Beware of unauthorized guides who approach you outside popular monuments and attractions: they're usually more concerned with "guiding" you to a particular shop or restaurant.
Many companies organize half-day group tours of Lisbon and its environs and full-day trips to more distant places of interest. Reservations can be made online, at Ask Me Lisboa kiosks, or through your hotel; some tours will pick you up at your door. A half-day tour of Lisbon starts at €35. As well as its city tram and bus tours, public transport company Carris also does a half-day tour of Sintra, Cascais, and the stunning coast between them. A full-day trip north to Obidos, perhaps also including Batalha, Alcobaça, Nazaré, and Fátima, will start at €70 for the ticket only, or €80 including lunch, as will a full day east to Évora and Monsaraz. Several of these companies also organize hop-on, hop-off tours of Lisbon, similar to those Carris offers, with open-top buses departing from the north side of Praça Marquês de Pombal. Cascais-based Guincho Aventours offers not only night tours of Lisbon but has off-road buggies for exploring the countryside outside the city, as well as bicycles for hire. Surfers of every ability can take trips, lessons included, out to the best breaks with Surf Bus.
Cityrama Gray Line Portugal. Av. João XXI Nº 78-E 1000-304 , Areeiro, Lisbon, Lisbon, 1000-304. 21/319--1070; 21/352--2594; www.cityrama.pt. Tours from $35.
HIPPOtrip. These lively, family-friendly trips aboard amphibious vehicles take a road tour of Lisbon's major sites before plunging into the River Tagus to see the city from the water. Trips depart from Alcântara and last 90 minutes. Associação Naval de Lisboa, Doca de Santo Amaro, Alcântara, Lisbon, Lisbon, 1350-353. 21/192–2030; www.hippotrip.com. €25.
Rota Monumental. The knowledgeable, witty, and enthusiastic English-speaking guides at Rota Monumental take visitors on group and private driving tours of Lisbon and its scenic surroundings. Rua Castelo Branco Saraiva 38, Lisbon, Lisbon, 1170-149. 916/306682; www.rotamonumental.com. City tours from $39.
For names of personal guides, contact Lisbon's main tourist office. An English-speaking guide for a half day starts at around €55, while a full day starts at around €95. For private wine-themed tours to Lisbon’s hinterland, contact Have a Wine Day.
AGIC. The Portuguese Association of Tourist Guides and Tour Managers provides accredited, knowledgeable guides operating group and individual tours in Lisbon and further afield. Rua Alexandre Herculano, 19, Sala 5, Liberdade, Lisbon, Lisbon, 1250-008. 931/108540; agic-portugal.com/english.
Have a Wine Day. The scenic hills and valleys surrounding Lisbon are liberally sprinkled with vineyards, and Have a Wine Day offers flexible private tours to the best wine-producing regions. Trips combine sightseeing visits to historic towns such as Sintra and Palmela with wine tasting. Largo de Santa Marinha 25, 2nd fl., Baixa, Lisbon, Lisbon, Largo de Santa Marinha 25. 916/470995; www.en.haveawineday.com. Tours for six people from $45 per person.
Lisbon Tour Guides. Friendly, experienced and fully qualified tour guides lead visitors on full- and half-day walking tours of Lisbon, and daylong excursions to nearby Sintra and Óbidos. Av. Brasilia, Belém, Lisbon, Lisbon, 1400-038. lisbontourguides.pt. Half-day tours from €35.
We Hate Tourism Tours. We Hate Tourism Tours prides itself on giving visitors the inside track on life in Lisbon, with expert, local guides happy to share their own favorite restaurants, bars, and attractions. City tours, gastronomic gatherings, and surf trips for all ages are among the activities on offer. LX Factory, Rua Rodrigues de Faria 103, Lisbon, Lisbon, 1300-501. 91/377–6598; www.wehatetourismtours.com. City jeep tours from $40, day trips from $50.
Guincho Aventours. This enduringly popular tour company runs adventure tours in Lisbon's environs, including kayaking and quad biking, as well as family-friendly excursions such as dolphin-spotting boat trips. Rua da Areia n.º 1306, Cascais, Lisbon, 2750-095. 21/486--9700; www.guinchotours.net. Tours from $40.
Surf Bus. Surf Bus runs private and group trips to the best surf beaches surrounding Lisbon, including Guincho, Costa da Caparica, and Praia Grande. Full-day tours can take in farther-flung spots such as Ericeira or Peniche. Hotel pickup, lessons, and equipment are available. Condomínio Alcântara Rio, Rua Cozinha Economica, No. 36, 2 Dto, Alcântara, Lisbon, Lisbon, 1300-149. 918/ 592002; www.surfbus.pt. Half-day trips from €10 per person.
Walking tours of Lisbon require strong legs and sturdy shoes, but walkers are well rewarded with incredible views and unique insights into the city and its history. Visitors can take free (donations are encouraged) walking tours of Lisbon with Lisbon Chill-Out Free Tour, or pay around $15 for more personalized trips with outfits such as Inside Lisbon and Cool Tour LX. Lisbon Walker does tailor-made walks and also has the widest range of regular theme tours, such as Jewish Lisbon, African Lisbon, and even Lisbon: City of Spies. For most you don’t need to book; just check the schedule and turn up at the meeting point by the tourist office on Praça do Comércio. Lisbon Explorer, by contrast, specializes in prearranged group and individual tours, often with special themes such as food and wine.
Cool Tour LX. Spirited van and walking tours take in Lisbon's sights and experiences. Cool Tour LX also has trips to wine regions in the vicinity. Av. Infante Santo 23, 5th fl., Lisbon, Lisbon, 1350-178 . 21/395–1624; www.cooltourlx.com. Tours from $60.
Inside Lisbon. Inside Lisbon offers insightful and energetic walking tours that take in the sights and gastronomic highlights of the city, as well as less strenuous excursions to nearby spots such as Sintra, and wine-tasting trips to the hills of Arrábida. Av. Forças Armadas, n.º 95, 1st fl., Lisbon, Lisbon, 1600 - 077. 21/1914545; www.insidelisbon.com. Walking tours from $32.
Lisbon Chill-Out Free Tour. Lisbon Chill-Out offers free walking tours of Lisbon (although donations are encouraged). The multilingual guides are happy to give the inside scoop on locals' favorite hangouts as well as provide rich insights into the history of the city. Tours run for around three hours and take in lots of hills, so bring water and wear comfortable, flat shoes. Tours run every day, in all weather. Visitors brave enough to take a tour in stormy weather should book at least an hour in advance, but otherwise no booking necessary: just turn up at Luís de Camões Square. Departures are at 10 am and 4:30 pm. Praca Luis de Camoes, Baixa, Lisbon, Lisbon, Praca Luis de Camoe. lisbonfreetour.blogspot.pt.
Lisbon Explorer. Lisbon, Lisbon. 21/362–9263; 96/825–3684; www.lisbonexplorer.com. Half-day walking tours from $50.
Lisbon Walker. Culturally curious visitors to Lisbon can discover the city's secrets, from hidden foodie haunts to headquarters of secret societies from centuries past, on these fascinating walking tours and day trips that go beyond the standard tourist fare. Prices are per private tour, not per person, so it's worth getting a group together if possible. Lisbon, Lisbon, 300-044. 21/886–1840; 96/357–5635; www.lisbonwalker.com. Tours from $100 per group.