The best way to admire and appreciate the beauty of Lisbon is to walk in order to discover all the traditional and peculiar corners the city has to offer.
Considering its geographic and urban conformation, characterised by several hills and ups and downs, in Lisbon there is the need to use different types of transportations.
In order to use public transports to move around the city, the Lisboa Card represents the best choice, allowing holders to have free or discounted admissions all over the city. However, if you are not planning to purchase the Lisboa Card, you can choose the Sete Colinas/Viva Viagem: a rechargeable card that allows you to travel on all public transports for a given time.
The picturesque and very traditional trams of Lisbon (eléctricos) are one of the main attraction of the city; some of them date back to 1901 and are still running. They can be yellow, red, or green; a ride on these bruised boxes is an unmissable thing to do in Lisbon.
Despite they may be crowded with tourists (watch your bag and be aware of pickpockets), these trams are still used by local people and get very busy on peak hours.
The city features a series of old and picturesque monorail cable cars, which represent another unforgettable experience to see some of the most romantic and suggestive nuances of the city.
The metro is less used to visit the city but it can be very useful to reach the airport and to head to the Park of Nations.
It runs from 6am until 1am and it is free for children under 4.
Traveling by metro is also a pleasure, as most of the stations are real underground museums decorated with tiles made by contemporary Portuguese artists.Lisbon Metro Map
Which ticket should you buy to travel around Lisbon by public transport? The answer depends on how you use the metro, streetcars, buses, elevadores and funiculars.
With the exception of one-way tickets, all Lisbon public transport tickets must be loaded onto the Viva Viagem card, a rechargeable card that costs only 0.50 euros and is valid for one year. It is practical to use and can be easily purchased in subway stations and in many authorized stores (mostly tobacconists and newspaper dealers).
We recommend the purchase of single tickets only to those who use public transport no more than a couple of times throughout the vacation. In all other cases it is much more convenient to buy a daily ticket or a season ticket.
Having said that, let’s see in detail all the different solutions: the information below will help you find the one that best suits your needs.
The single ticket loaded on the Viva Viagem card costs only 1.35 euros.
If you do not have a Viva Viagem card, you can buy a single ticket for buses, streetcars and funiculars only on board, but the price is slightly higher, i.e. 1.50. Single tickets for the subway can be purchased at the automatic ticket machines in all stations.
The single journey ticket is valid for a journey within the entire Carris/Metro network of a duration not exceeding one hour from validation. During the 60 minutes it is possible to change bus, but it is not possible to exit and re-enter the metro (instead you can change line without exiting).
If you need to make more than 4-5 trips in a day, buy a daily ticket, valid for an unlimited number of trips within 24 hours from the first validation. It exists in three versions that differ in the means you can use:
The best way to save money on transportation is to buy the Lisboa Card, the official tourist card of the city of Lisbon. In addition to free or discounted entry to museums, monuments, stores and tours, allows unlimited use of public transport throughout the period of validity (a choice between 24, 48 or 72 hours) and allows you to buy a ticket at a discounted price for the hop on hop off tourist bus.
There are also monthly ticket at a cost of 16.75 euros (metro only), 30.00 (all means of transport urban area) and 40.00 euros (all means of transport metropolitan area).
Keep in mind, however, that they are valid from the first to the last day of the month and cannot be loaded onto the Viva Viagem card: it is necessary to purchase the Lisboa Viva smart card, at a cost of 7.00 euros. For these two reasons, monthly passes are not suitable for occasional use and are used more by residents than by tourists. Consider them if you are staying in Lisbon for a long period.
Lisbon’s public transport fare system is complex, designed to meet the needs of very different people. There are other tickets and passes that we have not reported because they are not useful or convenient for tourists.
There are also other things that it is better to know before leaving to avoid confusion and maybe having to pay a fine for a naive mistake. Here is some useful information about Lisbon tickets:
City Card allow you to save on public transport and / or on the entrances to the main tourist attractions.