Street Scene in Lisbon with a car, a tram, and a bicycle, showing ways to get around Lisbon.

Uber in Lisbon: A Guide to Getting Around the Hills of Lisboa Portugal

Lisbon, the capital of Portugal is a wonderful city to explore and enjoy. While you’ll be able to get around much of the center by foot, you may be wondering if you have the option of Uber in Lisbon, or how you should plan to get around the city.

As a full-time traveling family, we know how important it is to have easy, affordable ways to move around town. One of the biggest surprises we found in Lisbon is just how affordable Uber often is!

After spending two months here and staying in two different neighborhoods, we’ve created this guide for you to help you get around Lisbon. We’ll cover getting into Lisbon from the airport, using Uber, how well Uber works (and what the complaints are), as well as how to use the metro, bus, and tram, and even how to take trains out of the city.

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Is There Uber in Lisbon?

Yes, there is Uber in Lisbon. There is also Bolt, but while we were told Bolt can be cheaper than Uber, we have not found that to be the case. Uber has been a great way for our family to move around Lisbon.

Colorful tiled houses with  balconies in Lisbon

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Does Uber work well in Lisbon?

In our experience, Uber is inexpensive, and the drivers arrive quickly. We had family join us for the holidays in Lisbon, and we often needed either an extra-large car or even two cars to move us all around.

Uber came through for us, with rarely more than a five-minute wait for a car, and easy travel for our family, who span many generations and comfort levels with using the Uber app.

We even pre-scheduled an Uber to arrive in the early morning to take our relatives to the airport, and it showed up a few minutes early. No stress or fuss!

Tram behind a car on the narrow streets of Lisbon
Traffic can slow down cars and trams in Lisbon


Why Use Uber in Lisbon?

Uber is useful for getting around Lisbon as it removes the language barrier, and the price negotiations when grabbing a cab. It is also usually cheaper.

You don’t need to explain to the driver where you are going, and you don’t need to worry about whether the cost is a fair one. You also don’t need to pay in cash, as your credit card is stored in the app.

We found that about half of our Uber drivers in Lisbon spoke excellent English, while a few did not. Whether they speak English or not, you’ll find most drivers pleasant and friendly.

Uber is also a great choice when you have time constraints. When we have an appointment and need to arrive by a specific time, waiting for the bus is not a smart choice. You may wait 5 minutes, or you may be waiting 20 minutes. With Uber, we can plan a tighter schedule and know we will arrive at our destination on time.

Alternatives to Uber in Lisbon

Bolt is the alternative ride-sharing service in Lisbon. We have friends in Lisbon who love using it, and have had great experiences. There is no Lyft in Lisbon.


Complaints about Uber in Lisbon

We have seen complaints online about travelers’ experience with Uber. The main complaint seems to be that drivers may cancel after accepting the ride. We did not have this experience very often, but it may be more common during the busy summer months.

During very busy times you may experience surge pricing which makes taking an Uber less desirable than during the off-season. The good thing is that you’ll always know the price before booking the ride.

We found that many of our Uber drivers were happy to chat and often excited to offer advice about sightseeing around Lisbon. Many drivers are using Uber to work a second job and report dealing with tired, entitled, sometimes rude, and sometimes drunk passengers. They also work long shifts during the peak tourist seasons, and they make most of their income during these times.

Is Uber in Lisbon Safe?

Yes, Uber in Lisbon is very safe. Make sure to always verify that the license plate of the car matches the one in the app before jumping in. Uber has been shown to be incredibly safe and has lots of safety features built into the app.

We have personally used Uber a lot in Lisbon (as well as many other places) and never had a dangerous, sketchy, or scary situation.

Is Uber Expensive in Lisbon

No, Uber is not expensive. In fact, we were surprised at how affordable it was! To take the bus using a pre-loaded card costs 1.50€ per person. Children do not ride free, so for a family of four, each ride costs 6€.

We found we could often take an Uber the same distance for 6-7€. An Uber is a faster and more direct mode of transportation than a bus, and for the four of us, the cost was almost equal.

We have avoided taking Ubers in other European countries where they can be quite expensive. When we were moving around Vienna, my parents often opted for Uber, while we took the public trams. Those Uber rides often exceeded 20€ for a simple ride across town.

Our first apartment in Lisbon was in Belém, and we found that an Uber into central Lisbon was not at all expensive, and much more efficient than taking the bus.

Are Car Seats Required in Ubers in Lisbon?

Per EU law, any child under 12 or under 135 cm must use a car seat or booster. Many Uber drivers carry car seats in the back of their cars, but I would not necessarily count on it.

