Travel from Lisbon to Porto, Portugal – Transport Guide
Portugal has been on everyone’s lips in recent years. With the country winning numerous top World Travel Awards, several years running, tourism has experienced somewhat of a boom.
Understandably so too! Blessed with glorious sunshine, beautiful nature & beaches, warm & friendly people, amazing food as well as a mix of cities, towns and countryside to explore, Portugal truly has it all.
If you are visiting Portugal for the first time, then you’re likely considering a visit to the two biggest cities, the capital Lisbon in the south, as well as the countries second largest city situated in the north, Porto.
If this is indeed the case, then you may be wondering exactly how to get from Lisbon to Porto.
Well, in this guide I will outline how to travel between these two Portuguese cities, detailing all the necessary info to help you decide how best to complete this trip, based on your own preference, budget and suited to your itinerary.
Journey Duration: 1 Hour in flight time
At first glance, taking a Lisbon to Porto flight may seem to be the most logical choice. With a flight time of just 1 hour, it’s a quick hop over from Porto to Lisbon and vice versa.
National carrier, TAP Air Portugal, operates a daily flight schedule between these two cities offering around 10 departures every day, ranging from the early morning through to late evening.
On average, fares on flights from Lisbon to Porto (and return) start from around €50 and upward in price.
Important: It is worth noting that TAP does work on a fare structure whereby cheaper discounted tickets may not include any checked luggage. Be sure to check the ticket rules and add luggage if you do require it.
Even though the flight time is fairly quick and the fares not too expensive, I still don’t consider flying to be the best way to connect between Lisbon and Porto.
I say this for the simple reason that you have to consider your total overall journey time.
When flying, you would likely need to additional time for travel to and from the airport, checking in, passing through security, collecting luggage etc.
As such, you will likely end up travelling a total of between 3 – 4 hours anyway.
With train fares being slightly cheaper and the quickest train journey lasting around 3 hours, travelling by train from Lisbon to Porto is definitely my preferred method.
Of course, if you are flying into Lisbon and need to connect directly onward to Porto, then travelling by air would make sense.
Either way, this will depend on your personal preference and requirments.
Lisbon’s Portela Airport is situated not too far out of the city’s downtown districts.
Located under 10 kilometres out, the airport is connected to the Lisbon metro (on the red line that starts at the airport).
When using the metro, it should take roughly 30 minutes to get to downtown Lisbon.
You may also opt to make use of the Aerobus that connects the airport to various parts of the city too.
Lastly, you may decide to book a transfer or even make use of a cab hailing services such as Uber, Bolt or Kapten. Given that Lisbon is such a compact city, these services are often very inexpensive to use. In fact, they may even work out cheaper if travelling in a group.
If you haven’t used any of these cab hailing services before, then check out my post on Top Money Savings Tips for Travel in Portugal, where I list my signup codes that you may use to get discounts and free rides when travelling on them for first time.
For more info on how to get around whilst visiting Lisbon, go check out my Lisbon Public Transport Guide.
Porto’s Airport on the other hand is set slightly further out of the city, but also connected to Porto’s metro system on Line E (the purple metro line).
To get to Sao Bento train station (which is pretty central to all major sights and where we always prefer to stay), from the airport will take roughly 40 minutes.
As with Lisbon, you can also make use of different bus, taxi or transfer services although I have always just made use of the metro and found it to be pretty sufficient.
For more information on the public transport options to and from the Porto airport, be sure to visit the official airport site.
Lisbon to Porto by Train
Journey Duration: 3 Hours or more
Personally, I believe the absolute best way to get from Lisbon to Porto would be to take the Lisbon to Porto train which lasts around 3 hours (on the fastest train service).
Operated by national rail company, Comboios de Portugal (CP), you are able to view schedules, prices as well as book train tickets online up to 2 months in advance, directly on the website or their mobile app.
There are different trains in operation on this route, the Alfa Pendular being the quickest (indicated as AP on the website), the slightly slower Intercidades (IC) and then the much slower Regional (R) trains.
Depending on the train you choose you can generally expect to pay from €19 and upward in price for a one-way Lisbon to Porto train ticket per adult.
However, when booking in advance, CP releases promo ticket prices and you can easily bag a one-way ticket from as little as €10 and upward in price.
