The Tuk Tuk in Lisbon
The Tuk Tuks have long since established themselves in the city of Lisbon and that is a good thing. These fun new kind of transportation will allow you to discover the city of Lisbon from every angle. Most of the drivers love the city of Lisbon, the contact with the people and will make you have a great time. If this is the first time you come to Lisbon or you have never visited the city by Tuk Tuk, then I think this kind of guided tour is an experience not to be missed.
You can of course wait until you come across them in the capital to choose the one you want to take but given the wide choice of tours, then the alternative is to look further down on this page. I’ve selected the best tours all together but I’ve also selected Lisbon tuk Tuk tours according to what you prefer to see: gastronomy, historical centre, south of Lisbon, street art, religious buildings, etc… There’s something for everyone!
They’re small, sneak everywhere, and drivers generally show impressive dexterity behind the wheel. They are small motor tricycles that can, depending on the model, take you in groups of 3 to 6 people. A tourist activity that has been present for several years and which offers a nice alternative to visiting Lisbon on foot. The city being known to have ups and downs like San Francisco, it can be tiring to see all the nooks and crannies without any means of transport, in this case I advise you to prefer the Tuk Tuk!
Types of visits in Tuk Tuk in Lisbon
In terms of visits and depending on what you wish to see, there are Tuk Tuks for everyone. A guided tour of Lisbon that is more personal than by bus and that will adapt to what you want to discover:
- Guided tour of Lisbon’s historic sites
- Classical guided tour of Lisbon by Tuk Tuk
- 4-hour visit and discovery of traditional Portuguese flavours
- Private visit with tasting of Lisbon’s high gastronomy
- Visit of Lisbon in ecological Tuk Tuk
- Guided tour of Lisbon by Tuk Tuk with discovery of the capital’s street art
- Visit of the 25 April bridge and the Cristo Rei
- Visit Lisbon by following Tram 28, the capital’s famous yellow tramway.
I have made for you a selection of 8 visits in Tuk Tuk of Lisbon and different according to what interests you: landscapes, street art, historical side or gastronomy… They have the advantage of having been very well rated by those who have tested them. You just have to click on one of these choices, book and let yourself be carried away during your holidays in Lisbon. The guides speak English of course, happiness guaranteed!
Moreover, as this activity is mainly aimed at tourists of the city, you will have no trouble finding a guide in English. A good way to discover the city and to get an idea if you plan to move to Portugal.
My advice for the Tuk Tuks of Lisbon? Don’t throw yourself at the first person you meet while walking around the city. You will certainly be approached many times. I therefore advise you to take the time to browse the web in advance or trust the opinions of those who have gone before you. They must be positive like the ones I have selected for you above! This will allow you to :
- To consult the different types of visits available
- Plan and personalize your route through the districts that interest you.
- To consult the opinions of the Tuk Tuks of Lisbon in order to choose the right one.
- To avoid unpleasant surprises
Tuk Tuks prices in Lisbon
As with any tourist activity, demand causes prices to vary. The guided tour of Lisbon by Tuk Tuk will therefore probably be more expensive in July than in December. For the peak months in high season, you should expect to pay an average of 60€ per hour, for visits that can last from about 1 to 4 hours.
Be aware that prices are not exponential and that even for 6 people, the price of Tuk Tuk will remain at 60€ per hour. It is therefore more interesting to share the visit (This is a simulation on Trip Advisor). Prices can sometimes vary at some providers between groups of 3 or 6 people.
There are really a very, very large number of Tuk Tuks in Lisbon and you can compete. The prices displayed in the Tuk Tuks directories on the internet often show “From” but you will see that when you fill in the forms, the final price will have increased a lot.
So here again I would advise you to take the time to prepare for your visit:
- By selecting the most popular Tuk Tuk businesses
- By asking for English-speaking drivers of Tuk Tuks
- By choosing the tour that you will enjoy the most according to your interests
- Checking the reviews on the internet to make sure that those who went before you liked it.
