In many cities, particularly older coastal cities where neighborhoods are separated by difficult-to-navigate escarpments, lifts serve much the same function as subways, light-rail and buses: They’re used to move large numbers of people from point A to point B.
While often viewed as a shortcut (and a welcome alternative to daunting hillside staircases), the elevator as a mode of public transit is quick, efficient and smart. Of course, opting to take the stairs or walk the long way around is the better-for-you option.
We are surrounded by elevators here in Lisbon.
For strange reasons a lot people finds public elevators very exotic. And sometimes more interesting than the ‘normal’ tourist sights you find in most cities.
To all of us who live in hilly cities these elevators are just public transportation. And thanks God for them. Its because of them we can live in Graca and still walk to Baixa, Bairro Alto, Principe Real and all other places in Down Town Lisbon in maximum 15 minutes.
So sometimes we find it very strange when we see groups of tourists lining up waiting for a ride.
We find it even more interesting to see travel media praising them and even categorizing them – like the list of 8 extraordinary public elevators by MNN Friday – an international “chart” where Lisbon is represented with its The Santa Justa Lift.
Read the story about the tourist magnets that offer a taste of history with breathtaking views here