During my run this past weekend, I had scheduled an overnight stop-over in Lisbon so that I would have a chance to see the city instead of just transiting it. Since it was my first time in Lisbon I thought this made sense and I’m glad I did (more on my stay coming soon).
Almost always when I travel, I seek out opportunities for plane spotting and usually will pick my destinations based on this addiction. Lisbon was going to be a challenge because it is not known for its plane spotting (at least within the airport) because of the gate designs. Reviews that I read on Lisbon plane spotting were not positive and some reviewers stated it was impossible for decent spotting within the airport terminal. They must have had their eyes covered by their lens caps because nothing could be further from the truth.
Though ‘LIS’ is not known as a global gateway and is dominated by Portuguese national carrier TAP, it still provides great opportunities to see aircraft up close and to even see a few unique carriers and liveries as well. Is it FRA, MUC, LAX or ZRH? No. But is it worth packing your camera and exploring? Absolutely.
There are however a few challenges with LIS. One, most of the glass in the older part of the terminal has a dotted coating and a green hue to help with glare and Air Conditioning efficiency. However, if you make your way down to the new part of the terminal, specifically the large glass walls near Gate 26, you will be rewarded with clear views of LIS traffic and less tint in the glass. Incidentally gate 26 give you a good look at the Non-Schengen ramp so you’ll see most TAP ‘Heavy’ and international long haul flight departures.
Most of the following pics were taken from the gate 26 areas. Some were taken at other locations and aboard aircraft. I’ve indicated the locations in each photo’s caption.