Although Lisbon is a very walkable city, as the main attractions are within a fairly compact area, you should know that the city has numerous hills that might quickly exhaust you and your kids. The cobbled stone pavement, besides beautiful, can be very tricky when you’re pushing a baby stroller or when wet… So, you should use the city’s great transport network, which is safe, not expensive and can be great fun!
Metro (subway / underground)
The Metro network operation opens at 6.30 a.m. and closes at 01.00 a.m.. Some station’ halls close at 9.30 p.m. (maintaining the other hall at the station open until 1.00 a.m.. Children under 4 years old don´t pay.
This is the fastest option for travelling longer distances in the city. Lisbon metro is considered to be one of the most beautiful and clean subway networks in Europe. Also, almost all subway stations are theme decorated, and are a visiting attraction itself, as they are inspired by various artists, architects and designers. The themes are intended to represent some event related to its location in the city.
Lisbon Airport has a subway station operating from 6.30am to 1:00am (red line 'Aeroporto' station). Visit the official Metropolitano de Lisboa website.
Buses, Trams and Funiculares (Elevators)
There is an extensive network of buses, trams and funiculars in Lisbon. Daytime service is available for all bus, tram and elevators’ lines, and there is night service available for some lines. Five bus lines allow you to transport bicycles everyday of the week (Bike Bus). Children under 4 years old don´t pay.
Trams are an attraction themselves, as they have a long history and you can still find very antique ones that still maintain their original mechanism. Just like as they did many years ago! This will be a fun way to get to the most traditional and historical neighborhoods in town. Some destinations within the city are better reached by bus.
Carris has also a network of touristic buses (CarrisTur), providing you many sightseeing services, such as airport shuttle, local tours, day tours to Sintra, and others. Visit the official Carris services webpage.
Lisbon Airport Bus Transport
Aerobus service provides regular transfer connection between Lisbon Airport, several central points of the city, bus & railway stations. This shuttle stops at the major hotels and works daily from 7.00 a.m. to 11.00 p.m.. There are two lines: Line 1 / City center and Line 2 / Financial center.
Discounts for children aged 4-10 years old are also available. Children under 4 don’t pay. The ticket can be purchased on board, official agents (Airport, downtown and others) but you can get discounts when buying online. Also, Aerobus ticket gives you discounts on some CarrisTur sightseeing tours.
Check all information at the official Aerobus website.
Lisbon train network links to several different destinations outside the city (including Sintra and Cascais) and also within the city. Prices are fairly accessible, and the service is generally good. Children aged under 5 years old travel for free as long as they do not occupy a seat; children aged between 5 and 12 pay half-price.
International train stations Santa Apolónia and Oriente are connected to the metro network (blue line Santa Apolónia station and red line Oriente station).
If you don’t have a travel pass that includes train trips within the urban Lisbon network (like Lisboa Card), you should purchase a ticket at the ticket offices or vending machines at the train station, before boarding. All tickets must be validated before you board your train.
Bikes are carried free of charge everyday of the week. There are day tickets available and also family tickets with discounts on weekends and holidays.
Visit the official Comboios de Portugal webpage.
Taking a taxi will be the best solution to reach attractions outside the center or to get around late at night (after the metro closes).
Seven kilometers from the city centre, Lisbon Airport is the largest Portuguese airport. Within minutes you can easily reach your hotel or destination, as the airport is served by good public transport, including metro, buses and taxis.
Portuguese airports' company (ANA), has recently launched a new service that intends to provide the best conditions for families travelling with children, the 'Family Airport' (click to know more about it).
Lisboa Card (Touristic Pass): includes all public transport within Lisbon (metro, buses, trams and elevators) and also train to Cascais and Sintra. It also allows free entrance in some museums, and discounts in some member shops. You can buy 24 hours, 48 hours and 72 hours cards. There are discounts for children aged 5-11 years. Children under 5 years don’t pay. Find more at the official webpage (http://www.askmelisboa.com/). This card is available at tourist offices including the Airport.
Day travel passes: this is a 24 hours day ticket valid for metro, buses and trams. It is called ‘Bilhete Diário Carris / Metro’ and can be bought at Metro and Carris ticket offices and vending machines.
Zapping: it is a rechargeable card, valid for metro, buses, trams and river Tagus boats. It discounts the cost of each trip (or combined trips in one hour). The card is rechargeable with 5 to 15€. It can be bought at Metro ticket offices and vending machines.
Especially in crowded places and while entering and exiting public transports, be aware of pickpockets.
Maximize your safety by minimizing your exposure to danger. Prevention is the best protection!