These different points will certainly allow you (especially if you are numerous) to make the most of this Tuk Tuk experience in Lisbon.
Tuk Tuk Lisbon: tours for everyone
Because it will be very complicated for you to find your way around in all the Tuk Tuk tours of Lisbon and because I had time to find my way around the web and the Portuguese capital, I propose you below to discover all the types of Lisbon Tuk Tuk tours according to what you want to see or discover. Some Tuk Tuk focus on the discovery of gastronomy, others on the discovery of certain areas of Lisbon such as Belem or Alfama, others ecological will offer you electric Tuk Tuk tours, others will take you to taste the best Lisbon wines or see the most popular monuments.
You will have understood it, there are Tuk Tuk tours for everyone and for all tastes, you just have to choose! All the Lisbon Tuk Tuk tours presented below are made by English speaking guides with whom you can of course exchange and its cancellable up to 24 hours before the visit. You can therefore book the Tuk Tuk that suits you best in complete peace of mind.
Tuk Tuk in the historic centre of Lisbon
As indicated in the title, the 4 towers of Tuk Tuk below propose you to discover the most historical districts and places of the Portuguese capital: the Alfama district, the route of the Lisbon Tramway 28, the historical centre of the city and its most emblematic monuments.
The guided tours below are in English, have received very good comments from those who have passed before you and last between one and two hours.
Tuk Tuk and discovery of gastronomy
Between the Pasteis de Nata (And Belem), Pasteis de Bacalhau, grilled fish, tapas and other well known Portuguese dishes, gastronomy is a vast subject and you can’t miss it if you come to visit Lisbon. You will find below the 4 best Lisbon Tuk Tuk guided tours to discover the country’s gastronomy in its capital city.
The tours are always conducted by English speaking tour guides who book many stops for you to taste everything you absolutely need to know. The guides live in Lisbon and you can trust them to let you discover all their secrets!
Visit to the south of Lisbon by Tuk Tuk
If there is one thing to know when visiting Lisbon, it’s that it’s not only the capital and its region also offers many landscapes and monuments to discover, enough to spend a good day during the holidays. The guided tours that I propose below will take you to discover the South of Lisbon, the beaches of the Costa da Caparica and the top of the statue of Cristo Rei, all on the other side of the 25th of April bridge.
Discovery of Street Art in Tuk Tuk in Lisbon
As you probably know, the cities of Lisbon and Porto are very cultural cities in which many events such as the Lisbon Festivals are regularly held throughout the month of June. This means that you can regularly listen to music such as Fado, discover exhibitions, there are many museums but also many more or less known artists who express themselves in the street through graphs or frescoes.
If you want to know more about Street Art in the capital, to discover the artistic side of its streets and places that you won’t find in books, then I advise you to book one of the two Tuk Tuk tours below. They are made by English speaking people living in Lisbon who are passionate about this art and who will tell you all about this hidden side of the city during visits ranging from 1 to 3 hours.
Visit of Belem in Tuk Tuk
Belem is one of the most visited districts of Lisbon and for good reason, it is here that you will find many monuments that have contributed to the reputation of Lisbon such as the Tower of Belem, the Monastery of Jerónimos or the Monument to Discoveries. If you too would like to visit Belem during your holidays in Portugal but don’t know where to start, then I advise you to leave it to a specialist who will give you a guided tour of the area. You could do it on your own, but you would inevitably miss out on something beautiful to see, a good address or a story without which the district would lose its beauty.
The 4 tours of Tuk Tuk that I have selected below are all made by English speaking people living in the city and have received very good comments from those who were seduced. A good way not to be mistaken and to keep a memorable memory of your passage in the capital on these small motorcycles of a new kind.
Visit Lisbon by Electric Tuk Tuk
The city of Lisbon is definitely one of Europe’s models in terms of ecology and sustainable development. The Tuk Tuk domain is no exception to the rule since soon, under the control of the Portuguese government, you will only find electric tuk tuk in the city of Lisbon. But until this is the case and if you too have a little ecological side and want to visit the city of Lisbon without engine noise under your buttocks, then I have selected 4 visits in Lisbon tuk tuk with fully electric vehicles.
