5 special lifts and elevators in Lisbon
1) Ascensor da Glória
The electrical Ascensor da Glória (Glória funicular) dates from 1885 and offers a 275-metre ride between the garden of São Pedro de Alcântara and the square of Restauradores, helping pedestrians go up the strenuous 18-degree slope. The slope, and the funicular itself, serve as an urban canvas for the city’s graffiti artists.
2) Ascensor da Bica
The Bica funicular is the most picturesque in Lisbon. The ride takes people up and down the much-photographed Rua da Bica de Duarte Belo, from São Paulo street to Calçada do Combro and Chiado. A hotel opened in the building where the funicular departs from. At night the funicular doesn’t run; that’s when the street’s bars open their doors and the atmosphere becomes truly magical.
3) Elevador de Santa Justa
This stunning 45-metre long neo-Gothic vertical lift was built to bring people back and forth between downtown and Chiado. Many attribute it to Gustave Eiffel, but in fact the father of the Eiffel Tower didn’t design it. At the very top there is a terrace with a mind-blowing 360-degree view of the old city. Beware of pickpockets when going up the spiral staircase.
4) Chão do Loureiro and Castelo
These two vertical lifts make the walk from the downtown area to the Castle a little less tiring. The first lift departs from a building in Rua dos Fanqueiros (170/178) and drops people off in Rua da Madalena. A mere 100 metres further there is another lift, that transports passengers to the level of Costa do Castelo street.
5) Ascensor do Lavra
This was the city’s first funicular. It started taking passengers from Av. da Liberdade up Calçada do Lavra in 1884, a year before the Glória funicular came into operation. Like the other traditional funiculars and lifts in Lisbon, it is classified as a National Monument.
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