Vasco da Gama Bridge

This elegant cable-stay bridge is one of the longest in Europe and is flanked by the green spaces and entertainments of Parque das Nacoes on one side.

Vasco de Gama is one of the longest bridges in Europe. The huge overpass crosses the River Tagus for 10 miles (17 kilometers) from Lisbon to the municipality of Montijo. 

The bridge was named after the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama, who discovered the sea route to India in the 15th century. It’s so long that the bridge’s architects had to account for the curvature of the earth in its construction. It was built to ease the congested traffic south of Lisbon and was completed for the opening of the World Fair in 1998.

More than 3,000 people and four engineering companies were involved in completing the bridge, with a different engineering firm hired to handle four different sections. It was finished within 18 months. 

Enjoy views of the River Tagus and the Vasco da Gama Bridge from the viewing platform of the 575-foot (145-meter) high Vasco da Gama Tower. The tower is the tallest skyscraper in Lisbon and is shaped like a sail. Bars, gelatarias and restaurants line the waterfront nearby. Shop for perfume, fashion and accessories at the Vasco da Gama shopping center. 

Make the most of Lisbon’s great weather with a cruise along the river. Take a sailing lesson or rent a canoe to paddle under the bridge. 

Enjoy more views of the bridge from the Parque das Nacoes, one of the most modern areas in Lisbon. The park showcases striking contemporary architecture, from the Oriente train station with its tree-like glass and steel canopy to the Portugal Pavilion, which has a concrete roof shaped like a ship’s sail. Volcano-shaped fountains decorate the park. 

Reach the Vasco da Gama Bridge and surrounding attractions via metro. A cable car and miniature train connect the attractions in the Parque das Nacoes.

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