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Lisbon is a city that is covered by different transport options, and one of the easiest, though least scenic, is the metro.
There are 4 lines that cross the city, giving a pretty good coverage of the lower lying areas. Some of the stations also inter-connect with railway stations.
Ticket prices start from 0.70 euro for a single trip in one zone. If you plans to use the metro, along with other methods of transport, a few times in a day, it will probably be cheaper and a whole lot more convenient to buy a day travel pass that allows you to travel as much as you want on all types of transport in the metropolitan area.
We found using the metro very easy. All stations are sign posted clearly with the red metro signs. One thing to be aware of is that sometime there may be more than one exit from a station, which could cause confusion.
- Budget Travel
I love the Lisbon metro, it was almost like my second home. It is fast, efficient, and you can get almost anywhere within the city limits easily.
The metro is fairly easy to navigate; there are only 4 lines, each assigned different colors and names. Tickets are cheap; 0.65 Euro for a single trip.
If you are in Lisbon for more than a couple days, the cheapest option is to by a card called 7 colinas for .50 Euro. It is valid for the metro, buses, and trams. Then you can pay for a certain amount of days (i.e. 5 days for 11,35 Euro).
If here for more than a month, it is definitely worth it to buy a Lisboa Viva card (5-10 Euro). For 23,50 Euros a month, the card is the best deal. It is valid for metro, bus, and trams. Many other passes are available; see website for full details
Bus, tram, trolley
We enjoy using public transportation and find it usually the easiest, most scenic and most economical way to get around any city. However in Lisbon my wife was hobbling a bit with a broken toe so we avoided negotiating the metro stairs and walks usually involved. However, the bus, tram and trolley system is at street level and will get you most places in the old city like the Castle and Belem. We took the #37 bus from Praca da Figueira to the castle and the #15 trolley from Rua do Arsenal to Belem where it stops right at the monastery. The cost is about 1.20 Euro but you can buy two rides for 1.40 or a one day pass, "7 Colinas," for 3.00 at the booths on Praca da Figueira. Also, the LisboaCard covers these transports as well.
Explore Lisbon by metro
Lisbon's metro network consists of four colour-coded lines (blue, yellow, green and red). The first parts of the metro were inaugurated in 1959 and since then the network has always been extended. Nowadays the 4 lines consist of 48 stations and cover a distance of 37 km.
The metro operates from 6:00 a.m. until 01:00 a.m. Tickets are available from machines at all stations. A single metro ticket is 0,70 Euro. Other tickets which combine the use of the metro with the use of buses and trams can be bought at Carris kiosks.
Please read my "Explore Lisbon by bus" and "Explore Lisbon by tram" for more information about the public transportation and the fares.
- Budget Travel
Lisbon - Subway/Metro
The first subway system in Lisbon dates back only to 1959 and consisted of only one line (U-shaped). Since then the network has been extended and presently there are 4 lines (blue, yellow, green and red line) with 48 stations that covers a distance of 37 km. In a couple of years the distance will overcome 50 km and there will be more interchange points between the different lines.
Today the network covers downtown Lisbon, the shopping districts, and some urban areas and operates daily from 06:30am - 01:00am. It’s one of the fastest ways to get any point in the city and you can get the main train stations (Gare do Oriente, Rossio, and Cais do Sodré), the inter-city bus terminal (Sete Rios), the ferry/boats quays (Praça do Comércio, Cais do Sodré), and the main city bus terminals (Entrecampos, Sete Rios, Luz, Gare do Oriente). The only drawback is the fact that the network doesn’t get the airport.
The stations are very easy to find as from the outside you will see a red “M”. From the inside some of them are very modern with art exhibitions, and most of them with tiles from several Portuguese artists. You even can find a station with a museum -Music Museum in Alto dos Moinhos station (blue line). The big stations also have some shopping areas and cafeterias. Useful words:
»correspondência (transfer between lines), »saída (exit to the street).
a google map of the underground system
Individual tickets must be purchased at the machines and validated at the gates before enter.
The “7 Colinas” card is a contact-free card on which multimodal tickets can be credited. The journeys cover the Carris and underground networks and was created for passengers using the system from time to time and allows for crediting in a way which is better suited to individual needs.
"ZAPPING" is a multimodal ticket. You can load money on your card, enabling you to make trips both on Carris or Metro, as long as you have enough money on the card. The card can be bought on all Carris and Metro concessionaries or Post Office Stations and Payshop agents, and has a price of 0.50 € and is rechargeable. The minimum value to load is 1,50 € and the maximum 10,00 €. For trips with Carris, the price is 0,81€ and is valid for all Carris transports during 1 hour. If you buy the ticket from the driver: 1,40€ per ride.
- Single ticket: 0,80€- 2 way ticket: 1,45€ - 7 Colinas pass: 10 tickets: 7,30€ or 0,73€ for each ticket, just for Metro. You can ask to recharge the pass with zapping credit so is valid for metro and buses for the same price.
Use the metro
The easiest way to get around is definitely the metro. It runs between 6.30 a.m. and 1 a.m. You can buy 1 (EUR 2.85) or 5 days (EUR 11.35) tickets (also valid for the 'Carris' buses - the yellow ones). You can also buy single or return tickets for the metro alone.
It's not advisable to travel without a valid ticket, because the fine is around EUR 60.
