An iconic symbol and a must-do on your Portugal walking trip
The yellow tram has become a bit of an institution in Lisbon. The iconic image of the small, narrow yellow tram trundling up the steep hills of Lisbon is one we have all seen on postcards, holiday photos and even puzzles! Not only is it aesthetically pleasing on the eye, it is a well-used means of transport for getting around the city for tourists and locals alike and you are sure to enjoy a ride or two during your walking tour of Portugal!
Trams have existed in Lisbon since 1873 although they were initially horse-drawn. Electric trams came into use in 1901 and today there are a total of 6 lines covering an area of 48km. Lisbon is a city that is very good for public transport with a good bus service and an underground network, but the tram is, without a doubt, the most picturesque way of visiting the city and especially for admiring the winding Tagus river as busses and underground run a very limited service along the waterfront, so by tram is the only way!
Part of the charm of the Lisbon trams is that they are very old compared to the trams in other European cities with some dating back to the 1930’s. They have never been modernised as the narrow and steep streets do not allow for wider and longer trams to circulate. Whilst they may be old, they are extremely well maintained.
Sit back and enjoy the ride on your self-guided walking holiday in Portugal
There are 2 main tramlines that are a must-do on your Portugal walking tour. The first is the number 15 tram that will take you from the centre of Lisbon to Bèlem on the Tagus river, a district of great maritime history and cultural landmarks such as the Bèlem Tower and the Jeronimos Monestery.
The second is tram number 28, the most iconic and must-do tram journey as it travels through the most picturesque streets, past beautiful monuments and squares and through the wonderful district of the Alfama. You can hop on and hop off at all the main tourist attractions. It is the most frequented tram in Lisbon with a great mix of tourists and locals going about their daily business. Incidentally, if you wish to blend in with the locals, it is important to note that you get on at the front of the tram and exit at the back. You will get some strange looks of you attempt to do it the other way around!