Getting Around Lisbon

Written: The Top Thing Staff | August 15, 2023


If you’re planning a trip to Lisbon, you’re in for a treat! The city is known for its beautiful architecture, vibrant culture, and delicious food. But before you start exploring, it’s important to know how to get around. Fortunately, Lisbon has a reliable and efficient public transportation system that can take you to all the must-see spots. Here’s a guide to help you navigate the city like a local.

Overview of Lisbon’s metro system

Lisbon’s metro system is popular with tourists due to its coverage and convenience. The city center is connected to neighborhoods and attractions by four lines—blue, green, red, and yellow. The daily trains are clean, safe, and frequent. In summer, their air conditioning makes them a comfortable method of transportation. A rechargeable Viva Viagem card lets you utilize the metro, buses, trams, and ferries.

Bus routes and schedules in the city

Another great way to get around Lisbon is via bus. Buses can carry you to places the metro can’t reach with their extensive citywide network. The buses are air-conditioned and pleasant. Find bus schedules and routes at bus stops or online. Check ahead of time because Lisbon’s bus timetable may change on weekends and holidays.

Tram options for getting around Lisbon

Take one of Lisbon’s famous trams to complete your stay. Historic yellow trams are both a mode of transportation and a tourist attraction. Tram 28 is popular because it winds through Alfama and Baixa’s small alleys. You can tour the city at your own speed on trams from early morning to late night.

So whether you favor the metro’s speed, the bus’s variety, or the tram’s elegance, Lisbon’s public transportation system has you covered. Start with a map, plan your route, and prepare to be amazed by this magnificent city!

Exploring Lisbon on Foot

Must-visit landmarks and attractions within walking distance

When visiting Lisbon, you’ll be delighted to find that many of its most famous landmarks and attractions are easily accessible by foot. Here are a few places you won’t want to miss:

  1. Belém Tower: This iconic tower is a UNESCO World Heritage site and offers stunning views of the Tagus River. It’s just a short walk from the city center.

  2. Jeronimos Monastery: Located in Belém, this magnificent monastery is another must-visit. Its intricate architecture and rich history make it a popular attraction.

Walking tours and routes for sightseeing

To make the most of your time in Lisbon, consider taking a walking tour or following one of the city’s designated sightseeing routes. These will allow you to discover hidden gems and learn about the city’s history and culture. Here are a few options to consider:

  1. Alfama Walking Tour: Explore Lisbon’s oldest neighborhood with a guided tour, and discover its narrow alleys, colorful houses, and stunning viewpoints.

  2. Bairro Alto: This lively neighborhood is known for its vibrant nightlife and charming streets. Take a leisurely stroll through Bairro Alto to experience its unique atmosphere.

  3. Rossio to Praça do Comércio: This route takes you from Rossio Square, a bustling hub in the city center, to Praça do Comércio, a grand square by the river. Along the way, you’ll pass by historic landmarks and enjoy beautiful views.

Tips for navigating the city streets on foot

Navigating Lisbon’s streets on foot is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the city. Here are a few tips to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience:

  1. Wear comfortable shoes: Lisbon is known for its hilly terrain, so be sure to wear comfortable footwear that can handle the uneven streets.
  2. Use a map or GPS: While exploring the city, it’s helpful to have a map or GPS to guide you and ensure you don’t get lost.
  3. Stay hydrated: Carry a water bottle with you, especially during the hot summer months, to stay hydrated and energized.
  4. Take breaks: Lisbon’s many outdoor cafes and viewpoints offer perfect spots to rest and take in the city’s beauty. Don’t be afraid to pause and relax along the way.

Remember, Lisbon is a city meant to be explored on foot. So don’t be afraid to wander off the beaten path and discover your own hidden gems. Happy exploring!

Alternative Transportation in Lisbon

Using electric scooters and bikes in Lisbon

Looking for an eco-friendly and efficient way to explore the beautiful city of Lisbon? Renting electric scooters or bikes may be the perfect solution for you. With an extensive network of bike lanes and bike-sharing services, getting around Lisbon on two wheels has never been easier. You can rent electric scooters or bikes from various companies like Lime, Bolt, or Gira, and simply use your smartphone to unlock and ride them. It’s a fun and sustainable way to navigate the city while avoiding traffic and enjoying the scenic views.

Ferry and boat options for crossing the river

If you want to venture across the Tagus River to visit attractions like Cristo Rei or the charming town of Cacilhas, taking a ferry or boat is a fantastic choice. Several ferry and boat services operate in Lisbon, offering affordable and convenient transportation options. You can catch a ferry from Terreiro do Paço or Cais do Sodré and enjoy a pleasant ride with stunning views of the city skyline. It’s a unique experience that allows you to see Lisbon from a different perspective.

Tuk-tuks and other unique ways to get around Lisbon

Take a tuk-tuk or other unusual method of transportation to explore Lisbon. Three-wheeled tuk-tuks can navigate the city’s small streets and give you a personalized tour of the main sights. Some Lisbon neighborhoods still have old trams, providing a nostalgic and authentic ride. In old Alfama, you may rent a Segway or take a horse-drawn carriage ride.

Use these alternative transportation methods to have a memorable experience and promote sustainable tourism. To explore Lisbon in a fun, eco-friendly, and distinctive way, try these possibilities.

Transportation options for visiting nearby towns and cities

Getting around Lisbon and its surroundings is relatively easy and convenient.

  1. Train: The train network connects Lisbon to various nearby towns and cities. Trains are a popular choice for day trips, offering comfort and scenic views. Some popular train routes include Sintra, Cascais, and Óbidos.

  2. Bus: Buses are another affordable option for day trips. They provide convenient connections to destinations such as Sintra, Cascais, and Évora.

  3. Rental Car: If you prefer flexibility and independence, renting a car is a great option. It allows you to explore at your own pace and visit off-the-beaten-path destinations.

Tips for organizing and maximizing your day trips

To make the most of your day trips from Lisbon, consider the following tips:

  1. Plan in advance: Research the destinations, check the schedules, and plan your itinerary accordingly.
  2. Start early: To avoid crowds and make the most of your time, start your day trips early in the morning.
  3. Stay organized: Keep track of train or bus schedules and make sure to allow enough time for transfers.
  4. Pack essentials: Bring sunscreen, a hat, water, and comfortable walking shoes. Some destinations may require uphill walking or uneven terrain.
  5. Be flexible: While it’s good to have a plan, leave some room for spontaneity. Explore hidden gems and try local cuisine along the way.

By making the most of your day trips from Lisbon, you’ll have the opportunity to experience the diverse beauty and rich history that Portugal has to offer.


Exploring Lisbon is a delightful experience, and with these transportation tips, you can navigate the city with ease and make the most of your time discovering its vibrant culture and historical landmarks.