Lisbon’s beautifully scenic waterfront location on a series of hills seduces anyone into pausing for contemplation. That not only makes it highly romantic (and some say, one of the world’s most beautiful cities), but also a place that forces you to take things slowly.
There are several terraces which stand as viewpoints where tourists and locals all gather for a break, and they are an essential part of the Lisbon experience. Relaxing to take in the views at a hilltop “miradouro” is a must. Many have kiosks serving refreshments, while others are simply the top of the city’s most iconic landmarks. Wherever you are in the city, there is a lookout point nearby. These are the 30 best:
1 | Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara
This shaded terrace on a hill directly across from the castle allows you to gaze down on all of downtown towards the waterfront. It’s also one of the most romantic spots in the city.
2 | Miradouro das Portas do Sol
Found not far from the castle, this terrace offers the best postcard views (and photos) of Lisbon. It overlooks the domes and rooftops of the city’s oldest historic neighborhood and the waterfront.
3 | Miradouro de Santa Luzia
You can look over the terracota rooftops of Alfama and the river from this incredibly charming terrace, always filled with tourists snapping photos.
4 | Miradouro do Castelo de São Jorge
The castle crowns Lisbon’s tallest hill, and therefore offers the most complete view of the city. For the views alone, it’s worth visiting the monument.
5 | Miradouro da Graça
This seems to be the favorite vantage point for artists to paint the city. With a kiosk café and views of the castle, it’s also a popular meeting point, mixing locals and tourists.
6 | Miradouro da Senhora do Monte
You can get a panorama of almost the entire city from here, but it was once a secret. Today it attracts young couples and tourists arriving on tuk tuks.
7 | Elevador de Santa Justa
From the top of this monument are bird’s-eye views of the city center. 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.
8 | Miradouro do Arco da Rua Augusta
The top of the triumphal arch only opened for visits in 2013, but is already one of the city’s must-see attractions. On one side there’s a magnificent view over Comércio Square, and on the other, over Rua Augusta and all of downtown.
9 | Miradouro de Santa Catarina
The port of Lisbon and the landmark 25 de Abril Bridge are seen from this terrace, where you may also sit and watch the cruise ships navigating by, or stay for the sunset.
10 | Miradouro do Parque Eduardo VII
All of downtown Lisbon built between two hills can be seen from the top of this sloping park. With a view of the castle and the river, this is a picture-perfect spot.
11 | Miradouro do Largo da Academia das Belas Artes
Going down this square 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. A few steps further down, you get a closer look at the top of the Municipal Palace and of the triumphal arch of Rua Augusta.
12 | Padrão dos Descobrimentos
Lisbon’s most monumental architecture can be admired from the top of this monument, standing on the spot 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).
13 | Miradouro do Cristo Rei
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 the 25 de Abril Bridge, and the view goes from the district of Belem to Alfama.
14 | Miradouro do Recolhimento
It’s perhaps the least known lookout point in the city, since it only opened in 2015. 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.
15 | Miradouro do Torel
This hilltop terrace overlooking downtown towards the triumphal arch of Rua Augusta is also a garden created in the 1960s, and remains one of the city’s top secrets.
16 | Miradouro de Santo Estêvão
Still undiscovered by many locals and guidebooks, this viewpoint is found next to St. Stephen’s Church. It’s a quiet spot for a break after a stroll through the narrow streets of Alfama.
17 | Miradouro dos Terraços do Carmo
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 next to Carmo Convent and by one of the entrances to the Santa Justa Elevator, and are now a public recreational space offering a beautiful view over Rossio Square, the castle and the elevator.
18 | Miradouro do Jardim da Cerca da Graça
Very few had access to this view and to this park throughout the centuries, but this green space below Graça Church was finally cleaned up and opened to the public in 2015. From here you may look out to the castle, to the neighborhood of Mouraria and 25 de Abril Bridge.
19 | Miradouro do Monte Agudo
It’s a well-kept secret, perhaps due to its off-the-beaten-path location. From here you have a panoramic view that goes from the old town to the modern city.
20 | Miradouro do Largo das Necessidades »
This terrace and the garden behind it remain undiscovered by most people. It’s faced by Necessidades Palace and offers a beautiful view of 25 de Abril Bridge.
21 | Miradouro do Chão do Loureiro
This terrace not far from the castle is found at the top of a former market that’s now a parking garage. It’s in part taken over by restaurant tables, and offers a panoramic view of downtown.
22 | Amoreiras 360º
The top of the Amoreiras towers finally opened to the public in 2016. It’s accessed through the shopping mall and there’s an admission charge. The view is of 360 degrees above the city, and there are maps pointing out the most important landmarks.
23 | MAAT
Lisbon’s newest museum is already one of its most iconic buildings. It’s a beautiful example of contemporary architecture, and you’re allowed to walk over it, serving as a lookout point towards the Tagus and 25 de Abril Bridge.
24 | Jardim Botânico da Ajuda
This beautiful botanical garden just steps from Ajuda Palace is beautifully decorated with plants and sculptures. It’s also a beautiful lookout point, as it’s split into two levels, and from the stairs that connect them is a wonderful view of 25 de Abril Bridge and of the Monument to Christ.
25 | Torre de Belém
From the top of Belém Tower there’s a panoramic view of the Tagus flowing into the Atlantic, and of the entire Belém district. You may see the CCB building, the Discoveries Monument, and 25 de Abril Bridge crossing the river.
26 | Mosteiro de São Vicente de Fora
Very few people are aware of the fantastic city views from the rooftop of this monument. The domed National Pantheon stands right below it, and you may look out over Alfama to 25 de Abril Bridge.
27 | Panteão Nacional
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 across from you.
28 | Miradouro de Santo Amaro
Hidden on Calçada de Santo Amaro, a small chapel dating from 1549 offers a beautiful little-known terrace. Usually deserted, it has a view towards 25 de Abril Bridge and over the river.
29 | Miradouro Anfiteatro Keil do Amaral
The largest urban forest in Europe hides an amphitheater overlooking the 25 de Abril Bridge, but in between the pines and the picnic areas of Monsanto are also other lookout points facing the city and the Tagus.
30 | Basílica da Estrela
It’s not always open, but the rooftop by the dome of Basilica da Estrela is a terrace looking out to several of the city’s landmarks, from the modern towers of Amoreiras, to the walls of St. George’s Castle in the distance.
Source: Lisbon Lux