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Fact – you haven’t really experienced Lisbon unless you’ve ridden on Tram 28.
Lisbon is famous for its distinctive and historic yellow trams, gliding in and out of the old town, past the cathedral and along the azure Portuguese coast – bonito!
The Portuguese capital has a number of renowned tram routes, but none more so than the journey of Tram 28 Lisbon. This iconic tram departs from Praca Martim Moniz, then heads up and down the city streets and narrow hills of Lisbon’s old town before finishing the joyous journey in Campo Ourique.
Here is our guide to getting the best ride on Tram 28 in Lisbon (2023):
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Table of Contents
Grab a 24 Hour Travel Pass / Carris Pass
Lisbon’s transport system is one of the best networks we’ve encountered in Europe.
The best way to ride on the Lisbon Tram 28 unfettered (and the entire Lisbon Tram network) is to invest in a Lisbon 1 Day ticket (24h) Carris/Metro. This 24 hour transport pass in Lisbon currently costs €6.60 as of summer 2023 or approx £5.70 / $7.20 USD).
This 24 hour transport pass allows you unlimited access to all trams including Lisbon tram 28, the airport train, plus the historic funiculars and the beautiful Santa Justa lift (which is 5 Euros alone normally for admission).
If you ride the tram 28 Lisbon route to and from the end point (Campo Ourique), this is classed as two separate journeys so your pass has practically paid for itself already.
To use your Lisbon tram pass, just scan it on the yellow barcode reader to the left of the driver’s head when you first get on tram 28.
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Tram 28 Lisbon Fare in 2023
If for some reason you don’t manage to get a Lisbon 24 hour transport / Carris Metro pass before getting on Tram 28 (you fool!), then don’t worry.
You can buy a one way fare on the Lisbon Tram 28 for 3 Euros per person, no matter how far you go (e.g. even if you jump off after just one stop).
Note that is a one way fare on Tram 28 in Lisbon and you’ll have to pay another 3 Euro fare per person if you choose to reboard at Camp Ourique.
If you don’t already have a ticket, you can buy one from the Tram 28 driver as you jump aboard, but note that they don’t appreciate it if you only have high denomination Euro notes – ideally have the right change.
Get on the Lisbon Tram 28 early
The Tram 28 in Lisbon comfortably seats around 20 people at a time, with possibly enough standing space for a few more.
We rode Tram 28 a couple of times from Lisbon’s Montim Martez and found that when we arrived at 8.45am, we managed to get on the tram straight away. However when we arrived later at 11am, we had to queue for about 20 minutes to get on (Tram 28 departs every 10 mins or so).
We visited Lisbon in low season so expect the Tram 28 queues in peak times to be longer – according to other bloggers it could be as long as a 2 hours wait at peak times in the height of summer.
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Keep your hands (and head!) inside Tram 28
Many of the Tram 28 sections in Lisbon run in parallel meaning two trams can pass within centimetres of each other. As such, try to keep your hands and other body parts within the tram windows at all times.
As tempting as it can be to put your camera outside Tram 28 for scenic shots or selfies, we saw a couple of close calls (too close!) so it isn’t recommended, particularly in the areas where Tram 28 squeezes through a small gap between houses.
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The best side to get on Tram 28
Go left! If you are boarding Tram 28 from Martim Montez, we recommend you grab one of the seats on the left hand side so you can enjoy the ocean views along the Tram 28 route as you ride through Alfama and also see the sea/cathedral from the bottom of the hill as you arc left.
Obviously if you are starting at Campo Ourique, then it is the opposite and sit on the right hand side. You’re most welcome!
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Tram 28 Etiquette – Look out for Lisbon Locals and the Elderly
Although most people who ride Tram 28 in Lisbon are tourists or Portuguese daytrippers, many of the city’s elderly residents also use the tram in Lisbon as the city can be quite hilly.
We were a bit embarrassed by the number of tourists who didn’t get up to offer their seats to the elderly so get on your feet and offer them a seat. The very front seats of the tram are priority seats for elderly/disabled.
All off at the end points
Note that ALL Tram 28 passengers have to disembark at the end stops and re-join the line, be it Martim Montez or Campo Ourique. The amount of tourists we heard pleading to stay on to do the Tram 28 return route was a little awkward.
This can mean you have to wait to board the next free tram 28 but it also means everyone has a fair chance at getting a window seat on the return leg.
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Alfama is awesome
Once you’ve ridden the Tram 28 route to Campo Ourique (which is actually quite a disappointing stop, compared to the majesty of the old town), your best bet is to get back on the tram and alight somewhere in Alfama, as the sea views here are incredible.
It also makes a great photo opportunity, in terms of getting pics of tram 28 winding through the narrow Lisbon streets – a pretty Portuguese picture opportunity.
One of our favourite spots in the entire city can be found high up in Alfama (Miradouro de Santa Luzia), an opulent observation point with postcard picture views from its pergola and floral garden.
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Hop on and off, or stay put?
We rode tram 28 in Lisbon in low season and we noticed that the tram was always full – so if you do hop off half way, you won’t be guaranteed a seat when you get back on.
We recommend riding Tram 28 once all the way from the start at Praca Martim Montez, just so you get a feel for the route and city, then re-board again at the end and hop off on the way back somewhere central or in Alfama (all within easy walking distance of all the main Lisbon city sights).
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Tram 28 has pickpockets
Sadly, although we never encountered it or witnessed it ourselves anywhere along the Tram 28 route, there are reports in numerous travel publications that pickpockets are a blight in Lisbon and regularly operate on tram 28.
So keep your bags close on Tram 28 (preferably in your lap) and move your purse / wallet away from the aisle when sitting down.
Follow the Tram route in a tuk-tuk
If you want to see how beautiful the Tram 28 route is in Lisbon but it is too busy to climb aboard (queues can be up to 2 hours in summer months), how about booking a tuk-tuk tour that follows the tram 28 route?
Take an electric tuk-tuk through Lisbon’s lush neighbourhoods and follow the tram 28 route in this 2-hour tuk-tuk tour. Whizz through the neighborhoods of Graca, Bairro Alto, and Chiado without the hassle of getting on board a tram
Our final thoughts on Tram 28 in Lisbon…
Overall Tram 28 is…Tramtastic!
All in all, we totally recommend hopping aboard Tram 28 in Lisbon and doing the entire tram 28 route – it is a lovely way to see Lisbon and can act as a respite from the blazing sun.
If you do just one thing in Lisbon, then make it a ride on Tram 28. Plus eat a pastel del nata. And go to Belem…., well, you know what we mean.
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