Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, is a thriving and beautiful city that manages to perfectly find the balance between busy city and laid-back historic location. Based along the coastline, Lisbon is built upon seven hills and uses the coastline to define its aesthetic, with limestone buildings covering the surface of the city itself.
Tiny alleyways allow pedestrians to explore the unknown and discover the charm the city has to offer. The weather makes the city one of the warmest in Europe, giving the place a wonderful Mediterranean atmosphere rarely found in the region.
Due to the small size of most economy cars, not only will visitors save on gas when visiting Lisbon, but they may also find that the narrow streets and difficult parking become much easier in a smaller vehicle. Driving in Lisbon Road driving side: R Urban speed limit: 50kmh Rural speed limit: 90kmh Motorway speed limit: 120kmh
Castelo de Sao Jorge is one of the true historic and architectural highlights of the city and deserves a full day devoted to it. The castle is based at the top of a hill and offers incomparable views over the city and river, and is best accessed by walking through the old town of Alfama, which serves to add to the experience of ‘old’ Lisbon.
Families will adore Jardim Zoologico, an exotic animal zoo based in beautiful grounds. With the likes of sea lions and dolphins on show, it’s a fantastic experience for children to discover something new and parents to delight at the atmosphere.
Ajuda Botanical Gardens is one of the most historically significant in Europe and is always beautifully maintained. Built by the royal family following an earthquake in 1755, the gardens were some of the first for the public to enjoy and continue to be a delightful area of peace within the city.
Those looking to take home souvenirs as well as enjoy a stunning experience should visit Armazens do Chiado shopping mall, which offers not only brilliant shopping opportunities with a range a shops, but the top floor has a fantastic viewing platform of the entire city.
Driving can prove difficult in the city, particularly during peak hours. Due to the narrow size of the roads, there are numerous blind corners that can often trouble first-time drivers, meaning drivers should be cautious when driving at all times.
Due to the demand for parking, finding a space in the city centre can prove difficult. Try to avoid allowing a ‘local’ to help you park – these are often scams wherein they will then demand payment for their assistance.
As the city is the capital, there are six highways connected to it, while the north and south is accessed by one of two bridges. These highways are of a high quality and generally easily driven both towards and away from the city.
Ideal car: Economy
Due to the small size of most economy cars, not only will visitors save on gas when visiting Lisbon, but they may also find that the narrow streets and difficult parking become much easier in a smaller vehicle.
Lisbon can be accessed from the largest airport in the country, Aeroporto da Portela which is located between Lourse and Lisboa. The travel time to the city centre should take between 15 and 25 minutes depending upon the location of your hotel. The airport is located to the north of the city and so will require drivers to travel over the A1, which directly connects the airport to the city with junctions for other locations along the way.