Lisbon Taxis
Lisbon Taxis
Lisbon Taxis

Lisbon Taxis

A Mini Guide To Taking Taxis For Getting Around Lisbon

As Portugal’s capital city, Lisbon has plenty to offer the millions of people who visit on vacation every year – from first-class food and drink choices to plenty of unique shops, and from centuries-old historic sites through to fun activities, museums, and much more to enjoy.

But because Lisbon is such a large city, you’ll need transportation to get to some of its top attractions. And taking a taxi can be an affordable way to do this, particularly when compared to a rental car that can end up being very expensive depending on how long you hire it. With a taxi, you have complete privacy and you’ll be taken directly to your next destination.

Lisbon taxi
Lisbon Taxi

If you’re getting ready to make a trip to Lisbon, then this mini guide provides all you need to learn about how to identify and get a taxi during your time in the city. It also offers some crucial details on how taxi fares are calculated, which should help with planning the budget for your trip.

Remember also that if you’re struggling to get a taxi in the city, the ride-sharing service Uber is also available, although sometimes their fares can be more expensive than a conventional taxi. Be sure to check on your Uber app for an estimate of the fare before booking a ride.

How to identify and take a taxi when you’re visiting Lisbon

Taxis in and around Lisbon will be painted either cream or black and their roof will be green, and they should have a sign that reads “TAXI” on the rooftop – this is the best way to know you’re getting in an authorized taxi because other cars aren’t allowed to use these colors. If a car approaches you claiming to be a taxi but does not have these features, do not get in it.

Lisbon taxi
Lisbon Taxis

If you arrive in Portugal via a flight that lands at Lisbon Airport, it is very easy to find a Lisbon airport taxi. Once you have landed, cleared security and retrieved your suitcases, there should be signs inside the terminal that direct you to the taxi waiting area outside. If you are having any problems with finding this location, you can simply ask an airport staff member to provide assistance.

There are several ways that you can get a taxi in Lisbon, including researching the local taxi companies online and calling them in advance to get picked up from your current location.

Another way to get a taxi is to simply stand by the side of the road anywhere in the city and raise your hand when you see one approaching – if they are available, the driver should pull up next to you so that you can enter the vehicle. If you can’t see any taxis nearby, you should walk to a nearby hotel or tourist destination where there should be some taxis waiting.

You will find that the vast majority of Lisbon taxis are standard four-door cars, which mean that they can fit four passengers plus the driver. If you are traveling in a much larger group, there are bigger taxis available that have room for up to seven passengers, but you will often have to pay an additional 20 percent surcharge on top of the base fare if you want to take one of these.

Important information about Libson taxi fares and tipping

Taxis operating in Lisbon do not have flat fares and instead your final cost will be based on distance traveled, as each vehicle will be featured with a meter that tracks how far you go.

When your ride starts, it begins with an initial fee of either €3.25 or €3.90 depending on various factors including the time of day that you’re traveling and where you’re heading. Every kilometer that you travel after that will cost within a range of €0.47 to €1.13. And if you have to keep your taxi waiting, for example while picking someone up, it will cost you €14.80 each hour.

There are some additional charges that you may have to pay, for example you’ll be charged an additional €1.60 on top of the base fare if you have luggage or pets. Another fee is a €0.80 charge if you call to book your taxi in advance for picking you up in the city.

Once your ride is over and it’s time to pay for your journey, you’ll find that almost all of the taxi drivers in the city can accept payment either in cash or with a debit or credit card.

If you plan on using a credit or debit card to pay for your ride, you should inform the driver about this before the trip begins. That’s because a few taxi drivers in Lisbon will tell you that they’ll add a surcharge to your fare to cover the cost of the card transaction, typically at 5 percent. They are allowed to add this surcharge, so don’t worry about this particular fee being a scam.

You might want to make sure you’re always carrying a number of Euros in coins and bills because this can be a much simpler way to pay for smaller fares, including a tip.

