Capital of Portugal, Lisbon is the ideal starting point to start exploring this wonderful country. Fascinating, rich in history and art , with old neighborhoods and completely redeveloped areas, Lisbon deserves at least a weekend! Even if the historic center is quite small, the attractions to visit are not all close to each other, so you will necessarily have to use public transport , bus and train and above all tram, the latter now a real symbol of the city!
So let’s find out together how to get around Lisbon : info, costs and advice.

Useful tips
Lisbon is a very large city, with attractions not always close together. For this reason, moving only on foot can be difficult, also due to the many ups and downs present. You will therefore often find yourself using the excellent means of transport , first of all the tram and the metro! The use of the car is absolutely not recommended, it is better to rely on taxis or the Uber service with a special app.
If you plan to use the vehicles often, we recommend the Viva Viagem, the rechargeable card to take advantage of discounts on all vehicles and all journeys. It costs only € 0.50 and is valid for a whole year. We also recommend the purchase of the Lisbon Card for 24, 48 or 72 hours, which in addition to the entrance to various attractions and numerous discounts on affiliated activities, allows you to use transport for free for its entire duration.

  • Recommended solutions and means : tram, metro
  • Solutions and means not recommended : cars
  • City card and recommended passes : Lisbon Card (from € 20.00 – see details), day ticket for vehicles (from € 6.40)

How to get from the airport to the center of Lisbon
Lisbon is served by a single airport, the Lisbon-Portela Airport , located in the town of Portela de Sacavem, 10 km north of the center of the capital. It is well connected to Italy by several direct flights .
Once you land, you will have several optionsto reach the historic center and your accommodation. First of all the Aerobus, a shuttle service that connects the airport to the center with departures every 20 minutes from 7:30 to 23:00. It arrives in the center, in Cais de Sodre, near Praca do Commercio. Then you will find the metro, red line, active from 6:30 to 1:00 with departures every 10 minutes. Finally, you can use the taxis located outside the Arrivals Terminal, use only the official ones, or book a private transfer online before leaving.

Lisbon-Portela Airport

  • Distance from the center : 10 km / travel time: 20 min;
  • By metro : red line / ticket cost: € 1.45
  • By taxi : average cost € 15.00 / travel time: 20 min
  • By bus : average cost € 4.00 / Aerobus line
  • Private transfer: transfer to or from the airport

Getting around on foot
Lisbon is very extensive and not all attractions are close to each other, just think that the famous Belem Tower is located just over 7 km from Praca do Comercio, the heart of the center. You can walk around the individual neighborhoods and the entire historic center area, strolling along the majestic Rua Augusta and exploring the narrow streets of Alfama, the old quarter of Lisbon! Just as you can admire the Belem district on foot, but to reach it you will need to take a vehicle.

Little tip : Lisbon is all up and down, stairways, steep climbs, small pedestrian streets that alternate with roads with access to cars. Make sure you always wear comfortable shoesand to have a bottle of water with you especially if you visit the city in summer, when temperatures can be very high!

By public transport
More than a few times you will find yourself having to use public transport: either because you have to reach attractions far from the center, such as the Belem Tower, the wonderful Jeronimos Monastery (6.5 km from Praca do Comercio), or the LX Factory district (4 km from Praca do Comercio), or because after a day walking through the streets of the city you will be really exhausted from all the climbs.
The public transport system is very efficient and very widespread, covers all areas of the city! You can choose between trams, now a true symbol of Lisbon, metro and buses, but also funiculars and lifts, to reach the highest points of the city! Let’s see them all in detail. If you plan to use the vehicles often, we recommend that you have the Viva Viagem , the rechargeable card to take advantage of discounts on all vehicles. It costs € 0.50 and is valid for one year.

Tram
It is the symbol of Lisbon and some means are still those used in the 1930s. Surely getting on a Lisbon tram is an experience to live! There are 5 different lines, active from 6:00 to 23:00, with possible small variations for each single line. The most famous is the 28E, which crosses the entire Alfama district giving wonderful views, the others are the 12E, 15E (the best to reach Belem), 18E and 25E.
Trams and buses are managed by the same company, Carris. As for the fare system , the single ticket costs € 3.00 and can also be purchased on board, but you need to have the right money and it is not always feasible due to the many people present. The best solution is to equip yourself with the Viva Viagem and validate it every time you get on. Alternatively, you can buy the day ticket for € 6.40, which includes unlimited rides on the metro, tram and bus!

