What is the Viva Viagem Card? Everything you need to know

What is the Viva Viagem Card?

You can think of the Viva Viagem Card, or Tarjeta Transporte Viva Viagem, as the Lisbon metro card. but the Viva Viagem card can also be used for passage on the Carris network, which includes all local buses in Lisbon, as well as elevators, streetcars, and funiculars (This includes popular attractions Tram 28, Elevador de Santa Justa, and the Ascensor da Glória).  It can also be used on ferries and trains to nearby towns.

Each person needs their own card.  For example, a family cannot travel on one card.

Don’t confuse the Viva Viagem Card with a Lisboa Card. We will discuss the Lisboa Card at the end of this article.

Where to buy a Viva Viagem Card

You can buy a Viva Viagem card at Humberto Delgado Airport metro station, or any other metro station in the city of Lisbon. 

Look for the blue vending machines before entering the metro turnstiles.

How much does the card cost?

The initial card costs .50. 

You can then either choose to buy a 24-hour card with different travel options for a set price, or you can add a cash value to your card. 

You can put a value of €3, €5, €10, €15, €20, €25, €30, €35, €40 on your card. 

Each individual ride will then be deducted from your balance.

How to check your balance on the Viva Viagem Card

Your balance is shown when you enter your card at a metro turnstile or scan on a bus or tram. 

You can also check the balance on a blue vending machine at any metro station.

How to recharge the Viva Viagem Card

Insert your card into the blue machines in the metro station to add value if needed.

How to use the card on metro, bus, Carris, or CP Train

On the metro, swipe your card as you enter. Swipe again as you exit the metro. The cost of a ride is €1.34.

On the bus, tram, elevator, funicular (Carris), swipe once as you enter. Do not swipe as you exit. The cost of the ride is €1.35.

On the ferry, only swipe as you enter. The cost to go to Cacilhas from Cais do Sodré is €1.27.

On the CP Train to Estoril, Cascais, or Sintra, swipe only as you enter. The cost of the ride is €1.90.

Should I get the green card or the white card?

“The green and white Viva Viagem cards have exactly the same functions but cover different transport operators. The green Viva Viagem card can be used in all member operators. The white Viva Viagem card is not valid on Metro Transportes Do Sul (south of the Tejo River). If you want to use these operators, top of your tickets on the green card.” From the official website https://www.metrolisboa.pt/en/buy/viva-viagem-card/

Is there a 24-hour card?

Yes, if you only plan to be in Lisbon for 24 hours, you can try one of these options:

  • Carris / Metro 24 Hour ticket    Valid for 24 hours after the ticket is first validated on the Carris Network or the metro 6.40
  • Carris / Metro / Transtejo (Casilhas) 24 Hour ticket This pass is good for unlimited use for 24 hours after first validation on metro, Carris, and the ferry network.  9.55
  • Carris / Metro / CP (Comboios de Portugal) 24 Hour ticket This pass is good for unlimited use for 24 hours after first validation on metro, Carris, and the trains going to Cascais, Sintra, Ajambuda, and Sado.  10.60

What is Zapping?

Zapping is paying .50 for a card, and then putting a cash balance on your Lisboa Viva Card (Viva Viagem). 

You then pay a discounted rate as the ride is deducted from your card balance.

A full-price metro ride is €1.50.

With the Viva Viagem Zapping card, you only pay €1.34 per ride.

Plus, it saves you the hassle of having to buy individual ride tickets.

With Zapping, you can also combine different transport services in one trip.

For example, you can take the metro, and then scan your card at the ferry port to go across the river, or take the train.  Each service charges you a discounted rate. The metro charge will be €1.34. The charge for the ferry would be another €1.27 .  

You can purchase credit for €3, €5, €10, €15, €20, €25, €30, €35, €40. 

Can you get a refund for the unused balance?

There are no refunds, but the cards are valid for twelve months, if you happen to pass back through Lisbon again.  If you keep your old card, you may even be able to push the balance to a new card (.50) after twelve months.

The Lisboa Card – an option to consider

The Lisboa Card is sold by Turismo de Lisboa rather than Metro Lisboa or Carris.

Lisboa Card covers all public transportation and free or discounted admission to certain attractions but is only valid for either 24, 48, or 72 hours. For more information, see my article Lisboa Card | Everything you need to know

You can purchase a Lisboa Card (different from the Viva Viagem Card) here. https://www.getyourguide.com/lisbon-l42/lisboa-card-24h-48h-72h-t225711/?partner_id=GJ48TPM&utm_medium=online_publisher&placement=content-middle

If you use this link to purchase a Lisboa Card, I will receive a small commission. Using my link does not affect the price you will pay for the Lisboa Card.