Lisbon’s two biggest public transport operators are Lisbon Metro and Carris. Lisbon Metro runs four metro lines in Lisbon. Carris, a public transportation company, operates Lisbon’s 752 buses, 57 trams, 3 funiculars, as well as the Santa Justa elevator.
From Lisbon Airport, you can get to the city center by metro, bus, or even bicycle. If you have lots of luggage, a shuttle bus service, Aerobus, is also available. Aerobus is operated by Carristur, a subsidiary of Carris.
In my opinion, the best way to reach Lisbon’s city center from the airport is taking the metro. Once in the city, metro is the most efficient way to get around. For tourists, metro is also the easiest transport mode to navigate.
Lisbon Metro red line has a terminal station at Lisbon Airport. From there, it takes about about 16 minutes to Alameda station in the city center. Alameda, Saldanha, and São Sebastião are the last three red line stations; they also connect to green line, yellow line, and blue line, respectively.
|Aeroporto||Encarnação||Moscavide||Oriente||Cabo Ruivo||Olivais||Chelas||Bela Vista||Olaias||Alameda||Saldanha||São Sebastião|
|Hotel Tryp Lisboa Aeroporto||
VIP Executive Art’s Hotel
MYRIAD by SANA Hotels
Hotel ibis Lisboa Parque das Naçoes
TRYP Lisboa Oriente Hotel
Hotel Olissippo Oriente
Pensão Fonte Luminosa
Hotel AS Lisboa
Nest House Lisbon Hostel
Pensão Residencial Pátria
Hotel Olissippo Saldanha
Hotel Principe Lisboa
SANA Reno Hotel
Hotel Alif Avenidas
Hotel Real Parque
|Change to Green line||Change to Yellow line||Change to Blue line|
Lisbon Metro is open every day from 6:30 AM to 1:00 AM. Trains run every five to eight minutes.
The red line's airport station, the Aeroporto station, is located at the southern edge of the Terminal 1 arrivals area. Fare vending machines are available at the metro station.
To figure out which ticket to buy, you need to know the Viva viagem card and how it works.
Viva viagem card
The Viva viagem card is a reloadable card that holds electronic tickets and transit credits. The card itself costs €0.50.
I recommend getting this card. Not only because the card is convenient, it also saves money.
You can add the following fares to your Viva viagem card.
A single ticket allows one trip in the Metro and Carris networks. It costs €1.40.
Single tickets have different types: Metro, Carris (buses, trams, funiculars and lifts), among others. It’s important to note that your card can hold only one type of single tickets at a time. Should you wish to recharge your card with a different type of ticket, you must use up the original type first.
For example, suppose your Viva viagem card already holds five Carris tickets. You can't add a Metro ticket until all of your five existing Carris tickets are used.
One-day tickets don't have this problem.
A one-day ticket allows unlimited trips in the Metro and Carris networks. Priced at €6, the ticket is activated upon validation.
One-day ticket is my favorite. Not only it's convenient, it's also more economic than other fare options if you make more than five trips within 24 hours.
Instead of loading tickets, you can also load credits; the trip expenses are then deducted from your credits on the card. This payment method is called Zapping.
Zapping saves money because the cost of one trip is reduced to €1.25, compared to €1.4 for a single ticket. And, unlike single tickets, you don’t have to worry about the inconvenience involved when switching between different transport modes.
Purchase Viva viagem card and fares
Fare vending machines are available at metro stations.
If you don’t have a Viva viagem card, you need to pay an extra of €0.50 for the card.
For example, when I arrived to Lisbon, I paid €6.50 for a Viva viagem card with a one-day ticket loaded. After 24 hours, I loaded another €6 one-day ticket onto the card at a metro station.
Have cash ready
The fare vending machines don't accept foreign credit or debit cards. Therefore, it's important to have a few euros in your pocket before you travel.
In case you need to withdraw cash, look for the ATMs with the "Multibanco" logo. Multibanco is an interbank network in Portugal. Those ATMs are more foreigner-friendly. Other local ATMs may ask for six-digit PINs. If that happens, simply enter your normal four-digit PIN and it should work.
What about Lisboa Card?
The Lisboa Card is a tourist pass of Lisbon. It covers public transit and many museums. It also offers discounts to some attractions.
The card’s transportation feature is interesting, covering Lisbon Metro and Carris networks, as well as trains to Sintra and Cascais.
The 24-hour, 48-hour, and 72-hour Lisboa Cards cost €18.50, €31.50, and €39.00, respectively.
The card must be ordered online and picked up later in person at Lisbon Portela Airport, Lisboa Welcome Center, or Palácio Foz (Foz Palace).
Personally, I think the card is a bit expensive so I didn’t buy it. Nevertheless, the Lisboa Card can be an option if you plan to visit local attractions extensively.