Most of the main sights of Lisbon are found within its old town, with some districts being a warren of narrow cobbled roads hard to navigate and better explored on foot. Personally, I would avoid driving within the city boundaries as it can feel very chaotic, especially during public holidays. Away from the old city centre, there's a great network of quality roads that are ideal for exploring the region, making car rental a viable option if you're planning to travel further afield.
Vacant pay-and-display parking spaces are a rarity and you may find yourself driving around a long time to find one. There are major car parks at Restauradores, Parque Eduardo VII, Parking Berna on Rua Marqûes de Sá da Bandeira near the Gulbenkian and the Amoreiras complex on Avenida Engenheiro Duarte Pacheco.
You can rent a car at the airport or at various places throughout the city. Alternatively, you can book online at your connivance and pick it up from your place of choice:
Metropolitano de Lisboa is a clean and modern light railway that operates underground around Lisbon. The Lisbon Metro is air-conditioned, in-expensive, quick and reliable. The network spans 45km of track over 55 stations. Services start around 06h00 and run late into the night in most cases. Construction started in 1955 with the first services coming into operation in 1969. For the local population, it's an essential transport system for trafficking commuters into the city from out-laying areas. For visitors, it's the quickest way to reach the most distant attractions such as the Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon zoo, the Oceanarium at the Parque das Naçôes. It also connects other transport hubs such as train stations, bus stations and the airport.
There are currently four colour-coded lines with plans for expansion in the pipeline:
Blue line (Linha Azul): Santa Apolónia - Reboleira
Yellow line (Linha Amarela): Rato – Odivelas
Green line (Linha Verde): Cais do Sodré – Telheiras
Red Line (Linha Vermelha): São Sebastião - Aeroporto
Lisbon Metro uses the Viva Viagem travel card system which is compatible with most other forms of public transport in the city. Tickets can be bought and reloaded at multi-lingual machines found in the foyer of stations or at the ticket office.
Map | Website
Lisbon's Viva Viagem card is a quick and easy all-in-one reusable ticket for use on most Public transport systems and funiculars. With this handy green card, you can buy a whole day's travel for use on buses, trams, urban trains, certain ferries, the metro and street elevators. Buying tickets from drivers of buses and trams are more expensive and cumbersome.
First, you must buy the card and then load it with tickets. This is easily done from multilingual machines found in ticket halls or from a dedicated ticket office. The card itself costs a mere 50 cents and is reusable. Each traveller must have their own ticket, children under four years of age travel for free on Lisbon's public transport. Tickets must be validated by swiping a card reader found at the entrance and exits of stations at the beginning and end of every trip. Zapping is when you pre-load any amount onto the card from €3.00 to €40.00 and pay-as-you-go, paying for each journey individually. You won't be able to load on a day ticket until the balance is back to zero.
You can use Viva Viagem on:
• Carris Buses, Trams, Funiculars and Elevador da Santa Justa
• Metro all services
• CP Urban trains: Cascais, Sintra & Setúbal lines
• Transtejo Ferries: Cacilhas, Trafaria & Seixa/Barreiro/Montijo services
The majority of international, inter-regional and intercity trains terminate and originate from Lisbon's Estação Santa Apolónia, a single stop away from Estação do Oriente at Parque das Nações where there's a major travel hub. Here there is a substantial coach and bus station, other train services and an ultra-modern looking metro station. [ More About ► ] Lisbon is served by four separate train stations located across the city:
To/From Oriente Station:
• Trains to the Alentejo – Linha Alentejo: (Intercidade) Train Timetable
• High Speed National Services – (Alfa Pendular) Train Timetable
• Trains to Sintra – Linha Sintra: (Urbano) Train Timetable
• Trains to the Algarve – Porto - Faro: (Regional) Train Timetable
To/From Cais do Sodré:
• Trains to the Estoril Coast – Linha Cascais: (Urbano) Train Timetable
• Trains to Sintra – Linha Sintra: (Urbano) Train Timetable
To/From Sana Apolónia/Oriente:
• Trains to Coimbra – Longo Curso: (Regional) Train Timetable
• Trains to Tomar – Ramal de Tomar: (Regional) Train Timetable
To/From Barreiro (the train station on the opposite bank from Lisbon, refer to ferry times):
• Trains to Sétubal – Linha do Sado: (Urbano) Train Timetable
See the best of Lisbon with one easy pass, choose from 24hr and 48hrs. Free access to any Carris tram, the Santa Justa Lift and funiculars. Includes a Yellow Bus discount booklet.