There is no law or regulation that says you must give your taxi driver a tip at the end of your journey. But if you think that the driver provided you with a comfortable, quick and safe ride then a courteous gesture can be giving them a tip with a few Euros in cash. By contrast, if you think that you were overcharged or the ride was unsafe, you should feel obliged to leave a tip.

Advice for avoiding scams when taking taxis around Lisbon

Use the information in this guide to make sure that you only ever get in an officially recognized taxi. Never get in an unlicensed taxi because it’s very likely that they will overcharge you compared to a regular taxi. And if the vehicle gets into an accident and you are injured, the driver probably won’t have insurance that covers any medical costs that you may incur.

Even authorized Lisbon taxi drivers may still try to use some tricks to get more money out of tourists than they should. One way they do this is by taking you on an unnecessarily long route to get to your hotel or other destination, because this can increase the fare significantly.

To avoid this long distance scam, before you get in the taxi you could use your smartphone to look up the quickest route to get to wherever you’re going, and then show this to your driver before the ride starts, insisting that they use this journey to reach the destination.

Some drivers might also try to claim that you are required by law to give them a tip after the journey ends, but you have no such duty, so you should refuse to tip in this scenario.

Another scam to be aware of is when a driver offers to charge you a flat rate to get from your current location to your next destination, and they tell you this will work out cheaper than using the meter in the car. Almost always this is a lie, and the driver knows that you will end up having to pay more with their flat rate compared to if the fare was calculated using the meter. If your driver suggests charging a flat rate, simply decline and ask them to charge with the meter.

Frequently Asked Questions About Lisbon Taxis

Lisbon has many taxis, and you should be able to get one quickly by standing on the side of a busy street and raising your hand, and if a taxi is available it will pull up next to you. If there are no taxis around, then you could walk to a hotel or busy tourist site to find one. Alternatively, you could call to book a taxi in advance, but a surcharge may be added to the fare.

It’s simple to find taxis at Lisbon Airport – after your flight has arrived and you have gone through passport control and collected your bags, just have a look inside the terminal for signs directing you to the taxi pickup area located outside. Should you have any difficulties in seeing these signs, just ask an airport staff member to point you in the right direction.

All taxis in Lisbon use a meter for determining fares, rather than charging flat rates. Depending on the day and time at which you’re traveling, the base fare will start at €3.25 or €3.90, with every additional kilometer traveled adding between €0.47 and €1.13 to the fare.

Possibly depending on the type of journey you are making, as you will need to pay an extra €1.60 on top of the base fare if you are traveling with pets or luggage. And if you keep the taxi waiting for any reason, this will cost you an additional €14.80 for each our hour of waiting.

Many taxi drivers in Lisbon will accept either cash or a debit or credit card for payment, but if you decide to use a card then you might have to pay a 5 percent surcharge on top of the fare.

You may find that certain taxi drivers in the city try to overcharge you by taking a very long route to get to wherever you’re heading – because taxis in Lisbon use distance-based meters, the further you travel, the more expensive the fare will be. You can prevent this from happening by looking up the fastest route to your destination in advance, printing out these directions or having them on your smartphone, and showing them to the driver to follow this journey.

Yes, you have a few options available for taxis when there are many people in your group. Most taxis in the city are four door cars that can fit three people plus the driver, so you could simply take a couple of regular taxis. Alternatively, there are some taxis that can fit seven passengers but if you take these you may have to pay a 20 percent surcharge on the fare.

You are not mandated by regulation or law to pay your taxi driver any kind of tip after the ride is complete, and you certainly should not do so if you think that the ride you received was overpriced or unsafe. But if you believe that the journey was safe, smooth and speedy then it is considered a nice gesture to tip your driver with a few Euros in either bills or coins.

Yes, the ride-sharing service Uber is available in the city, and you can book a ride by opening the Uber app on your smartphone or other device and entering your route. Just beware that, depending on the time of day and your destination, the fare could be more than taking a taxi.