Lisbon's buses/trams: Carris

May 20 2013

Lisbon’s buses/trams: Carris

Carris is Lisbon main bus and tram operator. It manages also funicular operation and through Carristour is responsible for some of the touristic buses running in all of Portugal’s major cities. In 2013 Carris was merged with Metropolitano de Lisboa and Soflusa to create Transportes de Lisboa, Lisbon’s integrated public transport operator.


Almost all of Carris buses are low-floored but only about half of the fleet provides full accessibility to reduced mobility passengers such as ramps and wheelchair space. For trams the situation is very similar. Older trams accessibility is very low, while new trams meet the required accessibility specifications. Some tram stops, however, do not have elevated floors to match trams entrances.

Carris website is well design, is available also in English and information is relatively easy to find.

Entering and exiting the vehicles

Buses are not required to stop if there are no passengers at bus stops, so you must signal your intention to travel. You must validate your ticket on the validation machines located next to the driver. To express your intention to exit, press the buttons located inside the bus. Doors are controlled by the driver.


Tickets valid for one trip  for trams and buses (1.80€ buses, 2.85€ trams) ans tickets valid for two trips for funiculars (3.60€ ) can be bought directly to the driver. Viva Viagem refillable travel cards (used for Metropolitano de Lisboa and other Lisbon transport operators) are also valid in Carris buses and trams and are usually the cheapest way to travel, even for a short stay in Lisbon. This ticket is available and can be refilled at the blue machines in every metro station as well post offices and newspapers and tobacco shops identified with Payshop symbol.


Pickpocketing is more frequently than it should on crowded touristic tram routes, in particular trams 15 and 28 are especially profitable routes for this activity. As for stations, pay extra attention on Praça da Figueira, Praça do Comércio and Cais do Sodré. Be situationally aware especially when buying tickets and when entering and exiting the vehicles and always take the usual precautions such as keeping your wallet, purse, backpack and camera under your eyesight the whole time.