Tram in Alfama | Lisbon, Portugal

Historical Lisbon tram in Alfama, Portugal.

Who hasn’t seen any photos of a Lisbon Tram passing through the narrow streets of Alfama? I think it’s one of the popular icons in the capital of Portugal, much like the bikes are for Amsterdam.

The most famous trams are in Alfama, starting with the famous 28 line. Additionally, there are many trams that have been adopted, particularly for tourists. During high seasons, such trams are fully occupied with visitors, but during the winter periods, sitting and standing spaces are limited. Despite this, what can we say… these trams are simply gorgeous and are a big part of the transportation history of Lisbon.

The first tram began its ride in Lisbon in 1893, but it was a horsecar line. The first electric tram was released in 1901 and in the same year, all horsecar transportation were replaced by electric tramways.  Just 58 years later and Lisbon is now connected by 24 lines.

The ride with the most traditional tramway is in Alfama – the oldest district of Lisbon which remains the only one that was not destroyed during the great Lisbon earthquake in 1755. The streets of Alfama underwent plans and construction before the time that the main mode of transport were horses. This, of course, meant that the streets would be very, very… very narrow. This street which you can see in the photo is also used by cars, pedestrians and trams. On one occasion, we saw a car that drove up the street opposite a tram and the driver had to let the car roll down in order for the tram to pass.

It’s somewhat interesting to observe the traffic in Alfama, as the trams drive through the labyrinth of old narrow streets. When the trams pass by, you can only press yourself against the nearest building wall, praying that it covers enough space between you and the tram. As soon as it disappears behind the corner and no matter how picturesque the street may seem, it begins to look empty, almost as if it was missing something very important.

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