Lisbon Travel Guide

Flights, Train & Cruise

By plane

Portugal's largest international airport is the Aeroporto da Portela . It is located between Loures and Lisboa, only 4 miles (7 km) from the city center. Alameda das Comunidades Portuguesas, Tel: +350 (21) 841-3000, Fax: +351 (21) 841-3675,

It is the main air hub for TAP Portugal, a Star Alliance member airline that covers an extensive network throughout Europe, Africa (Morocco, Algerie, Senegal, Guine Bissau, Mozambique, South Africa, Angola, Cape Verde, S. Tome e Principe) and the Americas (US, Venezuela and Brazil). SATA (Air Açores) provides seasonal service to eastern North America (Boston, Montreal and Toronto).

There are also several other airlines flying into Lisbon, such as United Airlines, US Airways, British Airways, Air France, Egypt Air, Turkish Airlines, Lufthansa, Finnair, Iberia, Easyjet and KLM.

The approach to the airport that airlines most often use for landings takes the plane on a majestic sweep over the city. Grab a window seat on the right side for a free show as you float over the Cristo-Rey statue, the river, the new bridge, the old aqueduct and the football stadium; further out you'll easily be able to discern the castle, the streets of Lower Town, the old quarters of Alfama and Mouraria, and right before touchdown - the Oriente train station and Parque das Nações.

Getting from/to the airport
Aerobus operates three routes to main spots of the city. Aerobus 1 running every 20 min follows Av. da Republica and Av. da Liberdade to the city center (Rossio, Praça do Comércio, and railway/ferry terminal at Cais do Sodré). Aerobus 2 connects to the Oriente bus/railway terminals with 30 min interval. Aerobus 3 runs every 30 min to the central bus station at Sete Rios via the Entrecampos train station. Tickets cost €3.50 and are valid on all public transportation lines, such as buses and surface trams (but not for metro) for one day.
Metro costs €1.25 (for Zapping option) and €1.40 (for one way ticket - as from 1 January 2013) from the airport to any place in the city centre. Lisbon Airport metro station opened in July 2012 and is the new final destination of Lisbon Red Line metro trains. The journey to Saldanha takes about 16 minutes and less than 25 minutes are enough to get from the Airport to Baixa-Chiado (Lisbon city centre). The Metro system in Lisbon is very reliable and safe, and quite probably the best way to get around the city - however, you should avoid riding the metro late at night (after 10pm some stations are occasionally targeted by groups of muggers looking out for unsuspecting tourists).
Bus lines 22, 44, 83, 705, 708, 744, 745, or night bus line 208. Bus 44 takes you to the Oriente railway station in about 10 minutes, where you can change for metro and continue to the city centre. Board fare is €1.80. 7 Colinas transport card (see "Get around" section) can be used which can be bought at the airport post office. Note that you are not allowed to take large pieces of luggage on these buses.
Taxis cost about €10.00 from the airport to the city centre. Caution is required, since Lisbon taxi drivers are notoriously dishonest, rude and unprofessional - in general, you should avoid taxis at the airport unless you are in a hurry or have too much luggage to carry around. Charge is according to the meter, adding €1.20 per item of luggage. Taxis are required to have working meters (it is illegal to drive without one) and fares posted to the window in the rear seat. Be sure to ask the taxi driver if he has a working meter before getting into the taxi, and be careful of drivers trying to grab your bags and usher you into the taxi before you can make these inquiries. As with many cities, watch out for dishonesty and if you think you are being charged significantly more (paying €45 to get into the city but only €6 back to the airport is not unheard of, as are claims of broken meters or fixed fares) ask for their number and a receipt, and make it clear you plan to complain.
Any policeman should take care of the situation if there are signs of fraud - if police officers are nearby, you should call them immediately. Lisbon people, in general, really hate dishonest taxi drivers, so you might also have a chance of a local citizen helping you out in case of a conflict. To avoid fraud, you can buy a taxi-voucher in the airport (€18 - a lot more than the average real meter price) which is good to go anywhere in the center, with luggage. Make sure to ask the driver how much he estimates the fare will be before getting in the taxi, which will diminish the chance for a surprise bounce in the price. If you want to take a taxi, go to the Departures area where it is more likely to get an honest driver - never catch a taxi in the Arrivals area! Make sure the driver starts the meter only when the journey starts.
If arriving by plane in Lisbon, it is almost always better to use public transport to your hotel or final destination, instead of taxis. The airport information desk at Lisbon airport can provide you with all the required information. Taxi drivers at the taxi stand at Lisbon are very infamously unreliable and if they can rip you off, they will. If you do not speak Portuguese or if you don't know the shortest way to your destination, do not use a taxi. If your final destination is less than 1 mile from the airport, taxi drivers will refuse to take you although they are not allowed to refuse destinations. If you insist on taking the taxi, the driver will most likely abuse you verbally and try to rip you off. If you are not carrying too many bags and it is not late in the night (i.e., roughly before 9pm or 10pm), you are better off simply getting the metro to city center.
By train

