Whether it’s your first time in Lisbon, your second or any other… here I have compiled a list of useful tips after my recent trip to Lisbon that I am sure you will find very useful, no matter how well you have prepared your trip!
But before I get to the tips, I can’t resist saying a few words about the beautiful Lisbon, one of the oldest and most beautiful cities in Europe. Lisbon shines. Literally. The seven hills on which it is built form a huge natural amphitheatre that collects and reflects the light… It is the combination of all the factors – geographical, topographical, architectural, historical and meteorological – that give Lisbon its “brightness” and make it unique among European cities!
1.Choose the hop on hop off buses
See Lisbon and its sights easily and comprehensively with the hop on hop off buses. The Torre De Belem, the boot-shaped tower on the banks of the Tagus River and the majestic Hieronymite Monastery, and the 2 Unesco World Heritage Sites are definitely worth a stop.
2. Lisbon is a magical city… Walk it!
Tour the Bairro Alto & Chiado neighbourhoods. Get to Alfama, the medieval Arab quarter with its aristocratic glamour… Uphill, downhill, labyrinthine 16th century alleys, yellow trams, tuk tuks, quaint little shops, traditional taverns, atmospheric Lisbon is the perfect setting for a Hollywood production!
3. Be sure to get a travel card for your transportation
Individual tickets are very expensive, e.g. a single trip on the yellow tram costs €3. On the contrary, we who bought the 72-hour hop on hop off card (€22), in addition to the rides, with the same ticket we could use the metro, the yellow tram and the green buses, and had free entry (or a discount) to some attractions, including the Santa Justa lift.
4. Take the Santa Justa lift
Please take the Santa Justa lift. The panoramic view from so high up (45 m) is breathtaking. It’s worth the queue to get into the vintage, gothic-style elevator that will take you to the top (it has a capacity of 25 people). The ticket costs €5.5/person, and if you arrive and want to climb the last staircase you’ll pay an extra €2 per person, but it’s definitely worth it once you’ve made it that far!
5. Get on the popular yellow trams
Lisbon’s famous yellow trams
It’s an experience. They are as vintage and as picturesque as they look! And they move a lot!
6. It’s a nice experience to ride the tuk tuks
Tuk tuk Lisbon
But know beforehand that they are overrated. You can use them to tour the city (there are specific routes) but they also act as taxis to take you to your destination. However, for us, from the centre of Lisbon for a distance of about 6-7 km, the driver charged us €10…per person.
7. The taxis are relatively inexpensive.
You can comfortably use them in your travels, especially to the airport where you will go not only relaxed but also very economical. Because our return flight was very early in the morning we booked a taxi through the hotel, which was waiting for us in the morning right at the entrance and we paid only €17! (at the hotel when we booked the taxi)
8. Eat fish and seafood
Lisbon is famous for its fresh fish and seafood, which, in addition to the menus, is also on display in restaurant windows.
They are particularly popular in Lisbon and, of course, cod. It is even said that the Portuguese have 365 different recipes (one for each day of the year) for their national dish! Fresh seafood and good food can be found in many of the city’s traditional tavernas that may not at first glance “fill your eye” with their old-fashioned style and “old-fashioned” ambience.
9. Try the notorious tinned fish (of all sorts of fish – including cod – and seafood)
Lisbon canned food
At Consrveira de Lisboa, one of the most popular shops with the notorious canned food!
You’ll find a huge variety of them in the colourful themed shops. They are very expensive but once you’re there, it’s a shame not to try or pick up on the way out. On average you will pay €10 for one! They will be offered on a baguette in the form of a small tapas to try. I have to say that the taste of them, is excellent.
Taxis in Lisbon are plentiful.
Always have a taxi rank at popular places and the lisbon airport
Taxis are abundant and fairly priced in Lisbon. If you can’t hail one, try the ranks at Rossio and Praça dos Restauradores, or contact Rádio Táxis or Cooptáxis.
The daytime flagfall fare should read €3.25 on the meter. You’ll be charged an additional 20% for travels between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., as well as more if they cross municipalities or if you phone. Taxis in Lisbon have a well-deserved bad reputation for ripping off tourists (the airport route is the worst offender; avoid issues by using a ride-share service or booking a prepaid cab through Ask Me Lisboa).
Follow the route on Google Maps or another app, and if you suspect you’ve been duped, ask for a receipt from the driver, write down the registration number, and notify the tourist police.
Uber (www.uber.com), Cabify (www.cabify.com), 99Taxis (www.99taxis.com), Taxify (www.taxify.eu), and MyTaxi (https://pt.mytaxi.com) are among the lisbon airport taxi applications and ride-sharing services accessible.