Going to Porto from Lisbon
If you’re on holiday in Lisbon, you should know that it is quite possible for a small budget to go to Porto to visit the north of the country. Traditionally, the car is the preferred option, but not always the cheapest. There are buses, trains and even air links that can save you a few euros or even hundreds of euros, especially if you are lucky enough to fall on a promotional period.
Before presenting you with all these options, you should know that there are new alternative solutions to make the journey between Lisbon and Porto very simply and for prices that are sometimes competitive. I have selected below a set of round trips Lisbon Porto that have had only good returns and can offer you more serenity or even all-inclusive excursions.
By train, tickets are available 60 days before the date of travel with promotional prices, so with a good eye and a good preparation you can visit the second largest Portuguese city for a little more than 20 euros (Be careful it’s quite rare). By plane, prices can be even lower: they start at 19.98 € but quickly rise to hundreds of euros. In this case, it is better to find another way to travel between Lisbon and Porto. If you choose to travel by bus, the prices are the same for all dates and times and the fare is €34 (return). The most expensive option turns out to be finally the most traditional: driving. The journey (round trip Lisbon-Porto) costs about €88.61.
Find below all the advantages and disadvantages of each mode of transport to visit Porto.
Round trip Lisbon-Porto by plane
Lisbon Porto by plane: advantages and disadvantages
- The plane is the fastest. It is possible to get from Lisbon to Porto in only one hour.
- Tickets only include hand luggage, i.e. if you wish to take more luggage with you, you will have to pay an extra charge for the extra luggage.
- You must arrive at the airport at least one hour in advance to meet all requirements and stages.
Lisbon-Porto route: Ryanair
Travelling to Porto from Lisbon with Ryanair costs a minimum of €9.99 per trip on Ryanair. To obtain this fare, however, you will need to prepare yourself a few weeks or months in advance. For example, a trip for the weekend of 17-18 February (i.e. more than a month in advance) will only have to pay a total of 19.98 euros … but will have to return in the middle of Sunday – these were the prices for the simulation on 9 January. If you want to come back at night, the price rises to 33.30 euros. To enjoy Sunday night in Porto and keep the price at 19.98 euros, you can always come back on Monday at 6.25 am and enjoy the rest of the day at home.
For the more spontaneous trips to Porto, planned only ten days in advance, the case changes. At best, for the weekend of 20-21 January, the price is around 40 euros. Once again, the cheaper periods leave little time for visitors to enjoy the city. So if you want to arrive early and leave Porto late, you will have to pay 146.26 euros. Once again, choosing to return to the capital on Monday morning rather than Sunday evening is very advantageous: the final price drops to 59.98 euros.
“Thousands of Portuguese people continue to book every week on our route between Porto and Lisbon,” the Irish air carrier told ECO. According to the company, since the launch of the route, its frequency has increased to three daily flights (except on Tuesdays and Saturdays, where only two flights are booked per day).
Lisbon-Porto route: TAP company
With the Portuguese airline TAP, flying to Porto for a weekend without spending too much money requires flexible schedules and a good eye. For example, for the same weekend as Ryanair (17-18 February, one month in advance), fares (in the cheapest class) range from €66.28 to €165.92.
In the first option, arrival in Porto is only at noon and departure is at 7.30 pm. If you want to arrive early (and come back at the same time), the price increases by almost 100 €. And if you want to come back later? If you choose the first flight on the 17th, you won’t be able to buy the last flight on the 18th because the fares are “non-combinable”. To save money and have more time in the historic city, you can always fly to Porto at 10 am and return to the capital only on Monday morning. In this case, the price is 86.42 euros.
Planning a trip only ten days in advance is also a real headache. The lowest fare (€55.68) for the weekend of 20-21 January gives you just over 15 hours at your destination. If you arrive at 08:00 and return at 16:30, it will cost you €257.08. How can I save? Returning on Monday represents a saving of almost €100 (compared to the above-mentioned fare).
“The Lisbon-Porto route was the route on which TAP carried the most passengers in 2017, reaching a total of 726,000 passengers, 8% more than on 2016″, the Portuguese company revealed. The route was launched in 2015 and one year later had already increased by 80%. With 18 daily flights between Lisbon and Porto, TAP’s perspective is “to maintain the volume of supply and the growth of demand”. “It allows faster connections between the two cities, which are less than an hour away by air”.