One of our kids meets the height requirement, and one does not, we’ve never had trouble, or been refused an Uber ride in Lisbon.

Car seats are not legally required in regular taxis, only private cars.

Favorite Places to Take Uber in Lisbon

We found that Uber is a great way to move our family around Lisbon when traveling to places that aren’t on a direct bus line. Here are some of our favorite places in Lisbon to take an Uber:

National Tile Museum

This museum is a fantastic place to learn about Portuguese tiles and their history. The chapel here is also stunning and worth a visit in itself. We also hear that the cafe serves Apples Baked in Port worthy of a mention in the New York Times, but they were out when we visited.

The National Tile Museum is on the water north of Alfama, making it out of the way to walk to, and inconvenient via public transportation.

Gold framed paintings on the ceiling of the chapel at the National Tile Museum Lisbon


LX Factory

The LX Factory is a series of restaurants, shops, and murals that create a fun “Brooklyn” vibe in Alcantara between Lisbon and Belém. It’s a great place to go with friends to browse, relax, eat, and drink.

Because of its “in-between” location, we recommend taking Uber in at least one direction. We’ve walked there from Belém, and to be honest, we’ve also walked from the LX Factory into Lisbon, but it was a long walk, and it’s not a great use of your time.

Belém

The neighborhood of Belém stretches along the waterfront from the Belém Tower on one end, to the sculptures by the MAAT Museum.

We also highly recommend a visit to the National Palace of Ajuda, which also houses the Portuguese Crown Jewels in the Museu do Tesouro Real in the renovated wing of the same complex.

If you start at the palace, check out the nearby Botanical Gardens, and then walk down to the Belém Tower and along the water, you’ll do plenty of walking just getting between sights.

If you are starting in the neighborhood of Santos, you can take the train toward Cascais one stop to reach Belém. Otherwise, you’ll need to head to the waterfront, and then wait for the E15 tram or the 728 bus. With an Uber fare of 7-8€ for the trip, that seems like a lot of work.

Long line in front on the Monastery of St. Jerome in Belem
Line of Tourist outside the Monastery of St. Jerome in Belém


Altice Arena

As a Christmas gift, we bought tickets for a Cirque de Soleil show at the Altice Arena, which is on the coast just east of the airport. Public transportation is complicated, and when going to a nicer event, we prefer to take an Uber and know we will arrive on time.

If you are staying near a metro stop, you can also take the metro to Oriente station, then walk 5 minutes to access the Arena. While you are there, don’t miss the 3-D cat sculpture by Portuguese street artist Bordalo II.

3-D car sculpture by Bordalho II near Altice Arena in Lisbon


Is Lisbon Walkable?

Yes, if you are fit, Lisbon is quite walkable, and you’ll enjoy taking in the sights, peeking down alleyways, and seeing all the beautifully tiled buildings. However, walking in Lisbon can take its toll.

I spent a day walking around central Lisbon showing a visiting friend the top sights, and after clocking in over 10 miles on foot, we were both exhausted.

Some neighborhoods in Lisbon are quite flat, like Campo do Ourique, and coastal Belém, while many of them have very steep, hilly areas. You will quickly find that a walking route on Google Maps may be a minute or two longer than the alternative, but often avoids a huge hill! There is an art to walking around Lisbon and avoiding “going up to just go down again” whenever possible.

Steep set of stairs in Lisbon with yellow walls around

Keep in mind that the sidewalks in Lisbon are often bumpy and irregular, making it easy to trip and fall. After a light rain, they can also be quite slippery. Anyone with mobility or balance issues should consider bringing a cane or other walking aid.

Lisbon is called the city of 7 hills, and believe me, you will walk up and down many of them! If you are planning more than a day or two in Lisbon, you will need a break from walking.

You may also enjoy a walking tour or walking food tour of Lisbon. These tours are carefully planned to minimize steep climbs. They do include walking and even a few sets of stairs, but they will do their best to make sure you’re not huffing up one of the steepest hills in the neighborhood.

What About the Tuk Tuks I see on the Street?

In very touristy parts of the city, you may see fleets of tuk-tuks looking for passengers. These are for tourists and are not used by locals to get around the city.

You can negotiate with a driver on the street if you’d like a ride around town, but we advise taking a pre-booked tuk-tuk tour of Lisbon instead.

We’ve pulled together the best tuk tuk tours of Lisbon to give you a great experience without all the difficult walking. Our top pick tour is a half day classic sightseeing tour, but we also love tuk-tuks for food tours.

Tuk tuks and trams on the street in Lisbon looking down from the Se Cathedral
Looking out from the Lisbon Cathedral to the Tuk Tuks and Tram Below


Should I Bring My Stroller to Lisbon?