All these tuk tuk tours have been very well rated by those who have chosen them, are made by English speaking guides living in Lisbon to give you all the history and culture of the city and can be cancelled only 24 hours before the beginning of the tour. You can therefore book with your eyes closed and without any risk.
Religious visit of Lisbon in Tuk Tuk
Another aspect of the city of Lisbon that may have escaped you: many places, squares, districts or monuments are imbued with the religious culture that reigns in the capital but also in Portugal in general. You have certainly heard of the city of Fatima, which is visited every year by millions of believers who gather to commemorate the apparition of the Mother of God.
Discover the city of Lisbon from a new perspective and learn more about the religious culture that prevails there. These new kind of guides offer you a Tuk Tuk tour through the streets of the capital and a visit to the religious monuments that are part of the history and heritage of both Lisbon and Portugal.
Discover Fado in Tuk Tuk in Lisbon
Everybody wants to discover Fado: what is this music so typical of Portugal and adored by the vast majority of its inhabitants. Portugal is one of the few countries in which you can listen to radio stations dedicated to young people and which switch from a hit of the year to old traditional Fado music. These two worlds are very different and yet they rub shoulders every day in the capital and the country.
There are many ways to discover it and for more information you can read my article Discover Fado in Lisbon. If you want to let yourself be guided and learn more about its history, its raison d’être and the main places in the capital that are impregnated with it, then I advise you to book one of these tours of Lisbon in tuk tuk around Fado. I have also selected them here because they are conducted by experts who will be able to explain everything to you! Be careful, “2-Hour Fado lives Tuk Tuk Tour” is made by a English-speaking guide, the other two are English-speaking guides but some of you won’t mind.
Tuk Tuk in Lisbon at night
Everyone in Lisbon will tell you: the city takes on a whole new dimension at night. It loses none of its charm, but all the lights give it a different face and this is your chance to discover it differently. Don’t you believe me? Then I advise you to read my article on the 5 best Miradouros of Lisbon (Viewpoints), choose one of them and go and see it at night. I assure you that the panoramic views are not at all the same as during the day.
If you want to visit the Portuguese capital after dark, then you will have many other things to discover outside the viewpoints and for this, it is best to rely on a professional guide who will make sure you don’t miss anything. For that, I propose you to discover below a visit of Lisbon by Tuk Tuk at night with a English-speaking guide who has been particularly well noted, just to be sure to take full advantage of the view!
Tuk Tuks companies in Lisbon
As I told you, there are a lot of Tuk Tuks companies in Lisbon and making the right choice is not easy. I have therefore browsed the internet myself to give you below a list of names and contact details of the visits that have the best reviews on the internet. These are of course Portuguese numbers and it is possible that many of the receptionists only speak that language. I advise you once again to choose one of the tours I have selected at the top of the page. The guides speak English, the comments are complimentary and the booking is automated. Concerning the rates, even if you can make some savings from one company to another, they are all aligned and look alike.
Eco Tuk Tours Lisbon
Eco Tuk Tours has excellent reviews and offers tours of Lisbon around gastronomy, history, heritage, culture, outdoor activities and much more according to your wishes. All the Tuk Tuks of this provider are electric, a point that some may appreciate.
Tuk Tuk Tejo Lisbon
Tuk Tuk Tejo Lisbon offers you to choose between 6 prepared tours, theme tours (Meal, Fado, Lisbon by night, aperitif…) or to personalize your visit. A last point which is probably at the origin of all the good opinions given by the users. You should know that Tuk Tuk Tejo also offers “mixed” tours of Lisbon with several means of transport: Tuk Tuk, Segway and van.
