Last updated on July 20th, 2022
Castelo de São Jorge is a historic castle and national monument in Lisbon’s Alfama neighbourhood. The Castle has a few different names, including: St George’s Castle, Castelo de S Jorge, Alfama Castle, and the Lisbon Castle of St. George. Built to house military troops, it is one of the only European castles not originally designed to be a residence.
Standing high above Lisbon, a glimpse of Castelo de São Jorge is visible from almost any point in the city. You can’t help but see it at some point as you explore Lisbon. This popular attraction is worth visiting, and is a must-do activity in Lisbon for those who enjoy history and scenic lookouts. This guide will help you plan your visit to the Lisbon Castle of St.George including how to get there, ticket prices, and visiting tips.
Does Lisbon Have a Castle, and What is the Name of the Castle in Lisbon?
With over 150 castles across the country, Portugal gives off major fairytale vibes. There are castles everywhere, including a castle in Lisbon and a few more castles in the surrounding area, such as Sintra. The name of the one in Lisbon is Castelo de S Jorge.
About St.George Castle Lisbon
An iconic feature of the Lisbon skyline located in the city center, Castelo De S Jorge is a must-visit. The Castle features eleven towers, a garden with Portuguese native species, a museum, an archaeological site, ruins of a former palace, and a cafe. In some areas of the ground, you can wander around yourself, and others require a guided tour.
The archaeological site contains three sets of ruins, including settlements from the 7th century, remnants from the Moorish period, and palace ruins from an earthquake. Objects found within the archaeological site are on display at the permanent exhibit in the museum. Oh, and don’t forget, there are peacocks roaming around the garden near the castle entrance!
Castello de S Jorge History
The hill where the castle stands is significant to Lisbon’s history, with fortifications dating back to the 1st century. So when was Castelo de São Jorge built? Castelo de São Jorge was built in the 10th century during the Moorish period.
In 1147, it was conquered by the Portuguese during the Siege of Lisbon. In the late 12th or early 13th century, the castle was renovated and used as the Royal Palace of the Alcáçova. The palace eventually took heavy damage by the earthquake of 1755. Today, Castello de S Jorge is a national monument and museum.
Is Castelo de São Jorge Worth Visiting?
Located at the top of Lisbon, with stunning historic surroundings and providing scenic panoramic views of the city, it’s no wonder that Castelo de São Jorge is one of the most popular attractions in Lisbon, especially around sunset time.
If you enjoy history and beautiful lookouts, Castelo de S Jorge is absolutely worth visiting while in Lisbon. As the secret has gotten out, be prepared for a line at the entrance, but it is worth waiting; there are tips below for visiting the castle.
Castelo de S Jorge Price & Tickets
An adult ticket for ages 26-64 is €10. There is a reduced ticket price for youth and seniors. Castelo de S Jorge is free for children under 12 and Lisbon residents. For a guided tour of the castle, add €2.5 to the ticket cost.
Entry to the Lisbon castle of St.George is not part of the Lisboa Card. To learn what attractions the Lisboa Card includes, read my guide: What’s Included in a Lisboa Card and Is It Worth It?
To purchase Castelo de São Jorge tickets, you can buy them on-site at the ticket booth or online here from Blue Ticket, an authorized seller by Castelo de S Jorge.
Castelo de S Jorge – Hours of Operation:
March – October: 9 am – 9 pm**
November – February: 9 am – 7pm
**July 1: 9 am – 4:30 pm
Closed: January 1, May 1, December 25
Note: Last entry is 30 minutes before closing
Lisbon Castle: St.George Guided Tour
There are three areas within the grounds that you can arrange for guided tours of St.George Castle, Lisbon: the archaeological site, the camera obscura, and a general castle tour. All guided tours are available in English, Portuguese, and Spanish.
A guided tour of the archaeological site runs between 10:30 am and 5 pm and is included in the price of admission. The archaeological site tour lasts 15 minutes. Check for availability upon arrival.
Visit the Camera Obscura with a guided tour between 10 am and 5 pm, with the last entry at 4:30 pm. The Camera Obscura tours last 15 minutes and are limited to groups of 25 people. Admission is part of your Castelo de São Jorge ticket but check for availability as group sizes are limited.
Arrange a guided tour of the Castle grounds if you wish to tour Castello de S Jorge with a tour guide. You can book on-site upon arrival or email them to arrange a guided tour of the castle in advance. The guided tours of Castello de S Jorge grounds are by experts in history, art history, and archaeology and cost an additional €2.50. Tours last 1 hour and are limited to groups of 25 people. Check availability daily for their availability.
Map of Castelo de S Jorge
Tip: An English PDF map of Castelo de São Jorge is available here. There are also maps available in eight other languages through the castle’s website.
How To Get to St. George Castle From Lisbon
To get to St.George Castle from downtown Lisbon, you can ride a taxi, bus, tram, or walk. It takes 10-15 minutes to get to St.George’s Castle. The best way to get to Alfama castle using public transportation is by bus or tram.
Directions by bus from Rossio Metro Station:
- Take the 737 bus from the Rossio Metro Station
- Ride for 5 stops
- Exit at the Castelo stop
- Walk 2 minutes to reach Castelo de S Jorge
St. George Castle (Castelo de S Jorge)
Address: R. de Santa Cruz do Castelo, 1100-129 Lisboa, Portugal
Tips for Visiting Castelo de S Jorge
- Wear comfortable and grippy shoes. You will be walking on cobblestone, which can be hard on the feet and is slippery when wet. Keep your feet comfortable and safe while exploring the castle grounds.
- Arrive early to avoid crowds. If you want a quieter experience and less of a queue to enter, arrive right as it opens. If you don’t mind crowds or waiting in line, go anytime, especially near the sunset.
- Stay to watch the sun set. Plan your visit to Castelo de S Jorge near the sunset for one of the best sunset views in Lisbon. Arrive and explore the castle a couple of hours before it sets, then stay and watch the colourful sunset from one of the castle walls.
- Pack water and sunscreen. While there are some shaded areas, you want to protect your skin from the intense midday sun and stay hydrated while exploring.
- Download the Castelo de S Jorge map onto your phone before you go. The map will help you avoid missing anything while exploring the castle like I did on my visit.
- Be prepared for stairs and unlevel/rough surfaces. There are a lot of stairs at the castle to climb up to each of the eleven towers. The cobblestone is unlevel, and some steps are rough and uneven from centuries of use. Take it easy and go slow on the stairs.
Things to Do Nearby
- Lisbon Cathedral – a 12th-century cathedral
- Santa Justa Lift – an elevator built in 1902 that links city levels
- Church of São Vicente de Fora – 17th-century church and monastery
Lisbon Castle of St.George: Review & Final Thoughts
I enjoyed my visit to Castelo de S Jorge, aka the Lisbon castle of St.George. Although my time was short as I had to catch a train to the Algarve, I made the most of it, seeing as much of the castle as I could.
The views from the castle walls overlooking the rest of Lisbon below were incredible and breathtaking. Having never been to such a large Castle before, it was an unforgettable experience. I see the draw to St.George Castle and recommend you visit when in Lisbon.
I hope this information helped you plan your visit to the Castelo de São Jorge – St.George Castle.
Check out their website for more information on St.George Castle in Lisbon, Portugal.
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Castelo de S Jorge and the Lisbon Tourism Board kindly provided us with complimentary Lisbon castle tickets, however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.