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Using Uber in Portugal

80 comments from other Portugalist readers

Once banned in Portugal, Uber is now available in several cities in Portugal like Lisbon, Porto, and across the Algarve. 

It’s also not the only taxi app that you can use in Portugal. There are plenty of others like Bolt (previously Taxify) and Free now (previously MyTaxi).

Kapten, the newest taxi app to launch (in Lisbon), seems to be the cheapest currently. Signup here and use the code JAMESCAV to get €3 free credit. 

Is Uber Cheaper than a normal taxi service?

Taxis in Portugal are actually quite affordable and, although Uber is often slightly cheaper, it doesn’t undercut them that much. It’s not as big a money-saver as it is in other countries.

It does have other benefits, though. The main benefits of using Uber over a traditional taxi are:

  • Drivers can’t overcharge tourists by quoting a higher fare
  • Drivers can’t overcharge tourists by taking a longer-than-necessary route (this is all tracked, so you can complain to Uber if they do)
  • You can order a taxi without needing to speak Portuguese (or have the phone number of a taxi company)
  • You know how long the journey will take
  • You know when your taxi will arrive

How do I download Uber? How do I download an app?

I get a lot of e-mails from people who have never used Uber before, and some who have never downloaded an app, who panic because they think they have to use Uber if they come to Portugal. That’s definitely not the case.

You should feel comfortable using a traditional taxi in Portugal. Yes, some of the drivers at the airport will overcharge you but because taxis are normally fairly cheap in Portugal it won’t add up to much.

Not all taxi drivers overcharge, either. It’s really just a few at the airports, and you can ask for a quote or estimation before you get in the car.

To download Uber, you need to go to the app store on your phone or, for iPhone users, click here. For Android users, click here.

Where is Uber available in Portugal

Uber is available in Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve.

The Algarve is a big place, so that doesn’t mean it’s available everywhere on the Algarve. You won’t have a problem getting an Uber in Faro and the coastal towns of Albufeira, Lagos, and Armação de Pêra, but you may struggle to find an Uber in the more rural parts of the Algarve.

In Lisbon and Porto, Uber is available throughout the city. I’ve had no problems getting around by Uber, and have been able to get a taxi within a few minutes of requesting one. I’ve also been able to get an Uber on the outskirts of both cities fairly easily.

Uber at Lisbon Airport

At Lisbon Airport, the Uber (and Taxify, Cabify, etc) pickup area is at the departures area in Terminal 1 near the Kiss & Fly car park. A lot of the apps don’t actually tell you where the pickup area is, and trying to work it out on the map is very confusing. 

This is where the driver should pick you up, and most likely will. If you have any problems, try phoning the driver or send them a message through the app. 

Uber at Porto Airport

At Porto airport, the Uber (and Taxify, Cabify, etc) pickup area is front of the arrivals entrance on the first floor. Uber will tell you to go to the “Kiss and Fly” car park, which isn’t really signposted. 

Basically, you walk outside the arrivals entrance/exit and go to the island in the middle of the two-lane road. Ubers normally come down the lane on the side furthest from the airport entrance but, standing in the middle, you’ll be able to look out for it on both sides. 

Uber Tipping Etiquette

Tipping in Portugal can be a confusing topic as there isn’t really a tipping culture in the same way as there is in other countries like the United States or, to a lesser degree, the United Kingdom.

The biggest rule about tipping in Portugal is that tips are always appreciated. Wages are low in Portugal, and people work hard, and every little helps.

Before Uber came along, most people would round up and tip a Euro or two. For example: if the journey was €4, they would leave €5 or if it was €8, they would leave €10. There isn’t a fixed percentage, but a Euro or two is basically what you should consider leaving.

You can either tip in the app or tip the driver directly. Uber doesn’t take a cut.

Should we be supporting Uber?

Taxi drivers in Portugal hate Uber. I can understand the taxi drivers’ frustration: they have had to get taxi licences and now a new group of people are coming into their territory without having had to do the hard work. I can also understand the frustration of there being a sudden flood of competition threatening their livelihoods.

