Taxi Apps in Portugal – There’s More Than Just Uber

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Once upon a time, there were lots of different taxi apps that you could use as well as Uber. These days, the number is much smaller as many of the companies have acquired each other. Still, there are definitely some Uber alternatives left — good news for those that want to take advantage of free rides or just want another taxi option in their pocket.

Many people will be happy to stick with Uber but, for those that want to take advantage of free rides or just want to have another option on their phone, these other apps are worth the download.

Note: A lot of people are asking if they can take an Uber (or any of the other taxi apps) long distance e.g. from Lisbon to the Algarve or even into Spain. Anything is possible, but the drivers who use these taxi apps usually only drive within their own city. You’d probably be safer booking an airport transfer with a company like Welcome Pickups.

Free Now

FreeNow (previously MyTaxi) is one of the biggest and most popular taxi apps in Portugal and around Europe, particularly now that it has acquired fellow taxi app Kapten and HIVE, a scooter app.

There are usually plenty of drivers available, particularly in Lisbon and Porto. Besides Portugal’s two main cities, FreeNow is also available in the Algarve, Setúbal, and Braga.

Depending on your needs, FreeNow allows you to book a number of different types of cars. The cheapest is normally a private hire car, but you can also book an official taxi, an eco-friendly car, an extra-large taxi, or a wheelchair-friendly vehicle.

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Bolt (previously called Taxify) is another popular taxi app in Portugal and, like FreeNow, it allows you to hail taxis or rent a scooter.

You can use Bolt in a number of Portuguese cities, including Algarve, Aveiro, Barcelos, Braga, Coimbra, Évora, Leiria, Lisbon, Madeira, Porto, and Viseu. It’s also available in Madeira, especially around Funchal.

Like FreeNow, you can choose from a number of different vehicles such as eco-friendly vehicles, vans or people carriers, wheelchair-friendly cars, and executive cars.

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Uber needs no introduction. It’s the most-recognised taxi app, and that means it usually has plenty of drivers as well.

Uber is available in lots of different parts of Portugal, including more out-of-the-way places like Madeira and The Azores. Other places include Algarve, Aveiro, Beja, Braga, Braganca, Castelo Branco, Coimbra, Evora, Guarda, Leiria, Lisbon, Pacos de Ferreira, Portalegre, Porto, Santarem, Viana do Castelo, Vila Real, Viseu.

You also have several car options when booking an Uber including larger cars (UberXL), premium cars (Uber Black), eco-friendly cars (Uber Green), and wheelchair-friendly vehicles (Uber Access). You can also use Uber to purchase public transport tickets, send parcels to friends or family members, rent a scooter, or order food.

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Article originally published on 23 May, 2017

48 thoughts on “Taxi Apps in Portugal – There’s More Than Just Uber”

  1. Thank you for making this website, there is a great deal of info here.
    I’m arriving @ Lisbon Airport at the end of October 2019 and need to go to the city of Ota, Alenquer. Will Uber go there? And if not what other options do I have?

  2. Hi,
    I will be going to Madeira in a few days and was wondering what apps I should download for taxi service? I will have a car but needed a taxi when I go to certain places, especially to drink.

  3. Just to inform one small difference in Portugal to be a taxi driver it means you have mandatory formation, Aldo you must have clean criminal record. If it’s not clean you can’t drive a taxi.

    So it’s not just the price that matters but also confidence and security’s.

    I am a Taxi driver I assume but I don’t say other kind of transport are unsafe, I just say that taking a cab means you will travel with a fully licensed and trained driver that as clean criminal record and needs it to stay clean or driver will loose capability to drive cab

    Just my two cents hope it helps.

    • Hi Machado,

      I’m pretty sure Uber drivers have to have provide a clean criminal records check when they apply. Not sure about the other taxi apps.

