I must confess: I am addicted to WiFi. No, I am not addicted to Internet, I won’t spend hours on YouTube or Twitter, nor playing online, but if I don’t have access to the web I feel weird. I know I am a better traveller when I go “disconnected”, but being so close to home, disconnected feels too strange…
So, since I have researched where to connect for free in Lisbon, I thought you might want to know where to check your emails, do an Skype or upload a photo on Instagram (besides your hotel)
1. Starbucks, Burger King, Hard Rock…
Ok, it was expected to have WiFi on most restaurants and cafes, but it would surprise you how unoften it is in many places of the world.
Just as a curiosity, the Starbucks WiFi access ticket is in Spanish because they are managed by an Spanish group (Grupo Vips). And no, you don’t have to pre-register to use it, just ask your barista for access. They’ll give you 45 minutes free (enough broadband for an Skype, tested)
2. Buses number 736, 786 and Touristic Hop-on Hop-off lines
Lisbon’s trams and buses don’t usually offer a connection (at least not last week) but you can get connected on the doublé-deck ones (those from Greyline, for example).
Also, regular buses on lines number 736 and 786 (which connect Marqués de Pombal with Praça do Comércio and Marqués de Pombal with the Airport) do have free wifi. They might not be the most interesting routes, but they can be quite handy for moving around.
3. Wifi at Lisbon’s undergroud
Lisbon’s metro offers free WiFi in every station, except Baixa-Chiado. It is called ON-FI and the instructions are in portuguese, but you are not required to register nor like on Facebook. Just click “conectar” and you’ll see a screen with a Facebook logo (see pic). Wait for 5 secs. and press “skip”, you’ll get connected.
It doesn’t work at the halls or corridors, nor between stations, but it is a fairly good option for your mobile devices.
4. Armazens do Chiado and other shopping centers
At Armazens do Chiado, besides Starbucks and McDonalds, you can find additional WiFi at the food hall on the top floor (with some very interesting views over Lisbon, I must say.) I couldn’t get connected but my cellphone is “different” so….
Also, there’s free WiFi at El Corte Inglés.
5. Public Libraries
There are 7 public libraries with free WiFi in Lisbon. You can also use their own PC’s upon reservation, but if you prefer to bring your own laptop or mobile device, you can also “charge” it. Just take into account that, since Lisbon is a college town, they can be a Little crowded
These are the libraries with free WiFi at Lisbon.
Extra: Connecting at the Airport
Yes, there’s WiFi at Lisbon’s airport. It’s only free 30 minutes and you need to register at Boingo (with your credit card), which seems a little tricky, so I didn’t connect.
Alternativae: MEO and FON
It seems a bit expensive when compared to a regular data pricing, but if you are really dependant on your connection… The main advantage is that you can buy a coupon for a day or a week. And they are basically everywhere.
MEO is 25€ a week and you can buy it online on their website (time starts consuming after the first login.) FON is a little cheaper, 12,50€ fo 5 days, but you have to register at the WiFi hotspot with your credit card.
I don’t know if you can buy them on shops (they are almost everywhere) but the connection is valid through all Portugal, which can be a plus.