Is Lisbon Walkable? Everything You Need to Know
Lisbon, Portugal’s capital city, is a charming destination for tourists and locals alike. You’re finally going to tick it off your bucket list and see its cobblestone streets, colorful buildings, and rich history. But an important question comes up while planning: is Lisbon walkable?
The answer is YES! Renting a car is absolutely useless in Lisbon! Parking and traffic are an unbelievable headache that you really don’t need while visiting.
Despite the fact that it’s built on seven hills – which can make walking around tiring at times – there are plenty of flat areas throughout the city that make getting from point A to B relatively easy.
Plus, with so many scenic routes and lookout points along the way, you won’t be disappointed by what you see while exploring this beautiful city.
The trick is to punctuate your planned walking itinerary with a fun tuk-tuk, as well as a few Uber, tram, or subway rides, and you’ll see that Lisbon is definitely a walkable city worth visiting.
✅ Public transport is free with the Lisbon Card! There are also over 60 Lisbon attractions that are free or discounted with the card. Check it out here!
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So, is Lisbon walkable?
Yes! Very much so! Lisbon is very walkable although there are a few things to consider which will make your experience more enjoyable.
1. Prepare for cobblestones
Although they’re quaint and picturesque, cobblestones can be very slippery, especially in the rain. Make sure to wear appropriate walking shoes or sandals with a good rubber sole, not plastic or leather. You’ll also want to make sure they are really comfortable so they don’t leave your feet feeling sore after an hour of exploration.
Here are my favorite Sketchers Walking Shoes that come in an incredible 37 different colors! I love how lightweight and flexible they are. I also really like that they are slip-on and machine washable. I don’t travel without these!
My husband is a bit pickier about style and he really likes the look and comfort the Sketcher’s Go Walk Evolution Shoes give him. They come in 21 colors. He finds them really light and likes that his feet don’t really sweat in them.
2. The weather can be extreme
Lisbon is known for its hot summers and rainy winters. Having wet feet will put a damper on anyone’s day, so it’s important to bring a light raincoat and waterproof shoes or boots. Check out this post for more information on what to do in Lisbon when it rains. In summertime, bring a hat and sunscreen to protect you from the hot sun, and make sure you’ve got walking sandals on.
We tried these Silicone Non-Slip Shoe Covers on our last trip and will definitely order them again for traveling! They were lightweight, and really did protect our shoes and keep our feet dry.
My husband doesn’t do sandals, but I like to wear comfortable sandals in the summer. These
Clarks Women’s Arla Gracie Sandals are my favorite for traveling.
3. Attractions are spread out
You’ll need to walk quite a bit to see all the sights, but don’t worry – there are plenty of interesting things to see along the way. Consider the following ways to get to the different parts of town you have planned to walk
Tuk-tuks are a fun and inexpensive way to get around Lisbon. This local form of transport is often the quickest option, as you can weave through traffic much faster than any other type of vehicle!
Ubers are also very affordable in Lisbon, costing less than 5 Euros for most rides. Plus, the driver knows all the shortcuts and will get you to your destination in no time. Avoid taxis, as they have been known to take advantage of tourists by charging higher prices than necessary.
The metro is also a great way to get around the city, with an airport connection available too. Although be warned – there are not many elevators or escalators in Lisbon’s subway system, so you’ll probably need to go up some stairs.
For this option, you’ll need to get a Viva Card which can be recharged. For infrequent trips, you can ride the subway for 1.65 Euros, or you can get a 24-hour day pass which includes both the subway and the tram system for 6.60 Euros.
These cards can be bought and recharged at the terminals inside the subway station.
Trams are another very convenient and inexpensive way to get around Lisbon. They run frequently, making them a great option if you’re in a hurry. Tram 28 is the most popular and it passes through the city’s oldest neighborhood with very narrow streets filled with traditional sights – definitely worth taking!
An interesting itinerary is to walk to Martin Monis square and take tram 28 to the castle. This keeps you from having to climb the hill!
Make sure to get your Lisboa Card which is essentially a 3-in-1 – it includes paid public transport, museum entry, as well as discounts at participating stores. It’s the best way to save time and money while in Lisbon. You can buy the 24, 48 or 72 hour card depending on what your plans are.
✅ Public transport is free with the Lisbon Card! There are also 17 Lisbon attractions that are free or discounted with the card. Check out here!
Bike or Scooter
Finally, in several different parts of Lisbon you can just grab a bike or an electric scooter to get across town. These are cheap and very accessible, but obviously not an option for everyone!
Why is Lisbon walkable?
