Lisbon is frequently skipped over in favor of its more well-known European counterparts, but this Portuguese gem is the perfect destination for a charming, laid-back holiday. The city itself is built on a series of seven large hills, which gives it a very unique topography to its winding streets and alleys, and it features some of the most vibrant and colorful buildings that you can see in western Europe.
This topography also gives the city some incredibly unique transportation needs, requiring not only transportation through the streets and alleyways but also up and down the various changes in elevation as well. This unconventional navigation can be intimidating for those visiting from much flatter locations, but it doesn’t mean that getting around is going to be difficult, just a new challenge.
If you’re going to be visiting Lisbon you may be wondering what the best ways are of getting around the city. Rest assured there are plenty of options for getting around that won’t break the budget, and all of them have their specific usefulness. Drop your bags off at one of the many options for luggage storage Lisbon has, and get ready to see the city in style, here are the best ways to get around Lisbon.
Private Vehicles & Rentals
While you can certainly hire private drivers or rent a personal vehicle while you’re in Lisbon, this is probably best left for day trips to surrounding areas or during off-peak season visits. If you do decide that you want personal access to a vehicle, be aware from the start that traffic, as well as parking, can be incredibly difficult. Rentals can be obtained from kiosks at the airport or from rental offices in the center of the city.
Taxi & Uber
For getting anywhere in the city relatively quickly your best bet is going to be a taxi or an Uber driver. While a taxi is going to be more expensive, they will both get you stuck in traffic if the time is right. Taxis also have a habit of trying to charge tourists more, so if you are taking a cab, be sure to follow the route on your GPS, and report them to the tourist police if there are any problems. In addition to uber, there are other ridesharing services available as well.
Walking is one of the most popular and effective ways to see the city, as long as you’re ready for a workout going up and down the hilly streets. By hopping on the two-shoe express you’ll be able to see some of the best sights that Lisbon has to offer, and you won’t ever need to worry about navigating the winding streets or finding somewhere to park.
Make sure you bring some comfortable walking shoes and be sure you stay hydrated and nourished because you will need your energy. There are some areas like Alfama and Bairro Alto that are several miles outside the normal tourist area, so when going to locations like these public transportation is usually best.
While Lisbon has an extensive public transport system, it is incredibly complicated for those who aren’t locals. Luckily, however, there are some apps you can download to help you seamlessly navigate the various metro lines and corresponding arrivals & departures. You can use Lisboa Move-Me or Transporlis to help with city transportation services. The best part about the metro is that it runs from 6:30 am to 1 am, and is one of the quickest ways to get around.
Buses, Trams, & Funiculars
The cheapest way around Lisbon is going to be the buses and trams, with the funicular and elevators as the best and quickest way up the giant hills to some of the best views in the city. This is another instance where the locals will be well-versed in the nuances of the public transit system, but as a visitor, you will likely be completely confused.
Buses and trams will generally only cost a couple of Euros to ride, and they will get you just about anywhere in the city relatively quickly. The same apps that give you real-time insight into the metro, Transporlis and Lisboa Move-Me, will also allow you to see the same information for the bus and tram lines.
Getting Around Lisbon Is Easy
Once you have figured out your destinations, you’ll be able to use this guide to determine the best way to get there. Remember that each one will have its price and usefulness, and you’ll be ready to navigate Lisbon in all its blended metropolitan and village splendor.