The original, independent guide to Lisbon
The original, independent guide to Lisbon
The number 15 tram is the most popular tram route in Lisbon and extends from the Praça da Figueira to the Jardim de Algés. For visitors, this is an extremely useful tram route, as it connects the Baixa district (and central Lisbon) to the Belem district.
Belem should not be missed during your stay in Lisbon, and contains many of the city’s most iconic monuments including the Torre de Belém, Mosteiro dos Jerónimos and Padrão dos Descobrimentos. The Belem district is not connected to the metro network, and the E15 tram is the most convenient means of travel to Belem from central Lisbon.
The E15 route uses the modern "Articulado" trams, not the quaint yellow trams that trundle through the Alfama district and along the E28 route. Being the primary route to Belem, the number 15 tram can get very crowded, and unfortunately is plagued by highly skilled pickpockets.
This article will provide an overview of the Lisbon 15E tram, and includes details of fares, tourist information and sights along the route.
Related articles: The Belem district– The Baixa district – Tram 28
Note: all tram routes are preceded by the letter “E” which stands for Elétrico (tram)
It is very sad that the first section of this article must deal with pickpockets, but they are very prevalent on crowded trams and tourists should be very wary of them. These pickpockets are only ever opportunists and almost exclusively target tourists who are failing to use common sense or simply being careless. Always place valuables in bags, don’t leave expensive cameras dangling from shoulders (cords can be cut) and wear backpacks or bags on your front.
One of the tricks they use is to snatch handbags or wallets as the tram doors are closing, so an easy method to avoid them is not to stand close to the door. The pickpockets have learnt to dress to blend into the crowd and are as equally likely to be men as women.
Related articles: Is Lisbon safe?
A single tram fare on the E15 costs €3.00 and is purchased from the onboard ticket machine. In reality, this is much more difficult than it sounds; the tram will be very crowded and lurching around, plus the machine needs exact change. There are no return fares, so for a day trip to Belem two onboard fares must be purchased at €6.00.
The 24-hour unlimited public transport ticket is a much better option. The ticket costs €6.40 and includes all metro, buses and trams. Annoyingly this ticket can only be purchased from a metro station and not on board the tram. Rossio metro station (GPS 38.71398, -9.13825) is very close to departure location of the E15 tram on the Praça da Figueira, and is the best location to purchase the 24h ticket.
Insider Tip: This 24-hour public transport ticket includes the Elevador de Santa Justa, Elevador da Glória and the number 28 tram. Three great tourist attractions for almost free!
Related articles: Elevador de Santa Justa – E28 tram
The main stops along the E15 route from Baixa to Belem (west to east), which are of interest to tourists are:
(1) Praça da Figueira - (2) Praça do Comércio - (3) Cais do Sodré - (4) Cais da Rocha - (5) Infante Santo (for Alcântara-Mar) - (6) Calvário - (7) Santo Amaro - (8) Mosteiro dos Jerónimos (for Belém) - (9) Jardim de Algés
A map of the route and location of these stops can be seen on the interactive map below:
Most visitors travelling to Belem from Baixa will board at Praça da Figueira (1) or Praça do Comércio (2). We recommend boarding the tram at the Praça da Figueira (1), as this is the start of the route and there is a higher chance of securing a seat.
Cais do Sodré (3) is the main train station to the west of Lisbon, so expect lots of people to board here. It takes approximately 30 minutes to travel the 6.5km from Praça da Figueira to Belem.
The E15 is an important public transport link and the tram services start early in the day (6am) and continue late into the night (1am), with five hourly departures between 7am-10pm (reducing to four on Sundays and public holidays).
At all of the major tram stops, information boards accurately display the time of the next departure, these are much more useful than the printed timetables, which can be seen on the Carris website:
To Belem - http://www.carris.pt/pt/electrico/15E/ascendente/
To Baixa - http://www.carris.pt/pt/electrico/15E/descendente/
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The Lisbon tram 15 is the main public transport route to the west of Lisbon and for much of the journey it follows the Tejo Estuary. Interesting stops along the route include:
Cais do Sodré – An up and coming district, which has shrugged off its seedy reputation to become the nightlife hub of Lisbon. The Cais do Sodré train station connects Lisbon to Cascais and the beaches along the Estoril coastline. Generally, it is easier to travel to Cais do Sodré by the metro than the E15 tram.
Related articles: Lisbon’s beaches – Cascais guide
Av. Infante Santo – A fashionable section of Lisbon that has transformed old docks into stylish restaurants, bars and clubs, which overlook the Doca do Espanhol marina and the Ponte 25 de Abril suspension bridge.
Calvário - This tram stop is close to the LxFactory, an abandoned factory that has been converted into an artisan and contemporary centre. Found in the former warehouses are trendy restaurants, independent artists stalls and uber-cool bars. To understand why Lisbon has become such a popular destination for tech start-ups, global wanders, or digital nomads this is the place to head to.
Cais da Rocha – Tram stop for the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga (MNAA). Note: It is a steep climb from the tram stop to the museum. The MNAA official website: http://museudearteantiga.pt/
Santo Amaro – Location of the Carris tram and public transport museum: http://museu.carris.pt/
The E15 tram can get very crowded and, as a modern tram, is not the same enjoyable experience as the classic trams that rattle and screech through Alfama.
Another suitable alternative to the E15 tram is the number 728 bus service (unhelpfully labelled as Portela to Restelo). This very useful bus service follows the entire Tejo estuary from Belem (in the west) to the Parque das Nações (in the north east) and passes the Baixa and Alfama districts.
There are at least three departures every hour and a ticket costs €2.00 (or is included in the 24-hour public transport ticket). In Belem, the 728 bus departs from the same stop as the tram (GPS 38.69733, -9.20380) while in Baixa it departs from just to the west of Praça do Comércio (GPS 38.70788, -9.13858). The entire bus route can be seen here:
To Belem - http://www.carris.pt/pt/autocarro/728/descendente/
To Baixa and Parque das Nações - http://www.carris.pt/pt/autocarro/728/ascendente/
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