Jardim da Estrela - A Wonderful Green Space in the Parish of Estrela, Lisbon.
Located across the road from Lisbon’s famous Estrela Basílica is the wonderful Jardim da Estrela which is a must see attraction in the area. The park is approximately 4.6 hectares in size and is generally open to the public every day, from seven in the morning until midnight. According to the Estrela Parish website, construction for the park began in 1842 and the park opened on April 3rd, 1852.
Jardim da Estrela - Let’s Look at the Map!
Here is a screenshot of the garden taken from Google Maps. The red arrows highlight the various entrances to Jardim da Estrela so as you can see, it is easy to access no matter what direction you are approaching it from.
Next is the satellite version of the above map. This gives you a better idea of the size of the jardim and just how lush and green it is.
In the map below I have highlighted the Estrela Basílica. Directly in front of the basílica, on the road that runs between it and the Jardim da Estrela there are both tram and bus stops and there are always taxis right outside the jardim too. Lisbon’s famous 28E tram stops here! The 25E tram and buses 773 and 774 all stop here too so there are lots of options available should you wish to visit the jardim and basílica via public transport.
Inside the Jardim da Estrela:
A quick breakdown of some of what you will find in the garden, some of which I will talk more about below:
- Places to Eat & Drink.
- Playground & Climbing Area.
- Public Toilets for Adults & Children.
- Wrought Iron Gazebo for Musical Performances.
- Outdoor Events & Crafts Market.
- Benches, picnic tables & lots of grassy areas.
- Beautiful old trees, flowers & walking paths.
- Ponds with lots of ducks, geese, turtles, fish and more!
- A Wonderful View of the Estrela Basílica.
A full loop of the garden, taking the outer paths is approximately 700 metres so it is a very doable walk and the best way to explore but be sure to check out some of the inner paths also!
Places to Eat & Drink:
On the maps above you can see some of the main amenities that the jardim offers such as places to eat or drink within the park. We have been to both the Banana Cafe and the kiosk Gengibre da Estrela. Next to the Gengibre da Estrela kiosk you will find another of the gardens amenities, its playground and climbing area.
Playground & Climbing Area:
In the image below the arrow is pointing to the Gengibre da Estrela kiosk and you can just see the red lines of the climbing frame. Also, the pink building in the background of this image is where you will find the toilets for children. If you like peacocks, chickens and parrots then you will find lots of them around this area as they live in the yard on the far side of the pink building. For peacock/peahen watching be sure to look up as they like to hang out on the roof and high in the trees in this area. The chickens and roosters can usually be spotted in the yard and or perched on the hedge next to the Rua de São Bernardo entrance/exit. You will certainly hear them all before you see them anyway!
A slightly better photo of the climbing frame below, taking during Covid-19 restrictions when its use was prohibited:
Public Toilets for Adults & Children:
As aforementioned, the pink building opposite the playground and adjacent to the climbing area contains toilets for children. The public toilets on the map (near the basílica entrance to the park) are currently closed (and have been for some time) however there are alternative port-a-loo toilets located in the corner (top right of map) next to the climbing frame (photo below):
The Gazebo, Live Music & Relaxing:
As we live close to the Jardim da Estrela we have been there literally hundreds of times and have been fortunate enough to see it in all seasons. One thing is for sure, there is always lots going on inside (except when it is raining)! Pre-Covid there was a weekly crafts market and I think it will be returning soon again. Also pre-Covid we attended some of their Sunday Summer gigs which were brilliant. All of the garden’s grassy areas were filled with people lying on picnic blankets, relaxing, chatting, eating and drinking while listening to the free live musical performances. I really hope these free events can take place again this Summer.
Musical acts usually occupy the green wrought iron gazebo which is a real focal point of the garden. The gazebo:
“… was built in 1884 and was originally on the Passeio Público before the construction of Avenida da Liberdade having been transferred to the garden in 1936.” (Source here).
Beautiful Old Trees, Flowers & Walking Paths:
As you would expect there are walking paths all around and throughout the garden. One of the best features of the garden are its massive old trees, so big that an adult can be hidden by the huge roots that they boast. My photos don’t do justice to the true size of some of the trees in the garden.
There are also some super tall trees like the one below which “waves” considerably when it is windy:
I also love this next tree, there are usually a few kids climbing it or sitting in its branches:
As you have probably noticed in a lot of my photos there are benches dotted throughout the jardim so you will always find somewhere to sit and people watch or do some “cute dog spotting”:
Some seating areas have tables too, perfect for a picnic, studying, playing cards or whatever else takes your fancy!
Now for some shots of the garden, taken during different seasons. In the mornings and evenings you will always see people running or walking loops on the paths as well as people taking part in outdoor fitness classes, yoga classes, personal training sessions etc.
A foggy morning in the garden:
Some of the flowers in the garden (depending on the season of course):
Ponds in Jardim da Estrela:
The are a number of ponds around the park. Below is one on a foggy morning in Lisbon and surprisingly quiet as they are usually full of activity:
I have only seen the mandarin duck (pictured below) twice in the garden, at the pond pictured above but it was a long time ago now so I don’t think he/she is still there!
This smaller pond below has lots of turtles (I think they are turtles) and some fish:
A Wonderful View of the Estrela Basílica:
Two quick day time shots of the basílica from inside the jardim:
And below an evening shot of the basílica:
I hope I have convinced you to check out the Jardim da Estrela the next time you are visiting Lisbon or simply passing by. Whether you are a tourist or a local you will enjoy it equally. It is a wonderful place to catch your breath before heading back out onto the busy city streets; a true escape from reality.