Metro and Buses
Lisbon has a very efficient public transport network that covers the entire city in addition to the surrounding areas. Lisbon’s recently refurbished metro system is clean, quick, and efficient. While metro announcements are made only in Portuguese, signs and ticketing machines are generally bilingual in Portuguese and English.
The extensive bus and electrico (tram) network is run by [http//www.carris.pt/en Carris].
The best and, in many cases, the sole way to pay for city transport is buying a rechargeable green-coloured card 7 Colinas (Viva Viagem). It’s valid for metro, trams (electrico), urban trains, most buses and ferries.
The exception is buses not run by Carris—other bus companies have their own tickets. The card itself can be purchased for €0.50 (this price doesn’t include any trips—add as many trips as you want), and remains valid for a year.
The Viva Viagem card can be charged in three different modes. You choose the mode when you charge the card. For example, you can choose the “single ticket” mode, and put €1.40 on a card (the machine will give change), and ride the tram to your hotel. Next day you wake up, and put €6 on the same card and choose the Day pass mode, making your card “Day pass” now. The modes are as follows:
- Single tickets for bus (€1.40; €1.80 if bought on the bus) or metro (€1.40). You put this exact amount on this card. Unlike Zapping mode, this ticket allows free transfers within one hour.
- Day pass for metro and buses (€6)
- Zapping. This is a ‘stored value’ mode, similar to the Oyster card in London. This mode also gives you slightly more credit than you pay for if you recharge more than €5 (for example, you will have to pay €10.00 for €10.75 of credit). The rates are also cheaper comparing to single ride: every journey costs €1.25, but the transfers are not free – although you get a small discount for two contiguous journeys, e.g., if you change from metro to bus. If you have a bit of unused money, it is wise to go to the ticket desk and there they do zapping for any amount. This way you can fully utilize your money on the card before going back to your country. You won’t be able to get the refund, so make sure you don’t put way more than you intend to spend.
There are ticketing machines located at the train or metro stations, which also provide instructions in English. You can also buy the ticket from the driver or machines on board (the latter only available in some new trams). Tickets purchased from a driver will not include a Viva Viagem card, and will cost more (€1.80 for bus and €2.85 for trams instead of €1.25 if you use the rechargeable card), so it makes more sense to buy the ticket before starting the trip.
When using suburban trains, your tickets are charged onto the same kind of Viva Viagem cards. You cannot have more than one kind of ticket on one card, however, so you will probably need at least two of them, one for zapping (regular bus and metro use), one for suburban travel. The TransTejo (TT) ferries can make you buy yet another “Via Viagem” card with white stripe in the bottom, claiming that CP or Carris “Via Viagem” cards are not valid for them.
If you plan to be in Lisbon for an extended time (1 week and more), you can purchase an unlimited pass that covers buses, metro, and funiculars at the Carris station in Santo Amaro, or at the Metro stations Alameda, Marques do Pombal and Campo Grande. It’s €12 for the Lisboa Viva card, plus €29 for a one-month unlimited pass. Bring a photo ID (passport) and cash.
Cycling within the city is now much easier because of the work the municipality has been putting in with bike lanes, slowing car traffic, changing car traffic patterns and adding speed bumps, etc, but of course parts of the town will always be part of the surprisingly hilly outlet of Lisbon. If you plan to cycle these, some of these streets do have tram lines, potholes and an absence of designated bicycle lanes, so visitors wishing to venture into city traffic by bicycle should be used to urban riding. Riding on the footpath is not recommended. It is advisable to get advice at local bike shops.
Although better than in recent years there are still bike lanes in town the newest, nice and safe stretches from Baixa to Belem along the beautiful river Tejo water front aptly known as the Poetry Bike Lane
These days car drivers are often weekend cyclists and way more careful with cyclists, more than ever before. Good spots for anyone to cycle safe are along the flat river-front area stretching from Parque das Nacoes, to the central area of Cais Sodre, where you can rent bikes look below for bike Iberia, and particularly from here to Belem. Must do for all travellers or cycling enthusiasts: A scenic and safe bike ride on bike lane from Baixa along waterfront to the historical area of Descobertas-Belem-Jerónimos.
