Where to Watch the Sunset in Lisbon
Ah the age old stress of figuring out the perfect geographical location from which to enjoy the disappearance of the sun.
Since Lisbon is made up of seven main hills, finding an elevated premises that overlooks either the city or the Tagus is actually relatively simple. One of the best pieces advice I was ever given when I first began exploring this city was to head to the nearest hostel/backpackers when in doubt.
Most of the hostels in Lisbon have access to the rooftops of the buildings in which they are housed. There are usually rooftop bars, terraces and sometimes even pools. They are the perfect last minute sunset viewing stations.
I understand that sometimes a more intimate or private setting is preferred — here are a few places where one can kiss the sun goodbye in Lisbon.
Miradouro Portas do Sol in Lisbon
Largo Portas do Sol
The Portas do Sol is a viewpoint situated in the heart of the Alfama, the most historic part of Lisbon.
Since the Alfama is built throughout rolling hills, this viewpoint boasts and impressive view on most of the neighborhood as well as the nearby Tagus River. You’ll also be able to see the entirety of the National Pantheon and the church of São Vicente de Fora from this spot.
There is a cafe at this viewpoint as well. You’ll have to get there well before sunset to get a prime viewing spot.
Many of the free guided walking tours around the Alfama either start or end near this viewpoint.
Miradouro de Santa Catarina in Lisbon
R. de Santa Catarina S/N
This is probably the busiest sunset spot in all of Lisbon. Every evening, if the weather permits, this viewpoint is packed with travelers and locals alike all wanting to get a glimpse of the sun setting behind the Ponte de 25 Abril.
The popularity has attracted the attention of buskers and other street artists who contribute to the space in whatever form they choose. There are also many bars within walking distance which is what visitors here like to do right after the sun says goodbye.
The Santa Catarina viewpoint offers the best view of the April 25th bridge in all of Lisbon. It is one of the few public spaces where you can pretty much see the entirety of the bridge without obstruction.
If this spot is a little too crowded when you arrive, take the two minute walk to the restaurant Noobai just down the street. They have a terrace with a similar view over the water where you can snack on Mediterranean dishes as the sun goes down.
Praca do Comercio in Lisbon
Praça do Comércio
You’ll have to do a bit of a hike down the beach bluffs to enjoy this next sunset spot. While this public plaza does boast great views over the open ocean, I’ve found enjoying the sunset from the patch of beach directly below far more magical.
This spot also boasts views over the Ponte 25 de Abril. As the water washes over your feet and the light begins to change, you’ll watch sail boats go by as they head in for the evening.
With regards to crowds, this place is usually quite empty. You’ll share the sand with just a handful of people, which beats battling the hoards of humans who flock to other viewpoints to be able to view this bridge at sunset.
Tower of Belém in Lisbon
The Belém tower is also known as the Tower of St Vincent. It is the most iconic landmark in the neighborhood of Belém which is a interesting part of the city of Lisbon.
Many of the most prominent museums call this part of town home. Since it is a coastal town there are also wonderful shore-side restaurants.
Coming to the Tower of Belém in time for sunset is a whimsical experience. The tower sits on a wide space of open ground where visitors can set up a picnic space, or simply a chill area, to enjoy during the sunset hours.
The sun sets just behind the tower. Since this is such a well known attraction in the city of Lisbon it can get crowded during the day when tourists flock to see it. Visiting during sunset means most of the crowding would have dispersed leaving the area on the shore far more intimate.
Restaurante Panorâmico de Monsanto in Lisbon
Estr. da Bela Vista
Monsanto is the biggest forest-style park in Lisbon. It is located in the north west of the city, well out of the city center.
The park is lush and green almost all year round and is a beautiful place to explore . To see the sunset, however, you’ll have to get slightly higher up — somewhere you can overlook the park and the sun going down over the water.
The restaurant Panorâmico is an abandoned space that has been out of business for years. The multi-story building is still open to the public and is widely popular amongst the street artists and skaters of Lisbon.
The old restaurant is literally falling apart; imagine an abandoned building in any horror movie ever made. Thankfully the green forest and blue skies visible in the panoramic views keep the premises from being a spooky one.
The isolation that this space provides is the perfect place from which to watch the sun go down. During the week there are rarely people in the space, on weekends you can expect a few people however there are several levels and enough space for privacy if so desired.
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