As the coastal capital city of Portugal, Lisbon is a popular destination. The gothic architecture, glamour, and waterscape make it a breathtaking destination for families and couples alike. When looking for the best time to visit Lisbon, you may prefer the milder temperatures of spring or the cooler fall months. Summer is hot and humid, while winter can bring unpredictable rainstorms. Tourist season strikes a peak from June – August, and beaches are full from July – August with locals and tourists alike. Ideally, you want to plan your visit anywhere from May – September, especially if you plan to take advantage of the beaches.
For direct international flights to Lisbon from Canada, look for those operated by Air Canada, SATA Internacional, TAP Portugal, and Air Transat. Other options include Lufthansa, Brussels Airlines, Aegean Airlines, Air France, American Airlines, and Alitalia. While there are cheap flights to Lisbon, you may want to avoid these. The amount you save in costs will translate into longer layovers and multiple stops.
Lisbon Airport is 20 minutes away from the city centre. Getting to and from the airport is quick and easy, especially with the transportation offered by the city.
Lisbon transportation options are plentiful, especially once you get to the city centre. Most of the city is compact; therefore, you will find it is easy enough to look around the city without requiring wheels.
The metro underground subway is safe, clean, and very efficient. It runs daily from 6:30 am – 1 am. The most popular stops include Cais do Sodre, Rossio, Sao Sebastiao, and Jardim Zoologico. If you purchase the Lisboa Card, you can use the metro for free. A 24-hour Lisboa Card costs €19.00 EUR per person, while a 72-hour card is €40.00 EUR per person.
Take the tram 28 and tram 15 to explore downtown and some of the more historical areas of Lisbon. You will find tram 28 at Miradouro das Portas do Sol, while tram 15 is found at Praca da Figueira Square and Comercio Square. You can ride free with your Lisboa Card.
Most attractions outside of city centre are accessible via taxi. Also, when the tram and metro stops operating just after 1 am, you can use a taxi for nightlife. It should not cost more than €10 EUR to ride around the city centre in a taxi.
The Aerobus goes between city centre and the airport, but the local Carris bus takes you downtown too. Take routes 727, 737, and 744 to see most of the main attractions in the city. You can also ride all bus lines free with your Lisboa Card.
Lisbon is a very walkable city. You will find that one of the best and most pleasurable ways to explore the historic downtown areas is by walking. You can stop and sit down to people-watch and just take in the charm of the area. Also, the hilly streets are well worth the hike once you reach the top.
Lisbon has plenty to offer outside the city, but most of what you will want to see as a new visitor to the area is in the city centre.
Lisbon is a safe city to visit for most tourists, but you should still be prepared while you are here. For starters, the sidewalks have embedded black stones and the city prides itself in this form of walk-on art throughout the centre and hillsides. Unfortunately, these small stones are extremely slick when wet. There are also holes in some; therefore, you should proceed with caution. Be aware that the taxis are independent from the city. You can bargain with the drivers, but do not allow the driver to add extra charges. Also, make sure the driver does not turn off the meter and that they start the meter the moment you get inside the vehicle.