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Lisbon with a mild disability?

Hi, everyone, we are thinking of spending four days in Lisbon over the holiday break, and I was wondering whether it would be manageable for our daughter. She has a mild disability that makes climbing hills and stairs difficult, and we have heard that Lisbon is quite hilly. Would she be able to enjoy walking around the city, perhaps on the RS walking tours, if we went slowly, or would it be too difficult for her? For comparison, we were in Dubrovnik in June, and she was able to walk around the city but was not able to walk the city walls. Thanks in advance for your help.

Posted by
917 posts

If she was able to walk up the hill on the seaside of Dubrovnik, she can likely climb some of the hills in Lisbon. There are also flat areas of the city and escalators, elevators, and good public transport. Taxis are inexpensive compared to other European cities, too. Belem is flat and accessible by public transport.

I can't speak to the RS walking tours as I haven't done them. But, when I first moved to Portugal, I stayed in Lisbon the first month. I tried to avoid a lot of the hills and was still able to see a lot of the city by walking, taxis and public transport.

Posted by
214 posts

Hello, have you considered a spending some time, if not all of your holiday break, in Sintra? Here's a link to Rick's destination guide Portugal's Aristocratic Getaways by Rick Steves
The main village is level with the palace nearbye and many cafes, hotels (we gave high marks to the Bliss House). And, if my memory serves me, there is ample and easy transport to the attractions away from the town center.

Posted by
11154 posts

You are right to be concerned. I remember saying that the old joke about San Francisco also applies here: "If you get tired of walking around Lisbon, you can always lean against it."

That said, Belem is flat and the Baixa district is flat, so walking around these will be fine. However, the Bairro Alto is hilly in parts, and the Alfama is really hilly. You would definitely want to take a taxi to specific places in these neighborhoods. I remember taking the tram up the hill from Baixa to Bairro Alto, then having to walk substantially uphill to get where I was going (this was in 2002, so I don't remember more specifics). And Rick's suggested Alfama walk is straight downhill.

I suggest contacting the tour office and asking how your daughter's walking issues can be accommodated:

Posted by
86 posts

Thank you all for the advice. We will plan to use taxis to avoid the worst of the hills, and we'll avoid doing as much walking as we usually do. Thanks again!

Posted by
4168 posts

Rick Steves guide has suggestions for Lisbon. We did a walk starting at the Castle on the hill (I think it is St. George's) and walking down hill. We took a taxi from our hotel. Taxis are not expensive in Lisbon. It is hilly in Lisbon, but I suggest checking out the guide and get of sense of what you want to see. There is an area on the river away from the city center (no hills there) where there is a monastery and the Belem tower where there is a monument to the discoverers is located. Near the monastery, be sure to buy a famous pastry.

Posted by
22 posts

We were in Lisbon for 4 days in October. I use a manual wheelchair but can walk short distances with a cane. We hired a guide and his van for 9 hours one day to tour the city. Sergio was very knowledgeable about accesiblity in Lisbon. All museums are free for people with a disability. Sergio's website is:

Posted by
20632 posts

...we were in Dubrovnik in June, and she was able to walk around the city but was not able to walk the city walls. ....

I have been to both. Within the walls of Dubrovnik it is nearly flat. If she could not walk the walls, then she will have a lot of trouble in Lisbon.