Getting around Portugal - Transport guide

Portugal transport & getting around guide

The following guide is designed for those travelling around Portugal and visiting different places using public transport. It covers the top journeys between cities and areas, helping you choose the quickest and most cost-effective method of transport for getting from A to B. Explore Portugal at your own leisure and don’t waste time on the road!

How to get from Lisbon to Porto / How to get from Porto to Lisbon

How to get from Lisbon to Porto and Porto to Lisbon - shows a red tram in Lisbon

Lisbon to Porto and Porto to Lisbon is one of the most popular routes in Portugal. These historic cities are top places to visit and each have something unique to offer. Read on for the top transport methods to get between Porto and Lisbon below.

Journey timeEstimated cost
By train2hr 40min – 3hr 10min€25
By bus3hr 15min – 3hr 50min€19
By plane55min€50+

By train

The train is by far the most practical way to get from Lisbon to Porto (and vice versa) in our opinion. Although prices are a little more expensive than the bus, it’s still very affordable and journeys are quick and comfortable. There are a couple of different train options:

Train CompanyJourney TimeCostBooking website
Alfa Pendular2hr 40min~€30CP.pt
Intercidades3hr 10min~€25CP.pt

Book your train tickets online with the official Portugal train travel website CP.pt. They have downloadable mobile tickets so you don’t even need to print them out and you’ll save time in queues at the station. Choose the train with the most suitable times for your journey!

The train stations for Lisbon to Porto journeys and vice versa are the Lisboa-Entrecampos Station and Porto-Campanhã Station. Be sure to enter these stations into the booking form.

By bus

The cheapest way to get from Lisbon to Porto or Porto to Lisbon is by bus. The Rede Expressos is the country’s go-to coach service and provides express bus journeys between major cities and towns.

Coaches are clean, well maintained and comfortable so you won’t have any problem relaxing whilst travelling between Porto and Lisbon or Lisbon and Porto.

Bus tickets cost around ~19 euros per person and the journey takes between 3hr 15min and 3hr 40min depending on the time of day you travel.

You can book bus tickets directly on the Rede Express website here.

By plane

Whilst it’s possible to fly between Lisbon and Porto, the cost is more expensive than public transport and when you factor in transport to and from the airport, plus the time waiting around in the terminals, it isn’t a very viable option. If you do prefer flying over the train or bus, you can fly between Lisbon and Porto using Ryanair, or Portugal’s TAP Air. The flight time takes around 55 minutes and prices will vary.

Compare flights from Lisbon to Porto or Porto to Lisbon on Skyscanner here.

How to get from Lisbon to Faro, Albufeira, Lagos and the rest of the Algarve / How to get from Faro to Lisbon

How to get from Lisbon to Faro - Faro to Lisbon - Shows Albufeira beach

If you want to combine your trip to the capital with some relaxation on the fine beaches of the Algarve, you’re probably wondering the best way to get between Lisbon and Faro, Lagos and the other resort areas. The best route will depend on your budget, the time you want to travel and where you’re staying. Read on for all options.

Journey timeEstimated cost
By train3hr 30min€25 – 30
By bus3hr 45min+€10 – 15
By plane45min€50+

By train

Trains run several times a day from Lisbon to Faro and vice versa, stopping at various towns along the way and key locations on the Algarve region. The full journey from Lisbon to Faro takes around 3hr 30mins, with previous stops for Albufeira, Vilamoura and Quarteira taking slightly less time. The exact time will depend on what train you choose and the time of the day you leave.

You can book trains with Portugal’s main railway website CP.pt here. Trains leave Lisbon from Entrecampos and Sete Rios station and the journey ends in Faro. There’s also a variety of rail companies to choose from, with Alfa Pendular being the quickest and most comfortable journey. The Intercidades train takes slightly longer.

Prices vary but you can expect to pay around 20 – 30 euros for the journey.

Departure StationArrival StationJourney duration
Lisbon EntrecamposFerreiras (for Albufeira)3hr 10min
Lisbon EntrecamposLoule (for Vilamoura)3hr 20min
Lisbon EntrecamposLoule (for Quarteira) 3hr 20min
Lisbon EntrecamposFaro3hr 30min

Book train tickets from Lisbon to the Algarve on the CP.pt website here. Mobile tickets are available.

