Lisbon, like other coastal cities in the Mediterranean such as Barcelona, Athens or Santorini, has always been a warm southern paradise for people of Northwestern Europe to avoid cold weather. Especially from December to March every year when the Paris weather is not sunny. Lisbon has mountains, sea, pink pastel buildings, charming café and Fado music that attract you at the first sight. Lisbon is built on seven hills overlooking the Tagus estuary, home to the most cultural heritages in Portugal. In Lisbon, secrets and stories are present in every small corner. Visiting here, visitors can not skip some tourist attractions such as: São Jorge Castle, National Museum of Ancient Art, Gulbenkian Museum, Central District Alfama, Central District Bairro Alto … So, what to do in Lisbon? Let’s check it out our Lisbon travel blog (Lisbon blog) with the fullest Lisbon travel guide blog (Lisbon city guide) for a trip to Lisbon on a budget for the first-time from how to get to Lisbon, best time to visit, top things to do, where to stay from what and where to eat, suggested Lisbon itinerary 3 days… in Lisbon below.
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Lisbon city guide: When is the best time to travel to Lisbon?
Lisbon is blessed with the temperate, warmest climate in Europe. The weather here is not too harsh, suitable for year-round tourism. The weather in Lisbon is considered beautiful all year round, the winter is not too cold and the summer is not too hot. While Paris or London are fighting against the cold, in Lisbon you can still walk on the coastal roads or relax on the dreamy beaches.
The summer in Lisbon is hot but not too hot, it is hot in the daytime, with an average temperature of 33 degrees Celsius to 35 degrees Celsius, but when it is evening, the weather is cool down, with a temperature background of about 22 degrees Celsius yo 24 degrees Celsius. However, this time you will face to overcrowded visitors at restaurants, cafes, guesthouses and attractions, and of course the price will be a little higher.
Winter in Lisbon is not as cold as other regions of Europe, but you should also be aware because of It often rains, the temperature ranges from 5 degrees Celsius to 12 degrees Celsius. But in winter, the price of hotel, restaurant in Lisbon will reduce much so you will save a lot of trip costs.
The best time to visit Lisbon to explore this beautiful city is from March to early June (Fall) or September and October, the weather is not too hot, it is not rainy, sunny, and not too crowded as in July and August.
Lisbon travel blog: How to get to Lisbon from Vietnam?
Currently, there are many airlines operating routes to Lisbon such as Vietnam Airlines, Thai Airways, China Southern Airlines; Qatar Airways, Pacific Airlines, KLM, Ryan Air, Turkish Airlines, Etihad, Emirates, Transavia …
Fly from Vietnam to Lisbon
In Vietnam, there are currently 3 major international airports that operate routes from Vietnam – Lisbon such as Noi Bai Airport in Hanoi, Tan Son Nhat Airport in Ho Chi Minh City and Danang Airport in Danang. Because there is no airline has operated a direct route from Vietnam to Lisbon, visitors will have to transit at least once. Landing at Lisbon Portela International Airport (LIS).
- Flight time: Hanoi – Lisbon: Depart at 8:10 PM 20h10’ ~ 8:40 PM. Ho Chi Minh – Lisbon: Depart at 8:45 PM ~ 9:15 PM.
- Airfare: From Hanoi: $928/one way, $1.298/round trip. From Ho Chi Minh City: $799/one way, $1.244/round trip.
From Lisbon Portela International Airport to the city center
If you fly to Lisbon, you will almost definitely arrive at Lisbon Portela Airport International Airport, 9 km from the city center. There are several means of transport to get from the airport to the center city.
Bus is the most popular type of public transport in Lisbon with the advantage of many routes and cheap prices. The shuttle bus called Aerobus is located right outside the airport’s arrival hall. You can buy tickets to move into the city center for €3.15 / person.
You should also pay attention to the Aerobus operating time for different routes. Check it out here. In addition, the bus number 744 and 783 for those who have early flights or the bus number 208 at night. This bus ticket is 1.85 € / way.