Walking is the best way to see Lisbon’s charm. But be warned, the streets are only arranged in a grid pattern in the new sections near the Tejo river built after the 1755 earthquake, the rest is an extensive network of neighborhoods sometimes without sidewalks.
The city center has a low part called the Baixa and high parts called Bairro Alto and Alfama districts, which can easily be negotiated on foot or by taking one the many elevators available.
Lisbon is quite pedestrian-friendly, with plenty of squares, parks, and crossings, so getting around is a breeze. There are even pedestrian-only streets in some areas where cars cannot pass.
Most of the attractions are spread out throughout the city but they can be easily combined into one day’s worth of walking if you plan it right.
Stop for a ginjinha in a corner bar, or a custard tart in the square cafe. Make sure to get that epic glass of wine on a rooftop bar at sunset.
If you’re lucky you may even come across some fado vadío wafting from a restaurant- the best excuse to grab a table and enjoy a plate of codfish balls while the owner belts it out or the cook serenades the packed dining room.
Many Lisboetas still enjoy this more informal type of fado, where anyone off the street or in the restaurant can join in and sing a song.
AND you won’t need to worry about parking or traffic – the bane of the Lisboeta’s existence!
Where to Stay in Lisbon Portugal
Staying a few days? Check out these places for great options.
Hotel Hotel – This design hotel has an exquisite rooftop pool with a green wall which will melt away the metropolitan blues. The beautiful interior and art peaking out of every corner really makes this place worth your while.
Chiado Terrace – If you prefer a flat to a hotel room, check this property out! This cute flat offers a lovely garden with a small eating area right in the center of Lisbon. It is well decorated and very well located. Not to be missed!
Is Lisbon Walkable? FAQ
Can you get around Lisbon without a car?
Yes, you can get around Lisbon without a car. The city has an extensive public transportation network including buses, trams, metro and suburban railways. Additionally, there are bike rental services that make it easy to explore the city on two wheels. Walking is also a great way to discover Lisbon’s streets and attractions.
How many days in Lisbon is enough?
It really depends on your preferences and what you are looking to do in Lisbon. For a general visit, three or four days is enough to see the main attractions. If you want to explore more of the city, five or six days would give you plenty of time to take in all that Lisbon has to offer. Even if you’re looking for an extended stay, Lisbon can cater for any length trip!
Are trams free in Lisbon?
No, trams are not free in Lisbon. You will need to purchase tickets for the tram from one of the ticket vending machines located at each station before boarding. The fare depends on the zone in which you will be traveling, and you can buy single tickets or travel passes that are valid for multiple trips.
What is the nicest area in Lisbon?
The nicest area in Lisbon is probably Alfama, Bairro Alto and Chiado. Both these districts are known for their eclectic mix of shops, cafes and bars, plus the iconic tram line 28 that runs close by. It’s also a great area to get amazing views of the city from one of its many terraces or rooftops! There are plenty of charming alleys and cobbled streets that make it a great place to wander around and take in the atmosphere.
Is it worth it to get the Lisboa Card?
Yes, the Lisboa Card can be a great way to save time and money while visiting Lisbon. It gives you free access to all public transportation in the city as well as discounts on various museums, attractions, restaurants, and stores. You can also get discounts on airport transfers and day trips. For those who plan to explore Lisbon extensively over the course of their trip, it is well worth investing in a Lisboa Card.
What is the best month to visit Lisbon?
The best month to visit Lisbon is May, when the city has mild temperatures, fewer crowds, and plenty of sunny days. The weather in May typically ranges from the mid-teens (Celsius) to lower twenties Celsius degrees. The evenings are perfect for wandering the streets and taking in Portugal’s vibrant culture. Plus there are many festivals that take place during this time, making it one of the best months for visitors looking for a more authentic experience!
How much is a tuk tuk in Lisbon?
Tuk tuks in Lisbon generally cost around €3.50-€4.00 for the first kilometers, then €1.20 per additional kilometer. Prices may vary depending on the time of day and route taken. Additionally, there might be a surcharge between 10pm to 6am, as well as a fee if you need more than one passenger seat per vehicle.
Is Uber cheaper than taxi in Lisbon?
Yes, Uber is cheaper than taxi in Lisbon. According to recent reports, Uber rides are typically 10-20% cheaper than traditional taxis when traveling within the city. Additionally, Uber offers discounts for regular customers and promotional codes which can further reduce costs.
Is Lisbon a walkable city? The Wrap-Up
Don’t be daunted by the idea of exploring Lisbon on foot; with its wonderful sights, delicious food, and interesting locals, this vibrant city will reward your stamina. Is Lisbon a walkable city? Yes, it is! So put on your shoes and get ready to explore all that Lisbon has to offer – you won’t regret it!