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Santa Justa Lift

This urban elevator from 1902 connects the lower street of Baixa with Carmo Square.

TravelCurious Tip

This is one of the most popular attractions in Lisbon, and the carriages can only take twenty nine passengers at a time, so head there early to beat the crowds!

The Santa Justa Lift connects the lower streets of Baixa to the higher Largo do Carmo. Lisbon, like a number of ancient cities, is built across seven hills. Ups and downs are therefore a fact of life, and there are a number of other elevators in Lisbon. However, they are furnicular railways, whereas the Santa Justa Lift is the only remaining vertical lift. You only need to experience Lisbon during summertime to understand why the lift was necessary.


Energy Source

Beforehand, animals were used to pull carriages up the inclines. The Santa Justa Lift was built to harness the marvel of the industrial age: steam power. Although now powered by electricity, it still does the same job, whisking the two polished wood carriages forty five metres upwards. Apart from the Largo do Carmo, at the top there is also a café with a glorious view of Lisbon, over Rossio Square, the castle and the river.


The French Connection

The lift was designed by the French architect Raoul de Mesnier du Ponsard, who was an apprentice to Gustave Eiffel. This goes some way to explaining the structural similarities to Paris’s Eiffel Tower which, along with the elegance of its metalwork and its status as an iconic landmark of Lisbon, have led to the Santa Justa Lift being described as the Eiffel Tower of Lisbon. It may well be the most beautiful lift in the world, with its regal neo-Gothic, wrought-iron exterior, and its sumptuous wood and brass interior.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Lisbon
Rossio Square
One of Lisbon's main squares since the Middle Ages, Rossio was destroyed and reconstructed after the great 1755 earthquake.
Baixa Pombalina
A particularly elegant district of Lisbon, the Lower Town was among the world's first earthquake-resistant constructions.
Igreja do Carmo
The final traces of the medieval Carmo Convent, which was almost entirely destroyed after the 1755 earthquake.
Rossio (praça dom Pedro IV)
Commence your tour at the Pedro IV Square in the city of Lisbon.
Largo do Carmo
A small, tree-lined picturesque square at the back of the Convento do Carmo.
Figueira Square
Placed in the re-urbanised area of Lisbon Baixa, Figueira Square is today one of the main hubs of the city's transport system.

Related Tours

First Time in Lisbon: The Private Express Walking Tour
Discover Lisbon, one of the world’s oldest cities and seaports, home to winding cobbled streets, wide piazzas, UNESCO treasures and vibrant yellow trams. On your private express tour, you will:

  • Explore four of Lisbon's most famous neighbourhoods: Chiado, Baxia, Se' and Alfama
  • Explore the open-air ruins of Carmo Convent, a reminder of Lisbon’s devastating 1755 earthquake
  • Enjoy panoramic views from Lisbon’s ornate iron lift, the Elevador de Santa Justa
  • Experience Rossio and its cobblestone square with Baroque fountains
  • Visit Baixa and Praça do Comércio to learn how Lisbon was rebuilt with distinctive Pombaline architecture after its infamous earthquake
  • Learn about Roman Catholicism at Sé de Lisboa, the city’s grand cathedral
  • Stroll through the steep streets of trendy Alfama, Lisbon’s oldest district
  • Admire the view from Lisbon's most famous view point, decorated with Azulejo tiles : Miradouro de Santa Luzia

On this walking tour, an expert local guide will introduce you to Lisbon, a city stuffed with Medieval towers, Baroque palaces and dome-topped monasteries. Dating back to 1200 BC, Portugal’s capital has always been one of Europe’s key seaports, a powerhouse to rival London, Paris and Rome. On this express tour, you’ll get a flavour of Lisbon’s past, visiting some of its most iconic historical and cultural sights.

You private tour begins at Largo do Chiado, where you will journey back to the Middle Ages to uncover the city’s Jewish and Moorish heritage. Hear about the impact of one of Lisbon’s defining moments, November 1st 1755, when a magnitude 9 earthquake— one of the strongest ever recorded— hit the city, followed by a wave of tsunamis and fires. The ruins of Convento do Carmo lend testament to this historical turning point; its nave remains roofless after caving in on that fateful day.

In Baixa, Lisbon’s downtown, commercial centre, see how the ruined district was revived by the Marquis of Pombal, who designed a revolutionary new grid pattern for Lisbon, filling the streets with neoclassical architecture and earthquake-resistant buildings. Walk through the grand Arco da Rua Augusta in Commercial Square and ride the skinny, 450-metre-tall Elevador de Santa Justa to appreciate Lisbon’s iconic street plan from an aerial perspective.

At Rossio Square, you can admire the wave-patterned cobblestones, pavement-side coffee shops and marble monument. The tour ends with a walk around the Alfama district, once a poor area set outside the city walls but now a popular arty district with labyrinthine streets. Wander the steep alleyways where yellow trams wind up to St George’s Castle, past ancient houses, Fado bars, and colourful shopfronts. The district is home to Sé de Lisboa, the 1147 Romanesque cathedral that has miraculously withstood the city’s many quakes.

If you’re looking for a quick, informative introduction to Portugal’s multi-cultural capital, then this express tour is the perfect option. 
Welcome to Lisbon: São Jorge Castle, Sé Cathedral & Baixa Private Walking tour
Arguably one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, Lisbon is a city of colourful balconies and views, trams and cobbled streets. 

