Travel Tips For Lisbon

Lisbon is a popular travel destination for a good reason. This European city offers beautiful views, steep hills, and the best public transportation.

Still, it helps to guard yourself with some of the best travel tips for Lisbon to ensure you have the best city break vacation.

While living in Lisbon, I gathered some fantastic tips and facts I want to share now. As the saying goes, being prepared is better than feeling lost.

Travel Tips For Lisbon Getting Around

Elevador-de-Santa-Justa

The best way to travel around Lisbon is on foot or by public transport. I recommend using your feet to see the best sights but keep the steep hills in mind.

If you want to catch some breath, you can hop on the elevators, buses, metro, or trams. Furthermore, public transportation is inexpensive, or you can use the subway station daily.

Hot Tip🔥: I recommend investing in the Navegante Card, allowing you to use public transportation and get a discount on some of the popular attractions.

The Easy Lisbon Quiz

Ready to test your Lisbon knowledge?

I’ve made an easy Lisbon quiz with 5 questions. Let’s see if you can get them right. 🤞

Tram 28: Not Always Recommended

Tram-Lisbon

Many people say you must ride the classic Tram 28 to get around the city, as it is easy and cheap.

While the tram route costs only three Euros and passes the most iconic landmarks, it can get crowded, and you will wait in long lines.

It is also a magnet for pickpockets when crowded.

Lisbon Has Many Train Stations

Lisbon-to-Algarve-by-Train

When you book train tickets for your day trip, a reminder is that there is more than one train station.

I recommend double-checking the departure station to ensure you are heading to your destination and not missing your train.

Luckily, most stations are close to each other, but you do not want to stress yourself out running to catch your train.

Hot Tip🔥: If traveling to Sintra, depart at Rossio Station. Traveling Cascais, catch a train at Cais do Sodre Station and head to Santa Apolónia Station to travel to Porto.

Travel Tips For Lisbon: The Lisbon Card

If you plan to use public transportation often during your Lisbon trip, I recommend investing in the Lisbon Card.

While visiting indoor museums like the National Coach Museum and the National Tile Museum offers some benefits, you will not get free entrance to other places.

I recommend checking out my detailed article on the Lisbon Card to see where you can benefit from entry to some of the Lisbon museums.

But it is great for trams, metro, trains, and buses, including traveling to Sintra.

Planning On Going To Lisbon?

I’ve created a trip planner where you enter the number of days you’re going and what activities you want to do.

Based on your input, you then get an entire vacation planned with ideas.

plan your trip to Lisbon

Planning Your Accommodation

There are some great places to stay in Lisbon. But if you are not looking for a party at night, avoid Bairro Alto and Cais do Sodre.

Here, you will find a popular nightlife scene where you can have a fun night if that is your style.

Also, ensure that you check that your hotel has an air conditioner, especially a budget one, as you may need it when you visit.

Travel Tips For Lisbon’s Top Attractions

Torre_de_Belem_-_interior_2_497073572

I am a huge fan of Lisbon’s attractions, and there are many things to explore in the city center. But there are some helpful tips when it comes to these attractions:

Buy Your Tickets in Advance

No matter when you decide to travel, Lisbon’s top landmarks are usually packed with people.

So instead of spending hours in line, get your ticket ahead of time for Castelo de São Jorge and Jerónimos Monastery.

The same applies to visiting a historical building, the modern museums, and a day trip to Sintra, home to the Pena Palace.

I love getting my tickets before the time from Get Your Guide.

You Need Not Visit Every Attraction Interior

I love to get to know places and explore the nooks of indoor museums and castles. Still, there is no point in going inside Belem Tower.

You can stand and amaze yourself at the architecture from the outside as there is not much to see inside.

The rooms are not filled with much, and you will have to wait in line as it is one of the most popular attractions in Lisbon.

Instead, you can enjoy the spectacular views around the Belem Tower.

You Need Not Wait in Line for The Santa Justa Lift

The Santa Justa Lift has a stunning design that connects Bairro Alto/Chiado to Baixa. Today, it is an elevator used as public transport.

Still, you can skip the lines to enjoy a carnival ride on this fancy elevator. Instead, you can use the small street to the right to reach the top.

The best part is it is free, and you can still enjoy the spectacular views.

Do Not Expect Too Much of Castello de Sao Jorge

Castelo-Sao-Jorge-Alfama

While exploring Castelo de São Jorge from the exterior is highly recommended, I would not expect too much from the interior.

You will not see lavish rooms in Castelo de São Jorge to see how the royals lived. Instead, you can soak up the exceptional views from the ramparts.

The Castelo de São Jorge has been rebuilt three times, and the interiors are not well-maintained.

Hot Tip🔥: Did you know while Lisbon has some major attractions, there are other places to explore as well? To learn more, check out these 15 places you can visit around Lisbon.

Here are the best things to do in Lisbon In June 2024

I’ll send you a list of the best things to do in May and every month moving forward from today.

It’ll be based on my personal experience of living and traveling around Lisbon. A lot of hidden gems.

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Plan Your Day Trips

Lisbon is known for its narrow cobblestone streets, storied buildings, and steep hills. I recommend putting on some comfortable shoes and a neighborhood to start visiting Lisbon.

