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The number 28 Lisbon tram 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 screeches and rattles through the narrow streets of the city.
The number 28 tram, as it travels through the Sao Bento district
The delightful Remodelado trams date from the 1930s, and in any other city they would be housed in a museum, but in Lisbon, they are an integral part of the public transport network. These historic trams are still in use, as the 28 route is completely unsuitable for modern trams, due to its numerous tight turns and steep gradients.
A ride along the entire 28 tram route provides one of the best tours of the capital and is often a highlight of any holiday to Lisbon. This article will provide an introduction to the number 28 tram, and includes fares, tourist advice and popular tourist attractions along the route.
• Ride the tram early (or late) in the day, to avoid the crowds.
• Board at Martim Moniz (or Campo Ourique) as there is a better chance of getting a seat.
• Always be wary of pickpockets (please see section later on).
• Get the 24-hour public transport ticket from any metro station.
• Ride the entire route as there is so much to see. (please see later section)
• If standing, hang on very tight as the brakes are very sharp!
Related articles: Guide to Alfama - Guide to Baixa - Metro guide
The Lisbon tram number 28, at Portas do Sol in Alfama
A single ticket purchased onboard the tram costs €3.00. A much better option is to purchase the 24-hour 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, the Elevador da Glória and all of the tram routes.
It is a very sad fact that a whole section must be dedicated to pickpockets who plague the 28 tram route. These pickpockets are only ever opportunists and only target tourists who fail to use common sense or are simply being careless.
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, but are gangs flown in from eastern Europe and are as equally likely to be men as women.
The 28 tram is an important part of the public transport network of Lisbon, a fact the reflects on the frequency and operating hour of the service. The trams start early in the day (6am) and continue late at night (10:30pm), with at least four hourly departures from 7am-8pm, for the latest timetable, please see the Carris website at:
To Campo Ourique - http://www.carris.pt/pt/electrico/28E/ascendente/
To Martim Moniz - http://www.carris.pt/pt/electrico/28E/descendente/
(links open new tabs)
The trams are routinely delayed by traffic as it passes through the narrow streets of Alfama or even forced to stop due to badly parked cars. At the major tram stops there are digital information boards which 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)
You wait for one tram, and then three turn up.....
The number E28 tram follows the route.
Martim Moniz – Graca – Portas de Sol – Se Cathedral – Rua Conceição (southern Baixa) – Chiado – Sao Bento – Estrela - Campo Ourique
(once the tram reaches the end it follows the same route but in reverse)
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, and it is still a steep walk from the closest tram stop up to the entrance to the castle.
The number 28 tram rushing through the streets of Lisbon
Insider tip: 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. This is a newly opened tram route connects Praça Luís de Camões to Campolide, and as it is less famous, there are always seats available.
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 prosperous district. 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 among Portuguese families 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. The district has imposed a closing time of 2am to try to control the chaos, and this is when most revellers head to Cais do Sodre.
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 closest stop for the castle.
The Portas do Sol view point in Alfama
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 thankfully upgraded with improved brakes and electrics during the 1990s. Some visitors may think that the brakes are sometimes too good.