Our tour guides are always being asked about the best way to get around town, and they have a lot of useful information that we have compiled in this post.
In addition to providing step-by-step directions for two of the most popular options, we'll also include tips from locals and travelers who have actually used these services.
There are several different ways to get from the Humberto Delgado Airport in Lisbon to the city centre.
Since the airport is located within city limits, most transfers are very affordable and quick.
The following post provides a breakdown of each airport transfer available in Lisbon, with information on ticket prices and comparisons between each service to help you choose the right one for your needs.
If you don’t mind crowds, you can save a lot of money on an airport transfer by using either the metro or Aerobus, both of which are less than €4 ($4.45) per ride.
That said, visitors who would prefer to avoid other travelers should consider either an uber, a taxi, or a private car.
While some of these services can be as much as €40 ($44.60), others can be as affordable as €10 ($11.15) or less!
We will also provide details about any discounts you can use to save a few euros on airport transfers and other services while you’re visiting Lisbon.
Lisbon’s metro service is one of the most affordable ways to reach the city centre from the airport.
The Lisbon airport is the first station on the red line of the metro.
While this line won’t take you directly to sites like Alfama, Baixa, and Chiado, you can hop off at Alameda or São Sebastião to get on the green and blue lines which do include stops in those areas.
Step 1 - Go to the Metro Station
Once you arrive at the airport, you'll need to head to the metro station in order to get to the city centre.
You’ll find the metro entrance right outside the arrivals hall via the doors on the left (or to the right if you’re coming down the stairs).
Step 2 - Purchase Tickets
Tickets can be purchased from ticket machines at metro stations.
The price for a single ride is just €1.50 ($1.70), but you can also purchase full-day passes which are valid on all metro, buses, trams, and more.
If you’re planning to visit multiple popular attractions in Lisbon, keep in mind that you could actually save money on a public transport card by purchasing a discount pass.
Once you have your ticket, make sure you know which metro station you plan to stop at before you've boarded.
Step 3 - Board the Train
Metro trains run every 5-15 minutes from the Lisbon Airport, so you should be able to get on a train pretty quickly.
The entire journey should only take about 20-30 minutes. Since you're at the starting terminal for this metro line, there should be plenty of open seating onboard.
The metro is open from 6:30 am - 1 am, so you’ll need to consider another option if you arrive in the middle of the night.
Step 4 - Arrive in City Centre
There are a few different metro stations near the city centre of Lisbon, but you'll want to consider where your hotel is located before deciding where to hop off the train.
The red line from the airport will only take you so far, and if you want to reach the city centre, you'll need to switch trains at the Alameda Metro Station.
From here, you can take the green line down to Rossio Metro Station, which is pretty much the city centre.
If you need to go a bit further, there is also a Baixa-Chiado Metro Station on this line, and the final stop is at Cais do Sodré Metro Station.
TIP: Unlimited access to the Lisbon Metro system is included with the Lisbon Card. If you're also interested in visiting several notable museums and monuments, this could be a great way to save some money on both at the same time!
If you’re traveling with heavy luggage, this is an excellent alternative to the metro.
While taking the metro requires you to hold onto your luggage at all times, the Aerobus offers storage compartments.
Step 1 - Go to Terminal 1
The Aerobus and all other buses depart from the Arrivals level of Terminal 1. This is also where you'll find the taxis, which is another alternative to consider.
You'll find the Aerobus departure point on the map below.
Step 2 - Purchase Tickets
Tickets for the Aerobus can be purchased online or on the Viagem app. Alternatively, you can also get tickets at the bus stop or onboard using cash (euros).
Each ticket is €4 ($4.45) for adults, €2 ($2.25) for children, and they include 24-hour access to all public buses in Lisbon.
Travelers who can get some use out of a 24-hour bus pass may want to consider this airport transfer over others simply to take advantage of that additional service.
Step 3 - Board the Bus
Once you've got your ticket, it's time to board the bus and make the journey to Lisbon's city centre.
In addition to baggage compartments, they also offer free wi-fi and USB chargers for your smartphones and other devices.
The Aerobus operates between the hours of 7:30 am - 11 pm, which isn’t quite as good as the metro, but most flights into this city take place during the day anyways.
Step 4 - Arrive in City Centre
Like the metro train, the Aerobus will also take you to Rossio Metro Station, and they even have a second line that will take you all the way to Cais do Sodre.
We recommend figuring out where you plan to stop before boarding the bus.
NOTE: As of 2023, the Aerobus is no longer in service.
TIP: If you are planning to use public transport at some point, you may want to consider getting a Lisbon Card combo package.
This combo deal includes a 25% discount on Aerobus and a Viva Viagem Card you can use for 3 days of unlimited access to public transportation throughout the city.
Whether you’re trying to avoid other travelers or you just want a nice, quiet ride into the city, this is one of the best airport transfer options in Lisbon.
Most private transfers are provided via either luxury sedan or SUV, so it’s almost like you’re getting the royal treatment.
Although it will cost more for this airport transfer than most of the other options on our list, a private transfer is also far more luxurious and it allows you to avoid the crowds while traveling into the city.
