Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, is a great city to spend a few days and visit some beautiful sights and viewpoints. With Sintra and Belem just a few kilometers away, one of the best ways to travel around Lisbon and outside is to take the Metro trains or trams; in addition to the CP (Comboios de Portugal) trains to Sintra and Belem.
On my trip to Portugal in April 2018, my friend and I wanted to make use of the “1 day ticket” on Lisbon’s metro giving unlimited journeys on the metro trains and trams (carris), including CP trains to Sintra and Belem. The day pass costs 6.30€ (Metro & carris only) or 10.40€ (Metro, carris and CP) for 24 hours and is valid from first activation.
Upon arriving at the Metro station, we went to the ticket kiosks to purchase the one day ticket, and we realized that we need the Viva Viagem card (costs 0.50€) to be able to purchase it. Following the kiosk’s directions, we selected “1 day ticket” and selected (a mandatory) Viva Viagem card. This is when things got complicated.
There was an option to select the number of tickets to be purchased, and since we were two of us, we changed the number of tickets to 2. The kiosks then asked for the credit card, and we were able to purchase the ticket – one Viva Viagem card that had two “1 day tickets” on it.
Just as we were about to enter the station, my friend pointed out to a board that said one person must hold only one Viva Viagem card, and every traveler must hold their own card. If this was the rule then the kiosks should have alerted us about purchasing two ‘1 day’ tickets on one Viva Viagem card, which it didn’t! (Update: Some stations on the metro have the panel stating the one passenger-one viva card rule, but not every station has those mentioned.)
Having realized that, we looked for someone to be able to help us and was told by a security guard that all information desks were closed that evening so we will have to reach out to someone next morning! After checking with a ticket agent the next day, we were told that “purchasing two tickets on the same Viva Viagem card indicates you are going to use ‘1 day ticket’ for two different days.” This was not clearly stated anywhere so we asked for refund and were refused because it was our fault that we didn’t understand the system!
All in all, if you are taking the ‘1 day ticket’ on Lisbon’s Metro, then make sure to purchase one ticket on one Viva Viagem card for one person. If you are a group of, say, three persons, then each member must have their own Viva Viagem card topped up with their own ‘1 day ticket’ on it.