Lisbon Airport Car Hire

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Lisbon Humberto Delgado Airport (LIS), also known as Lisbon Portela Airport, but more commonly known as simply Lisbon Airport, is situated 7km north of Lisbon, Portugal’s capital city. Lisbon Portela Airport was officially renamed in 2016 in memory of Humberto Delgado, the late Portuguese air force general and famous politician. As the main international gateway to Portugal, it’s the busiest airport in Portugal and processes millions of passengers annually, surpassing the 31 million passengers mark for the first time in its history in 2019. In 2020, Lisbon was named Best Airport in Europe (in the 25-40 million passenger category) by the Airport Council International Europe.

Opened during World War 2 in 1942, the airport was neutral and was used by both Allied and German airlines. It was an important people smuggling hub during the war, and is famously referenced in the classic film Casablanca, whose romantic wartime plot revolves around an escape attempt to Lisbon airport, and then onto the United States. Now, 57 airlines fly to a total of 132 destinations, making Lisbon Airport an even more essential transport link in Europe. Plans to expand the airport were announced in 2019.

Passengers have plenty of options at Lisbon Airport, with excellent facilities and dining options in its two terminals. Terminal 1 is the International Terminal and also processes all arrivals, even domestic flights. Terminal 2 handles most low-cost airlines and domestic departures. Terminal 1 has links to public transport, including the metro, and there is 3-minute shuttle service between the two terminals. For shopping and dining, passengers can enjoy fast food favourites such as McDonald’s alongside Portuguese restaurants, beer bars and top notch coffee joints. Planning to do some Duty Free shopping? You’re in luck! Lisbon Airport has fantastic shopping options, including designer brands, local crafts, perfumery, beverages, cigarettes and cigars, and even tasty Portuguese delicacies.

Lisbon is a culturally exciting city with spectacular scenery to explore outside of the suburbs, from coastal routes along the North Atlantic coast to mountainous national parks. This makes Lisbon and its surrounding areas a great place to explore by car in Portugal. You can easily find a great deal on car hire at Lisbon Airport with Enjoy Travel. For instance, a mini-sized car like a Volkswagen U costs from just €7.78 (£7.01) per day if you book off-season, while an economy car like Fiat Panda costs from €8.33 (£7.51) a day, and even a sporty Mercedes C-Class ̶ perfect for posing as you jaunt around Lisbon city or cruise along the coast ̶ costs from only €51.50 (£46.40) per day. Enjoytravel.com partners with reliable Lisbon Airport car hire providers like Alamo, Rent a Car, EuropCar and Guerin, to bring you the best car hire deals and most diverse fleets, with safe and cost-effective agreements. Choose your ideal car from a superb choice of deals online and then pick it up at LIS with ease upon arrival.

Driving in and around Lisbon Airport

Lisbon Airport is ideally located near the city centre, so driving into Lisbon from the airport is easy peasy. The route into the city is well signposted, but you might want to use a SatNav or Google Maps to reach your final destination - Lisbon city streets can be narrow and winding! Want to hear general and traffic news in English while you’re driving around Lisbon? Just tune into Kiss FM Portugal on 95.8 FM. Here’s some more essential information you need to know when driving in Lisbon, Portugal:

Always drive on the right-hand side of the road in Portugal. The national speed limits are 31 mph (50km/h) in urban areas, villages and towns, and between 56mph (90km/h) and 74mph (120km/h) on motorways. Speeding is common here however, and local drivers consider overtaking a sport, so pay attention to other cars on the road and stay alert at all times.

The drink-driving limit in Portugal is 0.05 mg and the law is strictly enforced - as well as endangering yourself and other road users, you could face an on-the-spot fine, loss of your license and even jail time, so don’t risk it.

When it comes to choosing what type of rental car to hire in Lisbon, consider whether you will be staying within city limits or venturing out to the surrounding areas. Parking spaces can be small, so a mini-size car is best for city cruising. Roads along the coast can be narrow and steep so you will also want a car with easy handling.

