The Lisbon-Cacilhas ferry
Ferries connect Lisbon to the suburbs across the river (Almada, Barreiro, Montijo, and Seixal). To Almada, they depart from stations in Cais do Sodré and Belém, to Barreiro they depart from the Terreiro do Paço station by Praça do Comércio, and to Montijo and Seixal they depart from Cais do Sodré.
Entrance to the Cais do Sodré ferry station
The fastest and most frequent service (and the only one used by tourists, as the others go to nondescript residential areas with no tourist attractions) is the one that departs from Cais do Sodré to Cacilhas, the waterfront district directly across the river in Almada. Tourists use this service as an inexpensive sightseeing experience, as they enjoy the panoramic views and then connect to the buses to the Cristo Rei monument or to the beaches of Costa da Caparica.
Inside one of the ferries
The ferry station in Cais do Sodré is a building found behind the train station, right on the riverfront. It’s within walking distance of Baixa (downtown), but can also be reached by metro (it’s the last stop of the green line). The entire journey to Cacilhas takes less than 10 minutes, and the buses to Cristo Rei and Costa da Caparica depart from the terminal seen on the left as you step off the ferry.
The ferry to Cacilhas is a great way to get a river view of 25 de Abril Bridge, but the ferry from Belém to Porto Brandão-Trafaria (in Almada) is also scenic, with a good view of the bridge and of Belém’s monuments. However, this alternative route is quite infrequent and slow, and there isn’t much to see at the destination (a residential area of Almada).
Try to sit by a window for a view of Lisbon
The access to the waiting area of Cais do Sodré's ferry station
There are three or four departures per hour (at 15- or 20-minute intervals) throughout the day, and as many as six or seven at rush hours (between 6am and 10am in the morning, and between 5pm and 8pm in the evening). The first ferry of the day from Cais do Sodré is at 5:35am, and the first one from Cacilhas is at 5:20am. The last one from Cais do Sodré is at 1:40am and the last one from Cacilhas is at 1:20am.
When taking the ferries, avoid rush hours and try to sit by a window. Unfortunately, the are no open-air decks.
Ferry Tickets and Prices
Ferries are a constant presence on the Tagus
Tickets may be bought at the ticket office or from machines at the station. Here are the prices for single journeys of the different services (to this price, add a €0.50 charge on your first journey, as that’s the cost of the magnetic Viva Viagem travelcard, which you recharge for future trips):
- Cais do Sodré to Cacilhas: €1.30
- Belém to Porto Brandão-Trafaria: €1.25
- Terreiro do Paço to Barreiro: €2.45
- Cais do Sodré to Montijo: €2.80
- Cais do Sodré to Seixal: €2.45