LisbonLisboaPortugal.com

The best independent guide to Lisbon

LisbonLisboaPortugal.com

The best independent guide to Lisbon

Lisbon Airport to the city centre by metro, taxi, Uber and Bolt in 2024

Lisbon airport is conveniently located within the city limits and is just 7km from the historic centre. This means it is a relatively short and easy journey to travel from the airport to the city centre.

The airport is connected to the metro network, and this is the recommended means of onward travel for most passengers. However, if you prefer a faster transfer, have bulky luggage or are travelling as a group, then there are taxis or ride-hailing apps (like Uber or Bolt).

For travel outside the city limits, to places such as Sintra, Cascais, Sesimbra, or Estoril, pre-booking a transfer is advised. Onward travel to these locations via public transport can be time-consuming, and taxi fares can be expensive.

This article focuses on travelling from the airport to the centre of Lisbon (such as the Baixa, Chiado, and Alfama districts). For other destinations, please see our other articles:
Lisbon Airport to Sintra
Lisbon Airport to Cascais
Lisbon to Sesimbra (with airport details)

Lisbon airport terminal 1

Terminal 1 of Lisbon Airport with the entrance to the metro station on the left.

Lisbon Airport: An overview

Lisbon has a single airport, which is 7km to the north of the historic centre. The airport has two terminal buildings, but all arriving passengers pass through Terminal 1. Terminal 2 is used for the departure of flights for the low-cost airlines (such as Ryanair and Wizz Air).

The arrivals hall is a modern section of the airport that lies on the eastern side of the terminal building. Upon exiting customs and entering the arrivals hall, the metro entrance will be on your right, taxis directly in front, and the pick-up point for Uber and Bolt to your left (specific details are provided later in this guide).

taxi pick up zone Lisbon airport

The taxi pick-up zone is always busy during the day.

Uber and Bolt pick up  Lisbon airport

The Uber and Bolt pick-up is on the ground level of the short-stay car park (signed as P2), just to the north of the arrivals hall. This is the only location for a pick-up from Uber and Bolt, and the long queue is people waiting for their drivers

Travel from the airport to Lisbon

You have three main options for travelling from the airport to the city centre: the metro, a taxi, or a ride-hailing app such as Uber or Bolt. Each of these modes of transportation has its own pros and cons:

Metro – The metro is inexpensive, but journeys will take longer than in a taxi. There are large areas of the city not covered by the metro network, such as the hills of Alfama, and the Belem, Alcantara and Graça districts.

Taxi – The fastest mode of transportation, but also the most expensive. Sometimes, taxi drivers may try to take advantage of weary travellers by trying to charge inflated fares.

Uber/Bolt – The ride-hailing services are significantly cheaper than taxis, but there can be long waits during peak hours. Additionally, drivers may refuse pick-ups from the airport due to the heavy traffic entering the airport site. You will need to download an app to your phone, and the initial setting up of the app and first booking can be tricky.

If you're arriving late at night or are feeling tired after a long flight, take a taxi. If you have booked with Uber or Bolt before, use them instead of a taxi. For all other circumstances, the metro is the better choice. There used to be a bus service from the airport to the centre of Lisbon, called the Aerobus, but this was cancelled in May 2022 due to limited demand.

Insight: Uber and Bolt are very convenient for travelling around Lisbon. It is recommended to have downloaded their apps (and know how to use them!) before heading to Lisbon.

The following section will detail each of the onward travel methods in depth. At the end of this article are specific details on how to travel to different areas of Lisbon.

Lisbon metro at the airport

The entrance to the metro is easy to spot once you're outside!

Lisbon airport arrivals hall

The entrance to the arrivals hall, with the exit to the metro via the doors on the right.

Metro onward travel from the airport

Lisbon's metro is modern, safe and inexpensive, and for most tourists it is the best means of travel from the airport to the city centre. The metro is open from 6.30am to 1am and a single fare costs €1.80. This fare is charged to the re-usable Navegante card, which costs €0.50 for the initial purchase.

Another good option for the start of your trip to Lisbon is to purchase a Navegante card and charge it with money (between €3 and €40). This type of ticket is referred to as "zapping", and the metro fare is slightly cheaper (€1.47). However, the real benefit is that it can be used to pay for all public transport within the city. This eliminates the hassle of trying to pay by cash on a packed tram or bus.

Tip: A zapping ticket charged with at least €15 is highly recommended for your stay in Lisbon, as it makes travelling by public transport so much easier. It can also be used to pay for the train to Sintra or Cascais, and means you can skip the long queues at the train stations.

