Lisbon has become one of Europe’s hottest travel destination. I’ve been traveling here for over five years and the tourism boom is exponential. Why is this so? Lisbon is inexpensive compared to most other major European capitals, it is gorgeous, it is close to crystal clear beaches, and offers great food and wine. If you’re finally going to visit the City of Seven Hills, take a few to check out my Lisbon Airport Guide. It will make your arrival significantly more pleasant.
Lisbon Airport Guide
Getting to Lisbon from the Airport
Let’s discuss the multiple ways you can get from Lisbon airport to the city center:
1. Skip taxis: Not all taxi drivers speak English in Lisbon and some who do will make believe they don’t so they can go the longer way and tack on a few extra bucks to your ride. Many taxis are old and decrepit. They don’t always want to take you to your exact location, and overall, I’ve not had the best experiences with taxis in Lisboa. Of course, not all taxi drivers are like this, but why take the chance? A taxi will cost you between €15-20
2. Take an Uber: Ubers are great. Even if your driver does not speak English, you can just put in the address of your destination and they’ll get you where you need to go. There is one caveat. You can’t pick up your Uber where the taxis are parked. Instead, walk to the car rental area – Ubers know to pick up their fares there. An Uber will cost you around €10-15
If you don’t already have an international smart phone, and you aren’t planning on purchasing a SIM card at the Vodaphone kiosk at Lisbon airport, you can use the airport’s free WIFI to procure your Uber. Just keep in mind that the service is only available for 30 minutes and requires you to create an email log-in.
3. Hire a Pickup Company: There are companies you can hire like Welcome Pickups in Lisbon that will not only pick you up, they will work with transfers, they will assist you with things to do, information and a ton more. Check reviews online to find your favorite one.
4. Take the Metro: The metro in Lisbon is easy to take and cheap. I prefer Uber because you’ll probably be tired when you arrive, but if you have the stamina, go for a ride on the metro. It’s pretty easy and it is CHEAP! A trip on the metro will cost you €1.45
5. Take the AeroBus: Lisbon’s Aerobus has two lines that will get you to the city center. A one-way adult ticket costs €3.50.
- Line 1 – Entrecampos, Campo Pequeno, Avenida da República, Saldanha, Picoas, Avenida Fontes Pereira de Melo, Marquês de Pombal, Avenida da Liberdade, Restauradores, Rossio, Praça do Comércio, Cais do Sodré. Leaves every 20 minutes.
- Line 2 – Entrecampos, Sete Rios, Avenida Columbano Bordalo Pinheiro, Praça de Espanha, Avenida José Malhoa. Leaves every 40 minutes.
6. Take the City Bus: This should be your last choice. These are the city Carris buses and while they will get you to your destination, they’re not the most reliable and have a restriction on luggage sizes. The bus will cost you €1,85 if you pay cash, or €1,45 if you use the Viva Viagem card. If you do decide to take the bus, these are your choices:
- 705 Oriente-Aeroporto-Roma/Areeiro
- 722 Praça de Londres-Aeroporto-Portela
- 744 Marquês-Aeroporto-Moscavide
- 783 Amoreiras-Aeroporto-Portela
- 208 Cais do Sodré and Oriente
7. Rent a Car: Let me be clear. You do not need a car in Lisbon. The metro is outstanding, it’s a very walkable city (except for the hills), and Uber is quite reliable. Only rent a car if you are planning to head to Sintra or Setubal or to the Algarve. That being said, there are tons of car rental companies at the airport. Some have their stalls right at the airport, others will have representatives meet you there and then shuttle you over to their offices. Either way, you can get some incredible deals. These are a few of the car rental companies you can rent from:
How Long To Get to the City Center by Car
Lisbon airport is ridiculously close to the city center, about 4 miles to the downtown Lisboa. Here are estimated times on how long it will take you to get to different neighborhoods in Lisbon:
Alfama Uber 8-20 min
Cais do Sodré 25-30 min
Marquês de Pombal 20-25 min
Parque das Nações Metro 5-10 min
Rossio 25-30 min
Saldanha 20-30 min
São Sebastião 20-30 min
How Long to Get to the City Center by Metro
As I mentioned before, the metro is the cheapest way to get to Lisbon proper. The line at the Airport is the red line that goes to São Sebastião. It connects with all other lines, so no matter where you are going, it’s pretty easy to get there on maximum 1 transfer.
Alfama 24 min
Cais do Sodré 30 min
Marquês de Pombal 20-25 min
Parque das Nações 5-10 min
Rossio 25-30 min
Saldanha Metro 20 min
São Sebastião Metro 20-25 min
How to Buy A Metro(Viva Viagem) Card
Metro cards in Lisbon are called Viva Viagem Cards. You can purchase them at the ticket machines (they have an option for English on the screen). The card will cost you 0.50€, then you need to add value to the card.
Each person in your party needs to have his or her card. Lisbon is not like NYC where you can swipe people in with your card.
The Viva Viagem card works not just on Lisbon’s subways, but also on the yellow Carris buses.
Lisbon Airport Guide – The Terminals
There are two terminals at Lisbon Airport:
- Terminal 1: Arrivals & International departures
- Terminal 2: Low-cost airlines
Have other questions about this Lisbon Airport Guide? Have other questions about Lisbon in general? Leave your question in the comments.