Above the Alfama and the Cathedral, the Castle of São Jorge (St. George) dominates Lisbon’s cityscape. We wandered up that way in the later afternoon to explore and in short: the extensive castle grounds are amazing and well worth a visit.
The castle has everything you could want: pretty courtyards with plenty of shady benches from which you can look out over the city and the river, ramparts to climb, museums to meander through, archaeological excavations, silly dolphin fountains, fancey engraved canons, ridiculous olive trees, original medieval tiles, and peacocks. Of course.
And though we waited in line for maybe 10-15 minutes to buy our tickets and get in–thankfully the line was in the shade–despite the apparent crowds, once in the castle grounds, it wasn’t crowded at all. There were so many courtyards and gardens it was actually pretty quiet and we were totally able to appreciate the views in our own time. It was spectacularly lovely. And the sky was so blue.