How to Travel from Lisbon to Porto (By Train, Car, or Bus!)

If you’re planning a trip to Portugal, there’s a very good chance that you’ll need to travel from Lisbon to Porto at some point, whether that’s by train, bus, or taking a drive!

As American expats who live in Lisbon and adore visiting Porto, we’ve had the opportunity to travel between the two cities several times.

And, while we prefer traveling from Lisbon to Porto by train, there are certainly merits to going by car as well.

Here, we’ve broken down everything you need to know about traveling between Lisbon and Porto, including a step-by-step guide to traveling by train.

We’ve also included a guide to the best stops along a Lisbon to Porto road trip.

And, of course, everything in this post works when traveling from Porto to Lisbon, too!

Here’s what to expect when planning your trip between Portugal’s two largest cities.

kate storm in a red dress in front of the belem tower in sunny lisbon vs porto
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How Far Apart Are Lisbon and Porto, Portugal?

Lisbon and Porto are roughly 320 kilometers or 200 miles apart (give or take, depending on the route).

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Whether you travel by train, car, or bus, you can expect to spend an average of between 3 and 4 hours traveling from one city to the next.

While we don’t recommend taking a day trip from Lisbon to Porto (or vice versa), it is technically possible–we talk a bit more about that in this post.

cloister of porto cathedral in porto portugal

Our Favorite Way to Travel from Lisbon to Porto: Train

As I mentioned above, our absolute favorite way to travel between Porto and Lisbon is by train!

Portugal’s rail system is excellent for traveling the main corridor of the country along its western edge, and traveling by train from Lisbon to Porto is extremely popular.

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There are around 30 trains that travel each day, from early in the morning until late in the evening, making it extremely easy to travel with minimal advance planning.

Two different types of trains travel this route: the Alfa Pendular High-Speed Trains (which are slightly faster) and the Intercidades Express Trains (which are slightly older).

long exposure of a train leaving a lisbon train station, traveling lisbon to porto train tickets

I have a tendency toward motion sickness and find that I have to be a bit more cognizant to make sure I’m looking ahead, etc, on the Alfa Pendular trains.

That being said, the experience is extremely similar, and we book both types interchangeably depending on what fits into our schedule.

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Both trains are comfortable and clean, with plenty of room to spread out and space to store luggage.

Here’s how to plan your trip from Lisbon to Porto–or Porto to Lisbon–by train.

interior of a second class car train porto lisbon portugal

7 Easy Steps for Traveling from Lisbon to Porto By Train

Buy tickets for your Lisbon to Porto trip.

First things first: you’ll need to buy tickets for your trip between Lisbon and Porto!

While you can buy tickets in person if you’re traveling at the last minute (and if you happen to be traveling with a dog as we do, you’ll need to do so), it’s much easier to compare prices and train schedules by looking online.

Omio will allow you to check prices and schedules for both types of trains, and buy train tickets with ease.

Shop train tickets for travel between Lisbon and Porto today!

empty platform at porto campanha train station

Depart from the correct train station.

Lisbon has four train stations, so be sure to read your train ticket carefully and make sure you head to the right place!

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Most trains from Lisbon to Porto, though, depart from Santa Apolonia, which is located (more or less) at the base of the Alfama District.

Santa Apolonia is fairly small and simple to navigate.

front facade of train station lisbon santa apolonia

Be prepared for the conductor to check your ticket.

Once you board, at some point between departure and arrival in Porto hours later, you’ll have your ticket checked by the conductor as they walk by.

Be sure to have your ticket handy in order to show it to them!

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Relax and enjoy the views!

The views along the train route between Lisbon and Porto have some beautiful sections, especially north of Espinho where you can admire sandy beaches as you travel and ask you approach Porto Campanha Station.

While I wouldn’t go as far as to call the views a destination worth traveling for in their own right, it’s certainly not a bad stretch of countryside to admire for a few hours!

historic boats on tagus river in porto portuagal with bridge behind them

Arrive in Porto Campanha.

When your train pulls into Porto Campanha and you disembark, your journey isn’t quite over yet!