But while I understand that frustration, I’m not necessarily sympathetic to it. The taxi industry is one that needs changing.

Taxi drivers in Lisbon often quote a higher price to tourists or take a longer-than-necessary route. I’ve had this happen to me.

In the Algarve, it’s also difficult to get a taxi late at night. Many taxi drivers clock off before midnight, which means a lot of people there drink and drive. Allowing Uber to operate there means there are going to be more taxis and more drivers who are willing to work late at night.

How have taxi drivers responded to Uber? Have they improved their service? Have they quoted fair prices? Have they made sure some drivers worked the late shift so that people could get taxis late at night? No.

In October 2016, Lisbon taxi drivers staged a protest against Uber and barricaded Lisbon airport with their cars.

That’s not improving their service: that’s just sour grapes. That sort of behaviour makes me less likely to want to use a Lisbon taxi driver and more likely to want to use something like Uber.

How do I become an Uber driver?

If you’d like to become an Uber (or Uber Eats) driver, you can read more about that here. Other apps (like Cabify and Taxify) also take on drivers as well. 

Never used Uber before? Sign up here and get free credit.

Have you used Uber (or any other taxi app) in Portugal? Let us, and other people visiting Portugal, know your experiences by leaving a comment below.

Last updated in July 2019.
If you spot a mistake, leave a comment below.

80 thoughts on “Using Uber in Portugal”

Leave a comment or ask a question below. I try and answer all of them.
  1. Stayed recently in Lagos and wasn’t able to get an Uber there at all (although I was able to find them in Faro and Vilamoura easily). I’m surprised that Lagos didn’t have any. I expected something as it’s quite a popular tourist town.

    • Hi there!

      Since I am going to Lagos over a week and was wondering how you got from Faro airport to Lagos when you went?

      • Hi. It depends how quickly you want to get to your resort. I have pre booked a taxi and it cost roughly 70-75 euros and takes about an hour. On the other hand if your relaxed about the time it takes get a taxi from the airport to faro train station ( 10 euros ) and take the train to Lagos ( 7 euro ). There’s a nice cafe opposite the station in faro that does a nice selection of snacks and beverages. It a great spot to watch the world go by. Journey by train is around 1h 45mins

      • There are a few options:

        1) Pre-book an airport transfer.
        2) Get an Uber once you get there.
        3) Get a normal taxionce you get there.
        4) Take the airport bus into Faro, and then either take the train or the bus onto Lagos.

        Of the first three options, booking the airport transfer will be the cheapest and most convenient.
        Overall, taking the train or bus will be a lot cheaper but going into Faro first and then waiting for a bus/train does take a while.

  2. I am a regular traveller to the Algarve and if I stay over in Faro, I get a taxi from the airport. Nearly every time, as the taxi arrives at my hotel the driver switches off the meter and adds two or three euros to the price shown. This is annoying and means no tip from me. Only once can I remember being charged the price on the meter – and on that occaision i did tip the driver.

    Knowing the exact price befor the journey is a good feeling. So Uber – do your stuff

    • Hey Rob,

      That’s terrible to hear! Yes, Uber seems to be slowly taking off. I think it’s a lot better in Faro than it is in the rest of the Algarve so hopefully you will be able to use it more in the future.

        • I’m guessing to the airport? Yes, you can get Ubers at 4 am.

          If you mean for going out at night, there’ll also be plenty of Ubers available – especially on a Friday or Saturday night.

    • Are you sure about this? It’s never happened to me. The meters have two values: one is a flat rate for carrying luggage, out of hours or whatever (typically €1.46) and the other is the basic rate for the distance. At the end of the trip the driver adds both together. Might that be what is happening?

  3. hello
    i want to get one taxi uber from Lisbon airport to av antonio Serpa 26
    We arrive at 23h45 om the 5/4 tomorrow)
    I can not download the app on my phone…can i mail you?
    I mail you when iam getting outsside, where? OF MUST I SENT YOU A MESSAGE BEFORE?
    WHAT WILL IT COST FOR 2 PERSONS?

