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Lisbon Travel Guide

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The capital city of Portugal, Lisbon, is a colorful, vibrant city on the western Iberian Peninsula. Predating most European capitals, Lisbon was founded almost three millennia ago. The city is known for its iconic architecture and rich, seafood-based cuisine.

Country:

Portugal

Region:

Lisbon Region

Language:

Portuguese

Average Temperature:

17.4 °C (63.3 °F)

Climate:

Mediterranean

Vegetation:

Grasslands

Time Zone:

GMT

Phone Code:

+351

Currency:

Euro

Plug Type:

Type F

Lisbon is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Western Europe and is visited by over 1.5 million tourists every year.

Where is Lisbon?

Sitting at the mouth of the Tagus River, Lisbon is located on the country's western coast and lies on seven hills. The city is surrounded by the prominent settlements of Cascais in the west, Sintra in the northwest, and Setúbal in the south.

Lisbon is also known as the westernmost capital in mainland Europe.

How to Get to Lisbon

The fastest and most convenient way to get to Lisbon is by air. Pegasus Airlines offers various direct and connecting flight options to Lisbon from hundreds of destinations worldwide.

Another way to get to Lisbon is by land, which might be more expensive, lengthy, and inconvenient than flying - especially if you are from a non-European country.

You can check our cheapest flights to Lisbon page.

Transportation from Humberto Delgado Airport to the City Center

You can travel from Humberto Delgado Airport to the city center through three different modes of transportation: taxi, metro, and bus. If your hotel provides a free airport shuttle, that might be a great option, as you might be too tired to deal with public transportation after your flight.

Taxi is the fastest way to get around in Lisbon. It's also very affordable compared to most European cities. You can get to the city center by taxi after a 20-minute journey and for about €12.50. It might cost a tad more at nighttime, around €15.

The metro is also a fast and affordable option. You can get to the city center after a 20-minute journey for only €4 by metro. Taking the bus is even cheaper, with a €3 price for a single ticket. However, a bus ride to the city center from the airport usually lasts 40 minutes, making it inconvenient after a tiring flight.

Public Transport in Lisbon

Lisbon boasts a developed public transportation that allows you to get around the city effortlessly. Buses connect every part of the city, allowing you to follow your itinerary easily. Also, there are various tram lines that offer a scenic and convenient way to get around.

The metro system of Lisbon is also quite affordable and convenient, taking you to your destination within minutes. Besides being the fastest transportation method, Lisbon's metro is one of Europe's most well-kept metro systems.

Besides, since Lisbon is a walkable city, you can get to most attractions without using any type of public transportation.

Best Time to Visit Lisbon

The best time to visit Lisbon is summer, between June and August. You can enjoy the city's beaches and majestic scenery better. However, since Portugal is a popular tourist destination, it can be a bit crowded in summer.

Spring and fall, on the other hand, might be more suitable if you seek a serene getaway. From March to May and from September to October, the weather in Lisbon is still warm, and the streets are not as crowded as in the peak season.

Although winter in Lisbon is wet and cold, you can always go on a winter expedition to discover the city's lesser-known charm.

Lisbon Festivals

Lisbon loves celebrating stuff! Here are the most popular festivals in the city:

  • New Year’s Concert (1 January)
  • Carnival (February)
  • Meia Maratona de Lisboa (Lisbon Half Marathon – March)
  • Indie Lisboa Film Festival (April)
  • Peixe am Lisboa (Fish in Lisbon – April)
  • Dias da Música (Music Days – April)
  • Rock in Rio Lisboa Music Festival (May)
  • Santos Populares (Popular Saints – June)
  • NOS Alive Music and Arts Festival (July)
  • Festival ao Largo Music Festival (July)
  • BaixAnima Music and Theater Festival (July)
  • Jazz em Agosto Music Festival (August)
  • Festival dos Oceanos Cultural Event (August)
  • Santa Casa Alfama Festival (September)
  • MOTELx International Horror Film Festival (September)
  • Lisbon Marathon (October)
  • DocLisboa Documentary Festival (October)
  • Lisbon & Estoril Film Festival (November)

How many days do I need to discover Lisbon?

A three-day journey is all you need to discover most attractions in Lisbon. Since the city is walkable and the public transportation is convenient, you can get around fast without wasting much time. If you are in a hurry, even two days are enough to see the most important sights.

What to See in Lisbon?

Lisbon is a great city with something to discover at every corner. Below, you can find the city's most popular attractions and add them to your itinerary.

Jerónimos Monastery

A former monastery near the Tagus River, Jéronimos Monastery is a must-see attraction in Lisbon. The structure boasts unique architecture and magnificent scenery.

Belém Tower

Known as the Tower of Saint Vincent, Belém Tower is a 16th-century fortification in Lisbon that played a significant role in the Portuguese exploration of the New World.