    • Just to say that as app driver I have to send my clean criminal record to Bolt Uber etc.. every 6 months, every app driver has the mandatory training for the job.
      The app most used by locals in Portugal and maybe Europe is Bolt,
      Yes, app drivers will take you as far as you may want, however due the apps limitations you may have to call a uber or bolt driver and try to negotiate a price with him only because apps don’t guarantee payment to the driver over 60eur.
      One other thing, app drivers don’t charge for luggage, nor the mileage to get to pickup point, cabs do.
      Although some cab drivers can manipulate a little the price you have to pay on the end I believe you will be safe with both, cab drivers and app drivers.
      The difference of price between cabs and app drivers is only a few bucks even if you get the price a little manipulated… So, you will be fine with both, if you suspect major misconduct of any of them you can call the police 112 (same as 911)

  4. Hello,

    we are arriving at Lisbon Airport on Monday afternoon and need to get to Costa da Caparica with a baby (8 months). Do all apps go all the way to Caparica? Which one would you recommend? Is there any of the above apps that provides baby seat? I’m worried about safety… Thank you in advance!

    • Hi Magdalena,

      Yes, I think so. I’ve personally used Uber and Kapten to go to Costa. To get back, I’ve found it’s hard to find anything other than Uber.

      I believe Cabify drivers have a child seat for children over 15k, but nothing else.

      For child seats, your best bet is to book an airport transfer with a company like Welcome Pickups. It’s more expensive than an Uber, but you can prerequest the car seat.

      Also, I don’t know if you know this, but a lot of airlines allow you to bring a child seat on the plane for free. Worth checking out.

  5. I’m going to have a flight at 6:30 am from Lisbon, meaning a very early ride to the airport (at 5:00 am?). Are there taxis enough for a night ride, too? Or is it possible to book one in advance (in the previous day)?

  6. Hi James.
    Are you certain Cabify is working in Madeira? I’ve downloaded the app, along with Uber and Kapten and all say that I’m outside the area of service – staying just a few kilometres from the centre of Funchal.
    Any updates you have, as well as alternative services to get around would be appreciated

    • Hi David,

      It looks like Cabify was available there initially but not anymore. I think it’s the same with Uber as well, unfortunately.

      I’ve updated the post and if I find any taxi apps that do work in Madeira, I’ll definitely let you know!

  7. Hi. I am moving to Porto from the US, so my baggage is pretty heavy. I am staying in Lisbon, then taking a train to Porto, but am worried about getting from my hotel to the train with my luggage. Will an car take me close to the train so I don’t have to carry luggage up or down stairs? If not, any idea how much a ride to Porto would cost? Haha. A lot, I’m sure.

    • €233 is the estimate on Uber. I don’t know if you’d be better off renting a car (see this guide to 1-way car rental fees).

      Another option would be to ship your stuff from Lisbon to Porto. Normally you pay around €20-30 for a box or suitcase weighing up to 20 kg.

      As for the trains stations, there is quite a distance from the road to the platforms in both Entrecampos and Oriente if I remember correctly.

  8. Hey! I am planning a trip around the monasteries in the middle of Portugal. Coaches are very far and few in between, so I am looking at taxis.
    In particular, I asked Rádio Táxis Ideal Leiria what the cost of a one-way trip from Batalha to Tomar (45km ~35mins) is and they said 60€.
    Do you know if these companies you listed operate also outside of the major centres? (Leiria is just a mid-size town and Batalha lies just outside of it…)

    Many thanks! 🙂

    • Hey Davide,

      Most of the companies listed only work in larger urban areas like Lisbon and Porto, but I’m pretty sure you can get from Batalha to Tomar by local bus (not coach). Take a look at which will show you their timetables.

      Tomar is great! The Convento de Cristo is one of the most interesting places that I’ve visited in Portugal. (That reminds me: I need to do a writeup on Tomar).

      • Hey James,

        Thanks for the heads-up. I guess I’ll just book a normal taxi then (I’d assume different companies charge more or less the same).