    • Hi Ann,

      We’re not a taxi company, but a travel blog. I would suggest just getting a taxi from the airport, which is the easiest thing.

  4. Taxi drivers just don’t understand that it is their attitude that makes people want to use Uber. We have lived in Funchal (Madeira) and the taxi drivers there will almost always charge more to tourists than locals.

    • Hi!
      It varies with regular taxi drivers. We had good and bad experiences in Porto. The bad was two times and both with old men (around 65-70 years old) who were taxi drivers. One was in Porto and he drove taxi longer way, gave wrong change (less of course), did not speak English and was unpleasant from the first sight. The second was in Sintra and he acted as he gave us a favour to get us in his car and he did not speak English either. At the end we got fed up with his attitude and decided to walk instead.

      • Yes, I’ve had a mixture of good and bad experiences as well. It’s probably a much higher percentage of good experience than bad ones, but I just tend to remember the bad ones 🙂

  5. Is Uber blocked in Portugal? I am trying to access Uber in Faro and I get this message on the site…O site a que se pretende aceder encontra-se bloqueado na sequência do cumprimento de ordem judicial

    • Hmm, there does seem to be something up with the website alright. I am looking on the app, though, and I can see uber cars in Faro and across a few towns on the Algarve. Not sure what’s going on.

    • Hi Donna,

      It depends on your needs and budget really. The cheapest way to get to Cascais would be by public transport (train). The train to Cascais doesn’t go directly from the airport: it goes from Cais do Sodré train station. The easiest way to get to Cais do Sodré from the airport is by metro. Lisbon has a good metro system, and the train ride along the coast is really nice.

      The easiest way is obviously a taxi. Uber is the most popular taxi app, but there are several others as well which I’ve written about here. You can also get a taxi from outside of Lisbon Portela Airport. I don’t know how much you could expect to pay, but somewhere around €30. It would take you around 30 minutes, roughly a third of the time that the journey on public transport would take.

  6. We are coming to Lagos for a couple of days and staying just outside of town, around 7 km from the town center. What do you recommend as mode of transport coming and out of town, especially if drinking is involved. Thanks!

    • Well if drinking is involved, that rules out hiring a car and just leaves taxis.

      You won’t have any problems getting a taxi from Lagos to your accommodation. There are taxi ranks in town. You should be able to get the pub or restaurant that you’re in to phone one, either.

      Being honest, I don’t think you’ll have trouble getting one into town. Most of the taxi companies here will speak English. I’d take the numbers for a few taxi companies. If you have 3G, then it’s worth giving Uber a go as well.

  7. This is another example of people refusing to accept the inevitably of globalization. We need to help anyone who does not understand what is happening. If trade doesn’t cross borders, armies will. We all love freedom of information, like all freedoms, it comes with responsibility. Embrace the opportunities please don’t feer them!

  8. Hi. I’m arriving to Lisbon Portela airport and want to use Uber to reach my hotel. As I know – drivers usually can pick me at drop off/ pick up zone. Does airport free wifi available there? Or I need to use uber app inside the airport and after that proceed to indicated place?

    • I’m not sure if there’s free Wi-Fi in the drop off zone.

      I’ve used Uber in several airports and always just used the free Wi-Fi in the airport and then walked over to the drop-off zone. You might go offline, but I’ve never had a driver not turn up because of this.

  9. I have a very early flight departing Lisbon at 7:15 which means departing my lodging near Marques de Pombal at 5:00 am. Do you think there will be any problem getting an Uber driver that early? Metro and aerobuses don’t run that early.

    Thanks!

    Christine

    • Hi Christine
      What transportation did you take? I have a 6:15 flight from Lisbon and have the same question. Did you take an Uber?
      Thx
      Judy

        • Sorry James , but as in Oct 2016 the taxis have gone on strike at the Airport, flew in on Wednesday 18 ,we had a 90 minute wait to finally get an Uber, taxis would not take anyone( roughly 40 taxis locked and lined up) via the Uber Australia site (Uber Porto melt downed) , hopefully our journey out will be easier, we saw the taxis protesting at the square near SanBento station on Friday 21

          • Hey Steve,

            Thanks for the tip! I can only imagine how frustrating this is.