  • Downloadable map : official site
  • Hours: from 6:00 to 23:00
  • Ticket / single ride cost : € 3.00 on board
  • Cost of ticket booklet / season ticket : € 6.40 per day

Metro
Photo of IngolfBLN. It is the ideal way to travel long distances, as it is very fast , as well as being very clean and punctual! There are 56 stations and 4 lines : azul, amarilla, verde and roja. The service is active from 6:30 am to 1:00 am, the frequency varies from 4 min to 8 min depending on the line.
As for fares , the ticket for a single journey costs € 1.50 and can be purchased in the special automatic machines present at the stops. If in possession of the Viva Viagem, the single fare costs € 1.35. Alternatively, you can buy the day ticket for € 6.40, which includes unlimited rides on the metro, tram and bus!

  • Downloadable map : official site
  • Hours: from 6:30 to 1:00
  • Ticket cost / single journey: € 1.50; with Viva Viagem € 1.35
  • Cost of ticket booklet / season ticket : € 6.40 per day

Bus
The bus network covers the entire Lisbon area and until a few years ago, when the metro was still underdeveloped, they were the best way to get around, even from the airport. Today the urban system has 88 lines , 11 of which are nocturnal, with a total of 758 vehicles. Each line has its own timetable, but generally they are active from 6:00 until 21:00 or midnight, especially the most important lines have the last run around midnight.
Buses and trams are managed by the same company, Carris. Regarding the tariff system, the single ticket costs € 2.00 and can also be purchased on board, but you must always have the right money as the drivers do not always have the change to give. The best solution is to equip yourself with the Viva Viagem and validate it every time you get on. Alternatively, you can buy the day ticket for € 6.40, which includes unlimited rides on the metro, tram and bus!

  • Downloadable map : official site
  • Hours: 6:00 am to 9:00 pm or midnight
  • Ticket / single ride cost : € 2.00
  • Cost of ticket booklet / season ticket : € 6.40 per day

Funicular
It is a real means of transport, ideal for reaching the highest points of the city! They are indicated with the term Elevador and in all there are 3 lines : Elevador do Lavra, Elevador da Gloria and Elevador da Bica.
The Elevador do Lavra is the oldest in Lisbon and connects via Camara Pestana to Largo da Anunciada. The Elevador da Gloria is instead the most famous , it connects Praca dos Restauradores with Sao Pedro de Alcantara street. Finally, the Elevador de Bica runs along the Rua da Bica de Duarte Belo.

  • Hours: from 7:00 to 21:00
  • Ticket cost / single journey: € 2.90

By car

It is not a recommended way to visit Lisbon, on the contrary, it could get in the way ! This is because the streets in the center are narrow and trams also pass by, and there are many ups and downs that can make driving difficult. Not to mention the difficulty of finding a parking space or being stuck in the traffic of the city.
Lisbon has an excellent transport system, which will allow you to get wherever you want, renting a car just to get around would be expensive and stressful , rather we suggest using taxis or the Uber service, downloading the appropriate App.

Low Emission Zone
Lisbon is a Low Emission Zone(ZES), in Portuguese referred to as Reduzidas Emission Zone (ZER). A SEZ is a restricted traffic area where access to excessively polluting vehicles is denied, with the aim of improving air quality. In the case of Lisbon, the SEZ is in continuous development and currently the third phase is active , which provides for access in zone 1 to vehicles manufactured after 2000, in zone 2 those manufactured after 1996. The SEZ is active from Monday to Saturday from 7:00 to 21:00 and the area is constantly monitored by cameras that recognize the license plate.
You can find all the more detailed info and updates both on the road network (works in progress, accidents, construction sites, etc.) and on the SEZ on the official website of the city of Lisbon.

Stops and parking
Looking for a parking space in Lisbon is also not easy. If you arrive in the city by car, perhaps because you are engaged in an on the road in Portugal, we recommend that you stay in a hotel that offers its guests a parking service . So you can forget about the car while exploring the city.
However, if you decide to move around using your own vehicle, finding a parking space will be very complex. Free parking spaces are very few, it is estimated that there is a parking space available for every 4 cars, so you can use the paid parking lots. The cheaper ones are located on the outskirts of Lisbon and cost an average of € 3.80 for 4 hours (ie the maximum parking period). From there then you will still have to move by public transport. You can try to find a place in the red zone, which is the most central one of Lisbon, among the streets of the historic center, but here the prices go up to € 4.80 for two hours, and there are not always places available.

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