How to get from Porto to Guimaraes
When we first moved to Portugal, we decided to base ourselves in Porto for a two week stay in order to really get to discover what the beautiful north has to offer. Not only did we get to explore the city itself, but we also embarked on a couple of day trips from Porto, which were absolutely brilliant.
On one such trip we travelled to Guimaraes, regarded as the birth place of Portugal and where the first King of Portugal, Afonso Henriques lived and was said to be born.
I have to say, Guimaraes remains one of my favourite Portuguese cities. Perhaps due to the cultural and historical significance, or maybe it was just wondering through the charming and pretty historical centre as well as exploring the regal Ducal Palace. Whatever it may be, a trip to Guimaraes is a must visit, when planning a trip to Porto.
So then, you may be wondering what the best way of getting from Porto to Guimaraes may be.
Fret not, in this post I’m going to outline exactly how you can go about getting to Guimaraes from Porto by either train, bus, car or even as part of an organised group or private tour.
Journey Duration: Approximately 1 hour 15 minutes on average
One of the most popular ways to get from Porto to Guimaraes is undoubtedly by train, and this is exactly how we travelled there.
Operated by national rail operator Comboios de Portugal (CP), traveling from Porto to Guimaraes by train is a breeze, with the journey lasting between an hour on the fastest train, to around an hour and 22 minutes on the slowest.
Travelling by train is also a fairly inexpensive option and will set you back a mere €3.25 for a one-way ticket per adult.
Tip: Do take note that CP do offer a range of discounts from youth to senior to group discounts. Be sure to read my post on the top money savings tips for travel in Portugal, where I also include tips on how to save on rail travel too.
Usually, you are able to pre-purchase train tickets directly through the CP website, but unfortunately you cannot do so on this particular Urban train route and will have to do so at the train station. Tickets can be bought at the station ticket desk or at the ticket machines. The ticket machines usually have the option to view instructions in other languages including English.
Tip: Do take note that queues at the ticket counters can be quite long. If you are planning a day trip and happen to be staying close to the station, then why not head over the day before and purchase your tickets ahead of time.
We did exactly this simply because the train departures from Porto to Guimaraes are an hour apart and we didn’t want to chance missing the departure that we wanted to catch, and then have to wait to get onto the next train.
Porto Guimaraes Train Service:
Departing on the train from Porto to Guimaraes, you can do so from either Porto’s Sao Bento or Porto’s Campanha train stations, depending on where you are based in Porto and which is located closest to you.
This service offers frequent daily departures with just over 15 departures starting from as early as 06:20 am in the morning up until around 23:20 pm at night, on weekdays.
Over weekends the service is slightly reduced with fewer departures, around 10, that start between 07:25 am until 23:20 pm.
Although you cannot book the actual tickets online, you can consult the schedules on the CP website or even on their mobile app. This will be particularly useful in planning out your travel times.
Guimaraes to Porto Train Service:
Arriving into or departing out of Guimaraes, you will do so from the Guimaraes train station known as the Estação Ferroviária Guimarães, located in Avenida Dom João IV.
The station is located only about a kilometre from the historic centre and it’s an easy walk to get from the station into the city centre.
When exiting the main train station entrance, you turn left and at the next road turn right onto Avenida Dom Afonso Henriques. Then it’s simply a matter of walking straight ahead till you reach the old city walls and square. From there you’re pretty much in downtown Guimaraes.
Travelling back on the train from Guimaraes to Porto, you’ll find a similar number of frequent daily departures.
On weekdays the service departing from Guimaraes starts running between the hours of 05:53 am and 22:47 pm.
Similarly, on weekends there is a reduced service that only operates between 06:53 am up until the last train at 22:47 pm.
Again, be sure to consult the train schedules on the CP app or website to ensure you have the up to date departure times for your specific travel dates.
Tip: Upon our arrival in Guimaraes we made our way to the local tourism office that was located in historic centre at Largo Cónego José Maria Gomes. The staff were super helpful and provided us with a map and advice on what to see and do during our visit.
Porto Guimaraes bus service
Journey Duration: Fastest service – 50 minutes
The next alternative when considering travel by public transport would be to take a bus from Porto to Guimaraes.
Operated by Rede Expressos, a well-known and popular coach company that runs services across the country, it’s a fast and convenient option too, only lasting around 50 minutes to an hour in journey time.
Currently a one-way, adult ticket between Guimaraes and Porto costs €6.00 and can be booked directly on the Rede Expressos website.
Porto to Guimaraes Bus
The Porto – Guimaraes Bus service offers roughly 10 daily departures starting from 09:15 am up until the last bus departs at 20:30 pm on weekdays and Saturdays.
On Sundays the times do alter slightly, running between 10:00 am up to 23:00 pm.
From Porto you will depart from the bus terminal located at Campo 24 de Agosto, 125. The bus station is accessible by metro with the metro stop of the same name, Campo 24 de Agosto.
Guimaraes to Porto Bus
Upon the return journey the Guimaraes to Porto bus route also offers over 10 daily departures, in operation between the hours of 07:00 am and 22:10 pm on weekdays and Sundays.
On Saturdays the service ends slightly earlier at 18:30 pm.
The Guimaraes bus terminal is located right by the Guimaraes Shopping complex, also located around a kilometre from the historic city centre.
As mentioned before, do consult the Rede Expressos site to confirm schedules and to pre-book. The information contained in this guide is accurate as at time of publishing, but may of course change over time as schedules are adapted to different travel seasons and demand.
Driving from Porto to Guimaraes by Car
Journey Duration: Approximately 45 minutes via the A7 motorway
Given that the distance from Porto to Guimaraes is only around 55 kilometres, the drive between these two cities should take about 45 minutes via the A7 motorway.
In saying this, my personal opinion is that driving from Porto to Guimaraes just isn’t worth it. With the accessibility by train or bus, as well as taking into account that highways in Portugal are tolled, it’s not a route I would take when considering travel between the two cities.
Regardless, if you do plan on travelling to Guimaraes by car, then arriving into the city you will find public parking at the following GPS co-ordinates 41.448859, -8.289203.
Day Trip to Guimaraes
Where to Stay in Guimaraes
When planning a Porto to Guimaraes day trip, the logistics of getting there should be your last worry. As outlined in this guide you can easily travel between these two cities by either bus, train, car or as part of a group or private day tour.
Whatever your preference is, I’m sure you will absolutely love exploring gorgeous Guimaraes as much as we did.
If you’ve visited Guimaraes before, then I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences. What did you love about the city, how did you get there?
Feel free to comment in the comments section down below.