There are several different services to choose from, and prices range from €20 - €40 ($22.30-$44.60) on average.
Check this list of Lisbon Airport Transfers to find one that fits your needs.
Since the Lisbon airport is actually located within the city limits, a taxi ride to the city centre won’t cost as much as it would in other popular European destinations.
A typical transfer from the airport will set you back about €12 ($13.4) - €18 ($20.00).
By law, all taxis must use a meter to track the fares, and you can expect them to charge between €0.47 (.52 cents)- €0.55 (.61 cents) per km.
Taxis typically cost at least 20% more from the hours of 9 pm - 6 am, but they’re definitely an excellent option if your plane will be arriving during those hours.
If you want to save a few euros, consider taking an Uber instead. This rideshare service ranges from €7 ($7.80) - €15 ($16.71) per transfer from the airport to the city centre.
Although you could end up spending just as much for an Uber as you would for a taxi, there’s a chance you’ll save some money this way.
The nice thing about an Uber ride is that they give you an estimate for how much the ride will cost on your phone before you even agree to pay for it, so you know exactly what you’re getting into.
With a taxi, traffic and other issues could increase the amount you pay for your ride significantly, and it’s difficult to say exactly how much you’ll owe the driver at the end of your journey.
Ultimately, if money is of concern and you don’t feel the need to avoid crowds, consider either the metro or aerobus instead.
This section provides information about each of the different ways you can save money on Lisbon airport transfers, including tourist attraction discount passes and combo packages.
Tourist Attraction Discount Passes
Travelers who are planning to visit multiple attractions or enjoy several tours and activities in Lisbon can use a tourist pass to save money on both admission prices and public transportation.
The Lisboa Card includes a free travel pass for the amount of time you choose to pay for, and the card can be purchased in increments of 1, 2, or 3 days.
Here are a few of the additional attractions and activities provided with this discount pass:
- Belém Tower | €6 ($6.70)
- National Pantheon | €4 ($4,45)
- Jerónimos Monastery | €10 ($11.15)
- LISBOA Story Centre | €7 ($7.80)
- Mafra National Palace | €6 ($6.70)
- National Tile Museum | €5 ($5.60)
- Pilar7 Bridge Experience | €6 ($6.70)
- National Coach Museum | €8 ($8.90)
- National Ancient Art Museum | €6 ($6.70)
- And more!
Depending on which version of the pass you purchase (1, 2, or 3 days), you could pay as little as €22.14 ($23.34) per day for the Lisboa Card.
Considering you’ll pay €7.38 ($7.78) per day for unlimited public transport, it’s almost like half the value of the card is in the free travel pass!
In addition to this, it’s worth noting that the cost of admission for most attractions is between €5 ($5.60) - €10 ($11.15), so you really only need to use it for an additional 2-3 activities in order to start saving a decent amount of money.
For more details, please read our post covering Lisbon tourist passes.
Hotels Near Lisbon Airport
Travelers looking for convenience near Lisbon Portela Airport can find hotels offering free shuttle bus services during weekdays and passenger pick-up points at key locations like Saldanha and Marquês de Pombal.
Whether it's the rush hour accessibility to the city center and downtown Lisbon or a good option for quick pick-ups to nearby attractions such as Sintra and Cascais, these accommodations provide a strategic advantage for exploring Portugal's vibrant capital.
- TRYP Lisboa Aeroporto Hotel
- Holiday Inn Express Lisbon Airport
- Star Inn Lisbon Aeroporto
- Radisson Blu Hotel Lisbon
- Hotel Aeroporto
- Lisbon Airport Suites
- Stay Hotel Lisbon Aeroporto
- VIP Executive Arts Hotel
- Myriad by SANA Hotels
- Hotel Tryp Oriente
Tips From Locals and Travelers
If you have any questions that we didn't cover in this post, we recommend checking one of the many Lisbon Travel Tips groups on Facebook.
Groups like Travel Portugal Tips are filled with thousands of locals and travelers who have a lot of useful advice for visitors.
Here are a few of the most helpful tips we found for getting from Lisbon Airport to the city centre.
As we mentioned under the Aerobus section, this service is sadly no longer available. It used to be a reliable option, so a lot of people still don't even realize it's not running anymore.
Thankfully, there are other public buses that run from the airport to the city centre, but they do not operate 24 hours a day.
Many travelers recommend simply getting an uber or bolt, because the price is actually somewhat reasonable.
While it might cost a bit more than €10 most of the time, sometimes you can get lucky!
The one thing most travelers agree on is that you should not get a taxi.
While officially licensed taxis are required by law to offer a fixed rate that is quite reasonable, there are a lot of scammers out there who will take you for everything they can.
Julie here sadly fell victim to this herself, and she offers a warning to stay away from taxis for this very reason.
Ultimately, Uber/Bolt are both app-based services, so not only will you potentially save money, but you'll also avoid falling victim to any taxi scams.
Aside from Uber/Bolt, the metro is one of the most popular options. Even when Aerobus was running, the metro was still much more affordable.
For even more excellent suggestions, make sure to check Travel Portugal Tips and similar groups on Facebook.