Viva Viagem Card: Use it on Metro, Bus, Tram, Ferry & Train

A Viva Viagem card is a quick and easy way to pay for journeys on public transport in Lisbon.

You can use it to travel on metro, bus, tram, funicular, ferry and suburban train.

What is Viva Viagem?

Viva Viagem is a card with an embedded chip. It’s a quick and easy way to pay for journeys on public transport in Lisbon.

You have to buy a Viva Viagem card to travel on metro, ferry and suburban train. On bus, tram and funicular, you can either use your Viva Viagem card or, if you don’t have one, buy a ticket from the driver (on-board fares are more expensive).

Where you can buy Viva Viagem

Once you arrive in Lisbon, you can buy a Viva Viagem card at:

  • Metro, ferry and suburban train stations from any automatic ticket machine or ticket office. Ticket machines have an English version;
  • Several local PayShop selling points in Lisbon.

Two people travelling together need a card each. You can lend a Viva Viagem card to someone else only if you’re not travelling at the same time.

According to Metro’s website (Portuguese version), if your children are under 4 years old, they can travel free when accompanied by a card-holder (or fare-paying) adult.

Where you can use Viva Viagem

Bus, tram & funicular (Carris)

On buses, trams and funiculars operated by Carris, including Tram 15 to Belém, Tram 28, and Lisbon’s three funiculars – Ascensor da Bica, Ascensor da Glória, and Ascensor do Lavra. You can also use it on the Elevador de Santa Justa street lift.

But not on: Aerobus and tourist routes (e.g. hop-on hop-off bus).

Metro

All lines.

Suburban train (CP)

On journeys to/from:

  • Estoril
  • Cascais
  • Sintra

Ferry (Transtejo)

On journeys to/from:

  • Cacilhas
  • Trafaria/Porto Brandão
  • Seixal/Barreiro/Montijo

South of the River Tejo (Fertagus and TST) – green Viva Viagem only

Both white and green Viva Viagem cards can be used in Lisbon, and they work the same. The only difference is that a white card, unlike a green one, is not valid on the public transport providers that operate south of the River Tejo.

For example, you may use both white and green Viva Viagem cards on the ferry between Lisbon and Cacilhas across the river in Almada, but once there only a green Viva Viagem card with “zapping” credit (see below) is valid on the bus between Cacilhas and Cristo Rei, the statue of Christ. If you have a white Viva Viagem card, simply buy a return ticket from the bus driver.

How much is a Viva Viagem card and what ticket should I get?

A Viva Viagem card is €0.50. To load it you have three options:

  • Single ticket (Carris/Metro): €1.45.
    This is a ticket to pay for a specific journey. Buy it if you’re planning to make just that one journey on public transport in Lisbon. The ticket is valid for one hour on metro and Carris (e.g. if you take the metro from Marquês de Pombal to Rossio (blue line) and then you catch tram 15 from Praça da Figueira to Belém). However, a single ticket does not allow two consecutive entries on metro, i.e. you can travel by metro for an hour as long as you don’t leave the metro network.
  • Zapping: any amount with a minimum of €3 and multiples of €5 up to a balance limit of €40.
    Choose this option if you plan to do a lot of travelling on public transport in Lisbon (it pays off after three journeys). With the Zapping option, the cost of each individual journey is:

    • Carris: €1.30
    • Metro: €1.31
    • Train to Estoril/Cascais/Sintra: €1.90
    • Ferry to Cacilhas: €1.25 | Trafaria/Porto Brandão: €1.17 | Seixal/Barreiro: €2.35 | Montijo: €2.70
  • 1 day ticket: travel as much as you like for 24 hours.
    One day tickets become activated on the first journey, and they are available in the following options:

    • Carris/Metro: €6.30
      Unlimited travel on metro and Carris, including bus, tram, funicular and lift.
    • Carris/Metro/CP: €10.40
      Unlimited travel on metro, Carris and suburban train (Sintra, Cascais, Azambuja and Sado lines).
    • Carris/Metro/Transtejo: €9.35
      Unlimited travel on metro, Carris and ferry to Cacilhas (River Tejo connection).

Things to know

Ticket machines and selling points take cash (coins and notes) as well as debit and credit cards issued by major companies (e.g. Visa, MasterCard, Maestro).

Once you’ve chosen an option, you cannot change to another type of fare while the previous one has not been used. For example, if you have chosen the Zapping option, you must first use all the credit on your card before you are allowed to buy a one day ticket.

The easiest way to check the balance on your Viva Viagem is to go to a ticket machine at any metro station and insert the card. This will display the current balance and present you with options to add more money to your card.

If you lose your Viva Viagem card during a journey, you might be charged a penalty fare.

Your Viva Viagem card expires one year after the date of purchase.

How to use Viva Viagem

On Carris

On bus, tram and funicular, only swipe your Viva Viagem card across the yellow reader near the driver at the start of your journey. Don’t swipe it when you get off a bus or tram.

Make sure you load your card with tickets or Zapping money before you get on the bus, tram or funicular, since you won’t be able to load Viva Viagem there.

On metro

Swipe your Viva Viagem card across a card reader to open the gate when you enter the platform. At the end of your journey, swipe it again across a card reader to open the gate when you leave the platform. If you’re using the Zapping option, this means you’ll be charged the fare for one journey.

On some gate card readers (not all), you may be able to see the remaining balance, but you do need to look quickly.

If for some reason, at the end of your journey, you cannot swipe the card (e.g. a ticket gate is open due to a technical problem), don’t worry as there is a time limit of 90 minutes for each journey, and the correct fare will be deducted from your Viva Viagem card once the time limit expires.

On ferry & suburban train

Swipe your Viva Viagem card across the card reader on entrance hall or access gate at the start of your journey. Only swipe it when you leave the ferry terminal or train station if required to open a gate.

Faulty Viva Viagem card and unused credit

You can transfer unused credit to a new Viva Viagem card if yours expires or stops working during the one-year-validity period. However, this operation is not available on automatic ticket machines. Instead, you should take your old card to a ticket office at metro, ferry or suburban train stations.

Not all the metro stations have ticket offices though. So, in case of a faulty card, and no ticket office or metro staff visible, you may use the help point next to ticket machines or gate card readers. Otherwise, you should try a ticket office at one of the following metro stations:

  • Blue line: Marquês de Pombal, Colégio Militar/Luz and Jardim Zoológico;
  • Yellow line: Marquês de Pombal and Campo Grande;
  • Green line: Rossio, Baixa-Chiado and Cais do Sodré;
  • Red line: Oriente and Aeroporto.
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