Lisbon Public Transportation Options

This post will provide details about each of the public transport services available in Lisbon, including information about which areas of the city they visit, how to purchase tickets, and more. 

Thankfully, the public transportation system in this city is quite useful. 


OVERVIEW

Public transportation in Lisbon is quite handy, and even if you don’t think you’ll need it, chances are that when you see the daunting hills of this city you might just change your mind.

 

Lisbon Tram Climbing Hill

 

That said, there are some services you probably won’t need to use, but it all depends on what you’re planning to do while travelling around the city.

The Trams of Lisbon are well known for providing the best routes for sightseeing, most notably Tram 28E

This service will take you through the Baixa, Alfama, and Chiado neighbourhoods and beyond to see most of the city’s notable landmarks.

If you’re just trying to avoid the steepest hills, funiculars may be your best bet. 

Many trams also ascend the hills, so depending on where you want to go, that could also be a great way to reach your destination.

There are 3 funiculars in Lisbon, and they are designed specifically to ascend the most difficult hills in the city.

In addition to these options, you may also want to consider the metro. 

However, unlike in other cities, the metro in Lisbon isn’t quite as good for tourists as it is for locals, but there are a few useful stops.

There are also hundreds of bus lines you can use, but with so many different routes to go through, you might want to use an app like Google Maps to navigate your trip.

It’s worth keeping in mind that both the bus and metro make stops at the airport, which means you can use either of them as an affordable transfer to the city centre.

Tickets can be purchased individually for €3 per ride, but you can get them for half off by using a Viva Viagem card. 

This travel pass can also be loaded with a 1-day ticket (€6.40) which provides unlimited travel on all trams, funiculars, metro, and buses.

Alternatively, you can also save money on public transportation in Lisbon by using the Lisboa Card, which comes loaded with either 1, 2, or 3 days of unlimited tram, funicular, metro, and bus service (depending on which type of pass you choose).

The benefit of choosing a Lisboa card over the Viva Viagem card is that the tourist pass can be purchased for 2 or 3 days at a time, while the travel pass only offers 1-day tickets.

For more details about how to save a few euros on public transport, please read our discounts section.

 


TRAMS

This is arguably one of the best ways to get around the city because Lisbon’s trams service several different neighbourhoods. 

There are two different types of trams in Lisbon: the Remodelado and Articulado styles. 

 

Historic Lisbon Tram

The historic Remodelado

While the Remodelado trams are more historic, the Articulado trams are bigger, more modern and arguably more comfortable.

One ticket will cost €3, but if you use the Viva Viagem card you can climb aboard for only €1.50 instead. 

Alternatively, you can purchase a day pass or use a tourist pass to save money on public transportation.

 

Modern Lisbon Tram

The modern Articulado trams 15E

There are a lot of great lines to consider taking, but Tram 28E is arguably the most well known and popular option. This Remodelado tram offers one of the most scenic routes in the entire city.

While on Tram 28, you’ll see popular sites in Alfama, Baixa, and Chiado as the line connects both the Eastern and Western neighbourhoods of Lisbon.

 

 

Here are a few other trams you might want to take, as well as the sites you can see using them:

12E | Remodelado

  • Route: Praça da Figueira to Largo Portas do Sol
  • Timetable: Stops every 15-30 minutes
  • Weekday Hours: 8 am – 8:45 pm
  • Weekend Hours: 9 am – 8:15 pm
  • Includes stops in Baixa, Alfama and Graça
  • See Praça Figueira and Martim Moniz

15E | Articulado

  • Route: Praça da Figueira to Jardim de Algés
  • Timetable: Stops every 15-30 minutes
  • Weekday Hours: 5:45 am – 1 am
  • Weekend Hours: 6:05 am – 1 am
  • Includes stops in Belem and Baixa
  • See LxFactory and Santo Amaro Docks

18E | Remodelado

  • Route: Cais do Sodré to Jerónimos Monastery
  • Timetable: Stops every 20-30 minutes
  • Weekday Hours: 6:50 am – 7:25 pm
  • Weekend Hours: Not available
  • Includes stops in Baixa and Belem
  • See Ajuda Palace and Jeronimos Monastery

24E | Remodelado

  • Route: Largo do Camões to Campolide
  • Timetable: Stops every 20-30 minutes
  • Weekday Hours: 7 am – 8 pm
  • Saturday Hours: 7:30 am – 7:15 pm
  • Sunday Hours: 10:30 am – 6 pm
  • Includes stops in Baixa and Príncipe Real
  • See Elevador de Santa Justa and Jardim do Príncipe Real

25E | Remodelado

  • Route: Martim Moniz to Campo Ourique
  • Timetable: Stops every 15-20 minutes
  • Weekday Hours: 6:30 am – 9 pm
  • Weekend Hours: Not available
  • Includes stops in Baixa, Estrela and Lapa
  • See Basílica da Estrela and Praça do Comércio

While Tram 28E offers one of the best routes in all of Lisbon, it can be quite popular and you can expect standing room only between the hours of 10 am – 6 pm.

