We first ventured to the top of St George Castle in the summer of 2015. We returned to Lisbon in the winter of 2016 and we just could not resist a second visit to this Lisbon castle. Our visit in 2016 was amazing being in winter there were way fewer people. We were able to explore the site at our own pace enjoying the views and history without the crowds.
St George Castle dominates the horizon of the Lisbon city centre In Portugal. Lisbon is called the city of seven hills and they are not wrong we can tell you. Castelo St George sits atop one of the seven hills in a commanding position looking over the old Lisbon downtown area. Lisbon monuments such as Rua Augusta Arch sit below you at the bottom of the hill. You will find many shops selling the iconic Lisbon tiles on your way to the castle. Artists set up stands on the streets just outside the castle, buskers play music and market stalls adorn the side of the road leading to the ticket office at the gate of the Castelo Lisboa.
History Of Castelo St George
Original settlement on this site in the now Lisbon city centre dates back to 48BC. Castelo St George has been in place since the 6th century when it was fortified by Roman Visigoths and eventually the Moors used it as a Royal seat of residence until the 11th century. Portugal’s first king Afonso Henriques captured the Lisbon castle it in 1147. The King engaged the service’s of Northern European crusaders on their way toKing Holy Land to participate in the crusades against the Moors. Only by luck did this happen as the Crusaders were forced into port at Porto by bad weather. It was here the king approached them about supporting him to drive the Moors from Lisbon. Castle St George was renamed in honour of the Anglo-Portuguese treaty and served as the royal seat until the mid 13th century.
Features Of St George Castle Lisbon
This Lisbon castle provides the most breathtaking views of Lisbon. We have viewed Paris from Sacre Cour, we have viewed Barcelona from Montjuic but I must say the view you experience here is just about the best in Europe in my Opinion. It was amazing, inspiring the mix of the colour roofs of Lisbon, the river looking towards Belem and hills of the city all laid out front of you. You enter the gate in the shadow of a statue of King Afonso seeming still overlooking his royal palace.
Lisbon: Alfama and São Jorge Castle 3-Hour Tour
Explore Lisbon’s oldest and most charming areas on a 3-hour guided tour of the Alfama and São Jorge Castle. Enjoy panoramic views of the Tagus River and Lisbon city centre. Learn about the “fado” culture of the Portuguese, visit Lisbon Cathedral, and many more Lisbon Monuments.For latest prices and booking options CLICK this button
Canons adorn the edge of the high walls a permanent reminder of the original use of the castle in its days as protector of the royal family and the city of Lisbon. A stroll along the outside walls is highly recommended for the panoramic views it provides of Lisbon. The view stretches from the top of Avenida da Libadade, Edward V11 park down to the River Tagus and Arc Rue Augusta out to the Pont 25 suspension bridge and beyond.
As you head into the interior of the St George castleLisbon and the Alcaçovas Palace complex you come across the remains of what is left of the royal residence. High walls and look out towers reminiscent of many medieval castles confront you as you head over the bridge into the interior of the castle. Back in its hay day when the castle’s importance was at its peak Castelo St George used to have a moat protecting it.
Lisbon: 1.5-Hour Private Segway Tour of Alfama District
With the Segway doing all the work, you will discover the secrets of the city’s most sun-kissed hill, ascending to the dominating São Jorge Castle and descending through the historic Mouraria neighbourhood back to the Lisbon City Centre
The long extensions of the walls can still be walked and the 18 lookout towers accessed. Its fun exploring the walls of the only castle in Lisbon. The inner section of the castle is just a shell with nothing remaining from its glory days as a royal residence. Most of the castle interiors were destroyed over the years and Castelo St George suffered substantially in the great earthquake of 1755.
One of the interior towers, the Tower of Ulysses, holds the Câmara Escura, a periscope that projects sights from around the city. At the back of the Castle lies a small section of archaeological ruins. These ruins display evidence of three important periods of the city of Lisbon. The first settlements dating back to 7th century BC, the Moorish residential area and the original construction of the castle. A permanent exhibition in the Alcacovas area has on display artefacts found in the archaeological ruins area such a fragments of plates, pots and things used in everyday life dating back to the 7th century BC. If you only have one day in Lisbon Castelo Sao Jorge should be on your list of things to do in Lisbon.
Tours: A free tour (admission price only) runs twice a day at 1.00Pm and 4.00pm daily Monday to Sunday. The tour takes 1.5 hours and guides you through the inner castle, the archaeological site and the permanent exhibitions.
Castelo de Sao Jorge entrance fee:
Adults 8,5 €
Students < 25 years old 5 € / Families (2 Adults and 2 children < 18 years old) 20 € / People with disabilities 5 €
Senior (> 65 years) 5 € / Children under 10 are free.
Where do we stay in Lisbon.
Lisbon Centre Historic Apartments are located just 200 meters from Rossio Square in Downtown Lisbon. These 2 and 3 Bedroom apartments are fully self-contained with cooking facilities. The apartments are comfy and spacious with a balcony area. A small supermarket is 50 meters away while Square Largo Do Carmo is close by with plenty of dining options. We love these Lisbon apartments and have personally stayed here twice.