Your train ticket from Lisbon to Porto remains good for this part of your journey–but you’ll need to switch trains.

jeremy storm and ranger storm at porto campanha station between porto and lisbon train

Board your train to the famous Sao Bento Train Station.

When in Porto Campanha, look for trains headed to Sao Bento Train Station.

They leave every 10-15 minutes or so, so you won’t have to wait long!

Once you get on board, the ride lasts a brief 4 minutes.

yellow train parked at porto sao bento train station

Arrive in the heart of Porto and start your adventure!

When you pull into Sao Bento Train Station and disembark, congratulations: you’ve officially traveled from Lisbon to Porto by train!

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As you walk into the entrance hall of the train station, be sure to look up: the azulejos of Sao Bento are a destination in their own right, and this magnificent view is a fantastic welcome to Porto.

Once you exit the train station, you’ll be in the heart of the city, with many of Porto’s top attractions located within a 10-minute walk (or in the case of the cathedral, within sight).

interior of sao bento train station azulejos, arrival point on train lisbon to porto portugal

How (and Why) to Travel from Porto to Lisbon By Car

If your trip to Portugal is focused only on the cities of Lisbon and Porto, with possible day trips to popular nearby spots like Sintra and the Douro Valley, then there’s absolutely no reason to drive.

However, if you are hoping to focus your Portuguese road trip on the cities, small towns, beaches, and more that lie between Lisbon and Porto, driving can be a blast!

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Portuguese roads between Porto and Lisbon are well maintained and easy to navigate (though you’ll definitely want a GPS).

You will also be paying plenty of tolls, so be sure to account for them in your budget!

kate storm overlooking a mirodouro in lisbon portugal

Ready to book your road trip between Lisbon and Porto?

We recommend searching for your rental car through Discover Cars, which will allow you to sift through all your options and choose the right car for you based on price, the reputation of the company that is renting it, and the terms of the rental contract.

With favorable traffic, it takes a little over 3 hours to drive from Lisbon to Porto.

While some of these stops will add 30 minutes or so to your schedule, they’re all located fairly directly between Porto and Lisbon!

Shop rental cars for your Lisbon to Porto road trip today!

beach in nazare portugal from above road trip

Fabulous Lisbon to Porto Road Trip Stops

Coimbra

Home to the University of Portugal, Coimbra is incredibly beautiful and mixes ornate architecture and lengthy history (it was the capital of Portugal from 1139 to 1385) with youthful energy.

Note that Coimbra is located along the train route between Lisbon and Porto, so you can easily add a stop here with or without a car.

cityscape of coimbra portugal as seen from the river, a fun stop on a lisbon to porto drive

Fatima

Fatima is the most important Catholic pilgrimage site in Portugal and a fairly recent one at that!

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It is said that in 1917 (as World War I raged across Europe), the Virgin Mary appeared to 3 young children here stating that the world needed peace.

Whether you are a member of the Church or not, Fatima is a fascinating cultural and historical destination between Lisbon and Porto.

sanctuary of fatima portugal pilgrimage site, an interesting porto to lisbon road trip stop

Aveiro

Calling Aveiro the “Venice of Portugal” may be overselling it a bit–but you can ride a colorful boat through a canal here!

Located on the coast, Aveiro is also known for its Art Nouveau architecture.

colorful boats in a canal in aveiro portugal with buildings in the background

Nazare

This charming fishing village is most famous today for a very special reason: the utterly gigantic waves that arrive between October and February, making it one of the most famous surfing destinations in the world!

Whether you want to watch the surfers or simply enjoy the town, though, there’s no doubt that Nazare is a delightful place to visit on Portugal’s Silver Coast.

view of people watching a surfer riding enormous wave in nazare portugal road trip itinerary

Obidos

Obidos is a quintessential small European town.

Walled, whitewashed, utterly beautiful, and overlooked by an imposing castle, Obidos is absolutely one of the best places to visit between Porto and Lisbon!

