If you’re planning to visit Portugal, going from Lisbon to Porto is a popular route for tourists, as the two cities are only a few hours apart and offer beautiful scenery along the way. One of the best options to get from Lisbon to Porto is taking the train.
Read more to get all the information you need to know to have a successful train ride from Lisbon to Porto (or Porto to Lisbon).
1. Deciding to Take the Train From Lisbon to Porto
Though there are many options for the Lisbon-Porto route, the best option is taking the train. This option is more time-saving than the bus with an average travel time of 3 hours and is cheaper than flying. Not to mention, the scenery along the way is gorgeous and you’re able to see more of Portugal this way.
It’s also easy to get to the train station in Lisbon as it’s located in the heart of the city. The same can be said about the Porto train station, which is located centrally as well.
There are also no luggage restrictions when traveling by train. Of course, it’ll be more difficult if you have larger or multiple suitcases, but they will not be weighed or checked through security.
2. How to take the train from Lisbon to Porto
When traveling from Lisbon to Porto by train, there are a few things you need to know. Here are some tips to help make your journey as smooth as possible:
Understanding the different types of trains
There are a few different types of trains that you can take from Lisbon to Porto. The most popular option and fastest train is the Alfa Pendular (AP), which is a high-speed train that makes the journey in about 2 hours and 46 minutes.
Another option is the Intercidades train (IC), which is a bit slower but more affordable for budget travelers. This train makes the journey in approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes.
If you’re looking for the cheapest way to get to Porto by train, there’s also the regional train (R). This is the slowest option but it’s also the most affordable. The regional train makes a few stops along the way and takes around 4 hours and 30 minutes to get to Porto.
How much does it cost to take the train from Lisbon to Porto
The cost of taking the train from Lisbon to Porto varies depending on which type of train you take. The Alfa Pendular train is the most expensive, with tickets starting at around 59€ for a single trip.
The Intercidades train is a bit cheaper, with tickets starting at around 44€. And finally, the regional train is the cheapest option, with tickets starting from 31€.
You can purchase your tickets in advance online or at the train station on the day of travel. It’s important to note that tickets tend to sell out quickly, so it’s best to purchase them in advance online rather than at the ticket office if you can.
Ready to book your Lisbon to Porto train ticket? Click here!
Buy your ticket in advance
The best way to ensure a seat on the train is to buy your ticket in advance. You can do this online on Portugal’s transportation website Comboios de Portugal (CP)
There is no standing room on these trains, so when the seats are filled out, you’ll need to purchase tickets for a different time.
Wanderful Advice: Although the Alfa Pendular is the most expensive option of all the trains, it’s worth the time and comfort to travel on this train. If your budget allows, I would highly recommend choosing the Alfa Pendular.
Choose your seat
When you book your ticket, you’ll also be able to pick your seat. There are 2 different types of cars, especially for the Alfa Pendular train: first class and second class. There are only 2 cars set aside for first class so if this is the ticket you’d like to purchase, don’t wait too long!
The main difference between the 2 classes is the seats and comfortability. First-class cars are more comfortable with a 2-1 seat map, they have folding tables and armrests, as well as sockets to plug in your devices.
Although the website boasts of complimentary drinks in first class, we personally didn’t get them so make sure to pack your own water. You can, however, purchase snacks and coffee on board.
The second-class cars have a 2-2 seat map and may not have sockets, but since you’re on the fast train, you’ll still get to Porto in a timely manner.
Ready to book your Lisbon to Porto train ticket? Click here!
3. Where to take the train from Lisbon to Porto
What to expect when you depart Lisbon
In Lisbon, there are two departure stations to Porto: Santa Apolónia and Oriente. Your ticket should indicate which station you’re departing from so pay close attention when you book!
Both of these train stations can be easily accessible by public transportation such as the metro or the bus.
Santa Apolónia is the main train station in Lisbon and is located in the historic part of the city. If you’re staying close to places like Chiado or Baixa, this is likely the station you’ll be departing from.
To get to the Santa Apolónia train station from the city center, you can take the blue metro line (direction to Santa Apolónia) and get off at the last stop.
Oriente is Lisbon’s second train station and is located in a more modern part of the city. This train station is closer to the airport so if you’re staying in an area like Parque das Nações, this is likely the station you’ll be departing from.
To get to Oriente train station from the city center, you can take the red metro line (direction to Aeroporto) and get off at the stop called Oriente.
Wanderful Advice: Sometimes the metro trains are unreliable or workers go on strike. If this is the case, have a backup plan such as ordering a ride through Uber. You can also skip the metro completely and ask your accommodation to call a taxi for you.
What to expect when you arrive in Porto
Once you arrive in Porto, you’ll likely arrive at the Campanhã train station.
