Sitting high on a hill overlooking the center of Lisbon, the Moorish Saint George Castle (or Castelo de São Jorge or Saint George Castle) looks exactly how a castle should look, with its imposing ramparts offering spectacular views over the city.
Fortifications have existed on the site for thousands of years–at least back to the 6th century–and the current distinctive walls date to the 14th century.
It dominates the Lisbon skyline, and from its ramparts it offers spectacular views out over the city of Lisbon and the Tagus.
Photos of Saint George Castle
What to Know Before You Go
You can walk up to the castle from downtown Lisbon, but be prepared for a steep climb. You can also get one of the tuk tuks, although not all drivers will be interested in a one-way taxi run.
As you can see from the photos, you’re able to walk up on the ramparts. As you’d expect, the stones are well-worn and can be uneven and slippery, and there aren’t many safety railings, so it’s definitely somewhere to exercise caution, especially with young kids or anyone who isn’t sure-footed.
Tickets are required. The ticket office is right at the entrance. Tickets are single-entry–if you leave and come back you’ll need a new ticket.
The grounds are open 9am to 9pm from March through October and 9am to 6pm through November until the end of February. You can confirm the current hours here.
Visits are entirely self-guided, and once you’ve paid for your ticket you can wander around at your leisure. There’s a small museum that displays some of the artifacts recovered from the various excavations of the site.
There is a nice restaurant (ie. dressy) that uses some of the historic buildings, the Casa do Leão. If the weather’s nice there are tables outside with a spectacular view over the city. Reservations are recommended.
In the warmer months, there are mobile wine carts along the main walkway where you can buy a glass of wine and drink it while enjoying the wonderful view out over the city.
Travel Advice for Portugal
You can find the latest U.S. Department of State travel advisories and information for Portugal (such as entry visa requirements and vaccination requirements) here.
Health & Vaccinations
The CDC makes country-specific recommendations for vaccinations and health for travelers. You can find their latest information for Portugal here.