Indeed, the yellow, open-topped double-decker buses are a familiar sight on the city streets.
Their itineraries take in the capital’s favourite historic monuments, with multilingual commentary accompanying each route. The same company also operates antique trams tours that trundle the same tracks as Tram 28. These also provide a detailed running commentary in different languages. Yellow Bus is great for families, larger groups and the elderly.
If you’d rather discover the Portuguese capital in a less predictable manner, consider Lisbon By Segway, one of the coolest ways of taking in the sights.
The Segway is a two wheeled, self-balancing personal transportation device that’s electrically powered and environmentally friendly (applause!)
These whacky balancing acts make short thrift of Lisbon’s steep hills and can even negotiate steps and curbs. Users can go it alone, travel in pairs or wheel through Lisbon as part of a guided tour.
Now here’s something different. Any tour operator that elects to call itself We Hate Tourism Tours must be worth checking out. And it is!
If you shun convention, loathe routine and like mixing with a young, offbeat crowd then Bruno and his friends are waiting to show you their city through their eyes.
These guys run one of the most original tour operations in the city. Using a fleet of vans and a rare Portuguese-manufactured UMM 4×4 jeep (Bruno is not called “King of the Hills” for nothing), itinerary options include A Travellers’ Introduction to Lisbon, its Surrounding Areas and Portuguese Culture, and Há Petiscos – A Food Tour of Lisbon. Along the way you’ll be regaled with useful tips, amusing anecdotes, and new friendships will blossom.
Another Lisbon tour operator with savvy city guide credentials is Gocar Tours. The name may sound familiar to anyone who has visited San Francisco; the concept originated in this American city.
The Go Car is a GPS guided three-wheeled vehicle that you drive yourself, with room for a passenger. Don’t let their dinky size fool you – these smart cars whiz around town like demented wasps, and you can stop along the way to admire views or grab a coffee. It’s up to you, and the independence this kind of tour allows makes it hugely popular with free-spirited individuals.
Unless otherwise stated, all images
© Paul Bernhardt