On this half day private walking tour, your guide will give you an overview of the city's history from its foundation to present day. You will visit the famous São Jorge Castle, with breathtaking views over the city, as well as the Se' Cathedral and the historic downtown area of Baixa where you can find many of the city's most famous landmarks: Rossio Square, the Elevador de Santa Justa, Rua Augusta, and of course the majestic Praça do Comércio
, the riverfront commercial hub of the city. 

  • Enjoy an all-inclusive and fully guided private tour with an expert, licensed guide. 
  • Enjoy a fully guided tour of Lisbon Castle, enjoy the spectacular views over the city and walk the walls of the medieval fortress (tickets included).
  • See the top sites of the city centre, from the city's highest viewpoint to the waterfront pier in the historic commercial centre.
  • Visit Sé Cathedral, often just known as Sé—one of the city’s oldest and most well-known sites, which has withstood several natural disasters, including the 9.0 earthquake of 1755. (tickets included). 
  • Walk down streets lined with artisanal shops and learn about the craft of the colourful Portuguese azulejo tiles.  
  • Enjoy time in the old harbour and Praça do Comércio, where the royal palace stood for over two hundred years until 1755. Today its’ massive plaza with surrounding yellow buildings make it one of the city’s most recognisable squares. 
Private Lisbon & Belem Full Day Walking Tour & River cruise (tickets included)
Portugal's capital city of Lisbon is built upon seven hills known as the seven giants — São Jorge, São Vicente, São Roque, Santo André, Santa Catarina, Chagas e Sant'Ana — all of them visible when arriving in Lisbon by river. This private walking tour of Lisbon & Belém will take you through the city, past its iconic landmarks, castles, and gardens and will include a River Cruise to boot. On your private tour, you will:

  • Enjoy an all-inclusive and fully guided private tour with an expert, licensed guide.
  • Enjoy a fully guided tour of Lisbon Castle, enjoy the spectacular views over the city and walk the walls of the medieval fortress (tickets included).
  • See the top sites of the city centre, from the city's highest viewpoint to the waterfront pier in the historic commercial centre.
  • Visit Sé Cathedral, often just known as Sé—one of the city’s oldest and most well-known sites, which has withstood several natural disasters, including the 9.0 earthquake of 1755. (tickets included). 
  • Walk down streets lined with artisanal shops and learn about the craft of the colourful Portuguese azulejo tiles.  
  • Enjoy time in the old harbour and Praça do Comércio, where the royal palace stood for over two hundred years until 1755. Today its’ massive plaza with surrounding yellow buildings make it one of the city’s most recognisable squares. 
  • Learn of Portugals rich Naval history and its age of world exploration in the Belem neighbourhood. 
  • See the UNESCO-listed Torre de Belém and the Padrão dos Descobrimentos (from the outside).
  • Enjoy a fully guided tour of Jerónimos Monastery Church and Cloister (tickets included) .
  • Enjoy a Cruise along the Tagus river - see the 25th of April bridge and the Cirsto Rei statue - accompanied by your tour guide (tickets included)"

From imposing São Jorge Castle, the view encompasses the old city’s faded pastel-coloured buildings, Tagus Estuary and Ponte 25 de Abril suspension bridge. Arguably one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, Lisbon is a city of colourful balconies and views, trams and cobbled streets. Belém is a laid-back area of Lisbon on the Tagus River, known for its colourful houses and breathtaking landmarks that recall Lisbon’s seafaring history, like the 16th-century Tower of Belém. Your tour will end after the cruise back in central Lisbon. 
The Best of Lisbon Live Virtual Tour
Discover Lisbon's fascinating history on this Live Virtual Tour with a professional tour guide that will explain the city's ancient origins right up to the present day.

Your virtual tour will start at the top of the Santa Justa elevator where you can enjoy panoramic views from Lisbon’s ornate iron lift.

You will then walk with your guide to Carmo square where you will explore the open-air ruins of Carmo Convent, a reminder of Lisbon’s devastating 1755 earthquake.

The next stop will be Rossio train station in Rossio cobblestone Square where you will also find Santo Domingo's church and the Jewish Memorial to the victims of the Jewish Massacre of 1506 that happened in this square.

Your tour will end at Rua Augusta, the main pedestrian street of the city.

If you’re looking for a quickinformative introduction to Portugal’s multi-cultural capital, then this express tour is the perfect option!

Discovering Alfama District Live Virtual Tour
In this Live Virtual Tour you'll explore Alfama, one of the oldest districts in Lisbon, a delightful maze of narrow cobbled streets and colourful ancient houses. Discover Lisbon's intriguing history on this Live Virtual Tour with a professional tour guide that will explain the city's ancient origins right up to the present day. On your virtual tour, you will:
 
  • Start at Portas do Sol Viewpoint, and from here you will continue to explore the Alfama district all the way to the river Tagus.
  •  Dive into The Alfama district, which was once a poor area outside the city walls but it has now become a popular arty district with labyrinthine streets. 
  •  Virtually wander the steep alleyways where yellow trams wind up to St George’s Castle, past ancient houses, Fado bars and colourful shopfronts. 
  •  Learn about the Sé de Lisboa, the 1147 Romanesque cathedral that has miraculously withstood the city’s many quakes.
If you’re looking for a quick, informative introduction to Portugal’s multi-cultural, colourful capital, and in particular the district of Alfama then this express Live Virtual Tour is the perfect place to start.
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