Lisboa Card Guide: everything you need to know

Originally, I didn’t want to dedicate an entire article to the Lisboa Card. But! As I began to write my post about the sights of Lisbon, I realized that there was so much to say about the Lisboa Card that it was worth writing a separate article.

The Lisboa Card (or Lisbon Card, Lisbon City Pass) is a great option if you really want to explore the city. Moreover, it not only offers discounts in Lisbon, but also outside the city!

It is rare to find such a favorable package of discounts designed specifically for tourists as this card offers. Really incredible! You can enjoy plenty of sights with Lisboa Card completely free of charge or with a certain percentage discount (between 10%-50%). I won’t be able to mention them all, but I’ll do my best to describe most of the possibilities.

Based on our own experience, I will tell you how to make the most of it if you spend a couple of days in Lisbon. I’m also going to calculate exactly how much you can save with Lisboa Card in a few days (calculated at 2021 prices).

I tell you the most important thing now at the beginning: if you are traveling to Lisbon, this card is a must!

First, let’s see what exactly is a Lisboa Card, where can you get it, how it works and how much it costs at all.

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE SALES LINK. IT MEANS THAT IF YOU BUY THROUGH MY LINKS I MAY EARN COMMISSION AT NO COST TO YOU.

What exactly is a Lisboa Card?

The Lisboa Card is a discount package in electronic card format invented for tourists visiting the city. For those who want to come home from their Lisbon holiday with wonderful experiences while also saving money. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

The huge advantage of the Lisboa Card is that it provides free transport, you can also use the metro, buses, trams and funiculars. You can visit a lot of amazing sights with it completely free of charge, and without queuing!

You can visit interesting places at a reduced price (in some places you can get 50 percent off the original price), and it even provides discounts on a wide variety of city tours and cruises.

Where to get the Lisboa Card

The easiest way is to buy it online in advance. When you arrive to Lisbon, you can pick it up at the airport’s arrival hall at the Lisboa Card Counter.

If you do not arrive to the city by pane but by train, for example, you can pick up your Lisboa Card at the train stations or in the tourist offices all over the city. You will need to present your ID and the confirmation e-mail about the purchase.

How does the Lisboa Card work?

After you have purchased the card, you have the opportunity to activate it at any time within a year. So you can buy it online months before the trip as well. The card will be activated the first time you use it. You should write your name on the back of the card, and write the date and the hour you want to start using it at the front side.

It is very easy to use. For example, when you want to travel with metro, you need to validate it at the card readers at the entrance of the metro station. Just put the card on the card reader panel and you’re good to go.

It should be used in the same way at the museums. As you can enter any place once for free or with a discount with the card, you have to validate it at the entrances here as well.

lisboa card

How much does a Lisboa Card cost?

There are three versions of the Lisboa Card, depending on how long you want to use it. You can buy it for 24, 48 and 72 hours. The current prices (in 2021) are as follows:

  • For 24 hours
    • Adult: 20 Euros
    • Child: 13 Euros
  • For 48 hours
    • Adult: 34 Euros
    • Child: 19 Euros
  • For 72 hours
    • Adult: 42 Euros
    • Child: 13 Euros

Now look at the specifics and start with a very important point.

Traveling with Lisboa Card

With the Lisboa Card you can use the public transportation completely unlimited times. You can use the metro lines (it is also valid on the line to the airport!) and the buses as well.

In addition, travel is free on tram lines throughout the city. I highlight this in particular because Lisbon is full of stunning, wonderful, incredibly cute, old tiny trams. What you need to see!

tram symbol lisbon
These trams are the symbols of Lisbon

When you read about the sights in Lisbon, I bet that every article will talk about these trams, which are the symbols of the city. Aside from the fact that their sight is beautiful to the eye, it is an extraordinary experience to travel on them. And you can do this with the Lisboa Card completely free of charge, as many times as you want!

