Lisbon, Portugal, The Castelo de Sao Jorge
architecture, attraction, brick, capital, castle, citadel, city, facade, flag, fort, fortress, guard tower, historically, history, lisbon, medieval, mediterranean, metropolis, monument, moors, old, old building, old city, portugal, portuguese, protection, sao jorge, sentry, sky, stone, structure, sun, tourism, tower, view, viewpoint, wall, yellow


Castelo de São Jorge

Top choice in Alfama, Castelo & Graça

Towering dramatically above Lisbon, these mid-11th-century hilltop fortifications sneak into almost every snapshot. Roam its snaking ramparts and pine-shaded courtyards for superlative views over the city’s red rooftops to the river. Three guided tours daily (in Portuguese, English and Spanish), at 10.30am, 1pm and 4pm, are included in the admission price (additional tours available).

These smooth cobbles have seen it all – Visigoths in the 5th century, Moors in the 9th century, Christians in the 12th century, royals from the 14th to 16th centuries, and convicts in every century.

Inside the Tower of Ulysses, a camera obscura offers a unique 360-degree view of Lisbon, with demos every 20 minutes. There are also a few galleries displaying relics from past centuries, including traces of the Moorish neighbourhood dating from the 11th century at the Archaeological Site. But the standout is the view – as is the feeling of travelling back in time amid fortified courtyards and towering walls. There are a few cafes and restaurants to while away time in as well.

Bus 737 from Sé or Praça da Figueira goes right to the gate. Tram 28E also passes nearby. A set of escalators traversing the hill from Praça Martim Moniz opened in 2018.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Alfama, Castelo & Graça attractions

3. Tram 28E

0.16 MILES

Don't leave the city without riding popular tram 28E from Largo Martim Moniz. This rickety, screechy, gloriously old-fashioned ride from Praça Martim…

4. Miradouro da Graça


A much-loved summertime hang-out of lisboêtas, this miradouro (lookout) sidles up to the baroque Igreja da Graça. It has an incredible view of the castle…

5. Largo das Portas do Sol


This original Moorish gateway affords stunning angles over Alfama’s jumble of red rooftops and pastel-coloured houses, underscored by the true blue Rio…

6. Museu de Artes Decorativas

0.22 MILES

Set in a petite 17th-century palace, this museum creaks under the weight of treasures including blingy French silverware, priceless Qing vases and Indo…

7. Praça da Figueira

0.23 MILES

Praça da Figueira is framed by whizzing traffic, Pombaline town houses and alfresco cafes with stellar views of hilltop Castelo de São Jorge. At its…

8. Miradouro de Santa Luzia

0.24 MILES

From bougainvillea-clad Miradouro de Santa Luzia, your gaze drifts over a mosaic of rooftops and spires to the river below.