Located in the capital city of Portugal, Lisbon Portela Airport is the main international gateway to Portugal and a major European hub. No, Portela doesn't come from the Portuguese translation of a "port" as it may suggest, but the name of a neighbouring parish, Portela, in Loures Municipality. Many planes take a break at Lisbon Portela Airport as it is one of the largest and best equipped airports in Western Europe for maintenance, as well as being prestigiously nominated as Europe's Leading Airport for five consecutive years in the World Travel Awards. Although airports are usually located in the outskirts of a city, Lisbon Portela Airport is one of the few located inside a major city, surrounded by urban development. There have been various relocation plans but it has been decided that the iconic airport remain in situ and expand to serve more 20 million passengers a year. Currently, the airport handles on average more than 16 million passengers a year.
Getting to the city from the airport can be easily done through the 3 main accessible transportation methods: train, bus and taxi. Newly opened in 2012, a train ride connecting to the city centre takes only about 16 minutes from Encarnação Station on the Red Line. Good news for travellers is that a flat fare of €1.40 is charged for a single trip on the metro system, regardless of the distance travelled - doesn't it just fire up your wanderlust? Various city buses equipped with luggage storage also run through the airport daily to various downtown locations, for those who like taking in the sights of a new city, a bus ride is your best bet for a comfortably paced sightseeing trip!
Otherwise, get to your destination quickly by flagging a taxi. Within the city, travellers should not hesitate to ride on the brightly-coloured yellow trams which have been in operation since 1873. Posing with the tram is also a great photo opportunity!
What to see and do
Lisbon lies in the western Iberian Peninsula on the Atlantic Ocean and the River Tagus, where the breeze from the ocean neutralises the climate of the city -- with winters as warm as 15°C and summers a cool 25 °C. Did you know that Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in the world, and the oldest city in Western Europe? Lisbon predates other modern European capitals such as London, Paris and Rome by hundreds of years! Don’t forget to visit the Castle of São Jorge, in the Alfama, the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, Chiado shopping area, Casino Lisbon and Oceanário de Lisboa, the second largest Oceanarium in the world.
No time to visit the city centre? Closely located near the airport are Parque das Nações, an oceanfront tourist area with family attractions, green spaces, urban art and sculpture walks, and Pavilhão do Conhecimento, a contemporary science museum with interactive exhibits, experiments, workshops and kids' play areas. These two places will definitely keep you and your children busy for a whole day!
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Airports near Lisbon
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