Check out our guide to the best things to do in Obidos!

blooming pink flowers in obidos portugal

Tomar

With beautiful winding streets and striking medieval architecture, Tomar would be a lovely place to visit in Portugal regardless of its link to a very famous group…

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… But the fact that Tomar was once the seat of the Order of the Knights Templar certainly adds to the city’s mystique!

Both the Tomar Castle and the famous local Convent of Christ are connected to the Knights Templar.

architecture details of knights of the templar in tomar portugal

More Beach Towns

From Ericeira to Peniche to Figueira da Foz and beyond, tracing all of the beach towns that hug the west coast of Portugal between Lisbon and Porto would be worthy of several blog posts in and of itself!

Suffice it to say, though, that if you’re looking for beautiful beaches, sweeping Atlantic views, and charming villages, you’ll find no shortage of them in this part of Portugal.

blue and white streets of ericeira, a fun stop on a road trip lisbon to porto drive

About Traveling from Lisbon to Porto By Bus

Traveling to travel from Lisbon to Porto (or Porto to Lisbon) on a very tight budget?

If so, traveling between Portugal’s two largest cities by bus may be right for you!

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In any other scenario, though, we highly recommend taking the train over the bus when traveling between Lisbon and Porto.

It takes roughly the same amount of time to travel between the two cities by bus as it does by train, and often longer (especially when accounting for traffic).

kate storm in front of igrejo do carmo azulejos, one of the best places to visit in porto in a day

In addition, most buses have drop-off points further away from the heart of Porto than the train route does.

There’s also truly nothing like arriving in Porto and being greeted immediately by the magnificent azulejos in the Sao Bento Train Station–it makes my heart skip a beat every time!

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Buses are generally less comfortable than trains, as well, and we’ll choose a train over a bus whenever possible.

For travelers wanting to enjoy the best of Portugal, we will always recommend traveling from Lisbon to Porto by train unless they are planning to make a full, multi-stop road trip experience out of the journey!

Compare prices between buses and trains for visiting Porto from Lisbon!

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photo of portugal train and porto skyline, black and red text reads "how to travel from lisbon to porto"
About Kate Storm
Image of the author, Kate Storm

In May 2016, I left my suburban life in the USA and became a full-time traveler. Since then, I have visited 50+ countries on 5 continents and lived in Portugal, developing a special love of traveling in Europe (especially Italy) along the way. Today, along with my husband Jeremy and dog Ranger, I’m working toward my eventual goal of splitting my life between Europe and the USA.

25 thoughts on “How to Travel from Lisbon to Porto (By Train, Car, or Bus!)”

  1. Hi, how is it to travel from Lisbon to Porto by air. Economy sounds inexpensive, but those fairs do not include bags. How much does it cost to travel with checking in 2 bags and one carry on? Jim

    Reply
    • Hi Jim!

      There are very few circumstances where I’d recommend flying between the 2 cities. The flight itself is an hour, but getting to/from the airports and checking bags is much longer and more cumbersome than taking the train.

      The going rate for checked bags is around 50 Euro/bag right now, but of course, that can vary depending on the airline. Some budget airlines also charge for carry on luggage, as well.

      Reply
  2. Hi Kate,
    Love your blog. My daughter and I are planning a 5 day trip to Portugal. I would like to visit the Shrine at Fatima and spend time exploring the sights and sounds of this beautiful country. This is our first trip, so I am not a savvy traveler. Where would you recommend to stay and how can we get to places? Do you recommend booking day tours or can we explore on our own. Any advice will be invaluable. We are planning to fly in to Lisbon from the US

    Reply
    • Hi Brenda,

      Sounds like a wonderful trip!

      Based on your description, I’d recommend booking a day tour to Fatima from Lisbon. It’ll make things very simple for you to see the shrine without worrying about transportation. Many of the day trips also include stops at other nearby attractions like a monastery, the beautiful town of Obidos, and/or the beach town of Nazare. It’s a great way to get a taste of the country!

      As far as Lisbon goes, you’ll find lots to occupy you there as well–this post goes into more detail on that: https://www.ourescapeclause.com/3-days-in-lisbon-itinerary/

      Within the city, you can walk, plus use taxis and the metro, to get around.

