Hiring a car in Lisbon

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Hiring a car in Lisbon

Pick up your hire car at Lisbon airport and Portugal's historical capital will just be minutes away.

60-second guide to Lisbon

in its own head

"With our imposing colonial squares, myriad of cobbled back streets and slightly dilapidated grandeur Lisbon boasts the sophisticated ambience of Paris, with the get-down-and-dirty feel of Rio or Cuba."

but more realistically

Sophisticated it may be, but refined and restrained it isn't. Lisbon is a young and vibrant city that likes to party, late and loud. Pack dancing shoes.

the vibe

The city is quiet and cosmopolitan by day, but by midnight the streets around Bairro Alto come alive as the clubs and bars open their doors to the revellers. Whether you’re looking for a thumping bass or a cosy nook, there’s something here to suit all tastes.

the natives

Creative, energetic and keen to show off their magnificent city, the Lisbon locals know how to have a good time and make sure that you do too.

the weather

Lisbon summers are long and hot. Average temperatures range from the mid to late 20’s so take sunblock and plenty of it and make sure you book a hire car that has air conditioning. If you travel in the winter, the weather is mild so take a few layers and some socks.

the local speciality

There is nothing the Portuguese like more than a bit of salty cod. Bacalhau is the national dish and you'll find the pungent produce hanging everywhere from cafes to the Post Office.

the celebrity

Curiously, Hollywood actor John Malkovich part-owns Lisbon uber-club Lux and trendy restaurant Bica do Sapato.

did you know?

The city of Lisbon was completely destroyed by an earthquake in 1755, the devastating aftermath of which partly inspired Voltaire's Candide.

they say

"The real delights of discovery lie in wandering the narrow lanes of Lisbon's lovely backstreets." - Lonely Planet

5 to see in town...

1. Parque das Nacoes

Parque das Nacoes is the modern face of the historic city. Designed and built for Expo 98 it's a futuristic looking mix of international restaurants, sleek modern buildings, waterside walks and cable car fun.

where to park?

There are 11 different parking lots throughout the Parque das Nacoes, averaging around €2 an hour. Once parked, it's easy to walk from site to site.

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2. Saint George's Castle

Petering at the top of a steep cobbled walk, Saint George's castle is everything a fortress should be: impressive, imposing and a challenging hike to get to.

where to park?

Rua da Augusto Rosa is probably the closest you'll get. It's just a short - but steep - walk from there.

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3. Se Cathedral

Made up of two turreted towers, Lisbon's cathedral looks more like a fortress than a typical church but its imposing gothic style is definitely worth a trip.

where to park?

It's hard to get right next to the cathedral in a car, so it's better to park your hire car in Rua da Augusto Rosa and walk for a few minutes.

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4. The Oceanario de Lisboa

Sharks and manta rays might not be the first thing you expect from a city break but Lisbon's oceanarium - the largest in Europe - is not to be missed.

where to park?

Docas car park, which has a 700-car capacity, is next to the Oceanarium and costs €2 per hour.

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5. Monument to the Discoveries

Few nations can boast as many intrepid explorers as Portugal and the Monument to the Discoveries celebrates the great and the good of the age of discovery.

where to park?

There's a car park that backs on to the seafront, right next to the monument. It costs €2 an hour.

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and 4 to drive to...

1. Santa Maria de Belem

A town famed for its traditional custard tarts. Scoff a pastry or five in the famed Pasteis de Belem then walk them off in the monastery next door.

how to get there?

Travel west from the centre of Lisbon along the coast - Av 24 de Julio and Av Da India - for the five miles to Santa Maria de Belem.

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2. Estoril

The seaside town of Estoril is home to the casino that inspired Ian Fleming to write the James Bond novel Casino Royale. Sunbathe by day and have a flutter by night.

how to get there?

Take the A5 west of central Lisbon for the 16 miles it takes to get to Estoril.

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3. Sintra

The mountain village of Sintra boasts one of the most colourful castles in Europe. It totters atop a precarious mountain ridge Dracula would be proud of. What he'd have thought of the paintwork is less certain.

how to get there?

Take the A5 out of Lisbon, then the A9 to the IC19, which takes you towards Sintra, just 20 miles away.

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4. Cascais

A short trip west from Estoril is the pretty seaside town of Cascais, home to beaches, bars and the dauntingly titled cliff edge, the Devil's Mouth.

how to get there?

Head west on the A5 until you get to exit 10, where you turn off towards Cascais.

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