Just outside of Lisbon – you can travel with a bike on trains or ferries – along the coast from Estoril towards the beautiful beach of Guincho, reach Sintra, Cascais or Costa da Caparica. Although there are some bikes for free use in Cascais they often in poor condition and are limited offer. If travelling from Lisbon (and back) you should consider renting a bike before going as there are no restrictions, nor additional charges, on travelling with bicycles on commuting trains.
If you take a bicycle on public transport beware of the following:
- Metro: During working days you are allowed to carry bicycles in the metro only after 20:00. On weekends, it’s allowed and it’s free of charge.
- Commuting trains: You are allowed to carry bicycles in the trains for free, everyday of the week just be reasonable and avoid rush hour passenger patterns.
- Ferries: Bicycles travel for free, you are allowed but there are strict limitations on the number of bikes allowed depending on ferry lines and ferry boat type, arrive early and you shall avoid disappointment.
- Bike Buses: There are 6 lines of the public bus company “Carris” in which you can put your bike inside. Up to 4 bicycles per bus can be carried.
Bike shops in Lisbon town centre are rare. You can find a SportZone near Rossio or in major shopping malls. Ask there for specialist shops, shop assistants are usually very helpful.
For guided bike the sights in Lisbon, Sintra, Arrabida or Cascais, and bike rentals, you can always check out Bike Iberia ☎ +351 96 963 0369, located in Baixa-downtown, next to Cais Sodre and the Praca Comercio square; they are professional, friendly and very helpful on providing Lisbon Bike Tours, bike rentals with delivery to your hotel doorstep, touring equipment, mountain biking gear, very family friendly and native insider’s knowledge.
By scooter, moped or motorbike
Riding a scooter is always a great and affordable way to get around Lisbon, one of the “must do” things. You may also venture into beaches, riding around Caparica, Cascais, Sintra or Cabo da Roca. Also the only way to cross over the bridges in Lisbon on two wheels.
Quality scooters are available for renting at affordable prices (you need to be at least 18, have your passport and a valid driving licence). Riding around is generally safe, relaxed and lots of fun!
Companies operating in Lisbon include Scooter Lisbon ☎ +351 96 963 0369) located in Lisbon’s city centre right off the train station of Cais Sodre (end of the line from Cascais train station) on Largo Corpo Santo, 5. They’re open Monday to Sunday from 09:30am offering quality 125cc vehicles with automatic transmission. Check with them for Scooter Guided Tours or Rentals from only a few hours to multi day rentals.
Think twice before using a car in the city unless you are prepared to spend hours in traffic jams and looking for parking space. The busy traffic and narrow streets with blind corners can be overwhelming to tourists. Also, due to lack of space and overcrowding, parking is difficult and annoying, as well as potentially dangerous – check the “Stay Safe” section below, regarding potential problems with criminals and homeless people who stand near parking spaces to “help” you park your car and then attempt to extort money from you.
If you choose to return a hire car near your hotel, don’t rely that the agent comes exactly at the agreed-upon time: for an agreed 12:00 return he can easily arrive at 09:00 (and will come again upon your call).
If your accommodation is in the centre of the city, walking is a great alternative. Many of the attractions of the city, such as the Castelo and the Alfama and Bairro Alto districts, are within easy walking distance of the Baixa.
If you become lost or cannot find the location you are looking for, try to locate the nearest Carris bus or tram stop. Most of these stops (not all) have a very good map of the city with your current location clearly marked on the map. All the prominent tourist sites in Lisbon are also shown along with an index at the bottom of the map. A quick consultation with one of these Carris maps should point you back in the right direction.
You may also use the funiculars and elevadores (Santa Justa’s). Day passes for public transportation are also valid for those.
Ferries connect Lisbon to the suburbs across the Tejo river in the south. Taking a ferry to Cacilhas is a good opportunity to see Lisbon from the water. A ferry is paid for just like a metro trip; you can even use your zapping (using this system will give you a €0.05 to €0.10 discount on the single ticket) Viva viagem card. The ferry boat takes you to Cacilhas (the journey takes 10 minutes) or Trafaria (Almada) (€1.15), Seixal (€2.30), Montijo (€2.6) or Barreiro (this journey takes half an hour) (€2.25). The boats are operated by Transtejo.
As with the rest of Portugal, Portuguese is the main language in Lisbon. However, most younger people know enough English for basic communication, and it is possible to get by speaking only English. Spanish is widely understood, though few are fluent in it, and many locals will respond more readily to English than to Spanish. Nevertheless, any attempt to speak Portuguese is always appreciated, and even simple things like basic greetings will often draw smiles and encouragement from locals.
