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Visiting Lisbon 101

Visiting Lisbon 101

As Portuguese wine, food and textile importers, our team at Farah Trading Co is split between the US and Portugal - with lots of travel in between. Our team members on the ground in Portugal have put pen to paper to give you Farah's Insider Guides to Portugal. From visiting Lisbon to the beaches of the Algarve to the wineries of the Douro Valley - we have you covered!

Lisbon 101

HOW MUCH TIME DO I NEED IN LISBON?  

You can get a good sense of the city in 3 days. You can stay in a hotel or an AirBnb right in the center and explore the heart of the city either walking, ubering or taking public transportation. In Lisbon we have a fabulous subway system, bus system, a light rail and trains. While hilly, much like San Francisco, Lisbon’s center is totally walkable.

If you want to fully experience Lisbon, stay for a week and take time to visit peripheral towns like the wondrous Sintra and the fisherman’s beach town Cascais.

There are a plethora of day tours you can complete to explore different parts of Lisbon's wine region. When considering which days of the week to visit Lisbon, know that a lot of establishments close on Sundays in Portugal and restaurants usually close on Mondays.

 Lisbon 101

 

HOW SAFE IS LISBON?

The Global Peace Index considers Portugal to be the safest country in the European Union and the third safest in the world (behind Iceland and New Zealand) and Lisbon is ranked one of the safest cities in Europe.

 

WHAT TIME OF YEAR IS BEST TO VISIT LISBON?

Lisbon's climate is very mild, with no extreme temperatures, making it a lovely destination all year long. It is one of the sunniest cities in all of Europe and its  weather is similar to Northern California, so mild is the name of the game. The one caveat is that many businesses are closed in August for Portugal's national vacation period.

 

HOW TO GET AROUND LISBON?

Unlike most European cities, the Lisbon airport is right on the border of the city. You can take a taxi or an Uber and be at most hotels in 15 minutes (depending on traffic). The airport's proximity to the center makes even a quick weekend in Lisbon do-able and worth it.

 

WALKING IN LISBON

Lisbon is a walking city. Although it is known for its seven hills, you can walk from one side to the other. Remember to choose comfortable shoes because there is a lot of up and down and the city is mostly built on cobblestones.

 

PUBLIC TRANSPORATION IN LISBON

Lisbon's underground metro is clean, safe and really easy to use. It is open everyday from 6:30 am to 1 am, including weekends and holidays. Tickets can be bought in every station and there is an easy to understand map posted on all station walls.

Lisbon also has a great bus system and the yellow little trams (eléctricos, in Portuguese), which you can hop on for transit or just for a fun, scenic ride. All transportation is very affordable and you can either buy tickets as you go or buy a general ticket for unlimited trips in one day.

 

RENTING A CAR IN LISBON

I would advise against renting a car renting a car to visit Lisbon itself since there isn’t much parking in the city, the drivers are more aggressive than any other part of Portugal and many streets are narrow and hard to navigate. That being said, if you’re considering traveling outside of the city for another destination or a day trip, rent a car. Portugal's highways are well marked, relatively new and free of traffic!
 
If you are renting a car I would avoid renting a car at the Lisbon airport, unless you are immediately traveling outside of Lisbon. If you are staying a night or two in Lisbon I would suggest opting for one of the rental agencies closer to the center of Lisbon. They are small and usually not very busy. The airport rentals can be overrun with long wait times to both pickup and drop off your car.
 
There is a subway station right at the airport that can take you downtown as an easy exit into the city. Ubers and Taxis are also safe, and plentiful at the airport.

 

We hope you enjoyed these insider tips! Check out our other blog posts for our insider tips for Lisbon neighborhoods and exploring Pastel de Nata in Lisbon. Cheers - The Farah Trading Co Team

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