One of first things you’ll notice as you approach Lisbon is our chaotic traffic and driving skills. However, unlike most European cities the madness calms down as soon as you are in the historic downtown where pedestrians rule in the wide car-free avenues and public squares. You will find that traffic politely stops at crosswalks where there are no signals, and beeping horns are minimal. We have a clean and safe transit system with onboard surveillance cameras and many stops post up-to-date bus and metro wait times electronically. Our historic trolleys and elevators create a charming way to reach the hilltops where sidewalk and cafe culture are alive and flourishing away from heavy traffic.
portela airport to lisbon transportation, 5-easy options
The Lisbon Portela Airport (LIS) is located five miles (7km) from the city center. To go to and from the airport you have 5 options listed below. Private vehicles and shuttles can also be reserved, but they are not necessary unless you are traveling with a large group, or want the luxury of a driver meeting you outside of the customs gate. Please contact us if your prefer a private shuttle service.
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1. Private Transfer in a Luxury Vehicle: Most private transfers start at about €45 Euros. The drivers are usually waiting for guests as they exit the customs gate, and they will be holding a sign with your last name on it. Your private transfer appointment should only be made with trusted companies who have a proven track record. Our preferred private luxury transfer service is Art of Travel. Use our Customer code, "025" and André Costa, Lisbon Explorer's Account Manager at Art of Travel will respond quickly to your request.
2. Underground Metro: In July of 2012 the city completed its metro red line connecting the airport to the rest of the city. Our metro is very clean and safe with security cameras and no graffiti. The airport metro is outside of the Departing Flights terminal. Just turn right when you step outside and walk along the sidewalk to the end of the terminal. There are elevators and escalators to easily move you up and down the various platforms along your journey. The Red (Vermelho) Line ends at the São Sebastiao station in about 20 minutes. From there you can easily connect to the Blue (Azul) and Green (Verde) Lines to reach most points in Lisbon. There are English-speaking stations attendants at ticket windows between the hours of 8:00am and 7:00pm, and electronic kiosk machines in English so you can easily by a pass one-way ticket, or a multi-day transit pass during hours of operation. (Metro hours: 6:30am to 1:00am in the morning). Click here to download and print a Lisbon city Metro map here.
3. Taxis: You can be downtown at a hotel within 15 minutes. The price is generally between €15 and €20 Euros, and a gratuity close to 20 percent-ish is acceptable. The taxi stand is easily found outside the departures and arrivals door, and there is a very organized line that usually takes no more than 5 minutes. Remember to write the name and address of your hotel on a piece of paper in case the driver doesn’t speak English, (which is very rare). Many taxis today have a GPS on board to keep drivers from getting lost, and always ask for a receipt, as this will keep the driver from trying to gouge the price.
5. AeroBus: The #91 Carris Aerobus runs every 20 minutes, 7-days a week, between 7h.45 and 20h.45. The bus stops at major locations between the airport and downtown. Tickets cost €3.50, purchased on the bus from the driver. You can also purchase a 24-hour transit network pass for 5.00 from the driver. This is also valid for the AeroBus and will work the same as the ”7-Colinas Card” described below.
City Buses: Don’t attempt to take a local city bus from the airport with luggage, unless you have a really small carry-on bag. The drivers will not allow you to board if they think your bag is too large. City buses are also operated by Carris and can be found near the AeroBus stop. You can pay the driver directly with cash Euros.
cruise ship docks to lisbon, using public transportation
Are you a cruise ship passenger wanting to take one of our shorter, 3-hour group tours? If so, reaching downtown Lisbon from the cruise ship docks is quick, easy and affordable on our clean and safe public transit. Avoid the hassle and cost of taxi drivers gouging prices, and reserving expensive shuttles. Click below on the name of your arrival dock for easy instructions and maps to get you downtown to our tour meeting point in less than 10 minutes.
lisbon city public transportation in 3-easy steps!
Lisbon is a city where you can relax about using public transportation. Purchase one card for €5.50 Euro, and you will have access to every bus, tram, trolley, metro and elevator in Lisbon for 24-hours. There are also 3-day and longer cards that can be purchased at a significant savings compared to paying €1.70 to €4.80 Euro each time to use the transit system.
1. Go To Casa da Sorte:
Transportation cards can be purchased at most metro stations, including the airport, tobacco shops around town. If you are already downtown the best place to go is Casa da Sorte, centrally located downtown in the south east corner of Rossio square, (aka Praca Dom Pedro IV). Step inside the shop and look for the transportation counter in the back. There is a long counter for selling lottery tickets as you enter, but the clerks there cannot help you unless you are feeling lucky. (Casa da Sorte means “House of Luck”). Everyone speaks English and they will help you decide which card works best for your visit, but for most the 24-hour 7-Colinas Card for €5.50 Euro is best. Below is a map and photo of where to find Casa da Sorte.
Click on MAP to enlarge
Casa da Sorte
2. Buy the 24-hour blue ”7-Colinas” card or the green “Viva Viagem” card for €6.50 Euro
Both cards will give you the same unlimited access to all forms of public transportation in Lisbon. This includes buses, trams, trolleys, underground metro and elevators. The green Viva Viagem Card is usually sold at metro or train stations. If you try to purchase a green Viva Viagem Card from the electronic kiosk at a station, you should ask for assistance from the attendant at the ticket window, otherwise you will likely purchase a pass that is only good for the metro. Save the receipt in case your card malfunctions. We do have transit security officers and they often check passengers for their cards.
Viva Viagem Card
3. Touch your card on the validation sensor
The timer on the card is activated the first time you board city transport and place it on a validation sensor. A green light will appear on the validator, indicating a successful capture of your card information. You must place your card on the validator every time you board public transit. The 7-Colinas and Viva Viagem cards can be recharged after their time has expired, and this will save you the €0.50 fee for a new card.
Metro turnstile validator
online transit help!
The websites below will easily help you plan your commute through Lisbon and Portugal.
GoogleMaps is remarkably up-to-date with all modes of Lisbon’s public transportation. You can plan an entire jaunt through Lisbon using GoogleMaps showing transit times, dates, routes, street level images and variety of other options. maps.google.pt.
Carris- Lisbon’s public transit website in English, contains everything you need to know about getting around the city by bus and the underground metro. They even have downloadable maps, but for routes and directions GoogleMaps is still a better option.
CP- Portugal’s train service website in English. View time tables, prices, special offers, maps, and purchase tickets online. Fast and easy to use, but tickets can also be purchased directly at the train station. All ticket widows and info desks personnel speak English.
SAVE MONEY! Lisboa Card is a smart-chip card offering cardholders free public transport as well as access to the city’s rich cultural heritage and other attractions. With that taken care of, all you have to do is have fun discovering Lisbon!! Prices start at €16.00
4. Uber: The SmartPhone car service app in your home country will very likely work here in Portugal. Download the app first and make sure that it works correctly before you arrive. You will also need to arrange for an International mobile data plan with your phone service provider. This way you can avoid the costly roaming fees for using your phone apps while abroad. The Uber drivers cannot meet you at a taxi stand. However, there are other places curbside where they can meet you. The price is about the same as a taxi and the cars are clean and modern. Many visitors are now using Uber instead of public transit.