- Cristo Rei, (Catch the ferry to Cacilhas from Cais do Sodre then grab Bus 101 (€1.40 one-way, €1.90 return)). 09:00-18:00. Similar to the Christ statue in Rio de Janeiro, this statue stands over 100 meters tall on the opposite bank of the Tejo River from downtown Lisbon. Views from the top of the statue are breathtaking, although the elevator up will cost you €4.
- Tram 28. Instead of paying for a ride on one of the costly tourist trams, try Tram 28. Tram (or “Eléctrico” in the Portuguese) Line 28 is one of only three traditional tram lines that still operate in Lisbon. These trams, which until the late-1980’s ran all through-out Lisbon, were manufactured between 1936 and 1947. Tram 28 winds its way through the “Old Town” of Lisbon (dating from the 17th century) beginning in Graça then down to the Alfama and to the Baixa then up through Chiado to Bairro Alto and then down to Campo Ourique, taking you by many of Lisbon’s most famous and interesting sites including monuments, churches and gardens. The trip is hilly, noisy and hectic but it affords many beautiful glimpses of the city. And, although the tram can sometimes be overrun with tourists, you will definitely get a flavour of the locals, as many “Lisboetas” commute daily on these historical trams. Tickets cost €1.05 if paid by “Viva Viagem” card and €2.85 if purchased on-board or at a vending machine (note that these machines do not accept notes, and are sometime even out of change, so make sure you have the correct change!). From start to finish the ride takes around 30 minutes. Beware of pickpockets!
- Gloria Funicular, Praça dos Restauradores – Bairro Alto. Inaugurated on 24 October 1885, this funicular was the second to be placed in Lisbon. It is the most visited one in the city. In 2002 it was classified as a National Monument.
- Bica Funicular, Rua de São Paulo (Rua Duarte Belo) – Largo de Calhariz. This funicular was inaugurated on 28 June 1892 and its route is known as the most typical of the city. In 2002 it was classified a National Monument. Ticket price is €3.50 for a round trip, however day cards are valid for it.
- Lavra Funicular, Largo da Anunciada – Travessa Forno Torel. The oldest funicular of Lisbon was inaugurated on 19 April 1884 and on that day it worked for 16 consecutive hours, carrying more than 3,000 passengers free. In 2002 it was classified a National Monument.
- Santa Justa Elevator, Rua Aurea & Rua de Santa Justa, ☎ +351 (21) 361-3054. Located downtown, this elevator was designed by a follower of French engineer Gustav Eiffel and connects downtown to Trinidade, located many metres uphill. 7 Colinas valid. Inaugurated on 10 July 1902, it is the only street lift in Lisbon for public service. It was built by the architect Raoul Mesnier du Ponsard in cast iron enriched with filigrana details. In 2002 it was classified a National Monument.
- Castelo de São Jorge (St. George’s Castle), (Walk up the hill from Alfama or take bus 737), ☎ +351 218 800 620. Mar-Oct daily 09:00-21:00 & Nov-Feb daily 09:00-18:00. Located up the hill, with a great view over the city and the river. If you have the energy, get there by walking from downtown, going through the fantastic old neighbourhood of Alfama. The ticket office is way before the entrance (where the line is), make sure you buy the ticket first, or you’ll be turned back when you eventually reach the entrance. €7 with student discount available. (38.713889,-9.133611)
- Museu do Teatro Romano (Roman Theater Museum). Along the way from downtown to St. George’s Castle.
- Ponte 25 de Abril. This sister bridge of the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge was designed by the same architect in 1966 to connect Lisbon with the Setubal peninsula across the Tagus (Tejo) River. Formerly known as the Salazar Bridge, it was renamed after the Carnation Revolution, which on April 25, 1974 ended the dictatorship!
- Ponte Vasco da Gama. It is the longest bridge in Europe (including viaducts), and ninth longest in the world, with a total length of 17.2 km (10.7 mi), including 0.829 km (0.5 mi) for the main bridge, 11.5 km (7.1 mi) in viaducts, and 4.8 km (3.0 mi) in dedicated access roads.
