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Public transport in Lisbon is reliable and good value. The transport network includes Carris (buses, trams, funiculars and lifts) and the Metro. Suburban railways complement these networks and some passes are also valid on the cross city rail line.
All information about the metro, trams, buses, elevators and ferries can be found in English on the official website at http://metro.transporteslisboa.pt
The Lisbon suburban rail network (overground trains) has a separate website at http://www.cp.pt/passageiros/en/how-t...
Lisbon rail map - http://metro.transporteslisboa.pt/inf...
Possibly the cheapest and easiest way to get about is to buy a 'Via Viagem' or '7colinas' pre paid card available from Metro and other ticket offices and the Casa da Sorte in P da Rossio. This is a top up card called 'Zapping' and is similar to London's 'Oyster' card with an initial cost of 0.50 cents plus cash value loaded up 15 euros. It can be used on Lisbon buses trams ferryboats and Metro. Each trip currently costs 1.25 euros using the card. Just hold the card close to the reader at the barrier or on boarding. It is valid for 12 months and will get you from the airport to town centre on Metro for 1.25 euros each way. Just top up whenever needed. The zapping card cannot have more than 20 Euros loaded at any time.
Note the metro ticket machines will not accept foreign bank cards, neither will they give you change beyond 10 Euro so make sure you have cash. Also note you can only top up the Zapping ticket in a metro station. This can be a pain if you run out using the other modes of transport and have to go and find the nearest metro deep underground!
There is also a 24 hour city zone pass costing 6 Euros plus the 50 centrs for the rechargeable card.
New from October 2016 - new 24 hour passes for city transport as above plus ferrries at €9 or city plus trains to Sintra and Cascais for €10.
There are VERY large fines for traveling without a valid ticket. All tickets and passes must be validated on the card readers before boarding.
Cash fare on the city bus network is €1,80 for any journey. Various pre-paid re-chargeable passes are available, which reduce the single journey one or two zone fare to 1.25 Euros.
The buses, which are run by the state-controlled company, Carris, operate from the city centre to destinations across the area. There are also many radial routes, connecting suburbs directly and avoiding the city centre. The single journey flat fare is €1.80. These tickets are bought from the driver upon boarding. There are some interesting bus journeys including the No. 737 to the Castle and the No. 758 which goes across the city from CAIS DO SODRÉ. The 724 from Pontinha to Alcantara runs through the Parque Florestal de Montsanto, serving the Lisbon camping site on the way.
A note about the timetables posted at the bus stops. These can be confusing. Bus times are given for each stop with early and late buses shown individually, but most services for most of the day just have 'every 15 minutes' or similar. Some of the major stops in the city centre have electronic display boards telling how many minutes there are until the next bus arrives, but these cannot be relied on 100%. Also, just to make things more interesting, many routes run at weird intervals such as every 19 or every 24 minutes, so some mental gymnastics are required to calculate the time of the next bus at a particular stop. Timetables on the website only give the times that the buses start their journeys, with a guide as to how many minutes later they arrive at a given location. The reader does the calculations.
There are also several different bus companies serving the more distant suburbs from various bus terminals located around the edge of the city centre.
The trams are also run by Carris, and are well worth a ride. There are new trams which operate on route 15E, and all other routes use vintage trams. In the centre, around ALFAMA, the trams rattle up and down the steep narrow streets, and a local perspective of the city can be obtained. Trams no longer operate in the Bairro Alto district. Beware of pickpockets.
The single journey flat fare on trams is now €2.85. Buy a pass! 24 hour passes are available from Carris ticket booths or from Metro stations. There is also the 'zapping' tariff which pre loads cash value and does not expire for 1 year. These are issued on a prepaid, contactless ticket which can be recharged as required. (Similar to London's Oystercard).
Get on the tram at the front and touch you zapping card on the reader just behind the driver. This isn't always obvious when the tram is super busy. Do not get on at the back door as this is the exit.
The Elevador de Santa Justa is run by Carris, and offers good views of the city. The flat fare if you don't have a 'Via Viagem' or '7colinas' card is now an eye-watering €5,00, but this for two journeys. There are no single journey tickets.
The three funicular railways of Bica, Glória and Lavra are included in the various passes but cash fare is also high, €3,60 for two journeys.
The Metro is state-run under a company by a different name. The service is frequent, good value and punctual. The flat fare is now €1.40 plus 50 cents for the re-chargeable card on which the ticket is loaded. This card can be used and recharged until it wears out.
The metro website is http://metro.transporteslisboa.pt/
It is better value to but a single day or multi day/zapping pass. A 24 hour pass for Carris and Metro costs €6.00. These passes cover the whole Carris Network of buses, trams, funiculars, and the Elevador de Santa Justa, as well as the whole Metro Network. These passes are also issued on 50 cent rechargeable cards.
The Lisbon suburban rail network is included in the various ticketing schemes. Most lines are operated by the state railway company CP. Details of local trains can be found at http://www.cp.pt/passageiros/en/how-t...a However the line from Roma - Areeiro to Pinhal Novo and Setubal, across the 25 de Abril bridge into the southern suburbs is operated by a private company, Fertagus. Their website is www.fertagus.pt
CP tickets are not valid on Fertagus trains, nor vice-versa.
A useful travel planner for the Greater Lisbon area: http://metro.transporteslisboa.pt/eng...