Portugal Transportation: Your Guide to Portugal Public Transport

Portugal has excellent public transportation, especially if you’re traveling to a major city or town. It can be a little more difficult to travel to some of the smaller towns and villages because they usually offer fewer options. Still, once you’re in Portugal, you’ll realize that getting around is very easy even though you sometimes will have to rely on taxis.

Extensive public transportation is available in cities like Lisbon and Porto, and there are frequently a variety of options, including the metro, buses, trams, and trains.

In this article, we’ll give you a brief introduction to public transportation in Portugal.

Transportation in Portugal: Trains

Comboios de Portugal (CP) a state-owned national train operator runs Portugal’s rail network. Even though there are train services available throughout most of the country, the fastest and most regular connections are between large cities like Lisbon, Porto, Lagos, and Coimbra.

The train system in Portugal may not seem very modern but it is very effective. It’s also affordable when compared to some other European countries. You can even save up to 65 percent if you book in advance.

You can bring your bicycles or luggage without additional costs. To check schedules, purchase tickets, and modify travel plans, CP offers a mobile app for both Android and iOS. 

Good To Know About Portugal Trains

  • There are first-class alternatives on trains. But don’t expect the first-class norm you’d have in other European countries, such as France or Germany. 
  • The train stations in major cities are well-equipped, with amenities including luggage storage and employees that speak English. 
  • The quickest option to purchase train tickets is through the CP ticketing website, which is also quite simple to use and offers the most current schedule information.
  • In order to avoid a fine, make sure you can demonstrate your valid ticket to train conductors when asked.

International Trains

Key cities in Spain and Portugal can be connected by international trains. The Celta train runs between Vigo and Porto. Madrid and Lisbon are connected by the Lusitania overnight train. Both the CP website and RENFE, Spain’s national railroad, accept reservations for these international trains.

Bus Portugal

There are numerous private bus companies in Portugal that provide bus services that go outside the boundaries of the CP rail system.

Rede Expressos (national), Rodo-Norte (northern regions), and Eva Transportes are the leading intercity bus companies. These bus companies typically operate buses with WiFi, air conditioning, and comfortable seating. Even food and drink services are available on some longer routes. 

With the exception of a few isolated beaches or natural parks, you should be able to travel to the majority of places using local bus networks. It’s common to bring bags and dogs on buses, but it’s best to check the policy to avoid any unpleasant surprises. Remember that some routes may not be available on weekends. Check the schedules to avoid getting stuck.

Carris is the company that runs the buses in Lisbon. They typically operate from 5 a.m. until midnight. 

Good To Know About Bus Portugal

  • Direct purchases of intercity bus tickets can be made at bus stops or online. The Rede Expressos app is accessible on both iOS and Android devices. 
  • Local buses cannot be reserved in advance, you must physically visit a bus stop to view the timetable.
  • A ticket can be purchased on board or at a nearby ticket booth. 
  • One-way tickets in Lisbon typically cost between €1.5 and €2, or €6 for a day pass. 
  • A Viva Viagem card, which offers discounted rates on all of the city’s public transit, is also available for purchase in Lisbon.

Portugal Metro

The only Portuguese cities with a metro are Lisbon and Porto. Both networks are secure and efficient. The metro system in Lisbon consists of four lines and 52 stations, 31 of which are fully accessible with escalators and lifts.

The Lisbon metro is open from 6:30 a.m. to 1 midnight. But keep in mind that some stations shut down earlier than this.

Despite having 6 lines and 81 stops, Porto’s metro does not reach the majority of the city’s tourist attractions, so if you plan to utilize it as a mode of transportation, keep that in mind.

Good To Know About Portugal Subway

  • Portugal metro is the suggested mode of transportation from the airport in Lisbon to the city center.
  • You can buy metro tickets from a ticket counter or a ticket machine. The ticket machines in Portugal subway offer instructions in various languages.

Portugal Tram

In Portugal, trams have been conventional electric vehicles in major cities like Lisbon, Porto, and Sintra. Portugal tram lines are frequently popular with tourists.

Probably Lisbon’s most well-known tour is the 28 Tram. It is a retro yellow tram that travels through the heart of the city, passing through several of Lisbon’s top sights. Therefore, a single ride on it offers all the advantages of a sightseeing bus tour while being far less expensive.

The Porto tram system, which debuted in 1895, is one of Europe’s oldest electrified transportation networks. It used to be a highly well-liked mode of transportation, but since the 1960s, the locals have gradually stopped using it in favor of quicker and less expensive alternatives. There are now only three lines on the Porto tram, which are primarily utilized by tourists and a small number of elderly residents.

Good To Know About Portugal Tram

  • Carris runs all of Lisbon’s trams and buses, and the fare system applies to all tram routes.
  • It’s trickier than it sounds to buy a tram ticket because trams are frequently packed.
  • The most well-known tram in Lisbon is tram 28 and it has a route through the Campo de Ourique area between Martim Moniz Square and Prazeres.

Portugal Ferry

If you’re in Lisbon, you can also benefit from the ferry service which is a great way to view the city from a different angle. Lisbon’s two primary ferry companies are Transtejo and Soflusa. Both businesses run a number of routes that bridge the Tagus River to join Lisbon’s north and south sides.

Terreiro do Paço and Cais do Sodré are two significant ferry ports in Lisbon that are near the city’s center. Belem is a smaller terminal that is located to the west of the city. The road from Cais do Sodré to Cacilhas is the busiest.

Good To Know About Portugal Ferry

  • Try not to take the ferry during rush hour, heading into Lisbon between 8-10 a.m., or leaving the city at 5-6 p.m.
  • For the Lisbon ferry, there are two single tickets required, and there are no return tickets available.

Viva Viagem Card

All of Lisbon’s urban and suburban public transportation, including the commuter ferries and trains to Sintra and Cascais, accepts the Viva Viagem card. Tickets kept on the Viva Viagem card are valid for a year.

The card can only store one sort of fare even if all of Lisbon’s public transportation accepts it (for example, a metro ticket, a train fare, or a 24-hour urban pass). Since it can’t store multiple distinct rates, the “Zapping” method is utilized to use a Viva Viagem for a variety of different-priced public transportation.

Portugal Transportation Safety Tips

Portugal is one of the safest countries and its public transportation system is equally safe. Still, some tips will help, such as:

  • In and around busy train stations and other transportation hubs, it’s important to keep an eye on your bag and other valuables.
  • When rushing to catch a bus or train at the last minute, be extra careful as pickpockets might target you.
  • If you’re taking a taxi, be upfront with taxi drivers about your destination and the approximate cost of the trip.

Portugal Public Transport: The Bottom Line

Public transportation in Portugal can take you to your favorite cities whether you’re a tourist or an expat! It is dependable, effective, and well-connected to many areas in addition to being affordable. So, no matter where you’re going, you can plan your trips easily. 

Enjoy Portugal!

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