This is, in my opinion, the best, most typical and cheapest way to get to know Lisbon. In every city you have the usual sightseeing tour and Lisbon is no exception, however the tram is definitely a very unique way of touring the city, The fact that it is a historical public transport makes it not only a cheap option but also a quaint experience.
The closest tram stop to our apartments is just a few steps away in Chiado (Praça Luís de Camões).
The no.28 tram departing from Martim Moniz square begins by going up to the Graça neighbourhood, on the way you’ll be able to see São Vicente de Fora Church and its imposing façade tiles. Behind the Church is Campo de Santa Clara where every Tuesday and Saturday the “Feira da Ladra” market is held, this is the place to be if you want to buy and sell a little bit of everything.
The 28’s route continues then to Alfama, strolling by some of medieval Lisboa’s most picturesque streets and squares like Rua das Escolas Gerais and Largo das Portas do Sol where you can have a great view over the Tagus River with São Jorge’s Castle above.
As the tram descends into downtown (Baixa) the Sé de Lisboa (Lisbon’s cathedral) will surely catch your eye with its Roman façade and you can also have a look at Santo António’s Church, the city’s favourite saint.
Once you get to the downtown area it’s worth making a stop on your tram ride and explore these streets. All of it was rebuilt by instruction of Marquis of Pombal after the 1755 earthquake. Getting back on the tram, you’ll go up the Chiado hillside stopping right next to the famous café A Brasileira and its oldest customer, Fernando Pessoas’s statue in Largo do Chiado. The main highlight on the way to the Estrela is the Parliament building, house in the former Sao Bento Convent, at the top of an imposing staircase. With so many monuments and historical spots on its route, you can understand why the 28 is known as the “tourists’ tram”.
Despite the amazing ride the tram provides, you shouldn’t be limited to it and explore the city. Alfama and São Jorge’s Castle for instance should deserve at least half a day to visit. If after half a day of exploring you’re feeling hungry, try the very nice Pois, Café (www.poiscafe.com).