With a population of more than 500,000, the public transport in Lisbon is one of the main pillars of the Portuguese capital.
Whether you are in Lisbon for a short time or are about to move there, we’ve put together a guide to the different types of public transport in Lisbon to help you get around and enjoy this wonderful city.
Types of public transport Lisbon
One of the best ways to discover Lisbon is on foot. As you walk, you’ll get to know the streets, and see sights, houses and people that you might miss on public transport.
However, as it’s more convenient, most people end up taking the metro or train, riding a tram or bus, climbing funiculars, or navigating the ferry.
While you’re in Lisbon, it’s a great idea to familiarise yourself with the public transport options so that you can easily wander around the city and maybe even plan some short getaways in the surroundings.
- Lisbon’s transport system consists of:
- Tram, Funicular and Elevator
- Neighborhood Career
- River Transport (Ferry)
Read on to find out more about each of these public transport options in Lisbon.
The Lisbon metro is usually the fastest way to get around the city, with many stations equipped with elevators to the platforms for easy access for all.
The metro has a total of four lines identified by colours and names:
- Green line (Telheiras – Cais do Sodré)
- Blue line (Reboleira – Santa Apolónia)
- Yellow line (Odivelas – Rat)
- Red line (Airport – São Sebastião)
Use the metro map to locate the station you want to go to. For example, if you want to go from Cidade Universitária to your student residence in Lisbon, in the Marquês de Pombal area, you only need to take the yellow line – and it takes less than 20 minutes to get there!
On certain routes, it will be necessary to change lines to reach your destination, however, the metro is still a very fast and reliable means of transport.
The River or Ferry Transport
River transport, more commonly known as Ferry, connects the city to the south bank of the Tagus.
There are several connections throughout the day available at different riverside terminals:
- From Cais do Sodré to Cacilhas (15 minutes), Montijo (30 minutes) and Seixal (30 minutes)
- Terreiro do Paço to Barreiro (30 minutes)
- Belém to Trafaria and Porto Brandão (20 minutes) with bus connections to the beaches of Costa da Caparica
If you choose to take the ferry, the ticket price is just €1.25 but there are no return tickets available, so you just need to buy two single tickets.
The ferry from Cais do Sodré to Cacilhas may interest those who want to visit the famous statue of Christ the King, a monument in Lisbon with a rich history.
There are two main lines that link the municipality of Lisbon to the neighboring municipalities within the district, which is the Cascais Line and the Sintra Line.
The Cascais line runs from Monday to Friday, from 5:30am to 1:30am,and the Sintra line also runs from Monday to Friday, from 5:10am to 1:08am.
You can check timetables and buy tickets online on the Comboios de Portugal (Trains from Portugal) website.
There are several bus services in Lisbon; the Carris buses between the airport and the city center (number 744), as well as certain routes within the city.
To use these buses in the city, you can pay for the ticket with a Viva Viagem card or in cash, when boarding. It’s worth remembering that as a higher education student, you can benefit from a 25% discount on a monthly pass.
The Tram, Funicular or Elevator
Although most of the tram system has been replaced by the metro, there are still 6 running around the city, as well as three funiculars or elevators.
While the Santa Justa elevator has become an exclusive tourist attraction, trams and funiculars are still used by locals and are sometimes their main means of transport.
The old 28 (once known as “Carro Americano”) is the most popular tram as it offers a panoramic view over old Lisbon. On your route, you will be able to see several incredible sights, such as:
- Basilica of the Star
- Assembly of the Republic
- Luís de Camões Square
- Rua Augusta
- Commerce Square
- St. Anthony Church
- Lisbon Cathedral
- Doors of the Sun
- Saint Vincent Monastery
- Sao Jorge’s Castle
If you are new to Lisbon, we advise you to stop at each of these places, as many of them have the most delightful landscapes to enjoy.
Carreiras de Bairro (The Neighborhood Career)
The Carreiras de Bairro project was created by the Carris bus service in 2017 with the objective of adapting the offer of public transport to residential areas to complement the existing bus service in Lisbon.
To use the Neighborhood Careers, you just need a valid ticket or pass for the Carris network, or you can buy the Neighborhood Careers pass for just €10 that’s valid for 30 days use.
Lisbon has an incredible and diverse public transport network. In addition to the most well-known means that we have just shown you, you can also use a taxi or Uber to get around, or why not try the Tuk-Tuks, electric scooters and bicycles the city has to offer!