Transports in Lisbon

Transports in Lisbon

A very common question when preparing your trip to Lisbon is: which is the best way to move around town?
Here I comment the several available options.

Metro, Buses and Tram

Tram Nº 28

Metro, Buses and Tram
The metro is the fastest and most comfortable way, but has the disadvantage of not reaching all the areas of the city. Also, in my opinion, when visiting a new place is much better to travel above the ground, to get to know the city.
So you need to complement the metro with buses and, the so typical, Lisbon trams.
The most famous tram for sightseeing, is the number 28 (the one on the picture on the right), it runs through several historic neighborhoods: Bairro Alto, Chiado, Baixa, Alfama, Graça… passing near the Cathedral and the S. Jorge Castle. The problem is that this tram is always packed with tourists, having big queues to get in. Still… I think it is worth the experience.
But there are many other trams that will also serve to move you around the city.

Metro, Buses and Tram

Lisbon metro map

Here you can see the maps of the transport network:
Buses and trams –
Metro –
But the best way to know how to get from one point to another is to use the fantastic Google Maps, choosing the option of public transport, which gives you various combinations of metro, buses, trams, with estimated travel times and everything. Example:,+Lisboa,+Portugal

Metro, Buses and Tram

Reloadable travel card

You have to buy a reloadable travel card per person, the card is called Viva Viagem or 7 Colinas (is the same), it costs 0.50€, and you can get it at any subway ticket machine. This is the card you can use every day that you are in Lisbon, across the transport network: metro, buses, trams. In the same machines where you buy the card, you have charge it with money to travel.
2 charging options:
– Daily ticket, it costs 6€, lasts 24 hours after the first trip.
– Money value (called Zapping): you can load the money you want into the card, between 3€ and 40€. That money stays on the card, and then for each trip you take on any transport it is discounted 1.30€. The advantage is that it does not expire, so you can use it throughout the days you are in Lisbon.
Therefore, if you intend to do more than 4 journeys on the same day, then it does compensate to choose the daily ticket. If not, better load money, and then you’ll use it only when you need it. Another advantage of the Zapping option is that it is also valid for regional trains, for example to go to Cascais or Sintra, and in this case it discounts 1,85€ per each journey.
Important: Don’t choose the option of loading an X number of trips to the card. Because if you do that on a metro ticket machine, then it won’t be valid to travel by bus or tram. Always choose to load an amount of money or the daily ticket. Those are the modalities that will be valid for all transports.

Lisboa Card:
There is also the option of the Lisbon Card, a touristic card that allows you to travel throughout the network of subways, buses and trams, and also includes trains to Sintra and Cascais, and on top of that gives you free access to 23 museums, historical buildings and many discounts on tours, restaurants, bars, etc…
There are cards for 24h (18.5€), 48h (31.5€) or 72h (39€).
Here you have more detailed information on the card, and you can even pre-buy it on this web:

Taxis in Lisbon

Taxis in Lisbon

It is a very comfortable option, but more expensive than public transport of course. Still if we compare with taxis in other European or US cities, it is much cheaper in Lisbon.
If you arrive by plane I recommend you to take a taxi to your hotel / apartment (I always do), because the airport is within the city, and is a journey of 20 minutes and about 10€ -15€ to downtown Lisbon. Unless you get a scammer taxi driver that takes you around the city… which unfortunatly happens sometimes.
To move between the central neighborhoods of Lisbon, the ride should not be more than 8€ -10€, so if you are 3 or 4 people, it ends up being cheaper then public transport sometimes.

