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Lisbon student guide – getting into the city

Lisbon student guide – getting into the city

Getting into Lisbon St Apolonia

Whatever transport you’re arriving in, it’s really easy getting into Lisbon.  But if you’re going to arrive here for the first time, it pays to be prepared. Read this short post with helpful hints and tips to make your arrival into the city extra-easy.

Getting into Lisbon: all your alternatives

Most students arrive into Lisbon on an airplane: it’s the quickest and easiest solution, as the airport is very central. There’s a fast train from Porto and an overnight train from Madrid (which is surprisingly affordable). Some international bus networks allow you to arrive into the city by bus from as far away as St. Petersburg. For the sailors among you, you can even arrive into Lisbon by boat: Lisbon has been considered one of Europe’s leading ports by the World Travel Awards, after all.

Getting into Lisbon: arriving at Lisbon Airport (Portela)

Lisbon Student Guide getting into Lisbon airport
Arriving at Lisbon Portela airport, you’ll go through the whole airport before you get to the luggage.

The city on has one airport. It is very close to the city centre. This is great for travellers and anybody wanting to get into the city quickly. During the day time, if you’re not carrying too much, you can take a metro. The metro is fast, doesn’t get stuck in jams and the ticket is cheap. It reaches most of the city, but not all neighbourhood.

Taking a Taxi is also a great option: it’s much more comfortable of course and the fare isn’t that much. You can get from the airport to most places in the city for around 15€. 20€ tops. All licensed taxis are forced to show you the metre running and you can request the route that you prefer.

Getting into Lisbon: arriving by train (Gare do Oriente or Santa Apolónia train stations)

Oriente getting into Lisbon
The futuristic Gare do Oriente train station is one of the coolest stations in Europe.

Some students take the cheaper flights to Porto and then catch a fast Alpha train down to Lisbon. It’s less than 3 hours, and €30,30 a ticket. There’s a slightly slower but cheaper alternative called the Intercidades that takes 3.15 hours and €24,30. You can even take an overnight train from Madrid, which is a much longer journey but costs about the same.

Arriving by train to Lisbon, you stop at two train stations: first at Gare do Oriente, an impressive, modern train station, and then at Santa Apolónia, in the old town. Both are serviced by metros, city-buses and plenty of cabs. Use googlemaps to find out which one will be closest to your student accommodation so you know when to get off and how to get home from there!

Getting into Lisbon: arriving by bus (Sete Rios and Gare do Oriente bus stations)

Lisbon Student Guide Bus
Erasmus Lisbon students arriving by bus is rare – but not unheard of!

If you’re strapped for cash and there are no cheap RyanAir tickets left, travelling by bus is an alternative. It’s not the most comfortable one, but it gets you from where you are to where you want to be!

See Also

Buses into Lisbon usually stop both at Sete Rios (a big bus terminal close to the Benfica neighbourhood) and at the train station Gare do Oriente, both are serviced by metros, city-buses and plenty of cabs. As above, it’s a good idea to use googlemaps to figure out which one is the best exit to take and how to get home from there.

Getting into Lisbon: arriving by boat

Boats getting into Lisbon
Only the most epic people arrive to Lisbon on a boat.

Let’s face it: you’re probably not going to try getting into Lisbon by boat. There aren’t any international ferry rides you can take advantage of so you have three choices here. You either own your own yacht and sail it, take a cruise ship to Lisbon, or you hike a ride on a cargo ship. Either way, the port you arrive at will vary depending on size and purpose of the ship.

Tell you what: I will have so much respect for anybody who takes any of these alternatives, that if you get into Lisbon by boat, I’ll be waiting at the docks to personally escort you home. Just let me know in advance!

Thanks for reading this post! We hope to see you soon, coming back for more. Did you enjoy our Lisbon Student guide article about how to get into the city? Just drop us a line in the comment section below to let us know you did. And remember! If you need to find Student accommodation in Santos – or you know someone that does – you’ll find the student home you’re looking for on

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