Lisbon really does deserve its sobriquet A Cidade das Sete Colinas – the City of Seven Hills. Its roly-poly geography can test the stoutest pair of legs but the great advantage of the city’s hilly disposition is that the Portuguese capital can provide the visitor with some breathtaking vistas and panoramas.
Some of the best views of Lisbon can be enjoyed from the lofty ramparts of Castelo de São Jorge. Indeed, a stroll along the battlements rewards the eye with truly memorable perspectives. You’ll have to part with a nominal entrance fee for the privilege, and they also charge a fee to visit the viewing platform at the top of the Elevador de Santa Justa, another ubiquitous Lisbon landmark. This unusual visitor attraction offers an inspiring aspect across the Baixa (downtown) area of the city, and the views extend over to the aforementioned castle and the River Tagus. Another scene-stealer is the impressive Padrão dos Descobrimentos, over in Belém. From the top of this angular, 52-metre monument you can admire the striking architecture of the nearby Mosteiro dos Jerónimos and peer down at the remarkable Rosa dos Ventos pavement mosaic. Again, an admittance fee is charged.
But you don’t always have to part with the pennies to take advantage of Lisbon’s undulating profile.
Dotted around the city are miradouros, or viewpoints, that overlook some of the most picturesque neighbourhoods. Arguably the best known of these is Miradouro de Santa Luzia and the neighbouring Largo das Portas do Sol esplanade. Gazing from these two vantage points is to soak in the utterly charming Alfama, Lisbon’s most historic quarter, and the yawning Tagus estuary.
Another favourite viewpoint is Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara. This strategic outlook encompasses dramatic city views and is just a stone’s throw from the lively Bairro Alto district. Probably the most romantic spot to linger and gain a sense of place is Miradouro do Monte. Located in leafy Graça and somewhat off the beaten track, this out-of-the-way terrace is particularly alluring at dusk when the setting set burnishes the multitude of rooftops and facades with a gold veneer.