Trams are indispensable for Lisbon’s public transport since they cover areas where the metro is not present. Old and authentic “Remodelado” trams and modernized “Articulado” trams constitute the tram network. The Remodelado trams are the quaint yellow trams that rattle and screech through the narrow streets of Lisbon, and the most scenic route is the E28, which crosses the Alfama district. With its vintage wooden cars and winding route through the city’s most historic areas, it’s no surprise thousands of visitors line up to take a trip on it every day.
1E28 – Martim Moniz to Campo Ourique (Prazeres)
Known as the “yellow tram”, this is the well-known tram route covers Graca and Alfama, which is very popular among tourists during holidays. The route also connects Baixa to the Estrela district. Strongly consider riding in the opposite direction to avoid the crowds.
2E25 – Estrela to Campo Orique
It also finishes in Campo do Orique, taking in the Estrela Basilica and a few more local neighborhoods, before finishing with a short run along the riverside to the base of the hill at Alfama. The route connects the main ferry terminal just east of Praça do Comércio with Campo de Ourique, in the west. It’s an alternate pathway from downtown Lisbon to the Estrela District along the estuary.
3E15 – Praça Figueira to Algés
It connects the central Baixa area to the Belem district, the Lx-factory, and the Santo Docks. It runs along the river to (and slightly past) Belém. Like E28, it can be crowded in holiday seasons as well.
4E12 – Praça Figueira to Praça Figueira
Also known as the “Alfama Loop”, this is an alternative tram route to Alfama and the castle. Unlike others, this tram performs the loop in only one direction (clockwise). The tram loops around the heart of the old city in just 20 minutes, going past the cathedral, the gorgeous Santa Luzia viewpoint, St Anthony’s church, and more.
5E18 – Cais Sodré to Cemitério Ajuda
It moves forward to Ajuda district and passes both the Palácio Nacional da Ajuda & the Jardim Botânico d’Ajuda along the way. It follows the river for a mile and a half from the Cais do Sodre interchange, before turning north before the April 25th bridge, and finishing up at the Ajuda cemetery. It’s the most quiet route, less crowded than others as there’re fewer touristic attractions on its way.
6Tickets & Fares
A standalone ticket for trams purchased onboard costs €3.00. On the Articulado trams tickets are purchased on-board, from the ticket machines while on the older Remodelado they are bought straight from the driver. Using the machines is more convenient on the #15 trams, but you must have the exact amount required if you don’t want to spend unnecessary money. The machines don’t give change.
It’s better to obtain the 24-hour public transport ticket, which costs €6.40 and is valid in all trams, metro and buses in Lisbon. You have to get it beforehand from the kiosks at the metro stations.
For the E15 and E28, departures start in the early morning (7 am) and continue until late into the night (11 pm) with at least four departures per hour. The E12 and E18 lines are not present after the evening hours and only have two scheduled departures on Sundays. Delays can happen in the Alfama Route. Use digital timetables in stops for exact knowledge. Below is the website for planned departures.
Pickpockets are a threat one should be aware of in Lisbon trams. They’re known to regularly operate on both the #28 and #15. Always wear bags or backpacks on your front, never leave expensive cameras hanging from shoulders (cords can be cut), and always place valuables in bags. As the pickpockets are opportunists.