Lifestyle & Culture

Miriam Thaler in Lisbon: These are my favorite bouldering gyms when I need to feel rough rock between my fingers

Before moving to Lisbon I lived for many years in Munich, where, being so close to the Alps, mountain sports are a passionate pastime for many. Almost inevitably rock climbing and bouldering became one of my favorite hobbies. Now I live in Lisbon whose hilly topography is only a weak reminder of the mountainous backdrop that had marked my life for so long.

There are times when not even the sight of Lisbon’s blue skies or the shimmering waters of the Tagus can distract me from the longing to feel the rough rock between my fingers.

It is in these moments that I feel lucky for Lisbon’s three indoor rock climbing/ bouldering gyms that can offer some solace.

Also note that most climbing facilities also offer outdoor rock climbing trips to areas near Lisbon.


The first option is Vertigo, located in an industrial area in the suburb Marvila in between warehouses along the Tagus. Though accessible by public transport (the nearest train station is Braço de Prata and there are also buses), if you are on your own and visiting after dusk, you might want to go by car as the area gets quite deserted and dark.

The 420 meter2 gym offers different routes for different levels and if you feel like you deserve a little snack after your workout, you can sit down at their small bar. The normal entrance fee is 8 euros and you can save a little within their happy hour(s) on work days from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., when you only have to pay 6 euros.

Climbing shoes for rent are 4 euros.

Vertigo also offers weekend outdoor rock climbing trips.

Opening Hours:
Monday to Friday: 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Sunday and Holidays: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Avenida Infante D. Henrique
Edíficio Beira Rio, Fracção S
1950-408 Lisbon
+351 211 320 947
+351 967 890 179
[email protected]

Climb UP

The second option to get a workout on the rocks is in Carnaxide in Climb UP. It is also located in a not so charming industrial area. You can get there by bus, but if you do have the opportunity to go by car, you might want to consider doing that. This is the newest and fanciest of the three gyms and with its high walls, it feels extremely airy. It also offers a beautiful workout space with weights and other exercise equipment.

The entrance fee is 6 euros until 4 pm during working days and 7 euros otherwise. It is also possible to rent climbing/bouldering shoes for 3 euros.

Climb UP also offer classes.

Opening Hours:

Monday-Friday: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Saturday, Sunday and Holidays: 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Climb Up Climbing Center
Rua Nossa Senhora da Conceição, 3
2790 – 111 Carnaxide

Vertical Wall

Last but not least, my personal go-to den: Vertical Wall in Odivelas. Out of the three, I find it the most accessible by public transport since it is reachable by a short walk from the metro station Senhor Roubado. Again, not the most charming part of town, but that’s not what we are here for.

This gym is, in my opinion, a very down-to-earth and cozy option. If you are not a seasoned climber yet, it offers a wide array of routes to practice your moves. But also those more experienced will find their challenges.

It also has a small workout area with some equipment.

The entrance fee is 7 euros. Shoes for rent cost 3 euros. You can also rent crash pads for going bouldering outdoors or book outdoor group activities.

Opening Hours:

Monday- Friday: 2 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Saturday: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Sunday and holidays: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Rua de Angola, Edifício Lobo, 1º Frente
2620-036 Olival do Basto
Lisboa , Portugal

About the author:

Miriam Thaler is a PhD student in Culture Studies in Lisbon. Exploring foreign places and getting to know different people, their stories, ways of life and worldviews has always been her passion. After finishing school she lived and worked as a volunteer for one year in the South of Chile.

Her B.A. in Cultural Anthropology brought her to Munich and Paris. Iceland called her during her Masters for an ethnographic research stay and the shooting of a documentary. 

See more pf Mariam’s posts here.

Read more about Lisbon – including the restaurant scene – here in Dispatches’ archives.

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