Lisbon is a dense tangle of narrow streets running in all directions and wide avenues with modern buildings, Fado music in the Alfama district, and the rattling of streetcars climbing the hills of the city. Lisbon's colors are the azulejos that adorn the facades of the houses, the sea, and the sky from the city's vantage points. Lisbon is an amazing metropolis, in which you want to get lost for a while in order to discover its most secret places.
Transportation in Lisbon
Public transportation in Lisbon includes buses, trams, funiculars, the metro, trains, taxi, and ferries. Most of the land transport in Lisbon is operated by the Carris transport company. The city has many old streetcars and funiculars that are more than a century old, so transport in the Portuguese capital is essentially a landmark.
For the convenience of planning your trip to the Portuguese capital, there is a public transport planner for Lisbon on the website of the transportation company Carris, which manages most of the land transport in the city. Before traveling, it is a good idea to prepare a preliminary itinerary, a cultural program of important local places, and read the reviews of places of interest in Portugal, which will help you plan your time.
Metro in Lisbon
Lisbon's metro is efficient and fast. The Lisbon Metro is operated by the transportation company Metropolitano de Lisboa. The Lisbon Metro has four lines marked in different colors — red, blue, green, and yellow. The subway runs from 6:30 to 01:00. Some stations close at 21:30. Tickets for travel (a single ticket costs 1.50 euros) are sold at ticket offices and vending machines. When entering the subway, the ticket should be marked at the turnstile. In the case of fare dodging, the fine is 100 times higher than the cost of the ticket.
Lisbon's Portela International Airport has an Aeroporto metro station. It means that you can get to the city at a reasonable price.
The Lisbon bus network is operated by the Carris transport company. There are daytime and night bus routes in Lisbon. The daytime lines (more than 100) operate from 5:30 until 23:00, and then the night buses (with numbers starting with 200) run with 6 routes. Tickets for the bus can be purchased from the driver or at the train station ticket offices, as well as in ticket vending machines. The cost of a single ticket is 2 euros. To pay for the ride, you can also use the cards 7 Colinas (blue) and Viva viagem (green). Paying by card with zapping (filling up with money) will cost 1.35 euros per fare, and the card with a pre-filled trip will cost 1.50 euros. At each stop, there is a route map with all the stops. When boarding, the ticket should be marked on a special machine in the cabin of the bus.
At night, if you do not know the schedule of night buses, it is easier and more convenient to take a taxi.
Lisbon's tram network is also operated by the Carris transport company. The trams in Lisbon are mostly old-fashioned vehicles. They are perfectly matching the architecture of the old city.
Six tram routes are identified on public transport schemes with the letter E - Eléctrico:
12E - Praça Figueira - circular
15E - Praça. Figueira - Algés
18E - Cais Sodré - Cemitério Ajuda
24E - Pç. Luis Camões - Campolide
25E - R. Alfândega - Campo Ourique
28E - Martim Moniz - Campo Ourique
The 28E is a special tourist route that leads through the center of the city, where you can see the main attractions of Lisbon. Tram 15E takes you from the center of Lisbon to the Belém region to visit sites such as the Jerónimos Monastery, the Belém Tower, the Presidential Palace, the tropical gardens and parks. Don't forget to stop for delicious pastries at the Pâtel de Belém! Tickets are sold at the ticket office, at ticket machines, and by the driver. The ticket price for a single trip is 3 euros.
With the Lisboa Card, you can travel for free on public transport. You can also save money by buying a 24-hour unlimited pass.
The funiculars connect the lower and upper parts of Lisbon. Both modes of transport are called Elevador. They can be considered not only as the city's transportation, but also as Lisbon's sights, as all of them have been designated as national monuments.
The Santa Justa funicular is the most famous cable car in Lisbon, in operation since 1902. It takes passengers from Rua de Santa Justa in the Baixa district to Largo do Carmo in the Chiado district. It was designed by Raul Mesnier du Ponsard. In 2002, the elevator was recognized as a monument of national importance. At the top of the line, there is a panoramic platform. The elevator is open daily from 7:30-21:00 in the winter and 7:30-23:00 in the summer; the schedule is available at carris.pt. The fare is 5.30 euros (including round trip and a visit to the panoramic platform).
The Funicular Gloria is an elevator that opened in Lisbon on October 24, 1885. It connects the Calcada da Gloria, behind Praca dos Restauradores, and Rua de Sao Pedro de Alcantara in the Bairro Alto district. In 2002, the Gloria chairlift was declared a national monument. Opening hours: Monday - Thursday 7:15 - 23:55, Friday 7:15 - 00:25, Saturday 8:45 - 00:25, Sunday and holidays 9:15 - 23:55. The ticket price for a round trip is 3.80 euros.
The Bica Funicular is a funicular elevator that opened on June 28, 1892. It connects Rua do Loreto and Rua Boavista near the Cais do Sodre station. In 2002, it was declared a national monument. Opening hours: Monday - Saturday 7:00 - 21:00, Sundays and holidays 9:00 - 21:00. The ticket price for a round trip is 3.80 euros.
The Lavra Funicular is Lisbon's oldest funicular railway, opened on April 19, 1884. It connects the Largo da Anunciada square with Rua Câmara Pestana. In 2002, it was declared a national monument. Opening hours: Monday - Friday 7:50 - 19:55, Saturday - Sunday and holidays 9:00 - 19:55 The cost of a round trip ticket is 3.80 euros.
Trains in Lisbon
The train in Lisbon is a popular type of transportation. Portugal's main railway line crosses the country from north to south, from Porto via Lisbon to Faro. The frequency of trains between Porto and Lisbon is quite high: about 13 high-speed trains a day in both directions. All trains are comfortable and depart strictly according to the schedule. Locals use trains as public transportation. For example, the train from Lisbon takes you to Cascais and Cape Roca. You can pay for your ride with a single ticket at a ticket office or vending machine, or with the 7 Colinas or Viva viagem transport cards.
Taxis are a reasonably cheap way to get around Lisbon. A green light means that the cab is already occupied. You pay 3,25 euros to get into a taxi and 0.50 euros per 1 km on average. On weekends, the fare increases by 20%. From the airport of Lisbon to the city center, it is possible to get for 12-20 euros. It is customary to give drivers a small tip of 10% of the trip cost.
Ferries leave from three Lisbon piers: Terreiro do Paço (or Praça do Comércio), Cais do Sodré, and Belém. These jetties are connected by ferry lines to the jetties on the right bank of the Tagus: Montijo, Barreiro, Seixal, Cacilhas, Porto Brandão, Trafaria. From the ferry pier at the Cais do Sodré station, there is also a car ferry (marked "F" for "Ferries"). Remember that each Lisbon marina can only take you to a specific quay on the right bank.
The yellow tourist boats ply the river on a hop-on-hop-off basis. Tickets are valid for 24 hours from the first use. You can get off at different places where the boat stops and then get back on.
Rent a car
If your sightseeing program is limited to Lisbon, you can easily do without a car. Anyway, you may rent a bike! A rental car is a good idea in many places to see the surroundings of the Portuguese capital. In the city, there is a lot of traffic. Local drivers drive very fast, but they respect the rules. There are private and municipal parking lots. Most of them are paid, but you can park for free in residential neighborhoods. The cost of parking depends on the owner and the specific parking area.