If you are looking to move to a city where the weather is nice, the views are amazing and the people are super friendly, Lisbon is the place to be! Lisbon is the capital city of Portugal with a warm Mediterranean climate and over 300 days of sun throughout the year. Located on the west coast of Portugal, Lisbon is one of the most popular destinations in Europe. After reading this blog you will learn more about Lisbon’s environment, nightlife, culture, public transport, housing, health care, and some words to get you started!

Fun Facts about Lisbon:

  • Lisbon’s beautiful Pombaline Downtown was a result of a horrible earthquake that happened in 1755.
  • The yellow trams in Lisbon have a strong American connection they were called Carros Americanos for a very long time.
  • Vasco da Gama Bridge which opened in 1998 is 7.6 miles (12 km) long. It is the longest bridge in the European Union and the second longest in Europe.
  • There is an entire museum dedicated to Azulejos
Portugal, Lisbon, City
  • Lisbon’s symbol is a raven.
  • Lisbon locals are called Alfacinhas. It is not uncommon for the people of Lisbon to be referred to as Lisboetas officially. But more commonly (informally), they are called Alfacinhas.
  • Ginjinha is Lisbon’s favorite drink.
  • There’s a full-blown Roman city under the streets of Lisbon.
  • Lisbon was once “The City of Spies”. Ian Flemming, the British Writer who created the series James Bond, was a real-life spy who was stationed in Lisbon for the British Secret Service.
  • The recipe for Pasteis de Nata is Top Secret

City overview 

Lisbon has nine neighborhoods, or Bairros de Lisboa, that divide the capital city: Alcântara, Alfama, Mouraria, Bairro Alto, Baixa, Beato, Belém, Chiado and Parque das Nações. Each district is known for its characteristics. Alfama, for example, is the oldest district in Lisbon and Parque das Nações is the newest district. Parque das Nações is also the transport hub of Lisbon. Bairro Alto, or upper quarter, is known for its buzzing nightlife with various music subcultures. Baixa is the city center of Lisbon, where you can find the Pombaline Baixa, one of the first earthquake-resistant constructions. When you go to the Belém district, you should visit the Belém palace. It was a former royal residence and is now occupied by the president of Portugal. For shopping, café, museums, and theaters you can go to the Chiado district.

Next to being the capital of Portugal, Lisbon is also the largest city of Portugal, with an estimated population of 544,851. It is a large area of 100.05 km2 and has been occupied by people since the 8th to 6th centuries BC.

Lisbon, portugal


Lisbon has a Mediterranean climate with mild, rainy winters and warm to hot, dry summers. The average annual temperature is 17.4 °C, 21.3 °C during the day and 13.5 °C at night. In the coldest month – January – the most elevated temperature during the day commonly goes from 11 to 19 °C, the lowest temperature around evening time goes from 3 to 13 °C and the usual ocean temperature is 16 °C. In the hottest month – August – with regular highs during the day of 25 to 32 °C, and lows of 14 to 20 °C and the normal ocean temperature is around 20 °C.

The city has approximately 2,806 hours of sunshine each year, usually 4.6 hours of sunshine per day in December and 11.4 hours of sunshine per day in July. August is the sunniest month of the year, with more than 80% chance of direct sunlight hitting the ground.

Lisbon has around 750 mm of rainfall per year. The wettest months are November and December, accounting for 33% of the total annual rainfall. July and August are the least wet months.

Portugal, Lisbon, Temperature, Climate, Environment, Sun

Culture & Nightlife


Many people visit Lisbon for the good food, cheap living, and rich architecture. When moving to Lisbon, you should try pastéis de Belém, which is one of the most famous sweet pastries from Portuguese cuisine. Other popular Portuguese dishes are Polvo à Lagareiro, Porco preto, Arroz de pato and Sardinhas assadas. The people of Lisbon are very laid back. In contrast to Countries like the UK, Germany, and The Netherlands, people are not rushing around all the time. Therefore, eating out in Lisbon can take a much longer time than you might be used to. However, if you go to the local restaurants in Lisbon (not the tourist ones) the food is much cheaper.

