Here are our 4 Suggestions when first arriving in Lisbon as top recommendations for a better experience when you arrive in Lisbon, Portugal. Check out our blog, pictures and video within !
- Consider taking the metro downtown
- Buying the metro ticket or day pass
- Consider renting a locker
- Speak with locals !
Your plane just landed, now what ?
1. Consider taking the metro downtown
Getting in Lisbon old town by Metro
Once you clear customs, you can search for the free wifi signal and plan your ride into town. Lisbon Humberto airport is quite large so you can expect similar services as in major Canadian cities. Simplicity and comfort, the first thing that came to mind was taking a taxi, then we noticed signs for the Metro service. 'A cheaper alternative' we thought to ourselves.
The Metro access is a five minute walk from the airport. You will need to exit the main doors, hang a right and follow the path all the way down. At the end of the building, you'll notice the main Metro entrance. We had no clue how much it would cost us, but we were already convinced this was our option.
We headed down the escalators and down the main corridor leading to the turnstiles. On the left wall, were roughly 5 self-serve machines to purchase your tickets. Although we changed the language setting to english, something about the system left us confused. So we paused and took a step back.
Pros for Metro:
- Cheaper alternative
- Easy access from Lisbon airport exit
- Easy to buy
- Metro is modern and simple to use (only 4 lines)
- Centrally located exits (old town locations)
Cons to Metro:
- Lots of stairs in case you have heavy or many luggage,
- Difficult to find seating with luggage
- Longer ride than car, taxi or Uber
- Least convenient to car ride
We found the Lisbon Metro was super easy to use. We are experienced with the Metro in Montreal, as well, we've taken the Metro in a few other European cities.
2. Buying your metro ticket or day pass
With the self-serve or at the tourist shop
There are roughly 5 self serve machines to purchase single tickets. We had a few doubts, so we went in the shop.
Afraid of falling into a tourist trap, we stepped in reluctantly. However in hindsight, it was the greatest decision we took in our short time in Lisbon.
The clerk answered all our questions and guided us towards the best passes for our needs. They sell a variety of day passes plus maps and guides. Since we already had a list of places to visit, we purchased the 3 day pass only.
three day pass (how great it was)
We could start using the 3 day pass immediately. Plus, the clerk told us the pass could be used for the street cars, busses, and other methods of transportation in the city. Needless to say, we maximized the use of the pass and broke even on our second day!
*Additionally, if you want to know more about the Lisbon metro, how to buy, the best ticket for you including fees and further explanation,
check the following link in English: http://www.lisbon-airport.com/lisbon-airport-metro/
When travelling anywhere, we are heavy rely on Google Maps. Prior to our visit, we pegged a bunch of places we planned to visit in Portugal. Then we make a plan to maximize the sightseeing. We find Google Maps super useful for getting around the city, so forget about the paper maps (unless you are attached to them).
Did you know ?
Google Maps will work, even in Airplane mode ! That's right, we've been doing it for over 5 years !! You won't be able to access additional information until you reconnect to Wifi, but this is super useful to navigate through the streets and avoid getting lost.
3. Consider renting a locker
Dreadful thought and unthinkable to newbies
Most travellers from North America take the overnight flight to Europe. Experienced travellers know the headaches of carrying their luggage from the airport to downtown. In addition, we need to figure out what to do with that luggage until our rooms are ready for check in!
Lisbon Lockers on Horta Seca street, is just one of many locker rentals in Lisbon. They have various size lockers to suit all your needs. This particular locker was centrally located and really close to our hotel.
Inconvenience of overnight flights
- What to do with carry ons and checked pieces of luggage
- Barely slept on airplane
- Hotel room not ready for next couple of hours
- Centrally located downtown
- Hourly rental
- Safe and secure
4. Speak with locals
Locals know best !
We can't stress it enough, find a way to interact with the locals. When doing so, you're guaranteed the best possible experience !
In our first hours in Lisbon, we had 3 great experiences. First, the lady working at the ticket office near the metro. She gave us valuable information regarding the day pass, which we would have missed had we just bought our tickets at the self serve machines. Second, we interacted with the local worker at the Lisbon Lockers on Horta Seca. He suggested a great local restaurant right next door. Lastly, during our lunch, we spoke with locals sitting beside us and they gave amazing insights for things to discover in that area.
In addition to speaking with locals in Lisbon, we can tell you it's served us well in any other cities we've visited. Most locals want to help and wish you the best experience when visiting they city/country. So don't be afraid to speak up !
Stay tuned for what's next and also Check our Blog
Feel free to check out our growing picture gallery, in chronological order starting in Lisbon and moving across various cities in Portugal !
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