Vasco Da Gama Bridge Lisbon

Welcome to my comprehensive tourist guide to the Ponte Vasco da Gama Bridge in Lisbon!

As the longest bridge in Portugal, stretching over 17 km, this engineering marvel is a must-visit destination for any traveler.

In this guide, I will explore everything you need to know about the bridge, from its history and design to the best ways to experience it during your visit to Lisbon.

So, let’s dive in and discover the wonders of the Ponte Vasco da Gama Bridge!

Vasco Da Gama Bridge History

Ponte Vasco da Gama Map

The Vasco da Gama Bridge stretches on the south bank of the Tagus River from Parque das Nações to Alcochete and Montijo.

The Vasco da Gama bridge, which opened in 1998 in time for Expo 98, is named after the famous navigator and explorer Vasco da Gama, who played a significant role during Portugal’s Age of Discovery.

The bridge’s planning stage took 18 months and another 18 months to build. The bridge was constructed in four sections, each by a different construction company, namely:

  • Kvaerner Technology
  • Europe Etudes Gecti (EEG)
  • Consultores para Obras Barragens e Planeamento (COBA)
  • Projectos de Pontes e Estruturas Especiais (Proponte).

The total cost of constructing the bridge was US$1.1 billion, with financing split between Portuguese (50.4%), British (24.8%), and French (24.8%) investors.

The bridge’s construction incorporates technology to withstand earthquakes, such as the catastrophic 1755 Lisbon Earthquake and strong winds.

Additionally, the bridge’s foundations are designed to withstand the impact of a 30,000-ton ship traveling at 12 knots. The bridge is projected to last for 120 years.

The Ponte Vasco da Gama is administered by Lusoponte, which operates the Ponte 25 de Abril Bridge spanning over the Tagus from Alcântara to Almada and the statue of Cristo Rei.

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Tourist Information Ponte Vasco da Gama

Ponte-Vasco-da-Gama-Bridge

The Ponte Vasco da Gamage is the A12 expressway crossing Tejo Estuary in the east-west direction.

As with the 25 de Abril Bridge, a notable feature is that it has lanes of traffic with no footpaths, so you cannot cross the bridge on foot or cycle. Still, there is an option:

Walking Across the Entire Bridge

While you cannot cross the bridge, a walkway separates pedestrians from cars, so you can enjoy the breathtaking views without worrying about traffic.

Cycling Across the Bridge

Cycling-Lisbon

If you enjoy cycling, you can safely cross the bridge using the cycling lane separated by horrendous traffic. While it is a challenging ride, the bird’s-eye view is magnificent.

Vasco Da Gama Bridge Viewing Platforms 

If you want clearer views of the surrounding areas, you can head to any viewing platform on the bridge.

Hot Tip🔥: For stunning views of the length of the bridge, I recommend heading to Lisboa Parque das Naçoes.

Vasco Da Gama Bridge Tolls

It is a bridge for transportation and has toll fees when heading west into Lisbon. You need not pay toll fees when heading east out of Lisbon; it helps with traffic issues.

The toll fees on the Ponte Vasco da Gama are €2.85 for cars, € 6.80 for vans, and € 6.80 for campervans.

You can pay cash or use your debit card 💳 to pay the fees at the toll booths. The toll fees for a car are also more expensive (€2.85) than the 25 de Abril of €1.90.

Alternatively, you can use the “Via Verde” to pay for toll expressways automatically. You attach the transponder to your windscreen linked to your bank account.

The Ponte Vasco Da Gama has less traffic than the Ponte Abril 25 Bridge, making it an excellent option for travelers from southern regions like Setubal.

So, the cable-style bridge remains an excellent option for entering or leaving Lisbon. While it is not a public bridge for walking, you can visit the base at the northern end of Parque das Nações or use the separate pedestrian walkway.

You will find an ultra-modern district with incredible sights and attractions here.

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Traveling to Vasco Da Gama Bridge

Lisboa Airport Metro

To get to the bridge, the closest metro is the red line at Moscavide. Exiting the station, you can walk towards the river to see the Vasco da Gama Tower.

From here, the bridge is a short walk away, and you can get a close-up view of it expanding across the river.