            Hopefully the strike will be over by the time you leave. I don’t know if it’ll make a difference, but it’s worth checking out some of the other taxi apps that are available in Portugal. Failing that public transport to the airport in Porto is pretty good.

            James

  10. Just for info really. Last weekmy car out of order and I needed to get to a meeting about 25Km away. Multiple phone calls to taxi companies – no one wanted to talk to me – I don’t speak Portuguese (1 company) the others would not take any advance bookings ‘call when you want us’ – would not say if a taxi would be available ‘it depends if we have one free’ etc etc. So after wasted hours I downloaded the UBER app, 10 mins later I had a confirmed car on its way to me. Arrived to the second when the app said, new car, well dressed driver and got me where I needed to be in time. Returned 2 hours later, again new car with smarly dressed Englih speaking lady driver. Superb service both ways. The only downside at the moment is that I can’t access my Uber account – the Uber website is blocked by law in Portugal though the mobile app works well. Uber now has all my support in this, not the taxi drivers – the world has moved on and poor service (including my being ripped off by Lisbon airport taxis twice) is not going to be accepted by the customers now there is a choice.

    • Hey Norman,

      Thanks for the comment. Yeah, people often think Uber is all about being cheaper than taxis but actually a big part of it is about the customer service as well.

      James

  11. We have been using UBER in Lisbon and are completely happy with them. No hassles with not taking credit cards, not having exact change, not knowing if the route is best, etc. People will ALWAYS complain when there is change. Get used to it, UBER I a here to stay, is convenient and easy.

  12. Anyone have experience using Uber for a longer trip? Looking for a ride from Lisbon Portela Airport to Carvoeiro? It seems according to the app to be an affordable alternative to a private transfer?

    • Interesting question.

      I don’t think I’ve gone much further than about 20 km but, from Googling it, it does seem like some people have taken 11 hour Uber journeys in other countries.

      Uber is giving me a price (€223), so I guess it just depends whether there are any drivers who would take it on.

  13. Has anyone had any experience getting an uber from Faro airport into the city centre? Is there a dedicated pick up place? Thanks!

    • Hi there!

      Since I am going to Lagos in a week, I was wondering how your experience went with the transfers from the Faro airport? Was there a dedicated pick up place? And how did you manage to get to your hotel eventually? I haven’t ordered a taxi yet because I am very concerned that my flight will get delayed. So I was wondering of there were enough taxi’s at the airport?

    • Hi Lou,

      I usually buy and top up my card (the cardboard Viva Viagem card) in the metro station. The card costs €0.50 and you can load it with however much you plan to use. It can be used on the trams, buses, and ferries as well.

    • Hi Madhu,

      Taxis in Portugal do not normally have baby seats, but I don’t know about Uber. At the time of writing, there isn’t an option in the app to request an Uber with a car seat which is what I believe you have to do in the US. I imagine this means that Ubers here don’t have car seats yet.

      Perhaps someone who has travelled with a child will be able to chime in and help out?

  14. Hi,

    Is there UBERXL available for 6 people with 6 checked baggages from Lisbon airport to Sintra station and how much. Thank you.

    • I’m looking for UBERXL on Uber app, but it’s not showing up. It’s maybe not in Lisbon yet.

      Normal Uber for that trip will cost around €25. I know that Taxify (or Bolt as it’s now called) has 6 seat vehicles (est €29). My Taxi also has 6 seaters, but I couldn’t get it to give me a trip estimate.

  15. Hi, I’m travelling from Lisbon to Albufeira. Will an Uber driver cover that distance? Can you give me an idea of how much that would cost?

    Thanks

    • Hi Hayley,

      According to Uber, it would cost somewhere around €220. That’s just an estimate. It might be worth comparing that quote against airport transfers as well, especially as you may struggle to find a driver who wants to go that far (remember they have to come back as well).