Campanhã is the main train station in Porto and is located just outside the city center. From here, you can take a bus, taxi, or Uber into the city center. The metro line is also connected to the Campanhã metro station so you can transfer here to get to your accommodation with an exit off the metro.
São Bento is located in the city center and is a beautiful train station in Porto. If you’re staying close to the city center, this is likely the station you’ll need to be arriving at as your final stop.
You will need to change trains at Campanhã so when you get off, find the train that will take you about 5 minutes to São Bento.
Pro-Tip: There are daily departures from all the train stations at varying times throughout the day. Looking at the timetable (or schedule) will help you plan out your travel day well. When you book your ticket from Lisbon to Sao Bento, the fare for change in trains is included!
4. What to expect on The Lisbon to Porto Train Ride
Finding Your Seat on the Train
Since you’ve purchased your ticket in advance, you can just find the right train line and hop on to find your seat (they are assigned since you were able to choose your seat).
To make sure you’re in the right car, the numbers are posted on the outside of the train cars. First-class cars are usually the first 2 trains, labeled with a number 1 and 2. From there, your ticket will list your numbers.
Once you find your seat, you can store your luggage in the compartments directly above your seat. There isn’t a spot to store luggage in the seat in front of you, but there is enough legroom that you can keep a small purse or backpack down below.
About 15-30 minutes into the ride, a ticket officer will come by to double-check your train tickets. You’ll need to make sure you have your passport (or the identification you used to purchase your tickets) ready to show. It’s a quick process and only happens once during your train ride.
Enjoying the Lisbon to Porto Train Ride
The train ride from Lisbon to Porto is a great way to see more of Portugal than you would if you were just visiting Lisbon and Porto so sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride!
The scenery along the way is beautiful so make sure to have your camera ready. You’ll pass through small towns, farmland, and forests before arriving in Porto. You’ll know you’re arriving in Porto when you see the Douro River.
Currently, Portugal is still requiring that all guests wear masks on public transportation, which includes trains. So make sure to bring a mask (and an extra) to wear.
If you’re in first class, you can try to connect to the free wifi (it was WAY spotty for me). Or if you thought ahead and downloaded videos to your device, you can watch them to pass the time away.
Beware that sometimes the seat is turned the wrong way so you may be traveling backward. If you have motion sickness, make sure to bring medication.
While you’re on the train, you can purchase snacks and drinks from the food cart. The prices are reasonable and you can find both sweet and savory options.
Also, note that the train will be making periodic stops as it travels. There will be a sign at the front of the train indicating the next stop and the distance in mileage to it. If you’re headed to Porto, you can expect that your stop is the last stop on the train.
5. The best things to see Lisbon and Porto
Lisbon is a beautiful city with plenty to see and do. Here are some of the best things to check out during your visit to Lisbon
- The Praça do Comércio is a large square in the center of Lisbon that is home to many shops and restaurants. The square is also close to the castle, so it’s a great place to start your exploring.
- The Castle of Sao Jorge is a Moorish castle that was built in the 11th century. The castle is located on a hill in the center of Lisbon and offers great views of the city.
- The Belem Tower is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of Lisbon’s most iconic landmarks. The tower was built in the 16th century and is located in the district of Belem.
- The Jeronimos Monastery is another UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the most beautiful buildings in Lisbon. The monastery was built in the 16th century and is located next to the Belem Tower.
- Visiting a Miradouro (viewpoint) is a must when in Lisbon. There are many miradouros throughout the city with different views. Some of the best include Miradouro da Senhora do Monte, Miradouro das Portas do Sol, and Miradouro de Santa Luzia.
Porto is a smaller city than Lisbon but there are still plenty of things to see and do. Here are some of the best things to check out while visiting Porto:
- The Luis I Bridge is one of Porto’s most iconic landmarks and is a must-see during your visit. The bridge was built in the late 19th century and spans the Douro River.
- The São Bento Train Station is one of the most beautiful train stations in Europe and is definitely worth a visit. The station was built in the early 20th century and is located in the center of Porto with beautiful azulejos, or painted tiles.
- The Church of São Francisco is a beautiful baroque church that is located in the center of Porto. The church was built in the 14th century and is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. If you only have time for 1 church, this is the one to visit!
- The Ribeira district is Porto’s historic center and is a great place to wander around, do some shopping, and grab a bite to eat.
- Vila Nova de Gaia is the district on the other side of the river from Porto and is home to many of the city’s port wine cellars. The cellars offer tours and tastings, so it’s a great place to learn more about Porto’s famous wine.
Ready to book your Lisbon to Porto train ticket? Click here!
FAQs: Lisbon to Porto Train
Is Porto worth visiting?
