The best independent guide to Lisbon
The best independent guide to Lisbon
The number 28 tram in Lisbon connects Martim Moniz with Campo Ourique, and passes through the popular tourist districts of Graca, Alfama, Baixa and Estrela.
For visitors, this is the classic Lisbon tram journey, riding in a quaint yellow tram as it rattles and screeches through the narrow streets of the city.
Along the E28 route, delightful Remodelado trams trundle, and these retain many of their original 1930s features, including polished wood interiors, brass dials and cheery yellow paintwork. In any other city, these trams would be housed in a museum, but in Lisbon, they are an integral part of the public transport network.
The number 28 tram passing the Se cathedral in the Alfama district
These historic trams are still in use, as the number 28 tram route is completely unsuitable for modern trams, due to its numerous tight turns, narrow streets and steep gradients. The E28 tram follows a very scenic route, passing through many of Lisbon’s historic districts, and provides one of the best tours of the city.
A ride on the number 28 tram is one of the highlights of Lisbon, but its popularity means it frequently suffers from over-tourism. There are some very simple tips to get the most from the experience.
• Ride the tram early (or late) in the day, to avoid the mid-day crowds.
• Board the tram at Martim Moniz (or Campo Ourique), as there is a better chance of getting a seat.
• Always be wary of pickpockets (please see later section).
• Purchase the 24-hour public transport ticket from any metro station. This removes the hassle of buying a ticket on board and is exceptional value for money
• Ride the entire route, as there is so much to see.
• If standing, hold on tight, as the brakes are very sharp!
Insight: The number 28 tram route is identified as the E28 with the preceding “E” meaning Elétrico (the Portuguese for tram).
The tram at the Portas do Sol stop
The number E28 tram follows the route:
Martim Moniz – Graca – Portas de Sol (Alfama) – Se Cathedral – Rua Conceição (Baixa) – Chiado – Sao Bento – Estrela - Campo Ourique
(once the tram reaches the end it follows the same route but in reverse)
The interactive map below displays the tram route along with the major tourist attractions.
Sights along the E28 tram route: 1) Basílica da Estrela 2) Assembleia da República 3) Praça Luís de Camões 4) Rua Augusta 5) Praça do Comércio 6) Igreja de Santo António 7) Sé de Lisboa 8) Portas do Sol 9) Mosteiro São Vicente 10) Graça 11) Castelo de Sao Jorge
The busiest section is between Baixa and Alfama, but during the peak season, the entire route will be crowded. The western section (Sao Bento to Campo Ourique) tends to be the quietest section.
Note: The tram does not stop outside the castle, but the Portas do Sol tram stop is the closest public transport stop to the Lisbon castle. From here, it is a steep uphill walk to the castle entrance (and is marked on the map)
The number 28 tram, as it travels through the Sao Bento district
Insight: The number 12 tram route is a good alternative to the number 28 if it is too busy. The number 12 follows a one-directional loop of Baixa and Alfama, uses the same classic Remodelado trams and departs from the same location as the 28, the Martim Moniz Plaza.
Related article: Number 12 tram guide
Alternative: If you purely want to ride the Remodelado trams, and are not too bothered by the route, consider taking the E24 instead of the E28 or E12. This lesser-known route connects the Praça Luís de Camões to Campolide, and being less famous, there are always seats available.
Related article: The number 24 tram
A single ticket purchased onboard the tram costs €3.00. A much better option is to purchase the 24-hour unlimited public transport ticket, which includes the metro and all tram and bus services. This ticket costs €6.40 but annoyingly can only be purchased from the metro stations.
Insider Tip: This 24-hour ticket is exceptional value for tourists, as it includes the Elevador de Santa Justa (€5.30), the Elevador da Glória (€3.80) and all of the tram routes (€3.00 each single).
It is a very sad fact that a whole section must be dedicated to pickpockets who plague the 28 tram route. These pickpockets are skilful opportunists who only target tourists who fail to use common sense or are simply being careless.
While standing on a packed tram, never leave expensive cameras dangling from shoulders (cords can be cut), always place valuables in bags, and wear backpacks or bags on your front. The pickpockets tend to target very crowded trams and people close to the exits.
The pickpockets are never Portuguese, and are as equally likely to be men as women.
Not really the way to ride the tram…
The 28 tram is an important part of the public transport network of Lisbon, and the only real public transport passing through the Alfama district. This importance is reflected in the frequency and operating hours of the service.
The trams start early in the day (6am) and continue late at night (10:30pm), with at least six-hourly departures between 7am to 6pm. For the latest timetable, please see the Carris website at:
(links open new tabs)
At the major tram stops, there are digital information boards that provide accurate departure times, and these are often much more useful than the printed timetables due to the possible delays.
Insider Tip: Between 10am and 6pm the trams are usually standing room only and the only way to get a seat is to board at the departure locations (Martim Moniz or Campo Ourique)
How about a small group tour?
One of the best ways to discover Lisbon and to meet fellow travellers is to join a guided tour. We have worked with Getyourguide.com for the last six years, and some of the best tours of Lisbon include:
The number 28 tram passes through many of the most interesting districts of Lisbon, and this section details the main tourist sights along the route.
Estrela - A calm and affluent neighbourhood of Lisbon. The tram stops in front of the Basílica da Estrela with its ornate Baroque facade and huge domed roof. Opposite the Basilica is the pleasant Jardim da Estrela, a popular park for families Portuguese and a great place to relax after a long day of sightseeing.
The tram in front of the Basílica da Estrela
Sao Bento – The setting for the Portuguese parliament building, which is housed in the grand Assembleia da República. This is another underrated and little-visited district of Lisbon that is worthy of a detour from the common tourist areas.
The Assembleia da República in Sao Bento
Praça Luís de Camões – The main plaza of Bairro Alto, a chaotic and hectic plaza where there is always something going on. The narrow streets of Bairro Alto come alive at night with funky bars and trendy hangouts, and at the weekends, the socialising spills out onto the streets.
Rua Conceição – The tram stop at the southern side of the Baixa district, which is close to the pedestrianised street of Rua de Augusta and the Praça do Comércio, Lisbon’s finest plaza.
Se Cathedral – Tram stop outside the ancient Se Cathedral and Saint Anthony Church. Saint Anthony is the patron saint of Lisbon (along with lovers and lost causes) and the Igreja de Santo António was constructed on his birthplace.
Portas do Sol – A very popular and scenic plaza in Alfama, which has a wonderful view over the district and Tejo Estuary. This is also the location of the Museu de Artes Decorativas and is the closest stop for the castle.
Graca – A district that is truly Portuguese, and a great location to experience normal Portuguese daily life. There may not be many actual sights in Graca but is an enjoyable district to explore, with a pleasant high-street of family-run shops and bustling cafes.
Anjos – A multi-cultural and diverse selection of the city, some visitors will embrace the diversity while others will think it is a bit shabby.
The little yellow Remodelado trams date from the 1930s and are bursting with traditional charm, from the original dials and levers through to the uncomfortable polished wood benches.
These trams are called Remodelado (re-modelled) because they were upgraded with improved brakes and electrics during the 1990s.
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