        On the first day I’m thinking of doing Lisboa-Óbidos-Alcobaça-Nazaré with coaches and local transport and it should be a fine trip. The day after I’d do Nazaré-Batalha in the morning – and it should be fine.

        Then it gets tricky! Timetables are really random and like twice or once day (I’m Italian, so I’m pretty used to random public transport…): weirdly there is no good connection between Batalha and Leiria, nor between Leiria and Tomar. But there are connections between Fátima and Tomar. So I thought about doing Batalha-Fátima by taxi and then take the coach to Tomar. However, the taxi fare for the Batalha-Fátima leg is 40€ (and it’s only like 17km). So for an extra 20€ I might as well take the taxi straight to Tomar, save the hassle of changing in Fátima, and then the train back to Lisbon in the evening.

          • Oh wow! I have no idea how I missed out on the Batalha-Leiria leg of the journey! Thanks for the tip!

            I’ll investigate on taxis from Leiria to Tomar (I checked and there is only one coach at 18:00)

  9. Ahoj James
    Letím 17.7 do Faro a budu se potřebovat dostat do Porches, neumím skoro vůbec Aj, prosím jaká je nejlepší možnost, jak se tam dostat. Děkuji

    • Lenka,

      You have several options:

      1. Airport transfer from Faro Airport to Porches (see here)
      2. Take an Uber (or a traditional taxi) to Porches
      3. Take the airport bus (#16) into Faro, then take the train to a nearby train station (e.g. Alcantarilha), and then take a taxi from the train station to Porches
      4. Take the airport bus (#16) into Faro, then take the bus to Lagoa* (see timetables on Eva Bus), and then take a taxi from Lagoa to Porches
      5. Rent a car.

      * There is a bus from Faro to Porches, but I think it only goes once per day.

  10. I’m going to Lisbon with 8 years child. Is it possible to order transport with booster cushion for kid by any aplication?

  11. Thank you very much for your help. Is it possible to get to Sintra hotel oceano by train, bus, subway? I arrive mid day and can’t check in until 3 pm so I do have 3 hours to get there.

    • Hi Christine,

      Take the metro from the airport to Restauradores.
      Get off at Restauradores, take the train from Lisbon to Portela de Sintra (the penultimate stop on the Sintra line).
      From there, either:
      1 ) take a taxi to the hotel (Ubers etc might also be available).
      2) Take Bus #441 (towards Azenhas do Mar or Fontanelas) which goes to Praia das Maças near the hotel.
      3) Take the tram, which has a stop outside the hotel.

    • Hi can you please help me with the problem of whether I can get to Sintra from Lisbon by train, bus, metro?

  12. Hi I am arriving in Lisbon by myself and going to Sintra taxi is $98 CND. I will arrive at 11 am but after customs I will probably be out at 12. Do you know what is the best way to get to Sintra?

    • Hi Christine,

      The Uber estimate is €20-30, so much cheaper. The Kaplan taxi app may be even cheaper, as this seems to be the cheapest taxi app at the moment, esp if you signup for the first journey discount.

      Welcome Pickups, an airport transfer company, quote 32. This is more than the Uber but you get the benefit of someone waiting for you at arrivals and not having to look for the Uber at midnight.

    • Hi Jackie,

      I’m not 100% sure if Uber etc is available in Fatima, which may mean that the driver won’t go there. 7 is also a difficult number to get in a single taxi. The biggest are usually 6-seaters.

      I think you’ll need to book a minibus (and a driver, if nobody in your group wants to drive). might be a good place to begin your search.

  13. Global Uber user : I have used Uber in poland Portugal but also in Malaysia. So far: great service and always correct ! I like it.

  14. My CABIFY experience in Porto resulted in wrong arrival date, duplicate bookings and charges. Cabify refused to refund the duplicate charges and / or acknowledge the mistake. From my experience, not a well intentioned customer service, and a fleece the customer at all costs mentality.

  15. James I Am in Canada and trying to set up account with Uber using the address you gave to get the free credit. But it says Captcha must be solved. Is there a problem


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