Main information

Population

2.1 million in greater Lisbon; 700,000 in the center city.

Area

300 square miles

Time Zone

Greenwich Mean Time plus one hour: Time in Lisbon is 5 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time in New York. (6 hours ahead of central time in Chicago, etc.)

Area

1000 sq. km (300 sq. miles)

International Dialing Code

All numbers for Lisbon and the outskirts of the city begin with 21 and have 6 or 7 additional digits. The country code is 351. (use the country code only when calling Lisbon from another country).

There are five different types of pay phones in Lisbon. Four use coins; one uses cards and one type uses both. Calling cards can be purchased at tobacco stores, post offices, news stands and Telecom outlets. For local directory inquiries dial 118. For long distance directory assistance, dial 098.

Emergency

police: 346 61 41
fire: 342 22 22
ambulance 112.

Currency

Portugal’s currency is the euro. The notes are in denominations of 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10, and 5 euro. The denominations of coins are 2 euro, 1 euro, 50 euro cent, 20 euro cent, 10 euro cent, 5 euro cent, 2 euro cent, and 1 euro cent. The easiest method of securing cash at the best exchange rate is to make withdrawals using a US credit card from the ATM machines found at the major banks and stores. As in the U.S., some banks charge a fee and a transaction tax, so check with the banks to find the best value.

Customs Regulations

Telephone Tourist information at 346 33 14 for information. Daily. 9-8.

Average Temperatures (in Fahrenheit)

High Low
January – March 68 52
April – June 76 55
July – September 86 67
October – December 77 55

Lisbon has an Atlantic climate with some Mediterranean influence. The result is that sunny days prevail even during the winter. The weather is pleasant throughout the year.

Email and Internet

Internet Web Café 12, Rua do Diário de Noticias, 1200 Open daily 2pm-2am.

Useful measurements

1 cm – 0.39 inches
1 meter – 3.28 feet / 1.09 yards
1 km – 0.62 miles
1 liter – 0.26 gallons
1 inch – 2.54 cm
1 foot – 0.39 meters
1 yard – 0.91 meters
1 mile – 1.60 km
1 gallon – 3.78 liters

Lisbon

National Holidays

Jan. 1 – New Year’s Day
Feb. (date varies) – Carnaval
Good Friday (date varies – March or April)
April 25 – Dia 25 de Abril (commemorationg 1974 revolution)
June 6 – Feast of Corpus Christi
June 10 – Camões Day
August 15 – Feast of the Assumption
October 5 – Republic Day
November 1 – All Saints’ Day
December 1 – Dia da Restauracão (commemorating independence from Spain, 1640)
December 8 – Feast of the Immaculate Conception
December 25 – Christmas Day

Public rest rooms

Restrooms are difficult to find in most places. Men’s rooms are marked H and women’s are marked S.

Electricity

The electrical current in Portugal is 220 volts, 50 cycle AC, and outlets are two round prongs. American appliances will need a plug adapter and will require a transformer if they do not have a dual voltage capability.

Visitors with disabilities

Portugal is attempting to accommodate the needs of travelers with disabilities, but so far progress has been slow. Telephone 213-632-044 two days in advance to reserve disabled parking spaces. Contact Secretariado Nacional de Rehibilitacão Avenue Conde de Valbom 63, 1000 Lisbon telephone: 217-936-517 for information in Portuguese regarding transportation facilities and Lisbon access.

Children

Children under 4 travel free on Portuguese railways and children 4-12 pay half price. Adults over 60 receive a 30% discount.

Getting Around

Lisbon is well equipped in the area of public transportation which is run by the state owned company, Carris. The easiest way to get around Lisbon is by the metropolitano (subway) which runs daily from 6:30am-1:00am. Transportation maps are available at subway stations. Tickets can be purchased for a single ride, in sets of 10 or as a 7 day pass.

Tickets are available at the stations and from tobacconists and must be validated in a machine in the station before boarding. It is also necessary to have the ticket available at the end of the journey. The best buy is a Lisboa card which is valid for 1-3 days and can be used interchangeably on the subway, bus and rail service to some destinations as well as for admission to museums.

Tourist passes for 4-7 days are also available. Either can be purchased at Carris kiosks at Praca da Figueira, Elevador de Santa Justa or Sete Rios. Buses run daily from 6:30am-midnight. Trolleys (eléctricos) are a very pleasant way to travel, but they operate only in a limited area of the city.

Funiculars and elevator cars are a popular means of getting from the river level to the upper parts of the city. It is more expensive to travel by bus than by metro (on a single ticket), but the buses cover the most territory They have frequent stops, making them more accessible to tourist attractions. Tickets can be purchased in books of ten at half price.

Transportation Links

Buses

Ferries

Ferries run by Transtejo link the city with the south side of the Tagus and offer magnificent views of Lisbon. 5am-10pm every 15 minutes. Ferries also run from Belém to Trafaria where passengers can catch buses to the beaches at Caparica. Daily 7am-9pm.

Taxis

Taxis can be hailed from the street or, for an additional cost, called on the telephone. An illuminated green light on the roof indicates that the cab is available. One green light means that the taxi is charging normal rates; when two green lights are lit, a higher weekend and public holiday rate is being charged.

Air Travel

Flights arrive at Portela de Sacavém International Airport which is only 4 miles northeast of the city. Express bus #91 shuttles between downtown and the terminal. 7am-9pm every 20 minutes. Taxis are also available around the clock. The trip takes 15-20 minutes depending on traffic. There is an extra charge for luggage.

Note: Traffic drives on the right side of the road in Portugal. Driving in the city center is not advised. There are few parking places (though large underground car parks are being added); traffic signs and warnings (including many one-way notices) are not clearly displayed. Local drivers can be intimidating, and police, while helpful with directions, etc. are strict in applying the rules and will ticket violators.

Confusion will not serve as an excuse to avoid a fine. Some roads have three lanes, further adding to the confusion. There is an excellent system of public transportation that is usually preferred over driving by visitors.

Events

Feira da Ladra (Thieves’ Market)

This venerable Lisboa tradition is held every Tuesday and Saturday morning. You will find a bit of everything – antiques, new goods, second hand goods, clothing, domestic utensils, handicrafts, old books, etc. The market is held in Campo de Santa Clara, in the old Graça quarter.

Parque das Nações

The market is held every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. under the famous dipping concrete canopy of the former Expo’98 Portuguese Pavilion. On the first Sunday of the month the market is for stamps and coins, on the second Sunday, collectors items of different sorts, on the third it’s antiques and curios, on the fourth old books and secondhand books.

Gulbenkian Foundation

Concerts, dance groups, contemporary music, classical concerts.  www.gulbenkian.pt

S. Carlos National Theatre

Season program featuring classical opera and ballet performances.
Fax: 21 – 343 0613

Coliseu dos Recreios

Lisbon’s most traditional concert house. Fax: 21 – 342 0580

Centro Cultural de Belém (CCB)

One of Portugal’s most revered institutions which plays a major role in national cultural life. Programs available throughout the year. www.ccb.pt

Leave a Reply