There is no doubt what the best two deals in Lisbon are. First a 24 hour hop on hop off public transport card, bought at any METRO station for about 6 Euros, allowing Buses, Trams, Lifts and the Venicular lifts that go up the hills. Two ride and you will have done more than that. The second great deal is 6 custard tarts in a box for 5 Euros, but you have to eat them all as they go soft the next day.
The 24 hour public transport ticket is just that, get the Metro uphill or somewhere fast. Grab the tram and get on and off where you want. Get the high incline trams or veniculars up to a platform, church or view point, and the elevator (when there is not a queue, because it runs every ten minutes and only takes 18 – size of a cruise ship lift).
So, the tram everyone says you should take is the 28 – it is yellow though historically there were also red ones. If the queue is too long you can ride the Metro and pick it up elsewhere. Or consider taking the E24 instead of the E28. The E24 is a newer route and connects Praça Luís de Camões to Campolide, and as it is less famous, there are always seats available.
Tram no. 28 is the best known, and even Visit Portugal heralds it which is why it is always full of tourists. Expect the locals to have a few words to say if they can’t get on. It runs from Martim Moniz to Campo de Ourique. Although you can hop on at any point, the route starts in the historical centre, Largo Martim Moniz (square), heading to the Graça quarter and continuing to the Church of São Vicente de Fora. It then heads to Alfama, past some of mediaeval Lisbon’s most picturesque streets and squares, such as Rua das Escolas Gerais and Largo das Portas do Sol. Here there is a spectacular view down the hillside and to the river. From here, you can walk to the São Jorge Castle in no time at all.
The route then takes you The route continues to the city centre, past the Cathedral, with its austere Romanesque façade, the Church of Santo António, and down the busy Rua da Conceição, a traditional shopping street.
The tram then heads to the elegant Chiado hill, almost certainly stopping outside the famous Pastry Shop A Brasileira.
Past Largo do Camões, just outside Bairro Alto, the main square of Praça Luís de Camões which is a very busy plaza. At night it comes alive with funky bars and they spills out onto the streets when busy. The district has imposed a closing time of 2am to try to control the chaos. Explored the cobbled streets, the main highlight is the Parliament building, former Convent of São Bento, at the top of an imposing set of steps.
Past the Basilica and Estrela Garden. Opposite the Basilica is the pleasant Jardim da Estrela, a popular park among Portuguese families. Tram 28 continues, crossing the traditional residential area of Campo de Ourique, in the direction of Largo dos Prazeres. Then the end of the line, where it turns round and goes back, but that tram might not be first so you will get out and make the first one that leaves. Take a look in the short film.