Torre de Belém, Belém tower, Lisbon, Portugal
Torre de Belém

There is much more to do in Lisbon than eating out. Lisbon has shopping areas, museums, theaters, nightlife, and beautiful sights to see. For shopping, you can go to the Baixa and Chiado district. Chiado is also where you can find most museums and theaters. Next to the beautiful Miradouros (viewpoints) that are scattered around the city, there are lots of other sights to see. Below you can find some of the places you should see in Lisbon:

  • Mosteiro dos Jerónimos
  • Torre de Belém
  • Castel de Sâo Jorge
  • Santos festival
  • Baixa Pombolina
  • Belém palace
Nightlife, Lisbon, Clubs, DJ, Portugal, Party, Lux, Lounge, MusicBox


Lisbon is well known for its nightlife. It is home to many discos, Bars, Fado houses, and nightclubs, all catering to different tastes and interests and located throughout the city. Going out in Lisbon is very cheap, although you do have to pay for the entrance to most clubs. The Bairro Alto district (upper quarter) is the center of Lisbon’s nightlife with more than 100 bars and restaurants. 

Some of the best clubs in the city are MusicBox, Lux, and Lounge. MusicBox is one of the clubs that stay open to the latest and it has international DJs to cater all kinds of music. Lux is the most famous club in Lisbon. Most nights they play electro music and it usually gets really good around 2:30. One of the best clubs in Lisbon is Lounge. It caters to all kinds of music and, best of all, it has free entry!

Public transport

There are many public transport options in Lisbon, so there is no need to rent a car to move around in the city. The public transport network of Lisbon consists of metro lines, trams, trains, and buses. Additionally, there are also several taxi service providers and you can rent electric bikes (although this is quite a challenge in the steep streets of Lisbon).


The metro is the fastest way to get around the city. It is operated by Metropolitano de Lisboa and there are 4 metro lines connecting 56 metro stations across the 9 districts of Lisbon. These 4 lines can each be identified by their colors: blue, yellow, green, and red. The blue metro line connects Amadora Este to Baixa Chiado. The yellow line connects Odivales to Rato. The green metro line connects the tourist areas around Baixa and the train station to Cascais. And finally, the red metro line connects the airport and the Parque das Nações district to the other lines.
Further information about these routes can be found on this website.

To use the metro lines around Lisbon you need to buy a Viva Viagem card. This card costs only €0,50 and is reloadable, so you must hold on to it. There are multiple kinds of tickets, but two examples are the normal Carris/Metro ticket and the Carris/Metro 1-day ticket. The normal ticket costs as little as €1,45 and allows you unlimited travel between buses and metro within 60 min following its first validation. The 1-day ticket allows you unlimited travel with the Carris bus network and the Metro for 24 hours after its first validation and it costs only €6,30.

Metro lines, Metropolitan de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal, Map
Tram, Americanos, Lisbon, Portugal


Trams are a traditional form of public transportation in Lisbon. Since the trams were imported from the US back in 1901, they were previously called Americanos. Nowadays the tram network only consists of 6 lines and is operated by Carris. 5 lines ride in the hilly area: 12E, 18E, 24E, 25E, and 28E, with 28E being the most popular among tourists. The last line, line 15E, rides along the bank of the Tagus. The trams that ride on this line are much more modern and have more of an important transport function for the inhabitants of Lisbon. A ticket for a tram ride costs only €3, which you can buy on the tram itself.


The train network is operated by CP (Comboios de Portugal), which has 4 lines, and Fertagus, which only has 1 line. The Sintra, Azambuja, Cascais, Sado lines, and Setúbal all depart from Lisbon. The main train stations are Santa Apolónia, Rossio, Gare do Oriente, Entrecampos, and Cais do Sodré. Tickets are between €1-2 when you travel within Lisbon and a maximum €30 outside of Lisbon.


