Tram Electrico, Lisbon
When I visited in 2009 the whizzy new electronic tram 15 to Belem started from Cais do Sodre (at least, I think it did) so that's where we started from.
Unfortunately, we chose a day when a cruise ship was in port and it seemed the whole world wanted to get on the tram...ok, not the whole word but there were at least 60 people in the queue. Given that trams were already quite full when they arrived it was obvious that we were going to wait for a long time and have a very uncomfortable journey.
So, having finally realised that tram 15 starts from Placa da Figueira, we crossed the tracks and took a tram back to the terminus. Although we had to get off and get on again the queue there was much, much shorter and we were able to get seats for the 26-minute journey.
Tram 15 is a classic tourist route so do be doubly aware of pickpockets when you use it. The tram was totally packed by the time we left Cais do Sodre, with no room for any pickpocket to do much other than pick the nearest pocket. I did feel very sorry indeed for the locals who were trying to use it (the tram route serves a hospital).
There is an electronic display telling you which stop (paragem) comes next, but when trams (or buses) are packed it is very difficult to see. Belem is easy because the tram stops outside the monastery (which is pretty obvious..it's huge) and, of course, it's also where almost everyone gets off. The return tram stop is a little further down the road towards Lisbon, almost opposite the Antigua Confeitaria de Belém.
Tram 15 runs roughly every 15-20 minutes from 5am to after midnight. You can see stops and timetable on the Carris site below...click English, then 'Bus lines', then route number 15E. There are separate timetables and stop lists for each direction.
I know it's a classic 'must' but...truthfully...taking tram 28 from terminus to terminus really is an excellent way to get a feel for the city, as well as giving you some pretty whizzy tight-and-twisting segments in Alfama and some wheeeeeeeeee! sections going down hills.
I very rarely do well-known tourist 'musts' but this is an exception. I did it on my first visit, when the open windows and the speed at which we travelled (Lisbon trams go remarkably fast at times) gave me chance for a long, cool sit-down in the sticky heat. And I did it again this time, determined that my companion should enjoy the same experience even though it wasn't hot. And she did.
Tram 28 grinds its way from Placa Martim Moniz up to the heights of Alfama before twisting its way down through the narrow streets and into the Baixa grid, then up via Chiado and the edges of Bairro Alta, through Estrela and on to its terminus at Campo Orique in the Prazeres district.
You can see the route if you go to the Carris website below. Select English then 'Bus lines' (really) then 28E. There are separate timetables and stop lists for each directions. Click the number and you'll see them. Same for the buses and other trams (which have 'E' by their number).
It really is a classic and, as such, you can expect it to be very busy indeed....and horrendously so if a cruise ship is in port. Unless you are visiting at a very quiet time of year, taking tram 28 from terminus to terminus is the best (only?) way to ensure that you have a seat for the whole journey, and good views as you travel. Standing up won't be anywhere near as much fun...and haging on behind, as I saw a few people doing, is not only not allowed but is downright dangerous. Lisbon trams aren't the same as SF cablecars and are not designed for outside hanging or sitting: you do both inside the lovely wooden interior.
Be warned that when you get to the terminus you will have to get off the tram and walk to the stop to catch the next one. You can't just sit on the tram and wait for it to go back again, even if it's the same one as you end up catching from the stop.
You could make very good use of a 6 euro dayticket by taking this tram in both directions, riding all 4 elevadores, taking the Santa Justa lift...and maybe visiting Belem on tram 15 and/or taking a ride around Alfama on tram 12 as well. :-)
The Tram is a must do experience in Lisbon. Its also a great way to get a cheap guided tour. Day long passes are availble for a few euros which are good for the trams, busses and the Elavador de Santa Justa.
There are few cities in the world than can boast about their trams like Lisbon. These antique trolleys wind their way through the older sections of Lisbon such as the Alfama. They cost just 1.40Euros to ride which is rather cheap for such an amazing ride. A trip will take you by the ancient cathedral and along the some of the lovely boulevards. Once on top of the hills that dominate the eastern edge of the city, you will of spectacular views of Lisbon and it's harbour. Most famous of Lisbon's tram rides is Tram 28 which takes you from the Baixa district to the Alfama. Usually this ride is packed with tourists but the trams run frequently. Be patient and an emptier one might come by soon or later. The interior of the trams are cramped so do not bring a lot of luggage or other equipment.
Instead of exploring the city by tour bus, another great option is to simply ride Tram 28. Wending its way through Lisbon’s “Old Town” neighborhoods of Graça, Alfama, Baixa, Chiado, and Bairro Alto, this historic tramway has been in operation since 1901. The trip is bumpy and loud but it affords an authentic glimpse of the city as it passes by many of Lisbon’s most famous and interesting sites.
Tram 28 is special.
Crossing most of the old town, you may enter it at Chiado and it takes you westbound to Sta Catarina (sightseeing), S. Bento (Parliament and PM residence), and Estrela (Church); eastbound to Praca do Comercio (descend at R. Vitor Cordon), the Cathedral, Santa Luzia (sightseeing, and best place to start Alfama visit), the castle of S. Jorge (exit at Lg. Portas do Sol), S. Vicente (church, national pantheon, and flea market two times a week), and Graca (church).