Round trip Lisbon Porto by train
Travelling from Lisbon to Porto by train: advantages and disadvantages
- Contrary to the first option, the train journey in Lisbon and Porto is much less complex: there is no check-in, security search or hours spent at the airport. Just go to the station and leave.
- The two-hour journey can be used to enjoy the beautiful Portuguese landscape and relax without worrying about anything.
- The destination station (Porto-Campanhã) is very close to the metro station, making it easy to get around the city.
- You can’t check the largest baggage in the hold. You’ll have to lift it in the car and fight for free space.
- You will have to plan your activities according to the schedules provided by the company, which means that you do not have the freedom you have, for example, when you use your own car.
Train price from Lisbon to Porto
For the same weekend in January used for air travel, the round trip between Lisbon and Porto is 29 euros. You arrive in Porto at 2pm and leave for Lisbon shortly before 6am the next day. If, on the other hand, you prefer to extend your visit as much as possible, you will have to pay 61.60 euros. In this case, you travel both times by Alfa Pendular, arriving at your destination at 09.30 and leaving at 20.47.
“Since tickets for CP trains are available 60 days before the date of travel, new seats at promotional prices are being offered for sale every day,” said CP spokesperson. In the cheapest scenario (for the weekend of 03 to 04 March), it is possible to go to Porto for just 20.50 euros (return). In this case, the visitor spends only nine hours in the city. To extend the visit to the maximum, an investment of 49.30 euros will be required, even taking advantage of the promotion mentioned by the company.
“The growth of the long-haul segment (Alfa Pendular and Intercidades, all destinations combined) between 2013 and 2017 has been around 37%”, CP guarantees. In 2017, 6.15 million people chose to travel between Lisbon and Porto with this company. “CP will maintain its commitment to a commercial dynamic that pays particular attention to the needs of its customers in the different segments”.
Getting to Porto from Lisbon by bus
Lisbon-Porto bus journey: advantages and disadvantages
- The trip is economical, even if booked at short notice, as the tickets do not vary according to the day.
- You can also choose the times you like, without thinking about increasing the fare (which doesn’t happen, unlike travelling from Lisbon to Porto by plane).
- It’s an ecological choice. Public transport is always the most ecological option (unlike, for example, using your own car).
- This takes longer than the other options already presented, reaching almost three and a half hours (almost the same time as if you were using your car or hitchhiking).
round trip price Lisbon – Porto by bus
Your budget is short and you want to quickly make the link between your visit to Lisbon and your visit to Porto? The bus is a good option. For short term booked trips, it is one of the cheapest means of transport, as prices do not vary throughout the month or according to timetables. In total, you will pay 34 € (round trip Lisbon-Porto). The company that connects Lisbon to Porto is Rede de Expressos.
Journey Lisbon Porto by car
Lisbon Porto by car: advantages and disadvantages
- It’s more comfortable. The comfort offered by a car is greater than that of a bus, for example. On the other hand, this comfort translates into the freedom to simply take the car and leave, without fixed schedules, long waiting hours or appointments well in advance.
- When you arrive at your destination, you automatically have a means of transport in the city.
- If you use your own car, the cost is only disadvantageous if you travel alone. Imagine that you share the car with four other people, the trip costs € 17.72 (return) per passenger. No other means of transport is as cheap on this route.
- It takes the longest time to drive from Lisbon to Porto. It is four hours compared to 60 minutes by plane or two hours by train.
- It’s exhausting. Driving for four hours requires a certain amount of attention and ends up being exhausting.
- It involves a considerable level of pollution. The use of individual transport is not as environmentally friendly as public transport.
Price of the journey Lisbon Porto by car
The journey takes about four hours and will cost you about €90 if you use your own car and don’t share it. Taxis from Lisbon, Uber or Cabify are hardly an option, the journey will cost you no less than €600 for a return trip from Lisbon to Porto.
If you want to travel with other travellers by car, you can use platforms such as BlaBlaCar or hitchhiking, which can even earn you money. If you take four people for 18 euros each, you get 144 euros for the return trip. The result? If you remove the fee and earn 55.39 euros.
In the first half of last year, average daily traffic on the A1 (Motorway between Lisbon and Porto) increased by 6.3%, which means that more than 30,300 vehicles a day were driving on the motorway between Lisbon and Porto.
Renting a car in Lisbon is an option but will cost you a lot here for long trips like this one.