Cristo Rei Lisbon – a gigantic statue of Jesus – stands south of the Lisbon city center across the Tagus River on a hill in Almada. One of the most recognizable Lisbon monuments, visiting the Cristo Rei statue is one of the top things to do in the city. Visitors can easily access Cristo Rei in Almada by hopping on a Lisbon ferry across the River Tejo and taking a short walk to the iconic Portugal statue for incredible views over the city.
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Cristo Rei Lisboa
The official name of the Jesus statue in Lisbon is the National Sanctuary of Christ the King (or Santuario Nacional de Cristo Rei). However, because of its likeness to the Cristo Redentor – or Christ the Redeemer – statue in Rio de Janerio, Brazil, many people refer to the Lisbon statue as Christ the Redeemer Portugal. The 92-foot-tall statue of Christ stands on a 269-foot-tall base and is one of the most recognizable of all the Lisbon statues and monuments. Fun Fact: The Brazil Jesus statue is slightly larger – 98-feet-tall – but stands on a much shorter pedestal, which is only 26-feet-tall.
The Lisbon statue of Christ the King stands facing the city with open arms (in the form of a cross) on a 435-foot bluff on the left bank of the Tagus River. The Cristo Rei statue was built to show appreciation to God for keeping Portugal safe during World War II. It took 10 years to construct the concrete monument, which was inaugurated in 1959. The site has been restored and expanded on several occasions; the complex now includes a chapel, viewing platform, sanctuary, gardens and galleries.
How to Get To Cristo Rei Lisbon
Getting to the Christ statue from Lisbon is fairly easy. Day trips from Lisbon can be made by car, metro, bus or ferry. Cristo Rei is also one of the stops on the Lisbon Hop On Hop Off Bus. Our preferred route is to ride the ferry to Cacilhas, then walk to Lisbon Cristo Rei.
The Cacilhas Ferry departs from Cais do Sodre, just west of Praca do Comercio in the city center. The Lisbon ferry to Cacilhas runs on a regular schedule. Boats make the crossing every 10 minutes at rush hour and at least every 30 minutes in the middle of the day. There are fewer ferries on evenings, weekends and holidays. Find the current Lisbon Ferry to Cacilhas Timetable on the official website.
Tickets for the ferry from Lisbon to Cacilhas are inexpensive. Each one-way ticket costs just €1.30 (at time of publishing). However, a Viva Viagem Ferry Card – which costs an additional €.50 – is required to buy ferry tickets. That said, the entire roundtrip fee to Cristo Rei Lisbon – including the price of the card – is only €3.10.
The ride on the ferry from Lisbon to Cacilhas takes just 10 minutes, but the short boat trip offers phenomenal views. The Cacilhas-Lisboa ferry is a commuter boat – as opposed to a tourist boat – so most of the passengers are locals just taking the easiest route across the river. Visitors, however, will want to take a seat on the upper level by an open window for the best views.
Looking for more cheap Lisbon activities? Check out our list of 10 Free Things To Do in Lisbon!
Walk or Bus to Christ the King Lisbon
From the Cacilhas Ferry Dock, visitors have a few options of how to get to Portugal Christ statue: Walk through the neighborhood or ride a city bus. Visitors can also detour to a scenic elevator viewpoint – and from that point either walk or ride the bus.
Walk from Cacilhas to the Lisbon Jesus Monument
We love walking – so we opted to take the 2-mile uphill walk (with an elevation gain of about 325 feet) from the port to Cristo Rei. From the ferry terminal, turn left into town and then start the climb to the statue. Although not heavily posted, there are a few helpful signs along the way that point walkers in the right direction. Google Maps is a lot more useful; you can use this link to the Google Maps Route we took. The walk takes about 45 minutes to an hour.
Visitors who would rather not make the trek have the option of riding the bus from the ferry direct to Cristo Rei. Bus 101 departs from the tip of the peninsula (use this location on Google Maps). Tickets can be purchased from the driver (about €1.50), but it may now be possible to get a discounted fare if using the Viva Viagem Card (this is new!). Check the Bus 101 Cacilhas-Cristo Rei timetable here.
Panoramic Elevator: Boca do Vento
The third option for getting from the Cacilhas ferry terminal to the Christ the King monument requires a slight detour, but a unique method of transport: the Elevador Boca do Vento. From the ferry, turn right and follow the shoreline past riverside restaurants to the panoramic viewpoint elevator. Ring the bell (if the elevator is not there), pay the man the €1 fee, and ride to the top of the cliff. Once at the top, visitors can walk to Cristo Rei or find the bus stop for the 101 Bus.
Visiting Cristo Rei Portugal
The statue, which is so clearly visible from afar, is extraordinary up close. It is free to enter the complex, but a Cristo Rei ticket is required to ride the elevators to the viewing platform.
Cristo Rei Park
Cristo Rei stands in the center of a large, grassy park and gardens. The hilltop grounds offer stunning viewpoints of the city of Lisbon and its famous suspension bridge, 25 de Abril Bridge. The ‘April Bridge’ is a replica of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. In addition to the views, along the cliff’s edge are the 14 Stations of the Cross. An enormous cross – gifted by the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima – lies in the center of the park and a statue of the Virgin Mary sits in front of the statue. A gift shop and café are also on site (but we recommend bringing a picnic lunch and finding a spot to enjoy the view).
Cristo Rei Church
Inside the base of the Christ the King statue is the Cristo Rei Church, which is free to visit. There are pews for praying and interesting modern artwork that fill the quiet space. A few relics are also on display.
Cristo Rei Statue Lisbon Viewpoint
The top of the 269-foot statue base is one of the city’s most popular viewing platforms. For a small fee, visitors ride an elevator, then climb a narrow set of stairs to an open-air deck. Views extend over the river, city of Lisbon and beyond.
The ticket price for the Cristo Rei Lisbon Viewing Platform is €5, which can only be paid in cash. The lift is open daily from 9:30am (except on Christmas and New Year’s Day), but closing times vary by season. In the winter, the lift typically closes at 6:00pm, but in the summertime it stays open until 7:30pm.
Looking for other great viewpoints in Lisbon? Check out our guide of the 10 Best Lisbon Viewpoints!
Return Ferry to Lisbon, Portugal
To get back to Lisbon city center, we recommend that visitors retrace their steps and take the ferry. The downhill walk is quite enjoyable – and, if it’s not too late in the day, consider stopping in the Cacilhas center for a glass of wine or dinner on the wide, pedestrian-only street. Top Tip: Check what time the sun sets and time your ferry crossing back to Lisbon at sunset.
Full Day Tour from Lisbon
Join a highly-rated day tour from Lisbon for a full day of exploration that includes a stop at the Cristo Rei Sanctuary and Wine Tastings at local wineries. The small-group tour by minivan begins by crossing the Vasco da Gama Bridge and makes the first stop at Pamela Castle. After nearby wine tastings, visit the Arrabida Nature Park and the Sesimbra fishing village. Enjoy more wine tastings before taking in the views from Cristo Rei and returning to Lisbon. Find Out More!
Cristo Rei Lisbon Map
We want to know: Have you been to Cristo Rei Lisbon? Do you have any tips for visiting? Share your best advice in the comments below!
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