Transport from Lisbon city centre is 7 Kms. from the airport is by bus every 20 minutes. The buses leave from Praça de Restauradores at stop at many pick-up points on route. At Porto the local bus number "56" will take a traveller from the centre to the airport, some 11 Kms. away. In the case of Faro Airport, a bus can be boarded outside the Terminal that will take you to the centre of the city of Faro some 7 kilometres distant. The local buses, numbers 17 and 18 will also take you to and from the airport. Taxis are also usually recommended.
The international airports are Lisbon, Porto, Faro, Funchal (Madeira) and Ponta Delgada (Azores). Throughout the country there are a number of small airports with limited facilities. It is possible to travel from the international airports to many of these smaller ones but it is important to first check, as these services are variable.
There is the national network of "Rodoviária Nacional" (RN), and competing private operators who run quick non-stop services on the more popular routes and often to destinations not covered by trains. The RN tends to be slower but its prices are lower. Many private operators offer more facilities on longer journeys such as toilet, video, air-conditioning and snacks. Prior to a long trip it is best to check what the coach facilities will be before boarding. You will find that in major tourist areas or cities there are excellent local excursions by coach. In almost all cases tickets are purchased in advance. When in the Algarve a useful site is www.eva-bus.com
The needs of the disabled are visibly evident with reserved parking spaces in public areas, special toilets at airports, stations, and centres of entertainment. In Lisbon (217 585 676) and Porto (226 006 353), there is a dial-a-ride disabled bus service. Also in Lisbon (218 155 061), Braga (253 684 081), and Coimbra (239 484 522), there are taxi services for disabled persons.
Portugal drives on the right side of the road
Except when otherwise indicated all vehicles approaching from the right have priority. The driver already on a roundabout normally has the right of way
Safety-belts are compulsory front and back in all circumstances
Drinking and driving is severely controlled and limited to a restriction of 0.5 g/l
Unless otherwise indicated urban limit is 50 km/h
Rural roads other than those zones indicated are limited to 90 km/h
Motorways speed is limited to 120 km/h
Only the capital city Lisbon has a Metro system but one is under construction in Porto. It has a total of four different lines, purple for "Linha da Gaivota", yellow for "Linha do Girrasol", green for "Linha da Caravela", and orange for "Linha do Oriente". Tickets are inexpensive and are purchased before entering the station barriers. The Metro operates from 06.00 hrs. until 01.00 hrs. in the early morning. The stations have been recently up-graded and have been decorated with interesting art works from contemporary Portuguese artists. The Metro stations are now worth visiting just from an art point-of-view. New stations and further line extensions are under construction.
Rent a Car
In all major towns there are a number of companies providing rent a car service. Also, in major airports there are a selection of companies from whom to choose. Proof of identity and a valid current Driving License is required. The minimum age to hire a car is 21 years old but some companies place the age higher at 23. Make sure that all needed documents relating to the hired vehicle and the driver are always available in the vehicle as Traffic Police often check these legalities on roads.
The Portuguese railway system is State owned and has the name of "Caminhos de Ferro Portuguese (CP)". The system provides a very reasonably priced transport within the country. Major lines are fast, efficient and comfortable.
There are daily international connections as shown below.
Lisbon - Porto - Paris (Twice daily)
Lisbon - Madrid
Porto - Vigo (Spain)
Lisbon - Badajoz (Spain)
There are new express trains "Alfa” between Lisbon and Braga to the north of Porto. To make this journey it is necessary to change trains both in Porto and Lisbon. From Braga it leaves at 13.30 hrs. and the traveller arrives in Faro at 20.20 hours. There is an "Alfa" leaving Braga at 16.30 hrs. arriving in Lisbon at 22.15 hrs, but with no further connection at this time to Faro. From Faro the "Alfa" leaves at 6.45 and arrives in Lisbon 09.30 hrs. For more accurate details of times and cost we suggest you visit www.cp.pt.
A regional train system operates throughout the country joining up the main towns. This system (IC) is less comfortable than "Alfa" and is slower. There are two classes, 1st and 2nd with the exception for local trains where there is only one class. Special tourist tickets may be purchased valid for 7, 14 or 21 days. There is also the Cartão de Familia that gives special terms for families on journeys over 150 kms. Outside most provincial stations there is a often a coach waiting to take you to the centre as the stations can be some distant from the nearest actual town.
"Alfa" and "IC" tickets can be purchased up to 20 days in advance. Other train tickets are bought on the day of travel.
In the major towns there are several means of transport. In capital Lisbon, passengers can use trains, buses, electric trams, underground, taxis and public elevators. Tickets can be purchased from 08.00hrs. until 20.00 hrs.
Taxis are required by law to be painted cream. In urban areas they charge according to the taximeter. Outside these urban areas the charge is per kilometers and includes the cost of the return trip. Luggage over 30 kilos is charged at a fixed rate. All taxis drivers have in their possession their printed rates in two languages.