The March issue of DecoProteste, Portugal’s consumer advocate magazine, published a five page review of taxis. Their “foreigner” focused on an airport-to-downtown-Lisbon trip which should have cost €8.35, including luggage supplement:
“Of ten trips by a foreigner between the airport and Lisbon, only two went perfectly in all regards. On four trips, the final fare requested was higher than indicated on the meter. In one of these trips, the meter read €13,85, with the trip supplement already included, and the driver requested €15. On another, the client never saw the meter. It could be covered by the glove compartment lid and, as soon as the passenger entered, the driver opened the compartment. During the entire trip, the meter was hidden. As if that weren’t enough, at the end, the driver requested €17…”
We find most Lisbon taxi drivers to be honest and pleasant (see our “Heralding Kindness” post), but the airport does unfortunately attract those who are all too happy to fleece a tourist. That’s why we send very detailed instructions to all our guests on how to outwit the occasional bad egg!
Also from the article, a nice summary of useful Taxi Tips:
* Lisbon pick-up fee = €2.00
* Luggage fee = €1.60 for putting any/all luggage in the boot; this is NOT a per bag fee (If your bag is smaller than 55x35x20cm, there is no luggage charge and you may keep it with you in the taxi. Bags larger than this must go in the boot, which triggers the luggage fee. Strollers and wheelchairs may go in the boot free of charge.)
* Call charge (for ordering a taxi pickup) = 0.80€ (Taxis scheduled via phone can arrive 15 minutes early and wait with the meter running)
* TAXI STANDS: The standardized beige and black/green taxis have the same tarifs. But be careful of the other taxis (of various colors) displaying a blue sign with the letter “A” or “Taxi”: these have higher tarifs than the standard beige and black/green taxis.
* CHANGE: Drivers are only required to carry €10 in change. Given Lisbon’s cheap fares, you might be stuck paying a very large tip if all you have is a €20 note in your pocket.
Information summarized from Proteste Magazine, March 2009
2013 Update: The pick-up fee has been raised the 3.25€, but your total trip from the airport should still cost no more than 10-12€.