      Of course, you could get a train or a bus from Lisbon to Albufeira and it would probably cost €20 or less.

  16. Hi James,
    I will be in Algarve in June 2019. I was looking for a private transfer from Lagos to Carvoiero but all I found are transfers from Faro Airport to destination or vice versa as indicated in their websites. I have an Uber app but as I was doing my research, Portugal banned Uber. Also, I found this GetTransfer.com service but the reviews are not good. And with regular taxi, I think I need to call them for their service and another problem is, I will not have my roaming on, I am from Canada. What will be the best option? Thank you.

    • Hi Joyce,

      Uber was banned temporarily, but that’s no longer the case. Uber is available in the Algarve again. You’ll also find other taxi apps in Lisbon and Porto like Kapten (Chauffeur Privé) and Bolt (Taxify), and MyTaxi seems to be available to the Algarve (although it has nowhere near as many drivers as Uber).

      I don’t think you’d have any problem getting an Uber in Lagos in June. You could also get in touch with a taxi company like Taxi Arade through e-mail ([email protected]) – just make sure they confirm, so you know they’ve received it.

      You’re right about the transfers. I did manage to find one using hoppa.com, but it seemed very expensive for the distance.

  17. Hi James,

    I will be in Porto this June, and my flight is arriving at 1 a.m. What kind of transport you would recommend to get to the city center? Uber (or another app) or taxi? Or maybe there is some night public transportation to get around?
    Thanks!

    • Hi Kate,

      There’s a metro line from the airport to the city centre, which is the best option for most people. If you have limited time or a lot of luggage, an airport transfer or an Uber might be a good idea, but for most people the metro is perfectly fine.

  18. Hi James,
    How much for a cab be/ or Uber be from Ribeira area to the airport in Porto. Have to be at airport 6:30 am!

    Thanks,
    Joan

  19. Hey,

    Is UberXL running in the algarve yet? We will need a 6 seater just for local trips from our villa in Falesia to Villa Moura/ old town albufeira?

    Or are there any other apps where you can request 6 seaters?
    Thanks,
    Louisa

    • Yes, there are UberXL cars in the Algarve and around Albufeira.

      Most of the other taxi apps haven’t launched in the Algarve yet, so I would stick with Uber.

  20. Has anyone used Uber to get from the Lisbon Airport to Óbidos? I don’t imagine it would be an option out of Óbidos but I’m wondering if Uber might be an option to get there. Thank you

    • Hi Karen,

      I don’t think Uber operates in Óbidos yet, you’re right. Uber says it can do the trip (estimated at around €60), but I guess it depends whether any drivers would accept it. They would then be up in Óbidos where they aren’t able to pick anyone up.

      An airport transfer would also be an option, but I think that would cost around 50% more so €90ish according to Welcome Pickups. They would definitely take you, though.

      Worth mentioning that you can get the train there from Lisbon. It takes longer than going by car, but a ticket is less than €10 per person.

  21. Hi there, do you know the laws with Uber and child seats in Portugal? We are travelling with a 1 year old in July and will use Uber but they are not giving us a clear answer, just that we must check local laws.

    • As far as I know Ubers are unlikely to have child seats in Portugal, and there’s currently no way of requesting an Uber with a child seat. Unfortunately, I don’t think taxis normally have child seats either.

      Some airport transfer companies, on the other hand, have child seats which will get you from the airport or train station to your hotel. Two other solutions would be to 1) bring a child seat with you or 2) get an inflatable child seat from Amazon (not sure if they’re suitable for 1 year olds).

      You’re not the only one who’s asked this. It seems there’s quite a demand for a taxi company (or taxi app) where you can request child seats but so far I haven’t found one.

      • Hi James, thanks for coming back to me. Will Uber takes a 1 year old on laps? What are the laws in Portugal with taking a child not in a car seat?

        • As I understand it, since taxis don’t have to have child seats (and most don’t) then this is the only way you could be expected to travel around. Although you can, I don’t think people bring their own child seat with them.

