How to get to Bairro Alto? Hint: Take the Glória Funicular. The funicular is also known as the Ascensor da Glória, the Elevador da Glória, or the Glória Lift. More than three million people use it each year.
A funicular, by the way, is a railway on a steep hill or mountain. The car is attached to a cable, which pulls it up the incline, much like an elevator. The weight of the car is counterbalanced by another car running in the opposite direction.
Where is the Glória funicular located?
The Glória funicular goes up and down the long, steep alley known as Calçada da Glória. The alley, and probably the Elevador da Glória itself, are covered in graffiti and some fantastic murals.
The Ascensor da Glória connects Avenida Liberdade’s Restauradores Square (Praça dos Restauradores) in the Baixa (downtown) with the hilltop Bairro Alto. The trip up the 800 foot-long incline takes three minutes.
As you exit the lift at the top, to the right you will find the Miradouro (scenic viewpoint) de São Pedro de Alcântara. From this terrace you have views of the Castelo de São Jorge and the Alfama neighborhood on the opposite hill. For more information: São Pedro de Alcântara Viewpoint – How to visit and what to see
To the left of the funicular stop in Bairro Alto you will find the Igreja (Church) de São Roque and its museum. For more information, see my São Roque Church in Lisbon – What to know before visiting
Address: Calçada da Glória 1269
GPS: 38.716157273078814, -9.14275721715783
One block northwest of the Restauradores metro station (blue line), not far past the Restauradores Monument.
Hours and schedule of the Elevador da Glória
The Ascensor da Glória departs every twelve minutes (both up and down the slope).
It starts running at 7:15 am on weekedays, 8:45 am on Saturdays, and 9:15 am on Sundays.
The last ride is at 11:55 pm on weeknights and Sundays, and 12:25 am on Saturdays.
Tickets and fares for the Glória Lift
Tickets can be bought from the driver for €3.80. This allows for one trip up and one trip down in a 24-hour period.
You can also use the 24 hour unlimited transport card (Purchase at a metro station for €6.40), or you can use Viva Viagem card for a reduced price. See my article, What is the Viva Viagem Card? Everything you need to know
Riding the funicular is free with a Lisboa Card. To learn more, read Lisboa Card | Everything you need to know
History of the Ascensor da Gloria
The elevator was designed by Raoul Mesnier de Ponsard, who also designed the other funiculars in Lisbon, including the Ascensor do Lavra (which was Lisbon’s first, in 1884), and the Ascensor da Bica. He also created the 98 foot-tall Elevador da Santa Justa. To learn more about the Santa Justa Lift, read my article Elevador de Santa Justa | Everything you need to know
Raoul Mesnier de Ponsard was from Porto, but he apprenticed under Gustave Eiffel.
When the Glória funicular opened in October, 1855, it was water-powered. Within a year, it switched to steam-power, and it was running on electricity by 1915.
The Ascensor da Glória has been classified as a national monument since 1997.
The trams, elevators, and buses in Lisbon are all run by the Carris Company. Official website: Carris – Transportes Públicos Lisboa
For more tips on how to use Lisbon’s public transport network, read my How to ride Lisbon’s trolleys, cable cars, elevators, and buses
Now that you know how to get to Barrio Alto, what would you like to know about the neighborhood? Bairro Alto – An overview of Lisbon’s most vibrant neighborhood
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