Part of our decision to go to Lisbon was based on how convenient it was to get to from London. There are a few major airlines that fly there direct, such as British Airways, TAP Portugal & Easyjet.
We chose to fly TAP, and our flight was conveniently from Heathrow Airport (the closest airport to us).
We found the flight a good experience, staff were friendly and edible food was served.
Upon arrival in Lisbon there was long queues for non-EU residents at customs. After queuing for around 20 minutes we finally got to the front of the line....only to be told that we should have completed an Arrival form...we then had to go and find a form and join the back of the queue.
Humph. Luckily the queues were short by this time.
Lisbon airport is not too big, so quite manageable, with signs in Portuguese & English.
When we arrived in Lisbon we decided to catch the Aero-Bus from the airport to the centre of town.
When you leave the airport, there are a few bus stops right outside. Look for the one that has a yellow Aero-Bus sign. The bus number is 91, and it travels from the airport to Cais do Sodre, with around 11 stops in between (the website has details of the timetable and stop names).
You have to take your luggage on board with you.
Although it can be a bit difficult to determine when you have arrived at your stop, I am sure the driver would be happy to advise you if you asked. We had a map and worked out where we were, so knew when to alight.
There is a bus every 20 minutes. Our trip to/from Avenida metro station took about 20 minutes. The ticket cost 3.50 euro and was valid on other buses/trams/metro for the rest of the day.
The other option for travelling to/from the airport is to take a taxi.
Do you want to go from the Lisbon airport to the city centre?
The airport is 7km north of Lisbon. From this airport there is a bus service, which runs every 15 minutes from 5.30am to 1.00am to Lisbon city centre and the main railway station. An ‘Airbus’ tranfer service is also offered which departs to the city centre every 20 minutes. Taxi services to the city are available and car hire companies Avis, Eurodollar, Hertz and Inter-Rent also operate at the airport.
Bus:5, 22,44,45, 83 (€1,20) and Aero-Bus ( €1,20 or 3,10€ for 1 day bus ticket).
Taxi: about 9€ to the centre.
Positioned at the north part of the city Portela Airport is only 7 km away from the centre of Lisbon which makes a nice experience landing in Lisbon especially if the day/ night is clear. With two terminals (one for international and the other for domestic flights) the airport is an international gateway with flights departing and arriving from major International cities in Europe, North America, South America and Africa. TAP, Portugália and SATA from the Azores are the local airlines, but the airport welcomes all the big regular European, overseas and low-budget flights.
Note: for the best available prices have a look @ www.terminala.com ; www.flycheapo.com ; www.cheapoair.com ; www.whichbudget.com ; www.low-cost-airline-guide.com ; www.flybudget.com ; %L[http://www.skyscanner.net/www.skyscanner.net
Approximate flight times to Lisbon: From London is 2 hours 15 minutes; from Frankfurt is 2 hours 30 minutes; from New York is 6 hours 45 minutes; from Los Angeles is 12 hours; from Toronto is 9 hours 30 minutes, from Singapore is 15 hours and from Sydney is 23 hours.
As usual, you can find all the facilities a medium dimensions airport has to offer:
-first aid, shower, food stall with restaurants / bars,
-currency exchange and banking, insurances, VAT refund, post office,
-left luggage, lost and found,
-duty-free and other shopping areas including mobile phone shop,
-lounges available to first and business class travelers on several airlines,
-other facilities including fax, telephones and internet.
At the outside you will find also
-tourist information, ticket offices, bank, cafeteria
-car hire is available from Avis, Eurodollar, Europcar and Hertz
The best direct connection to the major hotel areas (downtown, Avenida da República, Praça Marquês de Pombal) is the Aero-bus (3€, see link). The Aero-Bus is free for TAP passengers, on presentation of used boarding passes when arriving and flight tickets when traveling to the airport.
Nevertheless, you can take the regular bus lines (lines 5, 8, 22, 44, 45, and 83 from www.carris.pt; costs €1,40), or the taxi. There are 2 options for taxi: buy the taxi voucher at the tourism info desk (main area at the “arrivals”) or just go out of the “arrivals” area and pick the taxi from the line. Be attentive as they sometimes over charge (as extra) and always ask for the ticket at the end. If the line is long you can go to the “departures” area and also pick up the taxi from there. The average fare between the Airport and the center of the city should be around 10€ to 15€.
On this latest occasion we flew to Lisbon with TAP, the Portuguese airline, from London Heathrow. The flight lasted about two and a half hours. On the way out we were served a light breakfast (yoghurt drink and small filled roll) with juice, tea and/or coffee. On our return late afternoon flight we were served a filled roll and could have an alcoholic drink (I had some nice red wine) at no extra charge – unusual these days, but a pleasant end to our trip.
Last time I had visited Lisbon, for the 2009 VT meeting in Cascais, I had used the Aerobus to get to the city centre as it was the only real option. Nowadays it is also possible to use the Metro as an extension has been built to serve the airport. We didn’t use this on our arrival as we saw a bus waiting and thought it would be nice to be able to see our surroundings as we drove into town, but on our return trip we used the Metro as the Rossio stop in the Praça da Figueira was very convenient for our hotel. We had to change to the red line at Alameda, but this was no bother and the new line was very light, modern and fast – a good alternative to the bus.
