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Portugal's historic national capital, Lisbon, sprawls across seven hills in the middle of Portugal's Atlantic Ocean coastline on the Tejo River's northern bank. The Portuguese capital can seem challenging to navigate with car hire in Lisbon due to its hilly streets and lack of a defined city centre. However, the Lisboa Ask Me centres found throughout Lisbon's Rossio district are the best places to find help exploring this centuries' old city.
Lisbon Portela Airport stands closer to the city it serves than nearly any other airport of its size. Lisbon's signature Castle of São Jorge lies just seven kilometres south of its bustling airport. Lisbon's recently updated metro network reaches most of the city. A company called Carris operates Lisbon's extensive bus and tram networks. However, car rental in Lisbon remains the best way to truly explore Portugal's capital in complete freedom.
Although Lisbon Portela Airport provides its passengers with eight reputable places to compare car hire, motorists should reserve their vehicles in advance during Lisbon's high summer tourist season. Most rented vehicles come with full fuel tanks and must be returned with full fuel tanks if motorists do not want to be charged an extra fee.
Six major thoroughfares run into Lisbon. The A6 is the main motorway between Madrid and Lisbon, while the A2 runs south along Portugal's coastline. All three of Lisbon's ring roads become clogged with traffic during the city's busy summer tourist season and rush hours. Traffic flows on the right side. Drivers should beware of reckless local drivers on secondary roads.
Motorists can drive 30kms south of Lisbon to the Azeitão region between the Atlantic Ocean and the Arrábida Nature Park, the last growing place of the Mediterranean Sea area's original flora. Another 30kms west of Lisbon takes visitors to the modern beach resort of Cascais or the calmer oceanside community of Praia das Maçãs.
Most Lisbon visitors come to Portugal's capital during its hot and dry summer season, when the city is frequently cooled by Atlantic Ocean breezes. However, Lisbon enjoys pleasant weather throughout the year with an annual average of 3,300 hours of sunshine and average temperature of 21°C during the day. Sleet and snow rarely fall on Lisbon even during its coldest winter months, when daytime temperatures average a mild 14°C.