Porto is the second-largest city in Portugal and definitely worth visiting. While it may not be as big as Lisbon, there are still plenty of things to check out in Porto. It is referred to as the Venice of Portugal with beautiful sights on the river and amazing architecture. The perfect amount of time to spend in Porto is 2 days.
Is there a direct train from Lisbon to Porto?
This depends on your final stop in Porto. If you are leaving from either of Lisbon’s departure train stations (Santa Apolónia or Oriente), you can get directly to Porto’s Campanhã station. From here, you can get to your accommodation if it’s located near this station.
However, if you are closer to the historic city center, it’s best to get off the train and transfer to another train that will take you on a short ride to the Sao Bento station.
How far is Lisbon to Porto by train?
The distance from Lisbon to Porto is about 220 kilometers or about 135 miles. The train ride is usually 2 hours and 50 minutes or an average travel time of 3 hours, depending on the stops made along the way.
Is the train ride from Lisbon to Porto scenic?
The train ride from Lisbon to Porto is definitely scenic, offering beautiful views of the Portuguese countryside. The route goes through a number of small villages and towns, so you can see a lot of what Portugal has to offer.
The ride is especially beautiful when you get closer to Porto. You’ll see the hilly countryside as you approach and the Douro River that runs through it.
Do I need to buy my train tickets in advance?
It is highly recommended that you purchase your tickets for Lisbon to Porto ahead of time. Seats are assigned so once all the seats are filled out, you can no longer purchase a ticket for that particular departure time.
If you’re running short on time, it’s also a benefit that you purchased your tickets beforehand.
True Story: The metro station was out of service so we had to catch a taxi to get to the train station. We arrived with 3 minutes to go before the trains left. We found the correct train and hopped on. The train departed a minute later. It was a very good thing we had our tickets!
When will my tickets be issued?
If you purchased your train tickets online, your tickets will be issued immediately to your email. You can then download the ticket with the QR code and show that when the ticket officer comes by.
Should I print my tickets?
We didn’t have access to a printer and just had our tickets on mobile. Truth be told, the ticket officer barely glanced at our tickets. They were more worried about our identity so we always had our passports at the ready.
What is the best way to get from Lisbon to Porto?
In my opinion, the Alfa Pendular high-speed train is the best way to get from Lisbon to Porto. It is the most time-saving, budget-friendly, and comfortable. You can read about more options to take this route if desired.
Other posts you might be interested in:
- 39 Beautiful Photos to Inspire Your Portugal Trip
- How to Get from Lisbon to Porto: 5 Best Options to Help You Plan
- Lisbon to Porto Train: 5 Steps to a Successful Ride
- How to Spend a Day in Braga, Portugal
- 30 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Traveling to Lisbon
- 2 Days in Porto – The Perfect Weekend Itinerary
- Is Belem Worth Visiting: 7+ Best Things to Do in Half a Day
- 21 Best Foodie Cities in Europe For Food Enthusiasts
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My Favorite Travel Tips + Resources
Here is a quick glance at all my go-to travel tips and resources that I use to plan every trip! For more information, check out my travel resources page.
- Booking flights: I use Google Flights to check all routes and find the best flights. Then I compare them with Expedia (for reward points) and Skyscanner (for the lowest prices) before I book.
- Accommodations: I love budget-friendly rentals or booking at a hotel where I can earn points. For hotels, I go through Booking.com or book directly with Marriott (for points + rewards). When I travel internationally, I’ll book through Hostelworld for very budget-friendly stays. For vacation rentals, I usually look through Airbnb, but you could also use Vrbo. Expedia also has some great bundles for hotels, flights, and car rentals altogether.
- Transportation: For travel in the United States, I love renting through Expedia with Enterprise or Thrifty. They have been consistent and provide the best customer service. For international travel, I’ll book through Rome2Rio or Eurail for trains or bus fares.
- Travel Credit Card: I book all my travel (flights, hotels, car rentals) through my favorite travel credit card. I also use this card for everything on my trip including dining, excursions, and souvenirs. Apart from earning 5x more points towards free travel, there are amazing benefits: no foreign transaction fees, trip cancellation/interruption insurance, trip delay reimbursement (so I can book worry-free), fraud protection, emergency assistance – it’s really a great deal! Check it out here!
- Vaccines and Medications: Check the CDC website for updates on necessary vaccines to enter a country, including updates on Covid-19 and recommended places to visit. I recommend getting all the vaccines you need before you go!
- Tours + Experiences: I absolutely love my tours! Everything from eerie walking ghost tours to food tours, I’ll usually book something every trip either through Viator or GetYourGuide. I also love LastMinute.com for very affordable tickets to theaters and other experiences in Europe.
- What to Pack: I almost always travel by backpack. For products I like, check out my packing guide page for all the things I take with me on different trips.