3 days in Lisbon with the Lisboa Card 馃嚨馃嚬

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Welcome to an itinerary for you to make the most of Lisbon in three days visiting the most important attractions in the Portuguese capital in the company of the Lisboa Card.聽

What is the Lisboa Card?

The Lisboa Card is the city’s official tourist card. For those who visit a city, tourist passes are often a mystery. Are they worth it? Are they not? Some tourist passes are excellent, others not so good, and you often have to rack your brains to come to a definitive conclusion about the suitability of this or that pass.

The Lisboa Card is a tourist pass, individual, that includes a transport pass and an attractions pass in a single card. One card, two passes.

Unlimited transport pass

With the transport pass included in the Lisboa Card you will be able to take unlimited rides on Lisbon’s public transport, including:

  • the metro
  • the autocarros, the buses
  • the el茅tricos, the trams
  • the elevadores, the lifts, including the famous Santa Justa Lift
  • the ascensores, the funiculars
  • and several comboio (train) lines, including those going to Cascais and Sintra and across the 25 April bridge

Attractions pass

With the attractions pass you enter for free, the one time, in 40 attractions, and you get discounts of between 10% and 50% in a number of other attractions.

The card is sold in three formats: 24, 48 and 72 hours. The time starts counting the moment you use the pass for the first time. If you buy a 24 hour pass and begin using it at 5 pm, it will be valid until 5 pm the next day.

How to buy the Lisboa Card

You can buy the card at a tourist office in Lisbon or, before you begin your trip, on many websites. If you want to buy the pass before your trip, we recommend you do so at the Civitatis website here, it is a trusted partner of ours here in the channel and it is at Civitatis where we bought our very own Lisboa cards. At Civitatis you will pay the same price as you would do at the tourist office, but everytime a Lisboa Card is sold through the link, we gain a small commission.

When you finish the purchase, you will get a voucher from Civitatis. You need to print it and take it with you to a tourist office where you will exchange it for the passe. We exchanged it at the airport tourist office.

At Lisbon airport, the tourist office is just in front of the gate where arriving passengers reach the open part of the airport. You鈥檒l go through the door, turn left and then turn right to find the tourist office.

You will exchange the voucher that Civitatis will send you for the Lisboa Card, remembering that the validity period of the card only starts to count the first time you use it. You don’t need to use it to leave the airport.

If you are not arriving in Lisbon by plane, you can exchange the voucher at the main tourist offices in the city.

Important, before you use the card for the first time, you must sign it and write the date and time of the first use.

How to use the Lisboa Card

The transport card is used in the same way as the Navegante card, Lisbon’s current transport card. Regardless of which transport you get on, you always have to validate your journey, either at the readers in the metro or inside buses, trams, lifts and lifts, by holding the card up to the reader.

In the case of the free attractions included in the card, in the vast majority of them you will go to the fast lane for those who have already bought their tickets, show your card and get in. For example, at the Monasterio dos Jer么nimos, a very popular attraction, you get in the fast lane without going through the ticket office.

At the St George鈥檚 Castle there is a fast lane for Lisboa Card holders at the castle ticket office.聽

The only exception is the Bel茅m Tower, where you have to go first to the ticket office to pick up your ticket. The ticket office is a hundred meters away from the tower entrance and counts with a fast lane for Lisboa Card holders.

For attractions that offer a discount, you will have to go to the ticket office to buy a discounted ticket.

Making the most of the Lisboa Card

To get the most out of the Lisbon Card, the secret is to select the highest priced attractions to get the most out of your investment.

You will see next our proposal of a three-day itinerary in Lisbon making the most of the Lisboa Card while implementing that strategy. All the attractions we visit during the three days, all of them, are free with the Lisboa Card.

Lisbon in three days: DAY 1

On the first day we visited: 

  • the National Pantheon, free with the card.
  • the Tile National Museum, free with the card.
  • the Interpretative Centre of the History of Codfish, free with the card.
  • the Lisboa Story Centre, free with the card.
  • and the Rua Augusta Arch, free with the card.

Lisbon in three days: DAY 2

On the second day we visited:

  • the Jer贸nimos Monastery, free with the card.
  • the Bel茅m Tower, free with the card.
  • the Padr茫o dos Descobrimentos, free with the card.
  • and the Pilar 7, free with the card.

Lisbon in three days: DAY 3

On the third day we visited.

  • the Ajuda National Palace, free with the card.
  • the Royal Treasure Museum, free with the card.
  • the Carriages National Museum, free with the card.
  • and we reserved the afternoon for the St George鈥檚 Castle, which is now also free with the card.

As on the third day there was plenty of time left over, when we finished the visit to the castle we descended to the Pra莽a da Figueira.

We walked to the base of the nearby ascensor do Lavra, the Lavra funicular, and climbed up to the top station. We went down and then up in the ascensor da Gl贸ria, the Gl贸ria funicular. And, from the top station of the Gl贸ria funicular, we walked to the top of the Elevador de Santa Justa to go down it – the line to go down is always much faster than the line to go up.

Could we have visited more attractions? We could have. But we do everything calmly and, even so, we manage to get into quite a few places and make the most of what we invested in buying the passes. We insist, we do everything slowly, we are sure you could fit more attractions in a day. And remember that during those three days you will also want to take advantage of the old tram, go on the funiculars and ride the Santa Justa elevator as we have just done.

Let’s do the maths, the most indisputable way to evaluate whether the pass pays off.

The costs we would have incurred if we did not have the pass would be 120.90鈧. We paid for the pass 鈧54. So we made a saving of 鈧66.90.

Clarifications

The first is that you are, of course, free to choose the attractions you are most interested in, and also to visit them in the order you prefer.

The second clarification is that you should pay attention to Lisbon on Mondays. Most museums close on Mondays, so do avoid using the Lisboa Card on that day.

The third clarification is about the convenience of using the Lisboa Card to get to Sintra. The Lisboa Card includes the train to Sintra, but we do not think it is a good idea to use it for Sintra, because it does not include free attractions, only small discounts on the price of some of the major attractions. If you use the Lisboa Card for Sintra, you will get a very small saving that may not be worth the investment.

Final summary

We really like the Lisboa Card. From a savings point of view, it is clear that it was a great investment. In addition to the attractions mentioned above, we took advantage of the city’s lifts and funiculars and got around the whole time using public transport.

We like passes that include full access, without having to pay for anything, to tourist attractions. And the Lisbon Card includes some of the city’s most important monuments, such as the Bel茅m Tower, the Jer贸nimos Monastery and now St. George’s Castle.

We found the purchase, exchange of the voucher and use of the pass very easy.

If you want to spend one, two or three days visiting paid attractions in Lisbon, the Lisbon Card can be an excellent investment.

But always, in the case of tourist passes, you have to carefully analyse which attractions you would like to visit and do the maths to see if the cost is worth it. You may choose different places from the ones we selected, we don’t know. For us, the Lisbon Card was a great choice, but it has to be for you too.

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