First of all. Going through a city in and old classic Tram is a fantastic experience! Especially if you are on holiday with lot of time and NO stress.
For people living here the situation is a little different. Here things can be a little complicated – especially if you are old and disabled and have lived a lifetime on Lisbon highest hill with the old tram 28E as the only access to the rest of the city.
Just think about this when you enjoy your ride.
Or even better – if possible – use other means of transportation in the rush hours. Mornings and evenings are not only magical – they are also more comfy because you always get your own seat, you don’t get pushed around during the ride and you don’t have to worry about the pick pockets to whom the tourist packed Tram 28E is like a huge help-yourself-buffet with free “delicacies”.
I am pretty sure that if it was possible Lisbon would have changed all of its old trams to the modern ones that run in most of the town.
But they are too big for the old and very narrow streets on all it’s hills. Especially the part from Chiado up to us in Graça with the most historical buildings, monuments and must see places in town. Here you still find the old classic and romantic trams tourists love so much. This line is the popular line 28E.
The first trams starts just before 6 am – and the last ones departs around 11 pm on weekdays and 10:30 on weekends
Theoretically there should be around 10 minutes intervals between each vehicle. But due to traffic jam during rush hours and, overloads of tourists getting in and out of the trams in the high season and especially stupid parking (read dbl parked) vehicles blocking the tracks, these intervals rarely happen.
So forget about timetables and prepare yourself for long lines in the summer heat…
It takes around 1 hour to go from Martim Moniz where 28E it starts to its final stop in Campo De Ourique. During the peak of the tourist season it can easily take longer.
We recommend our guests to jump on the tram stop at Largo da Graca 2 minutes from our door where it stops and skip the relatively boring ride from Martim Moniz at the bottom of our hill up to us.
BUT don’t be surprised if the tram passes by you without stopping. It’s probably already packed with tourists that have been waiting for ages from its starting point
Everything depends on your stay and your preferences.
If you’re only here for a day or two with a long list of places to visit, the Lisbon Card may be your solution. Besides all public transportation it gives access to several monuments and institutions. The price depends on the card you prefer (24H, 48H or 72H)
If you are here for a longer time and public transportation is your thing the Viva Viagem Card may be the perfect solution for you. Besides the tram system it can be used at the public boats that cross Tejo River, in the Metros, public Buses and the Elevator Santa Justa.
The cart itself costs €0.50 – and can be recharged when you need it. With this card the tram ride costs €1.50.
If you are here for a longer time, love to walk and don’t know how much you gonna use public transportation and like the possibilities you have with the scooter, motorbikes, UBER and all the other app based transportation options, you just pay your ticket when you enter the tram.
Compared to most other cities the €3.50 it costs is cheap.
More information about prices and possibilities here
The easiest and cheapest option to avoid the crazy crowd of people gathering like sardines in a tin to “do the 28E” is to walk the route. Of Course you miss the tram-ride. But on the other hand – you get a chance to stop and get lost in the cacophony for sounds, tastes and visions that “hit” you along 28E’s route through Alfarma’s narrow streets…
If walking isn’t an option try the following:
Start your ride either early in the morning or after dinner. Your chances of getting a seat is very high – especially before 8 am.
Board at its starting point in Campo de Orique – one of our favorite neighborhoods in Lisbon that is still not discovered by tourists. Compared to most other parts of town the residents here are relatively wealthy. So the food scene is generally much more interesting here compared to most other parts of town (BONUS: From here it’s only a 10 minutes walk to the old Aqueduct – still hidden gem)
Take another tram. IF your only interest is riding a classic wooden tram – in other words: you don’t care about the historical parts of town – take line 12, 15, 18, 24 or 25. They all use similar wooden cars as ‘our’ 28E.
IF cruising through Lisbon’s historical settings is as important (or more) as the tram ride itself then the lesser known 24E from Largo Camões in Chiado down to Rato via Principe Real is a very good alternative.
That must be it – enjoy your ride. And again, watch out for the pickpockets!