(This text is being continuously updated. Last update 26 June 2013)
Portugal is well served by public transport particularly along the coast. The two major cities, Lisbon and Porto possess a dense network of buses, trams, metro, suburban trains and ferries that make travelling within the city centre as well as connection to surrounding areas relatively smooth, especially during the day. Medium and small size cities possess some kind of municipal public transport system providing connections between the city centres, the surrounding areas as well as local transport hubs. The train network extends all along the western coast including connection to Spain in the north. Three routes operate on the east-west axis one of which continues to Spain.
There is no single ticket that will allow you to travel in every public transport operator in Portugal so if you are travelling along the country you need to buy your tickets along the way. The good news are that within cities you can buy bus tickets directly to the bus drivers and ticket machines are available in every metro station.
Major long distance train and bus operators make it possible to buy or reserve tickets online or by phone.
Lisbon and Porto have developed and keep expanding their multimodal ticket systems accepted in all major operators within the large city area.
Comboios de Portugal (CP) is Portugal’s national train company, responsible for all train operation within the country with exception of the trains serving Lisbon’s south margin which are operated by Fertagus.
Portugal’s train network is very good along the coast with frequent connections (including high speed) between Braga and Faro, with stops at Porto, Coimbra, Aveiro, Lisbon, Loulé and a few other medium size cities. It is possible to continue travelling from Porto to Vigo (northern Spain) by train, however the connection is slow and complicated (including the need for one ticket in Portugal and another in Spain). As of May 2013 there have been discussions for single ticket as well as increased speed sacrificing some intermediate stops. We will post about it as soon as we know more.
On the East-West axis you have connections along the Douro river, from Coimbra to Guarda with connection to Spain, Entrocamento to Covilhã, Lisbon to Beja as well as along Portugal’s south coast from Lagos to Vila Real de Santo António.
There are three international trains between Portugal and Spain:
- Porto – Vigo mentioned early;
- Sud-Express (Lisbon- Hendaye (Spain)) with TGV connection
- Lusitânia (Lisbon – Madrid (Spain)).
Reviews and links
- Comboios de Portugal (CP)
Long distance buses
What lacks on train coverage is complemented by a large network of regional and national long distance bus operators covering virtually the whole country. Major players at a national level offer modern and comfortable buses and a reliable service. Although travel times are usually longer when compared to train, ticket prices are usually cheaper and some of the bus operators even offer free wifi inside the buses.
Reviews and links
- Autoviação do Minho
- Autoviação do Tâmega
- Espírito Santo
- Maia Transportes