The zapping ticket can only be purchased from a ticket machine in a metro station, so it makes sense to purchase it at the airport’s metro station.

There is also a 24-hour unlimited public transport ticket for €6.80, but on your day of arrival, a zapping or single ticket is a better choice.

The metro can be entered and paid for using your contactless bank card, with the contactless fare being the same as a single ticket (€1.80). To enter the metro this way, go to any metro gate, swipe the panel with your contactless bank card and the gate will open when the payment has gone through.

Insight: Contactless payment is only available on the metro. We still recommend getting a zapping ticket for use on the buses and trams, and the metro fare is cheaper with zapping than contactless.

All metro tickets are purchased from a ticket machine, and they have instructions in all major Europe languages.

The airport is the first station on the red metro line, while the popular tourist areas of Alfama, Baixa and Chiado are close to the green or blue lines (and the Baixa-Chiado, Rossio, Restauradores, Martim Moniz or Santa Apolónia metro stations). This means that most visitors will have to make a connection at Alameda (for the green line) or São Sebastião (for the blue line). These connections are not difficult; there is clear signage and many escalators or elevators.

Note: The single metro fare covers the entire journey, even if it involves travelling on two metro lines.
Related articles: Lisbon metro guide

Lisbon metro

A red metro train pulling into Alameda station

How about a small group tour?

One of the best ways to discover Lisbon and to meet fellow travellers is to join a guided tour. We have worked with Getyourguide.com for the last six years, and some of the best tours of Lisbon include:

Uber, Bolt and ride hailing apps

Uber and Bolt are an inexpensive way to travel around Lisbon. Their fares vary depending on demand, but a transfer to the centre of Lisbon typically costs around €7 and will always be cheaper than a taxi.

One of the advantages of the ride-hailing apps is the ability to know the fare before booking a transfer. However, the downside is the heavy traffic around the airport complex during peak hours, which is likely to be when you're passing through the airport.

This traffic can lead to a lengthy wait for your driver, and many drivers will reject a ride that originates from the airport. During these peak times, the apps may endlessly search for available cars, and you may have to be patient to connect to a willing driver.

At the airport, there is a single location where Uber and Bolt drivers can pick up their passengers, which is located on the ground floor of the short-stay car park (referred to as P2). This pick-up area is to the north of the arrivals hall, just past the Starbucks coffee shop.

Lisbon airport Uber pick up sign

The entrance to the Uber/Bolt pick-up zone is just past the Starbucks coffee shop – follow the blue 'pre-reservas online' signs.

Note: The former pick-up zone used to be in front of departures, in the 'Kiss and Fly' car park, but it was relocated in June 23. While this reduced the awful traffic around departures, it now means Uber/Bolts leave the departure drop-off point empty and have to drive around the airport site for a pick-up.

Uber and Bolt are very similar; ask any Portuguese citizen and you'll find there will be an equal split on which they prefer. Generally, Bolt is cheaper (trying to win Uber's customers), but the standard of their cars (and drivers) is slightly lower. An Uber car has to be at least a Peugeot 308, whereas Bolt has no such requirement. Also, many drivers work for both companies.

Insight: Although it's not standard practice to tip Uber or Bolt drivers in Portugal, a €1 or €2 coin is always appreciated.

Keep in mind that you'll need mobile internet to book an Uber or Bolt. If you're experiencing issues, make sure your phone's data roaming is turned on.

If you're arriving from outside of Europe or have a longer trip to Portugal, you may wish to purchase a Portuguese SIM card for your phone. There is a Vodaphone kiosk in the arrivals hall, and they have plans with 10GB of data for €25.

A taxi from Lisbon airport to the city centre

A taxi from Lisbon Airport to your accommodation will be the simplest method of onward travel. Lisbon's taxis are safe, modern and comparatively inexpensive. A typical journey from the airport to central Lisbon will cost €12 to €15, and there is an additional luggage surcharge of €1.60 (all luggage, not per piece).

All journeys are calculated using a taximeter, which must be used by law. On entering the taxi, insist that the metre is used, as non-metred journeys will be much more expensive. The taxi rates will be displayed within the taxi, and the current 2024 fares are: €0.47 per km with a minimum fare of €3.25, while the waiting charge is €14.80 per hour (or €0.25 per minute stuck in traffic).