The Lisbon neighborhoods offer cute restaurants, culture walking, and climbing the seven hills. Hence, it helps to start at the highest point in any of the neighborhoods.

You can then work your way downhill to the city center. Some great points to start are:

  • Castelo de São Jorge
  • Miradouro da Graça
  • Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcantara

You can explore Alfama, Bairro Alto, Chiado, Anjos, Belem, Baixa and Principe Real. Hence, you can plan to visit the attractions within the neighborhood.

Day Trip Opportunities

Pena Palace Sintra

There are many day trip opportunities to explore the surroundings of Lisbon. While Sintra is high on the list and one of the awesome day trip options, there are other places to visit.

Some awesome travel advice is to visit places like Cascais or hike at the Arrabida Nature Park. You can even explore the town of Obidos or visit Alcobaça Monastery.

Hot Tip🔥: Still, if you are considering visiting Porto, I would not make it part of your day trip as the journey is very long, even with a high-speed train. Still, while in Porto, you can enjoy some great beaches for surfing.

You can also stay longer to check out the cuisine around town. One type of cuisine you must try there is Francesinha.

It is toasted bread filled with ham, steak, and cheese 🧀 melted with a hot tomato and beer sauce. It is a delicious cuisine to enjoy.

Take a Walking Tour

While Lisbon has an excellent public transportation system with train stations, I also recommend taking a walking tour.

You can easily do this on your first day in Lisbon to learn about the historic center, the earthquake, and the Carnation Revolution.

You will walk along most of the monuments in the area. You can use transport to reach places like Belem Tower or Jerónimos Monastery when done.

Or walk along the narrow cobblestone streets, stopping at the many cafes and shops to explore.

Get Exceptional Views

Lisbon offers many rooftop views at several restaurants and bars, where you can enjoy a meal while enjoying river views. 

Tips for The Best Portuguese Cuisine

You can find many Portuguese restaurants where you can try delicious food.

Enjoy Pastel de Nata

Manteigaria pasteis de nata

Lisbon’s egg tart is a famed dessert; many shops offer this delicious treat.

While in Belem, you can even visit Pastéis de Belém, where they say the custard tart started.

But a word of warning: it can get busy. I recommend trying Manteigaria as well. Their egg tarts are delicious.

Hot Tip🔥: Try some of these places for fresh bread and pastries.

Try a Bifana Sandwich

Bifana Sandwich Lisbon

The marinated pork loin sandwich is to die for, and adding some extra mustard is so yummy 😋. So, indulge in one at As Bifanas do Afonso.

Ginja 

ginja-lisbon-liqueur

Another highlight when it comes to alcoholic drinks is the ginjinha, which is a must-try. The fortified winter with cherries and sugar will warm you up fast.

Hot Tip🔥: Try some of the best coffee cafes in Lisbon.

Keep an Eye on Hidden Restaurant Fees

In most countries, when you enjoy cuisine around town and a waiter brings you bread 🥪 it usually is free.

Still, this rule does not apply in Lisbon, no matter the type of cuisine you eat. In most Lisbon restaurants, you will receive a place of bread, olives, and cheese when sitting down.

The biggest travel tip I can give you is that this place is not free, and you will pay for it once you eat from it.

Hot Tip🔥: If you want to learn more about what you need to know before visiting Lisbon, I have a complete guide to read.

The Advanced Lisbon Quiz

You’re now at the advanced Lisbon quiz with more difficult questions. No one gets every question right, so don’t beat yourself up on it. Good luck.

Wrap-Up: Travel Tips For Lisbon

The Portuguese are fun to be around, and if you have some time, I recommend learning some Portuguese phrases before leaving on your trip.

The best time to visit Lisbon is around March to May, or you can even plan a trip from September to October.

The weather is warm now, and hotel rates are affordable with fewer crowds. You will even be able to enjoy some beach days.

However, I never experienced safety concerns in Lisbon when living there or on vacation.

So, even with the mixed reviews you hear about safety, my last travel tip for Lisbon is to never feel afraid in the city.

Still, always be vigilant and take precautions to avoid pickpocketing during peak tourist hours. Lisbon is one of the safest cities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Before traveling to Lisbon, it’s essential to know that the city is hilly, so be prepared for lots of walking up and down slopes. The weather can be pretty hot in the summer, so pack accordingly.

Additionally, public transportation is efficient and easy to use, so it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the tram and metro systems. Finally, don’t forget to try the delicious local cuisine, such as pastéis de nata (custard tarts) and fresh seafood.

To visit Lisbon, Portugal, you’ll need a valid passport. Depending on your country of origin and the length of your stay, you may require a visa.

When visiting Portugal, respecting the local customs and culture is essential. Here are a few do’s and don’ts to keep in mind:

Do’s:

  • Use “por favor” (please) and “obrigado” (thank you) as much as possible.
  • Dress appropriately when visiting churches and religious sites.

Don’ts:

  • Don’t wear beachwear in urban areas unless you’re at the beach or pool.
  • Avoid being overly loud or boisterous in public places.

Yes, it would be best to carry your passport while in Portugal. Proper identification is always essential, especially when traveling in a foreign country.

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