The capital and cultural hub of Portugal, Lisbon is located at the mouth of the Tagus River (Rio Tejo) on the Atlantic Coast. Well known for its buildings tiled in bright colours and charming streets lined with enchanting eateries, it is also home to historic castles, cathedrals and museums.
The atmosphere in Lisbon is decidedly relaxed and old-world, and the local cuisine highlights fresh fish, shellfish and delightful sweet pastries. A destination in its own right, Lisbon is also a popular jumping off point for trips to some of Portugal’s renowned resort towns including Sintra, Fatima and Estoril.
Sailing into Lisbon is an experience. As you approach you’ll notice the magnificent 25th of April Bridge (Ponte 25 de Abril), which has an uncanny resemblance to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. Keep your eye out for another giant monument, the Christo Rei; a 110-metre-high statue of Christ similar to the one in Rio de Janeiro.
14 night cruise sailing from Miami aboard the Norwegian Star.
22 Apr 2018
There are 2 main docking areas in Lisbon, located 5 kilometres apart. To the east (and closest to the city) is Santa Apolonia, a newer port with 3 berths. To the west is Doca de Alcantara, which is closer to the popular town of Belem. Where your ship docks will depend on its size and the port schedule.
The terminal at Doca de Alcantara has a small gift store and a liquor store. Once you leave the port, take a left turn and you’ll find a strip of riverside restaurants with indoor and outdoor seating. Some offer free Wi-Fi.
The terminal at Santa Apolonia is more modern. Once outside the port you’ll find cafes with Wi-Fi, restaurants, shops and ATMs. The city centre and historical sites can be accessed on foot.
Facilities at both terminals include:
- public telephones
- access to public buses
- shuttle to the city centre
- taxi ranks.
How to Get Around
Your transport options depend on where you dock. The city’s metro, bus and tram services are easy to navigate and all offer unlimited-use daily passes. You can pay in cash to bus and tram drivers and to ticket collectors on the metro.
From Doca de Alcantara, the city centre is 5 kilometres to the east, and the tourist town of Belem is 5 kilometres to the west. Tram number 15 provides access to both.
At Santa Apolonia, there is a metro station (blue line) opposite the terminal. Heading north, the city centre is 2 stops away and the main plaza is 3 stops away.
Located in the city centre, Rossio Train Station operates services to the town of Sintra (40 minutes). On the waterfront, Cais do Sodre Station operates trains to Estoril (30 minutes) and Cascais (35 minutes), stopping near Doca de Alcantara en route. Trains operate to Fatima from Santa Apolonia (90 to 120 minutes).
- Currency - the currency is the Euro. Coins come in 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent, and €1 and €2 denominations. Notes come in €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200 and €500 denominations.
- Time Zone - Lisbon uses Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). During the summer months it uses Western European Summer Time (WEST), which is 1 hour ahead of UTC.
- Weather - Lisbon enjoys one of Europe’s mildest climates and warmest winters. Temperatures average 28° Celsius in July and August to 15° Celsius in January and February. The driest months are July and August, with an average rainfall of 10 millimetres.
- Belem Tower - known by locals as the Torre de Belem, this fortified tower is a monument to Portugal’s Age of Discovery and an important symbol of Lisbon. Built in 1515, it is now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Monument.
- Commerce Square - Commerce Square, or Praca de Comercio, is located near the Tagus River. It used to house the Royal Ribeira Palace, which was destroyed by the Great Lisbon Earthquake in 1755. These days it is a popular meeting spot, famous for its bronze Statue of King José I.
- Jeronimos Monastery - officially called the Mosteiro da Santa Maria de Belem, this monastery is one of the most prominent monuments in Lisbon. Dating back to 1501 and built in Portuguese late-Gothic style, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is located in the Santa Maria de Belem area.
- Baixa and Rossio - these two popular districts are the central shopping and tourist areas of Lisbon. Perfect for walking, several streets run between Rossio Square and Praca do Commercio. Some of the older storefronts feature art nouveau facades.
- Alfama - the ancient Moorish quarter of Alfama is the oldest in Lisbon. It is popular for its charming cafes, quaint shops and narrow, cobbled streets.