My good friends from London, Jenni and Karen, came to visit us this weekend for two nights. It was their first visit to Lisbon. We did a lot of walking and sightseeing but also much eating and drinking and minimal sleeping.
We took them on a tour of Lisbon by tram or eléctrico. The yellow tram is synonymous with Lisbon. It’s a Lisbon icon. The first electric tram commenced operations in 1901. Today, they still use the beautiful old yellow vintage carriages that rattle and trundle their way around the narrow streets but there are only three traditional lines today.
The most famous route is tram number 28. This winds through Lisbon’s old quarter beginning in Graça, then down through the gorgeous and narrow streets of Alfama, past Lisbon’s Cathedral Sé and then down to Baixa and then up through Chiado to Bairro Alto.
It is always jam-packed full of tourists and is an excellent way to get a feel for the city if you haven’t got a lot of time. It’s a ‘hop-on hop-off’ service with over 30 stops at many famous and interesting sites of monuments, churches and gardens. The trip is very hilly in places, it’s noisy and hectic and you get some great glimpses of the city and a feel for the flavour of each neighbourhood.
Here is a video of part of tram route 28. Forgive the unsteady camera work. It was difficult standing up, holding on and filming at the same time. The music is by one of Portugal’s most popular fado singers today. Her name is Mariza and she is singing a beautiful song called ‘Maria Lisboa’.
I hope you enjoy the ride.