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Lisbon Cruise Port Guide

By JoMonday 03rd September 2018

lisbon, portugal

Why you should sail from the Lisbon cruise port

Lisbon, the capital and largest city of Portugal, is generally regarded as one of the most charismatic and vibrant cities in Europe. With its deep-rooted heritage, welcoming atmosphere, characterful streets and delicious Mediterranean-inspired cuisine, Lisbon is the perfect city to kick off your cruise adventure.

Whether you’re planning a quick stop in Lisbon on the day your cruise departs or you’re planning to stay overnight, this guide has all the information you could need to make the most of your time in the City of Seven Hills.

Where is the Lisbon cruise port?

The cruise port of Lisbon stretches along the banks of the Rio Tejo and consists of five docking areas - Santa Apolónia, Santa Apolónia Jusante, Jardim do Tabaco, Alcântara and da Rocha. The Santa Apolónia docks are located around 1.5 km away from the city centre while de Rocha and Alcântara are based next to the Ponte 25 de Abril, around 5 km from the centre.

The closest airport to the Lisbon Cruise Terminal is Lisbon Portela Airport (LIS), which is around five miles away from the port. Options for travelling from the airport to the port include hiring a shuttle, renting a car, getting a taxi or using the metro. Getting a taxi should cost around €20 for a one-way trip, while a shared private shuttle is the best option for a party of five or more and costs €14 per person.

If you’d prefer to travel by metro, it takes around 40 minutes to get from the airport to Santa Apolónia and costs €1.45. Unfortunately, there is no metro stop by the de Rocha or Alcântara docks, so it’s best to get the metro from the airport to Cais do Sodré train station, then take the Cascais train and get off at Alcantara-Mar station. From here, it is a 15-minute walk to the Ponte 25 de Abril. This journey should take around an hour and costs around €3.70.

If you do decide to drive to the port, it should take about 30 minutes depending on morning traffic and roadworks. The directions from Lisbon Portela Airport to the port are:

• Exit the Lisbon Portela Airport (LIS) and head west on Av. Berlim. At the roundabout, take the fourth exit to stay on Av. Berlim.
• Then, turn right onto Av. Cidade de Lourenco Marques and at the roundabout, take the second exit onto Av. Santo Condestavel. At the next roundabout, take the second exit again to stay on Av. Santo Condestavel.
• Continue onto Largo Chelas, then onto Rua Bispo de Cochim Dom Joseph Kureethara.
• Turn right onto Av. Infante Dom Henrique and make a U-turn at Boqueirão da Praia da Galé to enter the port. Most Royal Caribbean cruise ships are berthed at Rocha do Conde de Óbidos (da Rocha).

The full address for the cruise port in Lisbon is: Administração do Porto de Lisboa, S.A. Rua da Junqueira, 94 1349-026 Lisboa, Portugal.

Getting around Lisbon

Vintage tram in Lisbon

Travelling around Lisbon is easy and inexpensive, as the city is home to reliable bus, metro, tram, funicular and taxi services. You can hire a car in Lisbon for €80 per week, but you must be at least 21 years old and have held your licence for a year. However, driving is not recommended, as the roads in Lisbon are narrow and old and parking is very difficult to find.

If you’d prefer someone else to be behind the wheel, taxis in Portugal are billed by time, not distance and the starting cost per journey is €2.50. At night, tariffs alter incrementally by distance and increase by 20%. Additional fees include a €0.80 charge if you book your taxi over the phone and a €1.60 luggage supplement.

Carris operates Lisbon’s buses, trams and furniculars. There are 78 bus services that run from 5am until midnight each day, after which 12 night lines take over. A single bus ticket costs €1.50. There are five tram lines running through Lisbon and a single ticket costs €2.50. If you fancy a more unconventional method of public transportation, there are three funicular railways, Gloria, Bica and Lavra, that link the lower city with the hillside residential areas. A ride costs €3 and offers some spectacular views of Lisbon.

There are four metro lines across Lisbon that cover 46 km of track and are served by 55 stations. There’s typically a train every 6-9 minutes. The metro costs around €0.90 for one zone and only €1.15 for two zones, or you can get an hour-long ticket that allows you travel across any Carris and Metro networks for €1.45.

If you plan on taking a few journeys throughout the day, you’re better off purchasing the Viva viagem card. The Viva viagem card is automatically charged each time you use the Metro or Carris services. The card itself costs €0.50 and a minimal bonus is added to your account each time you load it up. You’ll be deducted €0.90 per ride and €1.31 for each single Metro journey.

Food and Drink

Portuguese clams, Lisbon

Portuguese cuisine is heavily influenced by the Mediterranean, with local dishes usually combining seafood with a variety of spices, including piri piri, black pepper, garlic, cinnamon and saffron. Fish is generally served grilled, boiled, fried, stewed, roasted or steamed, with bacalhau (dried and salted cod) being the type of fish most commonly consumed in Portugal. Olive oil is also one of the bases of Mediterranean cuisine, used both for flavouring and cooking meals.

A typical Portuguese breakfast consists of fresh bread with butter, ham, cheese or jam, accompanied with milk, tea, hot chocolate or coffee, with espresso being a particular favourite. Lunch often lasts over an hour and is served between 1 and 3 o’clock, while dinner is usually served late, around or after 8 o’clock. There are three main courses to each meal, one of which is usually soup.

Pork and clams also feature heavily in Portuguese cuisine, with the popular Carne de Porco Alentejana dish a combination of both marinated in an aromatic sauce of white wine, paprika, garlic, cilantro, salt and pepper. For a quick and cheap meal, a bifana sandwich can be found almost anywhere in Lisbon with different cooks adding their own twist to this pork dish, such as adding beer to the sauce instead of wine. If you’re feeling adventurous, Caracóis (snails!) are cooked all over Lisbon from May to late September and are typically served in a butter-garlic broth.

