If you are planing to be in Lisbon for few days or weeks, the best way to move around the city is using the Zapping Card – it is a Top Up card.
With this card it is possible to use any kind of public transportation in Lisbon:
It also works in the most of the transports that connect Lisbon with the surrounding metropolitan area. This includes boats and trains.
You can get it at any train or metro station and it comes in the shape of a green ou white carton card. You need to select the option of “I don’t have a card” and “Zapping”.
The card itself costs 0.50€ and you can charge it with 3, 5, 10 or 20€. Then you can recharge it in same way at any time.
It is a “Pay as you Go”. As an analogy, the zapping card in Lisbon is equivalent to the oyster card in London (but it doesn’t have daily limit).
It is possible to read move about it in the official website, although, this is in Portuguese only:
Zapping vs One Way ticket prices
As a plus, using the zapping card is usually cheaper than buying one way ticket. For example:
Train Lisbon – Sintra:
- one way ticket: 2,20€;
- Zapping: 1,85€
Metro ride in Lisbon
- one way ticket: 1,45€;
- Zapping: 1,30€
Train Cais-do-Sodré – Belém
- one way ticket: 1,30€;
- Zapping: 1,85€
In this latter case, it is cheaper to buy one way ticket, but in that case you will have to way in a long line to get a ticket in Cais-do-Sodré train station.
For trains, the ticket using zapping costs the same if you go one station or all the station. Using Zapping you get charged per ride and not per distance.
Prices using Zapping
- Bus – 1,30€;
- Tram/funicular – 1,30€;
- Train – 1,85€;
- Metro in Lisbon – 1,30€;
- Metro in Almada – 0,85€;
- Lisbon-Cacilhas – 1.15€
- Lisbon-Seixal – 2.30€
- Lisbon-Montijo – 2.70€
- Lisbon-Barreiro – 2.30€
If you have a green or white carton card in your hand, like the one in the images above, it doesn’t mean that you have a zapping card. That is just a carton card, in which it is possible to put anything there like metro tickets, train tickets or Zapping. But the card can only hold one type of those. The only way to know what kind of ticket do you have on it, is to go to the sales desk, or the ticket machine and check it out. If the card has metro ticket on it, it cannot be loaded with zapping. If you have two card, which look exactly the same from the outside, the best is probably write on them what kind of tickets are they holding.
If you are in Lisbon for few days or few weeks, buy Zapping, anything else will be more expensive and more time consuming to get.