10 Helpful Travel Tips for Visiting Lisbon for the First Time

Discover the best ways to explore a new city with these helpful tips and tricks. From where to eat, what to see, and how to get around – we’ve got your Lisbon travel guide covered!

Visiting Lisbon

If this is your first tourism visit to Lisbon, you’re in for a captivating experience. Nestled on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, Lisbon is a city of rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning landscapes. In this guide, we’ll equip you with essential travel tips to make your Lisbon adventure memorable.

Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, is a captivating blend of old-world charm and modern vibrancy. From its picturesque alleyways to its bustling markets, this city offers something for everyone. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a foodie, or simply seeking a delightful escape, Lisbon beckons with open arms.

Lisbon Portugal Travel Guide

1. Getting to Lisbon

Lisbon has two airports: Lisbon Portela Airport (LIS) and Beja Airport (BYJ). While LIS is the primary international gateway, Beja is a smaller, less crowded alternative. Choose the one that suits your travel plans and preferences.

Upon arrival, you’ll find many transportation options to take you to the city center. As you travel and explore Lisbon, we’ll guide you through the most convenient choices, from taxis and airport shuttles to public transport.

2. When to Visit Lisbon

Consider visiting during the shoulder season for the best weather and fewer crowds. Learn about the ideal times to enjoy pleasant weather and avoid the tourist rush.

Lisbon hosts numerous cultural events and festivals throughout the year. It is best to tour during the festivities that coincide with your travel dates, from the colorful Lisbon Carnival to the lively Santo Antonio Festival.

3. Where to Stay

Lisbon is divided into several distinctive neighborhoods, each with its own character. Find out which aligns with your interests, whether the historic Alfama is the frequent tour destination in Lisbon or the trendy Bairro Alto, a neighborhood in Lisbon where tourists can enjoy the trendy bars and restaurants of Lisbon.

Consider the advantages and disadvantages of staying in a hotel versus an Airbnb property. Research and decide based on your comfort, budget, and travel style.

4. Exploring the City

Lisbon boasts an array of iconic landmarks, including the awe-inspiring Belém Tower and the enchanting Alfama district. These are some of the must-visit spots that have historical significance and cultural experience in Lisbon.

Discover Lisbon’s Miradouros, or viewpoints, for breathtaking panoramic city views. For the best spots to capture postcard-perfect photographs, visit Miraduoro Portas do Sol and be captivated by the best views of Alfama.

Beyond the renowned attractions, Lisbon also hides a treasure trove of hidden gems. Unearth charming streets, tranquil parks, and unique experiences that tourists often overlook.

5. Navigating Lisbon’s Public Transport

Lisbon’s public transport system is efficient and cost-effective. Tourists can navigate through its trams, buses, and metro to explore the city seamlessly.

Save time and money by understanding the ticketing system. Tourists can always purchase tickets or cards at Viva Viagem to use public transport. These travel cards are available at the underground stations. At the same time, tourists can also buy Lisbon Cards online for discounted access to attractions.

6. Dining in Lisbon

Portuguese cuisine is a delight for the senses. Explore the flavors of Lisbon, from seafood delicacies to traditional pastries. The Belém Pastry, only available in the “Secret Shop,” is a must for the perfect Belém culinary experience. 

Lisbon caters to all budgets, so you can relish a culinary adventure without breaking the bank. We’ll guide you on finding affordable local eateries and indulgent fine dining options.

7. Language and Communication

While many locals speak English, knowing a few Portuguese phrases can enhance your experience and build rapport with the residents. Learn essential words and expressions to navigate Lisbon more comfortably.

As you explore Lisbon, you will discover the extent of English language usage in Lisbon and maybe learn some Portuguese phrases to help you get over that language barrier during your trip.

8. Safety and Practical Tips

Lisbon is a safe city, but like any other urban destination, it’s essential to stay aware and take precautions. Safeguarding your belongings and personal safety is important wherever you go. You want to enjoy your travel and not worry about losing essential belongings.

Lisbon’s currency, the Euro, may be unfamiliar to some travelers. Tourists can always find accessible ATMs and credit card machines as payment methods.

It’s wise to be prepared for any unexpected situations. Tourists must practice collecting local contact information, from medical services to embassy details, to ensure they’re ready for any eventuality.

9. Cultural Etiquette

Respect local customs and traditions to make a positive impression and immerse yourself in Lisbon’s culture. Always keep in mind the basic etiquette of greetings and gestures.

When visiting cultural sites, museums, and places of worship, it’s crucial to be respectful and mindful of local etiquette. Observe proper behavior and attire to avoid cultural misunderstandings.

10. Souvenirs and Mementos

Make your Lisbon memories last with authentic souvenirs. Explore Lisbon’s vibrant shopping scene, from bustling markets to chic boutiques. Find the best spots to hunt for souvenirs and unique gifts to take home.

Lisbon shops offer the most variety for tourists who are looking for souvenirs. The Lisbon tourism office also manages it and offers a wide selection of items, from clothing to ceramics. 


In summary, whether it’s your first time in Lisbon or you’re a seasoned traveler, this guide has provided valuable insights to ensure a remarkable journey. Embrace the culture, savor the cuisine, and explore the beauty of Lisbon with these helpful tips at your fingertips. Lisbon has an irresistible charm, from its historic sites to its culinary wonders, and now you know how to explore it confidently.

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