Lisboetas call this place the “hidden garden”, or “the city’s hiding place”. Jardim do Torel ligt lies on the top of one of the hills that Lisbon is built on.
Of all the qualities this park has to offer, the great views over Avenida da Liberdade and the entire city centre are absolutely the very best.
Garden, park, terrace or beach?
On our first visit to this park we came through the entrance on top of the hill, near the top of the lesser known
Elevador do Lavra. Because of the fence, the fountain with a statue and the houses surrounding the park, at first we thought that we’d walked into a communal garden. When we walked back to the entrance we concluded that we were actually in the right place. Upon walking a bit further the garden became more of a park, with trees and benches.
With the view of a playground on the left side and the stairs leading to it, we soon ended on a terrace with a large pond and two playgrounds.
The pond is decorated with a statue of 18th century mermaids. In summer, the pond turns into a swimming pool and becomes the “beach of Torel”. Many locals come here to cool off. In summer there is a bar and on some evenings there’s even live music.
JJardim do Torel consists of different levels and has something to offer for everyone: it is a garden, a park, a terrace and a beach. Nice detail: part of the pond is built on the roof of a school.
Best kept secret
If we’re to believe our Portuguese friends, this park is probably the most secret garden in Lisbon. Almost everyone knows it exists and has a rough idea of where it is, but most of them have never been there before.
The garden is quite old by the way. Since 2000 there have been restoration works, which has given it a new fresh look. You will find beautiful murals made by local artists.
How to get to Jardim do Torel
There are two ways to get to Jardim do Torel.
Option 1: Take Ascensor do Lavra. The elevator takes you all the way up, almost to the main entrance of the garden. When you get off the tram you turn left into the street. The 1st street on the right brings you to the entrance of the park.
Option 2 is to go to rua do Telhal, opposite nr. 49. This is an inconspicuous entrance, so make sure you don’t miss it.