Public transportation

Viva ViagemOne of the best things you can do as you get to Lisbon is to get into the public transportation system. It works quite great, and if you understand how to use it and have a valid ticket or pass you will for sure enjoy it.

Lisbon enjoy have a metro system with four lines, it has quite some tram lines and a lot of bus lines operating. You can read more about the metro system and see a metro map here. Most of the tram lines are the small and nostalgic kind of trams, but tram line 15 connects the city center to Belem, so if you want to discover the Belem area on your own, then a ride with tram line 15 is perfect. The buses will take you in almost any direction. A popular bus ride is for example line 737 which will take you from Praca Figueira to the Castle (it will not stop by the castle directly, so some walking needs to be done from the end station).

So you have all this information and understand that it is useful to travel using public transporation in Lisbon. But, how do I get hold of the tickets? What ticket should I use? And how much does it cost? Just calm down, we will try to explain how this works in an easy and understandable way.

Tickets and prices for public transportation

First of all you will need to get hold of a Viva Viagem card to use the public transportation such as trams, buses, metro and funiculars in Lisbon. You can buy such a card at most metro stations using one of the ticket machines. Set the language of the machine to English and enter the option that you do not yet have a Viva Viagem card. Once this option has been set you will get the chance of either buying a day pass (24 hour) or buying single tickets. To make things easy we for sure recommend buying a 24 hour tickets which will give you lots of value for your money, and it is really easy to understand and to use. Choose whatever you decide, pay the amount (using cash or card) and your card will be printed and you are good to go.

Once you enter a bus or a metro or a tram you will have to use the card, and if you have money on it or a valid 24 hour ticket it will light green or give a nice sound saying that everything is okay. If you do not have more money left on your card or in case you need a new 24 hour ticket you can just find a ticket machine once more, but since you already have a Viva Viagem card you just need to refill this and you are good to go again.

Since the 24 hour ticket can be used on the funiculars and also the Santa Justa elevator, in addition to tram 28 and all the other cool stuff, that is for sure the best value and we recommend using the daily ticket to everyone. You can also go ahead and buy the Lisbon Card, but that is much more expensive, and it is only worth using in case you plan on visiting loads of museums and sights in addition to using the public transportation.

The price for a single ticket is 1,40 Euro and the price for a 24 hour ticket for public transportation costs 6 Euro.

22 Comments

  1. Hí, I am don’t ubóderstand exatly how is working the Via Viagem card. If I want to use during 30 hours 6 times by metro and tram how much I have to pay? And the other question is : if I have to change from one metro line to the others I have to pay two times or just one?

    Thanks:
    Andrea

    • The price for the Viva Viagem card in itself is 0,5 Euro. A single ticket later cost you 1,45 Euro. Such a ticket is valid for one hour and you can then change between lines for one hour afterwards. You will in other words need six tickets, meaning the end result will be a little less than 10 Euro.

  2. Hello, where can I buy tickets for the public transportation in Lisbon as I arrive to the airport? How do I get from the airport to the Rossio M station? Where can I buy a green card, is it worth the money?

    • There are vending machines for tickets at Lisbon Airport. Get on the metro, travel to Alameda, and then change and travel on to Rossio M. The Green Card (I guess you think of the day pass) can be bought in the ticket machines, but do not forget that you first have to buy the Viva Viagem card itself.

  3. In July I will travel to Portugal, to Estoril. I do not want to use a taxi in Lisbon, but I have checked Google Maps for different options. It tells me that I can travel with red line from the airport to Alameda, and there change to Cais do Sodre and there travel to Estoril.

    Are the three colors describing the metro lines, or is the last a train? Do I need different tickets on all three lines? Is it a long walk between the different places, since I will change lines with a large suitcase.

    • Hello. If you travel to Estoril you can use the metro for the first two lines (one ticket is enough). Once you arrive to Cais do Sodre you have to change to a train, which is located close to the metro stop, so no long walk. The train leaves every 20 minutes, so you do not have to wait a long time for your departure.

  4. Is the day pass (Viva Viagem) available for a day (from 0.00-24.00) or is it a 24 hour pass available from validation time till the next day at the same time? I have the same question concerning the Lisbon Pass.

  5. We will arrive to Lisbon on Thursday, but I am not sure which metro to use. We will stay in Avenida Columbano Bordalo Pinherio 105 ( Corinthia Lisbon Hotel ). What are your advises?

  6. Hello,
    I am not sure I understand it correct. Do I need to pay for the Viva Viagem card, and then I have to add money to my card to buy a day card (or single tickets), or is the card itself free?

    • Hello,
      you have to buy the Viva Viagem card first, and then afterwards you will have to top up your card adding money for single tickets, or making it a card for day passes.

  7. I will travel to Lisbon for five days in September, and I plan to spend one day in Porto. If I buy the Viva Viagem card and I do not buy day pass (but single tickets), how much will I have to pay then using the trams and the elevators?

    Which train station will I arrive to in Porto or do you have an estimate of the price for the return trip to Porto?

    How far is the 28 tram stop from the SE Cathedral?

    • The 28 tram passes by in front of the SE Cathedral, so that is very easy. If you travel to Porto then you should arrange so that you arrive to Sao Bento, the most popular and central railway station in Porto.

      The price of using the tram if you use normal tickets are 1,45 Euro, but the price for the Santa Justa elevator is 2,80 Euro if you buy it as a single trip. With a day card the elevator is included in the price.

  8. I have two questions… If I need to change lines twice to get to my goal, can I do that with one ticket? How can I get from the Oriento stop to Savacem, and can I pay that with my Viva Viagem card?

    • You can change lines using one metro ticket. I am not 100% sure how to get to Savacem in the easiest way, but if you are at the Oriente station it isn’t really that far away. You can walk, or you could use the Telecabin to get you at least a bit closer to Savacem.

  9. I don’t think I understand. If I buy a day pass costing 6 Euro, that is all I have to pay that day? Or will the price change depending on how many time I change between different lines and so on?

  10. Can tickets for the public transportation in Lisbon only be bought from ticket machines, or are there actual “stores” where I can buy the tickets/passes as well? Can tickets be bought at the metro stations?

    Do you know how much it would cost to travel to Porto using the highway? Thank you for your answers!

    • There are stores/shops as well where you can buy tickets, but they are not too frequent. There are ticket machines at the different metro stations.

      I can not say for sure the exact price for the highway to and from Porto, but you should estimate around 25 Euro for the highway fee, and then gas will of course come in addition.

    • You can not use the normal day pass to travel with train to Sintra. For this purpose you must either buy a stand alone ticket for the train ride (costs around 2,5 Euro), or you can buy a more expensive day pass costing a bit more than 10 Euro, which is suitable for traveling with local trains to Sintra, Cascais, Azambuja and Sado for 24 hours, in addition to using the public transportation in Lisbon.

      According to the official website the day pass is called Carris/Metro/CP, costs 10.15 Euro and is described in this way: “Valid for unlimited trips in Carris, Metro and CP (Sintra, Cascais, Azambuja and Sado lines), during 24 hours after the first validation.

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