Tourists traveling to Lisbon love moving around aboard the historical tram 28, which is by far the most charming public transport but not the fastest one. A great way to move around is the metro, which allows you to move freely around the city. If you prefer walking around the center of Lisbon, the metro allows to easily reach the airport.
Cheap, efficient, with an average of about 500 thousand daily journeys and about 200 millions passengers per year, the Lisbon metro system is also extremely beautiful; its stations are decorated with tiles and artworks that deserve a visit.
The Lisbon metro is made of four lines, each one characterised by an evocative name: seagull, sunflower, caravel and orient line.
However, it is much easier to refer to the metro lines by using their color:
There are 56 metro stations in Lisbon. Each station is marked by a white M on a red background.
Among these 56 stations, 36 guarantee accessibility for passengers with reduced mobility thanks to lifts, escalators, and larger gates. Recently automatic ticket vending machines for people with reduced visual abilities have been introduced.
The Lisboa Card allows to move for free on all public transports in Lisbon including the metro, for the whole duration of the card. It is a very practical solution because once you have purchased it you won’t need to charge it again or to wonder which type of ticket you should use. In addiction, it offers discounted entry prices to several attractions.
Those who don’t have the Lisbon Card in order to travel on the metro can choose between two different types of tickets:
Both the single and the one day tickets need to be loaded on an electronic card that needs to be purchased in advance. Besides these two tickets it is possible to choose the Zapping option: a solution designed for irregular travellers who don’t use public transports on a daily base but who can choose to use a pay-as-you-go solution. With the Zapping formula it is possible to charge a fixed amount of money (from a minimum of 3 euro to 40 euro) on your electric card, and you will only be charged for the single journey until the expiration of the credit. This way each single journey is cheaper compared to a single ticket.
You can load your tickets on the following electronic cards:
Lisbon metro works from 6.30 am until 1 am. Some stations close at 9.30 pm and during the weekend.
The Lisbon metro map is exposed at any metro station and it can be easily consulted. It can be useful to have a copy upon arrival at the airport in order to know how to reach your hotel and move around.
By clicking on the link below you can download the Lisbon Metro Map in PDF; a document ready to be printed and to be carried around.Lisbon Metro Map
The construction of Lisbon metro started on August 7th 1955; four years later the main two lines – long only 6,5 km – were inaugurated. Further expansion works took place in 1972, 1995, 1998, and 2004.
In 2012 the red line was extended, connecting the city center to the airport.
At the moment the Lisbon metro is managed by the company Metropolitano de Lisboa, E.P.E.
Lisbon is one of those few cities where tourists have happy memories about the metro system, despite the several steep ups and downs to leave the stations (of course there are escalators. The reason is easy; the walls decorated with colourful tiles are just beautiful.
The idea of decorating the stations with traditional azulejos is connected to the artist Maria Keil, who was in charge of the decoration of 19 stations of the Lisbon metro within 25 years. She brought back the art of using tiles, which was underestimated between the 19th century and the first half of the XX century. Its masterpiece is the Intendente station (green line).
There were many artists who worked on the decoration of the Lisbon metro stations. In particular, the decoration of the Oriente Station, on the red line, was entrusted to a group of artists coming from 5 continents. The main subject of the project was the “Ocean”.
A more recent work of art is the one designed by António Antunes at Lisbon airport metro stop; 53 famous Portuguese characters, including the poet Fernando Pessoa and the famous fado player Amália Rodrigues, greet every passenger landing to Lisbon and farewell those who are leaving.
City Card allow you to save on public transport and / or on the entrances to the main tourist attractions.