I would like to say that it is easy to drive in Lisbon but,
unfortunately, that's not the case. In fact, it can be a little bit
you don't take care.
But this is not a jungle, ok? So, don't worry because you'll be fine as
long as you follow some basic rules and use some caution.
left-hand side of the road?
theory, cars in Portugal
should take the right-hand side of the road.
But that is only in theory. If you observe transit for a while you will
quickly realize that most people are kind of allergic to the right-hand
side of the road.
Wait... maybe I don't explain it quite
right... I don't mean that Portuguese drivers take the wrong hand side
of the road. I'm talking about the roads with more than one lane.
a road has more than one lane, traffic rules say you must take the one
that is on the right (as long as it is free, of course). But that is
constantly ignored in Portugal.
Why? I really don't know but
sometimes I find myself doing the
Here are some basic rules
you must know before you drive in Lisbon:
You can't drink and drive. Sorry...
try to drink or eat while you are driving. It's very
dangerous!!! Just kidding...
What I mean is that you
can't drink before driving. At least alcohol
limit for blood alcohol is 50
mg per 100 ml maximum. Beyond that you're
in trouble. If it passes the 120 mg be prepared to spend a night in
jail while you wait to be presented in court.
Fasten your seat belt. Yup!
to the law, seat belts must be fastened by front-seat occupants and
those travelling in the rear seats as long as provided (nowadays this
includes almost all vehicles).
Don't speed up! Who are you? Michael Schumacher?
to the speed limits and respect them. Don't try to beat
the clock for any reason whatsoever.
Speed limits for motorcycles and cars without
50 kph - in built-up areas
90 kph - on normal roads
100 kph - on roads restricted to motor vehicles
120 kph - on motorways
Speed limits for cars with trailers:
50 kph - in built-up areas
70 kph - on normal roads
80 kph - on roads restricted to motor vehicles
100 kph - on motorways
Keep your hands off you mobile phone. "I'll talk to you later..."
As in many other countries,
like UK, you are not
allowed to talk on your
mobile phone while you drive in Lisbon, except if you are
handsfree or headsets device. So don't do it, ok? Most
because it is very dangerous.
Don't park in the wrong place. Be patient and find a place to park.
you see one of these signs, don't park there because it is not allowed!
Unless you like to risk getting a fine, be patient and find a proper
spot for your car.
you are caught breaking any of these rules, be aware that you will be fined on
the spot. So, in case you think you are some kind of
or Lewis Hamilton always carry some cash with you...
if you drive accordingly to the rules, you must always pay attention to
other drivers when you drive in Lisbon. Always expect the unexpected.
Huuumm... Almost like Mission Impossible, get it?
be surprised if all the above rules are broken by other drivers.
Just do your part and above all drive
In Lisbon it is very common to find cars parked in the
middle of the street with their hazard warning lights on.
Well, not in the middle, but almost. So be careful with that.
close to the car in the front
is another dangerous driving practise
you can experience here. Don't feel pressured if you are in
car in front. Continue to drive carefully and "forget" the maverick
you. He will, eventually, go away.
Pay attention when being overtaken
by other automobiles and especially when being overtaken by
motorcycles. Motorcyclists very often don't signalize their
taxi drivers as they tend to think that they own the
Well, I think this happens all over the world, right? Here too.
In order to drive in Lisbon you are required to have a valid driving
license. If you have a valid EU license you don't have to worry even if
you stay forever. On the other hand if you have a valid non-EU license
it allows to drive up to six months.
It is required by law to have a valid
car or motorcycle insurance in
order to drive in Lisbon (and Portugal, of course). Don't forget to
check it out when you
hire a car.
If you are caught in an accident, please remain
calm. Everything will be ok. Just wait for the police to arrive.
Prepare your documentation and ask for the other drivers' information
(name, address, insurance company and so).
If you think the other driver might have been drinking, insist that the
police have the driver perform a breathalyser. They usually do
it without you having
to ask them.
Remember that Lisbon has a lot of cars and between certain hours of the
day you may expect an increase of the traffic.
So, from 8AM till 10AM and from 6PM till 8PM, you can generally count
on meeting a
traffic jam, especially on the roads that enter and exit the
Friday is definitely the worst day of the week. Be patient or
avoid driving in these hours.
If you follow these simple
and the advice I've offered you, then
you will have
no problems while you drive in Lisbon or in the rest of