Beware of pickpockets
This is the tourist tram for a reason. Board the tram for a small fee, and sit back to enjoy as it meanders through some of the most beautiful areas of Lisbon. If you plan to explore much of the city, I recommend buying an all-day metro pass. Not only will it allow you to make your way to several destinations throughout the day, but stop as many times as you'd like along the picturesque No. 28 ride.
Trams operate throughout the city but the most famous is Tram 28 a tourist favourite which will take you through Alfama. Be wary of pickpockets as it can be very crowded but don't let that put you off the enjoyable ride down the tight hilly streets.
To get to some of the main attractions of Lisbon you may have to catch a tram or you may catch one you want to go just for the experience. The point is: don’t by the tickets on board, because you will certainly pay at least the double for it.
Use the rechargeable cards “Lisboa Viva”, zapping ones (you can choose the one you want in the metro machines and the money you want to charge it with). This card will allow you to get on buses, metro and trams. With the card a trip on a tram will cost you 1.25€ with that card (I think) instead of 2.85€ - price on board.
From Lisbon to Almada
You can go (all costs in euro):
1) by bus - http://www.carris.pt/en/bus/753/ascendente/
cost = 2,85 + 2,85(round), (if you buy the ticket on board) or 1,95 + 1,95 if you have Zapping card (cost 0,5 returnable in metro stations and kiosks);
2) boat and tram - from Cais do Sodré, get the boat to Cacilhas (boat 1,05 each way - kiosk or Zapping), and tram (0,85 each way, or 0,75 with Zapping)
boat - http://www.transtejo.pt/pt/horarios_tarifarios/tarifario_bilhetes.html
tram - http://www.mts.pt/rede.php
3) train (and tram)- From Lisbon, you can get the train in "Areeiro", "Jardim Zoológico" or "Campo Pequeno" to PRAGAL (3,00 each way)
train - http://www.fertagus.pt/artigo.aspx?cntx=FlzXkqibdVtokUFCPxT%2FCThXIHY2uc7w74CkoMWwR6INVop9azydWJwr1M3GCNYP
the tram is the same from 2)
4) taxi, of course, but that will be expensiver - no less that 15 euros.
Note that if you decide to go by bus or taxi, avoid the rush hours (mon-friday from 16.00 to 20.00 - Lisbon to Almada), 07.00 to 10.00 Almada to Lisbon. On weekends it will depend on the weather, but with a sunny day all the people will be on the road to the beach (Lisbon direction to Almada).
Hope it helps
Do not miss ride with tram No28 the most famous tram line in Lisbon.
Tram 28 is the vintage yellow tram that goes through all over the city center, crossing many touristic attractions.
The tram is a hop-on, hop-off service and there are more than 30 stops you can choose from.
Because Tram 28 is reasonably cheap and very popular, a lot of people ride it. So it’s better if you can wait for a time when there are fewer people on board, so you can truly relax and enjoy city.
Symbol of Lisbon are trams. There are a several lines which are very popular by tourist:
TRAM 28 They said Riding 28 tram just for the experience is a must in Lisbon. This is crowded tram and be very careful because pickpockets. It will take on a 45 minute ride from the striking Basilica da Estrela to the St George Castle overlooking the Tagus River.
TRAM 15 is the best way to reach Belem from the center. (from Comercio Square to Jeronimos Monastery)
Many of these trams, or eléctricos were converted to touristic sightseeing tours or replaced by the new trams... however some still operating... they're yellow and not red! The one on the picture is for tours.
These trams are slower and if the weather is good they circulate with the windows open. Due to this it's possible to admire some of the streets, squares and monuments of Lisbon being seated.
Besides beeing the cheapest way to get around in Lisbon, the Eléctrico is the best way, if you're not in a hurry.
It avoids the big and uninteresting avenues, and crosses the pituresque traditional neighbourhoods, in a slow pace.
A must see.
This is one of those most-do-things whilst in Lisbon like so many major tourist destinations have (like riding on open-top buses etc). Tram (or "Eléctrico" in Portuguese) Line 28 is one of only three traditional tram lines that still operate in Lisbon. These trams, which until the late-1980's ran all through-out Lisbon, were manufactured between 1936 and 1947. Tram 28 winds its way through the "Old Town" of Lisbon beginning in Graça then down to Alfama and to Baixa then up through Chiado to Bairro Alto and then down to Campo Ourique, taking you by many of Lisbon's most famous and interesting sites including monuments, churches and gardens. The trip is hilly, noisy and hectic but it affords many beautiful glimpses of the city. And, although the tram can sometimes be overrun with tourists, you will definitely get a flavour of the locals, as many "Lisboetas" commute daily on these historical trams. Tickets cost €1.45 per journey and can be purchased on-board at a vending machine (note that these machines do not accept notes, and are sometime even out of change, so make sure you have the correct change!)