The Santa Justa Lift, also known as Carmo Lift, is one of the best-known monuments of the Pombaline lower town, the historical centre of Lisbon. The platform at the top of the lift is one of the best places to observe the city.
Visitors walking through downtown Lisbon towards Praça do Rossio will find a long queue of tourists by the stairs of Rua de Santa Justa, especially during the July and August holiday months. The focus of all this attention is the Santa Justa lift, built with Gothic wrought iron, reaching a height of seven floors (45 meters). There, visitors can enjoy a breath-taking view of one of Lisbon’s main districts.
The construction of the Santa Justa Lift was completed in 1902 by Raoul Mesnier du Ponsard, a student of Gustav Eiffel (the architect responsible for building the Eiffel Tower). One of the four historical lifts of the early 20th century that is still active, Santa Justa was built in order to allow the inhabitants to easily reach the highest points of the downtown streets and the beautiful Largo do Carmo (Carmo Square). The lift was designed only to move vertically.
At the top of the Lift, visitors can enjoy the panoramic view of the streets of the Pombaline lower town and a unique (and close) angle of the ruins of the Carmo Convent, a staggering reminder of the destruction caused by the 1755 earthquake. Despite its purely functional beginnings, the lift became a very popular tourist attraction.
The journey to the top is quite short – but you’ll have to wait in line – and costs €5.15, to which €1.50 is added if you want to reach the highest observation platform. A 24-hour Carris public transport pass includes access to the Santa Justa Lift, except for the viewing deck fee. If you want to get to the top, but avoid the queue, you can simply choose to climb the stairs next to the Carmo Convent.
How to get to the Santa Justa Lift
The Santa Justa Lift is located at Rua Santa Justa, in the Baixa district. The closest points of reference are Praça do Rossio and Praça do Comércio, each one is a 5-minute walk from the Lift.
If you use public transportation, the nearest metro stations are Baixa-Chiado (blue and green lines) and Restauradores (blue line).
Santa Justa Lift Opening Hours
The timetable changes in the winter and summer months, something you should take into account:
– May to October: 7 am to 11 pm
– November to April: 7 am to 10 pm
Curiosities about the Santa Justa Lift
– The lift was steam-powered until November 1907, then replaced by an electric motor.
– The lift can transport up to 29 people.
– The construction took two years, between 1900 and 1902.
– In 2002 it was named National Monument, along with the other lifts of Lavra, Glória and Bica.