Two typical old-school cabins passing one another in a steep hill – that’s the highlight of this charming narrow street with river view in the distance.
Why to go: Yellow cars of Lisbon trams are famous attraction, but some of the most characteristic scenes featuring these photogenic means of transport actually come from the streets occupied not by trams, but funiculars.
Tourists usually discover Elevador da Glória, funicular going up to popular Miradouro de Sao Pedro, but there are more of them. And thanks to its pictoresque setting, Ascensor da Bica is very often the one you have seen on the front pages of guide books.
Going up and down in surprisingly hilly street, bordered by typical 18th century houses, this electric lift connects the upper part of the old city centre (reaching almost to Bairro Alto) with the streets near very close to Cais do Sodre.
The lower station of the lift is hidden behind facade of one of the buildings, but the sign „Ascensor da Bica“ above the entrance will show you where to find it (anyway, if you just want to walk along the street, you can go around the building and ascend the slope without taking the lift).
The funicular goes every 10 or 15 minutes during the day and is operated by Carris (the Lisbon public transport company), so if you have your Lisbon transport card with monthly pass (or any other one), you can use the lift for free just like any other kind of transport.
However, if you would like to fully enjoy the atmosphere of the street, also take a walk along the track of the lift. The colorful buildings surrounding the line offer not only the feeling of typical Lisbon street (the area is still inhabited mostly by local portuguese people, looking out of the windows and to talking to each other in front of the shops), but with a closer look, you can also find there very little bistro with reasonable prices, luxury barber saloon and some other shops.
Not to forget, while waiting for the funiculars to meet each other in the middle of the hill, notice that you also have a nice view over the river Tejo from the upper part of the street.
And when you fully enjoyed discovering this part of the centre, what about having a beer at Miradouro Santa Catarina nearby, popular viewpoint for watching the sunset? :-)