Lisbon’s secret elevators – free shortcuts to the hilltops

Most locals know about the free public elevators on each side of the Baixa neighborhood, but most tourists do not. Learn what the locals know.

One of these elevators goes most of the way up to the Castelo de São Jorge. The other goes up to the Carmo Rooftop Terrace and the Convento and Igreja do Carmo church.

A public elevator to the castle

The city of Lisbon has two free elevators that cover most of the climb up to St. Jorge’s Castle.

To learn more about Lisbon’s castle, read my article In and around Castelo de São Jorge – Lisbon’s castle –

The free public elevator in this building goes part of the distance up to Lisbon's castle, stopping at Chao de Loureiro
Rua dos Fanqueiros 170 / 178

On the east side of the flat Baixa neighborhood at Rua dos Fanqueiros 170 / 178, you will find a multistory, blue and white tiled building with a sign on top of the building that says “Elevador Castelo.” Presently, the front of the building is covered with a tapestry.

There is a bank of elevators inside the lobby of Rua dos Fanqueiros 178.  They go part way up to Lisbon's castle
In the lobby of the building, you will find a bank of elevators

Enter the building and take the elevator up three stories. You will arrive at Rua Madalena, where the elevator going down is called “Elevador Baixa.”

Elevador Baixa goes down from Rua Magdalena to the Baixa neighborhood.
If you look over your shoulder as you exit the building, you will see a different name for the elevator.

Exit the elevator, cross the street, and go to your left, heading toward the Chão do Loureiro plaza. Keep the plaza on your right, and you will soon see the Chão do Loureiro building.

Chao do Loureiro building contains a Pingo Doce supermarket and a glass elevator that goes up to the Zambeze restaurant, near the castle
Notice the glass elevator in the background
This Pingo Doce supermarket hides a free public elevator

In the Chão do Loureiro building is the Pingo Doce supermarket.

At the supermarket look straight ahead as you enter, you will see an elevator that will take you up to the Restaurante Zambeze’s terrace.

From there, walk uphill for ten minutes to the castle.

In order to avoid a walk up the incline, simply take bus 737 from Praça da Figueira (near where you started, on flat land). The bus stops at the castle entrance.

A public elevator to the Convento do Carmo

Look for this doorway on Rua do Carmo in Lisbon’s Baixa. It is located on the street behind (west of) the Santa Justa Lift.

Notice that on the back wall of the small store, there is an elevator that is labeled “Carmo Rooftop.” Go on in. The elevator is free and open to the public.

This free, public elevator goes to the Carmo Rooftop Bar, Largo do Carmo, and the viewing platform of the Santa Justa Lift
This storefront houses a secret elevator that goes to the Carmo Rooftop Bar and Largo do Carmo.

The elevator stops on the terrace of the Carmo rooftop bar. You can stay, have a drink, and enjoy the view.

The Carmo Rooftop Terrace above Baixa has access to the Convento and Igreja do Carmo Church as well as the Elevador da Santa Justa viewing deck

As you exit the elevator, you will see the viewing deck of the Santa Justa Lift. You can access it by entering the Carmo Rooftop terrace and taking the stairs up to the viewing deck.

Admission from here is only 1.80€ (cash only) because you did not take the famous Elevador da Santa Justa.

Looing at the Santa Justa Lift viewing deck from the FREE, public elevator that is one block west
Looking at the Elevador da Santa Justa from the FREE, public elevator one block west. You can still access the viewing deck.

Or if you prefer, take the same stairs and go to the right to find the entrance to the Convento do Carmo ruins. For more information about the Carmo Convent and church ruins, see my article Lisbon’s Convento do Carmo Ruins | Everything You Need to Know –

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