Route 18 operated by STCP is one of three (together with route 1 and route 22) historical tram (street car) routes still active mainly for touristic purposes. These trams used to be part of Porto’s public transport system and were some of the first trams in operation in Portugal. Route 18 operates daily from 08:15 to 19:30.
Standard fare for trams is 2,50€ for one way and is bought directly to the tram driver. You can also buy a combined ticket for one tram trip and visit to the Tram Museum (4€/2,50€ adult/child) or a combined 24h tram ticket (valid for all three historical tram routes) and Tram Museum visit (8€/5€ adult/child)
One way trip last for about 20 minutes. Note that route 18 is a circular route and so there is no official start and end point. For practical purposes we consider the start of the trip to be Museu do Carro Eléctrico (Tram Museum) and the end to be Carmo.
Of the three historical tram routes, route 18 is probably the least interesting one. It starts at Museu do Carro Eléctrico (Tram Museum) and runs to Carmo with nothing remarkable to point out on the way. However, once you reach Carmo you are within walking distance from some of Porto’s main historical buildings. Right behind Carmo tram stop you find two churches the left one is Igreja dos Carmelitas, while the the one at the corner, is Igreja do Carmo. Before you enter this last one, turn the corner to admire its azulejos.
In front of these churches, the main square is Praça de Gomes Teixeira also known as Praça dos Leões (Lions square) due to the fountain placed there. The main building in this square is University of Porto’s rectorate building dates from early XIX century and currently home for the university’s Natural History Museum and Science Museum (both with free entrance). Although usually outside the main touristic sights the building is worth a peek inside. As you go down the street from Praça de Gomes Teixeira towards Avenida dos Aliados, Livraria Lello (Lello bookshop) is the second building to your left. Behind University of Porto’s rectorate building is Jardim da Cordoaria and behind it housed in an old prison is Centro Português de Fotografia, Porto’s photography museum. Finally, still walking distance from Carmo tram stop is Torre e Igreja dos Clérigos. But this sight you will always find… just look up.