Getting Around Lisbon
What we hear most from first-time visitors to Lisbon is: “I was not prepared for these hills”.
That’s right! You read in your guide books that Lisbon is the “City of the Seven Hills”, but nothing prepares you for the amount of walking and climbing you have to do while in the city. The good news is that being the city of the seven hills has it’s perks: for every climb up a hill you make, you are rewarded with an amazing view!
The city of Lisbon is built on the slopes of hills, and has very few flat roads. Downtown Lisbon, the area called Baixa, is mostly flat but as soon as you turn a corner the steep hills reemerge. Take advantage of the public elevators of the city, like “Elevador do Castelo”, or even the elevator of the shopping mall “Armazéns do Chiado” – these can save you a few steps. Every time you see a hill with a beautiful funicular you might want to take that funicular up – all the steepest hills in Lisbon have funiculars (like Glória, Lavra, Bica). Make sure you have your walking shoes available! Of course, if you’re going out for dinner in your stilettos chances are the cobblestones will cause some discomfort, which is why we always recommend wearing comfortable shoes, especially if you’re not used to the combination of hills and cobblestones.
Most of the city’s sidewalks and roads are made of cobblestones — beautiful white and black limestones which create different designs like waves, depth illusion, dates, names of places, symbols, and much more. As they are made of limestone, with time they start to wear away, turning from beautiful to slippery if you don’t pay attention. Don’t take the cobblestones for granted and bring good walking shoes. Bear in mind that in winter everything is even more slippery. It is not dangerous, and you don’t need to bring your hiking shoes, just comfortable shoes with a good grip.
We love our hills and cobblestones – even though we complain a lot – but no one can take those beautiful shapes and designs away from our city.
The city is very well served with public transportation – the trams can be very fun rides and the metro is the fastest and easiest option to get around in the city. A 1 day ticket costs €10.55 for the Metro, Carris (trams, bus in the city) and CP (train company).