From the airport to the city center by subway

From today everyone who arrives to Lisbon’s International Airport has a new way to reach the city center: subway!

After arriving to Lisbon’s Airport you just have to follow the signs (they’re not so good right now, that that will be fixed soon) and go to the ticket machine. Once you’re there (like I said before) buy a “Zapping” card. It costs 0.50€ for the card itself and then you can choose the amount that you want to put in the card. Each time you travel by public transportation it will deduct its cost automatically. In this case, it will take 1,15€, which is the price of each journey.

If you just want to take one trip, then buy “single fare” and the cost will be 1,25€ for the journey + 0,50€ for the green card. Don’t forget that you can return the card after the trip and recover your 0,50€, just keep the white receipt.

How to reach the airport by subway? Easy. Take it in the subway station that is more convenient to you and head towards “São Sebastião”, “Saldanha” or “Alameda (blue, yellow and green lines). There you can change subway and get on the red line, which takes you directly to the airport. To give you an idea, now you can go from “Saldanha” to the “Airport” in 16 minutes.  Isn’t that something?

Just like all the other subway stations, this one is also decorated with tiles. These were designed by a cartoonist, António, and has caricatures of important Portuguese personalities such as the Fado singer Amália or the writer Fernando Pessoa, among many others.

One last info: subway runs from 6.30 am to 1.30am and it’s generally safe. Toddlers, suitcases and other volumes are allowed, just look for the larger gates before passing your ticket. What are you waiting for? Try it and tell us how it was.

Or see the full subway map here. 

Getting around Lisbon – your green card to public transportation

Yesterday I was touring around with Paula Thomas and her family. They’re a lovely (big) family from California who are spending a couple of weeks in Portugal and some days in Lisbon. We did a “Old and downtown” walking tour together ,to get their bearings of the city ,and the first thing we did was to buy public transportation tickets, aka “Viva Viagem”.

“Viva viagem” is a green card that you can buy in subway stations and other public transportation offices. It works like a credit card, and every time that you use it, they automatically take out the cost of your journey.

When you buy it choose the option “zapping” and then choose the amount you want do charge: 2€, 5€, 10€ or 15€. Don’t worry about adding too much money, just keep the white receipt that comes with it and before you leave Lisbon, go to a counter with the card and your receipt. You’ll be returned the unused credit.

During your stay in Lisbon, as long as your credit is enough, you’ll be able to use it on board of the trams, buses, historical elevators, subway, trains that go to Sintra and Cascais, and also on the ferries that cross the river. These trips cost 1.40€ using these cards, but if you buy the tickets on board, they can cost up to 5€.

There are three things no one tells you. 1st- these cards are rechargeable: if your credit finishes, just go to another office or machine, insert your card and add some money. The card itself costs 0.50€. 2nd- These cards are very easy to break or demagnetize. Don’t store them together, in your pocket, close to your credit card nor to your cellphone. 3rd- Don’t throw the white receipt away: you’ll need it to get your credit back or to recover it in case your card stops working.

With all this you’ll be saving about 1€ per journey, which you can easily spend on our wonderful “café”, delicious “pastéis de nata” or fresh “imperiais”.