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Basic info and car hire in Lisbon

Location: North-west of Portugal.

Population: 545,245 (2011)   

Official language: Portuguese and Mirandese.

Currency: Euro (€)

Weather: Mediterranean climate. Warm summers (above 68°F / 20°C), mild winters (54°F / 12°C) and pleasant spring and autumn (above 59 °F / 15°C). Read more

Holidays in Lisbon: For public holidays in Portugal click here»        

Internet coverage: Hotels, bars, restaurants, and cafés are mostly equipped with Wi-Fi.

Road conditions: Roads are quite poorly maintained in some areas.

Car hire in Lisbon: Prices for one-day car hire are around 9€ in summer, 7€ in autumn and 6€ in winter and spring. The most common vehicle collection location is Lisbon Airport. Please note that rental prices vary frequently. It’s best to make a car booking 3 to 8 weeks prior to your pick up date – this way you ensure the lowest car hire price. Alternatively, it is possible to get a great last-minute car hire deal. Find the best car hire deal in Lisbon!

About Lisbon

Lisbon is stylish and full of contrast. Car hire at Lisbon Airport is a perfect way of getting to know the city centre and its surroundings. You can easily explore this charming hilly city by foot, or take the iconic tram number 28. This tram has been rumbling through the Lisbon streets since before WWII and visits many beautiful districts, such as Alfama and Baixa. It stops near the famous shop called A Vida Portuguesa, where you can buy just about anything your heart desires.

And the best part? It’s all local. The city has a wonderful metro and great connections, the Lisbon airport is located just a 15 minutes drive away, so the city is perfect for tourists. Head to Commerce Square and admire the many notable buildings there. And lastly, visit Padrao dos descobrimentos located in Belem district, a monument commemorating the departure of the Portuguese discoverers to the New World.

If you're considering picking up and dropping your rental car in Lisbon and exploring the nearby cities, you won't have any problems. There are plenty of car hire agencies, such as Drive On Holidays, Bravacar, Europcar and many others, so make small research and book the most suitable for you. Book your car online to get the best customer service and the best deals right to your email addresses.

 

Lisbon

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Driving in Lisbon

There are two toll systems in Portugal. The traditional one is called Via Verde (Green Lane). These toll lanes on toll roads are marked with green V signs. You can pay with cash, credit cards or prepaid cards as you go. In order to use a Via Verde lane, you must buy or rent an electronic transponder or vignette at any CTT Post Office and Via Verde stores. Don't use the Via Verde lanes if you don't have the Via Verde Transponder.

Other roads only have electronic tolls, meaning that there are no toll booths and can't be paid as you go. The devices placed at the beginning of those highways detect the passing vehicles. They are marked with a black car with three beams expanding toward it. The majority of car rental agencies in Portugal have Via Verde transponders pre-installed in their vehicles. Nevertheless, if you'll be hiring a car in Portugal, ask the company you're hiring with how their systems work with both toll systems.

Driving in Lisbon is challenging since the drivers are impatient and there is little road signage. Heavy traffic can also be an issue. However, a car hire in Lisbon is simple and affordable. The best time to visit Lisbon (weather-wise) in spring since the temperatures aren’t as high as in the summertime. Summer, however, is the peak season. The maximum BAC level is 0.05% for drivers of private vehicles. There is a Zero Tolerance Law for novice drivers who have held a driving license less than two years and for young drivers under the age of 21.         

  • Age limits: 21 (minimum age may vary according to car hire companies. A Young Driver fee will apply to drivers under 25 years of age. In order to hire a car, it is required that a driver has held a driving license for more than one year).
  • International Driving Permit: Yes, if you are a non-EU license holder.
  • Additional papers: Identification (passport), a valid driving license and a valid proof of insurance. (It is advisable to buy insurance at the car hire agency in case your policy doesn't cover you while driving in Portugal).
  • Additional requirements: Warning triangles, reflective vests, and hands-free equipment with hearing aids are required while driving and talking on the phone
  • Children in the car: All car occupants must wear a seatbelt. Children under the age of twelve or shorter than 4ft 11in (1.50 meters) can only travel in the front passenger seat if they are in a special rear-facing children’s seat.
  • Driving side of the road:
  • Lights: Headlights are not turned on unless you are in a tunnel or during conditions of poor visibility.
  • General speed limits: 75mph (120kph) on motorways, 55mph (90kph) outside cities and 30mph (50kph) in residential areas.
  • Parking suggestions: Parking your car in the historic centre is almost impossible, due to narrow streets, but there are many underground parking garages and there are metered parking spots identified with blue lines where you can park your rental car. In general, try to avoid street parking.

