Rent a car in Lisbon with Europcar
With sweeping plazas, vintage tramways travelling along cobbled streets, multi-coloured boutiques, and trendy bars, Lisbon has undeniable charm. The seven hills overlooking the city all give great views of the capital and the surrounding countryside.
Hiring a car in Portugal gives the opportunity to explore further afield from Lisbon, and there is certainly plenty to see nearby. On the south coast of Portugal is Cascais (30 km away); and the lush greenery of Sintra-Cascais Natural Park is also not too far away.
The Europcar car rental experience in Lisbon
Choose from a number of Europcar stations to collect your car hire in Lisbon. There is a branch at Lisbon Airport, several city centre points, and a 24-hour downtown service. Wherever is most convenient for you, you will find a Europcar station to get your Portugal adventure started.
If you are looking for something small to drive around the city, the Renault Clio 5P and Renault Twingo 3D are reliable options for economy car hire. Larger groups and families can choose the Renault Megane or Audi A3 to travel in comfort and style.
Moving heavier loads? Europcar Lisbon also offers a fleet of van hire, with small and large models. Renting with Europcar means ultimate flexibility for your travels, with both car hire and van hire in Lisbon available on a short or long term basis.
Driving in Lisbon
In addition to a valid driver’s licence from your country of residence, it is a good idea to have your photo ID or passport with you at all times when driving through Portugal.
In urban areas and towns the speed limit is usually 50 km/h, but can vary as indicated by signposts. On rural roads it is 90 km/h and on motorways 120 km/h. Speed limits around residential areas and schools are usually 40 km/h.
On-street parking in the city centre is difficult due to the narrow and steep streets. If you need to park in the centre, it is advisable to use one of the underground car parks. Paid parking hours are: Monday to Friday, between 8am and 8pm; and on Saturdays from 8am to 6pm. There is cheaper parking available in car parks south of the city centre, charging €5-6 per day.
There are several toll roads in Portugal with charges payable by cash, credit/debit cards or via an electronic system. There are different types of electronic tolls: Easy Toll, Toll Card, Toll Service and Via Verde Visitors. Easy Toll is connected to your credit card and automatically charges when you travel through tolls; Toll Card and Toll Service use a pre-paid voucher system, while Via Verde is a wireless device you attach to your car.
Discover Lisbon and the surrounding area by car
While you are in Lisbon, be sure to head over to Almada across the bay, where the Cristo Rei is located. Climb to the top of this sacred Catholic monument for exceptional views over the city. Just a 20 minute drive via the IP7 bridge road, which crosses the Tagus River, it is a stunning journey in itself.
Lisbon’s location means you can really maximise your time in Portugal, exploring the nearby coastline and surrounding area. You should definitely visit the expansive Sintra-Cascais Natural Park and with Europcar car hire, it couldn’t be easier to travel there. Pena Palace (32 kilometres away), Cresmina Dune, Praia do Guincho and the Palace of Sintra, are just some of the magical attractions you can find nearby.
The National Palace of Queluz, 13 kilometres north of Lisbon, is a worthwhile day trip. Behind the stunning yellow and green exterior of the stately building is a collection of magnificent Baroque, Rococo, and neoclassical pieces. The manicured gardens are wonderful for an afternoon stroll.
Driving on from Lisbon you can visit Leiria (134 kilometres away), a medieval university town, and the magical town of Tomar (139 kilometres away). Both towns are around an hour and a half’s drive north of Lisbon.
A 15-minute drive from the city centre is the beautiful palace of Ajuda, built in 1795 in a neoclassical style but with renovations since adding architectural features from different styles. The majestic interiors are open to the public; including several private chambers, and the State Rooms where galas were held. The grounds include the Jardim Botânico da Ajuda, the first botanical garden in Portugal, known for its geometric layout. The Palace of Ajuda also houses a large collection of decorative arts dating from the 15th to the 20th centuries, including jewellery, textiles, and furniture, as well as paintings and sculpture.
The chic seaside town of Cascais is known for its beautiful beaches and superior seafood restaurants. The chosen summer retreat of the royal family during the late 1800s, Cascais is still very cosmopolitan, with a picture-perfect historic centre, sandy beaches, whimsical museums and trendy boutiques. Make sure you visit the Palácio da Cidadela de Cascais and the Castro Guimarães Museum to appreciate their unique architectural styles. Cascais is a quick half an hour drive along the east coast from Lisbon.
Things to see in Lisbon
This UNESCO protected city is full of diverse districts, each offering a unique perspective. Great things to see include the traditional Alfama with its Moorish architecture and hilltop castle; the cultural offerings of Lisbon Baixa, with the Archaeological Centre that is dedicated to the ruins dating back to the Iron Age; and the oldest confectionary shop in the country, opened in 1829. The Belém neighbourhood houses the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, a Unesco-listed monastery with awe-inspiring cloisters, gargoyles and Renaissance woodcarvings.