Campervan hire Lisbon
With playful alleys and winding stairways, laidback crowds at hilltop miradouros, and upbeat bars serving funky sounds, Lisbon is not just the country’s capital – it’s Europe’s new capital of cool.
Lisbon is a multifaceted, multistorey maze where every nook and cranny is a potential new discovery: from cute tascas and award-winning restaurants, through dim-lit bars filled with the swelling sounds of fado, to sudden panoramas of the city below and the Tagus beyond. Where the river mouth opens wide, concrete boulevards quickly make way for sprawling urban beaches, the perfect complement to a city of plentiful sunshine and warm weather. If Portugal is Europe’s California, then Lisbon is its San Francisco: a hip and hilly haven for surfers, artists, and free-spirited folks––and boasting a bridge bearing an uncanny resemblance to the one in San Fran Bay. Hire a campervan in Lisbon and get cool in the capital, before going on a road trip around the great bit of Iberia that is Portugal!
Depot + Transfer
If you want to hire a campervan or motorhome in Lisbon, we’re right there for you. We’ll meet you at Humberto Delgado Airport (Lisbon Airport), where you can pick up and drop off your Lisbon rental RV – free of charge in regular hours, of course!
Parking in the city
Your campervan exceeds the maximum height for Lisbon’s available car park garages. Street parking is available around the city, but finding free parking space isn’t easy. A safer bet is to park your campervan on the outskirts and use public transportations. At nights, from 7pm to 9am, parking in most areas of the city centre is free.
Camping grounds nearby
Choose between a few camping sites near Lisbon. Lisboa Camping & Bungalows in Monsanto is near the and fully facilitated. On the other side of Lisbon (called Margem Sul), across the river, you’ll find more camping sites, like INATEL Caparica – which is closer to the beach, but further from the city centre. Alternatively, there’s a motorhome parking with space for 20 campervans in Belém.
Founded by the epic hero Odysseus, the ancient world’s most famous seafarer and adventurer, Lisbon was destined to make maritime history. Indeed, the mighty Tagus’ river mouth saw some of the world’s greatest explorers set off in search of new land. Discovering islands in the Atlantic and gradually moving down the coast of Africa, the port city of Lisbon was the first to launch its ships off into the Age of Discovery. Trade and conquest steadily filled the city’s coffers with gold, and by the 16th century the city had reached its Golden Age, which lasted until Spain got involved in running the country. The final nail in Lisbon’s coffin that was Lisbon’s fall from riches to rags should’ve been the triple disaster on All Saints Day in 1755. In a doomsday scenario, a devastating earthquake struck the city, followed by a swooping tsunami, and finished by all-consuming fires. As the city lay in ruins, a visionary leader (some say ruthless dictator) stood up and took the opportunity to rebuild the city and country’s economy. Sebastião de Carvalho e Melo, Marquis of Pombal implemented architectural innovations, Enlightenment reforms, and shook off the heavy yoke of British interests in the Portuguese economy. When history handed Lisbon a particularly sour set of lemonades, the Marquis of Pombal made lemonade!
Today’s Lisbon is again thriving and attracting people from all over the globe––which is understandable, given it’s a city-sized playground for the culturally curious! Hire a campervan in Lisbon and start your day in Belém after parking your van at the marinha. First up is the Padrão dos Descobrimentos, a huge monument of a ship’s prow with all who sailed the Seven Seas in the Age of Discovery. Stroll along the northern bank of the Tagus to visit the ornate Belém Tower, a formidable defense tower opposing foes and ceremonial entrance welcoming homebound discoverers. For more amazing Manueline architecture, cross the road to visit the Monastery of Jerónimos, or head to the Cultural Centre of Belém for a contemporary twist to your morning. End your morning with coffee and Belém’s famous egg tarts, pasteis de Belém.
After a historical morning, hop back in your campervan and feel the fresh ocean breeze along the Estoril coastline. Catch surf at Carcavelos Beach, or find a private rock to tan on during low tide, between Parede and São Pedro do Estoril. Make your way back to the city for sunset at a hip rooftop bar, before mingling with the locals at Bica or the Bairro Alto, where uncrowded bars are a good sign––because everyone’s busy partying on the streets!
What to discover
In and around the city
One of Lisbon’s oldest neighbourhoods, Graça graces the city’s highest hill. Locals love the neighbourhood for its narrow streets, cute boutiques, hidden restaurants, and amazing views. The best thing about Graça: though it’s hot amongst the locals, the neighbourhood is still an unspoilt part of Lisbon!
While we’re not so much into bullfights, this epic monument/arena is a show in itself. Besides having an astonishing architecture, the location is perfect for a walk––and if you’re into shopping, there’s an entire mall below the arena.
Eduardo VII Park & Gulbenkian
This public park is one of the biggest in Lisbon, with over 26 hectares of green spread between Avenida da Liberdade and Marquês de Pombal. At one end, the Gulbenkian Gardens have quacking ducks crowding ponds, a Dalíesque rhino grazing quietly, and locals casually strolling by. The garden’s museum is worth a visit too, showing timeless paintings and contemporary exhibitions.
If there are mystery and magic in Lisbon, Sintra is where most of it is found. Myths, rumours and a lot of history are the ingredients of this uncommonly stunning place almost always covered by a comfortable-kind-of mist. Catch views of the marvellous Palácio da Pena as you drive your van up the misty mountain, and try tasting travesseiros de Sintra while you’re stopping by in town.
While the options for a campervan hire in Sintra are not abundant, rent your motorhome in Lisbon and take the short 40-minute drive to this wonderland near the Portuguese capital.
Mafra & Ericeira
Mafra is only 45 minutes from Lisbon by campervan, but an entirely different world. It’s coastline features dramatic cliffs and some of the best surf Portugal has to offer. Visit Mafra’s miniature village, a tiny example of a typical Portuguese village. Mafra Palace isn’t so typical, but instead an ornate Baroque palace financed by lots of Brazilian Gold. Ericeira’s great waves and sandy beaches make the fisherman’s town a world-renowned surfers’ hub and popular weekend-getaway for Lisbon crowds.
At a two-hour campervan drive from Lisbon, you’ll find Coimbra, the Portuguese academic city. But more than black robes and daft hats, this city is full of history and mysteries. Like the story of Pedro and Inês, recounting the tragic fate of a prince and the daughter of a nobleman. Their everlasting love still captures the imagination of the Portuguese––maybe that’s because poor Inês’ blood still stains Coimbra’s fountain today!