- Aqueduto das Aguas Livres. This is a historic aqueduct in the city of Lisbon, Portugal. It is one of the most remarkable examples of 18th-century Portuguese engineering, including the largest stone arch in the world. The main course of the aqueduct covers 18 km, but the whole network of canals extends through nearly 58 km. The Mãe d’Água (Mother of the Water) reservoir of the Amoreiras, the largest of the water reservoirs, was finished in 1834. This reservoir, with a capacity of 5,500 m³ of water, was designed by Carlos Mardel. It is now deactivated and can be visited as part of the Museu da Água (Water Museum).
- Rossio. Rossio is the main square in Lisbon, the equivalent of Madrid’s Puerta del Sol, Tokyo’s Shibuya or London’s Trafalgar Square, which is a common meeting place for locals. This is a must visit for all visitors to Lisbon to experience city life.
- Principe Real. The trendy district with all the fancy shops is just a 5 minutes walk from Bairro Alto
- Chiado. Take a stroll along the historical streets of this elegant shopping district, stopping for a cup of coffee with the statue of Fernando Pessoa, Portugal’s great Modernist poet. Head uphill to Bairro Alto, for stunning views of the city and some wild partying in Lisbon’s most popular nightclub district.
- Downtown (Baixa). This part of the city was completely rebuilt after the 1755 earthquake by the Marquês de Pombal. The planned layout, greatly different from what you will see in the more ancient neighborhoods, is a testimony to the ideas of the Enlightenment.
- Alfama. This neighborhood still bears signs of the Moorish presence in the city, with the buildings very close to each other, and very irregular streets. It’s very atmospheric and a great spot in which to wander around.
- Praça do Comércio, (Take the metro to Terreiro do Paço Station). This magnificent plaza, facing the river, is the beginning of Lisboa’s downtown. It is also known as ‘Terreiro do Paço’, meaning ‘Grounds of the Palace’, relating to its function before the Great Earthquake of 1755.
This monument-packed neighbourhood is a must-see place.
Take bus 28 to the west (Restelo direction), which follows the coast line and provides an express service with few stops. Train Cascais suburban train (line “Cascais todos” or “Oeiras”; the express trains don’t stop in Belém) to Belém and walk to the attractions. Tram 15 to the west (Algés direction), which follows the Junqueira residencial line. Check the route map inside the tram: it helps to find a right station for most famous of Belém attractions. The extensive bus network also serves Belém from various departure points around the city and can be less busy than the tram. The main monuments are well separated from each other and there is a road/rail highway between them that can only be crossed at a couple of places. In addition it is mostly open and unshaded, so be prepared for a lot of walking in the hot sun.
The neighbourhood features:
- Belem Tower (Torre de Belém). Open 10AM-5:30PM in winter, 10AM-6:30PM in summer (with the last entry allowed 30 minutes before closure). A ticket package for both the Belem Tower and Jeronimos Monastery is offered for €12. Be aware that access to the top of the tower, and intermediate floors, is via a very narrow, steep spiral staircase. This is used in both directions and is potentially unsafe (also females may be groped in the crush). There is no supervision or control, except to take the admission fee. Entry fee for the tower only is €5.
- Jerónimos Monastery, Praça do Império, 1400-206 Lisboa, ☎ 21 362 00 34. Open 10AM-5:30PM in winter, 10AM-6PM in summer. Try to avoid the morning rush of tour parties (with pushy tour guides) as admission is slow and you could queue for a while. Free entry to the church, €10 for the rest of the monastery.
- Monument to the Discoveries (Padrão dos Descobrimentos). There is a well-concealed pedestrian subway in line between the Monastery and the Monument. Entry fee €4.
- CCB (Belém Cultural Center). Open Tu-Su. The modern CCB holds a permanent contemporary art exhibition, from the Berardo Collection – it features works from Picasso, Dalí, Duchamp, Magritte, Andy Warhol, among others.
- Coach Museum (Museu dos Coches). Housed in the former riding school of the palace, don’t miss the world’s largest collection of coaches and royal vehicles
- Statue to Afonso de Albuquerque. In front of the former Royal Palace of Belém, now the Presidential Palace, there is a massive statue looking out to sea, representing Afonso de Albuquerque, second ruler of Portuguese India in the early 16th century.
A stroll around its many gardens enjoying the river’s bright blue is also a must.
Museums and galleries
Most of Lisbon’s museums and monuments (especially those in Belem) close on Mondays.
- Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, Rua das Janelas Verdes. Tu 14:00-18:00; W-Su 10:00-18:00. Portugal’s impressive national art collection, including 14-19th century European painting, artefacts of Portuguese contact with the East and Africa and a collection of ecclesiastical treasures. Highlights include Dürer’s St Jerome, Hieronymus Bosch’s Temptations of St Antony, Nuno Gonçalves’ Adoration of St Vincent, and 16th century Japanese paintings of Portuguese traders.
- The Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Avenida de Berna, 45A (take the metro to São Sebastião or Praça de Espanha Stations), ☎ 21 7823000. Tu-Su 10:00-17:45. Created from the personal collection of Calouste Gulbenkian, an Armenian who longed to see all his treasures displayed in a museum. A nice assortment of Egyptian artifacts, along with paintings by masters such as Rembrandt, Manet, Monet, Renoir, and Cassat. The museum’s gardens are worth a visit in and of themselves, as a little oasis in the middle of downtown Lisbon. €5 (permanent+temporary exhibition); half price for students under 25 with ID, holders of the European Youth Card (Euro26) and those aged 65 or over; free entry on Sunday and any other day for those under 12.
- Fundação Arpad Szenes / Vieira da Silva, Praça das Amoreiras, 56/58, ☎ +351 21 3880044/53 (email@example.com, fax: +351 21 388-0039). M-Sa 11:00-19:00, Su 10:00-18:00. This museum is installed in the restored 18th-century former Royal Silk Factory. It permanent collection covers a wide time period of the works of 20th-century painters Arpad Szenes and Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, and regularly hosts exhibits by their contemporaries. Adults €2.50, students €1.25, kids under 14 free.
- Museu da Electricidade (Electricity Museum), Av. de Brasília, Central Tejo, ☎ +351 21 002 81 30/90 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +351 21 002 81 04). Tu-Su 10AM-6PM. Free. Excellent interactive exposition in a building of former power station, an example how a perfect museum should look.
- Museu da Água (Water Museum). Entrance fee of €1.5 to €2.5, depending on age or discount cards you may use.
- Lisbon metro. Most of the metro system is a free art gallery. You’ll find art by contemporary artists inspired by the stations’ surrounding area. Check the subway webpage for more details on this curiosity. The red line is the newest one and has the best pieces of art.
- Museu do Azulejo. Museu Nacional do Azulejo is one of the most important national museums, for its singular collection, Azulejo (Tile), an artistic expression which differentiates Portuguese culture, and for the unique building where its installed, former Madre de Deus Convent, founded in 1509 by Queen Dona Leonor.
- Museu Colecção Berardo, Centro Cultural de Belém. 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM. The Berardo Collection Museum is a museum that houses modern and contemporary art, together with modern, temporary exhibits. The permanent collection of the museum consist of the Berardo Collection, which is made up of modern en contemporary art, with major art movements like abstract expressionism, Abstraction-Création, action painting, body Art, constructivism, cubism, De Stijl, digital art, experimental art, geometric abstraction, kinetic art, minimal art, neo-expressionism, neo-plasticism, neo-Realism, op art, photography, photorealism, pop art, realism, suprematism, surrealism. The collection also consist of many important artists like Piet Mondrian, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Pablo Picasso and Jackson Polock.Free admission.
- Museu da Marinha, Centro Cultural de Belém, ☎ 213620019. Open 10AM-5PM in winter, 10AM-6PM in summer. The interesting Maritime Museum is one of the most important in Europe, evoking Portugal’s domination of the seas. Its colossal 17,000 items are installed in the west wing of Jerónimos Monastery, and include model ships from the Age of Discovery onward. The oldest exhibit is a wooden figure representing the Archangel Raphael that accompanied Vasco da Gama on his voyage to India. Entry fee €4.
- Pavilhão do Conhecimento. The Pavilion of Knowledge – Ciência Viva is an interactive science and technology museum that aims to make science accessible to all, stimulating experimentation and exploration of the physical world.
Parks and gardens
- Jardim Zoológico, Estrada de Benfica 158-160 (Metro:Take the Blue Line to the Jardim Zoológico. Buses: A variety of buses stop here including 16, 31, 54, 58, 701 and 755), ☎ +351 (21) 7232-920. 10AM – 8PM (21st March – 30th Sept.) and 10AM – 6PM (1st Oct. – 20th March). A zoo that is fairly pricey, but has a variety of exotic animals featuring sea-lions and dolphins. €15.
