Castelo de São Jorge is one of Lisbon’s must see monuments.
The castle stands proudly on top of the hill and it is both a main attraction for tourists and a place for locals to visit from time to time.
This unique moorish fortification built with solid stone and granite is open rain or shine. Inside it you may visit the Castle or Castelejo and its eleven towers (built in the mid-11th century in the most difficult area to access, to house military troops in case of siege), the Permanent Exhibition of objects found in the archaeological site and the Archaeological Site itself (with ruins from the 7th century B.C., the Moorish era and of the former Royal Palace of the Alcáçova, destroyed by the earthquake of 1755).
There are also beautiful and peaceful gardens, where you can walk around or relax, with olive trees, oaks and fruit trees. You might even make contact with some of the castle’s residents, the gorgeous although sometimes shy peacocks.
But chances are that once you step into the castle, after passing by the statue of D. Afonso Henriques, Portugal’s first king, you will not want to move an inch further and will wish to stay right over the belvedere that welcomes you at the castle’s entrance.
Being a city of hills, Lisbon has many great belvederes but at Castelo de São Jorge you can definitely enjoy one of the most stunning views over Lisbon.
From Castelo de São Jorge you will be able to see the downtown area, Bairro Alto, Mouraria, Nossa Senhora do Monte, Avenidas Novas, Alfama and of course the river Tejo and the south bank. It is possible to have an almost 360º panorama of the city.
And speaking of 360º, at one of the castle’s towers, The Ulysses Tower, there’s even a camera obscura device, an optical system of lenses and mirrors that provides 360º detailed views of the city in real time. Don’t miss it out.
All year round but especially during summer there are also events, like classical music and fado concerts or activities for families and children to keep their brave princes and sweet princesses busy.
> Opens 7 days a week. 9:00-18:00 from 1st of November until 28 of February; 9:00-21:00 from 1st of March until 31st of October.
> Regular price: 8,5€. Free for children under 10 and Lisbon residents. Check the most up to date list of prices and discounts at Castelo de São Jorge website.
> Guided tours available in portuguese, english and spanish
> Insider tip: the bus 737 will take you from Praça da Figueira up to Castelo de São Jorge passing by Lisbon’s Sé Cathedral and Santa Luzia Belvedere so it’s a rather pleasant trip to make if you are not the walking type.