Metro is also a good means to move into the city center, the ticket price is only €1.40 / way or you can buy Daily Pass to be used for both metro, bus, and tram for €6. The airport metro line connects to the red line to Saldanha station, from there, you can change the line to continue moving to the city center. A small note is that moving by metro usually have to queue up to buy tickets is quite a long time because of few automatic ticket vending machines.
Taxi is the most convenient and mobile means of transportation in Lisbon with a slightly more expensive price compare to other means of €10-20 depending on the traffic situation. A tip to getting a cheaper taxi is that you should catch a taxi at departure doors, and don’t have to queue.
If you come and go out of Lisbon by train to getting to cities or surrounding areas, especially long distance trains, when you enter the station, you should look at the electric signboards but you must go to the signboards on the railways to check again. Sometimes the information on the electronic boards and the actual information on the signboards on the railways do not match, you should ask people there to be sure, avoid waiting for the train but the train arrives on another railway.
Lisbon trip blog: Getting around Lisbon
A good advice for you when visiting Lisbon you should walk to be able to discover the beauty of this city. But public transport in this city is also easy, convenient, and cool. So you have 2 main options:
Lisbon’s public transport system is named Carris, including bus, trams, lift, funiculars (an uphill tram) and metro that operates separately. The easiest and most economical way is to buy a Viva Viagem card, which can be used for many other services and other cards, instead of buying retail tickets, daily tickets and other types of public transport of both Carris and Metro.
With Viva Viagem card (the price of €0.5 with 1 year expiry date, can be reused to top up) you can load into this card the following types of services:
- Retail ticket for Carris and Metro: if using a card, it costs € 1.40 / trip
- Daily ticket: price €6 and charged according to 24 hours.
- Zapping: used for both vehicles of Carris and Metro, ferry, train, can load more and the more you load, the more you get discount. If using Zapping for Metro, the price is only €1.25 / trip.
In addition, you may consider using LisboaCard that allows you to use unlimited types of public transport in the city and many attractions and museums. LisboaCard prices of 24/48/72 hours are respectively (€ 18.50 / € 31.50 / € 39).
Honestly, we did not travel much in Lisbon by public transport, but mainly used Uber. Uber in Lisbon is very convenient, many cars and prices are also very ok. Because the terrain in the city has a lot of slopes, it is quite hard to walk if you walk, Tram is slow but not everywhere. So Uber is one of the most optimal solutions, cars are everywhere, and every place can go.
Uber prices for short distances in the city are only around €3-6, which is very reasonable if you go in groups of 2-4 people. Another tip is to call Uber between the airport and the city center. We called Uber from the airport to the center at €12 (at late night), and from the city center to the airport only €8 (daytime).
Lisbon travel guide blog: Where to stay in Lisbon?
As a city of tourism, Lisbon has many places with all kinds of accommodation for you to choose from, from cheap, budget for backpackers to luxurious 5-star hotels. Here are some areas that you should consider stay when visiting Lisbon.
- Barrio Alto: This area for those who like nightlife with a lot of bars, restaurants, cafes. The corners of this area are also very stylish.
- Santo Antonio: This area is more spacious with the boulevard Avenida da Liberdade and many roads for shopping, big brands stores. Here you will find many luxury hotels and unique, elegant designs, such as Boutique Hotel Heritage Avenida Liberdade.
- Baixa-Chiado: The center of the city is surrounded by many major attractions, restaurants and large square. Overall, stay in this area is the most convenient.
- Alfama area: Lisbon’s oldest area, suitable for those who like to explore and nostalgic, especially close to the Lisbon Cathedral.
Our hotel is Bairro Alto Suites, located right in the city center. This is actually an old building located in a small lane, but very beautiful and clean. The room is not too big but the interior is beautiful, elegant, with windows and balcony. There are many bustling bars and delicious restaurants around. (You can see rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com)
Address: Rua da Rosa 252 , Misericordia, 1200-391 Lisbon, Portugal
Here are some good hotels you can refer to.
