Lisbon Airport is the main gateway to Portugal. So if you have decided to take a vacation in Europe’s most underrated country, or if you are simply coming for business, you will likely be passing through this particular airport.
Here is a practical guide that shows you how to get from Lisbon Airport to the city centre. We will also have a look at the main airlines and connections, the shops and restaurants in the airport, and some practical info regarding how early you should show up, how to check in, how to navigate the interior, etc.
Let’s get started.
Facts about Lisbon Airport
Lisbon Airport is also known as Humberto Delgado Airport. The IATA code name is LIS, and it is obviously classified as an international airport.
With a location just 7 kilometers away from central Lisbon, the airport is basically an integrated part of the city, and it is a major job centre for the locals.
Despite not being that large (Lisbon airport is the 20th largest in Europe), it does have a lot of passengers. In 2019, it passed 30 million, and the number has been increasing tremendously every year, if we look aside from the irregular 2020-2021 period.
Lisbon is connected with most major European cities, but it is also the most important hub for Europe to Brazil. Due to Portuguese influence in Africa, there are also frequent flights to countries such as Angola and Mozambique.
TAP Air Portugal uses Lisbon Airport as its main hub, but most international airlines have some sort of presence in Lisbon.
From Lisbon Airport to Lisbon city centre
If you are flying to Lisbon for a trip, you need to know how to get to the city centre in the most efficient way.
You have these options:
- Metro (easiest)
- Bus (cheapest)
- Taxi (most practical)
- Uber (most comfortable)
- Private transfer (most flexible)
Lisbon Airport has its own stop in the Lisbon metro system. It is called Aeroporto and it is serviced by the red line (Linha Vermelha). To reach Saldanha, a more central station in Lisbon where you can change to a different metro line if necessary, you can expect around 20 minutes of travel. You have to buy a metro card at airport station before getting in. This card can then be re-filled with singular tickets later on during your trip. It is also possible to buy a tourist card that allows 1 or 3 days of full metro access. If you are just going for the one-time ticket from the airport to the city centre, it only costs a few euros. The metro is open from 6.30 am to 1 am.
Several buses are parked outside of Lisbon Airport. Many of them go to the centre and only cost a few euros to enter as well. There are also long distance buses passing through, often going to other destinations in Portugal.
If you have a lot of luggage, or if you simply want to travel in a more practical way, you can take a taxi. Taxis are parked right outside the airport at every hour of the day – so you can always catch a cab to the centre. The price is usually 20€, and you obviously get dropped off right in front of your final destination in the city.
Uber is a taxi alternative. Prices are usually similar but can vary based on traffic and availability. Sometimes Ubers are cheaper, sometimes they are more expensive. The benefit is that many Ubers are super comfortable, since the car quality is often better than in a taxi (drivers care more about customer experience).
Private transfer can be an option as well. If you are staying in a nice hotel in Lisbon, your hotel might be offering to send a driver to pick you up at the airport. You can also arrange a transfer with a private service in advance, but for most people it is unnecessary.
Airlines and destinations
TAP is the main airline, and many of the flights going to and from Lisbon are TAP flights. It is the national airline of Portugal, famous for often cancelling their flights and rebooking their customers. From Lisbon, TAP has flights to many European cities, such as Paris, London and Copenhagen.
Low-cost airlines such as easyJet, RyanAir and WizzAir are also present with a strong selection of flights going in and out of Lisbon.
National airlines from other countries, like Iberia, KLM, AirFrance, British Airways, Turkish Airlines, and Lufthansa, all have a few connections as well.
The top five busiest routes from Lisbon Airport are:
- Madrid (via AirEuropa, Iberia, easyJet & TAP)
- Paris-Orly (via TAP, Transavia, RyanAir & Vueling)
- Funchal (via TAP)
- Barcelona (via TAP, Vueling)
- Porto (via TAP)
Intercontinental flights are also common, with popular connections between Lisbon and cities such as São Paulo, Luanda, Dubai, Toronto, New York City, Boston, and Recife.
Local flights between Lisbon and Porto are scheduled at every hour of the day. You can also fly from Lisbon to the Portuguese islands of Madeira and the Azores.
You can track all flights to and from Lisbon on FlightRadar24.
Shops and restaurants
There are several nice shops and restaurants in the airport, so the waiting time does not have to be boring.
The DutyFree Store is a major part of the airport – here you can buy souvenirs, snacks, drinks, practical items, and much more.
Football club Benfica has a store at the airport. If you want to look at funny and cheap stuff, Ale-Hop is worth a visit.
French chain Fnac is also present – it can be a great store for electronics and for collectibles.
Aside from that, there are a lot of clothing stores at the airport. Hugo Boss, CH, Lacoste, Michael Kors, Springfield, Ralph Lauren and Women’s Secret are just a few of them.
If you want to grab a bite to eat, there are both cheap fastfood places, and some nicer options. Naturally, McDonalds, Burger King and KFC are present at the airport. Go to the Delta Café, the First Class Café, La Pausa, Paul, or Padaria Lisboa for something that’s a bit more authentic.
There are vending machines all over the airport where you can buy cool drinks or snacks. These machines typically accept coins as well as credit cards. It’s mostly a good way of getting rid of additional coins before flying away.
Hotels near Lisbon Airport
Are you just in Lisbon for one night? Or do you have an early morning flight out?
Then it makes sense to find a nice hotel near Lisbon Airport.
TRYP Lisboa Aeroporto Hotel is the best one. It is located just 100 meters away from the airport, so you can walk there in just a minute. The hotel itself is modern and nice, with its own restaurant, spa, and some business facilities. There is a morning buffet, opening as early as 4 am, so you can likely get a nice and healthy breakfast even if you have an early flight. This is a great hotel to choose if you want to be near the airport. Guests generally love it, as it has an average rating of 8.7 out of 10 on Booking.com. The hotel accepts quick one-night reservations as well as longer stays.
Practical info – things to know
Check-in is mandatory, just like anywhere else. But your airline likely allows you to do it online, and that is the easiest option. That will also give you a mobile ticket – otherwise go to a machine or to the counter at the airport and print it out. If you do need to check-in at the airport, show up early. For Schengen flights you must do it at least 90 minutes before departure, for non-Schengen European countries at least 120 minutes before, and for international flights at least 180 minutes before. You can give away your luggage at the same counters as you do the check-in.
The security area in Lisbon is generally quite fast and the staff is much friendlier than in other airports.
Be sure to prepare your luggage properly and only bring things with you that are allowed. If you’re bringing cash, you can bring up to 10,000 euros without declaring anything. Any more than that and you have to fill some documents. If you have something to declare in customs when coming in to Lisbon, make sure to do it, although most tourists simply have to go through the corridor that says “Nothing to declare”.
If you have a connecting flight, keep an eye on the timetable and make sure you make your second flight. Perhaps you have plenty of time – in that case, enjoy some shopping, grab a meal in the one of the cafés/restaurants in the airport, or sit down to relax.
There are 2 terminals in Lisbon Airport but the vast majority of flights go through Terminal 1. The second terminal is much smaller and used for low-cost airlines. There is a shuttle that connects the two terminals. During the Covid-19 situation, all flights moved to Terminal 1. It is unclear if Terminal 2 will be back in action again in the upcoming years.
Lisbon has a pleasant airport with great facilities. The staff is friendly, even security is not too much of a hassle, and you can easily entertain yourself with shopping, eating or socializing when at the airport.
We hope that this Lisbon Airport guide has been useful – have a great trip, and feel free to check our other Lisbon articles if you want to know more about the city!