    • I don’t know if an Uber driver will go that far. Nazaré doesn’t have Uber yet, so they would then have to drive back to Lisbon to get their next job.

      If you want a taxi, take a look at one of the airport transfer companies at Lisbon airport. Alternatively, you could get the bus (book at https://www.rede-expressos.pt) or the train* (cp.pt).

      *There’s no stop in Nazaré, so you can take it to either Famalicao da Nazare or Valado and then get a taxi. As this is an extra bit of hassle, it probably makes more sense to get the bus than the train here.

  22. Hi James,
    Do you know approximately how much an Uber would cost from Burgau (Algarve) to Ericeira? Or the best train route? Thanks!

    • Hi Debbie,

      I don’t know if you’ll get an Uber in Burgau as it’s a very small town, and I don’t know if they would drive all the way to Ericeira. You might find a traditional taxi locally that would do that, but you would need to ask them for a quote.

      Public transport makes more sense. Burgau is quite a small place, and doesn’t have a train station (I’m not sure if it has a bus station either). Your best bet is to head to Lagos and, from there, take the bus or train to Lisbon. There are local buses from Burgau to Lagos (see eva-bus.com) or you could take a taxi (and maybe you’ll find an Uber too). You’ll then need to go to Lisbon’s Campo Grande station where you can get a bus to Ericeira.

      Another option would be to rent a car in Lagos.

      Hope that helps.

  23. Hi im coming to lagos in september and im going to the world superbikes in portimao..whats tge best way to go..taxi or uber?im a female age 55 and will be going alone so im a tad worried.

    • Hi Julie,

      A lot of women travel alone in Portugal, and it’s a very safe country for doing so. It’s actually one of the safest countries in the world, alongside other countries like Iceland and New Zealand. Obviously, there are always concerns about travelling along but, if you’re going to do it, Portugal is the place.

      For me, I like the ease of booking Ubers, but I would recommend having the number of a taxi company as well as there are still only a limited number of Ubers in the Algarve.

      Taxi Arade is a taxi cooperative (they take calls on behalf of all the local taxi companies and find you a taxi), and they speak English. You can call them on 00-351-282460610.

      Hope that helps!

  24. It’s a shame you can’t yet pre book uber in the Algarve. Drivers are losing fares.Therefore less money earned by them and punters have to go to regular taxi firms.

    • Yes, definitely a shame.

      I wonder why that is. Maybe they need a certain number of drivers in an area before they allow that? Uber is still quite small on the Algarve.

  25. Hi! I’m going to be in Faro early and I’m trying to find an alternative from renting a car, so I was wondering if I could use Uber to get to the beach… thanks, Paola 🙂

  26. HI! I am traveling to Portugal alone in a little over 2 weeks. I’ll be going from the Lisbon airport to Sintra. Would you suggest the train or an Uber? If I take the train do I have to uber into Lisbon from the airport to get to a train?
    Later I will be going from Sintra to Nazare, any suggestions on how to best get there also?
    Thanks in advance!
    Vicki

    • Hi Vicki,

      It depends what’s more important to you: comfort or price. Taking an Uber from Lisbon Airport to Sintra will definitely be the fastest and most comfortable way to get there, but it’ll obviously be more expensive than taking the train(s). Expect for pay around €24 for an Uber to Sintra.

      To get to Sintra by train, you’ll need to take the metro (or some other form of transport like an Uber) into Lisbon and then take the train: You can either go from Oriente train station (which is close to the airport) or Rossio. If you take the metro + a train, it’ll cost you €1.50 for the metro ticket and €2.25 for the train ticket + €0.50 for the rechargeable ticket.

      Getting from Sintra to Nazaré is a little more complicated. You can take the train from Sintra (which involves a few changes) but the main issue is that the Nazaré station isn’t in Nazaré. You’ll need to get a taxi from the train station to your accommodation.

      Alternatively, you could get the train some of the way (say to Caldas da Rainha) and then switch to a bus instead.

      Trains can be booked on cp.pt. Buses on rede-expressos.pt.

      Hope that helps.

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