Lisbon. How to get from Portela Airport to the center by public transport
Lisbon: How to get to and from the airport

Lisbon. How to get from Portela Airport to the center by public transport

The airport in Lisbon (Aeroporto Internacional de Lisboa) has several important advantages: convenient navigation, a large Duty free zone, cafes, restaurants, distance to the city center (10 km), and its own metro station. In the article I will tell you how to get to the center of Lisbon independently and inexpensively.

Metro from Lisbon Airport

This is the fastest and cheapest way to go into the city. The journey time is about 20 minutes and the fare is 1.45 €. Plus you have to buy a travel card for 0.50 €. Do not throw it away after the trip, it will be useful for trips in the city or on suburban trains. If you plan to make several trips a day, it is more profitable to buy a day pass for 6.30 €. The pass is valid for 24 hours from the first activation — useful for sightseeing in Lisbon. The number of trips during the day is not limited. You must activate your ticket at the entrance and exit of the metro. Even if you have a ticket, but did not activate it at the entrance, you will face a fine of 120 €.

Lisbon metro scheme. The airport on the scheme is marked with an airplane icon.
Lisbon metro scheme. The airport on the scheme is marked with an airplane icon.

The red line «Aeroporto — Saldanha» (Aeroporto — Saldanha) leads to the airport. The metro is open from 06:30 to 01:00. During the day the trains run at 3—4 minute intervals, in the evening and at weekends the interval is 5—7 minutes.

Note that the Lisbon metro has very short trains. Following my Moscow habit, I tried several times to wait at the end of the platform in order to sit «at the tail of the train». In the end I had to catch up with the train with my suitcase. During rush hour there are 6 cars in the train, at other times there are only 3 cars.

Important: If you are traveling as a family or a group, everyone must have a transportation card. It is not possible to top up for several trips and have everyone use the same pass.

You can find out the fare, prices and all important information on the official website of the Metro or on the Lisboa Viagem mobile app.

Bus from Portela airport to Lisbon city center

Consider this option only if you are traveling with a backpack, because the maximum luggage allowed is 50*40*20 cm. If your luggage is larger, it is better to use other transportation.

The cost of a bus ride is 1.80 €. You can top up your travel card for this amount at any terminal. The card itself costs 0.50 € and is suitable for topping up for metro and public transportation. Travel time depends on traffic congestion, in summer and during rush hour there are traffic jams. On average, the journey will take 20—30 minutes.

You can buy a ticket on the bus from the driver. The regular bus stop is located near the parking lot opposite the Arrivals Hall and Terminal T1.

To get from Lisbon to the airport by regular bus, you can take a regular bus from stops where signs have the numbers of buses #208, 705, 722, 744, 783. Details of routes and timetables on the official website.

Airbus from the airport

The Airbus stops at Lisbon’s major hotels and stops at the bus station, train station, Areeiro-Martim Moniz and Cais do Sodré metro hubs.

There are three options for the airbus route
There are three options for the airbus route

The buses are equipped with a digital board displaying the names of stops, which helps with orientation. There are also tourist «pluses» in the form of free Wi-Fi, USB charging for phones, a luggage compartment, a ramp for disabled people and strollers with children. The staff will help you load your luggage and answer questions.

The ride costs 3,60 € for adults. Children from 4 to 10 years old are 2 €, and children under 4 years old ride free of charge (without a seat). You can buy a round-trip ticket for 5,40 € for adults and 3 € for children, the pass is valid for 24 hours.

Buses leave from the airport building every 10 minutes with a travel time of 30 minutes. Tickets can be purchased at the airport building or online at the official website.

The bus stop is located opposite the T1 and T2 terminals.

Cab from Lisbon airport to the city

The road is only 10 km, so a cab ride will be inexpensive, 10—15 € including luggage. The option is suitable for travelers with small children, pets, a lot of luggage, or companies.

At the beginning of the trip, make sure the driver has turned on the meter, and at the end, ask for a receipt or bill. This way it will be more difficult for the driver to fudge the price, and there are fewer options for maneuvering. Use the Uber or Kiwitaxi app to hail a cab

My advice: if you are traveling light or with one suitcase, use the metro. At night, the most convenient way to get there is by airbus. Cabs are only worth spending money on if you are traveling with small children, pets, or a lot of luggage.