Where to Stargaze in Lisbon

Enjoying Lisbon? There are so many things to do and explore and among them we got stargazing! Stargazing is one great activity for the family, for a couple or even for you to relax under one of the prettiest skies. In Lisbon and its surroundings, you have some good options to stargaze all year long.

Observatório Astronómico de Lisboa

Observatório Astronómico de Lisboa, image sourced from New In Town

The “Observatório Astronómico de Lisboa” at Alcântara it’s part of the historical heritage of Portuguese astronomy. It promotes scientific investigation in the astronomy and astrophysics fields. This place also preserves and makes available the bibliographic collection for scientific-historical research.

The observatory invites the public to join and learn with the professionals. Lectures, astronomy courses and even astronomical observations are given by the experts! If you want to have a private session of astronomical observation you must contact the “Observatório Astronómico de Lisboa” two weeks in advance.

The city lights may overshadow the shine of the stars and it can be difficult to see by the naked eye. Yet using the telescopes they provide you during the stargazing sessions, you’ll have no problems to watch the stars and the planets.

Address: Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-018 Lisboa
Transports: Bus 732, 760 or Elétrico 15

Santuário da Peninha in Sintra

Santuário da Peninha in Sintra, image sourced from Alagamares

For those who like to walk and for those who love nature, you have the Santuário da Peninha in Sintra. At the Sintra mountain tops, you will find the old hermitage of São Saturnino and a little palace.

Up there, the best thing is the view – from the south with Cabo Espichel and Arrábida to the north with the Berlengas. Usually, if you want to stargaze at Sintra you need to go on a day with no clouds.

Sintra has a special climate and usually it’s cloudier and windier there than the rest of Lisbon. A special place where you can breathe fresh air and relax from all the pollution and movement of the city. Enjoy one of the unique, prettiest and magical places in the Lisbon district!

Address: EN 247, Peninha Serra de Sintra
Transports: Bus 403, 402 or 414 from Cascais Terminal

Cabo da Roca

Cabo da Roca, image sourced from Wikimedia Commons

Another place in Sintra to stargaze is at the westernmost point of Europe and it’s called Cabo da Roca. You can not only observe the sea and birdwatch during the day but you can also admire the stars and the greatness above you at night.

The best places to observe are always the ones which lack luminous pollution. Cabo da Roca is one of them and you can get there by foot, by bike or by car. There’s a big bicycle path by the ocean, from Cascais and goes to the west side of Sintra. You can rent a bicycle at one of the many shops near the Cascais train station.

Address: Estrada do Cabo da Roca, 2705-001

São Pedro do Estoril beach

Sao Pedro beach, image sourced from Travel In Portugal

Now, on the south side of the Lisbon district, we have the beaches! If you’re thinking of going to Cascais for the day, go to the São Pedro do Estoril beach and you can spend some time watching and admiring the celestial beauty.

This was the place I used to stargaze with my friends. At the “Centro de Interpretação Ambiental da Pedra do Sal” there are events about astronomy. NUCLIO organizes astronomical observations and brings experts to help the public. You only need to register on the Ciência Viva site and you are free to go!

The kind of events that Ciência Viva organizes usually are family-friendly and are entertaining for kids!

Address: Avenida marginal 4090A, 2765-583 Estoril
Transports: train at Cais do Sodré Terminal

Calouste Gulbenkian Planetarium at Belém

Calouste Gulbenkian Planetarium at Belém, image sourced from PortugalTravel.org

Another great place to go is the Calouste Gulbenkian Planetarium at Belém, close to the centre of Lisbon. This place promotes the scientific and technological culture and the interest in astronomy.

Its dome can show galaxies and thousands of stars. As a kid, I used to go there, and I had the best hours over there hearing to the narrator who always made me dream about the universe. He made me think what was up there in the sky was greater than us.

There not only you have lectures but also star observations at night once a month (the last Saturday of each month). There’s also an activity that consists of observing the skies with and without luminous pollution. What are the differences? How many stars can you watch under the city skies?

These occur at Wednesdays at 4 pm and Saturdays at 2 pm and the session is called “O Céu Visto da Terra”.
Tickets: 5€ per adult (13-65 years old) and 2,5€ per child (4-12 years old)
Address: Museu de Marinha, Praça do Império, 1400-026 Lisboa
Transports: take the train from Cais do Sodré

Monsanto

View of Monsanto looking down from its castle, image by Alvesgaspar sourced from Wikimedia Commons

My last suggestion to stargaze in this huge city is at Monsanto. Monsanto is the lung of Lisbon, the greatest green area of the city (covered by 1000 hectares of nature!)

Here you’ll find viewpoints, an area to make picnics and several kilometres to walk and enjoy the bit of nature among Lisbon. If you also want to camp, Monsanto has a campsite with bungalows, and you can admire the stars all night long. When I was younger, I went there with my school year for a weekend and we had the best times here.

Surrounded by the trees and looking at the skies at night, we laid back and appreciated the company of each other and the universe up there in the sky.

If you don’t want to spend the night, my advice is to go to one of the best viewpoints in Monsanto. It’s called Keil do Amaral viewpoint and you can watch the river and the 25 de Abril bridge!

At night, it’s a chilled place to go and watch the sky with a less polluted area than the rest of Lisbon. Grab a piece of food, a towel, bring company and set your mind free to admire the sky at Monsanto!

All these wonderful places filled with nature and fresh air, most of them far from the city pollution, can be part of your trip to Lisbon. You may include these places on your trip since they’re surrounded by some touristic points of Lisbon. These are essential for you to know all about Lisbon.

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