You can also use the funiculars in Lisbon (called Bica, Lavra and Glória). What is a funicular? Well, they look like a very sloping tram. They walk up and down steep streets, sparing you from climbing stairs 🙂

What belongs to the transport category and must be mentioned here is the Santa Justa Elevator (Elevador de Santa Justa). The elevator in the Baixa district takes you up to a height of about 45 meters, from where you can enjoy a wonderful panorama. There is usually a small queue in front of it, but it’s worth the few extra minutes.

You can use the card not only in Lisbon, but also outside the city.

The Lisboa Card provides a return train journey to Sintra (25 km west, 40-45 minutes) where you can take advantage of additional discounts.
There are, of course, museums, a national palace and an eighth-century Moorish castle. Unfortunately, we missed these due to lack of time, but we will definitely add them to the program when we visit Lisbon again!

Let’s sum up how much you save with Lisboa Card if it’s just about public transportation

In Lisbon, a single ticket costs 1.5 Euros (in 2021). If you use bus, metro, funicular or tram only five times in a few days, it costs a total of 7.5 Euros.
You go for a ride with the Santa Justa Elevator (a return trip costs 5.3 Euros), so you save a total of 12.8 Euros.
If we add that you also make a day trip to Sintra (return train ticket costs 4.5 Euros) and just go for a walk there, you save a total of 17.3 Euros. Per person! And that’s just the public transportation!

Let’s take a look at the most important attractions you can visit in Lisbon for free and without queuing with the Lisboa Card. I will indicate the adult entry prices (in 2021). You will be surprised how much you can save with the Lisboa Card in a few days!

Attractions you can visit in Lisbon FOR FREE with the Lisboa Card

Our accommodation was in the Belém District, which was a very good decision. The public transportation is very good to this district, the area is quiet and there is a lot to see. I start with the attractions in Belém District that you can visit for free with the Lisboa Card.

Jerónimos Monastery (Monasterio de los Jerónimos)

This amazing building had a big impact on us. The Monastery is an architectural masterpiece. It is a beautiful example of Portuguese late Gothic architecture (Manueline style). Definitely a must-see attraction, which is also on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Jerónimos Monastery is located in the Belém District, surrounded with a beautiful park, in a wonderful environment. Look for the Lisboa Card sign at the entrance and you can enter the building without queuing.

Adult entry fee: 10 Euros
With Lisboa Card: FREE

Belém Tower (Torre de Belém)

A few minutes walk from the Monastery you will find another very famous sight of the city, the Belém Tower. It was built in the 16th century, also in Manueline style. The tower is located directly on the bank of the Tagus River.

Together with the Jerónimos Monastery, it was added to the UNESCO World Heritage lists in 1983. You can also enter separately here with the Lisboa Card. You will have an amazing experience, because you can visit the prisons of the tower. On narrow steps, you can reach the top terrace of the Belém Tower, from where the view is really stunning!

Adult entry fee: 6 euros
With Lisboa Card: FREE

National Coach Museum (Museu Nacional dos Coches)

The National Coach Museum is located right next to the Belém railway station. It is a huge building, you will find it easily.

We had our accommodation next to the museum. To be honest, we didn’t even look at what exactly we were going to see inside. But we thought if it was free and close, let’s not miss it. And we did very well to visit this museum! As we entered, we were completely amazed. None of us had seen such an exhibition before. There’s a fantastic horse-drawn carriage collection here, the oldest pieces of which are from the 16th century. Absolutely stunning!

Hundreds of years old carriages previously owned by noble families, in perfect condition, with incredible ornaments. There are child-sized carriages, but also huge, 3 meter high vehicles. This is totally a must-see attraction in Lisbon!

Adult entry fee: 8 Euros
With Lisboa Card: FREE

Pilar7 Bridge Experience (Experiencia Pilar 7)

At about halfway from the Belém District to the city center, you have the opportunity to see this unusual exhibition, which is located in one of the pillars of the bridge itself!

