Sailing up the Tagus River to Lisbon is an interesting 15 km journey: three prominent monuments are best seen from the river, including the Belem Tower built in 1520 to defend the city, the Monument to the Discoveries built in 1960 and dedicated to all the Portuguese explorers, and the Cristo Rei, a huge statue of Christ similar to the one in Rio de Janeiro. As you sail into Lisbon, the huge suspension bridge over the river looks a lot like the Golden Gate because it was built by the same company!
The port of Lisbon features three cruise terminals – Alcântara and the nearby Rocha Conde de Óbidos and Santa Apolónia, located about an hour's walk to the historical and cultural center of the city. Only the Apolonia terminal is closer to town.
At the Alcantara port the terminal (5 km from the city center) has a few vending stalls in the arrival hall, but not much else.
From the docks there are buses, trams (15E) and an underground for transportation into town. You best bet is taking a hop on/off bus, see below.
Transportation to and from the airport.
Printable map to take along.
Cruise calendar for this port.
Check here for festivals and events in Lisbon when you are in port.
Watch a destination video.
Travelling on the old wooden trams is a wonderful experience. No. 15 from the center to Belém and No. 28, to Alfama, are the most picturesque routes. They however can get busy, when a large cruise ship is in port. Go as early as possible or go later in the afternoon.
Fado is, par excellence, the song of Lisboa. Born of unique sentiment, of a soul that can't be explained but only felt, fado today is the most noble and genuine product of Portuguese popular culture. And because it is so singular, it is always a surprise for the tourists who visit Lisboa.
Lisbon is a world class city with a wealth of interesting places. The Lisbon Hop-on Hop-off Tour is probably the best way to see the most in one day. It has a stop right in front of the three different ports:
Alcântara, Rocha Conde de Óbidos terminals: Red line
Apolonia terminal: Blue line.
3 tours are in general offered for about 19 euro total:
General city tour and down from the bridge (Red tour)
Tour to the Expo site including very large shopping center - stop 10 (Blue tour)
Tour thru the old part of town (Green tour)
Please note: both the red and blue tours use red buses, only the sign will be different.
Public transport is perhaps the best means of travelling cheaply and efficiently from place to place. Buses cover most of the city, charming antique electric trolley cars travel through areas such as Alfama and Baixa and funiculars take care of the steeper hills. The Metro system is modern, efficient and fast. Lisbon in one day itinerary. Bus 728 stops also at all cruise terminals, get off at Praça do Comércio, the waterfront center of town, buy the ticket from the driver.
A better value option is to purchase an unlimited 24 hour pass, which includes metro, tram and bus services; these tickets cost €6.00 and can be bought from metro stations, but not on the tram.
Be aware that Lisbon is a hilly town and most sidewalks are mostly made of cobblestone pavers, not suitable for wheelchairs etc.
For more independent means of transport, taxis are relatively inexpensive and plentiful. A car is more of a hindrance than a help in town, but a hire car might be worth considering if you're thinking of venturing beyond Lisbon to visit the sumptuous summer palace at Queluz, the elegant town of Sintra and the magnificent beaches of the coastal resorts of Cascais, Estoril and Guincho.
Trains to Sintra are running from the Rossio station and a few other ones in Lisbon, a 40 minutes trip, every 30 minutes. A cruise excursion might be is a better option due to the limited time you will be in port.
From Alcantara Mar, adress: Av. da Índia, trains go to Cascais and Estoril, a trip of 30 minutes.
It pays to compare your cruise line shore excursions here.
Cascais, Estoril and Sintra.
Baixa is the main shopping district, it is near de Praca do Comercio, where the shuttle buses will drop you off.
The Bairro Alto, (the upper city) is the most popular place to eat out. The typical little local restaurants are called tascas: for a real taste of the Lisbon feeling.
On the waterfront, at the Doca de Santo Amaro, there are also lots of lively (fish)restaurants.
From chic city-restaurant menus to humble fishermen's home-cooking you'll find a huge variety of dishes. With a surfeit of fresh fish and shellfish, lovers of sea-food will find themselves amply catered for.
Pork, lamb and steak dishes are not an uncommon sight on menus taking their place alongside dishes influenced by former African, Asian and Oriental colonies, which might tempt the more adventurous palate.
Portuguese wines and ports are eminently drinkable and a very varied selection of fresh fruit and vegetables complete a diverse culinary picture. Pastry-lovers simply must not visit Lisbon without sampling Pasteis do Belem; delicious flaky tartlets filled with custard-like cream.
Lisboa Welcome center: located in the heart of the city in old quarter of Baixa (Praca do Comercio), the center has an "Ask Me" tourist information desk; a gourmet restaurant named "Terreiro do Paço"; a café called "Espaço Contínuo" and an art gallery. Artesanato do Tejo handicraft shop offers paintings, ceramics, fire arts, woven pieces, lace, CDs and books on Lisbon, Portuguese gastronomy and tourist guides.
There is an internet cafe on the second floor of Tourist Information Office (Palacio Foz, Praca dos Restauradores).
Shopping hours Generally Mon-Fri 0900-1900, Sat 0900-1300. Shopping centers are usually open Mon-Sun 1000-1900 or later. Also the major stores in town follow the sunday hours as the shopping centers.
Banking Hours Generally, Mon-Fri 0830-1500 (certain banks in Lisbon are open until 1800).
New Year's Day: 1 January
Liberation Day: 25 April
Labour Day: 1 May
National /Camões Day: 10 June
15 August: Our Lady of the Assumption
Republic Day: 5 October
All Saints: 1 November
Restoration of the Independence: 1 December
Immaculate Conception: 8 December
Christmas: 25 December
Movable holidays: Carnival (Shrove Tuesday)/ Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, Easter, Corpus Christi.
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