St. George's Castle (Castelo de Sao Jorge)

#7 in Best Things To Do in Lisbon
St. George's Castle (Castelo de Sao Jorge) picture1 of 3
St. George's Castle (Castelo de Sao Jorge)2 of 3
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Key Info

R. de Santa Cruz do Castelo

Price & Hours

8.50 euros (about $10.50) for adults; free for...
9 a.m. to 6 p.m. or 9 p.m. daily

Details

Castles/Palaces, Sightseeing Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.3scorecard
  • 4.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

Castelo de São Jorge, or St. George's Castle, is perched atop Lisbon's highest hill in Alfama, offering both excellent history and views of the city. The castle served as a fortification for the Romans, Visigoths and the Moors, who turned it into a royal palace before it was eventually taken by Portugal's first king, Afonso Henriques. The attraction has kept much of the building's relics intact, including canons, which are spread throughout, underground chambers and 18 towers, one of which houses a camera obscura. There is also a restaurant on-site, gardens where wildlife frequently make appearances and an archaeological museum.

Visitors gushed about the incredible views of the city and the sea. But although most were impressed with its quality preservation, many found the attraction to be lacking, as there isn't much to do on-site. They also advised future visitors to wear comfortable shoes, as you'll have to walk up a hill to reach the castle.

The Castelo de São Jorge is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. November through February; from March to October, it welcomes visitors from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Admission costs 8.50 euros (around $10.50) for adults and is free for children younger than 10 years of age. Family passes, which cover admission for two adults and two children younger than 18, cost 20 euros (around $25). You can reach the attraction from Tram 28, or walk from the two nearest metro stations, Martim Moniz and Rossio. For more information, visit the Castelo de São Jorge's website

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Tram 281 of 15
Alfama2 of 15
Type
Time to Spend
#1 Tram 28

San Francisco has its cable cars, London has its red double-decker buses and Lisbon has its trams. Tram 28, which extends from Martim Moniz to Campo Ourique, in particular takes riders on a tourist-friendly route. Not only does it pass through some of the city's most notable neighborhoods including Graça, Baixa and Bairro Alto, but it also travels by popular attractions, such as St. George's Castle and Alfama. Along with a scenic route, the cars themselves are also considered to be part of the experience. Many of Lisbon's trams, including some used on the Tram 28 route, are the same that were used in World War II, so don't expect air conditioning, or a smooth trip up and around the area's hills. But don't worry, recent travelers said it's all part of the tram's charm.

Some visitors recommend taking the tram up the steep Alfama hill and then walking back down to explore the neighborhood. Due to the tram's popularity, the tram cars tend to get crowded quickly, so make sure to arrive early or later in the day to avoid long lines. Also, because of the tram's popularity with tourists, it's a target for pickpockets. Remember to keep an eye on your belongings, especially cameras.

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