      If you want to take an independent day trip to nearby spots like Cascais or Sintra, you can take the train, a taxi, or even book a tour.

      Hope you guys have a fantastic time in Portugal!

      Reply
  3. Hi Kate,
    Thanks for your response. Which airport should I fly into if I want to go to Lisbon? and do you have any recommendations to stay. We wanted to visit the Shrine of Fatima and stay close to the city, so we have easy access to the other locales.

    Reply
  4. Hi Kate,
    We are planning our trip to Portugal in April over spring break, flying into Lisbon and flying out of Porto.
    Are most sites open in Lisbon on Easter Sunday? Is it a good idea to go to Sintra on Easter Sunday? or Saturday before Easter Sunday?
    What is the best way to get to Sintra from Lisbon?
    Is Uber available in Portugal?
    We are planning to drive from Lisbon to Porto as we would like to make it a road trip and stop for a night near Coimbra, what are the estimated toll charges?
    Thank you for the Discover Cars link. It seems to have prices lower than the major car rental companies. Are the companies featured in Discover cars reliable?

    Reply
    • Hi Sheena,

      You’ll definitely want to plan on most things being closed on Easter Sunday, including museums and restaurants. I’d plan ahead what you want to do that way and check the hours as best you can, but keep in mind not all attractions will necessarily note the Easter closer online.

      To get to Sintra from Lisbon, you can take the train from Rossio Station. Taxis and Ubers are available as well.

      The companies on Discover Cars are mostly local companies, and we’ve never had anything but good experiences with their recommendations!

      I’m not sure of the estimated toll charges off the top of my head, but the rental company may be able to give you an idea when you rent a car.

      Reply
  5. Hi Kate,

    Thanks for your great blog. I am planning a car trip from Lisbon to Porto, and would like to spent a day & night in Aveiro. Do you recommend to stop there in our way from Lisbon or to get to Aveiro from Porto?

    Thanks,
    Jose

    Reply
    • Hi Jose,

      Either way is fine, it really depends on your schedule and the rest of your itinerary!

      If you can arrange things to overlap with your drive up from Lisbon and you’re planning to end your trip in northern Portugal, that’d be easiest, but Aveiro is a fairly quick drive from Porto as well.

      Reply
  6. Hi Kate,

    Your blog has been incredibly helpful in planning our trip to Lisbon and Porto, later this month! A question for you re: Lisbon->Porto travel. We were planning on taking the train, but recently found out there is a rail strike on the dates of travel (May 1 and 8) – can you provide any insight into service changes? i.e., reduction in service vs. total work stoppage? Thank you in advance!

    Reply
    • Hi Liz,

      So happy we can help!

      Unfortunately, strikes can really vary in intensity and duration. Some sort of “essential” service generally keeps running versus a total stoppage, but what that looks like in practice can vary.

      I’d keep an eye on this website for your dates (this is the Portuguese national rail company’s alert page): https://www.cp.pt/passageiros/en/train-times/Alerts

      If it looks like the train is going to be particularly cumbersome on the day you plan to travel, you can always turn it into a road trip! A bit less efficient but lots of fun, and we’d highly recommend adding a stop along the way if you go this route.

      Reply
  7. Hi,
    My husband and I are going to Lisbon in September for 7 days. We would like to see as much of the country as we can. Should we just rent a car and drive?

    Reply
    • Hi Kiki,

      It depends on what parts of the country you want to see, but if you’re hoping to stop at several of the small towns, monasteries, etc, between Lisbon and Porto, you’ll get a lot out of renting a car!

      The Douro Valley and Algarve are also best seen with a car.