It is about the 25th April Bridge (Ponte 25 de Abril), which you will probably see if you arrive to the city by plane. This bridge is often compared to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, and there are really a lot of similarities between them. The exhibition is very interesting, you can get to know the story of the bridge and you will hear a lot of interesting facts about this magnificent building.

If that weren’t enough, the last part of the exhibition is that you will be taken up by elevator to the level of the cars passing through the bridge. Here you can stand on a thick glass floor and below you is the depth and the Tagus River! This is not mandatory of course. Not do I necessarily recommend it to those who are afraid of heights, even without it it is just a fantastic feeling to be up high. It was very scary for me too, but exciting in the same time. If you are brave enough you will really enjoy it!

A little extra information: before entering the exhibition, your bags will be x-rayed and you will have to go through a metal detection gate.

Adult entry fee: 5 Euros
With Lisboa Card: FREE

National Ancient Art Museum (Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga)

You will find this museum on your way from the Belém District to the city center. It gives exactly what its name implies: paintings, sculptures, national treasures, dating back to the 12nd century.

If you are interested in fine art, you should definitely see it. However, if these things don’t excite you so much you can skip them (don’t hate me) as there are plenty of other things to see in the city.

Adult entry fee: 6 Euros
With Lisboa Card: FREE

Lisboa Story Centre

Lisboa Story Centre is located in the heart of the city, in the Alfama District. You will find an interactive exhibition here, which summarizes the history of the city in an hour or so. The story begins with the foundation of Lisbon, showing the events that played a significant role in the development of the city. If you want to get to know the story of Lisbon in detail in an interactive way, don’t miss it.

Adult entry fee: 6.5 Euros
With Lisboa Card: FREE

National Tile Museum (Museu Nacional do Azulejo)

Close to the city center you will find the National Tile Museum. It is very special in this that the museum is in a former monastery! You can see a really wonderful exhibition dedicated to Portuguese ceramics, azulejos. The pieces in the exhibition show the making of the tiles dating back to the 15th century.

Adult entry fee: 5 Euros
With Lisboa Card: FREE

In addition, you can enter many other places for free with a Lisboa Card. I won’t go into details here, because even a week would be enough to read through 🙂 You can find the full list of free attractions here.

How much you’ve saved so far with the Lisboa Card?

If you visit all these attractions without the Lisboa Card, you have to pay 46.5 Euros for the tickets.

Add the 17.3 Euros calculated for public transport.

In total, you would have spent 63.8 Euros so far, while the Lisboa Card only costs 42 Euros for 3 days.

You saved 21.8 Euros, with just a few attractions and transport!

I said it’s worth buying 🙂 And it’s still not over!

With the Lisboa Card you can’t visit all the sights for free. However, you can enter to a lot of places where you can get a 10% to 50% discount on the entrance fee! Check out the full list here, I’ll mention a few now. What I’ve written about so far is usually on the list of Lisbon’s top 10 attractions. What I am going to write about now is unfortunately less frequently found among the highly recommended attractions. But all of them are really stunning.

Attractions you can visit in Lisbon at a 10% to 50% discount price with the Lisboa Card

Lisbon Zoo (Jardim Zoologico de Lisboa), 15% discount

Wherever we travel, if there is a zoo nearby, we always visit. Animals always have a reassuring effect on us, and when we see them living in the perfect environment for them, it is even more so. This zoo is just like that.

From the city center, take a few stops by metro (hello Lisboa Card, it’s free), get off at the Jardim Zoologico stop. You’ve probably been to zoos before, but that’s quite different. The special feature of this zoo is that a chairlift runs over the entire area. Get on it and you can see the animals from above! It is a very unique experience and will definitely be memorable.

I’m a little scared of heights but I still really enjoyed the way we zipped over the lions, for example. The whole thing is really exciting! There is enough place for two people in a small cabin, the entry fee includes this extra experience.

Adult entry fee: 22.5 Euros
With Lisboa Card: 19 Euros

Carris Museum (Museu da Carris), 30% discount

This museum is typically such a place that I don’t understand why it doesn’t appear in capital letters at the beginning of every guidebook. I’m basically not a big fan of going to museums, but this one is quite an amazing place. The ticket is very cheap anyway, plus there is a discount if you arrive with a Lisboa Card.

