Exploring the Turrets of Castelo de São Jorge and Riding Tram 28E, Lisbon, Portugal


The hilly capital of Lisbon, Portugal has many attractions throughout its core. As we had tackled it’s commercial neighbourhood of Baixa the day prior, we spent the day looking at the Castle named the Castelo de São Jorge. We ended the day riding one of Lisbon’s most famous trams; Tram 28E which rides the length of the city across many of its hilly neighbourhoods.

This post is one chapter on our trip to Portugal, the United Kingdom (England and Norther Ireland) and Ireland. This trip was redeemed through American Airlines Advantage and enhanced through Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Activity City Visit: Exploring the Turrets of Castelo de São Jorge and Riding Tram 28E, Lisbon, Portugal.

It was an easy wake up on the alarm for 8 AM. We went downstairs at the Sheraton Lisboa Hotel and Spa for the hotel breakfast (courtesy of Marriott Bonvoy Titanium status) and feasted on the usual hotel buffet with egg station, with sparkling wine for me, and Nespresso coffee machine.

Getting to the Castle:

We took the metro train from immediately outside the hotel (Picoas station) to the Restauradores stop. Not immediately knowing where the entrance to the Castelo de São Jorge castle lay, we wandered down into the Baixa district and well into the hills on the eastern side of the barrio (neighborhood).

We eventually found our way up to the entrance which happened to be on the south side of the castle. It was not without a clamber through some various side streets as we wound our way up the hill.

It included a stop a various elevator view points, where we could take in a great view over Lisbon.

There was a short queue for tickets when we got to the castle but that was to be expected.


Visiting Castelo de São Jorge:

After 10 € entry and 5 € for junior at the Castelo de São Jorge, we headed onto the observation deck area on top of the walls of the castle with specular views over the city.

From there, we entered the lower castle area for some view photographs, in addition to getting some beautiful scenery. From here we were able to take in the ruins of the citadel’s former royal palace with a few old arches left behind for good measure.

We passed through the Romantic Garden, a shaded area and headed through the museum of permanent remnants from the site. This contained pottery and similar objects that were recovered over time.


Inside the Castelo de São Jorge:

Entering into the Castelo de São Jorge castle itself, we immediately went to the top turret and got a large look around. We started at the Tower of the Keep, which was the sturdiest of the castle towers and was built to withstand the heaviest of attacks.

We eventual moved onwards to the Tower of St Lawrence; a long stairway that descended towards a well. It allowed for early escape or a route for access in the event of attacker’s over run of the castle. Although it was 30 degree heat, we had to climb it, and we clambered all the way down.

Teenager was tired at the end of that! Too many iPhone games and not enough running around outside… (laughing).

We returned via the Tower of the Cistern (containing a large well) then over to the Archaeological site, which was not all too exciting. All in all, we spent about 3 hours at this attraction. While busy, it wasn’t over run with people.

We ended up taking lunch at the cafeteria inside the castle walls. A cheese pizza for junior and a cured ham and queso sandwich on baguette for me. The cafeteria was covered in peacocks throughout the trees. The screeching made for an interesting dining experience with screeching sounds while we finished our sandwiches.


Wandering through the Alfama Barrio:

From the Castelo de São Jorge, we left the castle and walked down the hill towards the Alfama barrio. We wandered its charming and quaint streets as we headed over to the Peurta del Sol. The area had beautiful terraces overlooking the city (and it’s cruise ships) with live busker music at almost every corner.

We also were able to get our first glance at the famous relic street cars that roll around Lisbon’s streets.

Climbing the Miradouru de Graça:

From the Puerta del Sol, we started to climb the hill to see the city lookouts. We climbed first up to the Miradouru da Graça, situated next to the Igreja de Graça. MrsWT73 would have loved the wine bar that was situated here, with terrific views of the Castelo de São Jorge and other parts of the city west.

It was an interesting walk up the hill, with lots to look at, including interesting buildings and tiles.

The wine bar and some interesting views.

We forged on, stopping for a water at a nearby mini Mercado and ended our climb at the top of the Miradouro da Senhora do Monte, where we took in a lot of views. The area was full of moto – pedi cabs and it seemed like this was the way to take in this part of the city.

The view was great, but teenager was also more interested in the local urban graffiti off a nearby alley.


Riding Lisbon’s Famous Tram 28E:

Instead of clambering all back down to downtown, we ended up waiting for Tram 28E, the popular street car tram. The 28E route takes in some of the most picturesque spots in Lisboa. For 3 €, we managed to get on at the top and wind our way down through Alfama barrio.

The street car lurched and groaned as we wandered through twisty streets aiming to photo bomb other tourists taking photos of the car. We ended up finding some standing room in the back, which was not air conditioned.

We travelled through Baixa and over through to Barrio Alto and Chiado neighborhoods where we finally hopped off on the other side of town.

We wandered back downhill into downtown Baixa. We wandered past one of Lisbon’s funicular tram cars that serviced the local neighbourhood. This one was in a straight line, unlike the Tram 28E that we rode that was a longer route.


The World’s Oldest Book Store:

A favourite for me, we happened upon the world’s oldest bookstore. It was certified by the Guiness Book of World Records, it had an interesting charm to it.

WT73jr was recently obsessed (like most teenagers are) with purchasing a cork wallet as a souvenir and promptly led me through a dozen Arab owned souvenir shops throughout the afternoon in the efforts to get the best available price. Most of them ranged from 12 – 15 €. When he found one that was only 9.90 € he was over the moon. This meant more souvenir money for his Hard Rock Café purchases.

After the day, which was 20,000 steps, 13 km and 43 floors climbed per the iPhone Health app, we took the train back to the Sheraton Lisboa Hotel and Spa hotel for some hydration at the Sheraton Executive Club. Jr had two Pepsi’s in the glass bottles and I enjoyed a glass of the house wine as I organized the day’s photographs overlooking a great sunset view from the Sheraton Club Lounge.

After a break, we headed out in the hotel neighbourhood of Saldhana; an upscale area filled with well to do Lisboan’s. We ended up at the nearby Little Italy; an authentic Italian restaurant that was absolutely packed at 9:30 PM on our arrival. We had no hope of sitting outside on the terrace and were luck to get an inside seat. I had an authentic spaghetti carbonara and a Portuguese red. Jr stayed safe and went with the Quattro Formaggi pasta which was quite rich.

We crashed at the hotel at around 11 PM exhausted from the day. What a great day in Lisbon!

If you’ve visited Lisbon Portugal, did you ride Tram 28 E and take in the Castelo São Jorge ?

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