Portugal is not a large country, so it is easy to travel from the mountains to the sea, the northern Spanish border to the distant southern coastline.
Transportation in Portugal can be great fun, especially when visiting accessible yet often overlooked corners of the country. Whether visiting the wineries of the Douro Valley or the castles of Sintra, you can find new and exciting ways to travel around the country.
While your Zicasso travel specialist can ensure seamless logistics, knowing how you can explore can help as you consider your plans. Using this guide on how to get around Portugal can help your experience.
Portugal is an easy country to navigate by flight. The infrastructure offers three major airports that cover the breadth of the entire country and several international connections.
While routes may vary and airports are easily connected to their respective cities of Porto, Faro, and Lisbon, it is generally faster to travel by high-speed train when you factor in things like security lines and traffic.
Portugal has a variety of trains that offer efficient schedules and travel to far-off regions.
It is easy and quick to visit the major cities with high-speed train services that connect places like Lisbon and Porto, while smaller regional trains move at slower speeds, but connect to local towns or villages.
The balance between the different types of transit options gives you a chance to relax and enjoy the views of the countryside as you travel the length of the country, from the wild north to the southern tip.
A private driver in Portugal is the best way to see the country. For the Portuguese, a car is considered a second home, giving you the freedom to explore different sides of the country with the knowledge and safety of an experienced, specialized, and local driver.
The driving culture can also give you a more profound sense of Portugal's history, heritage, and culture, as your driver can share favorite restaurants, shops, or local information otherwise unknown to travelers.
A car is a great way to experience freedom while traveling in Portugal, but it is worth considering the added responsibility of knowing the rules of the road and the driving culture in chaotic cities like Lisbon and Porto.
Toll roads are also prevalent, quickly adding up when driving on the highways. A car lets you visit the far-flung regions of Portugal, but often at the expense of enjoying the view and learning more about the country along the way.
Portugal has a number of bus options that travel between cities. The logistics of bus travel require more work than the trains, but can allow for stops in smaller towns along a route or reaching places not touched by the tracks. When going longer distances, trains or travel by car are certainly more efficient and enjoyable.
Taxis are a great and easy way to travel around large cities such as Lisbon or Porto. Official vehicles are usually beige or green, and designated with signs on their roofs.
They are generally reliable and trustworthy, with metered prices posted inside the cab for reference.
Public transportation in Portugal is dependent on the location you are in. Different cities have various transportation options, such as buses or metro systems that give you options to explore city life if you get tired of walking.
Rideshare apps are available in Portugal, but are not necessarily popular or cheaper than taxis. Different apps offer private drivers or cabs, with the choice between a premium or eco-friendly car.
While the option is available, it often doesn’t make much of a difference to your experience within Portugal’s more populated cities, especially if you prefer to explore like a local.
Portugal has many transportation options that make it easy to travel throughout the country on your timeline, and exploring during the best times to visit gives you the chance to discover historic cities, discover storybook towns, find idyllic vineyards, or lounge on golden beaches that change with the seasons.