Cristo Rei (Christ the King) is a Catholic monument and shrine located in the city of Almada, across the River Tejo, overlooking Lisbon.
Inspired by Rio’s famous Christ the Redeemer statue, the 110 metre-tall Cristo Rei (about 360 feet and 11 inches) was erected in 1959.
The views from the statue are stunning, with Lisbon spreading before you. On a clear day, you can see as far as Pena Palace in Sintra, some 20 kilometres (12 miles) away.
Facts about Cristo Rei
- At 110 metres (or 360 feet and 11 inches), the statue itself is 28 metres tall (or 91 feet and 10 inches). The tower of the 25 April Bridge is 190 metres high (or 623 feet and 4 inches).
- The statue of Christ was hand-sculpted at 100 metres (328 feet) high.
- The Christ with open arms is facing Lisbon. The arches that support the statue are facing each of the four cardinal directions.
- Inaugurated on 17 May 1959, construction began ten years before, on 18 December 1949.
- 40 thousand tons (or 80 million pounds) of reinforced concrete provide stability to the monument.
- Cristo Rei was built at an original cost of 20 million escudos (or €8 million).
- The Portuguese Cristo Rei was inspired by the statue of Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado Mountain in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
- There are replicas of the statue of Christ the Redeemer in 18 countries (Vietnam, Nigeria, Timor, Poland, Bolivia, etc.).
How to Get From Lisbon to Cristo Rei
Visiting the statue should be a relatively simple process, yet it’s not very easy to know exactly how to get there. Here are your options to reach Cristo Rei from Lisbon by public transport.
Ferry + Bus (Recommended)
Go to Cais do Sodré Ferry Terminal and take the 10-minute ferry ride to Cacilhas in Almada (if in doubt, ask staff to make sure you enter the right waiting area, the one to Cacilhas). Use your Viva Viagem card both on the metro, bus or tram to get to Cais do Sodré, and on the ferry across the river. Ferries, operated by Transtejo, run every 10 to 20 minutes during the day.
On arrival to Cacilhas, take bus #101. The stop is out of the terminal to the left. Buses leave every half an hour or so. The white Viva Viagem card in not valid on buses in Almada operated by TST, in which case you should buy a return ticket on board. But if you have a green Viva Viagem card with “zapping” credit, you may use it to pay as you go. Get off when the bus reaches its final stop (the route is only three stops), and the statue will be less than 200 metres away.
The tourist Yellow Boat Tour now makes a stop in Cacilhas, but this option is considerably more expensive. You’ll still have to take the bus.
Bus + Walk
Using your Viva Viagem card, take bus #753 operated by Carris from Marquês de Pombal direction Centro Sul. It crosses the 25 April Bridge between Lisbon and Almada, so you can enjoy the views. Buses run every 15 to 30 minutes.
The journey takes 10 to 15 minutes. Get off at the last stop, Portagem, which means Toll, as this is where you pay to enter Lisbon by car. Then, use the overpass to get to the other side of the road, walk along the street till you find a café, turn left and go straight up the hill till you reach the statue. The walk takes about 15 minutes.
Taxi / Tour
A taxi will take you to the statue of Christ for about €15-20 one way. The waiting time is not included, so it will be more expensive.
There are guided tours that include a visit to the statue of Christ, some even take you to cross the 25 April Bridge on a tuk tuk.
Best time to visit
As with most tourist attractions, it’s best to go early during peak season (July-August), even though queues usually move fast. The best time to visit Cristo Rei depends on what you’re priorities are.
- Morning: best for avoiding the crowds and the heat of the day.
- Afternoon: best for taking photos, but it can get very hot during summer.
Things to know
- Cristo Rei is open daily. Opening times: 9.30am–6.45pm (1-14 Jul and 1-20 Sep), 9.30am–7.30pm (15 Jul to 31 Aug), 9.30am–6pm (21 Sep to 30 Jun). On 24 December closes at 5pm and on 25 December opens at 2.30pm; on 1 January opens at 10am.
- Views are stunning even from the terrace at the base (and these are free). To go to the top, you have to pay €5 / €6 (from 1 Jul to 15 Oct) to take a lift (cash only). Children aged 8-12 pay half (free for children under 8).
- The lift takes you about three quarters of the way up. Then, there is a very narrow staircase of 59 steps leading up to the viewing platform (getting to heaven requires some effort).
- There’s a little chapel and a gift shop next to where the lift drops you.
- The viewing platform is at 84 metres (276 feet) high. Besides the views, you can admire a hand-painted tile mural that evokes the book of Daniel. Under the pedestal, there is another hand-painted tile mural which represents Jesus going to the synagogue in Nazareth.
- At the base of the statue, there is also a café. Toilets are located next to it, not inside the monument.
- There’s a free car park.
- There are two recommended seafood restaurants near the Cacilhas ferry terminal to the right: Farol and Ponto Final.