Lisbon Hop on Hop off Bus Tours

Lisbon's tourist bus is perfect to save you from its steep slopes while you enjoy its charming streets and the views of the city. If you combine it with a streetcar route or a river cruise, it is the perfect plan for your trip.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

8 min read

Lisbon Hop on Hop off Bus Tours

Views of the city during the tour | ©Fulvio Ambrosiano

When we think of touring a city we imagine walking through its streets, but there is an option that we usually overlook and is designed to see all the sights easily and comfortably: the tourist bus.

The best tourist buses in Lisbon

View of Lisbon from the tourist bus| ©Bernt Rostad
View of Lisbon from the tourist bus| ©Bernt Rostad

Lisbon has several options of tourist buses. You can buy a pass for one or several days to use it as many times as you want and as you want. In Lisbon, in addition, are very popular streetcars or cruises on the Tagus River.

24 or 48 hours pass for Lisbon sightseeing bus with free stops

Belem Tower| ©dynamosquito
Belem Tower| ©dynamosquito

This is the most basic option: for two days you can hop on and off the Lisbon sightseeing bus as many times as you want (also known as Hop on Hop off). And you have the option to choose the 24-hour pass or the 48-hour pass.

You can book your pass online in advance and activate it for the days you want and there are two ways to take advantage of it: on the one hand, I recommend that, at least once, you do the complete routes (there are several routes) to enjoy the city and on the other hand take advantage of this service as a means of transport to get quickly and comfortably to places further away from the center such as Belem or Alfama.

How it works

If you have never ridden a tourist bus before, I will start by telling you how they differ from normal buses. The main differences are two: they have on-board commentary in several languages about the city's points of interest and they have panoramic views so you can enjoy the scenery during your trip (they are, in fact, designed for that). The tour buses have WIFI and air conditioning.

Another question you may have is why it is worth paying for a ticket, in this case for 24 or 48 hours instead of using the city buses in the city. The answer lies in the stops that the different routes have. What this type of bus is looking for is that the traveler who comes to Lisbon knows the important points of the city (not only the most touristic) and knows how to locate and move between them easily.

So, whether you travel to Lisbon for a day or have two days in the Portuguese capital, this is one of the best options to get to know the city. It is important, however, that you have 24 or 48 hours (depending on the pass you buy) from the moment you activate your tourist bus pass. I recommend that you do it first thing in the morning to make the most of the time of use.

Itinerary of the Monumental Lisbon route

  • Jerónimos Monastery
  • Marina Museum
  • Carris Museum
  • Pilar 7 Bridge Experience

Itinerary of the Belem Route

  • Figueira Square
  • Commerce Street
  • Restauradores Square
  • Marquis of Pombal Square
  • José Malhoa Avenue
  • Zoo Garden
  • Plaza de España Square
  • El Corte Ingles Lisboa
  • Eduardo VII Park
  • Amoreiras Shopping Center
  • Estrela Basilica
  • Belém Tower
  • Promenade of Discoveries
  • MAAT
  • Spanish Dock - marlin boat tours
  • Cais do Sodre

Itinerary of the modern tour of Lisbon

  • Figueira Square
  • Commerce Street
  • Arameiros Street
  • Lisbon Cruise Port - Jardim do Tabaco Quay
  • Lisbon Santa Apolónia
  • National Tile Museum
  • Oceanarium
  • Portugal Pavilion - Expo 98
  • Vasco da Gama Center
  • Vasco da Gama Tower
  • Campo Pequeno
  • Restauradores Street

Book a seat on Lisbon's best tour buses

Lisbon sightseeing bus with free stops + Tram routes

Tramway in Lisbon
Tramway in Lisbon

Among the first things that will catch your attention on your visit to Lisbon are the yellow streetcars of the time that still work perfectly today. These streetcars are one more means of transport in the Portuguese capital, but, in addition to the locals, many tourists use them. This option combines the tourist bus ticket with free stops with the streetcar routes through the center of Lisbon.

How it works

The operation of the tourist bus will be the same: you have 48 hours from the time you validate your ticket to use any of the routes whenever you want and you will travel in buses with panoramic views and commentary on board.

The difference of this Lisbon tourist transport option is that it includes, in addition to the advantages such as discounts, the use of the funicular or the city map, the use of four streetcar routes during this two-day period.

With this option you can move comfortably through the neighborhoods of Baixa, Bairro Alto, Chiado, Estrela and Alfama without having to endure the heat and the slopes of a walk. The city's streetcars are available from 9:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and a complete route can take up to two hours.

If you are interested in the streetcar, there is also the option of hiring the tourist streetcar through Lisbon, with which you can discover the city in a different way. With this option, you have 24 hours from the time you activate your pass to get on and off the vehicle, touring Lisbon's small streets and architectural wonders.

