Miradouro de Sao Pedro de Alcantara

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The belvedere of Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara sits on the edge of Bairro Alto and offers a magnificent paranoramic view across the city. From here you can see the Tejo, St. George’s Castle, Graça, The Sé and many more famous Lisbon landmarks.

The Miradouro is easy to find. Make your way to Restauradores and take the Gloria Furnicular to the very top (€1.40 at the time of travel in Oct ’08 for a one way trip). If you are feeling energetic of course you could walk up the hill!

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Once you reach the top of the hill, walk up the few steps and turn to your right. The Miradouro is there on Rua de São Pedro de Alcântara. At first you see a long tree-lined shady park with benches set along the centre. Walk about half way down and you’ll come to a memorial dedicated to Eduardo Coelho who was the founder of the famous daily newspaper Diáro de Notícias in 1863. The boy beside the bust of Eduardo is of an ‘ardina’ – a newspaper boy who would sell the paper on the streets of Lisbon.

Further down the park there is a bubbling fountain; a wonderful sound in the heat of the Portuguese summer, and a small open air cafe that opens at 10am – perfect for brunch.

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Crossing to the main viewpoint there is a large azulejos tile map which points out all the landmarks you can see from here. There are also telescopes for zooming in. When I arrived it was early morning and the park was mostly deserted apart from an elderly man sweeping the leaves and a couple of other tourists. It was incredibly quiet and peaceful.

Gazing out across the view, I looked down and noticed the geometric gardens below. I wandered down the steps into a garden offset by white busts of famous Portuguese figures from history and hero’s and Gods from mythology. Ulysses had managed to keep his head but unfortunately some of the others hadn’t been so lucky!

As well as the view, my favourite part to the lower garden was the waterfall built into a grand archway inside the wall. Water trickles down ancient moss and azulejos and it made me think of a wishing well from a story I read as a child. The whole place has a rather magical feel. There was a lady practising tai chi in the early morning sun and it does seem the perfect place to calm mind, body and soul.

saopedrowaterfall

Whilst the Miradouro is quiet in the daytime, be aware that at night it is busier as many people meet here on their way into the bars of Bairro Alto. It is worth visiting in the evening however as the sunset makes the castle light up with a mysterious glow offering some fabulous photographic opportunities of Lisbon by night.

Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara is like a sacred space in the heart of the city with distinct day and night atmospheres. Add it to your list of things to see.

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4 comments for “Miradouro de Sao Pedro de Alcantara

  1. Signe
    June 7, 2009 at 10:50 am

    Thank you for taking me back with your beautiful description of one of my favorite places in Lisbon! On my first visit to the city the Miradouro de San Pedro de Alcantara was closed due to repairs and restoration (so was the Elevador da Gloria, so we walked up the steep street!).

    But on my last visit, in September 2008, I spent an afternoon there with my children under the shady trees, enjoying the immensly gorgeous view of the city (while my husband was exploring the nearby Istituto do Vinho do Porto. A memorable moment of our journey.

    For other travellers, I can recommend lunch in the small restaurant “Rosa da Rua”, in Rua da Rosa, not far from the Miradouro. It is authentic and unpretentious old school Portuguese food, and the place is attracting the creative class of Lisbon as well as business people – so don’t expect tourist treatment, you’ll have to blend in or adapt…

  2. Lily
    June 7, 2009 at 10:52 am

    You’re welcome Signe.
    Thanks for your restaurant recommendation. I shall be sure to check that out next time I go.

  3. Andy
    July 27, 2009 at 11:17 pm

    Just to remind to other travellers that there are also other “Miradouros” in Lisbon. Might be a nice idea to spend a night (19.00-21.00 is the best time) in each one. I also suggest to enjoy the nightlife…portuguese people love to spend crazy nights.
    If you don’t know where to go I would like to suggest
    Hot Clube if you like Jazz…
    Kubo if you like clubs…
    Lounge Bar for a drink and some music…
    There is also a nice guide with lot of events…give a look 😉

  4. Lily
    July 28, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    Hi Andy – thanks for the tips 🙂 Terrific site by the way which is already in my blogroll. I have visited quite a few of the miradouras and I plan to make sure I visit all of them for the special magical light.

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