Are you ready for a Lisbon adventure?
Portugal’s capital city is a beacon of culture, full to the brim with sunny beaches, beautiful castles, vibrant cafes, delectable treats, and soulful music.
A special blend of the old and new, Lisbon was partly rebuilt after an earthquake in 1755, meaning that everywhere you look, centuries-old mansions sit side-by-side with the fashionable, cosmopolitan and the contemporary. Did we mention that the custard tarts are to die for?
If you’re planning a holiday in Lisbon, then we’ve got some good news - you’re going to love it. Everybody does! To help you prepare for the experience, we’ve compiled a get ready guide to this beautiful city.
What should you pack?
Lisbon is many things, but flat isn't one of them. To help you get the most out of your visit, make sure you’re well-equipped for the city’s many hills, winding lanes, and charming cobblestones.
Comfortable shoes are a must, and high heels should only be attempted by the bravest of travellers. Try to pack light, as you won’t want to carry heavy bags around.
While it’s as warm as you’d expect, the weather in Lisbon can also be surprisingly wet. Occasional rain showers are refreshing when you need to cool off, but are much better enjoyed when you have a travel umbrella or light rainproof jacket in your suitcase.
If you’re bringing electronics like a laptop, tablet, or hair-straighteners, don’t forget to pack some standard UK > European 220-240V power adapters.
People travelling from the UK don’t need a visa to visit Portugal, so there's no need to worry about arranging any paperwork, beyond making sure that your passport is up-to-date.
How should you get around?
Depending on the time of year, Lisbon’s population of 500,000+ residents can swell to accommodate around 7 million tourists each year. Fortunately, the city manages to retain its charm and avoids feeling too crowded, as many of the locals tend to take their own holidays out of town during the busiest months.
Because of this, getting around in Lisbon is never a problem. The famous yellow trams run all through the city, as well as an excellent network of buses, trains, ferries and subways.
Pick yourself up a green Viva Viagem travel card (Lisbon’s version of the London Oyster card) and pre-pay money onto it to have full run of the city.
Lisbon is also a great place for cycling (even with the cobbled streets). Hiring a bike can be a great way to explore the area, and there are lots of bike tours that take groups of visitors off the beaten track and into beautiful areas just outside of the city.
Why not book a tour for yourself to experience Lisbon from a different perspective? Alternatively, take it easy in a cafe and just watch the world go by.
How can you get into the spirit?
A good way to connect with the friendly Lisbon locals is to learn a few handy Portuguese phrases. Try some of these to help break the ice:
- Olá = Hello.
- Adeus = Goodbye.
- Obrigado = Thank you.
- Por favor = Please.
- Ó, desculpe = Excuse me.
- Você fala Inglês? = Do you speak English?
- Vai mais uma? = One more? Useful in bars and restaurants, when you feel like treating yourself.
- Pá= Used in place of ‘hey’, ‘so’, and any time when you’re not really sure what to say. The locals say pá a lot!
It’s not uncommon for people in the city to start friendly conversations with strangers, so don’t be shy. It won’t take long for you to get into the Lisbon frame of mind. You’ll notice that nobody eats dinner before 8:00pm (except tourists), and most people don’t eat until after 9pm. The trick is not to rush things, take everything slowly, and just enjoy yourself!
There are lots of useful online travel tools and apps to make your time in Lisbon even more enjoyable. Some that will come in handy during your visit are:
- AccuWeather - for up-to-date local weather forecasts, wherever you find yourself.
- Currency Calculator - for staying on top of exchange rates.
- Airbnb - stay like a local, with these private apartments in handy locations.
- TripAdvisor - reviews of local restaurants and business, written by visitors like you.
- Google Maps - never get lost again!
- Instagram and Twitter - check #Lisbon on these these social networks for regular updates and snapshots.
One very useful Twitter account to follow during your holiday is @WeLoveLisbon, for all the hottest things to do, plus some handy deals and competitions.
To make sure everything is really taken care of before your holiday, book your Heathrow airport parking with us.
With our Meet & Greet parking service all you have to do is drop your car off with us and we’ll do the hard work of parking for you. You can get on with enjoying your trip while we’ll look after your car, and have your keys ready for you when you get back from your adventure.
Now you’re really Good To Go.(Official government advice for British citizens visiting Portugal is available here.)
Whether you're jetting away on a city break or following the sun to the beach get ready to travel with our expert tips and guides.
Preparing for your holiday should be exciting, not stressful.