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Castelo de Sao Jorge (St. George's Castle)
Castelo de Sao Jorge (St. George's Castle)

Castelo de Sao Jorge (St. George's Castle)

R. de Santa Cruz do Castelo, Lisbon, 1100-129

The Basics

The highest point in Lisbon has always been dominated by fortresses; various castle remnants here are attributed to the Romans, Visigoths, Moors, and Portuguese. Today you can spot these invaders’ ruins as you stroll around the castle grounds, learn about the citadel’s tumultuous history, and see recent discoveries at the complex’s small archaeological museum.

Many sightseeing and themed tours stroll past the castle (or whiz by it on Segways) while visiting Alfama. For more detailed information about the castle, book a private tour and delve deep into Lisbon’s oldest district. Hop-on hop-off bus tours, which enable you to explore the city at your own pace, stop here.

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Things to Know Before You Go

  • St. George’s Castle is a must-visit for history buffs and all first-time visitors to Lisbon.

  • The castle is perched on the highest hill in Lisbon, so wear comfortable shoes for the climb (if you walk up), and to walk around the grounds and walls.

  • Bring sunscreen, a hat, and water to explore the grounds, which can take a few hours.

  • It gets cold in Lisbon during the winter months (December to about March). Be sure to dress warmly as you tour the castle, which is exposed.

  • Due to steps and uneven cobblestones, the castle is not readily accessible to those with limited mobility.

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How to Get There

St. George’s Castle sits atop an Alfama hill, which you can walk up in about 15 minutes from Rossio Square (Praça do Rossio) or Martim Moniz Square (Praça Martim Moniz). Alternatively, take tram 28 to the Miradouro de Santa Luzia stop or city bus 737 to Castelo.

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Trip ideas

Don’t-Miss Dishes in Lisbon

Don’t-Miss Dishes in Lisbon


When to Get There

The castle is open daily from 9am to 6pm November 1 to February 28, and to 9pm March 1 to October 31. The castle is closed January 1, May 1, and December 24, 25, and 31. Arrive early in the morning or later in the afternoon to avoid the long lines that form by midday.

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The Long-Standing Castle

From ancient times, São Jorge hill has held some type of fortress to protect the city from unwanted invaders. Phoenician, Greek, Carthaginian, and Roman ruins have been found in the area among the Moorish and Portuguese “renovations.” Much of what you see today was fixed and added during the early 20th century to renovate and shore up the historically significant castle, which was damaged in the Great Earthquake of 1755.

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