- Parque das Nações, On Av. Dom João II (Metro: Oriente Station. Train: Gare do Oriente.), ☎ +351 (21) 8919-898. Built for the 1998 World Expo, the eastern side of town (take the Metro to Oriente) is a change from downtown. It includes:
- Oceanarium, ☎ +351 218 917 002. One of the world’s largest oceanariums. The oceanarium is divided between the permanent and temporary exhibition. The permanent exhibition is centered around a huge aquarium with a variety of fishes and surrounded by a number of smaller regionally-themed aquariums. Admission 16.00EUR.
- Pavilhão do Conhecimento, ☎ +351 218 917 100. Admission €3.00-€7.00.
- Ajuda Botanical Gardens, Jardim Botânico da Ajuda (Ajuda). Daily 9AM – 8PM (Summer) 9AM – 6PM (Winter). The botanical garden of Ajuda is one of the oldest gardens in Europe and is considered the first in Portugal. After the earthquake that occurred in 1755, the homeless Portuguese royal family decided to build a new royal residence at Ajuda but also gardens around it. This 10 acre garden was laid out in from 1858-1873.
- Lisbon Botanical Gardens (Jardim Botânico), Rua da Escola Politécnica, 58 (between the Avenida da Liberdade and Bairro Alto). A hidden gem. It was created several hundred years ago, by a King of Portugal at the time of the Discoveries. The story goes that this King wanted one of every type of plant in the world, and although that’s unlikely, there is a huge collection dating back by three or four centuries which is worth checking out. Also some weird and wonderful bizarre grafted trees – the roots hang down like fingers and toes where one tree has been grafted onto another, sometimes completely different, species. And there’s something quite eerie about seeing plants or huge trees from completely different climates growing next to each other in apparent harmony. A great place to take a picnic – this green oasis is completely surrounded by city but even the city sounds filter out. Entrance 1.80EUR adults, discounts for kids, OAPS and students.
Viewpoints and city view
- Armazéns do Chiado shopping mall (see details in Buy): top floor restaurants and cafes have fantastic city views.
There is a splendid view of the city from the castle. Jardim de São Pedro de Alcântara also provides a great view over the east of Lisbon, part of the Baixa district, and the south bank of the Tagus river.
- Cine Theatro Gymnasium, Rua da Misericórdia nº 14, 2º Andar 1200-273 Lisboa, ☎ (+ 351) 210 121 000. Fado In Chiado – Daily show (except on Sundays) with a duration of 40 minutes – A chance to become acquainted with Fado, a widely popular traditional Portuguese music style that has been declared World Heritage by UNESCO. The music is usually based on a vocalist accompanied by the sound of Portuguese guitar.
- You cannot come to Lisbon without exploring Alfama – the city’s oldest district. You will enjoy simply getting lost on its labyrinthine streets and alleys with architecture ranging from late medieval to 19th Century buildings. The area is old and slightly run down, although renovation efforts have been undertaken in the past two decades. There is a wealth of small historical and cultural landmarks and pleasant restaurants, cafés and Fado clubs can be found all over the place. Highlights include the Castle of São Jorge, Santa Luzia scenic view point, and the medieval Lisbon Cathedral (“Sé de Lisboa”).
- Take a walk in the lush gardens of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, one of Europe’s most respected cultural institutions. Check out the Gulbenkian Museum (which is also an architectural landmark in itself) and its classical art collection; the newer Gulbenkian Modern Art Museum and the concert hall with a continuously ongoing programme of classical, jazz and world music. During the summer, concerts are held in the Gulbenkian gardens’ open-air theatre.
- If you are on a cultural trip and looking for more concerts, theatre, dance and arts, you can also check the Centro Cultural de Belém near Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, and the Culturgest arts center near the Campo Pequeno area.
- Go clubbing! Check out Lux / Frágil (telephone: +351 21 8820890) – one of the most stylish discos / night clubs in Europe, located in the docks in front of Santa Apolónia train station. House, techno, electro and other types of music, DJ’s, occasional concerts, avant-garde decor, two dance floors and a terrace where you relax and enjoy the evening view.
