Navegante Lisbon Card | Former Viva Viagem | Save money on transit

Lisbon yellow Navegante smart transportation card and a custom sign: 'Smart card Navegante'
Lisbon yellow Navegante smart transportation card and a custom sign: 'Smart card Navegante'

Learn how to use Navegante travel card to pay for your transportation in Lisbon, where to buy it, which tickets to load on it to save money on transit.

The Navegante Card (formerly Viva Viagem) is a convenient way to pay for Lisbon's extensive and complicated public transportation system. It saves you money and time on your travel in Lisbon.

Once you have the card, you can load it with different types of tickets and passes to suit your travel needs. You can add travel passes, pay-as-you-go credit balance to zap, or you can buy single tickets.

You can top it up whenever you need to and check the balance on buses, trams, and lifts.

Whether your plan is to use public transport in Lisbon frequently or occasionally, the Navegante (Occasional) card will be a very useful tool.

Last updated February 2nd, 2024

Hello, I’m Tatiana. I’m hopelessly in love with old uniquely looking buildings, and cozy urban scenes, and finding best places in Europe to go.

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What is Navegante card and Navegante occasional?

Navegante card, former Viva Vaigem, or the 7 Colinas card, is an electronic smart card and a flexible way to pay for your trips on public transport in Lisbon.

Navegante card does not provide you discounts to museums and other attractions.

If you're planning a trip to Lisbon, the Navegante card travel card is a must-have for paying for the city's public transportation system.

Where can I use Navegante card?

The Navegante Card is designed for use within the Lisbon Metropolitan Area (AML). You can use it to travel on metro, bus, tram, funicular, ferry, and suburban train.

The Lisbon Metropolitan Area (AML) includes all 18 municipalities of the AML.

Modes of transport

The Navegante Card can be used on the following modes of transportation:

  • - Bus, tram, and Lisbon's three funiculars (Ascensor da Bica, Ascensor da Glória, and Ascensor do Lavra).

  • - Metro, on all lines.

  • - Suburban trains (CP) for trips to/from Estoril, Cascais, Sintra.

  • - Ferry services operated by Transtejo and Soflusa for trips to/from Cacilhas, Trafaria/Porto Brandão, Seixal/Barreiro/Montijo.

     It can also be used on the Elevador de Santa Justa.

Southern Lisbon use for:

  • - Fertagus trains

  • - Metro Sul do Tejo

  • - TBC Barreiro buses

  • Also, in suburban Cascais for MobiCascais buses.

Keep in mind that the Navegante Card is not valid for use on Aerobus and tourist routes such as hop-on hop-off buses. So, don't load extra money on your card to pay for these services. 

Yellow 28 tramways makes it route run in Lisbon as part of public transport service
Yellow 28 tramways makes it route run in Lisbon as part of public transport service
White buildings with red roofs of the National Place in Sintra
White buildings with red roofs of the National Place in Sintra

Using Navegante card on the famous Lisbon Tram 28, will save you 1.40 euros. Read on to learn about this and other money saving you can do on your travel needs.

Use the unlimited daily pass to visit Sintra for free. There are many palaces in Sintra, including an amazing National Place in Sintra.

How much is Navegante card?

The Navegante card itself is €0.50. Once you bought it, you can load it with different tickets and passes.

Lisbon public transportation tickets

The Navegante Card offers the convenience of paying for Lisbon's public transportation tickets. 

It can hold up to four different tickets and zapping credit (pay as you go).

You can load the following tickets into your Navegante Occasional card:

– Carris/Metro ticket
– Carris/Metro 1 day ticket (24h)
– Carris/Metro/Transtejo (Cacilhas) 1 day ticket
– Carris/Metro/CP 1 day ticket
– Pay as you go ‘zapping’ credit

Single ticket

One option is to load a single ticket onto your Navegante Card. It is called occasional journey in Lisbon. This ticket costs €1.80 and is valid for one hour on the metro and Carris. It's a good choice if you only plan to take just one trip on public transport in Lisbon.

A picture of a plane on yellow background and a custom sign: 'Is kiwi.com trustworthy?'
A picture of a plane on yellow background and a custom sign: 'Is kiwi.com trustworthy?'

Since you are interested in saving money on tickets, do you know that using 3rd parties websites to save money on air-tickets is not always safe? Though, it can save you money. Read my kiwi.com reviews to learn more.

Zapping as you go

Another option is to top up your Navegante Card with a money credit balance, known as zapping.

What is zapping?

Zapping is a payment method used with travel cards that allows you to pay for individual trips on public transportation by deducting the fare directly from your card's balance. It is a convenient option for occasional trips and provides flexibility as you only pay for the trips (journeys) you actually take.

Zapping is not only convenient, but also saves you money, as you are charged a discounted rate when you use it.

Zapping the Navegante card

If you choose the Zapping option, each individual trip will have a specific discounted price:

  • - Metro and Carris: €1.61

  • - Train to Estoril/Cascais/Sintra: €2

  • - Ferry:

  • To Cacilhas: €1.43 | Trafaria/Porto Brandão: €1.40 | Seixal/Barreiro: €2.75 | Montijo: €3.10

Zapping is can be used on various operators. The cost of each trip is deducted from your card balance. Each zapping journey is limited to one operator only, and if you change transport operators, an additional fare will be deducted from your card.

