Do You “Tuk Tuk”? Our Lisbon “Tuk Tuk” Tour – With A Wildly Dangerous Start!

Who Wants A Private Lisboa “Tuk Tuk” Tour?

Gorgeous architecture, right? Lisbon is filled with unique architecture and castles too!

But Lisbon is a city of hills, so walking to all of these unique sites can be exhausting…enter the “Tuk Tuk”…

A “Tuk Tuk” is a small motorized vehicle that can navigate Lisbon’s narrow streets and hills with ease..

They come in many shapes and sizes but this one seemed everywhere…oh, and one of the things we loved about Lisbon were the people: friendly, happy, so chill…

On our first day in Lisbon, we walked off our jet lag by climbing up to the Sao Jorges Castle…as you can see, it sits atop one of Lisbon’s 9 massive hills.

However, we didn’t have advance tickets so we actually did the interior castle tour 5 days later, and while we tried to catch a lift on Lisbon’s famous street car #28, it was always so packed we could never get on!

So we walked up the hill that first day, and vowed to try Lisbon’s more iconic transportation the next time…

Our Wild “Tuk Tuk” Connection!

My wife Alex said it would be fun to get a Tuk Tuk – a motorized cart that can zip through the narrow streets and up Lisbon’s many hills.

As we were touring the castle, Alex told me she already had someone to pick us up…

“How did you find someone?”

Here is the conversation we had, starting with that simple question I asked.

“Oh, it was easy”, she said, “he messaged me on Instagram.”

“Wait – a stranger sent you a private note?”

“Yes”, she said, “he told me if I wanted a ride to text him, so I did.”

OK, I’m a suspicious person by nature.  When someone sends me a private note, invariably they want to get to know me better and I can smell that scam coming a mile away.

“That doesn’t sound right,” I said, “do we really want to have a guy who messaged you out of nowhere be the guide who takes us for a ride?  How did he know to reach out?”

“He saw my pictures on Instagram from the other day”, Alex said slowly, as if speaking to a 4 year-old, which she may have indeed been doing.

“He said if I wanted a tour to reach out, so I did.”

As this photo shows, there are Tuk Tun’s waiting everywhere – just walk up to one and off you go.

So, alarm bells were ringing loudly in my head – we are heading down an alley to find “a guy” who is going to “show her around?”

That’s what is going through my head as Alex boldly walked down this alley!

I scanned the streets for any police officers or other big guys in case I needed help. Instead, here’s what we found:

“Alex?”  Here it was, the confrontation I was dreading.  “This is my brother and his Tuk Tuk.  We are ready to take you on a tour!”

Yep, just two of the nicest Lisbon residents we had ever met. They were friendly, funny and terrific guides!

With all of my concerns now just an embarrassing memory, we climbed aboard and went on tour!

Here’s an idea of what it’s like to ride a Tuk tub:

Most of the hills are cobblestones, one of the many classic touches in this beautiful city…

Their tour zipped along many of Lisbon’s small streets – and narrow hilly climbs as well…where we saw a number of buildings that still had Lisbon’s famous tiles on the outside…

Sadly, we were told that new buildings could no longer attach them for fear they could fall off and injure someone – but the originals that still adorn hundreds of the buildings are allowed to stay!

The brothers told us lots of great stories about the city and the culture – they were a blast to hang out with – and we were also taken to the top of Lisbon’s highest hill overlooking the city:

From here, you can see Sao Jorges Castle, where we had begun our ride…just there on the left of the picture….

if you note the valley in between them, you get an idea of how steep the hills were!

This is, in fact, the highest spot in Lisbon – and what a view – protected of course by cannons!

Off in the distance you can see their famous “Golden Gate” bridge, and their Rio-inspired religious statue as well.

Here’s a short video from here!

Our last stop was this famous church on the ride back down…the brothers were so much fun that day, and after the tour they left us with some wonderful advice, which speaks to what a cool, relaxed “working person’s town” Lisboa is.

“If anyone spends 5 euros on a bottle of wine in a grocery story, they are showing off!”

That speaks to what a reasonable city Lisbon is, and how their everyday wines are delicious and inexpensive…and weirdly enough, someone else also told us that she thing two days later!

As I said, we toured the castle before our Tuk Tuk adventure, and you can see inside the castle by clicking on my story here:

In fact, Lisbon ws one of our most unexpected joys: it hadn’t been on our radar until we saw the episode of “Somebody Feed Phil”, which inspired us to go there and replicate his food adventures!

One of thse was the incredible shellfish adventure at Ramiro, which included a. shrimp with sauce from the head!

Watch how it is done!

This restaurant is iconic, and yes, they really DO serve a steak sandwich for dessert!

See the netire meal up close by linking on my story here:

Phil also ate on the Tagus River – I mean literally!

We were on the edge as well and you can see our incredible meal by clicking on my story here:

I fyou venture just 40 minutes outside Lisbon, you can see this ancient fortress:

Click here for a closeup look at this historical treasure!

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Leave me a comment and I you liked this story, feel free to share on social media – thank you!

Categories: Art, Exotic Travel, Food, Memoirs, Pop Culture, Real Estate, Travel, Travel Adventures, Travel Memoir

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10 replies

  1. What a wonderful tour, but I’d be suspicious too. However, glad to find out all was well. My husband had a Tuk Tuk ride in India. He says the roads are chaotic there, with cars going in all directions, no traffic lights, cows in the road, and people jut walking out into the traffic without a care in the world!


  2. Very practical means of transportation. I would have no reservations.


  3. You guys were super lucky!! I can imagine Alex was like “see? I told you!” after the tour😂👍💕 I’ve never been to Lisbon but could virtually visit there thanks to your post😍 Amazing views✨


  4. I love this post, especially the two great Tuk Tuk guys. Way to go, Alex! Lisbon looks like a wonderful, friendly place. Thanks, John!


  5. John, if it is not too personal, I would like to know what those guys charge for that tour. I would love to go to Lisbon, but my wife’s knee issues would never survive those hills.
    In London, ‘cycle rickshaws’ are notorious for ripping off tourists and giving them a bad deal.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It looks like a wonderful adventure in spite of your early terror, and the brothers sound amazing


  7. I’ve never been to Lisbon. Thanks for being my Tuk Tuk and showing me around. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

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