The Metro system in Lisbon isn’t extensive, and is more used by residents than by visitors, but it can be useful for some trips as well as journeys to and from the airport. We used it a few years ago when staying in the city for a football match at the Sporting Lisbon stadium and again on our latest visit for travel to Benfica's Stadium of Light.
The system is easy to use for anyone used to similar ones elsewhere. The four lines are colour coded and intersect at a few points. You buy a ticket from the machine, and validate it on entering the platform. This ticket will take the form of a card which can be charged with any number of journeys and used interchangeably with other public transport in the city. The current fare (2013) for a single trip in one zone is €1.40, plus an additional 50 cents for a rechargeable multi-use "viva viagem card" (you should add you subsequent journeys to this rather than buying one each time). A 30 day pass will cost €35 should you be staying long enough to merit buying one. Alternatively the Lisbon Card will allow you to use public transport for free.
Public Lisbon Transport
Lisbon is full of hills, you have to use your legs alot, but its also a place with very good public transports. You have a very good Metro, many buses, trams, and funiculars and elevadores. There are tickets for using all these transports for one or three days. If you are staying longer is better to take a Tourist Pass for 4 or 7 days. All are sell at Quioscos Carris, (Carris are all the public transports) . You can buy a day ticket for Metro only, that is much more cheap, but ... for the caracteristics of Lisbon with all those hills I am sure you will like to take any bus or funicular or tram.
The metro is certainly the best way to move around Lisbon, as it's fast, clean, cheap and well connected to the most important areas of the city.
Types of tickets:
Tickets can be divided into two groups:
- Tickets (Bilhetes) - valid for a certain number of trips. They are available as: Single (Simples): valid only for one trip; Return (Ida e Volta): valid for two trips if taking place in the same day; 10 days (10 Viagens): valid for ten trips in the same or different days.
- Passes (Passes) - valid for an unlimited number of journeys during the respective period of validity of the pass.
- Single tickets
Valid only to one trip after cancelling. € 0,65
- Return ticket
Valid for two trips in the same day (06:30 to 01:00), after cancelling. € 1,05
- 10 trips ticket
Valid for 10 trips after cancelling at the start of each trip. € 5,10
- 1 day pass
Valid for an unlimited number of trips in the same day (6:30 á 01:00), after cancelling. € 1,40
- 7 days pass € 4,80
- 7 days pass - with Youth Card
Valid for an unlimited number of trips during 7 consecutive days, after cancelling. € 4,35
- 30 days pass € 12,00
- 30 days pass - with Youth Card
Valid for an unlimited number of trips during 30 consecutive days. € 10,80
Well I guess that the best way to move around the city is using the subway (we call it metro). Lisboa subway is one of the best I saw in the world, most of the trains and stations are brand new - about 5 years, because the municipality made a great upgrade on it because of the EXPO'98 world fair that took place in here. It's clean and safe. You will not see grafitis, etc. However, it doesn't cover all the city. More stations are being build and will be build, but some important parts of the city are not covered yet. You can use the subway mixed with taxis, for example.
I'm not sure, but I think it closes at 1:00am and reopens at 6:00am. Some stations close early, but not the important ones.
The Lisbon Metro
The metro didn't go most places I wanted to go. I only took it back from the Gulbenkian Museum (Jardim Zoologico station), and on my way back from the 7 Rios train station, returning from Sintra. Naturally, the Lisbon Card and the Bus Passes work in the Metro as well.
- Historical Travel
- Castles and Palaces
A good network, although many times is not needed.
Notice: The lines (linhas in portuguese), are not called by numbers but by colours.
- Amarelo/a: Yellow
- Azul: Blue
- Verde: Green
- Vermelho/a: Red
Subway and trolley
The subway system in Lisbon was quite good. The trains ran frequently, the platforms and tunnels were clean, and it accesses most parts of the city where you will want to go. Be careful to check the schedule for when the trains stop running at nite.
It's too bad that we didn't take more trollies while we were there. We took one up to the castle and it only cost like 0.80euro. It's almost like an amusement ride, because you can basically ride as far as you want without anyone saying anything to you. Lisbon, like San Francisco, is known for its trollies and hill climbs.
- Budget Travel
Moving in and around Lisbon
In Lisbon, i guess the best transportion is Metro (subway)...
It takes to all the "touristic places" www.metrolisboa.pt
Bus is a good choice too, but try to avoid the traffic jam hour (8am to 9.30am, and 5pm to 7pm) www.carris.pt
If you like to go to Sintra, the train is a good choice : www.cp.pt
If you are an adventurer, rent a car....
Be extremely carefull, because other drivers are completly crazy....
Watch out for the traffic jam hour, and DONT drink and drive, u can go to jail...
Lisbon has an excellent, clean and cheap underground transport system. The system was relatively simple and painless, and all the staff I encountered spoke English and were very helpful. I decided to buy one of the day cards, rather than single tickets. These work a little bit differently to what I am used to, but the ticket clerk helped me out.
To buy a travel pass you first have to buy a "Seven Hills Card", which costs 50 cents. You can then charge this card with a day pass for about 3 euros. There are also five day passes. You can charge the card at a machine or at a service till - it costs the same. Once you have it all charged up you just need to run the card over the scanner on top of the turnstile and you are through. Don't stick the card in the ticket slot like I did, or it won't do anything :).
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