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How to get around in Lisbon

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

Tram in Lavra, Lisbon

Unlike some cities, Lisbon has a wealth of public transport options available. This is useful as Lisbon is built on a series of seven hills and the valleys in between them that can make life difficult for visitors as they move within the city.

Visitors are not advised to make many journeys by taxi in Lisbon since this is an expensive and polluting way to get about the city. The taxi drivers at the airport are notorious for overcharging new arrivals which does not make for a pleasant first impression of the city. The exception to this rule is late at night. If you have been out until the early hours then it is probably best to take a taxi back to your hotel rather than walk.

Lisbon’s metro system is efficient, reliable and safe. The metro has been dug through the famous hills but it still doesn’t reach all of the city and in some places there are very long walks underground within stations so it is not very disabled accessible. In most cases, however, the metro provides a cheap and convenient way to get from point to point within the city. Particularly if your hotel is out of the centre or you are visiting the shopping district around the Parque Expo.

Back above ground, there are many trams that clatter through the city, as well as many trams designed for tourists. The tourist trams are generally very expensive for what they offer but the tram system can still be a good way of seeing the city. Unless you really need a guided tour through Lisbon in your language then think about jumping on the number 28 tram. This is a standard city line that just happens to run past most of the best sights of the city and is recommended for visitors to get a feel of the city at the start of their visit.

Gazing out at the relaxing view of the sea from one of the many popular vantage points in Lisbon is a must for visitors. However, few do it in reverse, which is a shame. Numerous ferries cross the Tejo river and give visitors a chance to gaze back at the beautiful city sprawling across the bank in the sunshine. As well as giving you a new perspective of the main city the ferries will allow you to discover the suburbs on the far bank that have an atmosphere all of their own.

Lastly, visitors to Lisbon should not be afraid to take to their feet about the city. Lisbon rewards visitors who walk with sudden vistas out across the city, secluded little restaurants full of local people and great food. Whole days can be given over to simply wandering the back avenues of Lisbon, and they are never considered wasted.

Top hotels in Lisbon, Portugal

Lavra guesthouse roomLavra Guest House

Lavra Guest House offers Lisbon visitors central accommodation in the heart of Portugal’s capital. Set in the 18th-Century Palacete dos Leones Dourados building, in the Lisbon Baixa district (designated UNESCO World Heritage Site), Lavra Guest House provides tourists with free wireless Internet connection and nicely decorated rooms. Rates starting from € 53/£ 46/$ 70.5

Belver Principe RealBelver Príncipe Real Hotel

Belver Príncipe Real Hotel is situated not far from Lisbon’s main shopping areas and old quarters boasting the best restaurants in the city. This Lisbon 4-star hotel is also located near the cosmopolitan city’s Avenida da Liberdade. All guestrooms are comfortable and equipped with an array of services and amenities to allow both business travelers and tourists alike get the most out of their stay in Portugal’s capital. Room rates starting from € 90/£ 78.1/$ 119.8
Sul Downtown roomResidencial Sul Downtown
If you are looking for budget and central accommodation in Lisbon, Portugal, then Residencial Sul Downtown is your choice. Right in the Rossio district, this welcoming pension boasts comfortable guestrooms and an array of services such as Wi-Fi Internet access. Enjoy your stay! Room rates starting from € 30/£ 26/$ 39.9

Photo of two trams in Lavra, Lisbon, by pedrosimoes7.

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About the author

Venere Travel Blog writer will joce

Will Joce is a recent graduate from the London School of Economics who has a morbid fear of working in an office. As well as travelling and writing he has worked in the UK Parliament and as a press monitor. Refusing to follow advice and get a real job he will soon be beginning a Masters degree at St Petersburg State University

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