HF Fénix Urban: The room rates from $120 USD/night. This is one of the most wonderful hotels in Lisbon. You can relax after a tired day of exploring the city. Located in a good location and only about 14 minutes taxi from the airport, this is really a good choice for you. (You can see rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com)
Address: Av. António Augusto de Aguiar 14, 1050-016 Lisboa, Portugal
Vila Nova Guesthouse: This is one of the few cheap but quality hotels in Lisbon, with room rates from from $84/night. From the hotel you are not only convenient to move to the airport, but also easy access to the famous sights of the city such as: Tom Glow Jewelery & Luxury, Eduardo VII Parque Park, Canadian Ambassador. (You can see rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com)
Address: Av. Duque de Loulé 111, 1050-089 Lisboa, Portugal
Grande Pensao Residencial Alcobia: Room rates is only from $119/night. The hotel is famous for being a friendly place to stay with full of modern amenities and airy space and a bedroom area of up to 30 square meters. The hotel always makes visitors feel like being at home. Along with its extremely convenient location to move to: Rossio Metro Station is only 280 meters from Grande Pensão Residencial Alcobia and 700 meters from Lisbon Cathedral. (You can see rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com)
Address: Rua Poço do Borratém 15, 1100-408 Lisboa, Portugal
Lisbon Short Stay Apartments Baixa: Reviewed by tourists as one of the best hotels to rent in Lisbon. Here you can not blame from interior, exterior, equipment, design or service quality. Therefore, even though the rental price is quite high from $229/day, the hotel is always run out of rooms, even not the peak season of tourism. (You can see rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com)
Address: R. dos Sapateiros 158, 1100-580 Lisboa, Portugal
Some budget, cheap hotels in Lisbon
Hotel Principe Lisboa (Address: Av. Duque de Avila 201, Avenidas Novas, 1050-082 Lisbon, Portugal), 3 star-hotel with room rates from $86.22. (You can see rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com)
Ibis Lisboa Liberdade (Address: Rua Barata Salgueiro 53, Santo Antonio, 1250 043 Lisbon, Portugal), 2 star-hotel with room rates from $107.78. (You can see rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com)
Hotel Ibis Lisboa Jose Malhoa (Address: Avenida José Malhoa 10, Campolide, 1070-158 Lisbon, Portugal), 2 star-hotel with room rates from $81.91. (You can see rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com)
Ibis Lisboa Parque das Nacoes (Address: Rua do Mar Vermelho – Lote 1.07.2.2, Parque das Nacoes, 1990-203 Lisbon, Portugal), 3 star-hotel with room rates from $99.16. (You can see rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com)
In Lisbon there are also lots of vacant apartments for rent, you can easily find them on Airbnb, if you want to stay at a hotel for comfortable, let’s find them on Booking.com or Agoda.com. (You can see rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com)
Lisbon city guide: Best places to visit and top things to do in Lisbon?
Lisbon is a beautiful city with both sea and mountain, divided into different areas. You can make 4 days itinerary to explore Lisbon. This is our suggested Lisbon itinerary for 4 day. Let’s spend from 1 or 2 days visiting the center districts such as: Alfama, Bairro Alto, or Baixa. The remaining two days, spend a day exploring the suburbs of Lisbon, visiting Jerónimos monastery, Belem Tower Fortress, .. and a day-trip from Lisbon to Sintra or Cascais.
Central area of Lisbon
Castelo de São Jorge (São Jorge Castle)
The castle was built by the Moor people in the 11th century, today it still seems to remain intact, like a stronghold at the top of the hills in Lisbon. From here you can see the whole city, stroll around the road along the walls of the castle, feel the tranquility and the ancient cultural values of the city.
Address: R. de Santa Cruz do Castelo, 1100-129 Lisboa, Portugal
Admission: Adults 10 €
This church looks quite similar to Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, known as the oldest Roman church in Lisbon and the workplace of the Lisbon archdiocese. The highlight of the church is that the arches are designed in Gothic, Romanesque, Baroque styles, the outside looks like a fortress.
Address: Largo da Sé, 1100-585 Lisboa, Portugal
Admission: Free entrance.