Lisbon Oceanarium

A massive oceanarium that hosts over a million people every year, Lisbon Oceanarium is home to 16,000 individual marine organisms of 450 species.

Immersivus Gallery Lisbon

Immersivus Gallery is a multi-sensory digital art gallery where you can see the impressive works of famous artists, including Frida Kahlo, Monet, Klimt, and many more.

São Jorge Castle

Located in the freguesia of Santa Maria Maior, São Jorge Castle is a historic castle with a rich history. You can add this landmark to your itinerary to discover Lisbon's past.

Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology

MAAT (Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology) is one of the most famous museums in Portugal. The museum sits on the Tagus River to the west of the city center. The museum usually displays the works of contemporary artists focusing on current issues and modern topics.

National Coach Museum

The National Coach Museum is one of the most visited museums in Lisbon. The museum displays various historical carriages in the world and boasts a unique collection of vehicles.

Places to Stay in Lisbon

As a touristic city, Lisbon offers many accommodation options for travelers. You can choose among luxury hotels, cheap hostels, affordable homestays, and thrilling camp areas. In Lisbon, there is an option for every budget and preference. Of course, you should always make your reservation in advance as Lisbon hotels usually sell out very quickly.

What to Eat in Lisbon?

Besides its historical landmarks and colorful attractions, Lisbon is a delicious city with a rich cuisine. Here are the most popular dishes in the city:

  • Grilled sardine: Portuguese have lots of delicious, sophisticated recipes. However, some of their best dishes are actually simple ones. For example, charcoal-grilled sardine is a popular dish in Lisbon. They eat grilled sardines, even on the beach or during cultural festivals.
  • Polvo à Lagareiro: A recipe traditionally made with cod, à lagareiro is a cooking style Portuguese use in much of their cuisine. Polvo à Lagareiro is basically polvo, octopus, first boiled, then grilled and drizzled with olive oil and garlic. This dish usually comes with smashed - literally - potatoes, known as batatas a murro.
  • Cod: Bacalhau - codfish - is one of the most significant elements of Portuguese cuisine. Almost all regions in Portugal have their own version of the salted cod dish. Nevertheless, Lisbon's Bacalhau à Bràs, cod with onions and potatoes bound with eggs, is a must-try for every culinary explorer.
  • Caldo verde: The most popular soup in Lisbon is caldo verde. The main ingredients of this nutrient soup are kale, pureed potatoes, and bits of chorizo. Caldo verde is also the best option for finishing a night out.
  • Pastel de nata: The famous Portuguese custard tart, pastel de nata, is a delicious snack everyone should try. The main ingredients of this tasty delicacy are egg yolks, milk, and sugar.

If you seek a place to eat in Lisbon, you can visit Lisboa Tu e Eu, Sol e Pesca, or A Parreirinha do Paraíso for seafood. Adega das Gravatas is known for its delicious Polvo à Lagareiro.

For pastel de nata, you can visit Manteigaria, Castro, Pastéis de Belém or Fábrica da Nata.

Best Souvenirs from Lisbon

Purchasing cool souvenirs is the best part of visiting a new place. Some great memento ideas from Lisbon are:

  • Cork products, such as bags, shoes, or purses,
  • Prime quality Portuguese olive oil,
  • Sardine magnets,
  • Sardine can,
  • Pastel de nata,
  • Auzlejos, or hand-painted tiles,
  • Ginjinha cherry liquor.

Must-Know Info

Here are some tips you can use during your trip to Lisbon:

  • Lisbon can be too crowded during summer, and finding a parking lot in the city center becomes an ordeal. So, using public transportation might be more convenient than renting a car in the peak season.
  • As Lisbon is built on seven hills, you will climb hills and stairs when getting around. So, bringing comfy shoes is a must.
  • Lisbon is a popular tourist destination, and most people can speak decent English. However, it might come in handy to learn some Portuguese phrases.
  • Don't forget to make a reservation before visiting touristy places and businesses.
  • You may want to have some cash on you when going out, as most places in Lisbon do not accept credit card payments.

Nightlife in Lisbon

If you are looking for a place to spend crazy nights, Lisbon might be the perfect destination. The city has a vibrant nightlife with many nightclubs, bars, and pubs. Bairro Alto, Parque das Nações, and Cais de Sodré are three of the city's most lively districts where you can have a crazy night.

Lisbon Emergency Numbers

Here are some emergency numbers that might come in hand during your trip to Lisbon:

  • Emergency Services - Police, Ambulance, Fire Service – 112
  • Forest Fires – 117
  • Directory Inquiries – 118
  • Operator Assisted International Calls – 171
  • Lost Credit Cards - VISA/Mastercard – 800 811 272
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