Miradouro de Santa Luzia

The Ultimate Miradouro de Santa Luzia Guide 2024

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Miradouro de Santa Luzia Experience

Nestled next to the Church of St. Lucy, or “Santa Luzia,” Miradouro de Santa Luzia serves as a serene introduction and vantage point to Lisbon’s historic Alfama, the Old Town. This landscaped terrace, renowned as one of the city’s most romantic enclaves, offers a tranquil retreat and a historical panorama, providing an amazing view over the Tagus estuary and city centre. The church, significant in its own right, houses the headquarters of the Order of Malta in Portugal.

Adorning the southern wall of the church, visitors will find two notable ceramic tiles. One vividly depicts downtown Lisbon (Comercio Square) prior to the devastation wrought by the 1755 earthquake, while the other chronicles the dramatic storming of the castle walls by Crusaders in the 12th century, following a relentless five-month siege.

The terrace of Miradouro de Santa Luzia
The terrace of Miradouro de Santa Luzia

Framed by a pergola entwined with grapevines, the terrace at Miradouro de Santa Luzia presents great views of the dome of the National Pantheon, the Church of St. Stephen (“Igreja de Santo Estêvão”), and the Church of St. Michael (“Igreja de São Miguel”). This shaded area, adorned with patterned ceramic tiles, invites tourists to relax and soak in the ambiance, offering breathtaking views and making it a perfect place for those seeking the best experience (aka Instagram shot) in Lisbon. Visitors are often accompanied by local artists showcasing their Lisbon-inspired illustrations and musicians serenading the crowd.

At the heart of the terrace stands a bust honoring Lisbon historian Júlio de Castilho, while a hidden staircase, shrouded in vibrant bougainvillea, leads to an elevated terrace. Here, a quaint café offers refreshments to visitors, overlooking the nearby viewpoint of Portas do Sol, and providing a sweeping view of the city center and magnificent views of Alfama’s iconic terracotta rooftops.

On the flip side, another set of steps descends to a lower terrace, featuring a reflective pool and additional vistas of Alfama’s iconic terracotta rooftops.

Bar Terraco de Santa Luzia
Bar Terraco de Santa Luzia

This romantic terrace, with the Church of Santa Luzia as its backdrop, unveils a sweeping panoramic view of Alfama’s charming houses, historic churches, and the shimmering Tagus River.

The terrace café provides a cozy spot for visitors to unwind with a drink before embarking on an exploration of the nearby castle.

Did you know: if you come across a sign for ‘Miradouro’ in Lisbon, it’s a hint you’re near a viewpoint, and it’s probably worth checking out for some of the best views the city has to offer!

The Journey to Miradouro de Santa Luzia

Tram 28 on it's way to Santa Luzia
Tram 28 on it’s way to Santa Luzia

The public transportation in Lisbon is very reliable. Hopping on the iconic yellow trams, Tram 28 or Tram 12 from Praça Martim Moniz is a great way to reach your destination, treating you to a picturesque journey through Lisbon’s undulating landscapes.

En route to the Miradouro de Santa Luzia, you’ll encounter several landmarks. The Castelo de São Jorge sits proudly atop a hill, while the Lisbon Cathedral, notable for its grand façade and tranquil interior, beckons visitors. For those with a penchant for music, the Fado Museum offers a deep dive into Portugal’s emotive musical heritage.

Though the tram journey is visually rewarding, a brisk walk from Baixa (downtown), tracing the tram tracks, proves to be a quicker alternative. It’s a mere five-minute uphill jaunt from the cathedral. Another option is to catch bus 737 from Praça da Figueira, which conveniently stops near the viewpoint before reaching its final stop at the Castle of Sao Jorge gate.

Here’s a bonus tip: The Lisboa Card grants you complimentary rides on both the trams and the bus, making your scenic expedition to the Portas do Sol viewpoint not only enriching but also budget-friendly!
The incredible sunset view at Miradouro de Santa Luzia
The incredible sunset view at Miradouro de Santa Luzia

Tips and Recommendations

  • Miradouro de Santa Luzia is a popular spot, so it tends to draw a crowd. For a more serene experience, consider visiting in the early morning or late evening.
  • Before you leave, don’t miss the opportunity to explore the hidden tunnel and additional viewpoints around Santa Luzia. Located beneath the main lookout, the tunnel features a vibrant mural depicting Lisbon’s history through whimsical cartoon panels (just locate the stairs to the right of the statue).
  • Adjacent to the main lookout, you’ll find another picturesque spot around the back of the church. While it offers a less extensive view, the perspective is unique and enriched by the beautiful blue and white azulejos tiles embellishing the panels.
  • If you’re curious about the landmarks dotting the skyline, here’s a quick guide: the statue in view is St Vincent, Lisbon’s Patron Saint; the grand structure dominating the skyline is the monastery of Sao Vicente de Fora; the notable white dome is part of the Pantheon (or the church of Santa Engrácia); and the white church in the distance is the Baroque marvel of Santo Estevão (St Stephen).
Top Tip: If you're on the hunt for a great place to dine nearby, check out my top 3 tried and tested restaurant picks in The Ultimate Portas do Sol Viewpoint Guide 2023 which neighbors Miradouro de Santa Luzia. 

Nearby Attractions

Below I’ve created an interactive map that showcases all the nearby attractions. Feel free to save the map and use it when needed.

Where to Stay by Miradouro de Santa Luzia Viewpoint

Santiago de Alfama Boutique Hotel is not only a charming 5 star luxury gem but also positioned in a great location – in the heart of Lisbon’s historic Alfama district.

A double room at Santiago de Alfama Boutique Hotel
A double room at Santiago de Alfama Boutique Hotel

This family-run hotel, masterfully restored by renowned architect Luís Rebelo de Andrade, effortlessly combines historic authenticity with modern luxury. The 19 unique rooms, though varied in size due to the preservation of 15th-century walls, offer an elegant ambiance with soothing colors and luxurious beds.

The hotel’s Café Audrey is a spot I would recommend for it’s great breakfasts, while Restaurant Audrey serves quality Portuguese cuisine. Manny’s Bar is a great spot for nightcaps.

With reasonable rates for a 5 star hotel, starting at €190 (£162) in low season and €230 (£197) in high, and complimentary Wi-Fi, Santiago de Alfama provides excellent value.

The staff’s passion and concierge service add to the warm atmosphere, making it a popular choice, especially for those seeking privacy.

The beautiful terrace at Santiago de Alfama Hotel
The beautiful terrace at Santiago de Alfama Hotel

This is a gorgeous hotel with a deep history where updates exhibit exquisite design details and respect the rich past. Not only was our room gorgeous, it boasted a semi-private courtyard and a fully modern bathroom. It is worth spending time in the hotel bar, where Bruno and other staff take wonderful care of you (even going out to get cigars!) and we had the best sangria to be had in Lisbon … and the best beer! This hotel is worthy of exploration, not just sleeping (though the bed was downright scrumptious).

Moe, a former guest
Check Santiago de Alfama’s Availability

I hope you found this article on Miradouro de Santa Luzia helpful!

Do you have any tips or hidden gems around Miradouro de Santa Luzia that you’d like to share? We’d love to hear your insights and discoveries! Please share in the comments below!

Recommended reading:

The Ultimate Portas do Sol Viewpoint Guide

A Locals Guide to the Best Bifana in Lisbon: Top 3

Top 9 Lisbon Thrift Store Gems!

Lisbon Hotels with Rooftop Terrace: Curated Top 11

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