- Further clubbing and nights out – go out at night to the central Bairro Alto, or ‘High Neighborhood’. Just up the hill from Chiado, this is the place to go out in town. In the early evening, go to a fado-themed restaurant near the Praca Camoes, and head upwards as the evening goes on. If you’re in Lisbon on the night preceding a Feriado or public holiday, you have to check this out. Tiny little streets which are empty in the daytime become crammed walkways which are difficult to get through. For more of a clubbing or disco experience, try the Docas district along the marina overlooking the Ponte 25 de Abril, or the Cais do Sodré area (just below Chiado and Bairro Alto, near the river), where, next to a couple of old dodgy sailors’ bars and a prostitution area, new trendy night clubs have recently opened which are attracting new crowds – here you can also go clubbing and occasionally catch live music ranging from pop, rock and jazz to electronica.
- Have lunch or dinner at LX Factory – an abandoned industrial site (also near the docks, in the Alcântara area under the 25 de Abril bridge), it has recently been turned into a trendy creative and cultural hub: restaurants, offices, design shops, night clubs, one of the largest bookshops in Portugal (“Ler Devagar”) and weekly activities including parties, concerts, weekend street markets and exhibitions.
- Enjoy a jazz concert and drinks at the Hot Clube de Portugal (telephone: +351 21 3619740) – Portugal has a thriving jazz scene, the center of which is the Hot Clube de Portugal – one of the oldest jazz clubs in the world, located in Praça da Alegria, near Avenida da Liberdade. The club’s first location was lost in a fire in 2009 but it has since reopened literally next door. Shows and open jam sessions are always on, with both national and international jazz stars performing weekly.
- International Charter Group:. Yacht charter and sailing, one of the worlds largest yacht charter companies, can take care of all charter requirements, from bareboat to crewed in Lisbon. Operating from nine offices worldwide (USA, Spain, UK, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Switzerland, Caribbean, Honk Kong and Dubai).
- EcoWanders Free Hiking Tours, ☎ +351917770258. Different hiking trails around Sintra Cascais Natural Park:Spend one day around nature, hiking in the UNESCO World Heritage Site – Sintra! You will walk through luxuriant forest achieving panoramic views of the coast, Lisbon, and all the Sintra Mountains and the palace. mail: email@example.com Based on tips and donations.
- Discover Walks Lisbon, Rua Sousa Lopes Lisbon 1600-207, ☎ (+351) 308 805 173. Meet actual Native of Lisbon in addition to exploring major landmarks. Join a walk with locals who will “decode” the city with you, and also learn from an insider about local events and festivals, about where to shop, good places to eat or drink, secret places locals keep to themselves. Severeal tours to join every day, no reservation needed, just show up. Free service (tip-supported).
- Lisbon Riders tours, Rua Castilho, 14, ☎ +351910201020. The Lisbon Riders tours were thought of so that you don’t miss what really matters when visiting Lisbon, mainly because we want you to discover and live things that are usually unknown. We have half day and daily tours, as well as others which can be adapted to fit the available time of your stay in Lisbon. This experience is done in small groups so that everyone can take the ultimate advantage of this experience.
- Halcyon I – Lisbon Boat Tours, Doca de Alcantara, ☎ +351913671956. 2. Enjoy a two hour charming and relaxing boat tour along the Lisbon coast, from two to eight guests. Departing from Alcantara harbour, Halcyon I sails between Belem tower and Alfama. Free welcome drinks. Book by email and pay onboard. € 45.
- LAVÀMIL – Lavandaria Self-service, Rua da Madalena, 231 1100-319 Lisboa (East of Rossio), ☎ +351 919 772 701. 08:00 – 22:00. Coin Laundry/ Self Service Laundry Open Everyday 08:00 – 22:00 2 x 8Kg (4,00EUR) 1 x 12Kg (7,00EUR) 1 x 16Kg -(9,00EUR) 2 x 16 kg DRYING (1.5 EUR/12min) GPS coordinates: N 38º 42′ 45.071 W 9º 8′ 10.588 www.facebook.com/lavamil.lavandaria.selfservice 4.
Shops are open a little later than other places in Europe, usually around 9:30AM-10PM, and the lunch breaks can be quite long, usually from 1PM to 3PM.
You can buy a Lisbon Shopping Card, which gives you 5% to 20% discounts at about 200 major stores in Baixa, Chiado and Av. Liberdade for a period of 24 hours (card costs EUR3.70) or 72 hours (card costs EUR5.70).
