Ascensor da Bica: The Picturesque Funicular

Connecting Rua de São Paulo and Largo do Calhariz via Rua da Bica de Duarte Belo, the nineteenth century funicular ascends one of Lisbon’s steepest hills, crossing the Bica district towards the Bairro Alto neighbourhood.

Take the funicular up when coming from the Cais do Sodré. The funicular entrance is tucked into an arch of a building on Rua de São Paulo, 234. Look for the sign over the arch.

Ascensor da Bica

This is considered Lisbon’s most picturesque funicular, leading up to the Bairro Alto and the traditional residential Bica district, full of distinctive buildings, little shops and some nice restaurants.

At the top, just three minutes away by Rua do Loreto, don’t miss the stunning views offered by the Miradouro de Santa Catarina.

Built in 1892, the funicular was initially moved by the water counterbalancing system, whereby movement was achieved by loading the car at the top of the hill with water until it was heavy enough to descend the hill and pull up the other car at the bottom of the hill. Then, in 1896 the Ascensor da Bica became steam powered, and in 1924 it was electrified.