2 warnings regarding taxis, which you can also find in the post Warning! To read before you visit Lisbon:
– If you put suitcases in the trunk of the taxi, there is an extra charge of about 2€.
– Taxi drivers in Lisbon drive very fast, and sometimes jump redlights… normal! 😉

A very good alternative to taxis, the innovative and highly controversial Uber platform. There have been organized protests by taxi drivers against this service that they consider as unfair competition, and in several countries it is prohibited.
But the truth is that it is very comfortable, the app works very well, service is excellent, and the price is equal to a taxi, with the advantage that… you never get scammed, because the Uber App is the one that defines the route by GPS.
For those who do not know Uber, in short, it is an App that is installed on the phone, in which you must register with a credit card, and then using the App you can request a private car with driver at any time. Your phone shows your location so you do not have to worry about explaining where you are, and you enter the destination address in the same application. It shows you a photo of the driver, how many minutes it will take him to get to you, reviews from previous travelers, and you can also see an estimate of the cost of the trip.
You should select the UberX service which is the most economical, with fares similar to taxis. The cars are not identified, because in the end it is a private transfer. They are mostly new black cars in midrange (Eg. Volkswagen Golf, Renault Megane, Seat Leon).
Then you have the Uber Black service, with top range cars (Mercedes E, BMW 5, Audi A6), which costs about 2x the UberX. It’s a good option for business or to impress your girlfriend 😉
If you register through this link, you get a 10€ offer to use in your 1st trip with Uber:
And here you can see more information about Uber in Lisbon:

Private Airport Transfer

Private Transfer

Private Transfer

If you fly to Lisbon, an alternative transport to or from the airport it is to hire a private transfer. There are several companies that provide this service. One is BeDriven that charges 18.5€ for a private car carrying up to 3 people from the airport to any point in the center of Lisbon. On this link you can see prices and make online reservation:
Other companies have a shared shuttle service where the company can fit other passengers that they are picking up on the same schedule. This is the case of the service provided by the company Lanebus, that charges 5€ per person, for connection between the airport and Lisbon center. So, it can compensate if you do not mind sharing the ride with others.
Here you can see more details about this service and you can also book it online:

Rent a Car

Portinho da Arrábida: one of the beautiful places you need a car to go to

Renting a car has the advantage of being able to go independently to some special places that are difficult to reach in public transports: the beaches of Costa da Caparica, the Sintra area, go to Arrábida-Sesimbra-Tróia, among other sites around Lisbon.
But it has the disadvantage of the headaches to find a spot to park in Lisbon downtown, and the parking meters – about this I recommend reading the post Where to park in Lisbon.
How much does it cost to rent a car in Lisbon? Quite similar to any other European city. You’ll find prices from 15 to 30€ per day for economic range cars.
You can search for the best option in this website:, which aggregates and compares many different rent-a-car companies.
Warning: read carefully all the terms and conditions to see all possible additional costs: insurance, additional driver, gps, etc…
(The picture above is the beach of Portinho da Arrábida, one of the places that are difficult to reach without a car)

Tourist Bus “Hop-on Hop-off”

Hop-on Hop-off Bus

Hop-on Hop-off Bus

You can find information about this option in my post of Tours and Activities, but I also include it here.
You have this in every touristic city around the world, and Lisbon is no exception. The famous “hop-on hop-off” buses, 2 story, with audio-guides, for which you can buy a ticket of 24h, 48h or 72h, and during that time use the buses at your convenience, to go on your own rhythm to the main tourist sites.
There are 3 large companies offering similar services: Yellow Bus, City Sighseeing and Gray Line.
In these links you can look at the reviews from other users, and make the online reservation if you want.
Yellow Bus:
City Sightseeing:
Gray Line:

Other alternative transports in Lisbon

Hippotrip Amphibian Bus

More “weird” ways to get around Lisbon …
If you want to move around the city in more original ways, you can find information on Segways, GoCars, Amphibian Bus, Sidecar, Tuk Tuk and more here in the post of Tours and Activities in Lisbon!

Warnings about Lisbon

Warning! To read before you visit Lisbon

The appetizers are not free

The appetizers are not free!

In this post I am going to give you some important warnings for you to be aware before coming to Lisbon.
These are based on the main complaints and mistakes I’ve seen from my friends when they are visiting Lisbon for their first time.

1. When you sit at a restaurant, the bread, butter, cheese, olives or other delicious things they put in the table without you asking… They’re not free!!!
It is as it is. It is not scam. It is a different formula in the restaurants, which works smoothly, if you know the rules.
In many other countries, if a waiter puts something on the table without you asking for it, it means it’s free. Not in Portugal. But you’ll pay only what you eat. The things you don’t touch aren’t billed to your account. Check you bill at the end, just to make sure.

