Castle Sao Jorge, on the peak of the São Jorge hill, is one of the city’s most iconic symbols.
It was first built as a small fortress in the 5th century and was modified and enlarged by the Moors in the 11th century.
Over decades, the Castle transformed into a Royal Palace and underwent complete restoration during the 1940s.
The Castle of Sao Jorge has a history of rising and falling, and a visit is as fascinating as its history.
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What to expect at Sao Jorge Castle
Some visitors expect an indoor castle experience, but visiting São Jorge is an extensive outdoor experience.
As you walk through the Castle, you’ll realize there is no interior left, making it feel more like a ruin than an actual castle.
Once you enter the Castle, you can stroll in the yard or walk on top of the castle walls and climb the stairs to the towers.
Watch the sun’s rays as it dances on the castle walls, and later watch the sun going down the horizon.
The camera obscura, an optical device that provides 360º views of Lisbon, and the ruins of the Moorish Royal Palace of the Alcáçova are the major highlights of the site.
Treat your eyes to a fantastic view of the Tagus River, the April 25th Bridge, the Christ statue opposite the shore, and the Praca do Comercio from the top.
Say Oi (hello) to Dom Afonso Henriques’s bronze statue, the first King of Portugal.
Check out the canons on the terraces that once protected Portugal from its enemies.
Although there are many corners from where you can get a panoramic view of the city, the viewpoint from the Tower of St. Lawrence, also known as Torre de São Lourenço, is phenomenal.
The Castle Sao Jorge is open all week from 9 am to 6 pm.
It is open for visitors daily, so whether it is the weekend or weekday, you can come on any day with your friends and family and explore this heritage of Lisbon.
If you book the Sao Jorge Castle Skip-the-Line ticket with an escort, you must be at the attraction by 3 pm.
You must meet your guide outside the Sao Jorge Ticket Office on Rua de Santa Cruz do Castelo next to the phone booth.
Best time to visit Castle Sao Jorge
It is better to visit Castle Sao Jorge as soon as they open at 9 am. When you start early, the crowd is yet to come in, and you get the best views in the morning light.
You can also plan a late visit in the evening to soak yourself in the Castle’s beauty during the sunset.
Castle Sao Jorge gets crowded and busy on weekends, so either you plan your visit on weekdays or get to the Castle early on the weekend.
How long does the castle take?
A minimum of 90 minutes is needed to explore Castle Sao Jorge as it is huge and spread over a vast area.
If you’re a history buff and love to spend time at heritage sites, you can surely devote more time walking through Castle Sao Jorge and digging deep into its turbulent history.
You also can choose to go for a guided tour instead of self-exploration.
A 15-minute guided tour introduces you to the Castle, its archaeological site, Moorish remains, and a spectacular city view.
After the tour, you can continue exploring for as long as you want.
Sao Jorge Castle tickets
There are two ways to purchase Sao Jorge Castle tickets – you can buy them onsite or online.
We highly recommend purchasing Castle Sao Jorge tickets online, as it will save both time and money.
If you buy tickets at the Castle, you should be ready to stand in a long ticket queue.
How online ticket works
Purchasing Castle Sao Jorge, Lisbon tickets online is easy and convenient.
Immediately after purchase, the tickets are emailed to your registered email ID — there is no need to get printouts.
You must show the e-ticket on your phone at the entry gate on the day of your visit.
Adult ticket (26 to 64 years): € 24.5
Senior ticket (65+ years): € 19.5
Youth ticket (13 to 25 years): € 17
Child ticket (up to 12 years): Free
Not happy with just exploring the Castle? Explore Lisbon’s oldest areas on a guided tour of the Alfama and São Jorge Castle quarters. Enjoy panoramic views of the Tagus River and learn about the “fado” Portuguese culture.
How to reach the Castle of Sao Jorge
Sao Jorge Castle is located in Alfama hills and easily accessible by tram, bus, subway, and train.
Address: R. de Santa Cruz do Castelo, 1100-129 Lisboa, Portugal. Get Directions
Martim Moniz is the nearest subway station to the Castle.
Once you get down at the station, you can either walk to the Castle, which would take approx 11 minutes, or take tram 12E or bus 737.
Take tram 12E to São Tomé, the nearest stop to the Castle.
A 4-minute walk will take you to the hilltop.
Hop into bus 10B and get off at the S. Tomé bus stop.
The bus stop is located 4 minutes walk away from the Castle.
If you’re traveling in a car, turn on your google maps and get started.
Both the parking lots are near the Castle.
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