Taxi rip-offs, Lisbon

12 Reviews

  • Taxi rip-offs
    by LysDor
  • Taxi in the airport
    Taxi in the airport
    by teresopinha
  • Lisbon Taxis (photo from the web)
    Lisbon Taxis (photo from the web)
    by musti72

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  • Filoxera's Profile Photo

    Taxi from the aeroport to central Lisbon

    by Filoxera Written Feb 19, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Lisbon's airport is really central. You can almost walk to the centre.
    But carrying bags isn't fun, so, sometimes, when you don't know the town and your accommodation location take a taxi is the best way to get there quickly.

    There are some dangers in taking a taxi in airport because when they understand you don't know the place they will try to take in a non requested tour around the city to charge you more or, what is worst, try to charge you in a higher tariff.
    Local police as been investigating and punishing this forbidden activity but, never the less...

    Now you have a service Taxi Voucher, that is pre-paid and with fixed prices. You can buy the vouchers in the airport - Arrivals and use it in the taxis that have the sign of "Taxi Voucher" on.

    Taxi voucher
    Related to:
    • Budget Travel

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  • Taxi fares from Airport

    by Johnmainline Written Dec 12, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Always ask your Taxi Driver what the fare will be in advance. From the Airport the fare should be no more than Ten Euro including bags and at least two passengers. On the way back to the Airport I asked the fare and he stated 7.50 Euro and the meter was on, suprisingly. The official fare came to 6.76 Euro on a Sunday. So don't pay more than 10 Euro to and from the City Centre. Anyhow Bus No. 44 and 45 go into Town for 1.10 Euro if you are willing to find you way around.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Seniors

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  • teresopinha's Profile Photo

    Taxi drivers, pickpockets

    by teresopinha Updated Apr 15, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Lisbon, as many other cities around the world, has its dangers.
    Taxidrivers: They always take the longest way. If ur accomodation is in the center of Lisbon and u catch a taxi in the airport, always consider that more than 15€, including baggage, is expensive.

    Pickpockets: In public transportation, crowded streets...usual places....

    Traffic lights: sometimes when u are in a traffic light, there are some kids that come to wash your window's car....
    try to avoid them....because if u dont give him a coin (1€ máx.) they start to punch your car.

    Taxi in the airport

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  • vitorlage's Profile Photo

    Hi, I´m a taxi driver in Lisbon for 23 years

    by vitorlage Written Dec 29, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I would like to inform all of you that came to Lisbon.

    Lisbon Airport has to main taxi points. One is the down point and the other is the upper point.

    The better, is to pick up a taxi is from the upper point.

    On the down point 99,9% of the times you'll be cheated. They use a wide range of tricks. Why? Because usually if the taxi driver's aren't the owners they have to make a certain amount of money per shift, if not there boss fires them. The amount is between 80 to 100 €. A run to the city centre won't go over 12€ with luggage from the farest place in Lisbon, and the random average should be around 7 - 8€ with luggage.
    The down point has a park with 350 places, where the taxis queue. During a shift a taxi driver from the down point can only make between 5 to 7 runs in 12 hours shift, so they have to cheat to make that amount of money I said before.

    In the upper point there are some sharks too, but the risk is far less than on the down point. So this an advice never never pick up a taxi from the down point unless you know how to defend yourself. And now I'll give you some tips on how to defend from that cheaters.

    If you go to the hotel, say to the driver what hotel you go, and at the arrival, or even at the very begining, say that is the hotel who is going to pay for the run. Then you go inside the hotel and explain that to recepcionist, and put them to talk to each other, they galdly do it for you. They ask the driver for a invoice/receipt and they should know better than you if that invoice/receipt is not a fake one.

    If you go to another place in Lisbon but not to an hotel, the run NEVER exceeds 12€, and remember in normal circunstances the run never exceeds 20 minutes, this only happens when traffic abnormally jams (very rare cases), like a crash, but there is ALWAYS several ways to escape the traffic. I take all my customers to their destination in wathever conditions I get in less than 30 minutes.
    So if the driver asks for more money you just don't pay and ask him for the police, but be careful with your luggage, they could runaway with them. There is another polite turn around, ask for a Invoice/Receipt, but you need to check if the number plate in the Invoice/Receipt is the same of the taxi.

    The cheaters usually have a table with the prices pre defined on it. THIS IS ILLEGAL. The only price that is LEGAL, is the one in the taximeter. They can charge you an extra 1,60€ for the lugagge and that's all they can charge.

    If you have to go outside of Lisbon the tricks are the same above plus, they never take you by the shortest or efficient way or at the arrival they charge you the double that's on the taximeter, and say that you have to pay the return (doubling the price), and this is not LEGAL too.
    When they exit the boundary's of Lisbon they have to change the tariff on taximeter, if your run is only one way ride the tariff is the 3 (inside of Lisbon is 1), but if you're returning too is tariff 5.

    On the left small window of all taxis there is a table that defines the taxi price services, just take a look at it.

