The biggest bus company in Lisbon is Carris.
This is what most of their buses look like:
On the front of the bus you can see its number and its destination. These buses usually do a round-way trip, so watch out for which side of the road you catch it, or you'll end up in the opposite end of the ride.
On each bus stop, you'll find this:
That includes a map of the city.
Which has a list of things you can find on that map.
And the schedules for the buses that stop there.
Here's what comprises each schedule, from top to bottom:
The time table works out like this:
Regarding the rows:
Example: for the bus whose schedule we're looking at, at a regular weekday during Summer, at 15:00, there'll be a bus showing up every 17 minutes.
BTW, see that schedule to the right? See that blue line with the exclamation mark? Usually (I've never seen any other situation), that means that on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays the bus does only that part of the route.
In the eventuality that you're on the bus first stop, the schedule will be somewhat different:
It still has the list of stops, but instead of telling you how long you have to wait for the next bus, it actually tells you at which time the next one will depart. Remember, this is Portugal, so a couple of minutes delay is (unfortunately) considered normal and acceptable.
There are four blocks of departing times: Weekdays (not holidays) during Winter, Saturdays, "Sundays and Holidays" and Weekdays (not holidays) during Summer.
If you're lucky, you'll find the next sign next to the stop. I'm saying "if you're lucky" because they're still being installed, and some are still going through tests.
Just because you're standing in a bus stop doesn't mean the driver is going to stop. When the bus is getting near raise your hand to show you want him to stop.
Doing some other silly thing might work, too.
And just because you're in a bus and you're getting near a stop, doesn't mean the driver is going to stop. Nor the fact that he's going to stop means he's going to open the doors.
If you want to get out, you press the button in the next picture before getting to the stop. There's a bunch of them throughout the bus. Whenever somebody presses one, a light saying "STOP" lights up near the driver, and he knows somebody wants to get off on the next stop.
If it's the last stop, he's likely to stop and open the doors even if you don't press anything :-)
Inside the city, the bus ticket costs 1 euro 20 cents. You get in, you pay, and you get off when you feel like. You don't have to tell the driver where you're going, you just give him 1 euro and 20 cents, he gives you a ticket and you move on, stopping at the ticket-validator, where you stick it in. You should hear a "tlim" sound and your ticket should lose one of its corners, but don't worry, it's quite painless for the ticket.
Keep the ticket until the end of the ride. It is not uncommon in Lisbon for Carris' employees to get in at some random stop and check everybody's tickets.
BTW, chances are the bus will start moving as soon as everybody's feet are on it, so... hold on to something, will you? O:-)