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The Santa Justa Lift

Attractions Chiado
3 out of 5 stars
(1user review)
Elevador de Santa Justa
© Lydia Evans / Time Out

The industrial-age iron tracery of the Santa Justa lift - sometimes called the Elevador do Carmo - is one of Lisbon's most beloved landmarks but became a national monument only in 2002. It was built by Portuguese-born Eiffel disciple Raul Mesnier de Ponsard, and officially opened in August 1901. It links downtown Rua do Ouro with the square next to the Carmo church up above, via a 15m viaduct. On the top floor, up a spiral staircase, a viewing platform offers 360º views. The Elevador is part of the public transport system, so if you have a payment card a one-way trip is equivalent to a bus journey; on board only pricey return tickets are on sale. For a budget alternative view, head for department store Pollux, whose top-floor café also has cheap coffee.


Venue name: The Santa Justa Lift
Address: R do Ouro/Lg do Carmo
Opening hours: Lift Oct-May 7am-10pm daily; June-Sept 7am-11pm daily. Miradouro 8.30am-8.30pm daily
Transport: Metro Baixa-Chiado
Price: Lift €5 return. Miradouro €1.50
Static map showing venue location

Average User Rating

3 / 5

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This impressively Gothic iron lift was built in the 19th century and sits practically smack bang in the heart of Lisbon city centre from where it offers a speedy way to rise 45m into the air and see 360 degree views of the capital. If you have the equivalent of an all-day travel card, the price for riding this is included in that; otherwise it’s €5.15, not a huge amount to be fair but given that you can pick up that 24 hour travel pass for just over €6, it’s a bit of a no-brainer.

It can get busy and the queue when we went was quite long; given the heat of the midday sun, you might want to go earlier in the morning or in the evening as the sun sets. We waited around 15 minutes to get in – the lift only holds 29 people – and then spent about 10 minutes up there so whilst the terracotta-roofed, white-wash-walled views are great, I’d say there are other places you can get spectacular vistas for free.

It can also get very windy on the top viewing platform and you have to climb a fairly narrow, open air spiral staircase once you exit the lift to get to the viewing platform itself. This is definitely a nice thing to do and the wrought ironwork of the lift itself is quite beautiful but it’s not something I’d rush back to do again on return visits to the city.