Santa Justa Lift is one of the most emblematic sights in the Portuguese capital, the city of Lisbon. It was built in the beginning of the 20th century with the main purpose to simplify the climbing up to Carmo hill. The lift connects Baixa and Largo streets with Carmo hill. Santa Justa Lift was constructed by the Portuguese engineer Raoul Ponsard, who was a student – check this out – of Gustave Eiffel, himself, the creator of the Eiffel Tower. Ponsard had been building the 45-meter lift tower in the course of two years – from 1900th to 1902nd year. The tower is supported with two lift cabins. In the beginning, Santa Justa Lift used to be set with steam engine, but in 1907th year it was replaced with an electrical one. Except for practical, Santa Justa Lift is also extremely beautiful and impressive. It was made of wrought iron, while the neo-gothic arches and the brass dials complement the overall romantic design. The lift is a real artistic masterpiece and it’s not oddly that it’s one of the most visited places in Lisbon.
What to see?
The lift cabins
Each of the two lift cabins accommodates up to 29 passengers at once. The cabins are wainscoted and beautifully decorated with mirrors and windows. The indicators are adorned and polished brass. They are two authentic cabins that haven’t been literally changed since the debut of the lift, back 100 years ago.
The Observation platform
Right on the top side of the lift there’s an observation platform. You can reach it by going up the stairs which are made in a spiral shape. There was a time, when the steam engine used to be placed, to set the lift. Once you get on the Observation platform you will become able to enjoy an amazing view of the entire city of Lisbon and to be more specific, of the Baixa district. When being here in the evening, it’s actually one of the most romantic places in the entire Portuguese capital.
What should I know before a visit of Santa Justa Lift?
- Expect to stay at really long queues to get in the lift
- There’s a new group to get in per each 10 minutes, while during the peak hours – per less minutes
- The down entrance of the lift appears at Augusta street, while the upper one is at the Largo do Carmo
- The longest queues are actually for getting on the lift, not those to go down
- The journey on the lift takes nearly 10 seconds
- Make sure to avoid a visit of Santa Justa Lift between 10 and 15 o’clock as these are the rush hours for the attraction
- If you want to make some truly wonderful photos at the panoramic observation platform of the lift, come to visit it in the late afternoon
You can get a ticket to get up and then, down with the lift (it will cost you nearly 5 EUR), but note that there’s an additional fee to get on the Observation platform, too – it’s around 1.5 EUR.
Santa Justa Liftis a part of Lisbon’s public transportation, by the way. It means that using it is included in the 24-hour ticket you can buy for the city’s means of transportation (the price for such a ticket is around 6.40 EUR). The ticket, though, does not include an entrance to the Observation platform.
Tip: The 24-hour public transportation ticket, which gives you an access to Santa Justa Lift, can be purchased only from the centers, where the tickets and the cards for Lisbon’s public transports are selling.
Santa Justa Lift is hardly accessible for people with mobility problems, as well as for people in wheelchairs.