Cycling along the Tejo River.

Cycling along the Tejo River.

I am fortunate enough to have visited Lisbon several times over the years. And I really love the city.

Having been there more than 50 times over the past 15 years, I have gotten to know the city quite well.

I thought I would tell you guys what is my favourite thing to do if I have a day off in Lisbon when I am there for work.

Rent a bike and go along the Tejo river.

At Bike Iberia.

The Bike Iberia office.

I am a very keen cyclist and love urban cycling as well as long distance cycling.

Normally I stay away from bicycle rentals around the world. Simply because the bikes are simply not good enough for me to enjoy riding them.

But in Lisbon it’s different.

You have a bicycle rental there called Bike Iberia that has some of the best rental bikes I have come across anywhere on the globe.

They are often not very fancy looking, as the company tried to avoid getting them stolen. But they are of high quality and it’s the kind of bike I am happy to cycle 100 kilometers per day on.

The company is located by Cais do Sodre, which is perfect if you plan to cycle along the river which is what I like to do.

Buskers in Lisbon.

Buskers by the Tejo River.

The city center of Lisbon is not really that bicycle friendly. But along the River Tejo you have nice bicycle paths and it’s at the same time one of the most attractive parts of Lisbon with lots of sights.

Along the Tejo you have lot’s and lot’s of museums that have been built in recent years in an attempt to turn the banks of the Tejo River into a nice recreational area.

There are museums of cars, soldiers, electricity, asian civilizations, Portuguese tiles and a few dozen other things. I personally like the Maritime museum a lot.

Belem Tower.

The Belem Tower.

The river bank is dotted with nice cafes and restaurants too. It is like that most of the way all the way to Cascais which is 32 kilometers from Cais do Sodre.

Cycling along Tejo.

Cycling towards Estoril and Cascais.

Belem is the place where Vasco da Gama set sail for India. And this is a place you will soon hit when cycling down along the river on the bike path.

When the old explorer returned having found the sea passage around Africa to India, he was rewarded by the king of Portugal with a giant monastery in Belem where he could live with his mates, while they sent other captains out to the new world. They needed people who had better diplomatic skills than Vasco Da Gama. He was a great navigator but a diplomatic disaster, who acted like a terrorist in the new world. Killing everyone who came in hids way.

Vasco Da Gama also has his grave on the church floor at the monastery. So does the great Portuguese writer Luis de Camoes who also traveled the world. But spend more time having sex with foreigners than killing them, unlike Vasco da Gama.

He also wrote a giant book about the history of Portugal. This is considered the most important book about Portugal. Because of that, Luis de Camoes is a national hero in Portugal.

I am not a religious person myself, but I always like to pop by the church to see the final resting place of these two famous Portuguese when I cycle by the home. Even if they were maybe not the most exemplary citizens of their country.

The name of the church and the monastery is Jeronimos by the way.

Across the road from Jeronimos you have the discovery monument that pays respect to the Portuguese sailors who went out to explore the new world in the 15th and 16th century.

Personally I don’t think the monument is that pretty. But the little square by the monument is very fascinating as the pavement has been turned into a giant world map with the years written when Portugal discovered the many countries they did in The Americas, Africa and Asia.

Bike path along Tejo.

Bike path between Lisbon and Cascais.

A little further out you have the Belem Tower and a lesser known, but very nice, monument to Gago Countinho and Sacadura Cabral. They were the two first two persons to cross the Southern Atlantic ocean by plane, back in 1922.

Flight monument.

Flight monument in Belem.

After Belem you can continue all the way to Estoril and Cascais which I often do. You can even go as far as Guincho Beach, where the opening scene of the James Bond movie “On her majesty’s  secret service” was filmed.

Cascais is an upper class neighbourhood. But it has retained it’s charm and is still also an active fishing village with a lovely little beach and a very nice social scene.



Be aware that some parts of the journey to Cascais have no bicycle lane. But it’s still good to ride and I highly recommend it.


The lighthouse in Cascais.