Lisbon’s airport is modern and quite small, with just two terminals. I found everything ran smoothly on both my arrival and departure, and for the latter I found the duty free shop to have a better than average selection of regional foods and drinks.
I took the aerobus from the airport to the city centre. This runs every 20 minutes, and leaves from a stop right outside exit 3. The charge is a reasonable €3.50, which you pay the driver on boarding.
The drive to the city takes between 30 and 45 minutes, depending on traffic. The route is pleasant and I found plenty to interest me as we went, including an avenue lined with nice houses leading from the airport. A screen above the driver has a Sat Nav display which shows your current location, the next stop and its nearby hotels, and clear announcements are made in English as well as Portuguese. The bus stops at several major points in the city, including the Praça dos Restauradores and Rossio, and terminates at the Cais do Sodre station.
I flew to Lisbon from Cologne with the German buget airline Germanwings.
Unfortunately, there are not too many airlines serving this route, therefore prices are still relatively expensive.
Lisbon's international airport "Portela" is situated about 10 km north of the city centre. It is Portugal's busiest and most important airport.
The easiest way to get into the city centre is take the Aerobus (Carris route no 91). Just follow the signs in the Arrivals hall for buses, and the Aerobus stop is just outside the exit. The bus runs every twenty minutes, and goes right into the heart of the city centre, with 12 stops including Avenida Liberdade, Restauradores, Rossio, Placa do Comercio and Cais Sodre for the station. Tickets can be bought on the bus at 3.50 euros and the journey takes around 20 – 35 minutes. Here is a link to the timetable http://www.carris.pt/en/horarios/a091_2.pdf
I have been checking out the routefinder on the Carris website, and it suggests that route 45 does the same journey with a lot more stops, takes around 45 minutes, and only costs the single fare of 1.30 euros. So if you haven’t got too much luggage and time is not so important, you could get the ordinary service bus instead !
The airport is very close to the city, almot in the city itself, so that, you can reach the centre very fast.
Alameda das Comunidades Portuguesas
* Fax: (+351) 218 413 675
- www.ana.pt/portal/pls/portal/PORTAL.wwctx_app_language.set_language (English)
- www.ana.pt/portal/page/portal/ANA/AEROPORTO_LISBOA (Portuguese)
- www.ana.pt/portal/page/portal/ANA/AEROPORTO_LISBOA (Spanish)
* To/from the airport:
There are some buses: AeroBus (91) is a bit more expensive, but you can get a pass for the following 24 hours; other buses: 22, 44, 83 and 745. Obviously, it depends on where you need to go, but 44 and 745 (apart from Aerobus), go to Marqués de Pombal, then, down Avenida da Liberdade to Cais do Sodré.
For buses information:
- www.carris.pt/en/index.php (English)
- www.carris.pt (Portuguese)
No metro so far.
I've never seen such a difference in time between back and forth. Newark to Lisbon took 5h40min. whereas Lisbon to Newark took 7h30min. Isn't that odd? Anyway, it's a long flight for the 757: no choice of movie, no little map on demand... Still, Continental is offering many tempting point-to-point destinations (Glasgow or Guayaquil anyone?), and it's much faster than changing in Paris, London or Frankfurt.
Lisbon airport is very modern, clean and one of the nicest I've seen. A lot of light, space and utilities like restaurants and cafes. It's main runway, measuring 3,805 meters, orientation 03/21 (NW) can land a 747, the airport has also the capacity of dealing such large number of passengers. The airport has a second shorter runway oriented 17/35 (NE).
Airplanes come for landing from south, passing over the 25 de Abril Bridge then for the last 5 minutes flying very low right over some neighborhood in order to land the big NW oriented runway.
This is the main hub for the Portugal national airline - TAP Portugal. It is located very close to city center, depending on traffic you can reach in 20-30 minutes. The position within the city, being one of the few airports in Europe not located well near the city, was theme for debates about safety and the final decision about building a new airport was taken in 2008, designating Alcochete - 50 km north of Lisbon, as the planned site for the construction of the new Lisbon International Airport, which will be finished in 2017.
Lisbon's airport is conveniently close to the city and can be reached by underground train - take the red line. There's also a bus, which as it is direct can be a bit quicker depending on where you get it from. Taxis are also an option due to the relatively short distance and the cost of taxis in Portugal. There are two terminals, so make sure you know which one you are going to. Terminal 1 is the original, and biggest, and is used for mostly national airlines, like Portugal's TAP. Terminal 2 is smaller and newer, and used mostly by budget airlines like Ryanair and Easyjet.
Lisbon is a safe airport, but the strong ocean winds can make for an uncomfortable landing. My first landing at Lisbon was buffeted by such strong winds it rocked the plane from side to side - and yet there was no storm; it was a relatively calm day. There's no need to panic, especially if you are flying TAP as they have never had an accident yet. Just be prepared for it.