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The Best Place to Picnic in Lisbon: Boca do Vento Park

Boca do Vento Park
Boca do Vento Park

Despite looking a whole lot like San Francisco, this small, beautiful park is located in the Almada district of Lisbon! Boca do Vento park (Jardim Boca do Vento) and its panoramic elevator are perfect if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city for an afternoon picnic. And since it’s situated on the other side of the river, it offers an incredible, unobstructed view of the heart of Lisbon.

The Almada district of Lisbon is extremely non-touristy and there won’t be a store every five feet — or even every mile — so definitely get your picnic supplies before heading over. AKA: don’t make the same mistakes we made.

There’s a great market (Time Out Mercado da Ribeira) right near where the boat takes off, so I’d suggest heading there first for all of your food and beverage needs.

How To Get To Boca Do Vento

Ferries run every 20 minutes from the the Cais do Sodré station to Cacilhas. Fare is super cheap (under 2 euros) and can be purchased at the ticket kiosk or at a ticket dispensing station.

Just be sure to get there early or purchase a ticket in advance at the station if you want to leave at a specific time, as the lines at the ticket machines can be fairly long during peak hours.

Lisbon Ferry Ride View
View of Lisbon from the ferry

Once you’ve arrived in Cacilhas, you’ll just take a right and follow the path next to the river until you reach the park. It’s that easy!

What To Do At Boca Do Vento Park

1. Ride The Panoramic Elevator

Cat House at the Jardim Boca do Vento
Reason #1: They have a tiny house for cats!

Perhaps the most interesting part of this park is the 164ft (50m) tall glass Boca do Vento elevator, which you can take up and down for free. So before you set up your picnic, make sure to take a quick ride to the top for the incredible panoramic views of the city.

Panoramic Elevator of Boca do Vento View
View to the right side of the elevator
Panoramic Elevator of Boca do Vento View
View to the left side of the elevator

We took the Boca do Vento elevator up and down several times because we didn’t bring a picnic with us, and consequently had to go on an hour-long trek to find a store. Whoops!

2. Take a walk through Almada

This unintended journey took us through the city Almada, which I suggest checking out if you want to see a Portuguese town that’s greatly untouched by tourism.

Panoramic Elevator of Boca do Vento View
View once you get off the elevator at the top
Boca do Vento Panoramic Elevator View
Panoramic view!
The top of Boca do Vento
Going back down for the zillionth time!

3. Have a picnic

Once we finally settled in for our picnic, we were verging on ultimate hanger. We ended up with a bottle of wine, crackers, some totally not sketchy 1.5 euro meat slices, and various cheeses.

Portuguese Sausage
We <3 deli meat
Graffiti Portugal
There was a ton of great graffiti in this area. This isn’t the most artistic of the bunch, but we thought it was cute!

4. Eat at a local restaurant by the river

And if you’d prefer not to bring your picnic with you, there are a few great restaurants (the only tourist-catering places on the island aside from the elevator), that have equally beautiful views and delicious food.

Since we can never stop eating, we picnicked for a few hours and then went to the restaurant Atira-te ao Rio, where we got some really fantastic tapas (scallop ceviche and salmon crudo were two highlights) and a glass (or two) of bubbles.

Almada Restaurant View
Another amazing view from the restaurant
Salmon Crudo with mango
Salmon Crudo with mango. The original plating was prettier but I forgot to take a pic before diving in \_(ツ)_/¯

If you need more convincing to visit this spot, ask ANYONE from Lisbon where you can find the best view of the city. I guarantee 9 out of 10 times they’ll tell you Almada because it has the least obstructed view of the city.

When we went in September, there was essentially no one at the park and it was one of the few calm, tourist-free spots in Lisbon. This made it beyond ideal for a picnic on a beautiful day.

So if you’re ever in Lisbon, I HIGHLY suggest making time for this hidden gem. Just make sure to bring plenty of wine and sustenance so you don’t have to go on a food treasure hunt once you’re there 🙂

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