If you’re looking for a good alternative, 12E actually covers much of the same ground as 28E in Alfama, but there’s really no other service that covers as much ground as Tram 28. 

 


FUNICULARS

If you’re specifically interested in ascending the hills of Lisbon, you may want to consider using a funicular. 

Otherwise known as elevadors or ascensors, these vehicles are similar to trams, but they’re specifically designed for climbing steep sections of hills, sections too steep for trams.

 

 

There are a total of 3 funiculars in Lisbon: Elevador do Lavra, Elevador da Glória and Elevador da Bica.

Each of these funiculars is considered part of the public transit system. Tickets are €3 per person or €1.50 with the Viva Viagem card.

Here are a few details about each funicular, where they are located, and which sites you can see or reach using this service:

Elevador da Glória

  • Route: Praça dos Restauradores to São Pedro de Alcântara
  • Timetable: Stops every 10-15 minutes
  • Weekday Hours: 7:15 am – 11:55 pm
  • Weekend Hours: 9:15 am – 11:55 pm

Elevador da Bica

  • Route: Rua de São Paulo to Largo Calhariz
  • Timetable: Stops every 15 minutes
  • Weekday Hours: 7 am – 9 pm
  • Weekend Hours: 9 am – 9 pm

Elevador do Lavra

  • Route: Largo do Anunciada to Rua Câmara Pestana
  • Timetable: Stops every 10-15 minutes
  • Weekday Hours: 7:50 am – 7:55 pm
  • Weekend Hours: 9 am – 7:55 pm

Elevador da Glória and Elevador da Bica will take you from specific areas in Baixa to Bairro-Alto, in the case of Glória, and Chiado, in the case of Bics.

 

Lisbon Funicular

 

There are a lot of interesting sites to see in these areas such as the Elevador de Santa Justa, Igreja de São Domingos and more. 

We have a self-guided tour of both neighborhoods that starts from Elevador da Bica.

Elevador do Lavra is arguably the least used funicular for tourists because there aren’t really any landmarks or points of interest to see at the top.

 


METRO

The metro system in Lisbon is mainly intended to connect the city centre with surrounding suburban areas, but there are still some reasons you may want to consider using this service.

 

 

If you’re staying just outside of the city, this could be a particularly useful service to consider, and it’s a part of the public transportation system.

One of the main uses tourists will have for this service is taking the metro from the airport to the city center. 

The Red Line will take you from the airport to São Sebastião and from there you can connect with the Blue Line to reach Bairro-Alto, Baixa and other popular neighbourhoods.

 

Lisbon Metro Subway

 

As with all other public transportation in Lisbon, tickets are €3 per person or €1.50 using the Viva Viagem card, and you can also use the Lisboa card to save money on 1, 2, or 3 day passes.

Each metro line runs from 6:30 am – 1 am per day, with stops being made every 5-10 minutes on average (usually closer to every 10-12 minutes early in the morning and late at night).

 

Lisbon Metro Map

 

There are four lines: Blue, Yellow, Green, and Red. Here are a few of the details you’ll want to keep in mind for these services:

Blue Line

  • Route: Santa Apolonia to Amadora Este
  • Includes stops at the zoo, São Sebastião and more.

Yellow Line

  • Route: Alcantara Mar to Odivelas
  • Includes stops at Estrela, Campo Pequeno and more.

Green Line

  • Route: Cais do Sodré to Telheiras
  • Includes stops at Martim Moniz, Rossio and more.

Red Line

  • Route: São Sebastião to Aeroporto
  • Includes stops at Alameda, Saldanha and more.

Although Lisbon’s metro service isn’t always going to be perfect for tourists, there are several stops available which might be worth considering.

Arguably the most notable example is Jardim Zoologico (otherwise known as the zoo) on the Blue Line. Families visiting the city may want to consider going to this attraction.

Other great stops include Rossio, Martim Moniz, Cais do Sodré and Baixa-Chiado on the Green Line and of course the airport on the Red Line.

The Blue Line also includes several great stops such as Terreiro do Paço, Baixa-Chiado, and Restaurados in Baixa.

 


BUSES

Although public buses are typically used more by locals than travelers, there are a few reasons that tourists may want to consider hopping on a bus in this city.

