Lisbon's iconic funiculars (also referred to as elevators or lifts) originally ran on water but are now powered by electricity, making them still the most environmentally-friendly way to go up and down the city's many hills. They also used to be brown, but have been painted yellow since the 1930s.
Listed as national monuments, they have survived over the decades because in such a hilly city they have remained an essential part of locals' lives and are a must for tourists.
There are three funicular railways and one lift – Gloria, Bica, Lavra and Santa Justa – are fitted in convenient spots in Lisbon, taking you up to spectacular miradouros, or belvederes
Together, the four elevators carry around 3.5 million passengers every year, and are free with the Lisboa Card.
Santa Justa Lift
The 'Santa Justa' lift was inaugurated on the 10th July 1902 and it is the only vertical lift in Lisbon for public service. It was built by the architect Raoul Mesnier du Ponsard and has a cast iron structure, enriched with filigree details. In 2002 it was classified as a National Monument.
Route: Largo do Carmo - Rua do Ouro
Santa Justa Lift Timetable:
Summer (March - October): 7.00 am - 11.00 pm (every day)
Winter (November - February): 7.00 am - 09.00 pm (every day)
Santa Justa Viewpoint Timetable:
Summer (March - October): 9.00 am - 11.00 pm (every day)
Winter (November - February): 9.00 am - 9.00 pm (every day)
- 'Santa Justa' Ticket - 5,00€ (acquired onboard, valid for 2 trips, includes access to the viewpoint);
- Lisboa Viva, 7Colinas or Viva Viagem cards with tickets valid on the CARRIS network;
- Yellow Bus;
- Lisboa Card tickets.
Access to 'Santa Justa viewpoint:
- 'Santa Justa' viewpoint - 1,50€ (viewpoint access only - lift trips not included);
- 'Santa Justa' ticket;
- Yellow Bus;
- Lisboa Card tickets.
The Gloria funicular opened to the public on October 24, 1885, connecting the Restauradores Square to Bairro Alto (São Pedro de Alcântara Belvedere), through Calçada da Glória.
Originally, its traction system consisted of a rack rail and cable, powered by a water counterweight system. Later it evolved to steam power and, in 1915, the second funicular to be installed in the city of the seven hills, was electrified.
Initially, the funicular cars were divided into two floors with longitudinal benches. Today, they only have one floor, but the longitudinal benches were kept.
In 2002, the Gloria funicular was declared a National Monument.
Route: Praça Restauradores – S. Pedro de Alcântara
Monday to Thursday 7:15 am/11:55 pm
Friday 7:15 am/00:25 am
Saturday 8:45 am/00:25 am
Sunday and public holidays 9:15 am/11:55 pm
The Bica funicular was constructed by Raoul Mesnier de Ponsard and opened to the public on June 28, 1892, connecting São Paulo Street to Calhariz Square, through the Bica de Duarte Belo Street. Originally, its traction system made use of steam engines. In 1914, the funicular with the city’s most picturesque route, was electrified.
In 2002, the Bica funicular was declared a National Monument.
Route: Rua S. Pedro de Alcântara – Largo Calhariz
Monday to Saturday 7:00 am/9:00 pm
Sunday and public holidays 9:00 am/9:00 pm
The Lavra funicular opened to the public on April 19, 1884, connecting the Anunciada Square to Câmara Pestana Street, through Calçada do Lavra.
Originally, its traction system consisted of a rack rail and cable, powered by a water counterweight system and later it evolved to steam power. In 1915, the funicular that operated for 16 hours straight on its inauguration day, was electrified.
Route: Largo da Anunciada - Rua Câmara Pestana
Monday to Saturday 7:50 am/7:55 pm
Sunday and public holidays 9:00 am/7:55 pm