By Darren Griffiths

Getting Around Lisbon - 8 Lisbon Transport Options

2nd April 2023

Last updated on February 14th, 2024 at 05:05 am

Lisbon is the capital of Portugal, and the second oldest city in Europe, after Athens in Italy. Considered to be an incredibly picturesque and captivating city, Lisbon has more UNESCO World Heritage sites and museum treasures than most other European nations. This friendly city also makes for an ideal base to visit and explore some of the country’s other outstanding attractions. Like every great city, there are various means of transportation for getting around Lisbon. In fact, there are at least 8 Lisbon transport options and we’ve listed them below to help you get around this in places, hilly capital.

1 – Tram

The two tram lines in the city are a favourite mode of Lisbon transport for both locals and tourists. There are two types, the modern Siemens “Articulado” trams or the historic “Remodelado” trams. However, being one of the more popular ways of getting around Lisbon, they can be extremely crowded. Moreover, they are quite expensive and the rush hour sees very long queues to get onto one.

lisbon tram
Lisbon Tram

Companhia Carris de Ferro de Lisboa run all transport in Lisbon and trams start operating from about 5am to 10pm. One should start early to avoid tourist mobs. E28 is the most scenic route and it crosses through the historic Alfama district. A tram ticket cost starts at €2.90.

2 – Train

Not the best way of getting around Lisbon city itself, but this is a good alternative mode of travelling to places near Lisbon, such as Sintra, Estoril and Cascais. The ticket costs are reasonable, the trains punctual and the coaches are comfortable and clean. Portugal’s train network connects all the major towns and villages in Lisbon and the rides are relatively cheap.

You will find only one class of carriage but it’s very comfortable. A Lisbon transport tip for you – board the waterfront Cais do Sodré Station and go all the way to Cascais along the coast on the electric train.

3 – Buses

The buses here are much faster than the trams, and several lines run through all parts of the city. They are cheaper than the tourist tram and take less time to travel from one place to another.

portas do sol lisbon
Enjoying the views at Portas do Sol in Alfama

There is no denying that buses are the most efficient and flexible means of getting around Lisbon and discovering the city. Another advantage to this easy Lisbon transport option is one can buy multiple-day tickets or go for unlimited passes if planning to stay in the city for a longer period of time. 

4 – Metro

This is the main transportation system in Lisbon, with lines connecting the airport, sports stadia and the night spots in Baixa and Cais do Sodré. The Viva Lisboa card allows one to unlimited use of the Lisbon transport options such as the metro, bus, tram, and elevators in the city center. 

The Metro offers the fastest way to get from one corner of the capital to another. They are very accessible, and the information and maps provided in English make it easier for tourists to follow instructions and get to their chosen destination without any hassle. To help getting around Lisbon on the Metro, check out this website for Lisbon Metro network maps.

5 – Taxi

The taxi service in Lisbon is pretty affordable but one major drawback is the public Lisbon transport is prone to flash strikes, which may leave a commuter helpless. It is therefore strongly advised to book a transfer, say from the airport, in advance to avoid such unpleasant situations.

alfama food
So many great restaurants in Lisbon for grilled fish and meat provides the perfect solution to the vexing issue of transport in a city you may not be familiar with at all. A reliable transfer agency like KiwiTaxi not only ensures that you reach your destination in the shortest time, but your luggage handling is also covered should you deem the service necessary. The service is well organised and cheaper than hiring a conventional taxi from the port of arrival.

6 – Bicycle

Though most people may consider getting around Lisbon on a bike a challenge, it is actually quite an exhilarating experience. Even though the topography of the city is a bit hilly, you do not require any special cycling skills to cycle around Lisbon.

Cycling can be a challenging mode of Lisbon transport because of the traffic, hills, cobbles and trams, nevertheless, the rides are indeed pleasant in some areas. One highlight is the 7KM bike lane along the Tejo with a rapidly changing landscape. True cycling enthusiasts can buy a Lisbon bike map and get information on popular bike trails in the Lisbon region.

7 – Ferry

The city of Lisbon is divided by the river Tejo. Prior to the construction of bridges, ferries were the popular way to get across from one side to the other. Fortunately, for the nostalgic few, this means of Lisbon transportation is still in service, thus allowing visitors to have a glimpse of the city from a different perspective. 

alfama airbnb lisbon
Our AirBnB in Alfama

With the ferry services restricted by the Tejo, they may not be the best way of getting around Lisbon, but they are an inexpensive means of travel towards the southern areas of the capital and are an alternative tourist activity.

8 – Funicular

Working diligently since the late nineteenth century, the four funicular elevators are the most interesting way of getting around Lisbon and accessing some of the historical parts of the city which may have otherwise not been possible. The funiculars have since 2002 been declared national treasures. 

Explore the famous Lisbon landmarks and activities by riding one of the famous and beautiful funiculars. It is a good idea to save time and skip some walking just for the experience. The funiculars look like normal trams and climb upwards and downwards, with one pulling the other up or down.

Lisbon Card holders can use the funicular system of Lisbon for free.

Related articles:
Check out our top things to do in Lisbon’s Alfama District!
Follow our recommended 2 day Lisbon itinerary

Here are our 11 Best Things To Do In Lisbon At Night