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Lisbon is best approached through its gateway, Praça do Comércio (Commerce Square), bordering the Tagus. Streets rise and fall across the hills, sometimes dwindling into narrow alleyways. Central Lisbon is compact and best explored by foot. (That's virtually the only way to see such districts as the Alfama). Just be sure to carry a good city map before heading out. Maps with complete indexes of streets are available at most newsstands and kiosks. Those given out at the tourist offices and hotels aren't adequate because they don't show the labyrinth of little streets.

By Metro

Lisbon's modern metro system is fast and cheap. A single ticket costs .80€ and a day pass costs 3.70€. Service runs daily from 6:30am to 1am. Although it misses many sights and gets crowded during rush hour, it is like visiting an impressive art museum with paintings, ceramic tiles and sculptures. Collections of contemporary art, including works by famous Portuguese artists such as Maria Keil and Maria Helena Vieira da Silva can be found in this underground museum. Station entrances are marked with a red 'M' and some of the finest displays can be seen at Cais do Sodré, Baixa/Chiado, Campo Grande and Marquês de Pombal. For more information, call tel. 21/350-01-15.

CARRIS (tel. 21/361-30-00) operates the network of funiculars, trains, subways and buses in Lisbon. For all these forms of transport, paying as you go means paying much more (€1.80 a ride for the bus, €2.85 the tram, €3.60 for the funicular, and €5 for the elevator), in cash. It's better to purchase a bilhete de assinatura turístico (tourist ticket). A 1 day pass goes for 3.70€. Passes are sold in CARRIS booths, open from 8am to 8pm daily, in most Metro stations and network train stations. You must show a passport to buy a pass.

By Bus and Tram

The city's buses and trams are some of the cheapest in Europe. The eléctricos (trams) make the steep climb up to the Bairro Alto and have become a major tourist attraction. The most interesting ride for tourists is on eléctrico no. 28, which travels through the most historic part of Lisbon. The transportation system within the city limits is divided into zones ranging from one to five. The fare depends on how many zones you traverse. Buses and eléctricos run daily from 6am to 1am. A kiosk with schedules outlining the tram and bus routes can be found at the foot of the Santa Justa elevator, on Rua Áurea.

Note: Avoid using public transportation, especiallythe no. 28 tram, during rush hours; and beware of pickpockets on crowdedtrains, buses and trams.

By Commuter Rail

A modern electric train system connects Lisbon to the towns and villages along the Portuguese Riviera. There's only one class of service and the journey is fairly comfortable and inexpensive. You can board the train at the waterfront Cais do Sodré Station in Lisbon and head up the coast all the way to Cascais. The electric train does not run to Sintra. To get to Sintra, you must go to the Estação do Rossio station.

By Funicular

Lisbon has three funiculars: the Glória, which goes from Praça dos Restauradores to Rua São Pedro de Alcântara; the Bica, from the Calçada do Combro to Rua da Boavista; and the Lavra, from the eastern side of Avenida da Liberdade to Campo Mártires da Pátria. A one-way ticket on any of these costs 1.40€.

By Ferry

Ferries have crossed the Tagus River long before bridges were built. They are operated by Transtejo from ports at Belém, Cais do Sodre and Terreiro do Paço. Ferries depart Lisbon about every 15 to 20 minutes throughout the day with a travel time of about 15 minutes. Many locals who live on the bank opposite Lisbon take the ferry to avoid the heavy bridge traffic during rush hour. The scenic views from the top decks are worth the trip!

By Taxi

Taxis in Lisbon are relatively inexpensive and are a popular means of transport. The basic fare is €3.25 during the day and €3.90 at night (9pm to 6am) and on weekends. The law allows drivers to add on supplementary charges for luggage (€1.60) or if you phone for a cab (€0.80). Tips (approximately 20%) for reliable drivers are appreciated. You may be able to hail a taxi on the street, but not always. There are taxi stands at most of the main squares. When the green light is on, it means the cab is already occupied. If you book a cab from a hotel or restaurant, have someone speak to the driver so there are no 'misunderstandings' about your destination and carry the business card of your hotel with you so you won't have problems getting back later. For a Rádio Táxi, call tel. 21/811-90-00.

Note: Drivers use meters but can take travelers for a ride, literally, by not taking the most direct route.

By Car

Driving in Lisbon is potentially dangerous because of traffic congestion and should be avoided if possible. The city has a very high accident rate, it always seems like rush hour and parking is next to impossible. If you drive into Lisbon from another town or city, call ahead and ask at your hotel for the nearest garage or other place to park. On the other hand, if you are planning on taking any day trips then we suggest you pick up your rental car as you depart the city to avoid excessive rental/parking expenses. Alternatively, you may consider renting the car in a town where you will be visiting and then traveling there by train and picking up the car once you arrive.