Not only Lisbon, but Portugal as a whole is being sought out not only by tourists but also by people who are going to live, work and seek a better quality of life in this lovely country.
And who does not want to live in a city where the sun appears for more than 290 days a year?
When my friends and I went to Lisbon, it was July, so the city was booming because it is school holidays in Europe, summer is on the peak and everyone is in search of the sun and enjoy their days of rest.
But if you think you’re going to rest, you’re very much mistaken. I do not remember I’ve ever walked in any city here in Europe as much as in Lisbon.
Most of the tourist attractions are walking distance and you will walk, walk and walk … You will be going up and downhill, and when you think that what you are looking for is close, you will come across a staircase that you will have to climb like “a zillion” steps, but then you will be in a little square, a nice street, an incredible view and such.
But all that walking is worth it, as the city is very rich in history, although in my opinion it is not as well maintained compared to other capitals here in Europe. Perhaps some of the attractions or facades could be better preserved and/or repaired, but even then, there is no doubt of the charm and beauty of the city.
Despite almost everything is done on foot, depending on where your accommodation is located, you will need to purchase a ticket for public transport.
There are basically two options:
– Viva Viagem and 7 Colinas: a card that costs € 0.50 on the first purchase and then you top-up it according to your preference of value. You can use it in the tube, bus, tram, funicular or any other means of transport, such as Elevador da Bica, Elevador da Glória, Elevador do Lavra, Elevador de Santa Justa, etc.
Single tickets cost €1.50 per trip with the use of this card, but if the ticket is paid at the time of boarding, it will cost €2.85, so it is useful to buy the card. Or if you want, you can buy a daily pass at the cost of €6.40 (by toping-up your card).
The Elevador da Glória, Bica and Lavra cost €3.60, which allows you to make two trips, one way up and one way down.
You can buy the Viva Viagem Card in the train and tube stations and also in some newsagents and it is valid for 1 year. Just be careful and buy the green card, not the white one, because the white does not include the tube, okay?
– Lisbon Card: there are the 24-hour passes (adult €20 and child €13), 48-hours (adult €34 and child €19) and 72-hours (adult €42 and child €22.50). The use of this card allows unlimited access to tubes, trams, buses or trains.
The Lisbon Card also includes entrance to some tourist attractions such as the Tower of Belém, the Jerónimos Monastery, the City Museum and discount in other attractions, like the Castle of St. George, the Monument of the Discoveries, as well as discounts in some stores. You can buy it online, and as soon as you arrive in the city, you have to get the card. The card is valid from the first use.
More information here: https://www.lisboacard.org/en/
– The Tram 28 is the best way to see some of the tourist attractions, passing through many of the most beautiful streets of the city and crossing the neighbourhood of Graça, Alfama, Baixa and Chiado. Bear in mind that because this tram is very popular, it can get quite crowded and we only got inside after almost an hour of waiting.
The beginning of it is at Praça Martim Moniz, which is near Praça dos Restauradores and Praça do Rossio. The tour takes about 40 minutes.
– Another line that is used by tourists is 15E. Its route begins in Praça da Figueira and crosses the city centre, making a stop in front of the Arch of Augusta Street and then goes to the Belém district, with a stopover next to the famous Pastéis de Belém bakery and another one next to the Tower of Belém.
– Electricity is 230 volts, 50Hz. And the sockets used are those of two round pins. But I always advise you to have a universal adapter to use in any country in the world (just do not use the hairdryer on it as it will blow up).
– Buy the Lisboa Eat & Shop: This card is valid for 72 hours and offers discounts between 10% and 20% in more than 30 restaurants, as well as different prices in more than 100 stores. Once you arrive at the restaurant, let the staff know that you have the card. The card costs €6 and you get a 50% discount when you buy it with the Lisboa Card.
How to get from the airport to the centre of Lisbon?
The fastest and most economical option is the metro.
The airport is at the end of the red line. Depending on your destination, there are two quick ways to get to the historic centre:
– Airport – Blue Line: follow the red line until the last station, S. Sebastião (where is El Corte Inglés). Change to the blue line (towards Santa Apolónia) and get off at the station that best suits you (Avenida, Restauradores, Baixa-Chiado, Terreiro do Paço and Santa Apolónia, as all are already part of the historical centre).
– Airport – Green Line: follow the red line to Alameda station. Change to the green line (towards Cais do Sodré). You can drop off at Martim Moniz, Rossio, Baixa-Chiado and Cais do Sodré.
Where to shop?
Centro Comercial Colombo is considered one of the best malls in Europe with more than 400 stores. The mall is in the Carnide neighbourhood, next to the Estádio da Luz.
El Corte Inglés is a department store where you will find women’s and men’s clothing, beauty products, electronics, etc. It is located at Av. António Augusto de Aguiar, 31. You can arrive through São Sebastião Station (Blue Line and Red Line).
Centro Vasco da Gama is located in the Parque das Nações, a posh area of Lisbon. It has more than 170 stores, 6 cinemas, etc. Address: Av. D. João II, 40, and can reach by the Oriente station (Red line).
Outlet Freeport is the largest outlet in Europe with more than 150 stores such as Burberry, Calvin Klein, Diesel, Guess, Versace, Adidas, Levi’s and many other brands. The outlet is 30 minutes from the centre of Lisbon, and you have to go by car or take a bus that leaves from Praça Marques de Pombal and costs €10. Address: Avenida Euro 2004, 2890-154 – Alcochete.
Where to stay?
We stayed at the “Hotel Expo Astoria” near Marquês de Pombal and it was great, as it was well located, close to the tube station and also, because we had no breakfast included, there was a bakery nearby, the “Confeitaria Marques de Pombal”, with a considerable variety of Portuguese delicacies.
Tip: as Portugal is a relatively cheap country, it’s worth it to eat at some bakery instead of paying around €10 – €15 per person at the hotel’s breakfast. Trust me!
Unfortunately, I can not say where it is best to stay as it all depends on the amount you want to pay per night, the location you wanna be and so on.
But I’ve previously written on how to find a hotel according to your priorities. Just click here.
Well, I think I have prolonged myself a lot, but I hope you have clarified most of your doubts and that the tips are of great value for your trip.
My next post will be about the tourist attractions in Lisbon. Be sure to read it!
And if you have any questions, just leave a comment below or send me an email, okay?
Enjoy your holiday!
This post is also available in: Português