- Baixa: From Praça do Comércio (aka Terreiro do Paço) to the Restauradores, the Baixa is the old shopping district in the city. It includes pedestrian Rua Augusta which has the most boring and mass-visitor tourist stores, and several European chain clothing stores like Zara, H&M, Campers.
- Chiado: home to a number of independent shops and services and well known brands such as Hugo Boss, Vista Alegre, Tony & Guy, Benetton, Sisley, Pepe Jeans, Levi’s and Colcci. The area is also teeming with cafés, restaurants, bookshops and a dedicated shopping area “Armazéns do Chiado”.
- Avenida da Liberdade: Louis Vuitton, Calvin Klein, Timberland, Massimo Dutti, Armani, Burberrys and Adolfo Dominguez are just some of the shops you’ll find across this avenue, which is not just one of the most beautiful and wide in the city, but also one of the fanciest with splurge hotels and restaurants.
While most stores are closed on Sundays, many malls are open 7 days a week. They usually open around 9:30AM and close by 11PM or midnight, although the film theaters within them usually run a late session starting after midnight.
- Centro Comercial Colombo, Av. Colegio Militar (Metro: Take the Blue Line to Colegio Militar/Luz Station), ☎ +351 (21) 771 36 36. 9AM – Midnight. One of the largest malls in Europe, this shopping and leisure complex also houses dozens of restaurants, a bowling alley, health club, multiplex cinema, funfair with rides including a roller coaster, and a go-cart track.
- Armazéns do Chiado, Rua do Carmo 2 (Metro: Baixa-Chiado Station). A massive mall that draws a young hip crowd shopping for books, CDs, and DVD.
- Centro Comercial Vasco da Gama, (Metro: Oriente Station). A large mall in the Parque Expo.
- Centro Comercial Amoreiras, Av. Eng. Duarte Pacheco (Metro: Marquês de Pombal Station). The city’s oldest mall in eye-catching post-modern towers housing international chains.
- El Corte Inglés, Av. António Augusto Aguiar, 413 (Metro: Sao Sebastiao Station). Big department store with cinema and supermarket, a bit pricey but with good quality items.
- Dolce Vita Tejo, Avenida Cruzeiro Seixas,Amadora (Metro: Take the Blue Line to Amadora Station, and take a bus from there as the mall is beyond walking distance.). One of the biggest Shopping Mall in Europe.
Clothes and fashionwear
- Ramos & Silva / Optica do Chiado (André Ópticas chain), Rua Garrett 63/65, ☎ +351 213 264 000. 10-19 ?Mon-Sat. A good selection of designer eyewear from a dozen of brands (Lindberg, DSquareD etc
- Rua Anchieta, 11 (Chiado), ☎ +351 21 346 50 73 (firstname.lastname@example.org). Vintage and nostalgic products and brands.
- Azulejo Handmade By Us, Largo de S. Martinho, 4 (Rua Augysto Rosa) 1100-537; Rua Bartolomeu de Gusmão, 27. 1000-078; Rua Bartolomeu de Gusmão, 18. 1000-078 (Rua Bartolomeu de Gusmão is near the main entrance of the castle), ☎ +351 218 -878 007, -870 813, -871 232 (email@example.com). Locally handmade ceramics with beautiful designs and colors. Shop staff is friendly, helpful and speaks great English. 4 euros and up.
- Feira da Ladra, Campo de Santa clara (Take Tram 28). 6AM-5PM Tuesday and Saturday. A lively out door market offering both new and used products. Markets of this type have pleased bargain hunters since the 12th century in Lisbon and the Feira da Ladra name has been around since the 17th century.
Portuguese dining rituals tend to follow the Mediterranean siesta body clock.
Most restaurants are very small, family run and generally cheap. Some of them have a sheet on the door with the “pratos do dia” (dishes of the day) written on it. These dishes are usually cheaper and fresher than the rest of menu there, and unless you’re looking for something specific, they’re the right choice.
During the dinner the waiter will probably bring you some unrequested starter dishes (called couvert): as those are not free, feel free not to touch them and they will not be charged on your bill (but check it!).
Never ask a taxi driver about what restaurant you should go, they will take you to an expensive tourist-oriented restaurant, where they will receive a comission.