Zapping participating members

Here is the list of all members operators you can use zapping on:

Carris

  • Metro

  • Transtejo

  • CP

  • Fertagus

  • Metro Sul do Tejo

  • Rodoviária de Lisboa

  • TST

Zapping allows you to pay as you go, saves your money on tickets, and offers flexibility in your travel.

How much money should I load on the Navegante card to use it for zapping?

Do a rough estimate of the number of rides (including funiculars, elevators, metro, buses, trams) you will take while in Lisbon. Multiply it by 1.8 €. Load this amount on the card after you have bought it.

You can always load more later, but you won’t get your unused money back if you have loaded too much.

Keep in mind, the card can only be used by one person, so each person in a group will need their own card. Don’t load the double amount on one card if there are 2 people in your traveling group.

You can top up your card in these amounts: 3€, 5€ +5, +5, etc.

Navegante Passes

There are different ticket options you can charge on your Navigante card, depending on the means of transport you plan to use in Lisbon.

1 day (24 hours) pass

Tickets on all  1-day passes are valid for unlimited trips for 24 hours from the time of first validation. Here are the options to buy:

  • Carris/Metro networks €6.80

  • Carris/Metro/Transtejo (Cacilhas) €9.80

  • Carris/Metro/CP €10.80

The ticket is valid for unlimited trips on Carris, Metro, and CP (Sintra, Cascais, Azambuja, and Sado lines). So, load this useful pass on the days you visit Sintra or Cascais.

When does it make sense to buy 1 day ticket?

How many trips were you planning to take today? If two round tripe on metro (2x€3.60), you’ll be ven, but it will be more convenient for you. But if you were planning to use it on a tram (€3), funicular or perhaps, even Santa Justa Elevator (€5), then definitely buy the pass.

Read my ‘Things to know’ section below for an even better money saving advice!

There are also different passes for the locals, which I will describe very briefly, as this post mostly aims to help travelers.

Navegante passes for Lisbon citizens

The Navegante Passes are also available for those who want unlimited travel within a certain area. There are different types of Navegante passes, such as Navegante Municipal for travel within a single municipality, and Navegante Metropolitano for travel within all 18 municipalities of the Lisbon Metropolitan Area.

To learn more about Municipal or Metropolitan Navigator Pass and a card to pay for parking the bicycle (BiciParks and BICIbox), read the official Lisbon’s public transportation page description. The card costs 12 euros and is valid for 5 years.

How to use Navegante card

On Carris, tap your card near the driver when getting on the bus, tram, or funicular. No need to tap when getting off. Look for the green light to confirm validation. Make sure you have enough your card with tickets or Zapping money before boarding as you can't load your Navegante card there.

On the Metro, tap your card at the beginning and end of your journey to open the gates. If you're using Zapping, you'll be charged for one journey. If you forgot to validate your card at the end of your Metro journey trip, the correct fare will be deducted once the 90 minutes time limit expires.

On ferries and suburban trains, tap your card at the entrance hall or access gate when starting your trip. Tap only when leaving if necessary to open a gate. ( Many people search for the exit tap machine, but it’s not always necessary.)

Where to buy Navegante card

You can purchase the Navegante Card at any automatic machine (Ticket Vending Machines) and Ticket Offices operated by Metro de Lisboa, CP, Fertagus, MTS, TTSL.

You can use cash or major debit/credit cards (like Visa or MasterCard) to pay.

Your Navegante occasional card is valid for one year from the date of purchase.

How to get lisbon travel card

There are usually 2 different type of automatic ticket machines at the metro entrance. Often, you can only buy the Navegante (former Viva Viagem) card itself in one automatic ticket machine at the metro, but you need to load it with money in another machine next to it. This often creates confusion.

Luckily, there is usually an officer at every major metro station who will help you with this. Inform the officer if you're paying with cash or a card, as this operation is often possible on separate machines as well.

If there is no officer, just read the sign on the machine, it lists what you can buy there. Or, see if there is in-person ticket office to help you out.

Good to know

Once you choose a fare type for your card, you cannot switch to another one until you've used up the previous fare. For example, if you choose the Zapping option, you have to use up all the credit on your card before you can buy a one-day ticket.

Therefore, to avoid this, just buy another card to load it with the second ticket option you want. Use one for occasional zapping and another card for a one-day ticket on the day you want to do a lot of traveling. You will only lose 50 cents (the cost of the 2nd card) this way, but will save on ticket prices.

Be careful not to lose your card during your trip, you might be charged a penalty.

Are there any other cards to save money on public transport?

Yes, there is also Lisboa card, that once bought provides you with free public transport and reduced fare to Sintra and Cascais on the days it’s valid. It also gives you free and reduced admission to many Lisbon’s attractions.

I hope this post was helpful for you. Here is a link to my other posts about Portugal.

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