At night (9pm to 6am), taxi fares are 20% more expensive, while large taxis (7-seater) cost 20% more (irrespective of the number of passengers). At peak hours, there can be considerable queues at the taxi rank outside of the arrivals building.

Lisbon airport Taxis Lisbon

This is a larger taxi and would have a higher fare rate

Warning: Never take a taxi outside of the city limits, as it will become significantly more expensive due to different fare rates.
Advice: Have the name of the hotel or address (if a rental room) written down on a piece of paper, as many older taxi drivers do not speak English and this eliminates communication misunderstandings.

Other onward travel advice

If your hotel is in the Alfama district, consider taking a taxi. Alfama is a very hilly district and has almost no public transport, the nearest metro station (Santa Apolónia), is found at the bottom of the steep hill.

If your hotel is in the Belem district again consider taking a taxi (which will be €15-€20) as the metro network, do not extend past the Cais do Sodré train station. If you wish to use public transport, catch the metro to Cais do Sodré metro station (green line) and then board the E15 tram.
Related article: Guide to the E15 tramBelem guide

E15 tram to Belem

The E15 tram which connects central Lisbon with the Belem district

Other destinations from the airport

Airport to Oriente train station
Oriente is the main train station of Lisbon, with intercity express trains heading north to Porto and south to the Algarve. Oriente station is very close to the airport (2.4km), so a taxi (€5-7) is probably your best option. If you still wish to use public transport, take the red metro line three stops to Oriente metro station. Oriente station is spread over four levels with the metro on the lowest level and the railway station on the highest.

Intercidades Oriente station

An Intercidades (IC) train at Oriente station

Airport to Sintra
Take a taxi (or the metro) to the Oriente train station and then catch the regional train to Sintra (€2.25 adult single); you’ll find a full guide here
Airport to Cascais
Take the metro (or Aerobus) to Cais do Sodré train station and then catch the train to Cascais (€2.25 adult single); you’ll find a full guide here
Airport to Estoril
This is very similar to travelling to Cascais; take the metro to Cais do Sodré train station and then take the train to Estoril (€2.25 adult single)
Airport to the Santa Apolónia cruise ship terminal
The Terminal de Passageiros de Santa Apolónia is the new cruise terminal of Lisbon and is on the edge of the Alfama district. To head there catch the metro to the Santa Apolónia station, which is the final stop on the blue line.
Airport to Parque das Nações
The Parque das Nações is the modern side to historic Lisbon and is the location of the Altice Arena and the Feira Internacional de Lisboa (which hosts many conferences including Web Summit) - The airport is so close that Parque das Nações can be seen from the arrival’s buildings! Either catch a taxi (€7-10) or take the metro to Oriente metro station (red line)

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LisbonLisboaPortugal.com

The best guide to Lisbon

top 10 lisbon
Where to stay which district lisbon
3 days in Lisbon
Lisbon Nightlife
Lisbon day trips
lisbon beaches
lisbon for families
1 week in lisbon
48 hours lisbon
Lisbon sunsets
lisbon Portugal guide
Baixa district lisbon
belem distrcit lisbon
lisbon shopping
Secret Lisbon
alfama district lisbon
Cost of a holiday to Lisbon
Parque das Nações district lisbon
Alcantara district lisbon
sintra portugal
Costa da Caparica
Cascais Portugal
24 hours in lisbon
Lisbon viewpoints
lisbon food and meals
lisbon airport guide
wet day in lisbon
Lisbon museums

We Need Your Support
The digital landscape is evolving, and small publishers like us are feeling the pressure. Search engine biases and AI plagiarism have made it increasingly challenging to thrive.
You can make a difference by bookmarking our site for easy access and sharing your favorite articles with others on social media.
If you spot an error, please let us know. With over 1,600 pages to maintain, we greatly appreciate your vigilance.
Please contact us at: [email protected]

top 10 lisbon
Where to stay which district lisbon
3 days in Lisbon
Lisbon Nightlife
Lisbon day trips
lisbon beaches
lisbon for families
1 week in lisbon
48 hours lisbon
Lisbon sunsets
lisbon Portugal guide
Baixa district lisbon
belem distrcit lisbon
lisbon shopping
Secret Lisbon
alfama district lisbon
Cost of a holiday to Lisbon
Parque das Nações district lisbon
Alcantara district lisbon
sintra portugal
Costa da Caparica
Cascais Portugal
24 hours in lisbon
Lisbon viewpoints
lisbon food and meals
lisbon airport guide
wet day in lisbon
Lisbon museums