To get around Lisbon and save money, buy the rechargeable Viva Viagem card and put money on it. The card is valid for one year from the date of acquisition, during which it can be charged as you go.
For specific journeys, on board tickets have different prices: €1.80 on bus, €2.85 on tram, €3.60 return on the Bica, Glória and Lavra funiculars, and €5 return on the Santa Justa lift, including access to the viewpoint.
The metro is the quickest and most practical way to travel around the city. The metro network has 4 lines, each identified by a different colour: green (Telheiras – Cais do Sodré), blue (Reboleira – Santa Apolónia), yellow (Odivelas – Rato) and red (Aeroporto – São Sebastião).
The metro service runs from 6.30am-1am every day.
Some metro stations are contemporary art exhibits, decorated with sculptures, mosaics, tiles and paintings, namely Olaias, Marquês de Pombal, Parque and Aeroporto stations.
Here are some useful stations to visit Lisbon’s main sights and around:
- Baixa-Chiado (blue line): Chiado and Bairro Alto neighbourhoods, and also Príncipe Real.
- Rossio (green line): Praça do Comércio, Rua Augusta, Praça da Figueira, Teatro Dona Maria and trains to Sintra.
- Terreiro do Paço (blue line): Praça do Comércio and the Alfama neighbourhood.
- Jardim Zoologico (blue line): Sete Rios, Lisbon’s long-distance bus terminal with connections to several Portuguese cities.
- Cais do Sodré (green line): trains to Cascais and Estoril, trams and buses to Belém and ferries to Almada.
- Oriente (red line): Parque das Nações and national and international train station.
Yellow buses are a good option to travel to areas that are not accessible by metro, namely Belém and Ajuda, Alfama, or Estrela. The bus network is operated by Carris. The service runs generally from 5am to 11pm.
Here are some useful bus routes to travel around Lisbon and visit the main attractions:
- #727 – Runs through Campo Pequeno, Marquês de Pombal Square, São Bento, Santos and Belém.
- #728 – Runs between Belém and Parque das Nações via Santa Apolónia train station.
- #737 – Mini bus going through Praça da Figueira, Sé, Castelo de São Jorge (castle) and the Alfama neighbourhood.
- #744 – Connects Lisbon Airport and Saldanha, Picoas, Marquês de Pombal and Avenida da Liberdade.
- #773 – Runs between Rato and Alcântara, via Principe Real, Estrela and Lapa.
- #201 – Night bus that runs between Cais do Sodré and Santos (until 5am).
Timetables and route details can be found here.
There are night buses that run between the main city areas. Check all the information at Carris Dawn network.
Tram, Funicular and Lift
Lisbon has six tram routes, three funiculars and one vertical lift. While still a valid transport in Lisbon, they are also a fun way to discover the city.
The vintage tram #28 is a tourist attraction, and one of the most popular trams. It runs through some of Lisbon’s most picturesque spots such as Alfama, Graça and Chiado. Go early if you want to avoid the the crowds. On summer evenings, you can enjoy the views and the city’s calmness if you take the tram between 8pm and 10pm.
Other useful lines are tram #12 that goes through the castle neighborhood from Martim Moniz, the modern tram #15 connecting Praça da Figueira and Belém, tram #18 between Cais do Sodré and Ajuda, and tram #25 between Rua da Alfândega and Campo de Ourique via Santos, Lapa and Estrela.
Three funiculars and one lift climb Lisbon’s steepest hills. Of course they also descend them, but you’ll want to catch the ride up (as walking down is easy). All are National Monuments since 2002.
The urban train operated by CP is the best option to visit attractions around Lisbon such as Sintra and Cascais.
The train that connects Lisbon and Cascais departs from the Cais do Sodré train station, stopping at Santos, Belém, Alcântara-Mar, Oeiras, Monte do Estoril and Cascais. The train station has an interface to the Cais do Sodré metro station (green line). The journey to Cascais offers beautiful views of the coastline, and it takes approximately 40 minutes.
Train services to Sintra depart from the Rossio train station, connected to the Restauradores metro station (blue line). Sintra is served by regular trains (every 15-20 minutes) and the journey takes about 45 minutes. From Sintra’s railway station, the National Palace in the historic centre is less than a 10 minute walk away.
Ferries connecting Lisbon and the Tejo south bank are operated by Transtejo ferry line. Several connections per day are available from different riverfront terminals.
- Cais do Sodré to Cacilhas (15 minutes), Montijo (30 minutes) and Seixal (30 minutes).
- Terreiro do Paço to Barreiro (30 minutes).
- Belém to Trafaria and Porto Brandão (20 minutes) with bus connections to Costa da Caparica beaches.
You can also use the Viva Viagem card on ferries. With the Zapping option, fares have small discounts.
Taxis in Lisbon are not expensive when compared to other European capitals. However, depending on when and where you want to go, it may not be an option that will take you there faster (and it may not be that cheap).
If you are going out at night, a taxi ride is probably the best option to return to your hotel. The taximeter is displayed during the entire ride, and it includes the start fee (€3.25 from 6am to 9pm, €3.90 overnight).
Although there may be stories about taxi drivers ripping off people, namely by taking the longer route, most of them are honest and polite. The older ones may not speak English.
Most taxis accept cash only. You should ask in advance if you want to pay by card. If you stay in a hotel, ask the receptionist to call for a taxi who accepts payment by card.