Miradouro das Portas do Sol

Whenever I visit Lisbon evenings tend to find me at Miradouro das Portas do Sol, quietly drinking a beer or a coffee and writing up my experiences of the day whilst taking in the glorious view. It’s very easy to reach, take the number 28 tram. It’s the stop after the castle.

‘Portas das Sol’ literally means ‘doorways of the sun’ and refers to sunset. It is a wonderful place to come in the early evening and watch how the setting sun changes the colours of the water and the rooftops. I think each time I have had the same feeling of ‘now I am really here’ once I take my place beside the Tejo and feel the warm river winds caress my skin.

The light here is extraordinary. The terrace is dotted with palm trees and is spacious and wide. Sitting on the seats of the cafe that probably boasts the best view in Lisbon you gaze across Alfama to the boats on the water and beyond. From here you can see the magnificent structure of São Vicente de Fora Church. I love watching people’s faces as they reach the summit of the hill from the castle and realise what they have stumbled upon. Despite the many tourists that arrive here, few seem to spend time really taking in the atmosphere: a quick snap and they are gone as they spy the steps leading deep into Alfama.

There is a statue of St. Vincent who guards over the terrace and Lisbon. He is the Patron Saint of Lisbon and in his hands he holds a boat with two ravens. Perhaps it’s why I like this place and feel protected here; I’ve always had thing about ravens. They are healing birds and powerful medicine.

Just beside the cafe is a long veranda that juts out to offer a perfect place to stand and catch your breath. As usual on my last visit, the first evening found me here. I felt curiously emotional. A lone busker played intricate guitar as I stood by the rails looking out over the water. I was blessed with a few minutes where it was just me, him and the river and I let the feeling of saudade roll over me. It is moments like these, in the most romantic of places, when it is hard to stand alone. Without a lover’s hand to grasp, I sent my heart out over the water and hoped for just a moment he knew I was thinking of him.

7 comments for “Miradouro das Portas do Sol

  1. Rog
    November 5, 2008 at 3:04 am

    Lily, first of all congratulations on your blog. I very much enjoy reading your ‘Lisbon romance’.
    Your visit to the ‘Miradouro das Portas do Sol’ is so beautiful that I cannot leave the blog without helping to keep the romance alive.

    Next time you are in Lisbon hop on the old ‘28’ stop at Graca and visit the ‘Miradouro da Senhora do Monte’. No cafe but from there you’ll be able to embrace the city.


    Happy dreams

  2. Lily
    November 5, 2008 at 4:14 pm

    Hi Rog
    Thanks for the tip and the photo, it looks lovely. I shall definately make a stop there next time I go 🙂

  3. November 11, 2008 at 12:28 am

    Really good post!

    I’ve been living in Lisbon in the last seven months and I agree completly with your suggestions.

    I woud just to give my opionion on something you cannot miss during your stay in Lisbon:

    – Lux Disco
    – Fado concert at Chapito
    – Sunset at Adamastor
    – Jazz at Ondajazz
    – a night in Bairro Alto
    – concert or dance night at Music Box
    – spend a night in CCB (Centro Cultural Belem)

    I also suggest the Lisbon travel guide Tips Guide Lisboa where you can find for free up to date information you need to enjoy your vacations: concerts, exibitions, nightlife tips and desciption of the most cool veneus.

    Have fun!!!

  4. Lily
    November 11, 2008 at 10:35 am

    Hi Mark
    Thanks for all your suggestions and for the link to your site x

  5. May 19, 2009 at 3:17 am

    I know him, he is still there playing

  6. Lily
    May 19, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    Hi Kristin
    I’m glad to know he’s still there. I hope next time I go he’ll be playing 🙂

  7. richard taylor
    November 5, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    largo portas do sol my favourite spot in the city and I just love that silly palm tree. One day I shall return to Lisbon and discover that it has gone and I shall be devastated!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *