Ride ’em like a champ!
The iconic Lisbon tram is part of the city’s famous symbol. The bustling streets of Portugal’s capital sings along the rings of trams and beats to the hum of steel tracks. With six lines running on-the-go, here’s everything you need to know before the fun ride!
Before you ride, know that…
Watch out for pickpockets! They are everywhere on the trams, so make sure to hang on to your bags, phones, and cameras tightly.
Running time goes from 7 a.m. – 11 p.m. But check out Carris website for timetable.
Buy the 24-hour public transport ticket. This way, you can ride the metro and all tram/bus services. It costs €6.15 and can only be bought from ticket machines at metro stations. This is a cheaper and more convenient way since all you have to do is swipe your 24-hour ticket when you get on.
A single ticket is €2.90 per ride. This option is great if you only plan on riding the tram once. You can buy this ticket on the tram by giving money to the driver. The problem with buying a single ticket on the tram is that when the trams are congested especially during rush hour, it’s difficult to shuffle through your wallet with crowds around.
Don’t forget to swipe your ticket on the reader as soon as you enter the tram. Even if you have a day pass, you still need to swipe to validate your ride. You don’t need to swipe it again when you get off the tram.
Get on at first stops of each route. Since most trams travel through downtown, it’s difficult to get on the trams in those areas, especially during summertime.
#28 – For the most historic experience.
If you want the most classic ride, #28’s Remodelado tram goes all the way back to the 1930’s. Instead of being housed in a museum, it’s still running today despite that it’s incompatible with modern trams due to hilly slopes and sharp turns.
Route: It takes you from Martim Moniz to Campo Ourique. It passes through tiny alleys in tourist areas including: Graca, Alfama, Baixa and Estrela. Ride the entire route to see everything!
Best time to ride: Early morning or after rush hour. Before 10 a.m. and after 6 p.m.
Tips & tricks: Get on at Martim Moniz or Campo Ourique for better seating. Due to tight turns, make sure to hang on if you’re standing. BEWARE OF PICKPOCKETS! #28 is filled with them.
#15 – For the modern travelers.
#15 is just as popular as #28 since it passes through Belém for those who crave the iconic egg tarts at Pasteis de Belem. #15 is a modern tram, so you won’t get the experience of riding a classic one, but it passes through tons of tourist areas as well which explains its popularity.
Route: It connects Praça da Figueira to Algés (Jardim). And it also runs from Baixa district to Belem district.
Best time to ride: #15 also gets crowded, so avoid rush hours. Ride before 10 a.m. and after 6 p.m. if you want a seat.
Tips & tricks: This one has ticket machines inside the tram, so if you plan on buying a single ticket for the ride, you can pay for it without giving money to the driver.
#12 – If you don’t have much time.
#12 is the shortest ride since it circles around old city, so you can get the Lisbon classic tram experience in 4 km in 20 minutes.
Route: It goes through Baixa district and Alfama so you’ll see the cathedral, the beautiful viewpoint at Santa Luzia, St. Anthony’s church…and much more.
Best time to ride: The tram starts at 8 a.m. to 8:45 p.m. with 4-5 departures every hour. It’s the 3rd most popular route, so be sure to avoid rush hours.
Tips & tricks: #12 only goes in a single clockwise direction. It goes through a lot of narrow alleys and steep hills, so hang on tight during the ride.
#25 – For more local vibes.
This one also stops at Campo do Orique, just like #28. It passes through more local neighborhoods so that you can get a sense of how Portuguese live and utilize the trams.
Route: It passes by Estrela Basilica, then by the riverside until the base of the Alfama hill.
#18 – To go along the river.
For approximately 2 kilometers, #18 runs along the riverside. This is a great way to get the scenic view and for heading toward the April 25th bridge.
Route: From the Cais do Sodre to Ajuda cemetery. If you’d like to see the famous April 25th bridge, this is a great route to take.