The guide to Lisbon’s funiculars & elevators

This post has partner links that I may receive compensation for at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting my site!

Lisbon is a city built on seven hills. As a result, getting around isn’t as easy as it is in some places. However, Lisbon has built a few unique ways to get up and down the hills: a system of funicular railways & elevators called “elevadors”. The Lisbon funiculars & elevators not only will save you time & energy getting around the city, they are also picturesque sights of their own.

The guide to Lisbon’s funiculars & elevators

Funiculars in Lisbon

There are three funicular railways in Lisbon, the Glória, Bica, and Lavra. The elevadors were all designed by Portuguese engineer Raoul Mesnier de Ponsard. All are now operated by Carris. The Lisbon funiculars have been declared national monuments of Portugal. Each route is also possible to walk. The streets are steep, but they make for great vantage points for photography. Photos of Lisbon including the funicular trams are ubiquitous, but just because everyone else takes photos of them doesn’t mean you shouldn’t as well. They are an iconic image of Lisbon for a reason.

Over the years, the Lisbon funiculars have been powered in various ways as technology evolved. First, they were run by rack rail and cable that was powered by a water counterweight system, then by steam power, and nowadays by electricity. The cheapest and easiest way to buy tickets for the Lisbon funiculars is to use the 7 Colinas or Viva Viagem card at a present cost of €1.45. Otherwise, a round-trip ticket is € 3.70.

Glória Funicular (Ascensor da Glória)

The Glória Funicular first operated in 1885. It’s the most popular elevator in Lisbon. It runs between Restauradores Square to Bairro Alto on a 17.7% slope. Two lines run parallel to each other, along a slight curve.

gloria elevator funicular 700x596 - The guide to Lisbon’s funiculars & elevators

The funicular cars consist of one single level compartment.

gloria funicular lisbon 700x467 - The guide to Lisbon’s funiculars & elevators

win a free trip 1 - The guide to Lisbon’s funiculars & elevators

The view of Lisbon Castle from the overlook next to the top of the Glória Funicular is one of the best in Lisbon.

sao jorge castle 700x700 - The guide to Lisbon’s funiculars & elevators

Bica Funicular (Ascensor da Bica)

The Bica Funicular has been in operation since 1892. It operates from near the waterfront at São Paulo Street to Calhariz Square in Bairro Alto on an 11.8% incline.

bica elevator lisbon 700x933 - The guide to Lisbon’s funiculars & elevators

Two lines run parallel, but due to the narrow nature of the street, passing is limited to an area that is wider.

bica funicular lisbon 700x933 - The guide to Lisbon’s funiculars & elevators

acensor da bica lisbon 700x700 - The guide to Lisbon’s funiculars & elevators

lisbon funicular tram elevator - The guide to Lisbon’s funiculars & elevators

The cars of the Bica Funicular consist of three separate compartments, rather than one continuous one. Thanks to its location, it has incredible views of the Tagus River behind it as you look downhill.

lisbon funicular bica 700x933 - The guide to Lisbon’s funiculars & elevators

It’s the second-most popular of the elevators, but in my opinion it is the most picturesque.

Lavra Funicular (Ascensor da Lavra)

Lavra Funicular is the oldest Lisbon funicular, having opened in 1884. It runs between Anunciada Square to Câmara Pestana Street. It combines some of the features of each of the other two elevators as the Lavra Funicular curves around very narrow alleyways.

Elevators in Lisbon

Elevador de Santa Justa

The Elevador de Santa Justa is immensely popular, as it provides a way to get from the Baixa neighbohood to Bairro Alto. The elevator is 147 Ft (45m) tall. It has been in operation since 1902.

santa justa elevator lisbon 700x933 - The guide to Lisbon’s funiculars & elevators

At the top, there is an overlook that gives fantastic views across the area. Lines can be very long, so if you’re up to it, consider taking the stairs up to the observation deck instead. The cheapest way to use the Santa Justa Elevator is with the 7 Colinas or Viva Viagem card at a present cost of €1.45. Otherwise, a round-trip ticket is € 5.15.

The hilly geography of Lisbon has led the city to use some unique ways to get around. While the Lisbon’s funiculars & elevators might not be the most modern methods of transportation, they are picturesque & fun to ride. Anything beats walking up those hills!

Did you find this information useful? Make your own travel plans using the partner links below & help support my travels! Thank you!
All Travel TripAdvisorimage 5616389 12205838 1461262625000 - The guide to Lisbon’s funiculars & elevators | Expediaimage 5616389 11916097 1452549382000 - The guide to Lisbon’s funiculars & elevators | Pricelinei.ashx?foid=1061665 - The guide to Lisbon’s funiculars & elevators | Travelocityi.ashx?foid=1061665 - The guide to Lisbon’s funiculars & elevators
Flights Airfarewatchdogimage 5616389 12335034 1446048188000 - The guide to Lisbon’s funiculars & elevators | BookingBuddyimage 5616389 11295046 1454342930000 - The guide to Lisbon’s funiculars & elevators | Cheapflights.comimage 5616389 10807971 1440511376000 - The guide to Lisbon’s funiculars & elevators
Hotels Hotels.comimage 5616389 10429755 1461777394000 - The guide to Lisbon’s funiculars & elevators | Booking.comi.ashx?foid=1061665 - The guide to Lisbon’s funiculars & elevators | Trivagoimage 5616389 11662161 1427705140000 - The guide to Lisbon’s funiculars & elevators | AirBnb

the guide to lisbons funiculars elevators 667x1000 - The guide to Lisbon’s funiculars & elevators


Like this article? Subscribe to my weekly e-mail & never miss anything!

Also, follow me on social media to get the latest updates:

  • Leave a Reply