With a network of bicycle lanes opening up around the city, Lisbon has become a much more bike-friendly place. And with e-bikes now widely available, what better way to explore the city than by two wheels?
Riding a bike is a great way to get around Lisbon, get a view of the tourist attractions, as well as discover less touristy areas.
Electric bikes make it a breeze to cover a lot ground that would be challenging on a regular bike or on foot, without being limited to the flat area along the River Tejo.
With that said, riding a bike in Lisbon can sometimes be stressful if you don’t stay on cycle paths. Only experienced urban cyclists should try busy roads and roundabouts. Also, the city is hilly and full of narrow cobbled stone streets. For those unaccustomed to biking, it’s probably best to explore with a guided bike tour.
We take a look at the main options for bike riding in Lisbon – bike share schemes, bike tours and rental shops – so that you can decide which one best suits you.
Lisbon’s Bike Share Schemes
Like many cities, Lisbon has its own public on-street bike sharing scheme, with bikes readily available all over the city.
GiraLaunched in 2018, Lisbon’s bike hire scheme, Gira, gave locals the chance to leave bikes at home yet ride the network of cycle lanes. Both e-bikes and regular bikes are available.
Gira currently counts with a fleet of over 456 bikes (regular and electric) and 48 docking stations scattered around the city, expected to reach 1,400 bikes and 140 stations soon.
While mainly for locals, tourists can also ride Gira bikes by choosing the day pass, which costs €10 and 45-minute rides are included. But if you take longer trips, you’ll incur extra costs. There’s also a refundable security deposit that will be will be re-credited to your account. It’s not complicated, but you should read all about using Gira. This link also provides info about an easy to follow map of docking stations and cycle routes.
JumpUber launched Jump e-bikes in Lisbon about a year after Gira, introducing a more flexible dockless concept.
You don’t need to look for a station. Instead, chances are a Jump bike is just around the corner. Simply find and reserve the nearest red bike using the Uber app. There are currently 750 Jump bikes scattered around the city. You pay €0.15 per minute of use (or €9 for one-hour ride).
Thoughts on Lisbon’s Bike Share Schemes
While both Gira and Jump are two of the easiest ways to get around Lisbon by bike, no helmet rentals are available with neither of these bike rental schemes, which may be a safety issue if you’re unlucky and fall. Bringing a helmet in your suitcase might be something to consider if you’re planning to give it a try.
Another disadvantage may be timing: when and where are these bikes most likely to be available? During peak commuter hours in the morning and late afternoons (roughly 8.30-10am and 5-7pm), most bikes are likely to be taken.
Bike Tours & Bike Rental Shops in Lisbon
Bike tours and rental shops have the advantage that you can book a bike before you leave home. Several types of bikes are available, and guided tours include varying routes.
Baja Bikes currently offers four bike tours to see Lisbon in a few hours: Highlights Bike, Afternoon Highlights, Student Bike, and Private Bike Tour. An English-speaking guide will provide a fun introduction to the city, pointing out various points of interest. You’ll be riding regular bikes but on a flat area along the River Tejo. Rates start at €25.
Bike a Wish
Bike a Wish has a shop in Lisbon (centrally located in the Baixa area) and another one in Vilamoura in the Algarve. Rental rates start at €6 for one hour and go up to €20 for 24 hours. You can also rent a bike for three or seven days.
If you prefer a bike tour, Bike a Wish will set you up with e-bikes and an English speaking guide (other languages are announced) that will provide highlights, history and tips for places to visit after cycling through the city. A bike tour around Sintra and Cascais is also available. A three-hour central Lisbon e-bike tour costs from €35.
Lisbon Bike Rentals
Lisbon Bike Rentals has mountain, road and electric bikes for rent starting at €22 a day if you prefer a self-guided tour. Helmets and locks can be rented as well. Book online a full day bike rental, but call or email if you want to rent a bike for only half a day.
You can also book a three-hour Lisbon electric fat bike tour. Starting next to Time Out Market, you’ll ride through Terreiro do Paço, the Sé Cathedral, São Jorge Castle, Graça, the National Pantheon, and Alfama. It costs from €39 per person, depending on the number of riders.
Rent a Fun
Rent a Fun offers thematic e-bike tours covering Lisbon’s seven hills. Led by a knowledgeable guide, you’ll ride through the streets and neighbourhoods and visit areas restricted to cars. The 7 hills e-bike tour lasts about 3 hours, and costs €32.
But if you prefer a self-guided tour, Rent a Fun also has electric, regular and folding bikes, and delivers them to your hotel. Rental rates for regular bikes start at €45 for one day, including helmet, lock, front case, panniers, repair kit, insurance, and travel assistance.
Rent Riders is a convenient option if you’re staying near Saldanha Square, or if you want to hire a scooter or motorcycle to go further and explore, for example, Sintra, Cascais and Cabo da Roca. Mountain, road and electric bikes are available from €22 a day. A deposit is required (the amount depends on the duration of the rent). All can be arranged online.
WERIDE – Mountain Bike Tours
WERIDE offers outdoor enthusiasts a great experience on mountain bikes in and around Lisbon, but also in the Algarve and in Northern Portugal. The tours typically last from 3 to 5 hours, covering 20 to 40km (12 to 25mi) at 800 to 1400m D+, finishing off with a lunch or beer.