By bus

The cheapest way to get from Lisbon to Faro, Albufeira, Vilamoura, Lagos and the other Algarve resorts is by coach. Expressos and RENEX are the main coach companies to use and you can book tickets directly on their websites or by using the CheckMyBus comparison website here.

The bus journey from Lisbon city centre to Faro takes around 3hr 45min and you can expect buses to be comfortable and well maintained. It’s an easy journey with lots of picturesque countryside along the way.

By plane

If you don’t fancy catching the bus or train from Lisbon to Faro, a TAP Air Portugal flight takes only 45minutes and both Lisbon and Faro airports are located very close to the city centres, so it’s a convenient mode of transport. Prices can be more expensive than buses and train depending on availability and how far in advance you book so we recommend comparing all options and prices. Sometimes you can find a really cheap budget airline flight!

Compare flights from Lisbon to Faro or Faro to Lisbon on Skyscanner.

As Faro is the main airport in the Algarve, you’ll then need to get a transfer to your onwards destination from the airport. Vilamoura, Portimao, Lagos, Albufeira and Quarteira are all within a short drive.

Getting from Lisbon to Lagos or Portimao (West Algarve)

How to get from Lisbon to Lagos - shows Lagos beaches

If you’re travelling to or from Portimao or Lagos in the west of the Algarve, the train route will be slightly different for you and a connection is required in the Algarve town of Ferreriras. Book your train travel via CP.pt and select your stations. You’ll then be told the connection times and train you need to catch. Due to the connection, trains take a little longer to Lagos and Portimao (3hr 45-50min). The bus takes around the same time and is cheaper, but isn’t as comfortable a journey. Choose the journey that best suits you!

Departure StationArrival StationJourney duration
Lisbon EntrecamposLagos (switch at Tunes)3hr 45min
Lisbon Entrecampos Portimao (switch at Tunes)3hr 35min

How to get from Porto to Faro, Albufeira, Lagos and the rest of the Algarve

How to get from Porto to Faro - Shows a church and city streets in Porto

If you’re travelling from Porto in the north of the country, the best way to get between Porto and Faro, plus all of the nearby Algarve resorts, is by plane. It’s a long distance so a flight is your best option, although it will all depend on prices for your chosen dates.

Journey timeEstimated cost
By train5hr 45min~€54
By bus7hr+~€30
By plane55min€50+

By plane

Fly directly from Porto to Faro or from Faro to Porto for a hassle-free journey to and from the Algarve. You can then catch an Uber or the local bus to your onwards destination. The airports in both cities are right next to the city centre and the flight time takes around 1hr 10mins with Ryanair or TAP Air Portugal.

Compare Porto to Faro or Faro to Porto flights on Skyscanner,

By train

If you prefer train travel or the plane as flights are out of your budget for your chosen dates, you can indeed travel on a express train from Porto to Faro and the Algarve. Book tickets for the journey on the CP.pt website here.

The Porto to Faro train journey (and vice versa) takes around 5hr 45mins, which isn’t too bad! This is with the faster (and more expensive) Alfa Pendular train company and other trains will take considerably longer. Porto to Faro trains costs start around 54 euros, but can be more expensive depending on what time you travel and how far in advance you book.

Departure StationArrival StationJourney duration
Porto CampanhãTune (to switch for Lagos)5hr 15min
Porto CampanhãFerreiras (for Albufeira)5hr 25min
Porto CampanhãLoule (for Vilamoura)5hr 35min
Porto CampanhãLoule (for Quarteira)3hr 35min
Porto CampanhãFaro5hr 45min

By bus

The cheapest way to get from Porto to Faro and Faro to Porto is by bus. Companies such as Rede Express and Flixbus operate the route multiple times a day, stopping off at key cities and Algarve resorts along the way. The journey takes a whopping 7 hours+, however the cost is only 30 euros, great for a budget traveller with time on their hands.

Compare Porto to Faro bus options on the CheckMyBus website here.

Getting around on the Algarve

How to get from Faro to Albufeira, Vilamoura and Quarteira

Shows a cave and beach near Albufeira - How to get from Faro to Albufeira

If you’re arriving at Portugal’s sunny Algarve coastline by plane, you’ll land at Faro Airport and will then need to hop on another form of transport to get to your final destination. Here are the best ways of getting from Faro to Albufeira, Vilamoura, Quarteira and the other areas on the Eastern Algarve. If taking a driving route, journey times take around 30 – 40 minutes, depending on your resort location.