The Carris company operates buses, funiculars and trams in Lisbon. This museum showcases the history of the development of public transport in Lisbon. The exhibition consists of two parts. In the first part, you learn about the history of public transport in Lisbon. There are old uniforms here, tickets that used to be used by travelers… Time travel at its best.

And the best part comes now! You can visit the second part of the exhibition in such a way that a kind gentleman will take you there by tram. Which tram is at least 50-60 years old! At the time of our visit, we were the only ones in the museum, and they did this tour with us anyway. We got a private little trip with a vehicle from ancient times. What else would it be if not such a unique experience?

The second part of the exhibition is located in a large hall. Here you can see old trams and other old vehicles (buses, double-decker buses, metro). You can even sit on them! And as you will walk along the cute old trams, you will find yourself in a very adorable gift shop, where you can buy souvenirs decorated with trams! Don’t miss it, it’s really brilliant!

Adult entry fee: 4.5 Euros
With Lisboa Card: 3.1 Euros

The Navy Museum (Museu de Marinha), 33% discount

I started the list of sights with the Belém District, I will also finish with it. Here you can find this incredible collection. Its location is already special, as it is located in the west wing of the Jerónimos Monastery mentioned at the beginning of the article.

The entrance of The Navy Museum

In Portugal, being a coastal country, shipping has always played a major role. The Navy Museum is dedicated to this: it is full of navy-themed paintings, objects, maps and beautifully crafted ship models.

Adult entry fee: 6.5 Euros
With Lisboa Card: 4.3 Euros

Calouste Gulbenkian Planetarium (Planetário Calouste Gulbenkian), 50% discount

The planetarium is located right next to The Navy Museum. If you are interested in astronomy, you should also visit this exhibition. Modern equipment and guided tours in several languages await those who are interested.

Adult entry fee: 5 Euros
With Lisboa Card: 2.5 Euros

Types of sightseeing opportunities with Lisboa Card

If you are tired of visiting museums, but still have time to look around, you can choose from a wide variety of sightseeing options tours, for which the Lisboa Card gives you a discount. You can even go for a walking tour, cycling tour, food tasting … But if you want, you can also take a cruise on the Tagus River! The Lisboa Card gives you an average of 10-15% discount on a lot of guided tours.

There are a lot of companies in Lisbon that offer such tours, but before you choose, ask if there is a discount. Because not all companies have a contract with the issuer of the Lisboa Card. The list of tours where you can get a discount can be found here.

Is it worth buying the Lisboa Card or not?

I said at the beginning of the article that it is worth to buy the Lisboa Card, but let’s look at the specifics. Since there are so many types of tours, at different prices, you can’t really calculate an average price for them. Now leave these out of math now, let’s look at the rest.

In the beginning, we have already calculated the costs of public transport. Traveling with metro, bus, funicular or tram only a few times will save you at least 17.3 Euros.

Add the free attractions, which total at least 46.5 Euros. You are now at 63.8 Euros.

If you only visit the four of the discounted attractions (although there are still many) that I have listed, you will save 9.6 Euros.

That’s a total of 73.4 Euros.

So you bought, for example, a 72-hour Lisboa Card for 42 Euros for which you got AT LEAST a 73.4 Euro discount. Do you understand what I meant at the beginning? 🙂

Conclusion

The more places you visit where the Lisboa Card gives a discount, the more you will save with it. That’s exactly what I mean when I write, this card is definitely worth the price.
If you only spend one day in the city, you should still buy it. Just think about public transportation and a few attractions.

And if you spend at least 2-3 days in Lisbon, then I think it’s a must. The city is really captivating, amazing, wonderful, you can’t get enough of it. You will want to see as much of it as you can, I guarantee this. And for that, the Lisboa Card is the perfect companion.

Lisboa Card

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