When you make it out to Cascais, then take your lunch there before returning to Lisbon. If you feel like coffee and cake then make a stop at the world famous cake place called “Pasteis de Belem”. It’s right next to the Jeronimos monastery.

Pasteis de Belem is probably the world’s biggest pastry shop. With space for hundreds of people. Even if it’s a very touristy place, it still retains its original charm and it’s also very popular with the Portuguese who come to try the famous cakes.

Pesteis de Belem.

With friends at Pateis de Belem.

By the time you get back to Lisbon, you should head to Barrio Alto by foot from Cais Do Sodre.

This is just a few minutes walk up a steep hill. Bairro Alto is one of the oldest parts of Lisbon. It has been taken over by the young people these days and is buzzing with nightlife 7 nights a week. Bairro Alto has some excellent small restaurants too where you can stuff yourself with fish while drinking some nice Portuguese wine, before heading to the roaring nightlife of Barrio Alto.

Cycling Lisbon.

Chilling out after a nice bicycle ride along the Tejo River.

The Lisbon night life generally reflects the city’s very international and multi ethnic scene and that is super cool in my view.

After a day and night like that I am usually quite satisfied.



  1. I must try that a day 😉

  2. The Rio Tejo area is a very beautiful place. Attractions are found there in abundance. It’s a great place to hang out, but a day is not enough to see everything… Belém alone took an entire day, besides… I also wandered out to Cascais and Estoril.

  3. This is a great read! Thanks for sharing. I’m headed to Lisbon and Porto in June, looking forward to it very much.


  4. Thank you for your detailed information on cycling in Lisboa. We are a group of five girlfriends since youth and are travelling to Lisboa for the first time. We are eager to cycle in the city and this description helps us a lot.
    Kind regards from Iceland

    • Thank you for your message Kristin.
      Nice to hear that I am able to help you.
      And this is really a nice way to see Lisbon and the perfect thing to do when you are young and fit.

  5. thanks for this info – we are coming to lisbon next week for the first time, and are interested in cycling to cascais, and now even the james bond beach!

    is it fairly easy to find the bike path, after having to go off it for a while, as you mention? And how dangerous are the roads?

    cheers and fixe 🙂

    • It’s very easy to find the bike path again. The road can be a bit narrow where you have no path and I prefer to ride on the pavement there, but the rest of the way you are totally ok.

  6. Great article. I’m heading to Lisbon and have rented a carbon road bike for a few days and was hoping to do a few training spins. Is the surface good on the cycle path and is there much of the route between lisbon and Cascias where there is no cycle path? How many kms with no cycle path?



    • Hi’ Bren.

      You have about 2 kilometres between central Lisbon and Cascais that does not have a bike path. You will need to cycle on the road there, which has a good surface, but is a little narrow. You can alternatively cycle on the walking path.
      Have a great trip mate.

  7. I’ve just cycles this and very little cycle path and you’ll be more on footpath paths with lots of cobblestones. If you fancy your teeth being rattled out for for it. Of what cycle path there is it Is full of tourists walking on it and very twisty and turny so very stop start. And the road is very busy. Best to take bike on the train to Cascais and cycle to the natural Park there and up to Sintra or train Setsubal and cycle to “Portinho da Arrábida” beach and onwards some stunning views and great roads to ride. Or Mon Santo Park in Lisbon. Avoid Lisbon to Caiscais route as not great at all and far better out there.

    • Hi’ Bren.
      I never bike fast when I am cycling, so I am ok with some pedestrians.
      I have biked the route several times, including 3 weeks ago and I like it.
      I also like the ride around Arrabida national park. Just don’t do it on sunday when the road is extremely busy with locals going to and from the beaches.

  8. Stanislav Genov

    Hi Claus

    I am planning a cycling trip in Lisbon! The info provided is great. I just wanted to ask – beacuse I will be cycling with kids – is it safe to go to Cascais by bike. I would assume from your pics that there is a dedicated bike path, however i am not quite sure.

    Thank you in advance

    • Hello Stanislav. I would say that going to Cascais will be too far with kids, but cycling to Belem and back should be fine. Belem is also where you have most of the famous monuments and the famous bakery which should be popular with kids too.

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