As Lisbon is the city of the seven hills, it is only natural to have so many viewpoints also known as ‘Miradouros’ in Portuguese. But what If I told you that there is a very specific viewpoint that not even many of the locals know about? It is one of the best-kept secrets of Lisbon and I am here to share it with you. Reaching this viewpoint itself could be a big adventure, so be prepared to spend at least an afternoon here. The Illegal observatory is located in the Monsanto Forest Park, a little bit outside the city centre. The photos can prove that the views are really spectacular and a must-see for the travellers that want something more than the typical Lisbon Experience.
This is such an alternative experience for a tourist but it is only recommended for the brave ones. It was designed in 1968 by the architect Chaves da Costa and started operating as a restaurant! In the years of its construction, it has been Lisbon’s most lush restaurant, a bingo space, a club and then a warehouse. Afterwards, they didn’t have enough money to maintain it.
Nowadays, it is the illegal observatory we know since the 90’s. It was named ‘illegal observatory’ because it was forbidden to enter into the area before. The fact that the illegal observatory was secured by the guards intrigued the interest of the curious wanderers in the past. However, the mysterious observatory has become legal, so don’t worry about breaking the law!
Why visit the Illegal Observatory?
The illegal observatory is a must-see for photography enthusiasts as you can finally shoot that amazing picturesque photo from the greatest views. Indoors, you can spot some really interesting street art. Views from the balcony show a series of some green treetops, a stretch of Lisbon’s cityscape and a slice of Tagus River. But even If you are not into photography, this place will totally give you the thrills! If you are an adventurous traveller that is willing to take the extra step for something special and unique. Moreover, it is also possible to explore the area and get some fresh air while escaping from the city fuss. The Monsanto park is very big, so you can explore further the green areas and take your time to relax. It could also be the perfect spot to have a picnic and enjoy a chilled afternoon with some friends.
How to get there?
There are so many ways to get there.
If you travel from central Lisbon the best decision is to catch the bus number 711 direct to Alto Damaia. It is also possible to catch the bus from other different stops. The most popular stops are Mg. Pombal- R. Joaquim A. Aquiar also metro stop, Av. Liberdade, Restauradores, Rossio. From these stops, you need to catch the bus 711 and get out on Av. Tenente Martins. It takes approximately 30-35 minutes by bus.
Then you have to walk a little bit up to the hill as you can see on the map. It takes approximately 10 minutes to reach your final destination.
Contribution: Miška Vuová