The best reason to consider this option is that there are over 100 different bus routes in Lisbon, many which can connect you with important or notable locations.

 

Lisbon Bus

 

That said, with so many buses available, it can be confusing to navigate all the routes and find the right one to take you where you want to go. 

We recommend using an app like Google Maps to find the right buses for your needs.

Although there are some downsides to the service, another good reason to use the bus is that there are several lines that connect the city centre with the airport: 208, 705, 708, 722, 731, 744, 750, and 783.

There are also some buses which can take you to Belem and may be a more convienent alternative to tram services: 201, 714, 727, 728, 729, and 751.

Another excellent service provided by Lisbon public buses is the Rede da Madrugada, or “Dawn Line.” 

This bus line runs 24 hours a day, so even if you’re out after 1 am, you might still be able to get around town (depending on where you need to go).

Most buses run from 6 am – 9 pm, and they make stops every 20-40 minutes on average. 

Ticket prices are the same as all other public transport, €3 per person or €1.50 with the Viva Viagem card.

You can also use the Lisboa card on all public buses, potentially saving even more money on this service. Check our discount section for more details on this tourist pass.

If you want to find the right bus for your needs, please check the following bus schedules.

 


DISCOUNTS

There are two ways to get a discount on admission for public transport in this city: The Viva Viagem Card and the Lisboa Card.


Viva Viagem Card

The Viva Viagem Card is a plastic card that you can preload with a certain amount of money, so you can use it for individual tickets or 1-day passes.

 

Viva Viagem Card

 

Each ticket purchased with this service is 50% off the regular price, and it only costs €0.50 for the physical card. 

Regardless of whether or not you plan on using public transportation frequently while in Lisbon, getting at least the Viva Viagem card is a no-brainer. 

Without it, you’ll pay €3 per ride, but even with a €0.50 fee for the card itself, it’ll only cost €2 for the first ride and then €1.50 for every additional ride.

Even if you only need to use public transportation just once in Lisbon, you’ll save more money using the Viva Viagem card than you will without it.

Here are the prices you’ll pay for each public transport service using this pass:

  • Single Ticket: €1.50 for each ride
  • 1-Day Ticket: €6.40 per day

If you also want to use suburban trains to reach Sintra, Cascais, Azambuja and Sado, the 1-day ticket will cost €10.60 per day. 

You can also get a 1-day ticket which includes the ferry to Cacilhas for €9.55 per day.

While you can load your Viva Viagem card with enough money for multiple 1-day tickets, they don’t appear to offer any multiple-day tickets through this service.

That said, the Lisboa card can be purchased for 1, 2, or 3 days in a row, and it includes unlimited public transportation for the amount of time purchased.

This means it’s the only way to get a 2 or 3-day pass and take all the guesswork out of traveling.

If you’re planning to do a lot of sightseeing and you want to visit several notable landmarks in this city, it might make more sense to purchase the Lisboa Card instead.


The Lisboa Card

This tourist attraction discount pass provides admission to dozens of popular sites in Lisbon for one flat price, allowing you to save money when you visit multiple locations.

In addition to the free attractions you can visit, the Lisboa Card also includes a free travel pass with at least 24 hours of unlimited public transportation.

The amount of time loaded onto your Lisboa Card will depend on the length of time you choose, as these tourist passes are available for 1, 2, or 3 days at a time.

Your best deal will come from the 3-day pass, as you’ll only have to pay €14 per day for the service. 

Since a 1-day ticket on the Viva Viagem Card is €6.40, that means you’ll technically only be paying €7.60 per day for everything else included with the Lisboa Card.

As such, you’ll only need to use this tourist pass for an additional 2-3 activities per day to start saving a decent amount of money on general admission prices!

Here are a few of the more notable attractions included with the Lisboa card:

  • Belém Tower | €6
  • National Pantheon | €4
  • LISBOA Story Centre | €7
  • Jerónimos Monastery | €10
  • National Tile Museum | €5
  • Pilar7 Bridge Experience | €6
  • National Coach Museum | €8
  • National Costume Museum | €4
  • National Ancient Art Museum | €6
  • National Museum of Theatre and Dance | €4
  • And more!

Depending on how you use this tourist attraction discount pass, you could save 40% – 50% off ticket prices – and public transportation as well!

For more details, please read our post covering Lisbon tourist passes.

 


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About the author

Vania Silva
Vania has lived in Portugal for 15 years, where she is a local photographer, writer, and mom to a beautiful daughter. She is a published author on many well-respected travel & hospitality websites including Restaurant Insider, Level Up, SevenRooms, and more.