      Reply
  8. Your blog is great. Simple, fun and direct. Great comments throughout!
    We are flying into Lisbon in May, then immediately going to Sintra for 3 nights to relax and see sights. From there, we are going to Porto for about the same amount of time. And finally, from there back to Lisbon for 3 nights. We are not as young as we used to be and try to keep the physicality of carry our bags all over the place to a minimum. We do not have airline flights lined up yet. Note that this is a first leg of our trip and from there, we fly to Belgium, Prague or Budapest. Our return home will probably be from Brussels.
    QUESTIONS: What is the best way to get from the Lisbon airports to Sintra — Uber/taxi or train? And, am I correct in assuming we can catch any number of trains in Sintra to Porto? Costs play into our decisions, but doesn’t always dictate them.
    It appears the train from Sintra goes back to Lisbon, where we transfer to another train to Porto?

    Reply
    • Hi Ron,

      Thank you so much! Sounds like a great trip you guys have planned.

      To get from the Lisbon airport to Sintra, I’d recommend either taking an Uber/taxi to the Rossio Station in Lisbon and then catching a direct train to Sintra from there, or organizing a direct transfer from the airport to Sintra. The first is obviously less expensive, and involves a medium amount of walking (mostly upon arriving in Sintra, unless you arrange to be picked up at the station by your hotel), whereas the second is most direct but quite pricey.

      You can technically take the train from the airport into Lisbon’s center as well, but I suspect that trade-off in walking/hauling luggage won’t be worth the small savings in your case.

      As far as I know, you will need to head back to Lisbon via train to catch a direct train to Porto, and the two trains do leave (primarily) from separate train stations that are 15 minutes or so apart by car, depending on traffic. Portugal’s train system is primarily set up to run the north-south corridor, particularly between Lisbon and Porto, so those kinds of changes are a bit more common in Portugal than you’ll generally find later on your trip.

      If you don’t have your heart set on the order of your trip, you might find it a bit logistically easier to head to Porto first after landing, and then head back to do Lisbon/Sintra back to back (or the opposite, depending on whether you’re flying out of Portugal from Lisbon or Porto).

      Good luck!

      Reply
  9. Hi Kate,

    My sister and I will be traveling from the US, in mid May 2024, to London for 3 nights then from London to Porto. We will be renting a car at the Porto Airport and would like to spend a day in the city as well as participate in a Douro Valley Tour. Our time in Porto will be 4 nights, can you suggest a place to stay as our base there?

    We will then take 2 days (one overnight stay) to drive from Porto to Lisbon. Fatima and Tomar are both on our list of stops. Can you share any additional must see places along that route? Also the best overnight stay? We are in our 50’s and 60’s, good health, love to walk, love the beach and people, hate schedules… hence renting a car. We will visit coastal areas while staying in Porto but would love to stay on a beach for our 6 nights in the Lisbon area. We will make most of our day trips/beach and fishing town from our beach stay in the Lisbon area. We will return the rental car at the Lisbon Airport and fly back to the US from there.

    All of our flights are booked. I am overwhelmed by rental car companies (we can both drive a manual) and places to make our base in both Porto and Lisbon. Any suggestions, recommendations or support would be amazing! This is both of our 1st trip to Europe and our father’s family was from Portugal as well. Unfortunately we have no family left there that anyone is aware of. None the less it has always been #1 on our bucket list!!

    Thank you so much for your support!
    Chrissy

    Reply
    • Hi Chrissy,

      Sounds like a fantastic trip!

      I’m not sure what you mean by Douro Valley Tour–if you mean you intend to book a guided tour, I’d strongly recommend reconsidering renting a car before you leave Porto and the Douro Valley to head south. If you intend to do a self-driving tour of the Douro Valley (lots of fun, we’ve done it a few times, but be prepared for windy roads!), that’s a horse of a different color. 🙂

      We have a few hotel suggestions for where to stay in Porto in our suggested Portugal itinerary (here’s the link: https://www.ourescapeclause.com/10-days-in-portugal-itinerary/), but our personal go-to spots are generally Pestana Porto A Brasileira or NH Porto Batalha (better with a car, there’s a garage a short walk away we’ve used a couple times).