While we see many kids in strollers out and about in Lisbon, particularly in the city’s parks and playgrounds, we recommend leaving the stroller at home.

The sidewalks of Lisbon are made of dry set squares of stone, so they are often bumpy and uneven. Not a great combination for strollers. Some streets have wide sidewalks, but other streets have very narrow sidewalks that are only good for one person walking abreast, and will not fit a stroller.

The Lisbon Metro

The Lisbon Metro connects specific parts of downtown with the airport. The city is in the process of adding several connections which will turn the Green line into a loop with the Yellow Line, and connect the Metro to the Cascais train line in Santos.

You can see a map of the metro, with commuter train lines in grey.

In the meantime, the metro is useful for getting from the airport to the center of town, but you probably won’t use it for much else. A single ticket costs 1.80€, or 1.50€ on a rechargeable card.

The metro is the only public transport where you can use a contactless credit card to tap on and off, you’ll need cash or a rechargeable card to board buses, trams, and trolleys.

Group standing next to the stairs going to the Rato Metro Station in Lisbon, marked with a red M
Entrance to the Rato Metro in Lisbon

Navigante Travel Cards

If you are going to be using public transport around Lisbon, you should consider getting a rechargeable yellow card (“Navigante”). The card costs .50€ to purchase and is good for one year. With the rechargeable card, each ride on the subway is 1.50€, which is the same for buses are well.

These cards can only be purchased at metro stations or major train stations, so if you plan to ride the bus, you’ll need to charge your card in advance. The airport is a great place to get this card.

Buses in Lisbon

Tap your rechargeable card to ride any bus around Lisbon. Google Maps will suggest lines to you, and the bus stops are clearly marked. All buses run through 9 pm, with the most popular lines running until midnight.

We have had mixed results with buses- sometimes they come quickly, other times we have waited a long time (more than 20 minutes), before seeing a bus. Buses are not a great option if you need to be somewhere at a specific time.

There is no discounted fare for kids to ride the buses, so for the four of us, a bus ride is 6€ total, making it a very slim savings over taking an Uber instead.

Yellow bus on the street in Lisbon


Trams in Lisbon

Lisbon is famous for the 1930s vintage yellow and red trams running throughout the city. While these are picturesque, they are not the most efficient mode of transportation. In the city center, you’ll find old-fashioned, single-car trams, which are often quite crowded.

Lisbon is the only city in Europe that still uses such old trams. The streets in parts of the old city are so steep with tight turns, that only a single car can fit through.

These cars move slowly and often squeak and creak. There are many stories of trams being stopped in the road waiting for a parked car to move. Because they run on tracks, they cannot maneuver around a double-parked or badly parked vehicle.

1930 tram in Lisbon driving up the street past stone buildings

Some people consider riding a tram to be a “must-do” in Lisbon. If you’ve ridden a tram in other cities, the experience is much the same. They can save you some walking, but you may also have to wait in line for a crowded ride.

The most popular tourist tram is E28, which passes through the most popular tourist districts. A single ticket can be bought when boarding the tram for 3€. Board the tram at the front, and exit from the rear.

For the least crowded trains, wait for the train at either end of the line- Campo do Ourique or Martim Moniz Plaza, and board as early as possible.

Along the waterfront, you’ll find sleek modern trams that run along the flat sections of town. Take the E15 to head to the neighborhood of Belém. These trains also cost 3€ a ride. You can buy your ticket from a machine on board but plan to have exact change.

*Please note that because the trams are mostly used by tourists, and are quite crowded, they can attract pickpockets. Be smart and watch your things!

Funiculars in Lisbon

Funicalars run on a very short, specific track, often on a steep hill. Sort of like a slanted elevator.

The Baria Funicular is in Bairro Alto, with wonderful views of the river below. For each ride, you’ll pay 3.80€.

You should also visit the Gloria Funicular, which runs up and down a very steep section of road close to Restauradores Square and will bring you up to Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara, a lovely place to look out over the city, with a park to sit in and a cafe. This funicular was first installed in Lisbon in 1885.

Even if you don’t fancy a ride, take a minute to appreciate the steep angle of the car as it moves up and down the hill.

Young girl standing in front of the Gloria Funicular in Lisbon
E in front of the Gloria Funicular (don’t worry, it’s stopped)

Getting from the Airport into Central Lisbon

This is one of the first questions that we always ask when arriving in a new city- how to get from the airport, into the center of town without spending more than we need to! Here are the best ways to get from the LIS airport into Lisbon, Belém, or Cascais.

Private Transfer into Central Lisbon

The easy, relaxing option is to prebook a private transfer. We highly recommend Welcome Pickups.