Watch out for taxi extra charges

Watch out for taxi extra charges

2. There is an extra charge on taxis to carry luggage in the trunk
If on top of the value indicated on the taximeter the taxi driver adds sums extra 2€, it is probably because you have put some luggage in the trunk. You are not being ripped off 😉
What is scam is if the taxi driver takes you more than 12-15 € for a trip from the airport to downtown Lisbon. Of course that if you are going to Estoril or Cascais the cost will be much higher, because it is much farther away.
One tip that I also give regarding the taxis at the airport is that you pick a taxi in the departures area, not the arrivals ones. There’s also a line of taxis at departures, and they tend to be more serious than the ones at arrivals, so less probability they will try to take the long way to your hotel.
One last warning about taxi drivers, if your taxi is driving like a madman at full speed and jumping red lights … it is “normal”! 😉 That’s the way of 90% of the taxi drivers in Lisbon. Of course you can always tell them to slow down… Or just choose to use a different transport, as you can see here other options.

High prices in clubs entrance means "go somewhere else"

High prices in clubs entrance means “go somewhere else”

3. If you are asked 200€ to enter a nightclub … they do not want you to go in!
In most clubs arround the world, the normal procedure is that you wait in line and pay what you pay to enter the club when it comes your turn. But not in Lisbon… Many clubs here will “discriminate” you based on what you are wearing, with whom you are, etc…
Regular customers, or people who the bouncer believes have a “style” that matches the club culture, pay nothing. And will probably just cut the line. The remaining clients will depend on the bouncers judgement. They can ask for a minimum consumption of 15€ or 20€, this would the normal situation. But if they don’t want you to go in, they will ask you up to 200€ or 300€. This is just a way of saying “go away”!…

Where to park in Lisbon

Where to park in Lisbon

If you are staying in Lisbon for more than 3 days it can be a good option to have a car, because in public transports it’s difficult to reach some of the coolest and less touristic sites around Lisbon, the best beaches, etc …
So for those of you that bring your own car, or rent one in the city for a few days, there is a major question that arises: Where can I park the car?

In the street with parking meters
Almost all the city centre is covered with parking meters in the street. Be aware of where you park the car, making sure you look for the nearest meter, to check the info on schedules, prices, etc. It varies from area to area: in the old town area, there are red zones, where the maximum allowed time of parking is 2h. In other areas (yellow and green), you can stay up to 4 hours, and then you must go back to the car to insert some more coins in the meter, and update the ticket in the windshield.
Here you can see the map of all the parking areas in Lisbon, marked in the corresponding colour of green, yellow or red:

In the street outside the parking meters area
Another option is to park outside the delimited areas of the parking meters, and then take public transport to the city centre. A good option is to park in the street near the Olaias subway stop, which is already outside the meters area, and then you can take the subway from there to the centre.
Another option, closest to the old town area, it is to park the car near the Santa Apolónia station which has train and subway there.

In an indoor parking
There are plenty indoor covered parkings throughout Lisbon. Usually they charge 20€ to 30€ for a full day.
In the old town area, one of the cheapest is the one in Praça dos Restauradores, which costs 20€ per day.
On this website you can see several options and prices:

In an outdoor parking
The cheapest parkings are the ones that are outdoors. There are few near the centre, like the one at Doca do Jardim do Tabaco, which costs only 8€ per day.
At this same web you can also see the outdoor parkings:
There are other 9 outdoor parking areas managed by Emel, the company that runs the parking meters, which have a daily ticket for only 3€. These are their locations:
– Alameda (Rua Jorge Castilho)
– Avenida Brasília
– Avenida do Colégio Militar (Quinta da Luz)
– Avenida Lusíada
– Entrecampos (Rua Sanches Coelho)
– Parque das Nações (Zona Sul)
– Rua de Campolide
– Rua Marquês da Fronteira (Palácio da Justiça)
– Sete Rios
In this Emel website map, if you remove all the checkboxes, leaving only selected the “Bilhete Diário” option, you will see in gray color these areas where you can park for only 3€ per day.

Good luck and… enjoy your trip to Lisbon!