Book your stay at Lisbon Historic Apartments HERE.
Facilities at St George’s Castle: cafe, restaurant and toilets
Pros for family travel at Castelo Lisboa:
Climbing the castle walls and exploring the lookout towers that are scattered throughout the complex was a highlight for our girls. The old cannons will interest some kids who will love climbing on them and pretend they are shooting the ships in the harbour. The cafe area is excellent for a drink and you will find peacocks roaming around the area. The peacocks will happily wander between the tables. Our girls loved this, animals are their thing. Fantastic opportunity for family photo’s overlooking Lisbon, make a memory.
Cons for family travel at Castelo de Sao Jorge Lisboa:
The castle sits up on a hill. Access is by walking, as a result, can be a struggle for little kids and parents with pushers and strollers. Prepare for complaining and moaning. Much of the castle grounds is cobblestones which pose a problem for easy strolling for parents with pushers for the young ones.
How to reach St George Castle Lisbon :
It is a short distance from Avenida da Liberdade to Lisbon Alfama district. From Rossie Square in old Lisbon its a 1.2 km walk to Castelo Lisboa. The smart route will take you via the Baixa -Castelo lift. The lift is located next to the Baixa-Chiado metro station. The lift is free and therefore will cut out some of the distance and uphill walking that is required the reach the Castelo Lisbon. The Lisbon metro does not service Castelo Sao Jorge. Our instructions are the easiest way to access this Lisbon Castle from the downtown area. The downtown area is serviced by Lisbon public transport.
Getting to Lisbon:
- Lisbon is the capital and biggest city in Portugal.
- Humberto Delgado Airport is located 7km from Lisbon City Centre
- It is the 24th largest airport in Europe in terms of passenger volume, having served 22.4 million passengers in 2016
- Lisbon Airport is served by 121 destinations with 47 airlines
- Lisboa is serviced by many international airlines and budget carriers.The airport is a hub for TAP Portugal. Lisbon is a focus city for easyJet, Ryanair, Vueling and Azores Airlines. You can check the prices of international flights to Portugal with cheapOair. Domestic flights can be booked with Expedia
- The airport and city are connected by the metro. Aeroporto Saldanha line takes approximately 20 minutes from Lisbon airport to city centre.
- The Aerobuses is accommodating for travelling with large luggage. The departures are available at Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 between 7:30 and 23:00 daily, and connect the Lisbon airport to city destinations in the downtown area. Information and bookings available here.
- Santa Apolonia and Lisbon Oriente are the two major trains station for domestic and international arrivals by train
- Check your trains prices here.
- Most international buses arrive at Lisbon’s Estação do Oriente bus station. Check your bus prices here.
- You can book an airport transfer with Suntransfers who we have personally used on many occasions.
- You can book a rental car with AutoEurope and have it waiting for you at Lisbon Airport.
Getting around Lisbon:
- Lisbon features an extensive public transport network, comprising both underground and surface means of getting around. The metros, buses and trams of Lisbon is one of the most cost-efficient and flexible manners of discovering the city
- Ticket prices on the trams (streetcars) are now 2,85 Euros with the object being to make more users buy pre-pay passes. A single ticket on the metro is €1.90 without a rechargeable card, €1,40 with. There are a variety of passes available which reduce those costs considerably.
- Children under the age of 4 travel free of charge on the Metro, as long as they are accompanied by an adult.
- The popular Lisbon Hop on hop off bus is a great option for tourists wanting to see the main sights of Berlin. This tourist bus has 2 different routes that travel the sights of the city on a loop basis. For more information Look here!
- The Lisbon Card offers tree public transport and entries to major Lisbon sights.
Where to stay in Lisbon:
- Lisbon city centre has accommodation options for every budget from Hostels, to apartments and hotels rooms.
- Hostels in Lisbon can start from as little as 15 euro’s a night for a shared dorm room.
- You can search Airbnb for their Berlin accommodation offerings. If you have never used Airbnb before get yourself $50 credit by signing and booking a stay right HERE.
- Hotels in Lisbon generally start from around $70 a night for a double room and increase incrementally as the luxury rating rises towards 5 stars. Google states that 3-star averaging $92, 5-star averaging $226 for a night stay.
- You can compare and book your stay on Agoda, Hotels.com, Hotels Combined and Priceline
( All coloured text in the Getting to Lisbon, Getting around Lisbon and Where to stay in Lisbon links to the pages mentioned for your information and booking convenience. We at Wyld Family Travel will make a small commission from any bookings you make. This money goes into maintaining our website. )
Castelo Sao Jorge is one of the many great things to see in Lisbon. Please take the time to read 2 more of our articles on the amazing Lisbon Hop on hop off bus which will many Lisbon attractions. Our 5 things not to miss in Lisbon recommends many great things to see in Lisbon