A Guide To Lisbon’s Public Transportation

It’s easy while walking the streets of Lisbon to think you have somehow slipped back in time. This beautiful city really seems to live in the past. Quant cobblestoned streets lead to plazas bordered by palaces, churches and castles. Attractive small cafes and restaurants abound and shops and galleries invite at every turn. Streetcars that look like they really belong in another time, glide down narrow streets. Even much of this cities graffiti rises to the level of fine art. Portugal seems to have deliberately let the world speed on by, having discovered a comfortable place to sit back and watch everyone else frantically race on to – not sure where.

Getting Around Lisbon

Lisbon features a good public transport network, both underground and surface using subways, buses and trams but for the one day visitor the system has two issues; first it is difficult to change lines, as there are few connections between the networks. Second it doesn’t run past some of the most popular tourist attractions in the city.

The Lisbon Metro is the rapid transit system (subway). Opened in December 1959, it was the first metro system in Portugal. The system’s four lines total 31 miles with service to 56 stations.

Visitor Passes – There are 24 and 48 hour passes available and the funicular system can also be used. 1 Day ticket (valid for 24 hours after first use) Metro pass is 6.40€ -Valid for unlimited journeys on the Metro networks during 24 hours. The full Carris/Metro/Transtejo (Cacilhas) pass is 9.50€ – Valid for unlimited journeys on Carris, Metro and Transtejo (river connection), during 24 hours following the first use.

Ticket Offices are open every day 7:45 a.m – 7:45 p.m at the following Metro stations:

  • Marquês de Pombal
  • Campo Grande
  • Colégio Militar/Lu
  • Jardim Zoológico
  • Marquês de Pombal
  • Rossio
  • Baixa-Chiado
  • Cais do Sodré
  • Oriente Aeroporto

There are vending machines at every station.

There is also a visitor specific card called the Lisboa Card where you get unlimited travel for 24 hours for just €20 that also includes free access to Lisbon’s best museums and attractions like the Torre de Belem, Jeronimos Monastery and the Santa Justa Elevator and more. You can buy the card online HERE.

Lisbon’s Famous Trams (Streetcars)

If you’re planning your first visit make sure that riding the streetcars is at the top of your list. The trams (streetcars) in Lisbon are a fantastic way to get around the city, and they’re one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions.

Portugal’s capital currently has five different routes and 58 trams, with 40 being vintage streetcars. Called heritage trams they are small, historic and the most recognized symbol of Lisbon.

The price of the ticket for the Lisbon tramway on boarding is € 3, but if you use the 7 Colinas Card*, the price is € 1.50 per trip.

Of the five routes, two are of special interest to visitors:

Nostalgic Tram #28

The tram 28 is a historic institution with wooden construction that will carry you back to another era as you wind through the city’s narrow streets. It rings constantly warning pedestrians to move out of the way.

This tram route links São Jorge Castle and Bairro Alto, as it travels through picturesque neighborhoods for over six miles, including Graça, Mouraria, Alfama, Baixa, Chiado, Madragoa and Bairro Alto. You probably won’t be the only tourist taking this historic tram.

Popular Tram #15

The tram 15 is the most frequently used tram in Lisbon connecting the city center mostle along the water out to Belém. The trams on this route are modern and always packed with people especially during weekday rush hour.

The tram 15 departs from “Cais de Sodré” station, a large interchange station near Praça do Comércio.

*7 Colinas Card – If you don’t want to buy a 1-day travel card at least buy a 7 Colinas card for € 0.50, and add a one-way ticket any time you wish to use Lisbon’s public transport system. You can buy this travel card in any metro station, newspaper stand or Carris’ points of sale and top it up whenever you need it on the automated stands. You can also check the amount you have left on any of the city’s buses, trams and even the lift. A single ticket with the 7 Colinas card for the Carris network (trams, buses, and funiculars) and the metro costs € 1.50.


The currency of Portugal is the Euro and major credit cards are welcome almost everywhere including in metro stations. ATMs are also readily available.

While in Lisbon don’t miss an opportunity to pick up Portuguese gifts. The country is famous for its reasonable prices. Portuguese ceramics are famous and authentic cork craftsmanship is remarkable. Look for the Barcelos Rooster, it’s Portugal’s national symbol and can be found in woodwork, ceramics and embroidery handcrafts. The countries Port Wine is known the world over and the prices here are difficult to pass up. You’ll also find bargains in distilled spirits and local speciality foods.


Castelo de S. Jorge

Castles, museums, churches and palaces all within a mile or so from the cruise ship.

Santa Justa Lift
  • The Santa Justa Lift is an elevator in Lisbon and the fastest way to get from the Baixa neighbourhood to the Bairro Alto district. It was inaugurated as one of the city’s public transport in1902 and was called Elevador do Carmo (Lift).
  • Castelo de S. Jorge at R. de Santa Cruz do Castelo. Hilltop Moorish castle & palace ruins
  • Jerónimos Monastery at Praça do Império 1400-206 Lisboa. World heritage listed Gothic monastery
  • Oceanário de Lisboa at Esplanada Dom Carlos I. Waterside aquarium with ocean ecosystems
  • Museu Nacional do Azulejo at R. Me. Deus 4. Ceramic collections located in a church
  • Belém Tower at Av. Brasília. Medieval defensive tower
  • Padrão dos Descobrimentos at Av. Brasília. Concrete monument to maritime explorers
  • Santa Justa Lift at R. do Ouro. Elevator linking city levels from 1902
  • Carmo Convent at Largo do Carmo. Medieval ruins & archaeology museum
  • Basílica da Estrela at Praça da Estrela. Baroque church with twin bell towers
  • Ajuda National Palace at Largo Ajuda 1349-021. 19th-century royal palace and museum
  • Arco da Rua Augusta at R. Augusta 2. Triumphal arch with a viewing platform
  • Miradouro da Nossa Senhora do Monte. Popular destination for city views
  • Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga at R. das Janelas Verdes. Historical art collection in old palace
  • Palácio dos Marqueses da Fronteira at Largo São Domingos de Benfica 1 Grand palace
  • Miradouro Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen at Calçada da Graça, Terrace park featuring sweeping city views
  • Museu de Marinhaat Praça do Império Maritime museum in sixteenth century monastery

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