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Key facts for hiring a car in Lisbon
Best time to visit
Spring and autumn are pleasant months to visit the city. Summer temperatures can reach over 30 degrees celsius, but there is often a comforting sea breeze to help combat this!
Car hire locations
There are 11 car hire locations to choose from in Lisbon and 19 suppliers at the airport alone. The highest rated car hire company at the airport is Sixt.
Roadworks – trabalhos de estrada
Road closed – transito vidado
GMT (the same as London, UK)
Not to be missed
Taking the E28 tram route through the old town, Alfama.
Hire a car in Lisbon
Lisbon is a destination
on the rise.
Getting ever more popular by the year, Lisbon is a great value place to experience both city and beach life accompanied by a lovely Mediterranean climate.
It’s affordable, it’s laidback and it’s small. Impressive bridges cross the Tagus River to the south, and the Portuguese Riviera is a short drive away to the west. The surrounding area is a great place to explore by car.
Top rated suppliers for Lisbon
Average Rating 8.0 – “It was a pleasure. For a car hire company, you act like it was a small private business and you took care of us very well.”
Average Rating 8.0 – “Good car. Professional and service-minded staff.”
Average Rating 7.6 – “Helpful staff at drop off. The overall online rental experience was good and the ability to compare cars.”
Average Rating 7.6 – “Best hire car experience ever...they fitted the baby seat! Could not ask for more...will use budget again”
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A drive away
Lisbon is well-known for its cuisine. Seafood and pastry shops are everywhere, and incredible dishes are served up across the city.
Bacalhau a brás – it is said that the Portuguese have 365 recipes for cod, so it would be impossible to try them all in one trip. Bacalhau a brás is up there at the top in terms of fame and flavour. The recipe calls for shredded salt cod to be fried with potatoes, onion and eggs until creamy, then topped with olives. The ultimate comfort food.
Caldo verde – a humble soup typically consumed during Portuguese occasions. This steaming bowl of broth flavoured with potato, garlic, shredded kale and chorizo is possibly best served in an atmospheric fado bar.
Amêijoas à Bulhão Pato – named after a poet, this dish consists of clams sauteed in white wine, garlic and herbs. Seafood at its finest.
Alheira de Mirandela – a famous sausage with an interesting history, usually made from chicken or game.
Sardinhas Assadas – grilled sardines, Portuguese style usually served with roasted peppers and seasoned potatoes.
Pasteis de nata – probably the most famous dish in Lisbon, this custard tart served with cinnamon is an unforgettable dining experience. Pasteis de Belem is the place to go if you want what is said to be the best recipe in the world.
- If you are collecting your hire car from the airport, make sure you know where you are heading before setting off. You’ll face some fairly large roundabouts as you exit, so make sure you’re prepared for this.
- The centre of Lisbon has old, narrow and winding streets so it can be tricky to navigate by car. A rental car is perfect for exploring the more remote areas outside of the city, or heading on a road trip.
- There are many toll roads in Portugal, and they are pretty much impossible to avoid if you are travelling a decent distance. Therefore, it’s vital you know how you are going to pay the fees. Your rental company should inform you of the options at the desk – the main options should be prepaying, using an electronic device to keep track of the tolls or paying afterwards.
- Occasionally, you may see that an entrance to a carriageway is before the exit. In other words, the slip roads can be the wrong way around. This will be obvious at the time, but as it’s fairly unusual it’s good to be aware of it.
- Don’t cross unbroken double white lines, even if you want to turn onto a side road. This is not permitted and you must find an alternative.
- Road signage can be sporadic, so if you aren’t familiar with your routes, it’s best to bring or hire a sat nav.
A drive away
Where to road trip
3 hours north
City formed around the Douro River, best known for its port wine production.
2 hours northeast
Home to one of the oldest universities in Europe and the very traditional Coimbra fado music.
3 hours south
The city with iconic cliffs of Ponta Da Piedade. Drive further around the coast and catch a boat ride to the incredible Benagil Cave.
1hr 30mins east
Gorgeous preserved medieval town, surrounded by protective walls and rolling hills.