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Tips for your visit
The best way to avoid crowds is to arrive early, preferably at the opening time. Usually there is no wait at all until 10:00, after which the queue starts to grow rather quickly.
During summer months: there are usually less people during lunchtime than before or after it. This is when the sun is in its highest position, leaving everyone uncomfortably hot.
The ticket office is on your right when you enter the gate, be sure to buy your ticket before joining the entrance queue.
Online booking is not available for this tourist attraction.
The view of the city from the Castle is beautiful, it is the highest point in Lisbon. Due to this, sunset time is quite popular, especially on Fridays and Saturdays, the days that bring lots of weekend tourists.
August is the busiest month, followed by April-May and September-October. Try to schedule your trip for another month if you want to avoid crowds.
Weekdays are always better for crowd-free visiting, though Fridays (particularly in the evening) and Mondays are slightly more crowded.
Be sure to come on a sunny day to be able to take nice photos.
There’s a guided tour available in English, it will take you around the inner castle, archaeological site and the permanent exhibition. It is free and takes place twice a day from Monday to Sunday, at 1.00 p.m. and at 4.00 pm.
Tower of Ulysses
If you plan to visit the Tower of Ulysses that hosts the only existing Periscope in Portugal - keep in mind it closes at 5pm, earlier than the rest of the castle. The Periscope, an optical mechanism invented by Leonardo da Vinci in the 16th century, allows the visitor to have a 360-degree view of the city.
- Adults: 8,50 €
- Students (< 25 years old) : 5,00 €
- Families (2 adults and 2 children < 18 years old) : 20,00 €
- Disabled : 5,00 €
- Senior (> 65 years) : 5,00 €
Photo credits to Daniel Lobo via Flickr
Dining at the castle
Casa do Leão restaurant, with a view overlooking Lisbon, is located in the wing of the former Royal Palace of the Alcáçova where lions, brought from Africa, were kept during the time of King Afonso V (1438 – 1481).
The restaurant is famous for its sophisticated renditions of traditional Portuguese cuisine.
- Open Monday to Sunday from 12:30 pm to 11:00 pm.
- Reservations: +351 21 880 154 or [email protected].
São Jorge Castle on top of the hill
Photo credits to Sébastien Bertrand via Flickr
By Bus: line 37, Chão da Feira station
By metro: Rossio station (about 20 minute walk from the Castle)
By tram: lines 12, 28 - Miradouro Sta. Luzia station. You should be aware that tram 28 is a tourist attraction itself, so it will probably be the most crowded public transport in Lisbon. Prefer other lines to avoid crowds as well as pickpockets on board.
By foot: it’s possible to reach the castle from the city center by foot, but be prepared for quite a tiring trip as it is an uphill walk from downtown Lisbon.