      I’d definitely recommend adding the Batalha Monastery to your list of stops near Fatima and Tomar, and if you particularly like monasteries, perhaps Alcobaca as well. Obidos is a very cute town also in that general area: https://www.ourescapeclause.com/things-to-do-in-obidos-portugal/

      If you’d like to stay on the beach but near Lisbon, Cascais is definitely a go-to and a great base for Sintra and the surrounding area since you’ll have a car: https://www.ourescapeclause.com/lisbon-to-cascais-day-trip/

      We don’t really have any brand loyalty at all when it comes to renting cars in Europe, we tend to search through an aggregate (we use Discover Cars) and go with the cheapest option that has reasonable-ish reviews (car rental companies are one of those businesses where unfortunately, only unhappy people are likely to leave reviews). Sometimes that’s a major company, sometimes local, etc. We buy insurance to avoid any issues with returns and go from there. Everyone has a different comfort level but we’ve never had any issues this way.

      Hope you guys have an incredible time!

      Reply
      • Kate,

        Thank you for responding and sharing the links!
        Our intent was to rent a car at the Porto airport upon our arrival in Portugal, keep the car for our entire stay in Portugal, then return it to the Lisbon airport when we depart back to the US. Our wonder was if Douro Valley (2 vineyards, lunch, river cruise) was best to book a tour or self drive since we will have a car. Are you suggesting waiting until we depart Porto to rent the car for our drive south?

        Thank you again for your support and all the wonderful information you provide!

        Reply
        • Hi Chrissy,

          If you decide not to self-drive the Douro Valley, I’d definitely wait to pick it up until you head south! You won’t need it at all in Porto itself, and you’ll just end up spending money to park it in a garage.

          Self-drive versus taking a tour to the Douro really depends on your travel style and whether or not you have someone in your party who’s less interested in the port tastings (port is very strong and the tastings tend to be very generous!).

          Pros of taking a tour include having a tour/tasting guaranteed to be ready for you at the vineyards you hope to visit (I’d definitely recommend calling or scheduling in advance otherwise, especially if you want to visit any smaller properties), not worrying about driving on the windy roads or finding your way, and having a driver who knows where to pull over at the best viewpoints, etc.

          Pros of self-drive include more flexibility and a chance to design your own itinerary/choose your own properties and/or towns to visit. 🙂

          Reply
  10. Hi Friends!

    I am planning my trip flying into Faro airport to spend a week in Aljezur. I would love your guidance on the best way to travel from Algarve to Lisbon/Sintra (for 3 days) then ending my stay in Porto (for 2 days). I want to avoid renting a car.

    Reply
    • Hi Adina,

      You can definitely do that whole route by train, especially if you stay near Faro! Trains run very regularly from Faro – Lisbon, Lisbon – Sintra, and Lisbon – Porto.

      If you want to head to some of the smaller towns in the Algarve, you may want/need to take advantage of buses and/or taxis, or perhaps a guided tour or two if you want to see some of the more rural parts of the Algarve.

      However, the larger cities are well-connected by rail, and avoiding renting a car won’t be an issue.

      Reply
  11. Hi Kate,

    My family are flying into Porto this July 2024 for 4 days and will be travelling to Lisbon by either train or bus. I read somewhere that the trains can be affected by striking workers at any time. With this in mind, I was wondering if you would still recommend the train over the bus and should we opt to take the train and get affected by a rail strike, what would you suggest we do?

    Thank you for your time and the information you provide!

    Reply
    • Hi Melanie,

      It’s always a possibility, but a faint one–think of it kind of like the risks of airlines losing your luggage: it’s an annoyance, but generally not really something you plan around. Generally when strikes happen, there’s some sort of workaround–essential routes may keep running at reduced capacity, replacement bus service is used, etc. Bus drivers, airline workers, and others also strike on occasion, so it’s not necessarily a train-specific thing, either.

      Personally we’d still plan for the train if it were our trip. In all our years traveling and living in Europe, we’ve only had our plans seriously thrown off by a train strike once. That’s not to say it doesn’t happen, but it’s not an everyday occurrence!

      You can keep an eye on any alerts/possible changes to train schedules in Portugal here: https://www.cp.pt/passageiros/en/train-times/Alerts

      Reply

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