Lisbon is one of the cities where the transportation system is very fragmented. There are trams, buses, metros, funiculars, ferries and some alternative means of transport. Even though that sounds complicated in the beginning, the transportation system in Lisbon is pretty easy to get along with when having a closer look. Our transportation guide will definitely help you by doing so!
First of all, it is worth a mention that public transportation plays an important role in Lisbon. There are many cars as well, but especially in the inner city, cars are prohibited in many areas. Due to the topography, there are also only few parking lots and parking garages.
That makes public transportation in the city way more important. Also, Lisbon is well connected to the urban region including cities like Cascais or Belem. These towns are mostly connected by regional trains that depart of different stations in the South and the North of the city.
In the city itself, the metro is the most important means of transport. There are 55 stops in total at the moment. A further one is in construction right now. In total, there are four lines that have a total length of 55 kilometers making the metro one of the smaller ones compared to other European capitals. However, the metro system is pretty modern and very convenient.
There are several exchange stations including Alameda, Saldanha and Baixa-Chiado. In contrast to other cities, the metro of Lisbon is not very important for tourists. It is mainly connecting the inner city with the surrounding countryside. For tourist purposes, especially the red line (linha Vermelha) is important. It connects the airport with all three other metro lines and thus with the city center.
Metro lines in Lisbon:
The tram of Lisbon is one of the oldest ones in the world. Due to its topography, Lisbon always had problems to organize public transportation underground. That made trams very important throughout the years. However, the network of nearly 30 lines in 1958 decreased more and more.
Today, there are only five lines left. These are mainly operating in the south of the city and are perfect for tourists as they connect touristic spots in the city with each other. The tram of Lisbon is also known for taking on enormous slopes from up to 14.5 percent. It also operates in very narrow streets that may not be accessed by any other means of transport than the old trams. Tram line 28 is worth a special recommendation as it is perfect for exploring the inner city.
Still operating tram lines in Lisbon:
Even though trams in Lisbon are an attraction themselves, there is also a „normal“ transportation network. There are dozens of bus lines that connect different parts of the inner city and the countryside with each other.
Buses especially operate in the areas of the city that neither have access to the tram nor the metro network. Moreover, buses are used to connect the countryside with the metro and tram stops. Due to good connections, many inhabitants of the city take a combination of different means of transport to reach destinations in the city.
Taxi drivers in Lisbon are generally friendly. However, many don’t speak English which may make communicating a little tough. Driving taxi is generally save in Lisbon and taxis are metered. There were not many relevant reports about rip-offs in the last years. Compared to the public transportation, taxis are a little expensive.
The base fare currently is 3.25 Euro (~ 3.45 US-Dollar), while every further kilometer is charged 0.5 Euro (~ 0.55 US-Dollar). Anyway, be sure to have a look at the price list located in all taxis. Special fees may apply for luggage, toll or one-way drives to destinations outside the metropolitan area.
As I already mentioned, transportation in Lisbon is very fragmented. Besides the already mentioned means of transport, there are also some funiculars. These are connecting lower parts of the city with higher ones. Due to the enormous slopes, cars and trains can’t operate on this routes. Tourists should definitely take one of the funiculars that are an attraction themselves.
Moreover, there are ferries that connect Lisbon with cities on the other side of the Tejo. These were way more important before bridges were built to connect both shores. However, there are still some ferries that may also be worth checking out for tourists!