Lisbon tours and excursions

Lisbon tours

Boat tours

Transtejo offers a variety of boat tours, including two-hour 30-minute tours of the River Tagus, from the docks east of Praça do Comércio and travelling as far west as the Belém Tower. Tours depart from the Terreiro do Paço river station, April to October. Cityrama operates a three-hour cruise on the Tagus. Tours leave from Praça Marqués de Pombal.

Telephone: 808 203 050; (021) 319 1090.
Buggy and segway tours

Cityrama/Gray Line rent self-drive electric buggies, seating two or four people. You can either hire a chauffeur, drive them yourself or follow one of three GPS-guided routes. The rental period is either 1.5 hours or half a day. The meeting point is Rua dos Fanqueiros, nº18, near Praça do Comércio. The same company also offer 1.5 hour Segway tours of the Alfama district. Segways are two-wheeled electric, self-balancing transporters. Riders are taught the basics before the tour and most people pick it up very quickly. The meeting point is also Rua dos Fanqueiros, nº18.

Telephone: (021) 319 1090.
Bus tours

Standard bus tours are offered by Cityrama, including Sintra, Cascais and Estoril. Tours depart from Praça Marqués de Pombal, although pick-up can be organised from a number of hotels.

Telephone: (021) 319 1090.
Tram tours

Carristur operates a city tour in a restored tramcar. The tram takes one-and-a-half hours to travel through the historical sights of Lisbon, departing from the Praça do Comércio. However a much cheaper and often more enjoyable option is a trip on one of the city's rumbling old public trams.

Telephone: (021) 361 3000.
Walking tours

Lisbon is a city that invites a stroll around its unique neighbourhoods - notably Chiado, Bairro Alto, Mouraria and Alfama. Turismo de Lisboa publishes self-guided walking tours. Lisbon Walker offers a range of six walking tours, all kicking off from Praça do Comércio.

Telephone: (021) 886 1840.

Excursions from Lisbon

Estoril and Cascais

The resort of Estoril, located approximately 30km (19 miles) west of Lisbon, has long attracted the wealthy, who have built villas in the green hills above the beaches. The area makes a great half-day excursion from Lisbon. A little further west from Estoril, Cascais has had a somewhat more humble history, operating more as a working fishing town than as a hideaway for the rich. Both attract visitors, thanks to wide Atlantic beaches and watersports facilities. Cascais is renowned for its seafood restaurants, while Estoril has one of Europe's largest casinos. Trains to both destinations depart from Cais do Sodré station.

Telephone: 021 465 9580.

The many palaces, villas and gardens around Sintra, situated in the mountains west of Lisbon, have earned it a place as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The small town is dominated by the Palácio Nacional de Sintra, a royal summer palace that was largely developed in the 15th and 16th centuries and now houses the world's most important collection of mudéjar azulejos (glazed tiles). The palace can be reached by train from Rossio station.

A short trip (4.5km) out of Sintra on the Estrada da Pena takes you to the famous Palácio Nacional da Pena, a remarkable fairy-tale castle standing high on a hill. It was built in 1839, in a mix of Bavarian, Moorish, Gothic and Manueline styles.

For further information, visit Sintra Tourism Office, Praça da República 23.

Telephone: 021 923 8500.