Alternatively, you can take another train at Orient Station and walk to the waterfront promenade towards the bridge.

Nearby Attractions

Near the bridge, you will find many attractions within walking distance.

Pump Track and Skatepark

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Below the bridge is a pump track and skatepark, which stands over Parque do Tejo. People walk their dogs, cycle, jog, and play soccer here.

Near the boardwalk is a miniature replica of Catherine of Braganza’s colossal statue. She was a Portuguese princess who became the queen of England.

A larger statue was planned to be erected in New York but was never completed due to protests from the African-American community.

They objected to Catherine’s family’s ties to the slave trade.

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Oceanario De Lisboa

Oceanario-de-Lisboa

Oceanario de Lisboa is a famous oceanarium in Lisbon, Portugal. It’s the largest indoor aquarium in Europe and is renowned for its location and exhibition grounds. Home to penguins, seagulls, and other birds, it’s a must-visit for nature lovers.

Parque Das Nacoes

Parque das Nacoes, located in a redeveloped area on the Tagus River, is a beloved tourist destination. Its lush green forests attract many visitors.

The park has many attractions, including the vast Lisbon Oceanarium, beautiful green spaces, and striking contemporary buildings like the Camões Theatre.

In addition to these attractions, the area’s trendy and modern waterfront restaurants are also a favorite of families who come to enjoy fine dining.

Hot Tip🔥: Check out some of these other great spots to enjoy a picnic in Lisbon

Shop at Vasco Da Gama Mall

If you love shopping and are in Lisbon, visit the Vasco da Gama Shopping Centre.

This multilevel mall is filled with national and international retailers, delicious eateries, and even a cinema for entertainment.

Don’t forget to check out the local gift items available for purchase.

Visit Altice Arena

Altice Arena, located in Lisbon, Portugal, is a large indoor arena with a capacity of 20,000 people.

It was built in 1998 for Expo ’98 and is one of the largest indoor arenas in the European Union, making it a popular tourist attraction.

Visit this serene location with your family and friends to enjoy quality time in a peaceful environment.

Lisbonne Ame & Secrets

To create a distinctive and unparalleled experience, you should plan to visit Lisbonne Ame & Secrets. Away from the masses, Lisbon has an abundance of hidden gems and undiscovered sights.

To truly appreciate Lisbon’s charm, some of its attractions offer a unique opportunity to escape the chaos of the city and immerse yourself in the heart of the most picturesque neighborhoods.

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Wrap-Up: Ponte Vasco da Gama Bridge

The Ponte Vasco da Gama Bridge in Lisbon is a remarkable engineering accomplishment and a symbol of modernity in Portugal’s capital.

As a vital link connecting Lisbon to the southern regions of Portugal, the bridge serves as a practical transportation route. It offers visitors a stunning panoramic view of the Tagus River and the surrounding landscapes.

With its impressive length and sleek design, it invites you to explore its architectural marvel and discover the rich cultural heritage of Lisbon and its surroundings.

Frequently Asked Questions

To get to Vasco da Gama Bridge, you can take the A12 highway if you are coming from the north or south. If you are already in Lisbon, you can take the A2 highway and follow the signs to the bridge. Additionally, you can take public transport, such as buses or trains, to the area near the bridge. I hope this helps!

The Vasco da Gama bridge in Lisbon, Portugal, is the longest in Europe, spanning 17.2 km. It was named after the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama and opened publicly in 1998. The bridge was built to alleviate traffic congestion and provide a direct link between the north and south of Portugal, taking 18 months to construct at a cost of around 1 billion euros.

The famous gate in Lisbon is called the “Arc de Triomphe” or “Arco da Rua Augusta.” It was built in the 18th century and is located in the Praça do Comércio square, one of the city’s main landmarks. This beautiful arch features intricate sculptures and stunning views of Lisbon’s historic downtown area.

The Golden Gate Bridge is bigger than the Lisbon Bridge. The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge in San Francisco, California, while the 25 de Abril Bridge in Lisbon, Portugal, is a suspension and cable-stayed bridge. The Golden Gate Bridge has a total length of 8,981 feet (2,737 meters), while the Lisbon Bridge has a total length of 7,710 feet (2,350 meters).

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