The bridges of Lisbon: Vasco de Gama and 25 de Abril

To get to Lisbon, unless you want to take a long detour, you will have to cross the Tagus River thanks to one of its two famous bridges, each one with its own special charm and built at a different time.

These are the 25 de Abril bridges, the one we can see on all the postcards, and the Vasco de Gama, a truly spectacular 17 km long bridge that seems endless when you are on it.

If you want to admire both up close, we recommend arriving in Lisbon through one of them and leaving through the other.

The 25th of April Bridge in Lisbon

Lisbon - April 25 BridgeThe 25 de Abril Bridge is a large suspension bridge that crosses the Tagus River with its 2,277 meters in length and 77 meters above the river.

It joins the neighborhood of Alcántara with the city of Almada and due to its great length it is the longest suspension bridge in Europe.

The bridge is divided into two parts, the upper deck for cars and the lower deck, which was added in 1999, so trains could run.

The original name of the bridge is Puente de Salazar, but its name was changed after the Carnation Revolution (the transition to democracy in Portugal) on April 25, 1974.

Lisbon - April 25 BridgeFor a long period of time it was the only bridge over the Tagus in the city of Lisbon, because of it, it suffered a lot of traffic.

But thanks to the construction of the Vasco de Gama Bridge, traffic decreased drastically and today it has been left for urban use in Lisbon, Almada and various other towns.

The 25 de Abril bridge is quite popular to go to the beaches of Costa de Caparica, the best beaches in Lisbon.

Tourists can perfectly remind the shape of the bridge to the shape of the famous Golden Gate in San Francisco. This is because it was the same company that built the bridge. The best views of the bridge are from the Cristo Rei, on the Almada side.

You can enjoy crossing the bridge on foot. However only one day a year. The Lisbon half marathon passes through this bridge in March. Other minor races and simple walks are also organized on the bridge so that it can be crossed on foot.

The Vasco da Gama Bridge

Lisbon - Vasco de Gama BridgeThe Vasco de Gama Bridge was opened in 1998, coinciding with the Lisbon World Exposition. It is 17.2 kilometers long.

Due to its great length it is the longest bridge in Europe.

As a curiosity, on cloudy days you cannot see the other side.

The construction of this bridge was very necessary, since before this bridge there was only the 25 de Abril bridge. Thus, there are now two ways to cross the Tagus from Lisbon.

Lisbon - Park of NationsIts maximum height above the river is 155 meters and it is located in the Parque de las Naciones area. Thanks to this bridge, connections between the north and south of Portugal have been greatly facilitated, since if you go over the bridge you avoid traffic on the Lisbon ring road and travelers save a few kilometres.

Undoubtedly, the Vasco de Gama Bridge, named after the famous explorer, is one of the most impressive places to visit, as it is the longest bridge in Europe.

The two bridges have tolls to cross: 1.60 euros for class 1 cars on the 25 de Abril bridge and 2.60 euros on the Vasco de Gama bridge.

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