The local bus service is also operated by Carris, like the trams. The other bus services connect other cities in Portugal to Lisbon. The main ones are Boa Viagem, Rodoviária de Lisboa, Barraqueiro, Vimeca, and Transportes sul do Tejo. The ticket price depends on whether you buy the ticket on board or in advance. On board, one trip with the bus costs €2 and when you buy it in advance (with your Viva Viagem card) it costs €1,50.


In Lisbon, it is also common to take a taxi to go around the city because it is very cheap. There are several taxi services in Lisbon such as Bolt, FREE NOW, and Uber. All these taxi services have an app for Android and iOS where you can plan your ride. It is an easy way to go exactly when you want to go and a ride around Lisbon only costs around €4.


Lastly, if you prefer to go around the city by bike this is also possible. A popular bike rental service in Lisbon is Gira bike hire. Gira bike hire has expanded their system from 600 to 1,500 bikes after the COVID-19 pandemic. Of course, since Lisbon is so hilly, there are normal bikes as well as electric ones, to make things a little easier for you. The price options for renting these bikes are €2 for a day, €15 per month, or €25 per year. Gira bike rental also has an app for Android and iOS where you can subscribe to a pass and choose your bike.

Gira bike rental, Cycling, E-bike, Portugal, Lisbon


If you are looking to rent a living space in Lisbon, there are plenty of websites to help you find available apartments and rooms in the area. Besides these websites, there are also lots of Facebook groups where you can search for rooms and apartments. Prices have risen lately in the city so, unfortunately, it is not that cheap anymore.

The rent for rooms starts around €200 per month, but on average you pay €400 per month. The rent for apartments starts at around €650 per month, but the average is €1,000 per month.

Below are some useful websites for renting apartments and rooms in the area of Lisbon:

Housing, Apartments, Room, Lisbon, Portugal, Rent

When you are searching for a living space in Lisbon, you should pay attention to the address of the apartment or room. The reason for this is that Lisbon is very hilly, and it gets steep. So if you work in a flat area and you rent a room uphill, you have to keep in mind the steepness of your walk or bike ride to work. Of course, you can also use public transportation to avoid complete workouts when going to work 


When you have lived in Portugal for over 6 months, you are entitled to free public healthcare. This system is known locally as the Serviço Nacional de Saúde (SNS). Under the SNS most essential medical services are available free of charge, while non-essential services and treatments are available for a small co-payment.

The Portuguese Ministry of Health (Ministério de Saúde) is in charge of managing the SNS.  It is free and available to all residents, including expats in Portugal. However, charges have been introduced for many services in recent years. The system covers both primary and secondary healthcare services, including:

  • Portuguese doctors
  • Having a baby in Portugal
  • Some dental care in Portugal
  • Community Healthcare
  • Portuguese hospitals and specialist care
Healthcare, Lisbon, SNS, Portugal, Medical, Hospital

Emergency treatment in Portugal is available to everyone regardless of your residence status or insurance. Once your condition has been stabilized, however, you need to show proof of your Portuguese residence status or health insurance to have the costs covered.
The main emergency number in Portugal is 112, which connects you to ambulance, police, and fire services.

Some words to get you started

Portuguese is the official language in Lisbon. Portuguese people also speak English, especially in the tourist industry. However, if you are planning to stay for a longer period it would be nice to learn some Portuguese as well. Therefore, here are some words and sentences to get you started in Lisbon

English Portuguese
Public transport Transporte público
Restaurant Restaurante
Supermarket Supermercado
Store Loja
Hospital Hospital
Nightclub Night clube
What time is it? Que horas são?
How are you? Tudo bem?
Can you help me please? Me podes ajudar se faz favor?
Where can I find … ? Onde posso encontrar … ?
How much does this cost? Quanto custa isso?