Getting Around Lisbon

The best way to get around in Lisbon is with the inexpensive taxis. They're especially abundant at the Lisbon Airport (LIS), located about 5 miles north of the downtown tourist districts. Your own two feet are also a great way to see the sights — just keep in mind that climbing this city's hilly streets on foot can be quite the workout. For a change of pace (and to catch your breath), consider using buses, trams and elevators. One final word of caution: Lisbon's Tram 28 and the Santa Justa Elevator double as attractions as well, so expect crowds.

Car Traffic and parking can be a nightmare, especially in the downtown tourist districts, so we don't recommend renting a car. Thankfully, nearly all of the city's best things to do are easily accessible by foot, bus, tram and train. If you're planning on taking a daytrip, you can rent cars from kiosks at the airport and from offices in the city center. 
On Foot You can walk to most downtown attractions if your hotel is located in the Rossio, Baixa or Chiado neighborhoods. Just make sure you're equipped with a good pair of shoes and some stamina. Neighborhoods like Belém are about 3 miles west of the tourist district, and Bairro Alto and Alfama sit on top of some steep hills; it's best to take public transportation.

A ticket on the underground metro costs roughly $2 USD, but the subway is more useful for traveling beyond downtown rather than traveling within it. The metro will take you conveniently from Baixa-Chiado or Rossio to the Oriente stop northeast of city center, which boasts the Oceanarium (Lisbon's famed aquarium) and the art-filled Parque das Nações (Park of Nations).

Buses, Trams and Elevators

Many sites are accessible by bus or tram. Riding will cost about $2 USD per ticket when purchased onboard, but you can get a 40-percent discount by buying the ticket ahead of time from the bright yellow Carris ticket booths, post offices and Portugal Continental ATMs around town. The city's elevators, made national monuments in 2002, provide four alternative ways to skip the hill, but these can be crowded. These modes of transportation have become tourist attractions themselves, especially the Santa Justa Elevator and Tram 28.


The city's taxis are a relatively cheap way to get around. Fares start at €2.50 EUR (about $3.30 USD) for the first 500 or so feet, and €0.10 EUR for each extra 500 feet. If you're getting a taxi from LIS Airport beware, you should know the ones at the arrivals gate have been known to take advantage of tourists. Head upstairs to the departures gate instead and always clarify fares and any extra charges for luggage before accepting the ride.

Entry & Exit Requirements

A passport is required for entry into Portugal. Tourists from the United States can stay for up to 90 days without a tourist visa. For more information on entry and exit requirements, visit the U.S. Department of State's website.

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