There are two main stations, Santa Apolónia in the city centre and the Gare do Oriente, a bit further out and used by the high-speed trains. However, if you are entering Lisbon from the south, you may want to get off at the smaller stations of Entrecampos or Sete Rios. Their metro stations are a few stops closer to the central and old town. Also, local trains connecting with the resort Cascais on the Estoril coast use Cais do Sodré station. Train tickets may be booked directly with the train company, Comboios de Portugal.

Two international services are available, the overnight Sud Express leaves Irun on the border between Spain and France every day at 18:50 (6:50 PM). The train calls at Oriente station at 07:20 the next morning before arriving in Santa Apolónia just ten minutes later. There is also a daily sleeper train from Madrid named Lusitania leaving Chamartin station at 21:50 (9:50 PM), arriving early next morning at 07:20 in Oriente and a few minutes later at Apolónia. Prices on both trains vary and can be heavily discounted to less than €40 for "cama turista" (a sleeping berth in a four berth shared compartment) if you watch the Renfe booking site a month or two in advance.

The domestic high-speed line Alfa Pendular connects Braga, Porto and Coimbra with Lisbon from the north and Faro from the south. Prices between the major cities starts at €40 in second class. All trains call at Oriente, only some in Apolonia.

By car

Lisbon can be accessed from six main highways. Coming from the south (A2) or east (A6 - the main route from Madrid), there are the two bridges:

From/to south: The A2 goes all the way to the 25 de Abril bridge, which usually has lots of traffic getting into Lisbon, especially on weekday mornings. This is the best option if you want to go to the center of Lisbon or to the west (A5 - Estoril, Cascais, Sintra).

To north / to east: If you branch from the A2 into the A12, you'll get to the Vasco da Gama bridge, the longest bridge in Europe, it usually has less traffic than the older 25 de Abril bridge (but a more expensive toll). This is the best option to go to the eastern/northern section of Lisbon (to the airport and to the Parque das Nações - the former Expo 98 site), and also to take the A1 or A8 going north.

From/to north and the airport: Coming from the north, there is the A1, that connects Lisbon to Santarém, Fátima, Leiria, Coimbra, Aveiro, Porto. The A1 ends near the airport. There's also the A8, which goes to Torres Vedras, Caldas da Rainha, Alcobaça, Leiria.

From the west, there is the A5, which connects to Estoril, Cascais, and the IC19 that crosses all the suburbs and ends near Sintra.

Lisbon has three ring roads: The 2ª circular, which connects the A1 to the IC19; the CRIL IC17 (still incomplete), which connects the Vasco da Gama bridge with the A1 and A8; and the CREL A9, which connects the A1 with the A8, IC19, A5, and goes all the way to the Estoril coast.

By bus

All nearby cities and most major cities in Portugal have direct buses to Lisbon. The main bus terminal is at Sete Rios (metro: Jardim Zoológico).

The main operator for long-course buses is Rede Nacional de Expressos (http://www.rede-expressos.pt/default.aspx)

By boat

You can get a boat to Lisbon from the following stations: Barreiro; Trafaria; Montijo; and Cacilhas. It's an excellent sightseeing opportunity crossing the river Tagus to Lisbon.

Many cruise ships dock at several places along the river on the Lisbon side, with variably good access to public transport throughout the city. Many lines offer shuttles to key points nearby.

By bicycle

From airport: Due to the relative proximity of Lisbon's airport to the city center, it is quite easy to cycle from the airport to the center, and could be recommended if you arrive for a cycling trip.

After leaving the airport and negotiating a roundabout, merge onto the long and straight dual-carriageway Av. Almirante Gago Coutinho (you should be able just to follow the "Centro" ("Downtown") signs.) After merging, the route to Baixa is simple and straight. This street later turns into Av. Almirante Reis, and then Rua de Palma, at the end of which you will be right in Baixa.

Cycling outside Lisbon can be a challenge, as Lisbon offers far easier cycling than what you may find outside of the city. The further you get from Lisbon however, the easier the cycling gets. You may wish to take advantage of certain regional trains that take bicycles in a separate luggage carriage, allowing you to start your cycling some 50 or 100 kilometers outside of the city.

More Below at Getting around by bicycle

source: Wikivoyage

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