Planning your stay

Visiting Lisbon

Lisbon is a luminous city. The almost constant presence of sunshine and the River Tagus transforms the Portuguese capital into a mirror of a thousand colours – highlighting the city's unique architecture and beauty. There are so many things to see and do in Lisbon that visitors have access to a wide array of different experiences.

As we walk through Lisbon - whose history spans back thousands of years – we find streets filled with heritage monuments, and characteristic neighbourhoods where the city first developed and can still be experienced at its most genuine level.

There are several websites where you may find information regarding your Lisbon experience:

VISA Requirements

Please contact the Portuguese Embassy or Consulate in your Country to see if you need a visa to travel to Portugal. Please notice that the visa application and process might take some time. Unfortunately, we cannot help you in obtaining a visa.

Planning your stay

1. Accommodation

Lisbon has a great variety of places to stay, from the regular hotel, to the bed and breakfast. We also have some of the best hostels of the world, so if you are looking for a cheap stay, and a different experience, you may want to consider this option.

There are various hotels at a walking distance from the conference venue, but if you prefer to stay in the cityís historic center (Baixa or Chiado) it is not too far from Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian. As long as you choose a place near a subway station, you should not take more than 15 minutes to get from the city's historical center to S.Sebastião underground station, near the conference venue.

To choose a place to stay we recommend one of the many booking websites, where you can find detailed information about the hotel, as well as comments and ratings from other users, which should help you choose according to your own taste.

Some of the main booking websites:

for hostels:

We recommend booking your stay a few months before the conference.

2. Transport from Lisbon airport to the city and back

Lisbon Airport is not far from the city center. From the airport you can get to the city center by underground (metro), taxi, or bus. If you don't have a lot of luggage (in which case, a shuttle service or taxi would be the best option), the best way to reach the center of Lisbon from the airport is taking the underground or the AeroBus.

2.1 Underground

The underground station at the airport on the red line quickly takes you to the center of the city to station of São Sebastião (near Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation) in about 20 minutes. You will need to buy a "viva viagem" card (0,50 euros), and load it with as many trips as you like (each one costs 1,25 euros). You can buy tickets in the automatic machines in the underground stations, choosing one of the languages available.

2.2 Bus

Several buses also stop right outside the arrivals terminal, and if you don't have large luggage, you can take bus 744 that runs past the major avenues uptown and ends up in the old city center.

2.3 Aerobus

Those with lots of luggage should perhaps take the AeroBus which runs between the airport and the city center. A ticket may be purchased directly from the driver and currently stands at 3.50 euros. They run every 20 or 30 minutes and stop at important points in the city such as Entrecampos, Campo Pequeno, Avenida da República, Saldanha, Picoas, Fontes Pereira Melo, Marquês de Pombal, Avenida da Libertade, Restauradores, Rossio, Praça do Comercio and Cais do Sodré. On board, there are screens showing each stop as the bus approaches the area.

2.4 Taxi

Taxis are lined up outside the terminals, and even with luggage, it should cost you between 10 and 15 euros.

3. Getting around in Lisbon

Walking around is actually one of Lisbon's biggest pleasures and it is the best way to experience the old quarters, all the way to the castle. Several viewpoints offer refreshments, stunning views, and a break to sit down if needed. The hilly labyrinthine streets and their cobblestones can be physically demanding, but these viewpoints are your reward. In between walks, an old tram is never too far away.

For longer distances, the easiest way to travel is by underground. For more information see Metro de Lisboa's website.

4. What to wear

Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Pack a confortable pair of shoes because Lisbon is steep and full of cobblestone streets. High heel shoes most times are not the best choice. The coldest months are December to January (average between 8ºC and 16ºC). The rainiest months are November, December and January, but you could also get some rainy days in February. It is very rare, really rare to snow in Lisbon (once every 50 years).

Photo and Other Equipment: Don't forget your camera. Lisbon is famous for its light and from the belvederes you'll have exquisite views over the city. Remember to bring an adaptor if you come from countries with a voltage different from continental Europe. Buying an adaptor might not be very easy.