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Last updated : Nov 2009
Portugal Getting Around - Internal Travel
Portugal Internal Travel - Getting Around Portugal - TravelPuppy.com
Air

TAP Air Portugal
and Portugália run services between Lisbon, Faro, Madeira, Porto Santo, Oporto and the Azores. Charter flights are also available.

The airline for the Azores is SATA (Sociedade Acoriana de Transportes Aereos), which operates its Air Açores service between the various islands.

Rail

Caminhos de Ferro Portugueses (Portuguese Railways) provides a rail service to every town. The tourist areas of Cascais and Sintra are connected to Lisbon by frequent express trains.

High-speed Alfa trains run between Lisbon and Porto via Coimbra and Aveiro. Fertagus trains cross the River Tagus in Lisbon, operating between Entrecampus station to Fogueteiro (on the south bank).

Cheap fares

On Blue Days, usually Monday afternoon to Thursday, special rates are available. There are also special fares with up to 30 per cent reductions for groups of ten or more (Bilhetes de Grupo), travelling for a minimum distance of 75km/47 miles on a single journey or 150km/94 miles on a return journey. Application should be made 4 days in advance by the group leader.

Tourist Tickets (Bilhetes Turisticos) for 7, 14 or 21 days of unlimited travel are also available. The Rail Cheque (Cheque Trem), obtainable in 4 different values, can be in one name or a company’s name and has no time limit and gives a reduction of 10 per cent and can be used both for purchasing tickets and many other railway services.

An International Youth Ticket (BIJ) entitles those aged 12 to 26 to a discount in 25 countries for 2 months, including Portugal.

Senior citizens are entitled to 50 per cent reduction. Children under 4 travel free. Children aged between 4 and 11 pay half fare.

Euro Domino, Family Card, Inter-Rail Card, Rail Inclusive Tours and Special Tourist Trips are amongst other offers from the Portuguese Railways (Caminhos de Ferro Portugueses), Calçada do Duque 20, 1249-109 Lisbon Codex (telephone number: 2132 15700, fax number: 2134 73093; website: www.cp.pt). Further rail information is also available from ICEP/Portuguese Trade and Tourism Office; see Contact section.


Sea/River

Transport is available from all coastal ports and along the major rivers and for further details, contact the local ports.

Road

All Traffic drives on the right. Petrol stations generally open 0700-2000 hrs, although some are open 24 hours.

Travel by motorway is subject to a toll according to distance covered and type of vehicle. A small tax/charge may be added to petrol bought with a credit card.

Bus

There are frequent coach services between all cities in Portugal. For further information, contact Rede Nacional de Expressos.

Taxi

Taxis are usually painted beige, although some taxis painted in the old colours of green and black still exist. Charges are according to the distance travelled and taxis are all metered. In the city, they charge a standard meter fare, outside the city limits they charge per kilometre and are entitled to charge for the return fare and there is a surcharge for carrying luggage in the cities.

Car hire

Available from main towns and at the airports, with or without driver.

Regulations

Minimum age for driving is 18 years, but might be older if hiring a car.

Cars may be imported for up to 6 months. Traffic signs are international. Headlights should be dipped in built-up areas and side lights used when parking in badly lit areas. Children should not travel in the front seat. Seat belts should always be worn. Warning triangles are compulsory in Portugal. It is forbidden to carry cans of petrol in vehicles.

Speed limits are 50kph (30mph) in built-up areas, 90kph (56mph) outside built-up areas and 120kph (70mph) on motorways.

Visitors who passed their driving test less than 1 year previously must display a yellow disc with ‘90’ on it on the rear of their vehicle and must not go faster than 90kph (56mph). Permitted speeds will vary if trailers are being used.

Documentation

Under the requirements of the Portuguese Road Code, those wishing to drive a car must possess a valid national/international driving licence, other official documentation with photograph, log book or rental contract and adequate car insurance. International Driving Permits or foreign driving licences are accepted and third Party insurance is compulsory. Failure to produce, on request to the authorities, any of the above will result in an on-the-spot cash fine. A Carnet de Passage is required for a van.

Urban Transport

Lisbon has an underground (Metropolitano), which is currently being expanded. Trams also operate in major Portuguese cities and in Lisbon is a great way to see the city.

There is also an extensive bus network in Lisbon (website: www.carris.pt).

Cheap fares

In Lisbon, a Tourist Pass is available for either 4 or 7 days travel on trams, buses and the underground.

The Lisboa Card (for sightseeing) is valid for 24 or 72 hours and offers unlimited bus, tram and underground travel as well as entry to 26 museums and 50 per cent discounts to many other cultural attractions.

Travel times

The following chart gives approximate travel times (in hours and minutes) from Lisbon to other major cities/towns in Portugal.
  Air Road Rail
Faro
0.35 4.00 5.00
Oporto
0.45 5.00 3.00
Funchal
1.30 - -
 
Useful travel links
AA route planner directions and maps within Portugal