To go alongside your dinner, we recommend you try a shot of Ginjinha, a Portuguese liquor made by infusing ginja berries in aguardente and adding sugar. Portugal is also famous for its Port, a fortified sweet wine typically served alongside dessert or cheese platters. If you have a sweet tooth, Lisbon’s custard tarts are regarded by locals as the best in the world, with smooth custard and crispy crusts.

For those who prefer beer as their drink of choice, the popular brewer Sagres offers a Preta dark ale, a Bohemia auburn ale and Radler pale ale with a fruity kick. Those who don’t like Sagres often prefer Super Bock, a crisp beer made by the oldest brewery in Portugal. When you ask for a draught beer in Portugal, it will usually be Sagres or Super Bock. The portuguese phrase for ‘a beer please’ is ‘uma cerveja por favor’.

Tap water in Lisbon is perfectly safe to drink but may taste slightly different than you’re used to because its mineral content won’t be the same as the water you drink back home. However, bottled water is available everywhere, from kiosks and restaurants to all supermarkets.

Things to do and see in Lisbon

Lisbon Old Town

Lisbon is a multicultural city with a vibrant street life, family-friendly beaches and prominent historical monuments. Most points of interest in Lisbon are located in the historic city centre and the Belem district. Although both are located several kilometers away from each other, they are easily accessible by public transport.

Ponte 25 de Abril

Stretching across the Rio Tejo, the Ponte 25 de Abril is the largest suspension bridge in Europe, standing over 200 feet above the water and measuring approximately 2,277.64m in length. This magnificent red structure is often considered to be the twin sister of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, but actually measures 100m longer than its American counterpart. The nearest train station is Alcantara-Mar, with a journey of around 30 minutes from the cruise port.

Fiera da Ladra

Located just a 10-minute walk from the cruise port, Fiera da Ladra (or the “Thieves Market” in English) is Lisbon’s most iconic flea market. Held every Tuesday and Saturday between 8am and 5pm in Campo de Santa Clara, this bustling open-air market is renowned for hiding real gems, antiques and local handicrafts among eclectic bric-a-brac. The nearest metro station is Santa Apolónia.

Belém Tower

The Belém Tower is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the civil parish of Santa Maria de Belém. It was built in the 16th century on the northern bank of the Tagus River as part of the estuary defence system and is an exquisite example of the Manueline architectural style. With lush canopies, roofed balconies, loggias, imposing watchtowers and intricate ornamental stonework, highlights include the Gothic statue of Nossa Senhora do Bom Sucesso (Our Lady of Good Success) and the Governor's Hall. The nearest train station is Belém, with a journey time of around 30 minutes from the cruise port.

Alfama

Alfama is one of the oldest districts of Lisbon and many historic religious buildings can be found in its delightful maze of narrow cobbled streets, including the Se Cathedral, the Church of Santa Engrácia and the Convento da Graça. The best way to explore Alfama is just to let yourself wander around and get lost, as there are delicatessens and local shops hidden in every corner. The closest metro stations are Miradouro De Santa Luzia and Largo Das Portas Do Sol.

Museu da Marioneta

For those who want to take a break from historical landmarks and shopping, or perhaps want to entertain the kids, the Puppet Museum located in the Convent of Bernardas is perfect. Created in 1987 by the São Lourenço Puppet Company, the Museu da Marioneta is dedicated to the interpretation of puppetry throughout Portuguese, Chinese, Indonesian, Italian and Indian history. Highlights include the Burmese shadow puppets, Sicilian opera marionettes and traditional Russian puppets. The nearest train station is Cais do Sodré, with a travel time of just 15 minutes from the cruise port.

Everything you need to know about money in Lisbon

Portugal is one of the cheapest counties in Western Europe, with inexpensive public transport, low-cost accommodation and reasonably priced food. The currency in Portugal is the euro (€). There are 24 hr ATMs or ‘multibancos’ everywhere in Lisbon, the closest being the Caixa Geral de Depósitos, which is only a 7-minute walk from the cruise port. The maximum daily withdrawal from an ATM is €400, with most allowing €200 to be drawn at a time.

The easiest place to exchange money in Lisbon is at a bank, which will charge between €3 to €5 in commission for each transaction. The highest density of banks is in the Baixa district and most are open between 8.30am and 3pm each day. The closest bank to the cruise port is ActivoBank, located just a 30 min walk away. Debit and major credit cards are also widely accepted across the city.

Key information to know before travelling

Rossio Sqaure, Lisbon

Language

The main language spoken in Lisbon is Portuguese, although key tourist spots speak English and Spanish. The Lisbon Tourist Office is located in Praco do Comercio Square, just a ten-minute walk away from the cruise port.

Opening Times

Shops open Monday to Friday between 9am to 7pm, with lunch breaks taking place between 1pm to 3pm. On Saturdays, the shops are open 9am to 1pm, although some shopping centres are open from 10am to 10pm seven days a week.

Weather

Lisbon has a warm Mediterranean climate, with dry summers and humid winters. The average annual temperature in summer is between 25°C and 30°C, while in winter it drops to between 6°C and 12°C.

Safety

Portugal is one of the safest European countries with a very low crime rate. However, it’s important to protect your personal belongings at all times. The national toll-free number for emergencies is 112.

If you’re interested in experiencing the stunning views, captivating history and delectable dishes for yourself, book your Lisbon cruise with Royal Caribbean today.

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