Getting into the heart of Lisbon city centre couldn't be easier, as Lisbon Airport sits just to the north. You're straight off the plane, and into the action! Navigating around Lisbon City Centre is made easy by the superb choice of public transport in Lisbon. Take a lesson every other city in the world, Lisbon has public transport sussed, with a choice of a superbly efficient metro, atmospheric trams and mainline rail which can whisk you off to Sintra, Cascais and elsewhere around Lisbon.
Lisbon is a sprawling city, made all the more exciting by the particular themes and individual characters of its regions - fado and Alfama, Belem and contemporary design jostling with historic buildings, Barrio Alto and its nightlife, Rossio and its bustling cafes and commercial district, and hilly Graca for great views from its peak, the highest in Lisbon. Do a little research before you go, as Lisbon has numerous regions so it pays to be prepared, picking out the museums and historic sights that interest you most, and planning how to get to them. Check the Lisbon Metro, Carris for Trams, buses, lifts and funiculars and Lisbon rail weblinks right for assistance - all these weblinks have up-to-date timetables and route planners on them. Whether you're in Lisbon for a weekend city break, or the full week you certainly won't find it hard to fill your time with everything from shopping, to castles to cathedrals, to art museums to fine dining, character fado music bars and more.
There's a huge choice of Lisbon city centre luxury hotels and budget hostels on iknow-Portugal (see Lisbon accommodation links for details). You're fairly flexible with where you locate yourself in Lisbon city centre, as public transport including buses, trams, mainline rail and the superb Lisbon Metro make exploring this museum rich city easy. Practically all of the Lisbon hotels and hostels on this website are positioned near public transport links, particularly Lisbon Metro links.
If you're heading for the big Lisbon football stadiums to the north, choose more north Lisbon accommodation for quicker Lisbon Metro link times. If you want to be in the hub of Lisbon city centre, choose the Barrio Alto, Baixa or Belem areas. Many luxury Lisbon hotels on this website offer superb luxury leisure facilities such as indoor swimming pools, spa and various sports. Many have perks like free airport pick-up (well worth taking advantage of as taxis are not cheap!).
For budget Lisbon accommodation look to the hostels, which all provide quality budget usually en-suite and air-conditioned accommodation, conveniently placed near Lisbon metro links.
Getting around Lisbon is made easy primarily by the excellent Lisbon Metro which can whisk you swiftly and efficiently between Lisbon Districts. That's not all though on the Lisbon Public transport front - you've excellent rail links into Lisbon from its immediate suburbs like Setubal to the South and Cascais to the West, and longer rail routes up to Porto. You've also Lisbon's atmospheric trams and funicular elevators which criss-cross the city.
Take an open top bus sightseeing tour (usually from central Praca do Comercio), a great way to get your bearings in Lisbon. There's also a choice of walking tours and boat tours on the water. If you want to save money, pick up a great value pass or Bilhete Turistico at the Elevador Santa Justa just down from Rossio. This pass allows you unlimited travel on buses, trams, elevadores and the metro for one day (usually around 3 euros). Alternatively pick up longer 2, 3 or 5 day passes. Check with the welcome centre on Praca do Comercio for details. Intensive Cartao Lisboa passes are available from most tourist info offices as well as Lisbon Airport.
Topping this, you can also hook into tourist boat trips and ferries taking you on scenic cruises up the River Tejo, or across to the Sul do Tejo area. You've no particularly need to be driving around Lisbon, unless you're coming in from other locations in Portugal. In fact, you're well advised to avoid driving in Lisbon, which is basically a nightmare - this is a city where public transport reign's supreme, and three cheers to that. See weblinks right for the Lisbon Metro, Lisbon rail links, Lisbon trams and ferries and pre-plan your weekend city break in Lisbon or your longer holiday there. All public transport is cheap here, including rail journeys out to historic hotspots like Sintra in the Lisbon suburbs!
Check with the Lisbon Welcome Centre (open daily from 9am to 8pm), Rua do Arsenal 15 beside Praco do Comercio/Central Baixa, or any of the other Lisbon Tourist Info Points to get hold of the Lisboa Card. If you're in Lisbon for a few days and intending to visit many museums it's well worth picking up a Lisboa Card which gives you free access to all public transport including buses, trams, elevators and the Lisbon Metro - and it also includes free travel to both Sintra and Cascais to the west of Lisbon. The Lisboa Card also gives you free entry to museums and monuments and around 50 percent discount to other places of interest around Lisbon. You can obtain the Lisboa Card for 1 day, 2 days or 3 days. Check the Visit Lisboa weblink right for details. Visitors should note that many of Lisbon's museums are free to enter on Sunday mornings. Good Lisbon maps can be obtained here (or indeed at Lisbon tourist offices situated at Lisbon Airport, Artesanato do Tejo, Palacio Foz, Belem, Augusta Street and Santa Apolonia Station - see below for full listings).
See the Visit Lisboa weblink right also for information on other Lisboa discount cards including a Shopping Discount Card, and a Restaurant Discount Card. For full museum listings in Lisbon check the Visit Lisboa weblink right for details, and direct weblinks.
With the exception of the cluster of Lisbon museums and art galleries in Belem to the west, most of Lisbon's museums are situated in the central Lisbon districts (although there are a few further to the North). Museum and monument rich districts include the Baixa and Alfama districts - for fado history head to the fado museum in Alfama. Start at the main square - Praca do Comercio in Baixa. The Lisbon welcome centre is here too, and well worth a look in early on. Move towards the Alfama district east of Baixa for the castle and cathedral. (Lisbon metro links here are Baixa-Chiado or get off at Rossio and take the pleasant walk down to Praca do Comercio).
Other museum and art gallery clusters include those around Gulbenkian (nearest Lisbon metro link - Sao Sebastio, or get off at Parque and walk up through Eduardo VII park). Other clusters of Lisbon attractions and museums can be found at Parque dos Nacoes on the Olivais Docks - the big Oceanarium is here. (nearest Lisbon metro is Oriente and you can easily walk to Parque das Nacoes from it).