São Jorge Castle (Castelo de São Jorge) is one of Lisbon’s most emblematic landmarks. The silhouette of the Castle stands out both by day and when illuminated at night, located on the summit of São Jorge hill, the highest in Lisbon. The hillside also houses two of the city’s neighbourhoods called Alfama and Castelo.
A small fortress was built by the Visigoths during the fifth century. It was modified and enlarged by the Moors in the mid-eleventh century and during the reign of Afonso I of Portugal (1109 – 1185), it was altered and in later years transformed into a Royal Palace. Finally, it was completely restored in 1938.
The Castle reached its maximum splendour during the thirteenth century and lasted until the sixteenth century when it was occupied by both the Kings of Portugal and the Bishop.
Only a few years ago, Phoenician, Greek and Carthaginian ruins were found in the area, and are currently being uncovered.
Visiting São Jorge Castle
The visit to São Jorge Castle will take approximately the whole morning since the site is extensive. Apart from the Castle with its eleven towers, you’ll also be able to visit a small museum, a bar and a restaurant if you want to stop for lunch before you continue exploring Lisbon. After your visit, we recommend you take a walk along some of the surrounding streets. Moreover, São Jorge Hill also houses the Lisbon Cathedral.
The best views of the east of Lisbon await you at the top of the Fortress.
November - February: 9am to 6pm.
March - October: 9am to 9pm.
Children (less than 10 years old): free entrance.