You’ll need to have the following things in your rental car at all times when driving in Portugal:

  • Driving licence with photo ID (if you don't have a photo card licence, you'll need an International Driving Permit).
  • Car rental agreement.
  • MOT certificate if your rental car is over three years old.
  • A reflective danger jacket.
  • A reflective warning triangle.
  • Spare bulbs for your car’s external lights.
  • A spare wheel.

Take note of these need-to-know Portugal driving tips and you’ll have a stress-free experience driving in Lisbon and beyond.

Lisbon Airport and surrounding areas

Sitting on its seven hills, Portugal’s maritime capital and its Iberian charm will have you hooked from Day One. From taking the historic yellow tram up hilly streets to listening to traditional fado music at a local wine bar and sampling Portuguese bites to eat, Lisbon is a city full of fun.

There’s plenty to see and do in Lisbon ̶ here are a few recommendations:

Admire the views from São Jorge Castle

For sunset views over the city’s terracotta roofs, the 6th-century São Jorge Castle has the best panoramas in the city. You can also see the Tagus Estuary and the iconic Ponte 25 de Abril suspension bridge in all their glory. It’s located on the highest of the city’s seven hills and is the most popular tourist attraction in Lisbon.

Explore the vibrant neighbourhood of Bairro Alto

The sightseeing doesn’t end when the sun goes down, as Lisbon’s cultural and bohemian Bairro Alto neighbourhood proves. Follow the crowds to Rua da Atalaia and Rua do Diário de Noticias for an evening of bar hopping and live music. Street art is everywhere here, so keep your eyes peeled for show stopping murals. You can even join an organised street art walking tour during the day, which comes highly recommended.

Taste local cuisine

The buzzing 19th-century Mercado da Ribeira is packed full with super-fresh fish, fruit, veg and flowers. Once you’ve wandered around here, check out the buzzing street-food hotspot that is the Time Out indoor food market and take your pick from one of the many burger, sushi and pizza, and Portuguese joints. Try fresh seafood or the local favourite, leitão (suckling pig). For a sweet treat, you can’t miss the custard tarts (Pastéis de Nata) at the famous Pastéis de Belém patisserie.

Take a stroll around Lx Factory

This uber-cool complex is a former industria factory that has been totally transformed into one of the hippest places in the city. There’s more than 50 restaurants, bars and coffee shops and sleek design stores for browsing everything from fashion to books, to vintage furniture and contemporary design. The onsite co-working space, Village Underground, is worth seeing: its unique architectural structure is made from shipping containers and double decker buses which house co-working and cultural spaces and a trendy restaurant-cafe.

For fun trips outside of Lisbon that you can drive to within the day, add the nearby fishing town of Cascais to your itinerary, as well as Sintra, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll reach both of these towns by following the scene Estrada Margina, which is the main coastal road that links Lisbon to Cascais, and is a wonderful drive from the capital. The 20 mile road brings you along the banks of the Tagus river and from Carcavelos along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean.

Bring the camera for these scenic drives from Lisbon!

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FAQs about car hire at Lisbon Airport (LIS)

Most frequently asked questions about hiring a car at Lisbon Airport

Lisbon Airport is approximately 7km from Lisbon city centre, so you can easily reach the city within 20 minutes of hopping in your rental car.
Car hire costs at Lisbon Airport start from as low as €7.78 (£7.01) per day if you book off-season. Renting a car at Lisbon Airport is an affordable option.
Enjoy partners with leading car hire companies at Lisbon Airport, like Alamo, Rent a Car, EuropCar and Guerin.
Yes, there is a Europcar car hire office next to the airport.
Yes, you can return the car at any location regardless of where you picked it up.
In the airport (LIS) you can find international cuisine restaurants such as KFC and McDonalds but also O Mercado, Versailles and Cockpit are highly recommended.
There is a direct metro line from the city centre to the airport called “Aeroporto – Saldanha”.
It is - the drive is approximately 13 minutes long via Av. Alm. Gago Coutinho but beware of traffic.