what to do in lisbon as a tourist? well the majority of the guides will tell you that timeout market is a top draw in terms of food. taking the trams/elevadors would be another. at the top of almost every guide we’ve read was to take the 28 tram which services the longest route in lisbon and takes you past a number of tourist attractions. the tram starts at praca martim moniz (possibly one of the most ethnically diverse areas of the city, look at all the asian stores!) and ends at campo de ourique in prazeres. the full ride takes about 35-40 minutes and this is the only tram we saw that required a signifcant lineup to board, usually having to wait 1-3 trams and longer if you want a window seat.
i would recommend those planning to take this tram to:
-buy a day pass/visitor’s card so that you can hop on/off for free, stopping off points like the cathedral (in alfama), praca do comercio (waterfront and next to the museum of design) and praca luis de camoes (for manteigaria’s amazing eggtarts) which is also close to the streets of bica which is another great neighbourhood to walk around. any further than that and you’ll find yourself waiting for the tram to get home as it’s terminates in the northwest section of the city away from any subway lines
-take it just after rush hour in the morning around 10am or we were told before rush hour around 7am to avoid the crowds. there are many warnings about pickpockets being active on this route because of how busy the crowds can be so if you go during off peak times then this is less of an issue
-grab a seat on the right side of the bus to catch a view of tagalongs. sure beats paying 3 euro a trip.
-watch your hands outside the window if you’re taking pictures when moving forward. the trams get VERY close to walls, other trams, cars and garbage bins. if you’re taking pictures looking backwards, look forward for a small window of no obstacles otherwise the driver might be picking your head off of the cobblestones
-don’t expect a comfortable ride. the jerkiness of the brakes, wooden benches and lack of padding are circa 1930 with some upgrades being done along the way (ie: the brakes which stop on a dime even going downhill, so grab on tight!). the interior of these trams are beautiful.
-helpful to take the tram towards the start of your trip to get a lay of the land. by the time we took it we had already been to all the neighbourhoods so the wow factor wasn’t there. thankfully it wasn’t jam packed as without any vantage points from the sides or rear of the tram
-stop at praca luis de camoes for a few pasteis de nata at manteigaria fabrica. yes, that was intentionally repeated. read why it was our favourite egg tart in lisbon
manteigaria fábrica de pastéis de nata
rua do loreto 2, portugal