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Planning your visit to Lisbon

When planning your visit to Lisbon you need to know what to see, how to move about the city, how to optimise time, which are the necessary documents to visit Portugal and so on. This city has so much to offer and planning ahead is very useful if you want to get the most out of this experience.

Lisbon deserves a lengthy visit and this is why we would like to give a few tips to all the first time visitors as well as those who revisit the city to catch up with what they had missed.

Here you will find all the essential information on the city; from the language spoken to the currency used; what to see and how to move about.  Planning your trip becomes extremely easy if you have all the necessary information about the city and a number of tips at your disposal. 


Tourists can visit Lisbon with a valid ID or passport.  EU citizens who are not in possession of a passport do not need to worry.  It is recommended to carry your documents with you especially at the airport, where they could be verified a couple of times before departure.

Safety in Lisbon

Overall, Lisbon is a very safe and friendly city. Nevertheless, like every other city in the world, one needs to be vigilant.  Moreover, it is helpful to know which areas of Lisbon to avoid, although there are only a few.   There a couple of risky neighborhoods and it is advised to steer clear from these remote places.  One also needs to be careful when approached by individuals trying to sell rings, bracelets or other stuff to tourists:  very often they are after money.


Lisbon is a cosmopolitan city. The official language is Portuguese but, naturally, one will hear a multitude of languages spoken, as it is visited by many tourists from all over the world and inhabited by a lot of foreigners who chose Lisbon as their home.  If you do not know any Portuguese , you can always speak in English which is the second most spoken language.  In shops and restaurants therefore, English is widely spoken.  If you want to discover the city with an English speaking guide you can make use of our Lisbon tour guide service, who will take you on a journey around Portugal's capital city and also to nearby places of interest.

Some common Portuguese words

  • Good morning: Bom dia
  • Good afternoon: Boa tarde
  • Goodnight: Boa noite
  • Hello: Olá (oh-là)
  • Goodbye: Adeus
  • Hi: Oi
  • Bye: Tchau (cha-oh)
  • Thank you: Obrigado
  • Excuse me: Com licença
  • Is it far?: Está longe a pé?
  • Please: Por favor
  • Excuse me, is it far?: Com licença, está longe a pé?


Lisbon is a European capital and for this reason, it is reasonable to expect prices to be slightly higher than other Portuguese cities.  Having said that, although prices went up in the past years, they are still lower than those of other European capitals.  

  • Lisbon Card: 18.50 euro for 24 hours (free use of all methods of transport; entrance to 26 museums and monuments included; discounts from souvenir shops).
  • Metro ticket price: 1.33 euro valid for a single journey
  • Pasteis de nata (a typical delicacy of the city): approximately 1 euro
  • Coffee: at the bar 0,70 euro, seated approximately 2 euro
  • Beer: 1-1.50 euro per 33 cl
  • Lunch/Dinner at a restaurant: from 10 to 50 euro per head


Lisbon enjoys a Mediterranean climate meaning that summers are hot and sunny whereas winters are not too cold, even though they can be quite rainy.  The best months to visit Portugal are May, June and September when it is neither extremely hot nor very rainy.  One needs to consider that it is not too cold in winter:  in January for example, the average temperature is around 11,5 degrees.  Therefore, the winter months could be a good option for those who would not bear the Portuguese heat.

Transport and business hours

Transport in the city of Lisbon is managed by the company Carris de Ferro de Lisboa.  There are a number of transport methods one can use, from the metro to the tram.  A variety of different tickets and passes exist for those who need to use more than one method.

Bus schedules in Lisbon: Most buses run from 9:00 to 21:00. There are also night buses, 9 in total, which run everyday after 21:00.

With regards to the Lisbon metro, lines operate from 6:30 until 01:00.   Usually, the frequency is of about every 6-12 minutes. There are 4 lines and 56 metro stations.

Business hours are usually from 9:00 until 13:00 and from 15:00 until 19:00.  In central zones many shops remain open throughout the day and until 20:00 on Saturdays.


Some public holidays in the city of Lisbon are in common with other European capitals. Apart from Christmas, Easter, Carnival and the 1st of May, other dates to remember are: 25th April, Freedom day, 10th June, Day of Portugal and Corpus Christi, 13th June, Saint Anthony, 15th August, the Assumption, 5th October, Republic day, 1st November, All Saints day, 1st December, Independence day.

Finding your way around Lisbon

Lisbon is subdivided into neighborhoods. La Baixa is the most central, whereas others include: Chiado e Bairro Alto, the Alfama, Belem, Parque das Nações. These are the main zones of the city, the ones you need to keep in mind when finding your way around Lisbon.

Top 10 places to visit against a fee

  • Elevador de San Giusta
  • Belem Tower
  • Sao Jorge castle
  • Oceanario
  • Dos Jeronimos Monastery
  • Gulbenkian museum
  • Padrão dos Descobrimentos
  • Cultural city of Belem
  • Carmo Convent
  • Tram 28

The above list can be extended to include your preferences. In any case, we suggest you have a look at our section Lisbon Attractions Tickets to benefit from some discounts while booking online.

Top 10 places to visit for free

  • 25th of April Bridge
  • Belem district
  • Alfama
  • Cascais
  • Barrio Alto
  • Miradouro Santa Luzia
  • Miradouro de Nossa Senhora do Monte
  • Jardim do Príncipe Real
  • Ribeira das Naus
  • Feira da Ladra

Book a transfer from and to Portela airport Located near the town of Portela de Sacavèm, about 8km from the historic

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