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Navigating Lisbon’s Public Transportation: A Visitor’s Guide

a person sitting on a bus

Lisbon, with its charming cobblestone streets and historic neighborhoods, is a city best explored on foot. However, when you want to venture beyond the city center or simply give your legs a break, Lisbon’s efficient and diverse public transportation system is at your service. This guide will help you navigate the trams, buses, and other modes of transportation to make your visit to the Portuguese capital smooth and enjoyable.


a train driving down the street

Trams: Riding the Historic Rails

**1. Tram 28 – A Scenic Journey Through Lisbon’s Heart

  • Begin your tram adventure with the iconic Tram 28, winding its way through the historic districts of Graça, Alfama, and Baixa. This route is not just a means of transportation but a scenic journey through Lisbon’s most picturesque neighborhoods.
  • Please take into consideration Lisbon is a tourist destination and there are always people who take advantage of this. Be conscious of your surroundings and belongings, as full trams are a favourite for pickpockets.

**2. Tram 15 – From Belém to the City Center

  • For a glimpse into Lisbon’s maritime history, hop on Tram 15. This route takes you from the monumental area of Belém, home to the Jerónimos Monastery and the Belém Tower, to the heart of the city.


a man walking down the street

Buses: Navigating the City’s Extensive Network

**1. Buses as a Versatile Option

  • Lisbon’s bus network covers the entire city, making it a versatile option for exploring areas not directly served by the tram lines. Check out bus routes and schedules to plan your journey effectively.

**2. The Aerobus – Connecting Lisbon to the Airport

  • If you’re arriving or departing, the Aerobus provides a direct link between Lisbon Airport and the city center. Comfortable and equipped with luggage space, it’s a hassle-free way to start or end your trip.


a close up of a brick building

The Lisbon Metro: Underground Efficiency

**1. Navigating the Metro Lines

  • The Lisbon Metro is a quick and efficient way to move around the city. With four lines, it covers key areas, including the airport. You can see the full diagram here. Purchase a rechargeable Viva Viagem card for seamless access to metro services.

**2. Metro Art: A Unique Underground Experience

  • Don’t rush through the metro stations; appreciate the unique artworks and installations that make each station a cultural experience. From the red line, blue line, yellow and green, the metro stations are more than just a transportation system—they’re a gallery on the go.

a flock of seagulls flying over a body of water

Boat Travel: Sailing the Tagus River

**1. Ferry Crossings – A Tranquil Journey Across the Tagus

  • Experience Lisbon from a different perspective by taking a ferry across the Tagus River. These ferry crossings offer breathtaking views of the cityscape, especially during sunset. Head to Cais do Sodré, Terreiro do Paço or Belém to catch a boat and enjoy a serene voyage along the river.

**2. River Cruises – Discover Lisbon’s Maritime Beauty

  • Elevate your Lisbon experience with a river cruise. Whether it’s a short tour along the Tagus or a day excursion to nearby coastal towns, river cruises provide a unique blend of relaxation and sightseeing. Check out the variety of options available for a memorable aquatic adventure.

Tagus cruises: departing from Belém


a computer sitting on top of a table

Practical Tips for Public Transportation

**1. Viva Viagem Card – Your Ticket to Lisbon

  • Invest in a Viva Viagem card, which can be loaded with single tickets or day passes for unlimited travel on trams, buses, and the metro. Available at metro stations and designated kiosks, it’s your key to hassle-free transportation. You can always buy a ticket inside the bus, but it will be more expensive than pre-bought voyages.

**2. Timetables and Routes – Plan Your Journey

  • Familiarize yourself with the timetables and routes of the trams, buses, and metro lines you plan to use. Mobile apps and online resources like these can provide real-time information to ensure you don’t miss a connection.

**3. Off-Peak Travel – Beat the Crowds

  • Consider traveling during off-peak hours to avoid crowded public transportation. This not only provides a more comfortable experience but also allows you to enjoy the city at a more relaxed pace.


Lisbon’s public transportation system offers a convenient and cost-effective way to explore the city and its surroundings. Whether you’re taking in the views from a historic tram, navigating the city’s neighborhoods by bus, or speeding through the underground metro, the diverse options ensure that you can make the most of your time in this captivating city. So, load up your Viva Viagem card, plan your routes, and embark on a journey through Lisbon’s vibrant streets with the city’s public transportation as your guide.

  • Runs out quickly

A visit to the Pena Palace, one of the most emblematic palaces of Europe, worth of the main role on any fairy tale movie, and with an outstanding location, deserves a guided visit to its different areas, such as the inside, the terraces or even the majestic and sumptuous gardens without any rush or worries about ticket and time slots.