Public Transportation in Lisbon

By | February 25, 2015

Lisbon Transport System

There are numerous means of private as well as public transport in Lisbon that can be used for searching around the city. Based on the gratifications you expect to get over the course of your stay in the capital city of Portugal, you can either get around the city in trains, trams and buses or make the most of the bike, ferry and car services. You can also take into account walking which, apart from being an effective physical exercise, is the best way of exploring the city center of Lisbon which is fairly compact compared to some of the other parts of the city. Travelling on the funicular system is yet another means of going around Lisbon with the system having been designed specially keeping in mind the best interests of the tourists visiting the city.

Transport system in Lisbon

There is an extensive network of public transport in Lisbon comprising of both surface as well as underground means to travel around the city. For a flexible and cost effective manner of exploring the various tourist attractions in Lisbon, you can rely on the trams, buses and metro systems in the city. Carris, which is in charge of managing Lisbon’s transport system, offers numerous passes and tickets apart from the various means with which you can pay for these services.

Let us now explore the various modes of public transport system in Lisbon that tourists can make best use of for getting around and exploring all that is offer in the city, from historical sites to popular tourist attractions.

Metro System in Lisbon

Getting around Lisbon using the Metro service is the fastest way of getting from one point in the city to another. There are large blue M signs used to represent the metro stations. English speaking tourists need not be concerned about finding their way around the service as all of the crucial information is written out in English apart from Portuguese. If you wish to travel by Lisbon Metro, you will be required to buy a ticket which is not same as that of the surface transport system. However, there are various passes valid for both the underground and surface transport systems in the city. Some stops along the metro route that are worth taking note of are as follows:

  • Cais do Sodre: You can get trains from here to Estoril and Cascais, trams destined for Belem and ferry service to the Monument of Christ
  • Rossio: Trains to Sintra can be boarded from here
  • Sao Sebastiao: The Gulbenkian Museum is located close to this station
  • Jardim Zoologico: The Sete Rio bus terminal that operates long distance buses to all parts of Portugal is close to this station
  • Colegio Militar-Luz: The Benfica Stadium and Colombia shopping malls can be reached from this place
  • Oriente: All of the tourist attractions in the Parque das Nacoes region, city buses and trains to international as well as domestic destinations can be found here

Ferry service in Lisbon

Lisbon stands on the Tejo river and as a result of its geographical location, some means or public transport is required for connecting the two parts of the city. Before the many bridges were constructed over the river, this connection was served exclusively by the ferry service. A means of transport that has made its way into the history books, the ferry service continues to run offering an excellent experience for the tourists who want an alternative to exploring the city of Lisbon by land. Transtejo Soflusa is the main company which runs this transport service. Belem and Cais do Sodre are the main originating points for the ferry services heading out to places such as Trafaria, Montijo, Seixal and Cacilhas. There is another connection that runs between Barreiro and Terreiro do Paco.

Funiculars in Lisbon

The four elevator services managed by Carris not only offers visitors the opportunity to savour some of the historical charms of the city but also is a reliable means of exploring Lisbon. Put to use during the early parts of the twentieth century, the funiculars have earned the status of historical monuments in 2002. The four elevator services are as follows:

Elevador de Santa Justa: Covers the distance between Rua da Ouro and Largo do Carmo
Ascensor da Gloria: Bairro Alto and Praca dos Restauradores act as their terminal stations
Ascensor da Bica: Runs between Largo de Calhariz and Rua da Sao Paulo
Ascensor do Lavra: Oldest funicular system operating between Travessa Forno Torel and Largo da Anunciada

Bus and Tram service in Lisbon

 The trams and buses in Lisbon are among the cheapest of all in Europe. The electricos, or the electric trolley cars, run up the steep road of the Bairro Alto. The double-decker buses that have been bought in from London look as if there is a need for Big Ben in the background to complete the overall romantic connection. Do not try standing on the platform at the rear of a packed bus and in case you have no option, ensure you have both hands free to hold on for support. On Rua Aurea, which is the foot of the Santa Justa funicular terminal, there is a stand that holds the schedules pinpointing the numerous zigzagging tram and bus routes around the city. The antediluvian electricos, similar in every manner to the cable cars in San Francisco are now a popular tourist attraction in Lisbon. They replaced the horse-drawn trams in 1903 with the electrico No. 28 being singled out as the best one for sightseers, travelling through what is considered to be the part of Lisbon that is steeped in history.

Taxi service in Lisbon

Travelling around the city on taxi is an extremely reliable option. With numerous taxi ranks and taxi companies in the city, they rank as one of the most efficient means of public transit in Lisbon. Travelling by taxi is fairly cheap while tips should not be more than twenty percent of the total fare. However, if you have extra or heavy luggage to carry, drivers are entitled to an extra charge of as much as fifty percent. Certain taxi services arrange for comprehensive private tours around Lisbon which is a reassuring news for tourists who are in need of a private tour guide over the course of their stay in the city.

Getting Around in Lisbon

As one of the typical capital cities around Europe, Lisbon does not offer enough in terms of exploring the full extent of the city layout on foot. The city center being a compact area is, however, ideal for being explored on foot. Also, considering the fact that travelling by road in Lisbon, especially the central districts, is an experience best forgotten, taking a walk around this place makes for an inspired choice. For the pursuits that are seemingly more extensive, it is best to resort to the various alternative means of public transport in Lisbon for exploring the various aspects of the city.

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    One thought on “Public Transportation in Lisbon

    1. diane

      is there an elevator or escalator at sao sebastiao station in lisbon. we will be transferring with small suitcases.


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