- Discover Lisbon
Lisbon is a beautiful city that is quite easy to get around with buses, trams, and the metro running frequently.
There are many restaurants in Lisbon offering a wide choice of foods. They are also inexpensive.
Check out the medieval Castelo de Sao Jorge, a large castle that has ten towers linked by massive battlements. It houses the Olissiponia Museum covering the history of Lisbon.
Most large cities have aquariums but the Oceanarium in Lisbon is truly unique. It is one of the worlds largest and the main tank is the size of four Olympic swimming pools. The tanks housing different fish are separated by invisible walls so it appears that penguins from Antartica are sharing space with tropical fish.
This is a 15th century monastery is considered a masterpiece of Portuguese architecture. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and shouldn’t be missed on any trip to Lisbon.
Also check out the Moorish quarter of Alfama, one of the few places to survive the earthquake of 1755 which destroyed most of the city.
A square tower facing the river Tagus, Torre de Belam is another UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s a fortified tower that was built in the 16th century as part of the city’s defences.
Get a guide to what's on from any tourist office to get an idea of the many bars, discos, and nightclubs available. The best places to go would probably be in the Bairro Alto.
Aeroporto da Portela is only a 15 minute drive from Lisbon city centre. Many of the major airlines fly into here including United Airlines, Emirates, British Airways and Lufthansa.
Flight times to Lisbon
Dublin 2.5 hours | London 2 hours | Hong Kong 13.5 hours | New York 7 hours | Jordon 11.5 hours | Sydney 22 hours
You can get the Aerobus to the city centre. Ask at the information desk which is the correct bus to get you to your accommodation.
There is also a metro that costs around €2.
If getting a taxi go to the taxis outside the departure lounge, rather than the arrivals as they seem ot have a better reputation. It should only take you 15 minutes to get to the city centre and cost somewhere in the region of €10 to €12. There have been many cases of taxis charging €40 to €50 however, so you might be better off going to the tourist office in the airport and purchasing a taxi voucher. These cost €18 but they will save you from getting ripped off. If not get a rough price beforehand from your taxi driver and make sure he turns on the metre.
There are trains from Madrid in Spain and Irun which is on the border of Spain and France. These are overnight trains so you can save on accommodation. Portugal is included in the Inter-Rail pass scheme which is available throughout Europe. You will still have to pay a fee to get to Lisbon on top of your Inter-Rail ticket.
The Metro is an excellent way of getting around the city. There are also buses and trams that are run by the same company so you can buy a day pass for around €6 that you can use on all three.
Lisbon is a very congested city so renting a car would not be advised unless you are taking trips outside the city.
Lisbon is a very safe city but has its share of crime like any other. As in many European cities pickpocketing can be a problem here, especially on public transport, such as the number 28 tram. As always, leave your passport and valuables in your hotel safe.
Avoid interacting with strangers who approach you or offer you drugs. Don’t take cash out of ATMs at night and try and avoid the metro after 10 when they become deserted.
Some areas to avoid at night include Parque Eduardo Setimo, Mouraria, Martim Moniz, Cais de Sodre and Intendente. Try and avoid Bairro Alto late at night when the pubs and clubs are closing. Lisbon is a beautiful and safe city and self awareness will go a long way.
The European Health Insurance Card is valid here for citizens of E.U. member states. This will cover you in the case of an emergency but remember that you should still have health insurance as the EHIC will not cover everything.
The emergency number is 112.