Elevators & funiculars – the shortcuts to hilly Lisbon. Here is the plan!

tumblr_static_d7u7cgh3yigwkwco4ssc00c0oLisbon’s Newest Public Transportation Project Is an Elevator.

In 2017, the Portuguese capital is set to gain an unusual new piece of public transit infrastructure. It’s not a metro or streetcar line or even a bike-share scheme, but an elevator burrowed into one of its hillsides.

The elevator, to be run by the city’s transit authority, will run from the quayside of the River Tagus up the steep slope to the city’s cathedral, located on a hillside overlooking the bay.

A new cruise ship terminal is due to be opened in the next few years along the quayside, and given that many cruise ship passengers are older, the elevator could also motivate them to go deeper into the city to sightsee and shop.

Read Feargus O’Sullivan’s story on Citylab, 23 June 2016



The elevators run by Carris (opening hours here) FEES Apply

1 Elevador Santa Justa: 32 m high neo-Gothic lift made from iron

Elevador Santa Justa (Elevator Saint Justin) connects the two districts Baixa and Barrio Alto. This neo-Gothic lift is also called Elevador do Carmo. It is the only elevator of Lisbon, which moves vertically. The lower level of the elevator is located between the streets Rua do Ouro and Rua de Santa Justa. Santa Justa Elevador takes its passengers Largo do Carmo where the ruins of Convento do Carmo can be found. Elevator itself is a 32 meters high tower made of iron, decorated with a delicate, but rich ornamentation. The elegant elevator consists of two wooden cabins, each of which can take 25 people. Initially, the elevator was powered by steam, but since 1907 it is fully electrified. At the top of the tower you may enjoy an observation deck with a beautiful view of the city and river.


elevador st justaElevador Santa Justa is a popular tourist attraction – and a relatively expensive way to get from Chiado to Bairro alto – especially if you have visited the elevator al ready.

And one more thing.

During the high season expect a lot of people waiting to get up. Instead do like us locals and use the free elevators (and public toilets if needed) in the Armazens do Chiado shopping center next door.


2 Elevador da Bica: THE Lift was opened on June 28, 1892

Elevador da Bica is the most charming tram/lift in Lisbon, which connects Cais do Sodré and Bairro Alto (Largo Calhariz and Rua de São Paulo). Elevador da Bica was founded by the Portuguese engineer, Raoul Mesnier du Ponsard. The lift was opened on June 28, 1892. Originally powered by a water system, then steam and in 1914 it was electrified. The lift can carry 23 people and it overcomes a steep hill with a total distance of 235 meters. In 2002 Elevador da Bica was classified as Monumento Nacional (National Monument). The entrance to the elevator from the Cais do Sodré is decorated with stylish Portuguese azulejos.

Upper stop of Elevador da Bica (at Chiado) is located near the stop of the popular tram number 28. There is also a view point of Santa Catarina nearby, from which you can watch the beautiful sunsets on the Tagus River.

3 Elevador da GlóriA: Classified as a National Monument in 2002

Elevador da Glória runs from Praça dos Restauradores to Bairro Alto (Jardim de São Pedro de Alcântara) and is open until late evening. The elevator (also called Ascensor da Glória) was opened on 24th October 1885. The lift was constructed by the Portuguese engineer, Raoul Mesnier du Ponsard. Originally carriages were wooden, two-storey, with rows of benches on two levels. Floors were connected by a wooden staircase. Comparing to other lifts, Elevador da Gloria carries the the greatest number of people.

4 Elevador Lavra: The oldest elevator in Lisbon city

Elevador do Lavra is the least known, but the oldest elevator in Lisbon city. It was opened in April 1884. Elevador do Lavra connects Largo da Anunciada and Rua Câmara Pestana. Route length is 188 meters and an average slope of over 23%.


The public & free elevators

5 Elevador Baixa: our short cut to Graca, 11 storys in 2 minutes

If you travel from Baixa to St. George’s Castle (Castelo de Sao Jorge) you can catch a new lift, which was opened on August 31st, 2013. Entrance from Baixa is located at Rua dos Fanqueiros 170/178 , in front of the exit from the metro station Baixa- Chiado (leading to the renewed Rua da Vitória). You should get off the lift at Rua da Madalena 147/155 and switch to another one in the Pingo Doce store. At the top, you may enjoy a quick meal in a new vantage point with a restaurant/cafe. From there you have only a short walk to the Castle.


When we take our friends to Miradouro da Senhora do Monte and point at Bairro Alto on the opposite hill and tell our friends that we walk there in less than 15 minutes they think we’re lying.

But they don’t know about the Baixa-Castelo Elevator and the elevator in the Armazens do Chiado shopping center 🙂


6 Elevador Do Santa Luzia

At the time of writing this is Lisbon’s newest elevator that connects Miradouro Santa Luzia (Rua Norberto Araújo) with a maze of narrow streets of Alfama.

The main objective behind this new elevator is to make the daily life easier for the elderly local residents of Alfama.


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Three new connections open in 2017 – two of them to our hood (indicated with colors in the map).

logoEscalators will link in 2017 Martim Moniz to the Castle of Lisbon

The Municipal Enterprise Mobility and Parking Lisbon (EMEL) reported on Friday that the escalators that will link the square Martim Moniz to São Jorge Castle will be operating “at the end of 2016 / early 2017”.
One of the 3 escalators connects Martim Moniz and the Castle of St. George. This will open by the end of 2017.

The news about this and two more connections was published in Observador on 20 May 2017.

Read more here


7 Escalator to Castelo de Sao Jorge – (To be opened in 2017)

The first one is an escalator from Martim Moniz to Castelo de Sao Jorge. This connection will consist of 3 sections.

A: Escadinhas da Saúde, from Mouraria to Rua Marquês Ponte de Lima

B: Escadinhas do Palácio da Rosa, from Marquês de Ponte de Lima and  Costa do Castelo

C: Escadinhas de São Lourenço the already existing stair Rua da Costa do Castelo inside Castelo de São Jorge

8 Funicular to GraÇa Miradouro: OUR HOOD 🙂 (To be opened in 2017)

The second connection will be a funicular taking people directly from Mouraria to the Graça Miradouro

9 Elevator to Sé de Lisboa (To be opened in 2017)

The third connection are the one that will connect the new cruise Terminal with one of the tourist sights, Sé.

Graca is already one of the most attractive locations in our opinion. With the 3 new connections we simply can’t think of a more convenient and cozy place to stay in Lisbon.


2017 is just around the corner.

So is Tings Lisbon 🙂






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