Lisbon, Portugal's main city, has a history that dates back to 1200 BCE, making it the second oldest capital on the European continent. Today it's a vibrant and colorful city and has much to offer to its guests, from the unusual tastes of Portuguese cuisine to many sites of historical significance. Lisbon offers a variety of activities and places to visit, and good memories of this city is a guarantee.

Best Time to Visit Lisbon

The summer draws large crowds of people attracted by the sweltering weather and festivals, while the fall and spring have a more calm and relaxed atmosphere. Even the winter has its magical allure. Despite summer being the peak tourist season, it is better to visit the city in the mid-late spring or early fall. During both of these seasons, Portugal’s weather is more comfortable. The climate is way milder compared to the heat of June and July - it is still warm and pleasant, but the sun is not that scorching. Fewer visitors, less crowded streets and shorter queues also make a considerable difference. And last but not the least, the booking and transfer prices are noticeably lower as well, and accommodation is easier to find.

How to Get Here


Shuttle service Aerobus connects the Lisbon Airport and the city center. It has two routes, one of which goes directly through the city's core and the other travels through its financial area. From 7:30 am to 9 pm, the bus that connects the airport to the city center leaves every 20 minutes.


The recently expanded Metro system now connects the airport to the heart of Lisbon. A single ticket costs €1.45.


Between Lisbon Airport and the center, there are 5 bus lines offered by the transportation operator Carris. One-way tickets are priced at €1.85.


Lisbon's center can be reached in comfort and for a reasonable price by cab. The average cost of transportation to the city center is about €20. You can purchase a pre-paid ticket at the taxi rank to know the cost in advance and prevent any unpleasant surprises.

Getting Around Lisbon

Lisbon is a relatively easy city to navigate despite all its hills and cobbles thanks to a decent network of buses, trams, and suburban trains, as well as an effective metro. The city's public transportation is created with tourists' comfort in mind and allows for quick travel between major noteworthy locations.

Get a Lisbon Card

While in Lisbon, you should consider getting yourself a Lisbon Card, or a Lisboa Card in Portuguese. Its perks include free access to the best museums and attractions in the city, such as Torre de Belém, the Jerónimos Monastery, the Santa Justa Elevator and so much more. The free access to public transport is also an advantage of this card.

Avoid Route 28 at Praça Martim Moniz

Tram 28 at Praça Martim Moniz in Lisbon is an almost 8 kilometers route featuring 34 stops. Sure, some of them contain major points of interest, however, a huge portion of the route has nothing to offer to fellow travelers. Those existent noteworthy locations are the reason why this route is so popular among tourists and is also the reason for it being constantly overcrowded. Unfortunately, frequent traffic bottlenecks of Lisbon can artificially lengthen the time it takes to reach the desired sites. You hardly want to spend a few hours in a cramped bus under the scorching sun of the Portuguese capital, so this route is better avoided.

Prepare for the Hills

As is the case with Rome, the city of Lisbon was also initially built among the Seven Hills. Those hills are São Roque, Sant'Ana, São Vicente, Chagas, Santa Catarina, Santo André and São Jorge.

Even nowadays, those hills remain significant landmarks of Portugal's capital. By taking a stroll through the hills, you can explore some churches and monasteries, discover more about Lisbon's history, or behold some of the city's most iconic spots, including Baixa Pombalina and São Jorge Castle. The hills also serve as viewpoints and offer an unforgettable sightseeing experience.

Business Hours

GMT is the time zone in Portugal. Regularly, there are 9 business hours in Lisbon and Portugal in general - from 9 AM to 6 PM. Most businesses are open from 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM, but certain markets and retail centers may stay open until 11:00 PM. Portugal doesn't have a lot of convenience stores, but almost every petrol station provides 24-hour service. Except for a few convenience stores and petrol stations, almost all coffee shops and snack bars are open until 11 p.m. Every municipality also has a pharmacy open twenty-four hours a day, and each pharmacy lists additional pharmacies on its signboard that are open on weekends, significant holidays, etc.

Costs and Currency

Since Portugal is a member-state of the EU, its currency is the Euro. Are dollars accepted in Lisbon? Some shops in particularly touristy places may occasionally accept dollars, but they utilize higher conversion rates compared to official ones. Euros remain your only reliable payment option, so be sure to bring some with you when visiting Lisbon. The best options are €20, €50, and €100 banknotes. Additionally, you can use your card to withdraw cash at ATMs that dot the city. Portugal in general tends to prefer cash over cards, so during your vacation you are almost guaranteed to visit the ATM. In Portugal, the daily ATM withdrawal cap is typically €400. But be ready—your ATM might only let you withdraw up to €200 each time. If so, try making a second withdrawal to reach the cap. You might be able to locate an ATM operated by your home bank, or at the very least the one that requires little to no fees for withdrawals.

