Moving around Lisbon with public transport

There are a few main routes that will get you to most places you want to visit. First, you need a ticket. You can buy a single ticket on a bus or a tram, but it is not really convenient and you will end up spending more anyway. I would recommend you get Viva Viagem card (a green paper proximity card). It costs 0.50€ and is available at ticket machines at metro, train and ferry stations. It’s valid for one year so you can freely reuse it any time you need to get somewhere. The best option, if you don’t plan intense sightseeing for a day or two (in that case you would want a 24 hour ticket), is to top-up for 10€ (choose Zapping on the screen). Again, you can do that at any ticket machine and most of the kiosks located near bus stops.

The main routes I mentioned are the ones from northern part of Lisbon centre (Marques de Pombal) down to the river (Praca do Comerçio) for which I find blue metro line most useful, and a bus number 728 that goes along the river, from Santa Apolónia station (east) in the direction of Belèm (west). In addition to that you will find tram 28 quite handy, especially if you want to experience some of the best views in Lisbon (namely Graça viewpoints and Miradouro da Senhora do Monte especially) and tourists attractions located up the hill, like Castelo de São Jorge.

In case you need more sophisticated routes, Google Maps navigation works pretty well with public transport here and you can also use Carris “route simulator” for more precise departure time. Be aware, that 28 line trams are not reliable – they get stuck quite often because of people parking randomly in the narrow streets of Alfama. If you want to get one, just wait patiently – eventually you will get one.

Vocabulary:

  • blue – azul
  • bus – autocarro
  • card – cartão
  • ticket – bilhete
  • tram – elétrico
  • viewpoint – miradouro
  • zone – coroa