Taxis in Lisbon: Overview
Lisbon taxis are considered a fairly convenient and comfortable way of transferring around the Portuguese capital. They can be black with a green roof, or their color may be cream, yet they always have the distinctive “TAXI” sign on their top, which also indicates their availability. Fortunately, no other vehicle is allowed to have the same colors as Lisbon taxis. Therefore, you won’t face any difficulties distinguishing one of them. In general terms, Lisbon taxis gather significant pros as well as some draws. Check out explicitly:
|Taxis Pros||Taxis Cons|
|Their number is efficient. Thus, they are easy to hire.||Unfortunately, some individual taxi drivers tend to scam tourists.|
|They are much cheaper than taxis in other European cities.||During rush hours, the heavy traffic levels may raise the price and the duration of the ride.|
|They are safe, even for night transfers.||Portuguese taxi drivers speak English but often not adequately.|
|They offer door-to-door services.|
They often provide time-saving transfer services.
Lisbon Taxi Rates
The Lisbon taxis’ cost is subject to the taximeter charges. Thus, the traveled distance, the duration, and the waiting time are the factors that form the final taxi tariff. Nevertheless, the fees are legislated by the Portuguese government and are obligatory for all taxi companies. To begin with, the charge is different for urban rides and transfers outside the city of Lisbon. Hence:
|Lisbon Taxi Tariff||Initial Charge||Charge per km||One hour of Waiting time|
|Urban Transfers (Tarifa 1) - day||3.25€/3.25$||0.47€/0.47$||14.80€-14.80$|
|Urban Transfers (Tarifa 1) - night, weekends & holidays||3.90€/3.90$||0.56€/0.56$||14.80€-14.80$|
|Tariff 3: outside the city during the day - the driver returns alone||3.25€/3.25$||0.94€/0.94$||14.80€-14.80$|
|Tariff 3: outside the city during the night/weekends - the driver returns alone||3.90€/3.90$||1.13€/1.13$||14.80€-14.80$|
|Tariff 5: outside the city during the day - the driver returns with the client||3.25€/3.25$||0.47€/0.47$||14.80€-14.80$|
|Tariff 5: outside the city during the night/weekend - the driver returns with the client||3.25€/3.25$||0.56€/0.56$||14.80€-14.80$|
Besides the previous charges, extra fees may apply. For example, luggage is charged at 1.60€/1.60$ no matter the number or the size. On the other hand, the same fee applies to pets. Finally, if you want to call your taxi, you’ll pay an additional 0.80€/0.80$.
Lisbon Taxis: Payment Methods
Although your taxi driver will likely accept payment via debit or credit card, this is not a rule. Hence, you should always carry some euros with you, as many taxis aren’t equipped with a POS machine. In that case, bank card payments are out of the question.
Our Tip: Taxi drivers in Portugal are obligated to give change for payments up to 20€/20$.
How to Hire a Taxi in Lisbon
You have 3 ways to catch your cab in Lisbon. The first and easiest way is to stand at the end of the road, raise your hand, and hail one from the street. However, if you want to be certain about its legality, you should take it from one of the official taxi stands, located in every central spot of the city as well as near the main transportation hubs. Finally, you can call a taxi (Cooptáxis and Radio Taxis Lisboa are among the most popular options) or use a mobile app (for instance, MyTaxi or Uber).
Our Tip: If you settle on calling your cab, you should expect an operator with poor English knowledge, as this is often the case.
The most Common Lisbon Taxi Scams and how to Avoid them
1. The Ride Lasts Longer than Needed.
Hence the taxi driver circles around the city to raise the transfer time and distance and, of course, the final fare. All you have to do to avoid this possibility is have a GPS app open on your mobile and track your route.
2. The Driver Suggests Showing you the City Attractions without Further Charge.
This is, most likely, a lie. Lisbon taxi drivers often suggest more “picturesque” routes to raise the final cost of the ride. If you want a tour of the city, it is highly recommended to address a travel agency and certainly not a taxi.
3. You are being Offered a Set Price.
Despite taxis being metered, many Lisbon taxi drivers offer predetermined prices that are supposedly in your interest. Nevertheless, the exact opposite is true, and you end up paying a double fare. Thus, you should accept a set price only if you are absolutely sure about the usual charge for your ride.
4. You Trust an Individual Driver.
This almost always leads to getting scammed or overcharged. Therefore, you should only hire official, licensed cabs who are obligated to comply with the legislated tariffs. The safest way to do so is to take your taxi from the taxi ranks or call it.
Lisbon Taxi to Portela Airport
Lisbon taxis offer quick, safe, and affordable rides to Lisbon International Airport. They traverse the 7-km distance to the airport in about 20 minutes depending on the traffic and cost only 10€-15€/10$-15$ during the day and 18€/18$ on nights, weekends, and public holidays (including the baggage fees). Thus, by opting for a Lisbon airport taxi, you can enjoy a hassle-free ride without worrying about missing your flight.
Our Tip: Lisbon taxis are definitely a good idea if your departure terminal is T2, as T2 isn’t otherwise connected to the city. Hence, if you use any other transportation method, you’ll have to disembark at T1 and take the free shuttle bus.
Hints & Tips about Lisbon Taxis
- Lisbon taxis are metered. Even rides from Lisbon Airport to the city center are charged according to the taximeter’s indication. Hence, you should make sure that the taximeter is on when you enter the cab.
- Have you forgotten something inside the taxi and you don’t know how to retrieve it? The transfer services were problematic, and you want to make an official complaint to the tourist police? Asking for a receipt at the end of the ride can solve all these problems, as receipts and invoices have all the driver’s info written on them.
- Lisbon taxi drivers aren’t known for their English knowledge. Thus, having the address of your destination written down can save you from potential miscommunication situations.
- Payments via bank cards aren’t always accepted.
- There is an extra fee for luggage and pets. However, no additional charge applies for wheelchairs, strollers, or guide dogs.
- Tipping isn’t customary in Portugal. Nevertheless, when the services are adequate, customers usually round up the fare.
- Please be prepared as Lisbon drivers, including taxi drivers, tend to drive fast.
Are cabs expensive in Lisbon?
Lisbon cabs are certainly not the most affordable transfer option. Still, they are much cheaper than taxis in most of the other European cities.
Do you tip taxis in Lisbon?
You are under no circumstances obligated to tip your taxi driver. Nevertheless, customers who are satisfied with the provided services usually round up the fare.
Are taxis safe in Portugal?
Taxis in Lisbon, and Portugal in general, are considered a safe transportation mode. Cases of scams are certainly being reported from time to time, but on the same frequency as in any other European country. The main draw of Lisbon taxis is that many taxi drivers can’t speak English fluently.