Drive your rental car around Lisbon

No need to stay in Lisbon only – experience other areas of Portugal and be amazed! A car hire will come in handy if you’re up for more. Drive to the enchanting Sintra and visit palaces, gardens and the picturesque centre. It’s about 18mi (30km) from Lisbon and provides a nice change of scenery. Or drive for roughly thirty minutes and hit the beach in Cascais and pay a visit to the lovely boutiques while there! You can also drive west just about fifteen minutes longer, and reach the popular Guincho Beach, or go the opposite way, east, and reach the twenty minute distant Carcavelos Beach instead. For more fun in the sun, take your rental to Peniche, a much loved surfing location. From there, the medieval town of Obidos with its castle and cobbled streets is only a thirty-minute drive away.

What to see in Lisbon

See how the city unveils in front of you as you take in the views from St. George’s Castle. Next off, walk the cool Rossio Square – its funky stone paving will make you dizzy. A glance at the Casa dos Bicos (House of Spikes) is also quite unique. Hint: the name couldn’t be more spot on. Stop for coffee at Rua Augusta avenue, and check out the vertical Santa Justa Elevator, constructed in 1902 and still running!

See how the city unveils in front of you as you take in the views from St. George’s Castle. Next off, walk the cool Rossio Square – its funky stone paving will make you dizzy. A glance at the Casa dos Bicos (House of Spikes) is also quite unique. Hint: the name couldn’t be more spot on. Stop for coffee at Rua Augusta avenue, and check out the vertical Santa Justa Elevator, constructed in 1902 and still running!

Our favourite spots

Hotels in Lisbon

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Where to eat, drink and party in Lisbon

Portuguese food is a lot about fresh fish, seafood and spices, such as saffron, cinnamon and chilli pepper. Try Bacalhau dish, which is a salted cod served in many different, delicious ways. You can also taste Cozido a portuguesa, a vegetable and meat stew, or Caldeirada, a vegetable, fish and seafood stew. Order a glass of Port or Madeira wine with your meal, and enjoy your dinner to the fullest. If you want to party, head to Bairro Alto, Baixa and Alcantara and visit the bars, pubs, clubs and restaurants! If you’re into casinos and fine dining, travel to Estoril city.

Portuguese food is a lot about fresh fish, seafood and spices, such as saffron, cinnamon and chilli pepper. Try Bacalhau dish, which is a salted cod served in many different, delicious ways. You can also taste Cozido a portuguesa, a vegetable and meat stew, or Caldeirada, a vegetable, fish and seafood stew. Order a glass of Port or Madeira wine with your meal, and enjoy your dinner to the fullest. If you want to party, head to Bairro Alto, Baixa and Alcantara and visit the bars, pubs, clubs and restaurants! If you’re into casinos and fine dining, travel to Estoril city.

Major events and festivals

The carnival in Portugal is always a bright and colorful event. It is a holiday that Portuguese people car about a great deal. The carnival has its own traditions which you will not find anywhere else! Check out our link to know more.

Super Bock Super Rock is one of the biggest festivals which invite metal and rock fans from all over the world. Looking for something new to see, feel, hear and experience? Then this is the event for you! Rent a car in Lisbon and visit it yourself.

Lisbon International Handicraft Fair is an event where you feel the past, enjoy the moment of present and can even try to experience the future. It's an event which combines tradition and contemporary, old and new. 

If you decided to come to Lisbon for Christmas, you can be sure that you will not regret it. Portuguese people adore this time of the year and it's one of the main holidays. If you want to know more what festivals and festivities you can find in Christmas Lisbon, check the link below!