Entrance to Lisbon airport's metro station
Lisbon's airport is quite central, so you can be at your hotel in less than one hour from the time you land. You have four transportation options -- metro, bus, taxi (or Uber or other ridesharing service), or a pre-booked transfer. The metro is the cheapest but slowest of the four, the bus goes directly to downtown but costs twice as much as the metro, and the taxi (or Uber) is the fastest but most expensive public transportation option. The most convenient is the pre-booked transfer, where a driver is waiting for you at the arrivals hall.
Early in the morning, late at night, with heavy luggage, or after a long flight, a taxi or pre-booked transfer are the most recommended options. The airport bus (called “AeroBus”) also has space for luggage, so the metro would be for those with just one suitcase.
A taxi or transfer are also recommended for those staying in the districts of Alfama or Belém. The metro station closest to Alfama is Santa Apolónia, but it’s located at the bottom of the neighborhood’s steep hill, while Belém doesn’t have a metro station anywhere near it. The AeroBus also does not go to these two districts.
For Belém, you also may take the AeroBus to its final stop (Cais do Sodré), where you can transfer to the train that departs from Cais do Sodré Station to Cascais and stops in Belém in 7 minutes.
For all other districts in the city, where most hotels are located (Avenidas Novas, Avenida da Liberdade, Baixa, Chiado, Bairro Alto, Parque das Nações, and Príncipe Real), you may take the metro.
The airport bus outside the arrivals hall
Lisbon Airport Metro
Lisbon's metro reaches the airport, so getting to the center of the city is quite easy. The airport is on the red line that reaches Saldanha in the business district in 16 minutes, and downtown in around 25 minutes after connecting to the blue line at São Sebastião or to the green line at Alameda.
Lisbon airport metro ticket machines
The metro operates from 6:30am to 1am, and tickets may be purchased from the machines (which have instructions in English and other languages). You may ride it for free with the Lisboa Card, which you can order here and pick it up at the arrivals hall, before heading to the metro: Lisboa Card.
Lisbon airport metro ticket office
Without the Lisboa Card, you’ll need to buy the magnetic Viva Viagem card for €0.50, and charge it with your single fare, which is €1.50. If you’ll be using the metro, buses, trams or funiculars later in the day, you may charge it with the 24-hour ticket of €6.45. The Viva Viagem card may be used for a period of 12 months, so you may always charge it with more trips later.
Lisbon airport metro
The airport is the first station of the red line. This line connects to the three others of the network. The last station is São Sebastião, which connects to the blue line that goes to Marquês de Pombal and Avenida da Liberdade and their many hotels, but those staying downtown (around Rossio Square or anywhere in Baixa and Chiado) should connect to the green line at Alameda. The single metro fare covers the entire journey on the two lines.
Lisbon metro map
Pre-Booked Transfers from and to Lisbon Airport
You may book shared or private transfers, available 24 hours a day. They also connect to the coastal areas of Cascais, Estoril, and Costa da Caparica. Bookings: AIRPORT TRANSFERS
AeroBus Lisbon Airport Bus
The AeroBus in Cais do Sodré, its final stop
NOTICE: THE AEROBUS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF SERVICE
The inexpensive AeroBus (€4.00 for adults and €2.00 for children between the ages of 4 and 10) departs every 20 minutes between 8am and 9pm. It stops in the main hotel districts -- Avenidas Novas (Saldanha), Marquês de Pombal, Avenida da Liberdade, and Baixa (Rossio, Praça do Comércio). It takes around 20 to 30 minutes to reach the center, terminating by Cais do Sodré Station.
This is the main route of the service, as there’s a second route between the airport and Sete Rios, which is the long-distance bus terminal. This second service (clearly marked on the bus) only operates once per hour.
You’ll see the AeroBus stop right outside the arrivals exit, and tickets may be bought onboard from the driver. These buses offer free WiFi, USB chargers and space for luggage, as well as handicapped access.
Public Buses from and to Lisbon Airport
Airport exit to the metro and for the buses and taxis
If you have no luggage or just a small backpack, you may also take the commuter bus 744 which goes down the city's main avenues to Praça Marquês de Pombal by the central Avenida da Liberdade. From its stop at the airport to Marquês de Pombal, it’s about 25 minutes. It passes by the airport every 20 minutes on weekdays and every half hour on weekends.
Taxis from and to Lisbon Airport
Outside the arrivals hall, where passengers line up for taxis
Taxis line up immediately outside the arrivals exit 24 hours a day. Because rides to downtown cost just between 12 and 15 euros (even with the luggage surcharge added to the final fare), it's one of the most popular transportation choices. To avoid being overcharged by an unscrupulous driver, make sure the meter is switched on and ask for a receipt ("fatura"). Most older taxi drivers in Lisbon do not speak English, so you may want to write down the address of your destination or the name of your hotel. Ridesharing drivers tend to be younger and to speak some English.
A ride to the city center may take between 15 and 20 minutes, depending on traffic. Although taxis within Lisbon are quite inexpensive when compared with other major European cities, they’re not recommended for destinations outside the city, as they do become quite expensive. In those cases, a pre-booked transfer is a better option.
Uber and Ridesharing from Lisbon Airport
Ridesharing drivers are not allowed to pick up passengers outside the arrivals exit (where the taxis are). Their pick-up location is outside the departures area -- to reach it, head up the escalators from the arrivals hall and exit the doors on the left.
Lisbon Airport to Oriente Train Station
Oriente is the closest train station to the airport. Passengers skipping Lisbon and heading straight to other destinations in Portugal may take the metro for just three stops to Oriente. Once you exit the metro, take the escalators to the upper level, for the trains that depart to cities like Porto in the north and Faro in the south (Algarve).
With luggage, you may want to take a taxi to Oriente, which is a quick and inexpensive journey (it should cost anywhere between €5.00 and €7.00).
Lisbon Airport to the Santa Apolónia Cruise Ship Terminal
Lisbon’s cruise ship terminal has a very central location, by the Santa Apolónia train station on the edge of the Alfama district, within walking distance of downtown. To reach it from the airport, it’s better to take a taxi, but Santa Apolónia is also the last stop of the blue line of the metro.
Lisbon Airport to Sintra
The best way to reach Sintra from the airport is to take the metro to Oriente, and then catch the train to Sintra, which departs every 20 minutes and takes 47 minutes to reach its destination.
Lisbon Airport to Cascais or Estoril
Those staying by the beaches in Cascais or Estoril, should take the AeroBus to its final stop in Cais do Sodré, where they can connect to the train to Cascais. It departs every 20 minutes and reaches Estoril in 36 minutes and Cascais in 40.