    I hope this helps a bit to desmitify the taxi service in Lisbon, not all of us are cheaters but there is a lot of us that are.

    The soon as I can I'll make a website with reliable taxi services in Lisbon, but unfortunatelly it's very difficult to find usefull drivers in this city, they can be good drivers but they don't speak english, or any other language beside portuguese and a little bit of spanish.

    Any doubt or question please email me at or phone me at +351 969 998 818 I'll gladly try to satisfy your questions.

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  • musti72's Profile Photo

    Taxi: Ask the Price Before

    by musti72 Written Jun 24, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    From the airport to the Hotel in the city we had to pay almost 50 Euros!! I asked the driver at the airport how much it would cost but the only thing he did was showing us the taximeter. I made the mistake to believe that this was ok. I think he didn't take us on the shortest way to the hotel because we made quite a tour, but it was the first time in Lisbon and we didn't know the way.
    Next time I will surely want an exact answer before going with a taxi again.

    Lisbon Taxis (photo from the web)

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  • LysDor's Profile Photo


    by LysDor Updated Mar 10, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The old rip-off was near to happen also here: when taking a taxi at the airport, the driver is not using a meter and claming about special airport fee.

    After driving couple of hundred meters he tells us a price of 3000$00!

    So, we told in english using portuguese few words that we are not here for the first time, we come from another EU-country and we know that it will cost maximum 1500$00.

    It worked and we paid 2000$00 (because of luggages), and even shaked hands after arriving at the hotel!

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  • sunchasers's Profile Photo


    by sunchasers Written Aug 28, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    It's a big problem here. Get an agreed upon price quote for your journey before you leave and threaten to call the police if they are overcharge/fix the meter. I took a taxi to the airport, had hotel call them and made him write down price on paper.

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  • Taxi Overcharge

    by itsjane Written Dec 3, 2011

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In Lisbon, most of the taxis are freelance. If, like most tourists, you´re taking a taxi from the airport to the hotels downtown, it shouldnt cost more than 15-19 euros; average is 15. Keep your eyes on the meter, make sure they don´t turn it off. Keep your eyes on the scenery-they might take a longer route or drive around twice to charge you more.

    Usually, you can haggle. Ask BEFORE you get in the cab, get an estimate, how much it would cost (roughly) to get to your destination. They might tell you that there is a "set" price. Ask to see it AND insist in the meter staying ON. I typically (after being ripped off once) offer them for example, 10 euros to dive me to my hotel from the beach or something (a price that I think is fair). I show my money, say that´s all I have, and they usually take, eventually. They might say it´ll be more, maybe 15-20 or so, but stick to your offer and be firm. In THIS case, the meter can stay off. Don´t be taken advantage of.

    Related to:
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    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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  • Lys-Noir's Profile Photo

    The old rip-off was near to...

    by Lys-Noir Written Aug 26, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The old rip-off was near to happen also here: when taking a taxi at the airport, the driver is not using a meter and claming about special airport fee.

    After driving couple of hundred meters he tells us a price of 15€!

    So, we told in english using portuguese few words that we are not here for the first time, we come from the other civilized EU-country and we know that it will cost maximum 7,5€.

    It worked and we paid 10€ (because of luggages), and even shaked hands after arriving at the hotel.

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  • steven5058's Profile Photo

    taxi drivers will rip you off...

    by steven5058 Written Aug 26, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    taxi drivers will rip you off if they can...dont pay more than 2000 escudos from the airport to the city and never pay more than 1000 for a ride within the out for people scrounging fags....

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  • Cab DriversThough I found...

    by elunardi Written Aug 25, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Cab Drivers

    Though I found most Lisbon cab drivers seem to resemble my dad, in their wool cardigans and jeff caps, I have been cheated more than once and do not trust them, no matter how innocent looking. I am a fluent Portuguese speaker though I bear no accent and appear to be American. I not only understood the insults one driver boldly hurled at me, thinking I couldn't understand him, I also know my way around Lisbon and could see that I was being taken the VERY long way around town by another cabbie, thereby running up the meter.
    It's been a few years so maybe things have changed and, admittedly, these are personal experiences. Your trip will vary. But that's what this is all about, right? Personal experience.

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  • BlueLlama's Profile Photo

    Airport cars - Just make sure the meter is on

    by BlueLlama Written Jun 17, 2007

    I used to be blase about taxi cons - it had never happened to me and so I thought I mustn't look like the type to be taken advantage of. After Lisbon, however, never again.

    I knew in theory how to avoid it, but after a long journey it was all forgotten. In future I will keep the following things in mind: an autorised taxi is not enough. You also need to see a meter and it needs to be turned on. Talk prices before you get in. I didn't and the end result was paying 20 Euros, at least twice the genuine price.

    In many places you're likely to be taken for a ride if you seem out of place. Like some others here, though, I speak Portuguese, had obviously been to the city before, and was still ripped off. I have to conclude the airport to Lisbon route is particularly prone to this sort of thing. I had no problems in the city itself.

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