The Santa Justa Elevator connects the hilltop neighborhood Bairro Alto with downtown Baixa. The gothic, iron structure rises up from the neoclassical architecture of downtown. The elevator has been in operation since 1905 and was originally operated by a steam engine. Today it’s powered by an electric engine and is a great way to enjoy views over the city. Visit the elevator’s rooftop café.
This famous elevator is also known as the Carmo Lift, as it connects with Carmo Square and the ruins of Carmo Church at the top. The elegant structure was designed by the apprentice of Gustave Eiffel, the architect of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The Santa Justa Elevator bears some similarity to the French icon in its appearance. It is particularly beautiful when lit up at night.
As you travel the 147 feet (45 meters) to the top, there’s plenty of time to admire the views of the city. Examine the historic wood paneling and mirrors of the two counterbalancing lift cages.
Once you reach the station at the top, take the ornate spiral staircase up to the rooftop for views over the River Tagus. Admire the fountains and neoclassical buildings of Pedro IV Square from above.
The elevator’s restaurant is located at the Bairro Alto entrance to the lift and serves food, coffee and cake from lunchtime every day. Between midnight and 2 a.m. the restaurant becomes a bar, where you can enjoy live music and cocktails with picturesque views of the city and the Carmo Monastery lit up.
The Santa Justa Elevator is open from early morning until evening. Use a valid metro ticket to ride or purchase an admission ticket from either station at the elevator. There can be lines for the lift in summer. If you don’t want to wait, take the staircase that leads up the hill.