Train services connecting the two cities also operate daily with frequent departures ranging between the early morning through to the late evening.
As such, you should really not have any issue finding a time that slots into your exact itinerary.
Lisbon Porto Train
Trains out of Lisbon depart first out of Santa Apolonia and then passes by Lisbon’s Oriente train station too. So, you can catch the train from either of these two stations.
When booking on the CP site you are able to specify which station you would like to depart from. This may depend of course on your exact location within Lisbon and which station would be more convenient to you, based on your locality.
Porto to Lisbon Train
Upon the return, the Porto to Lisbon train can be taken from either Porto’s Campanha station or the Sao Bento station.
Since we always prefer to stay in and around Sao Bento, which in my opinion is the perfect central spot to discover Porto from, we always travel to / from Sao Bento instead.
This option however will require a change of trains at the Campanha station on route.
The changeover is literally 5 – 6 minutes but it’s definitely doable as you simply have to cross to a neighbouring platform by going down the stairs and head up to the next platform.
When you head down stairs from your arrival platform, you will see signs clearly indicating which platform you will need to align to, in order to connect to / from Sao Bento.
Bus, Lisbon - Porto
Journey Duration: Between 3 hours 15 minutes to 4 hours 25 minutes
Lastly, in terms of travel by public transport, you could travel from Lisbon to Porto by bus.
Coach company Rede Expressos, offers frequent and daily departures between these two cities, with a set price of around €19 for a one-way adult ticket, which can also be booked directly through their website.
With the fastest bus taking around 3 hours 15 minutes and slowest 4 hours 25, the journey times are pretty comparable to the train journey.
The only difference being that some of the train services offer more leg room and a snack bar service as well as cheaper promo ticket prices.
Hence why travel by rain still remains my preference for this particular route.
Lisbon to Porto by Bus
The Lisbon Porto bus service departs from one of two bus stations in Lisbon. One being Sete Rios and the other Oriente, from which you will find plenty of set daily departures.
Both of these bus stations are easily accessible through metro links, so getting to and from the station wouldn’t be an issue either.
Bus – Porto to Lisbon
When arriving into Porto by bus, you would do so at the bus station at Campo 24 de Agosto, 125. It is situated right next to a metro station of the same name, with connections to the rest of the city.
Driving from Lisbon to Porto by Car
Journey Duration: Generally, around 3 hours on the A1 motorway
With the distance from Lisbon to Porto being just over 300 kilometres, driving from Lisbon to Porto by car is another option to consider. In fact, why not plan for an awesome road trip from Lisbon to Porto and make the most of exploring other parts of Portugal you may have missed out on!
Especially if your aim is to embark on a road trip through Portugal, exploring the length and breadth of this beautiful country.
The Lisbon to Porto drive time should take approximately 3 hours in total when travelling via the A1 motorway.
I have to point out that highways in Portugal are in fact tolled, and this should be factored in when planning out your travel budget.
Important: It is also very important to note that both Lisbon and Porto are typical European cities. You will no doubt encounter narrow cobbled streets and one-way roads. So, driving within the cities themselves may pose a challenge, it certainly has to us!
Once you do leave the city and hit the motorway then it’ll be plain sailing as the highways are of a very good standard with comfortable wide roads that are well maintained.
Renting a car
If planning on travelling by car, then you may want to check out RentalCars.com, if you are yet to book your rental for your trip.
This site is comparison site that allows you to view a range of different provider rates, availability and terms, as well as book directly through the same site too.
Having used them before, we found the booking process and overall use of the site to be very user-friendly. This is not to mention the time saved in not having to jump to a million different websites just to compare rates.
Go ahead and give them a try.
Where to stay
Tours & Activities
When visiting Portugal, getting from Lisbon to Porto (and vice versa) should be fairly stress-free. Given that you can do so by travelling either by air, train, bus or car, there really is an option to suit all preferences and budgets.
I hope that you’ve found this guide to be useful in outlining exactly how you can travel between these two cities.
If you have visited Portugal before and have any other tips, suggestions or insider advice that I may have missed out on, then I’d love to hear back from you.
Likewise, if you still have any questions regarding this guide then also feel free to comment in the comments section further down below.