To use Lisbon’s public transportation it is convenient to buy Lisbon’s VIVA card (it costs 0,50 €). You can buy it in any subway station. This card is loadable and it can be used in all transportation: buses, subway, tram, funiculars and Santa Justa elevator. The card can be loaded with money in the ticket offices or the automatic machines, using the Zapping option. You can charge it with 2€, 5€, 10€ or 15€. By using this card you’llbe saving money because each trip costs 1,25€ whereas if you buy the ticket in the bus you’ll pay 1,75€, in the tram will cost you 2,85, in the funiculars will be 3,50€ and in Santa Justa elevator the price is 5€.
When you buy and load your card,you should keep the receipt just in case of any problem with your card.
If you are staying less than 5 days in the city, you can give your card back in a metro ticket office, along with the receipt and you’ll get your initial 0,50 € back. Besides you can get the card money that you have never used back.
You can also load your VIVA card with a daily 24 hour ticket usable in every transportation which costs 6 €.
You can use your VIVA card in any bus except AeroBus, which goes from the airport to Cais do Sodré passing by the main Lisbon avenues such as Avenida da República, Praça Saldanha, Avenida Fontes Pereira de Melo, Marquês de Pombal, Avenida da Liberdade and Rossio.
If your hotel is located in this route, it is a good option to take this bus to get to the airport. The ticket costs 3,50€ or 5,50€ round-trip.
This is the most traditional way to know the old city, with its labyrinth streets. The most well known tram is number 28 tram. It gives you a general view of Lisbon’s 7 hills and its different districts. The best thing to do is to get 28 tram at its starting point in Martim Moniz square because there you can find a seat as it can get really crowded with tourists, local people and pickpockets.
If you take the tram in the middle of the route and it is too crowded the best thing to do is to wait for the next tram. If you wish to do all the route, 28 tram goes from Martim Moniz square to Prazeres and it takes approximately 45 minutes. So, to get to your starting point you’ll take 1.30 hours and you’ll need 2 tickets.
Another traditional route is 15 tram which departs from Figueira square and it gets to Belém district (St. Jerome Monastery and the Tower of Belém).
The trams start at 5.30 a.m. and finish at 9 p.m.
It is over 60 years old and it is the best way to get around in the city. It is quite simple because there are only 4 lines: blue, green, yellow and red.
There are some subway stations which are real masterpieces. They are decorated with contemporary art tiles, sculptures and paintings. Check it by yourself in Marquês de Pombal, Parque, Campo Pequeno, Campo Grande and all the other red line stations built for the Expo 98 worldwide exhibition in Lisbon.
The subway is opened from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m.
There are 3 funiculars in the city built at the end of the 19th century to help defeating the hills of the city. Initially they would be hydraulic an later on, in the beginning of the 20 th century, they were electrified. The oldest funicular in Lavra’s funicular but the most popular is Glória’s funicular which connects Restauradores square with São Pedro de Alcântara hilltop view and Bairro Alto district.
Here are the schedules of the 3 funiculars:
- Lavra’s and Bica’s funicular: from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- Glória’s funicular: from 7 a.m. to 00 a.m.
- Santa Justa Elevator:
It was inaugurated in 1902 and built by a student of Gustave Eiffel, Raoul Mesnier du Ponsard. It is a great connection between Lisbon’s downtown and Chiado and Bairro Alto districts. It gives access to Carmo square where you can visit the Archaeological museum.
Going over the elevator will show you a great panoramic view of Baixa and Alfama districts and the castle.
It is opened from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (11 p.m during the Summer).
- City trains
Lisbon has a great train net which connects it with the suburbs.
To use these trains you just have to buy a VIVA card (the same for Lisbon’s transportation) with the Zapping option.
There are trains connecting Lisbon (Cais do sodré) to Cascais, every 20 minutes and this trip takes 40 minutes. The route is very beautiful, it goes along Tagus river, the Atlantic Ocean, passing by Belém district and Estoril. In the Summer time the train can get very crowded with people going to the beach.
The ticket costs 2,05€.
There is also also trains connecting Lisbon (Rossio station) to Sintra. It won’t take you to Sintra’s center but you can reach it in a 20 minutes walk. . There are trains departing every 20 minutes and this trip takes 40 minutes.
The ticket costs 2,35€.
- Regional, “intercidades” and “Alfa pendular” trains
If you wish to visit other Portuguese cities you can go by train. In Lisbon you can choose Santa Apolónia or Oriente station for those trips.
To visit Portugal’s countryside there will be less choice and the trains are slow because they stop in many villages and towns. They are called regional trains.
To reach big cities, you can take intercidades train which is faster. It connects Lisbon to Faro, Évora, Coimbra, Porto, Guarda and Covilhã.
The best train s is alfa pendular that connects Lisbon to Porto in only 2.30 hours. It is not a TGV but it is very fast and comfortable. It connects Faro, Lisbon, Coimbra, Porto and Braga.
For more information: www.cp.pt
- Long trips bus
Portugal has great transportation net which are more accessible by bus than by train. The Algarve in the south is 3 hours away from Lisbon by bus.
Check the connections and schedules: www.rede-expressos.pt
The station terminal is located in Sete Rios, accessible by Jardim Zoológico subway station.
It’s true that some taxi drivers may try to take advantage of innocent tourists. If you take a taxi from the airport to the city centre you should not pay more than 15€.
Always check the taximeter!
When you get in a taxi the taximeter starts at 2€ and than it should increase around 1€ each kilometer. If you have bags you’ll pay an extra 1,60€ and if it’s a night trip it should cost you more. If the taxi was called by telephone there’s an extra 0,80€ and if the trip goes beyond Lisbon’s perimeter there will be a supplement too.
Taxis in Lisbon can be black and green or beige. There isn’t any difference between them. Over them there’s a TAXI sign. If the light is red it is busy, if it is green is is not.
There are any taxi squares but you can also hold your finger and call a passing by taxi.
At the airport, in the Tourism office, you can buy a Taxi Voucher that will have a set price according to the hotel distance. You’ll pay to the Tourism office and not to the taxi driver.
There are several Rent-a-Car companies in Lisbon’s airport.
However, we reccomend you to book in advance so that you can get a better price. If you want we can help you out, just let us know!