From their website, choose Lisbon from the drop-down list of cities, and enter your dates, time, number of people, and number of bags. You’ll get a quote instantly and then can add extras like child or infant car seats to your reservation.

Most pickups will cost around 25€ or so from LIS airport to central Lisbon neighborhoods, and about the same to hotels in Belém.

Book Now: Welcome Pickups Lisbon Airport Transfer

Taking Uber from Lisbon Airport

The Lisbon Airport (LIS) is set up to easily work with Uber. When you arrive on a flight from outside the EU, you’ll exit customs and head out the door. Just to your left, you’ll see P2, with a blue holding area for people waiting for Uber.

This system allows each Uber vehicle to come in and park, allowing you to load your luggage and get settled without blocking other cars from coming and going.

When we first arrived from London we stopped a bit short of the Uber waiting area and were approached by someone from the airport to make sure we knew where we needed to be. They were very friendly and made sure we knew where to go.

Taking Uber from the airport should cost anywhere from 10-14€ depending on the time of day and your destination. A traditional taxi will cost 30-35€ for the same journey.

We have had no problem getting Uber from the airport, but it may take longer to have your ride request accepted during peak times when airport traffic is high.

Taking the Metro into Lisbon

The airport is connected to the Lisbon Metro. When you exit from your flight you’ll head right, following signs to the metro.

The Lisbon metro is in the process of expanding but currently has limited stations, so may be useful depending on where you are staying, or may leave you with a long (or short but steep uphill) walk to your accommodations.

The Airport Metro station is the last station on the red metro line in Lisbon, so you’ll just take the next available subway. A single ticket costs 1.80€, and you can tap a contactless credit card to pay directly.

Taking the AeroBus into Lisbon

This bus used to run from the airport into the city center but was discontinued in May 2022.

Taking the Train from Lisbon

Lisbon is well connected to the rest of Portugal, but less so to the rest of Europe.

Train to Cascais

Trains to the seaside resort and popular expat town of Cascais run along the waterfront. You can board at Cais do Sodre Station, or the Santos station if you are closer to that. The journey is quite inexpensive at 2.30€ each way.

Tap your rechargeable card and hop on the train for a lovely 40-minute journey with ocean views. Cascais is the last stop, so you can’t miss it, and it makes for an easy return as well with trains leaving every 20 minutes.

If you see a train leaving the station, don’t despair, the next one will be along shortly and you’ll be among the first to board and sure to get a seat.

Boardwalk, Ferris Wheel, Bay, and Sand of Cascais, Portugal


Train to Sintra

To visit the town of Sintra with its many famous palaces, you’ll need to head to the Rossio Station in Central Lisbon. Trains also leave from Oriente Station in the north of Lisbon, closer to the airport.

Different styles and colors of Pena Palace in Sintra Portugal in the mist
Famous Pena Palace in Sintra

The trip from Rossio takes about 40 minutes and costs 2.40€ each way. Once you arrive at the Sintra train station, you can walk to the center of town, or take an Uber to one of the palaces. Traffic in Sintra can be quite intense, with narrow, windy roads.

We highly recommend taking an organized day trip to Sintra if you are short on time, there’s so much to see, and the logistics of moving around can get complicated.

Day Trip: Sintra and Cascais Small Group Tour

This 9-hour tour from Lisbon has over 1300 five-star reviews. You’ll spend time in the town of Sintra, with its twisting alleyways and shops, and visit the famous Pena Palace. You’ll stop by Cabo da Roca to see the westernmost point in Europe, and visit the seaside village of Cascais, before returning to Lisbon.

This tour is a stress-free way to pack a lot of sights into one long day, without doing all the planning yourself. If you are planning to visit Pena Palace on your own, make sure to pre-book timed tickets, as it gets very busy.

Book Now: Sintra and Cascais Small Group Tour



Train to Porto

The journey from Lisbon to Porto, the largest city in the North of Portugal, takes about three hours. You’ll leave from Gare de Oriente in Lisbon, and arrive in the beautifully tiled Campanha Station in Porto. The train trip costs about 15€ one way.

Trains Out of Portugal

There are few trains connecting Lisbon to the rest of Europe. Trains to Spain and the Algarve leave from Oriente Station. Currently, the train trip to Madrid takes just over 10 hours and requires three changes.

More high-speed track is under construction, but right now it is much easier to fly from Lisbon to cities in Spain rather than take the train.

There You Have It: Uber in Lisbon

Uber in Lisbon makes it really easy to move around, but you can also use the metro, buses, and trams to explore this sunny city on a hill. We’ve covered the best way to get into the city from the airport, as well as everything you need to know to ride and walk around Lisbon.

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