Ascensor do Lavra – A quick guide

In this article, we will explore the top things to know about the Ascensor do Lavra funicular.

A funicular is a railway on the side of a hill or mountain.  The cars are attached to a cable, and tension pulls the car uphill.  A second car runs in the opposite direction at the same time, counterbalancing the weight.

The two graffiti-covered cars of Lisbon's Ascensor do Lavra are parked side-by-side for the night

Where to find the Ascensor do Lavra

Lower station: Largo da Anunciada

Upper station: Rua Câmara Pestana

Upper station of Lisbon's Ascensor do Lavra at Rua Câmara Pestana
Upper station of Lisbon’s Ascensor do Lavra at Rua Câmara Pestana

Locate the Hard Rock Cafe on Avenida da Liberdade. Go into the alley next to the Hard Rock Cafe, turn left. At the end of the block, the Elevador do Lavra will be on your right. 

GPS Coordinates: 38.71779657002331, -9.142572224082263

What’s near the Ascensor do Lavra?

A fountain at the entrance of Lisbon's Jardim do Torel viewpoint
A fountain at the entrance of Lisbon’s Jardim do Torel viewpoint

When you arrive at the upper station, exit and go left to the end of the block.  Take another left, and you will come to a gated complex. 

Look for the second gate on the street, and you will arrive at the Miradouro Jardim do Torel viewpoint.  It is one of Lisbon’s most tranquil and undervisted viewpoints. For more information on Jardim do Torel, read my Miradouro do Jardim do Torel – All you need to know

Leaving the Jardim do Torel, you can head back to the Ascensor do Lavra, or you can walk past the station and continue on until you reach the Calçada de Pestanha, and head downhill toward the Igreja da Pena church, with its golden interior.  Further downhill, you will eventually find Praça Martim Moniz and Tram 28E

Lodging near the Elevador do Lavra

If you are looking on a budget, try BlueSock Hostel. This large, comfortable hostel near the Avenida metro station has breakfast and its own rooftop bar. To book or for more information:

If you have (much) more to spend, the luxury One Palácio da Anunciada is right down the street from the Ascensor do Lavra and promises to be one of Lisbon’s best hotels. To book or for more information:

The Ascensor do Lavra’s hours and timetable

Looking down the track as Lisbon's Elevador do Lavra plods uphill

Monday – Saturday7:50am – 7:55 pm.

Sundays 9 am – 7:55 pm

The funicular runs approximately every 15 minutes.  The trip takes no more than three minutes.

Official Schedule:

Tickets and Fares for the Elevador do Lavra

You can buy a round-trip ticket from the driver for 3.80€  Keep your receipt and use it within the hour for a free trip in the opposite direction.

You can also use a declining balance on a Viva Viagem Card (not the 24-hour card).

The ride is free with the 24-hour Viva Viagem Card.  You can purchase the 24-hour card for 6.45 at any metro station.  It allows you to ride all public transport for free for 24 hours.

You can also ride all public transportation for free with a Lisboa Card.  The Lisboa card can be purchased for 24, 48, or 72 hours. 

History of the Ascensor do Lavra

The Elevador do Lavra is also known as the Ascensor do Lavra or the Lavra Funicular. It is the oldest elevator in Lisbon.  The Elevador do Lavra opened to the public on April 19, 1884, connecting Largo da Anunciada Square to Camara Pestana Street, going up and down the Calçada do Lavra. 

The track is 188 meters long with an average incline of 23%

It was designed by Raul du Mesnier du Ponsard, an apprentice of Gustave Eiffel.  Mesnier du Ponsard also designed the Santa Justa Lift in Lisbon’s Baixa neighborhood.

Originally, its traction system consisted of a rock rail and cable powered by a water counterweight system and later 80 V to steam power. In 1915, the funicular went electric. In 2002 it was classified as a national monument.

Lisbon's Elevador do Lavra lit up at dusk

The funicular has a capacity of 42 passengers, 22 seated and 20 standing.

Lisbon’s other funiculars include the Elevador da Bica  Top things to know about the Elevador da Bica which climbs one of the most photographed streets in Lisbon and is close to the Miradouro de Santa Catarina Viewpoint.

The Ascensor da Gloria goes from Praça dos Restauradores to the Miradouro de  São Pedro de Alcântara viewpoint in Bairro Alto. How to get to Bairro Alto? (Hint: Take the Glória Funicular)

For more information on other public transport operated by the Carris Corporation, read my How to ride Lisbon’s trolleys, cable cars, elevators, and buses

For a summary of the underground system, see Lisbon Metro: A helpful guide to the Lisbon subway

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