Streetcar itinerary

  • Commerce Square
  • Quay of the Columns
  • Martin Moniz Square
  • Alfama
  • St. George's Castle
  • Santa Maria Maggiore Church
  • Estrela Basilica
  • St. Roque Church
  • Chiado
  • Lapa neighborhood

Book a seat on the best tourist buses in Lisbon

Lisbon sightseeing bus with free stops + Tram routes

  • Tagus River Cruise
Tour Lisbon and discover its monumentality and beauty.| ©janneth.
Tour Lisbon and discover its monumentality and beauty.| ©janneth.

This is the most complete option of all. For a total of 72 hours you can enjoy the sightseeing bus, streetcar and boat ride on the Tagus. Especially in the warmer months, this option is highly recommended as it will free you from the heat of walking around the city.

If you are booking this Lisbon transportation option (you can do it online) I recommend that, to get the most out of it, you plan your visit to the city day by day. This package also includes a number of discounts in bars and stores that could be very useful for you, so it's a good idea to check them out to see if some of them are close to the places you are going to visit.

Regardless of whether you have all the tourist transport at your disposal, don't forget to take a walk around areas such as the Alfama neighborhood to get the full experience of everything the city has to offer.

Ana's Traveller Tip

A tourist bus will make your visit to Lisbon much easier, but don't forget to walk around certain areas of the city.

Tourist bus + tickets for the Oceanarium of Lisbon

Another very interesting option, especially if you are traveling with children to Lisbon, is besides touring the city aboard a comfortable tourist bus, to enter the largest indoor aquarium in the world: the Lisbon Oceanarium, to which you will have access with this tour.

Divided into a main tank plus four other tanks representing the oceans, the impressive aquarium is worth a visit on your trip to Lisbon. It features countless marine species and is one of the main attractions of Modern Lisbon.

With this ticket valid for 48 hours, you also have included two open-top bus routes, with more than 50 stops and visits to must-see places such as: the Jerónimos Monastery, the Santa Justa Elevator, the Eduardo VII Park or the National Tile Museum, among many others.

Lisbon Sightseeing Bus with free stops + Tagus River Cruise

Commerce Square, Lisbon
Commerce Square, Lisbon

In this case, the 48-hour ticket for the Lisbon sightseeing bus is combined with a cruise on the Tagus River. The boat ride is a very popular activity in Lisbon; the city lends itself to that and it's a way to get a different perspective of the city while enjoying the sights.

Like the tour bus, the boat also has recorded audio commentary on the main points of interest. Do not underestimate this option because it is not the same to see the city as a simple landscape than to know the stories behind its most emblematic places.

About the cruise

The cruise to which you will have access by booking online this pack of tourist transport in Lisbon has a duration of two hours, departs from Cais da Ribeira das Naus and you can choose schedules between 10:00, 13:00, 15:00 or 17:00. If you go in summer I recommend the first hour to avoid the heat and, even so, do not forget to protect yourself from the sun during the crossing.

Itinerary of the Tagus cruise

  • Commerce Square (Terreiro do Paco)
  • Quay of the Columns
  • Cacilhas Lighthouse
  • Belem Tower
  • Monument to the Discoveries
  • Jerónimos Monastery

Ana's Traveller Tip

Take advantage of your pass to do at least one complete tour of the city listening to the commentaries; you will learn very interesting things about Lisbon.

Lisbon sightseeing boat with free stops

Monument to the Discoveries from the boat| ©Morgaine
Monument to the Discoveries from the boat| ©Morgaine

If what attracts you to Lisbon is the ride on the Tagus River, you can also book online the option to use the sightseeing boat without adding the bus.

The Lisbon sightseeing boat pass with free stops has a duration of 24 hours and works just like the bus with free stops: you can get on as many times as you want and do the whole tour while listening to the audio commentary or you can use it as a means of transportation around the city and get off or on at any of the stops along the route.

What is included in this pass

  • A series of discounts in stores, bars and shows in the city that you may find useful during your visit.
  • A map of Lisbon
  • Access to some of the city's landmarks such as the Santa Justa elevator and funiculars
  • Access to Aerobus, the airport shuttle that departs from the city center


  • The Plaza del Comercio
  • The Pier of the Columns
  • The April 25th Bridge
  • The National Sanctuary of Christ the King
  • The Caparica Coast
  • The Jeronimos Monastery
  • The Tower of Belem
  • The Monument to the Discoveries
  • The Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology
  • The Electricity Museum
  • The Museum of the Presidency of the Republic

If you are interested in a sightseeing bus tour in Lisbon, you will also be interested in

Visit colorful Sintra| ©F Mira
Visit colorful Sintra| ©F Mira

One of the most interesting aspects of using the Lisbon sightseeing bus (apart from the comfort) are the panoramic views you will enjoy during the tour, but another very important one that is often overlooked are the commentaries. The commentaries allow you to put into context all the emblematic points of the city you are seeing during the tour and if you are a curious traveler I am sure they will awaken your interest in Portuguese history and customs.

Want to satisfy that curiosity? The best way to do it is to complete your visit with a guided walking tour through the most central areas of Lisbon. During these tours you are not only shown the city, but also told interesting legends and anecdotes about it. If you want more information about the guided tours you can check this article on Best Tours and Day Trips from Lisbon.