Ascensor do Lavra is the oldest cable car in Lisbon still in use. This tram is not yet widely known by tourists, and it is definitely worth a ride!
At 188 meters this route is the shortest ride with any cable tram in Lisbon, and with an average gradient of 22.9% it is also one of the steepest tracks.
Water and counterweight
In 1884 this cable tram was driven for the first time, using gravity. Like Ascensor da Bica and Ascensor da Gloria this ascensor was built by Raoul Mesnier de Ponsard (the pupil of architect Eiffel who also designed Elevador de Santa Justa.
The wagons were initially driven by gravity, using water and counterweight. In 1915 the wagons were converted to be powered by steam.
Our tip: Buy a day ticket (€ 6.30) (if you do not have a Lisboa Card) so that you can ride all the lifts up and down in one day. Otherwise it will be a very expensive day: Ascensor do Lavra alone costs € 3.70.
Ascensor do Lavra is owned by the Companhia de Carris de Ferro de Lisboa (public transport company in Lisbon). Since 2002, the yellow cable tram is a national monument.
The carriages of Ascensor do Lavra are identical. Each car is composed of two dashboards with steering table and gear wheel. There is room for 42 passengers, 22 seats and a standing space that comfortably fits 20. The front of the car is higher than the back, and the axes are uneven. That’s all on purpose of course, otherwise the tram couldn’t make the steep journey.
Jardim do Torel
When you are at eh upper end of the tracks, at Rua Câmara Pestana, it is a short walk to Jardim do Torel. This is a nice city park with a surprising view of the Baixa and Príncipe Real district.
Where to find Ascensor do Lavra
Address: Câmara Pestana, Baixa and Largo da Anunciada, Interdente
Opening hours: every day from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Free entry with a Lisboa Card.
Otherwise regular public transport prices apply, see www.carris.pt for actuals