10 Lisbon Tips
We want your stay to be as enjoyable as possible, so we wrote a list of ten tips to help you make the most of Lisbon:
When you are travelling, every minute you spend queueing is a minute of sightseeing you miss! Why look at the back of the head of the person in front of you when you could be enjoying a breathtaking view over the Tagus?
As soon as you arrive at the airport, we suggest you buy your VIVA Card right away at the station, and that you top it up with a 24-hour ticket. You will save money and precious time by doing this.
Something else you might want to buy in advance is the Lisboa Card, which will help you save money on transport and attractions. You can buy it here and pick it up at the airport when you arrive.
Yes, we might be the first tourism blog to tell you not to take the famous 28 Lisbon tram. Let us tell you why: not only is the 28 always packed, there are endless queues to get on it! You might find yourself standing for as long as 2 hours just to go on a tram ride and you know our motto - the more you wait, the least you see!
That's why we suggest an alternative itinerary to the 28 tram. If you wish to go on a tram ride right up to the Castle of São Jorge, we recommend that you go to Praça da Figueira and take the 12E instead. This route will take you to the castle and the cathedral on a much emptier tram and with far fewer chances of encountering pickpockets.
If you need to send something by post after 9 p.m, there are plenty of options. The CTT post office in Cabo Ruivo at Avenida Marechal Gomes da Costa is open until 11 p.m during the week. But the El Corte Inglés post office counter is open until 10 p.m and the CTT post at the Lisbon airport is open every day, including Sundays.
Time... again! The Santa Justa lift might be one of Lisbon's top attractions but sometimes it is just not worth the wait. But of course, you would still like to enjoy if not the climb, then the view from the Largo do Carmo viewpoint. Why don't you walk there, then?
This way, you'll get the chance to also see a little bit more of Chiado. On the way, there are some very interesting pop up shops that are well worth a visit.
Rua Augusta Triumphal Arch's viewpoint is one of the best places to watch the sunset in the city. This iconic monument is open until 9 pm - two hours longer than usual - in July and August.
Many Lisbon museus are free on Sunday! In fact, most them are, even the most visited ones like Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga and Museu Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian. For this reason, we recommend you go on their websites before you haste to buy a ticket for a different day.
Some of these museums are free every Sunday, some are only free on the first Sunday of the month and some are free on Saturday, so you'd better check before you go.
7. Theatre at a discount
Every day is a good day to go to the theatre. But Thursdays are especially sweet because the tickets come at a 25% discount at Teatro Nacional Dona Maria II in Rossio. You'd better hurry to get those tickets, though, because a lot of locals choose to go on this day as well.
8. The view for free
You might be tempted to watch the sunset while sipping on a delicious cocktail in one of Lisbon's many rooftop bars. This is always a good idea unless you are on a budget. In this case, we suggest you go to a viewpoint such as those in Graça with a fresh beer bought at a convenience store nearby and join the many tourists who, just like you, are enjoying one of the most beautiful sunsets Europe has to offer.
9. Best time to visit
Visit the Portuguese capital in June because this is when the Santos Populares festivities take place.
In the most traditional neighbourhoods, the decorations are scattered on the streets and the smell of grilled sardines is in the air. To this the popular songs, dances and a lot of beer are added. Let yourself feel the true Lisbon spirit and enjoy the popular saints like a local.
10. Biking your way through Lisbon
Although Lisbon has a good transport network and most places are accessible by either train or the underground, it could still be a good idea to just rent one of the Gira bikes that are scattered along strategic places in the city (just like in many European capitals) and go for a ride.
This way, you'll get to take in much more of the landscape at your own pace. And if you think Lisbon is too hilly, don't worry! Some of these bikes are equipped with an electric motor that will help you up the steepest hill!