Lisbon has a single airport which handles all international and domestic flights, along with all low-cost airlines. Despite being rather aged in appearance, the airport is well organised and has all of the amenities expected of a major international airport.
The airport is located within the city limits and is only 6km from the historic centre. There is excellent public transport from the airport and the majority of visitors, who are staying within the city, take the metro for onward travel.
Lisbon airport has two terminal buildings; Terminal 1 handles all arrivals and most international departures, while Terminal 2 is the departure terminal for most of the low-cost airlines.
From the airport to the city centre
The airport is connected to the Lisbon metro network, there is special bus services (called the Aerobus) to the city centre, along with regular taxis. For travel outside of the city limits (such as to Sintra, Cascais, Sesimbra or Estoril) it is recommended to pre-book a transfer.
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 €12-15, 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 2019 fares are: €0.47 per km with a minimum fare of €3.25, the waiting charge is €14.80 per hour (or €0.25 per minute stuck in traffic).
At night (9:00pm-6:00am) taxis 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, if this is the case, we would advise taking the Aerobus.
Uber is popular in Portugal, but their drivers are not allowed to pick up outside of the arrivals building (where the taxi rank is). The Uber pick up is at the “Kiss & Fly Parking Lot” (GPS: 38.76855, -9.12919), which is in front of the departures building (see the second image in this article). To reach departures from arrivals, head up the escalators at the southern end of the hall and then exit the doors on the left.
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-1:00am and a single fare costs €1.50. This fare is charged to the re-usable Viva Viagem card, which costs €0.50 for the initial purchase.
Advice: The 24-hour unlimited ticket (€6.40) is exceptional value, as it includes all of Lisbon’s metros, buses and trams, and also the Elevador de Santa Justa and Ascensor da Glória.
Tickets are purchased from a ticket machine, which has instructions in English and all major Europe languages. The airport is the first station on the red metro line, while the popular tourist areas (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 tourist 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 escalators or elevators for all changes in levels.
Note: The single metro fare covers the entire journey, even if it involves travelling on two metro lines.
Before the airport was connected to the metro in 2012, the Aerobus was the best means of travel from the airport to central Lisbon. Today most tourists just head to the metro, but the Aerobus is still an equally good alternative, and it’s particularly useful if you are traveling with heavy luggage.
A single ticket costs €4.00/€2.00 (adult/child), which includes 24-hour use of all public buses. The Aerobus operates from 7:30am to 11:00pm and the bus departs from outside the arrivals’ hall, close to the main taxi stand.
Further information can be found on their website: https://www.aerobus.pt/en-GB/Home-2.aspx