Free Lisbon apps you must download to your smartphone

Free Lisbon apps you must download to your smartphone

These days, it’s hard to imagine ourselves traveling without our smartphones. Over time it became such an important tool that we risk not taking our eyes off our phones to notice what’s around you.

But that is not the case for this blog post. I do want you to explore and notice the city around, that’s why I put together this list of free Lisbon apps you must download to your smartphone.

Citymapper

I know everyone uses Google Maps, but I prefer the user experience of Citymapper. I like how it shows me all the options to get from point A to point B in one single screen, so I can quickly decide if it’s faster to walk or catch a bus, the metro, or a tram. I find the app quite user-friendly, but explore it for a bit before giving it a test run in real life. 

Why I use it:

  • Public transportation times are relatively accurate, and I don’t have to open a second app just for checking schedules
  • The app calculates distances between places in minutes, not miles
  • I enjoy their sense of humor, suggesting using a Jetpack as alternative transportation
  • The app shows you how many calories you’ll burn if you decide to walk
  • I can easily see on the map if I’ll be walking uphill or downhill (a saver feature for walking in Lisbon)

 

CP - Comboios de Portugal

I love traveling by train in Portugal as much as possible, at least between the bigger cities. You’re better off taking a long-distance bus or venturing on a road trip for some other areas in the country.

CP – Comboios de Portugal app is the official mobile app for the public train company (that doesn’t include Fertagus, the blue and white train known as the “bridge train”).

Why I use it:

  • To check schedules and plan my itinerary
  • To buy e-tickets (sometimes with discounts on long-distance trips) and save them on my phone
  • I like the simplicity of being able to purchase tickets on the go, last-minute, and paying with a credit card or PayPal

Zomato

Zomato started as an Indian-based startup, but it currently covers dozens of cities all over the world. Lisbon is one of them.

Although I don’t agree with all crowd-sourced reviews of restaurants in Lisbon you’ll find in the app, it’s a good source of information to prevent you from stepping inside a tourist trap — no one sees straight when they’re hungry.

Why I use it:

  • I use it often for work when I need information on newly opened places
  • I can refine my selection by cuisine or pricepoint and bookmark them in a curated list of my own
  • The information regarding price ranges, schedules, and menus are up to date
  • It’s handy to know if a specific place someone recommended to you is still open for business

Carris

Carris operates Lisbon’s buses, trams, funiculars (Glória, Lavra, and Bica), and the elevator (Santa Justa). Their mobile app can sometimes be confusing when you’re figuring out the best routes. If you don’t usually use public transportation in your home city, download the Citymapper instead.

Why I use it:

  • To doublecheck a specific bus or tram route
  • To quickly check information on how long I have to wait for the next bus or tram (although it isn’t 100% accurate)
  • Among all the mobile apps for public transportation in Lisbon I’ve used, Carris is still the most accurate

Uber

Just like in many other cities in Europe, taxi drivers weren’t too pleased about Uber in Lisbon. There were protests, some more violent than others, and complaints of unfair competition. The clients, however, were thrilled with the alternative. After a few bumps, Uber is officially legal to use in Portugal. Uber cars must legally have a TVDE sticker visible in the window. 

Why I use it:

  • When I want to get from point A to point B without the small talk and taking the shortest route possible
  • As a cheaper alternative to a taxi, with the convenience of paying through the app

FREE NOW (formerly MyTaxi)

If you’re not a fan of giving money to highly disruptive big corporations like Uber and would rather support local taxi drivers, download FREE NOW (formerly MyTaxi).

Why I use it:

  • When I’m somewhere without Uber service 
  • When it’s taking too long for an Uber to pick me up
  • You pay through the app

Tiqets

I’m a fan of electronic tickets for everything from transportation to museums. I wish Tiqets had more Lisbon attractions listed, but they’re always adding new ones every month.

Why I use it:

  • For the hassle-free option of buying all your attractions’ tickets with one app
  • For the occasional discounts and special offers
  • For the buy now, cancel later feature in all tickets

 

Read more things you need to know about Lisbon:

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