For your trip to Lisbon, you should be ready to spend approximately €105 each day, which is the average daily price based on what other tourists spend there. The daily spending on meals for a regular tourist was €34 on average, while local transportation cost €20. Also, a couple can stay in a hotel for €95 on average in Lisbon. Therefore, the average cost of a one-week trip for two people to Lisbon is approximately €1,500.

Lisbon’s activities.


Portuguese cuisine is based on vegetables, meat, and fish from the Atlantic Ocean. While cooking their national dishes, the Portuguese people prefer to combine the exoticism of root spices, the variety of oriental spices, and the purity of the taste of fresh products. The dishes made of cod are the first thing in terms of food you should taste. It is said that the people of the country know 365 different ways to cook it. Indeed, the Portuguese adore seafood, and so can you, especially if you aim to combine discovering new tastes with sightseeing. There are also options for the connoisseurs of good wines willing to visit the historical districts of Portugal's capital and learn some of its history while enjoying their favourite drink.


Lisbon has a long list of attractions, the most notable of which is Mosteiro dos Jerónimos. This Unesco-listed monastery is unquestionably a work of art. The monastery, commissioned by Manuel I to commemorate Vasco da Gama's discovery of a maritime route to India in 1498, is truly a legend, brought to life by the artistic vision of famous Portuguese architect Diogo de Boitaca.

Another Unesco World Heritage-listed object in Lisbon is Torre de Belém or the Tower of Belem. This tower that resembles a chess piece was constructed in 1515 by Francisco de Arruda to protect the city's harbour. The top of the tower is one of Lisbon's viewpoints, and the view is worth seeing because the scenery is a wonder to behold: it includes waters of the Atlantic ocean and buildings of the city. You should add those attractions to your list of things to see in Lisbon. And keep in mind: sometimes the night-time Lisbon provides even more picturesque views than the daily version of the city.


Sintra, to the north of the capital, is famous for its beaches - and the best food Lisbon has to offer. Forested hills hide ancient castles before descending to craggy cliffs and sandy coves. Praia da Adraga, a surprisingly untouched cove, grants its visitors a sense of calm. It has few restaurants, but all of them are renowned for the quality of their day-fresh seafood. Despite lying on the beach and enjoying the sunset being a very pleasant way to spend your time, Lisbon’s coastline has so much more to offer. Those with an adventurous spirit can try paragliding and experience unforgettable emotions and witness unforgettable views.

Where to Stay in Lisbon

Baxia and Chiado

Consider staying in Baixa or Chiado if this is your first time visiting Lisbon. These areas serve as a sort of hub connecting other districts and possess the majority of the public transit lines thanks to their handy location in the city's core.


Consider staying in Alfama, which is full of winding cobblestone lanes where you can get lost. This district is a great option for those searching for a charming and authentic experience. It's up a hill, though, and there aren't many alternatives beyond walking to get there or back down.

Bairro Alto

For those looking to experience Lisbon's nightlife, there is a neighbourhood called Bairro Alto. There are all kinds of places you'd like to visit - bars, clubs, restaurants, and cafes. Bairro Alto's proximity to the district of Chiado also makes it a viable spot to stay if your goal is constantly moving and exploring the city.

Popular Scams

Unsuspecting tourists often become easy prey for all sorts of thieves or swindlers. Sure, pickpockets and bag snatchers are an issue, and Lisbon does have them, however, the cases of theft do not occur that frequently.

However, there are all kinds of scams in Lisbon you should be aware of.

Because it's so easy to fall for, the restaurant scam is possibly the worst scam you can encounter. The scam works the following way: customers are given a menu that lacks the prices for food and drinks. An unsuspecting tourist assumes he'll pay a reasonable price for his order, however, this isn't the case. People have reportedly paid absurd sums of money for a mere glass of wine or beer. When a customer starts to complain, a menu featuring the €50-per-beer rates suddenly appears. Checking the prices before you order anything is what protects you from this scam.

An extra item in the bill is another scam you can run into in Lisbon's eateries. You didn't order, let's say wine, but it still somehow makes it into the bill. The prices of extra items are often low, but many tourists tend to not check the bills before paying, and that's what swindlers count on. Sure, a few euros is not that big of a loss for a single customer, but multiply that by a daily number of visitors and you'll get a considerable sum of money that victims willingly paid.

However, they will remove excessive items right away should you tell the waiter. They simply come back with a proper bill and blame everything on a simple error. Sometimes this can be a waiter's mistake, but sometimes it signifies a scam.


Portugal's official and most widely spoken language is of course Portuguese. The second most popular language spoken in Portugal is English. There are more English speakers in popular tourist areas including Lisbon. In addition to menus in cafés and restaurants, English is used as a second language for signs in the airport and on public transportation. The majority of locals whose earnings to some degree depend on tourists speak English decently as well. However, knowing at least some basics of the Portuguese language will come in handy.