The Tuk Tuk Driver
For many of you, the driver of the Tuk Tuk is just as important as the route you choose. So I have selected The Tuk Tuk driver of Lisbon, a friendly driver who is a hit on social networks and who offers guided tours of the main places in Lisbon in 60 minutes. You will have the choice between Tuk Tuks of 3, 5 or 6 people, the 6-person tricycle being 100% electric. This driver offers 3 different circuits (Old Lisbon, Lisbon chic…) and a 4th one to choose from to personalize.
7 Hills Tuk Tours
A final recommendation from Tuk Tuk in Lisbon: 7 Hills Tuk Tours. Like its competitors, the company offers guided tours of the most beautiful places in Lisbon. There are no details on prices but you will probably have to count around 60€. This Tuk Tuks company has drivers who are fluent in French, English, Spanish, German and Russian.
The history of the Tuk Tuk of Lisbon
It’s not a car, it’s an autorickshaw nowadays known as a tuk tuk. The word tuk tuk means “three-wheeled vehicle used as a taxi”. This word is a creation of the Thai language which must have an onomatopoeic motivation but there is no certainty about its origin.
The fame of tuk tuk comes from the 16th century and has been popularized in major cities in India and Southeast Asia. In the beginning they were first pulled by a man carrying other men but today they are bicycles or motorcycles. In Portugal, they are used for tourism but in other much more populated countries such as India, the tuk tuk are much more numerous and greatly facilitate chaotic traffic.
The history of Lisbon’s tuk tuks seems to have started with a simple trip of businessman Renato Ladeiro, aged 41, to Thailand, where he saw hundreds of tuk tuks wandering the streets with tourists on board. The entrepreneur decided to apply this model of tourist transport in Portugal and in 2011 he registered the name “tuk tuk” with the National Institute of Industrial Property.
Fame does not always bring the expected benefits and not only the model but also the name “tuk tuk” has started to be reproduced by dozens of companies. Today, thousands of tuk tuks roam the streets of Portugal and the businessman is in legal war against at least 40 companies that have allegedly stolen his idea.
Tuk Tuk in Lisbon: events and free rides
In the news from the Lisbon Tuks Tuks this week a demonstration to put pressure on the city council to get the regulation of their activity accepted once and for all. Not having this official regulation poses problems of recognition with the public security police, mobility and parking.
They are also forbidden to take you to certain areas around Bairro Alto, the Alfama or Castelo despite a fleet of 70% electric Tuk Tuks in Lisbon, according to representatives. They have therefore decided to organize as a sign of protest the “Free Tuk Tuk Day” this Sunday, June 3, 2018. Between 9:30 and 15:30, many electric Tuks Tuks gathered in the shopping square to offer the visit to the tourists present. An action that aims to highlight the role of Tuk Tuks as a real lever of growth for the tourism economy of Lisbon and Portugal.
This is the second time this year that the Tuk Tuks were free in Lisbon. The first time was planned for 25 April 2018 to celebrate the carnation revolution. On this occasion, about sixty vehicles joined on April 25, 2018 at the beginning of the Avenue of Freedom, to tour the city while offering the trip to all those present from 4pm. A journey of about forty minutes with the visit of some places that marked the revolution of April 25, 1974. So you might also be able to enjoy it if you come to Lisbon.
The regulation of Tuk Tuks in Lisbon
The creation of a regulation for Tuk Tuk professionals was first mentioned 4 years ago and has since been the focus of the Portuguese government’s attention several times. In February 2015, the Lisbon Municipal Assembly issues an opinion report and recommendations for Tuk Tuk activity in Lisbon. The following are heard:
- The Municipal Directorate of Mobility and Transport
- The Eco Tuk Tours company in lisbon
- Lisbon taxi associations
- Political forces
As a result, the report makes various recommendations regarding the regulation of the Capital’s Tuk Tuks :
- Regulating passenger transport activity in Tuk Tuk
- Identify existing Tuk Tuk numbers and define a maximum number of Tuk Tuks in circulation
- Fiscalize and require insurance for passengers with the help of the Instituto de Turismo de Portugal
- That the Tuk Tuks of Lisbon limit themselves to transporting passengers and not luggage…
- To create specific premises for the parking of Tuk Tuks to control their flow according to the tourist activity of Lisbon.
