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Know Before You Go
- Lisbon is one of the best cities to visit if you are on a budget. Beers are as cheap as EUR 2, and you can find accommodation at a fraction of the price compared to other European destinations.
- One of the best ways for tourists to explore Lisbon is with the Lisboa City Pass. For EUR 18.50 you'll get free or discounted access to over 80 museums, sights and tours. Plus the pass covers all rides on the Metro, public buses, trams and the Elevadores.
- If you are a coffee lover, be mindful how you order your cup of joe. In Portugal, ordering a café will get you an espresso. If you want milk, ask for a meia de leite instead.
- On the first Sunday of each month, many museums which charge for entrance waive their fees. If you find yourself in Lisbon during this time, you can see famous sites like the Belem Tower, the National Museum of Archaeology and more for free!
Getting Around Lisbon
- Taxis are a cheap way to get around the city, as long as you make sure the meter is on. Fares start at EUR 2.50 for the first 500 feet and EUR 0.10 after that. If you feel like you are being cheated, you can either ask for a receipt or just use Uber to avoid any hassles.
- Lisbon's bus and tram systems are another way to get around. Bus fares start at EUR 1.80, and the tram is EUR 2.85 for a single journey. But one of the best ways to see Lisbon is with the city's elevators. These modes of transportation are a tourist attraction in their own right, and while they are usually crowded, a ride on one should not be missed. Tickets prices vary, but average around EUR 5.65 for two rides.
- One of the most convenient ways to get around Lisbon beyond downtown is with the city's metro system. A single trip costs EUR 1.40 and a day pass will set you back EUR 6.
- While it is possible to explore Lisbon by foot, your feet will be in for a workout. The city is famous for its steep hills, and the cobbled stones don't make the walk easy. Make sure you pack a good pair of walking shoes or switch to public transport when your stamina starts to run out.
- With an extensive public transport system, there is no reason to rent a car in Lisbon unless you are planning a day trip.
When is The Best Time to Visit Lisbon?
The best time to visit Lisbon is during its two shoulder seasons. From March to May and September to October, the temperatures are still warm, and the summer crowds have thinned out. Accommodation is also cheaper, but you will need to pack a raincoat and some extra layers for the changing temperatures.
Summer is the most popular time to visit the city. From June to August, Lisbon is flooded with tourists as the warm temperatures attract visitors from near and far. Expect hotel rates to be at their highest and the city's attractions to be swarming with crowds. But if you don't mind the higher prices, it's one of the best times of year to catch a tan on Lisbon's famous beaches.
Lisbon's winter months are a good time to visit if you are on a budget. From November to February, the heavier rainfall keeps the crowds at bay, but its winters are still quite pleasant compared to other European countries. Temperatures rarely fall below 10°C, and you'll be able to save with lower hotel rates and flights.
Airports in Lisbon
Lisbon Airport, also known as Humberto Delgado Airport, is 7 km from the city centre. It's the 25th largest airport in Europe and served over 20 million passengers in 2016. It's the main international gateway to Portugal and is a strategic hub for Brazil and Africa.
Getting To and From Lisbon Airport
If you plan on taking public transport from the airport into the city centre, you'll need a Viva Viagem electronic card. It costs EUR 0.50 for the travel card, and it can be used for both the metro and the bus network.
The metro has a direct line from Lisbon airport to the city centre. It will take 20 minutes to reach downtown, and a single journey costs EUR 1.40.
If you want to take the bus, several lines stop at the airport. However, there is a baggage restriction, and you can't board if your bag is larger than 50x40x20 cm. A one-way fare into the city is EUR 1.80.
The Aerobus is another option available to passengers who arrive late at night or early in the morning. The bus runs 24 hours a day and stops near some of the major hotels in the city as well as connecting hubs like the bus terminal and train stations. A one-way ticket cost EUR 4 and a return is EUR 6.
Taxis are outside the departure and arrival terminals. While the city centre is close by, the taxi drivers at the airport are notorious for trying to rip off travellers. Either make sure the meter is on or call an Uber if you want to avoid any hassles. An UberX into town will cost anywhere from EUR 7-15 depending on your final destination.