to get to the Santa Justa Lift
- In the heart of historical Lisbon
- Bottom entrance at Rua Santa Justa
- Top entrance near the Carmo Convent
It is included in my travel guides that help you easily plan your itinerary around Portugal:
Riding the Lisbon Elevator
- Santa Justa Lift price: 5.30€ including lift both ways and access to viewing platform
- Included in the one-day metro ticket, Lisbon card and the Yellow hop on hop off busses - however note that some of the tickets don't include the viewing platform entrance
- Lisbon elevator opening hours: 7am to 9pm - or to 11pm in Summer
- The queues are really long in Summer, so, I recommend going early! (avoid the peak hours from 10am to 3pm)
- There can only be 29 visitors on the viewing platform, so you may also have to wait to get there
- The viewing platform is accessed via a narrow staircase (photos in the article)
- See the best rated accommodations in Lisbon
The Lisbon Elevator from the bottom entrance
The elevator can be reached from the top or the bottom.
The bottom access is in the heart of Lisbon. I missed it on my way from the sea. I don't know how I missed it.... It is quite a structure!
Anyway, I turned around and spotted it between the buildings.
As you approach the entrance, you can see the details in the iron structure:
Note: other transportations are called elevators in Lisbon: Elevador da Gloria and Elevador da Bica. But they are funiculars. Whereas Santa Justa is vertical. But they all help with the steep hills of Lisbon!
Not to be missed on your Lisbon itinerary!
Santa Justa Lift history & facts
Before I show you photos of the amazing views, below are a few facts for those interested:
- Construction started in 1900
- Opened in 1902
- Height of 45m (148ft) (equivalent to 7 stories)
- It is a National Monument in Portugal
- It connects the lower street of the Baixa neighborhood (from Rua Santa Justa) to the Carmo square where you can find the Carmo Convent
- Its capacity nowadays is 29 people
- The structure is in iron, decorated in Neo-Gothic style
- it was designed by Raoul Mesnier (a student of Gustave Eiffel - the one from the Eiffel tower...)
- Originally it had a steam engine. But it was soon changed to an electrical motor
Inside the Santa Justa Elevator cabin
After that you enter inside the cabin of the Santa Justa Lift, which is also called the Carmo lift. Everything is wood.
Most people have to stand up inside for the short ride.
As you exit at the top, the view is blocked by a net. But don't worry!
Access to the viewing platform
After the lift, you can climb a few steps to reach the open viewing platform with 36O° views!!!
So, here we go. We are now at the viewing platform of the Lisbon elevator.
Even on a rainy day, the view is amazing!
Panoramas from the Santa Justa Elevator viewpoint
I tried taking a panorama to show you the whole thing, but failed miserably.
Below are 5 shots in the various directions.
This is the view towards the sea:
Then the view just straight in alignment with the lift.
This is the view towards the Lisbon Castle:
And if you zoom you can see:
Below is the view towards the Praça Dom Pedro 4 and the National Theater.
And towards the back are the ruins of the Carmo Convent:
And if you zoom you can also see Parque Eduardo in the distance.
What I loved most compared to the other viewpoints in Lisbon is that you are in the center and just above the roofs. So, you can get a better feel for the architecture of the buildings.
And you get great views of the street decorations:
Upper exit of the Carmo Lift
There is also an upper access to the Lisbon Elevator. It is just close by the ruins of the Carmo Convent.
A long beautiful corridor with sculpted iron takes you from the ground to the top of the elevator.
This is where you go, if you just want to access the platform without paying for the lift
Want to see more of PORTUGAL?
Do you enjoy metal structures?
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