Transportation in Portugal is well developed and diversified. On the mainland, there are three major airports: Lisbon, Porto and Faro. The road network is well maintained and there is a railway system connecting the cities, as well. Additionally, the country is served by numerous ports.
Arriving and Departing Portugal
Depending on where they’ll depart from, tourists can land on one of the international airports on the mainland or on one of the major islands. However, if you fly from overseas, you’ll most likely land in Lisbon.
Arriving and Departing Lisbon
Lisbon Portela Airport (LIS) is located 7 km from the city center and is served by both low-cost carriers and large international airports. There are direct flights from the United States. It also offers domestic connections.
>>read more about flights to Lisbon
Arriving and Departing Faro
Faro Airport (FAO) is located just 2.6 km from the city center and gets really crowded during the summer season. It receives both year-round and seasonal flights offered by low-cost carriers and large airlines.
>>read more about flights to Faro
Getting around Portugal
Portugal is not a very large country but it offers a variety of transportation options. You can get to the islands either by plane or by boat, while if you need to travel between the cities on the mainland, you can choose among train, bus and renting a car.
From the airport to the city center
In Lisbon, you can get from the airport to the city center by bus or taxi. Aerobus and Aeroshuttle are faster (and more expensive) bus services, while the regular buses cost just €1.45. However, on the regular buses you can take your luggage. Taxis cost about €10 from the airport to the city center but pay attention to the fraudulent taxi drivers.
In Porto, you can take the bus, metro or taxi to get from the airport to the city center. The Aerobus fare is €4, while the taxi fare for the same distance is €20. The metro fare is €1.50 but it doesn’t run during the night.
From one city to another
Driving in Portugal
The roads are well maintained and you can easily drive from one place to another. Rent a car and explore the beauty of the country at your own pace.
The main operator for the long distance bus travel is Rede Nacional de Expressos. All large cities are connected to the capital and to each other.
The railways system is not very large in Portugal but it’s efficient. It connects both large cities in Portugal and also provides links to the rest of Europe.
Flying in Portugal
While on the mainland you aren’t going to need to fly to get from one city to another, if you plan to visit one of the islands, then you’ll probably choose flying.
The country is served by a lot of ports. It’s an incredible sightseeing opportunity to travel by boat either to Portugal or between cities in Portugal.
Walking and cycling in the cities
In Lisbon, you can even get from airport to the city center by bicycle (due to the short distance). It’s very easy to cycle within the city as there are bike lanes available. But, due to the traffic, make sure you know how to handle a bicycle in the city before you rent one. Scenic routes are also easy to find in the city and remember that you can take the bike for free on trains and ferries.
Lisbon has an excellent public transportation system that covers the city and the surrounding areas. You can choose the metro, bus, tram or train. If you plan to travel a lot, then consider getting a multiple day ticket.
Porto also offers good public transportation. You can choose the metro or the bus. The metro has 5 lines and connects the entire city and the suburban areas.