How to catch a cab in Portugal

On my recent trip to Lisbon, I met a German lady who said that she had found communicating with a cab driver in English – very challenging.

Not everybody speaks English in Portugal and there will be times that you will need to know a few basics. From inquiring about availability to asking for the fare, this informative guide will make your taxi travel in Portugal a breeze!

Many people have Uber Apps these days but catching a cab in Portugal, the old fashioned way is the ideal way to practice your Portuguese. Not only is it convenient, it will give you the chance to immerse yourself in the local culture and language. To help you navigate the charming streets of Portugal, here are seven essential Portuguese phrases to use when taking a taxi:

  1. “Está livre?” (Are you available?) – When you spot a taxi, this phrase will come in handy to inquire if the cab is vacant and ready to take passengers.
  2. “Está de serviço?” (Are you on duty?) – To confirm if the taxi is in service, you can use this phrase to double-check if the driver is available to transport you.
  3. “Quanto custa daqui até…” (How much does it cost from here to…) – Do you have a specific destination in mind? Use this phrase to ask the taxi driver for the estimated fare.
  4. “Vou para esta morada aqui / Quero ir para esta morada aqui.” (I’m going to this address here / I want to go to this address here) – Maybe you have an address handy, but are unsure how to pronounce it. No problem, simply show it to the driver, use this phrase to ensure a smooth journey.
  5. “Para ……, por favor.” (To ….., please) – When heading off simply say ‘para’. Then the destination you want to go to. e.g. Para a estação de comboios, por favor. (to the train station. please.)
  6. “Pode deixar-me aqui.” (You can drop me off here) – If you prefer to be dropped off at a specific location, you can use this phrase to communicate your desired drop-off point.
  7. “Quanto é?” (How much is it?) – When you reach your destination, it’s time to inquire about the fare. Politely ask the driver using this phrase to clarify the total amount due.

If the driver hands you change and you wish to leave a tip, you can kindly say, “Fique com o troco!” (Keep the change!)

Now that you are armed with these essential Portuguese phrases for catching a cab, you can confidently explore the picturesque streets of Portugal and engage in friendly conversations with taxi drivers, enhancing your travel experience. Enjoy your adventures and immerse yourself in the beauty and culture that Portugal has to offer!

Whether you’re strolling through the charming streets of Lisbon, exploring the historic sites of Porto, or discovering the idyllic coastal towns, catching a cab in Portugal will now be a breeze, thanks to these essential Portuguese phrases.

If you liked this blog post you may also like this one. How to Ask for Things in Portuguese


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