By private or shared transfer (if travelling from Faro Airport)

The cheapest and most convenient way of getting from Faro to Albufeira and the other resorts is by booking a private transfer in advance using Skyscanner’s private transfer comparison tool here. You can choose a private car if travelling with a small group or opt for the cheaper ‘shared minivan’ option if you’re holidaying as a couple or solo traveller. Prices cost as little as 7 euros per person!

Compare Airport transfers on Skyscanner here.

By taxi / Uber

Taxi’s directly from Faro Airport or Faro town to Albufeira, Vilamoura and the other resorts are fairly costly, so expect to pay between 60 – 80 euros for a one-way trip. Taxi’s are readily available throughout Faro and the airport terminal.

The more affordable option is to take Uber, which has recently arrived on the Algarve. For the same trip as a taxi, Uber will be a fair amount cheaper (35 – 55 euros in total). Simply use your Uber app on arrival at the airport and your car should arrive within a few minutes. They’re readily available! This is a good option for groups of four or more.

Use code ‘uu1owue‘ to get money off your first Uber booking.

By local bus

The local bus is only recommended if you’re travelling from Faro town centre to Albufeira, Vilamoura or the other Algarve resorts, and not from the airport, due to the infrequency of buses. If you do wish to take the bus from Faro, there are a couple of different options and it’s the cheapest way to travel.

Both operating from Faro bus station, the Express bus takes around 55 minutes to reach Albufeira and the Interurban bus takes 90 minutes, with more stops along the way. Bus fare is between 4 – 6 euros per person.

By train

Although you can catch the train, they aren’t recommended due to the infrequency of the schedule and the fact that the train stations are a long drive from the main resorts.

How to get from Faro to Lagos and Portimao

How to get from Faro to Lagos - Shows Lagos rock formations

The beautiful coastal town of Lagos has the best beaches in the Algarve and nearby Portimao is a marina centre with many hotels, bars and restaurants. Both destinations are great places to spend your holiday! The nearest airport to both towns is Faro, which is around a 1-hour drive away. See below for the best ways to get from Faro to Lagos and from Faro to Portimao.

By private or shared transfer (if travelling from Faro Airport)

By far the best way to get to Lagos and Portimao from Faro is by private transfer, booked in advance on Skyscanner. As the journey takes around 1 hour, you’ll save plenty of time and money by going down this route, as opposed to a taxi (expensive) or bus (long drive).

A shared minivan private transfer is only ~15 euros per person, whilst a private car, ideal for groups, costs only 45 euros. Private car transfers are over half the price of taxis for the same distance!

Compare Airport transfers on Skyscanner here.

By taxi / Uber

If you don’t mind paying extra and want the convenience and reliability of a taxi on arrival, you can catch a cab from Faro Airport or Faro town to Lagos and Portimao. The journey takes around 1 hour and will cost just over 100 euros.

Uber is a cheaper option, costing around 65 – 100 euros for the same journey. Simply download the Uber app, create an account and enter your destination.

Use code ‘uu1owue‘ to get money off your first Uber booking.

By local bus or train

Unfortunately, Lagos and Portimao are very poorly connected to Faro by public transport. If arriving into Faro Airport, you’ll need to take the airport bus to the town centre and then wait for a train or bus. Regional trains to Lagos from Faro take around 1hr 50mins, costing around 7 – 8 euros and stopping at Portimao and other resorts along the way. Buses take 2hr 10mins and cost 7.55 euros per person. Both methods of transport operate fairly infrequently so please check train and bus schedules before arriving at the station. View the bus timetable here.

Unless staying in Faro anyway and starting your journey from the town, we recommend booking a private transfer from Faro Airport.

Shows high speed Portuguese trains - Portugal transport guide

The above journey planning tips are for some of Portugal’s most popular routes and transport searches. If you’d like to know the best way to get between smaller towns and cities using public transport, we recommend using the ‘Directions’ feature on your Google Maps Smartphone app. It’s very handy and will give you up-to-date departure times. If you ever get stuck needing transport or are in a rush, Uber is the way to go. It’s reliable and more affordable than taxis throughout the country.

If you’ve read our guide and have opted for hiring a car instead, check out our car rental guide here for tips on getting the best prices!


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