- Limit the free movement of Tuk Tuks to specific areas: historic centre of Lisbon, between Belem Santa Apolonia …
- Create favourable conditions for non-polluting Tuk Tuks and CO² emissions
- The creation of a moratorium for all Tuk Tuks in Lisbon to be electric in the future.
- That the activity be limited in time to respect the life of the inhabitants of Lisbon.
Binding rules for Tuk Tuks businesses but have not yet been put in place in the form of formal regulations. For those with a command of Portuguese, you can find details of these regulations signed in 2015 at this address.
In March 2015, the then vice-president (Duarte Cordeiro) announced that the regulations were “almost ready”. It was then the mayor of Lisbon (Fernando Medina) who in November 2015 issued an ordinance with the rules of the Tuk Tuks traffic in the city.
At the beginning of 2017, the chamber submitted a version of the regulation which stated, among other things, that all Tuk Tuks should be electric by the middle of the year, with Lisbon, like Portugal, continuing its ecological efforts.
The Lisbon City Council is also working on the regulation of the Tuk Tuk sector but it does not seem to be moving much. In July 2017, city councillor Manuel Salgado informed journalists that the regulation was being finalised and would come into force during the current term.
Carlos Gaivoto, also a mobility and transport specialist, is worried about the impact of these tuk tuks on the city’s traffic jams, associating them with taxis and Ubers, to the detriment of a more “efficient” and “ecological” public transport network. “Tuk tuks congest the city and reduce the efficiency of public transport networks,” he said, referring to buses and trams. “When the city depends on too many taxis or tuk tuks, it seems to me that something is wrong. If there is no regulation and the sector is liberalized, it’s even worse,” he added. The expert also gives examples from other European capitals, where public transport meets the mobility needs of tourists and you don’t see any tuk tuks.
An opinion that Nunes da Silva does not share, considering that tuk tuks “respond to a different type of search” because they “are oriented towards specific tourist routes”. Otherwise, he says, tourists would be forced to use different means of transport to get to the city. Yet both agree with the current anarchic nature of the sector. “Nunes da Silva refers to the Baixa, Castelo and Bairro Alto areas” to realise that the sector is operating in a completely anarchic way.
Tuk Tuks forbidden in Sintra during fire alerts
The ban on traffic in the Sintra mountains between Friday 31 May and Sunday 2 June, with the exception of public transport and residents and due to the orange alert on the risk of fire, caused a demonstration by tour operators but could unfortunately be tested several times and perhaps become a generality in these times when the regulation of the tuk tuk sector in Portugal is making more and more noise.
Residents’ and companies’ vehicles, public passenger transport, emergency vehicles, emergency vehicles and entities that make up the municipal civil protection system are not affected by these traffic bans, unlike the Tuk Tuks.
“If there is a serious problem in the mountain range and we have to put out a fire immediately, we cannot do so if the traffic remains as it is,” said the Mayor of Sintra. This test seems to be carried out over 3 days but could be generalized to the whole summer period, which would be a big loss for business owners offering visits from Sintra to Tuk Tuk.
For Luis Vieira, tour operator on Sintra and Lisbon, this is a clear discrimination of Tuk Tuks and unfair since taxis and buses can continue to run on the city roads. The business owner of Tuk Tuk said: “It is perfectly clear that this is about ending the ‘tuk tuk’ but it is part of a wider project, namely the project to amend the county’s traffic and parking regulations, which is the subject of public debate”.
Finally, the businessman says that several operators are already consulting “a law firm to react to the situation” but they want above all to dialogue and avoid discrimination during the summer, when there is the most work….
The case is therefore to be followed, but we will still hear about the debate and see this tug-of-war between the tuk tuks, politicians and local residents.