Santa Justa Lift (Elevador de Santa Justa)
Lisbon is dubbed the City of Seven Hills, so no surprise that getting around on foot can be tiresome. The Santa Justa Lift (Elevador de Santa Justa) was created to take passengers from the lower Baixa district up to the bustling Bairro Alto. The lift has been in operation since its inauguration in 1902 and has been a favored mode of transportation for residents and tourists.
Walking and tuk-tuk tours of Lisbon typically pass by the lift and offer insight into its conception and design. You can also see the lift during a stop on a hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus tour or a river cruise.
Things to Know Before You Go
The Santa Justa Lift(Elevador de Santa Justa) is a must-do for architecture lovers, especially of the neo-Gothic style, and all first-time visitors to Lisbon.
The Lisboa Card includes a lift trip, but access to the viewing platform costs extra.
Arrive early in the day to avoid notoriously long lines.
The lift is not accessible to wheelchair users.
How to Get There
The Santa Justa Elevator(Elevador de Santa Justa) is accessible at the Baixa-Chiado metro station on the blue and green lines. It’s also a short walk from Praça do Comércio.
When to Get There
The lift departs every few minutes between 7am and 10pm from November to April and until 11pm from May to October. During the summer months, get there early or in the late evening to avoid long lines and crowded lifts.
The Early Days of the Lift
Raoul Mesnier du Ponsard, a student of Gustave Eiffel, wanted to construct a tower in his hometown of Lisbon to solve the problem of ascending Carmo Hill. Thus the idea for the Santa Justa Lift was born, and funding was given by the royal house in 1900 for the construction of the steam-powered elevator. Five years after its inauguration in 1902, it was converted to a cleaner electric motor and has been running ever since.
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