A Guide To Castelo de S. Jorge, Lisbon - Updated 2023

Castelo De S. Jorge

For a lot of castles in Europe, they’re located usually just outside the city, but the Castelo de S. Jorge is right in the middle of Portugal’s capital: Lisbon. The castle sits in the Santa Maria Maior neighborhood, which is essentially the historic center of Lisbon, complete with old squares, museums, and historic monuments. Like many defensive fortifications, the castle is built is on a hill and dates back to the 8th-century BCE. It is one of the most important and biggest historical landmarks in Lisbon as it was occupied by everyone from the Phoenicians, to the Romans and finally the Moors before the Portuguese conquest in 1147. If you’re exploring the old city of Lisbon, check out some of the important national monuments. Here’s our comprehensive guide to Castelo de S. Jorge, Lisbon.

Things to do

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user fulviusbsas used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Take a guided tour of the castle

The Castelo de S. Jorge is one of the most famous landmarks in the city. Nestled in the middle of the city’s oldest neighborhoods, the castle draws tons of visitors from all around the world. So, if you’re going to visit the castle and want to learn about the history and significance of it, make sure to book a guided tour. Head outside to the main archaeological site, where you’ll learn about the three important periods in the castle’s history, starting from the castle’s construction in the 7th century to the Moorish era, and finally the Portuguese conquest. This tour is free and offered in English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese. There are, of course, some paid tours guided by professional historians, art historians, and archaeologists. By taking a guided tour, you’ll learn everything about the castle, from architecture and its rich history to the several inscriptions and artifacts found on the grounds.

Walk around the castle grounds

Spend an afternoon wandering around the many permanent exhibitions at the castle. The exhibitions include objects found on the castle grounds, dating from the 12th century. When you’re done with the exhibitions, head to the viewpoint. Offering some of the best views of the city of Lisbon, as well as being surrounded by some of the greenest spaces in the city, bring a camera with you because the views are incredible and the vegetation here is a point of interest on the castle grounds.

Attend an event

The castle hosts several special events and talks, which will certainly spark the minds and imaginations of history buffs and the average person alike. The events are hosted by professional historians and experts in the field. Talks and events include specific topics like hygiene on the Portuguese merchant ships, water movement and supply in the castle, and theater scene in Portugal.

Where to eat

City view of Lisbon with Castelo de São Jorge
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user SIryn used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Casa do Leão

Located in the Alcacova area of the castle grounds, this might be the only opportunity you’ll ever have to eat in an 11th-century castle. Choose from a selection of international and Portuguese dishes. The Casa do Leão offers stunning views of the city, and is located in a part of the castle that used to house the former royal residence before it was destroyed in the devastating 1755 earthquake.


Located in the same area is a small cafe, if you’re looking for a quick bite to eat or a simple coffee with a spectacular view. Take a break from all the walking around and indulge in something sweet or have a drink while you admire the view and the fact that you just ate a snack in the former home of Portuguese royalty.

Things to buy

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Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Laszlo Daroczy used under CC BY 2.0

There’s a souvenir stand located near the entrance of the castle. There are a variety of things available at the stand, ranging from keychains, magnets and t-shirts to some locally made jewelry and other knick-knacks. Price ranges from a few euros to more expensive gifts and souvenirs.

Travel tips

Lisboa DSC 0608 (16260366633)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Laszlo Daroczy used under CC BY 2.0


Like many old attractions in Europe, the grounds of the castle may be hard to traverse if you have mobility problems. This includes older people who have trouble walking and people in wheelchairs. Although the staff is very friendly at the castle, the cobblestone grounds will make movement difficult for some people.

How to get there

Castelo de São Jorge 01
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Alegna13 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

By tram

One of the more iconically “Lisbon” things to do is ride the tram. Luckily, there are trams, with stops near the castle. The 12E and 28E trams, both have several stops nearby. The Lg. Portas Sol stop is about a five-minute walk from the castle.

By bus

The bus service in the city is pretty extensive and good, and similar to the tram service. The 737 bus stops right in front of the castle gates, at the “Castelo” stop.

By bike

Renting a bike is a great way to get around the city or explore the castle. The city center has a lot of bike lanes and designated areas for cyclists, so getting around the city isn’t very hard. There are a few bike shops in the city, if you’re not already traveling with one.

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How to get tickets (from USD 13.0)

castelo de s. jorge | how to get tickets
Source: www.viator.com

Tickets are available at the entry gates. Prices are 10 EUR (12 USD) for adults over the age of 25; and 5 EUR (6 USD) for people ages 13 to 25. Kids under the age of 12 can get in for free. For seniors over the age of 65 and people with disabilities, the admission fee is 8.50 EUR (10 USD). Tickets can also be bought by third-party sellers.

Skip the Line: Ticket to Castelo de São Jorge

Duration: 2 hours

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Castelo de S. Jorge information

Castelo de Sao Jorge (42356391091)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Mike Steele used under CC BY 2.0

Castelo de S. Jorge

Address: R. de Santa Cruz do Castelo, 1100-129 Lisboa, Portugal

Opening hours: 9am - 6pm (daily)

Price: 6 - 12 USD

Website: Official Website

Department of Tourism: Visit Lisbon

castelo de s. jorge |

Lisbon: Sao Jorge Castle Skip-the-Line Ticket with Escort

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Alex is a Canadian university graduate with degrees in English literature and History. He was born in Montreal and when he's not traveling he enjoys movies, video games, playing the drums and...Read more

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