To park in Lisbon is complicated to say the least. Many obstacles have to be taken into account :
1- In the historic centre : the streets are narrow, restricted to traffic and above all impractical to drive. In Lisbon, finding a car park in Alfama is in the realm of achievement.
2- Globally, car parks in Lisbon are expensive and often reserved for residents in the streets.
3- Be careful to look up : just because a parking space is free does not mean it is available. You have to pay attention to the signs that limit access. Parking spaces can be reserved for the services of the city hall and the state, political parties, hotels, etc…
In other words, if you plan to stay in Lisbon downtown, it is not recommended to have a vehicle on site. You should either stay in a hotel with car park or rent a car at the last minute when you are ready to leave Lisbon.
Public car parks are limited. This can spoil the beginning of your stay as you can get lost very quickly and the city officials are very good at impounding your vehicle. The company that manages car parks in Lisbon is called EMEL (owned by the city hall). On their website you can consult the map of their paid car parks in Lisbon.
If you wish to park in Lisbon for cheap, it is best to book your parking slot in advance in private & covered car parks.
One of the most practical solutions is to use Parclick. This very intuitive site allows you to compare rates between the different private car parks in Lisbon.
Parclick is a secure platform for booking parking spaces in Lisbon. And with no time limit, so it allows you to stay in Lisbon with peace of mind !
If your vehicle is missing, there is a (very) strong chance that it has been impounded. You can ramble on about this, but believe us, they are very effective in Lisbon !
Before panicking and considering a theft, the Portuguese state has a very practical service that allows you to find out where the vehicle is.
Just send a text message to 3838 with the word « Reboque » followed by a blank space and your license plate number (learn it by heart !). If your car is impounded, a reply text message will tell you the location. It works very well, I’ve already tested it :/
So, how much does this misfortune cost ?
Based on a light passenger vehicle :
1- A € 68 fine from the outset. If you meet the officer writing the ticket on the spot, the story ends there.
2- This € 68 fine is increased by a removal tax of € 84.
3- In addition to these two fines, there is also a fee of € 20 per 24 hours. So we might as well tell you that you shouldn’t waste any time.
It will therefore cost you at least € 172.
On weekends and in the evenings, many streets have free parking. You can check out the signs that mark the areas. It is also common in Lisbon to come across arrumadores, homeless people who will wave you down in the street and help you park in exchange for a coin.
These men, usually drug addicts, can make you park in places that are not always authorised. You have to pay attention to this, as the Lisbon city policemen are particularly effective at putting a boot on your car or impounding it. The ideal solution remains to book accommodation in Lisbon with a car park !
What should I do if I have a yellow boot on my tyre ? Above all, do not try to deflate it and remove the boot. The fine is very very steep if you do (min 300 €). Instead, call the car park company EMEL on 21 780 31 31. The call center is open from 8am to midnight on weekdays and from 9am to 6pm on weekends and public holidays.
If you’re looking for free parking in Lisbon, there are still some areas of the city that are free of parking meters :
1- Benfica : outside the city centre, the famous suburb is a residential area and therefore has a lot of free parking (near Estrada da Benfica). It is not possible to park on game day. The nearest metro station is the blue line « Colégio Militar ». GPS coordinates : 38.749745, -9.193878
2- Near the city centre, the Penha de França district offers some free zones. From Paiva Couceira Square, through the Alto de S. João cemetery to Santa Apolonia. GPS coordinates : 38.718586, -9.123222
4- By the river, free parking is available in the Alcantara district. If it is difficult to find places near Lx factory, you will find it easier if you go to the Higher Institute of Agronomy. Trams 18 and 15 take you directly to the Commerce square. The Alcantara train station takes you to Cais do Sodre. GPS Coordinates : 38.702374, -9.180843
5- In Belém, except for the pastry shop and gardens, most parking spaces are free. Go to the upper districts. GPS coordinates : 38.703622, -9.195574
6- In Campo de Santa Clara there are usually parking slots available. You should remember not to park your car on fair days, i.e. Tuesday morning and Saturday morning (so Monday evening and Friday evening). GPS coordinates : 38.715712, -9.125255.
7- Near Parque das Naçoes, where you can find free parking between Sacavem station and the streets of Moscavide. There is a completely free parking area near the college Pedro Arrupe. GPS coordinates : 38.793518, -9.098438.