Get a different perspective of Lisbon with a 24-hour pass to the hop-on-hop-off boats. Cruise to or from Terreiro do Paço to historic Belém. The ticket includes free access to any Carris tram, the Santa Justa Lift, and the Lisbon funiculars.More Info & Book Online ►
Unlimited 72-hour access to the Yellow Bus hop-on hop-off buses, tramcars and boats of the Belém, Modern Lisbon, Hills and Yellow Boat lines.More Info & Book Online ►
Usually, you would associate three-wheeled auto-rickshaws with India or Thailand yet over the last decade or so they're been a common site negotiating the narrow streets of Lisbon. Popular with tourists but not so much with some Lisboetas, especially taxi drivers who have seen a drop in their profits. Their open canopy makes for a cool ride and they're are the perfect size for traversing the maze of the narrow cobbled streets of the Alfama. As of 2017 all tuk-tuks must be electric and stop services from 21h00. You can choose from set tours or book a customised trip. Prices vary greatly and it's advised to agree on a price before setting off, especially if you're getting on-board one next to a top attraction, like the castle, Sé (cathedral), Praça do Comercio and the Miradouro das Portas do Sol. Drivers are usually young and English-speaking and trained to provide tourist information. To guarantee a good deal it's best to book online in advance...
Lisbon's road transport is operated by Carris and its distinctive bright yellow corporate identity adorns the city's buses and trams. Buses are cheap, reliable, clean, regular, comfortable and air-conditioned. Bus services run from 05h00 until 01h00 and the network of routes reaches almost everywhere in Lisbon as well as being a pleasurable way of viewing the city as your travel. In addition, there are eight night-bus services.
A single journey ticket (Título Agente Único) bought from the driver costs €1.85 (cash only) or alternatively swipe and validate your VIVA Viagem or Lisboa Card as you enter. Sizes of buses themselves vary depending on their route, from mini-buses, articulated buses, standard coaches, to double-deckers. Bus stops have electronic displays that indicate the arrival time of the next bus.
Routes & Timetables | Website
It can be argued that Lisbon's old trams are the city's best-known feature and any trip to Portugal's capital is not complete without taking a ride on an eléctrico. They have chugged their way up some of the steepest hills in Europe since the 1930s.
Their small profile is ideal for negotiating the narrow streets and tight corners found in Lisbon's oldest districts. At times trams come within touching distance of the walls of houses. Five routes of rickety bone-shaking trams remain an integral part of Carris' public transport network, however, the Tram 28 is by far the most popular with visitors.
|A circular route from Praça da Figueira to Largo Martim Moniz via the Alfama. Timetable
From Rua da Alfândega via Praça do Comércio and Cais do Sodré to the Palácio da Ajuda.
|From Praça Luís Camões to Campolide. Timetable
From Rua da Alfândega to Campo Ourique via Praça do Comércio, Cais do Sodré, Lapa and Estrela.
From Largo Martim Moniz to Prazeres, via the Alfama, Baixa, Chiado, São Bento and Estrela.
The most adventurous way to cross the mighty Tejo (Tagus) river is by ferry. It leaves the Cais do Sodré Ferry Terminal in Lisbon, ideally located on the green metro line and terminates at Cacilhas. The ferries are regular. The crossing takes about 15 minutes. These white and orange boats are known as Cacilheiros locally.
Weekdays: 06h00 – 22h45 | Weekends: 7h30 – 22h45
€1.20 | Timetable
Rua da Cintura do Porto de Lisboa - Terminal Fluvial do Cais do Sodré, 1249-249 Lisboa, Portugal.
38° 44' 46.05" N | 09° 05' 50.8" W | +351 210 139 287 | Website
Once you reach Cacilhas you can catch the number 101 bus from the bus stop opposite which drops you off at the Cristo Rei monument (buy ticket from driver). Timetable
Three funicular railways provide fun and rapid access up to Lisbon’s highest hills and the Bairro Alto. There is also one iron lift. They are run by Carris, you can use a Viva Viagem or Lisboa Card for payment.
|Elevador da Glória (51E)
|From the Bairro Alto to the Praça dos Restauradores. [ More About ► ] Timetable
|Elevador do Lavra (52E)
|From Rua São José, near Av. da Liberdade, to Hospital de São José. Timetable
|Elevador da Bica (53E)
|From Calçada do Coimbro in Barrio Alto to Rua da Boavista near Cais do Sodré station. Timetable