A Guide to Travelling To and Travelling Around Portugal
As part of the ultimate guide to getting married in Portugal we have discussed:
Today’s topic is how to travel to and travel around Portugal. This article will arm you with the information you need to best plan your travels for your wedding and reliably inform guests of how to get to your chosen venue.
How To Fly To Portugal
Flying to Portugal is by far the cheapest and easiest way of getting here from overseas. There is an argument to say that if you are travelling from Spain, you could drive or take a coach over but I would still say that flying is more convenient. The three major airports are:
Lisbon airport is a true international hub and Portugal’s largest airport. It’s the ideal airport to fly into if you’re staying in the Estremadura and Ribatejo region, The Alentejo and of course the Lisbon region itself. You can get frequent, direct flights from the following countries:
Spain (Barcelona, Madrid, Alicante, Bilbao, Gran Canaria, Malaga, Seville, Valencia)
UK (London, Manchester)
France (Paris, Lyon, Bordeaux, Lille, Marseille, Nantes, Nice, Toulouse)
Italy (Florence, Bologna, Milan, Pisa, Rome, Turin, Venice)
Holland (Amsterdam, Eindhoven)
Switzerland (Geneva, Zurich, Basel)
Germany (Frankfurt, Baden-Baden, Berlin, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart)
Brazil (São Paulo, Belém, Belo Horizonte, Brasília, Fortaleza, Porto Alegre, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador)
Cape Verde (Boa Vista, Praia, Sal, São Vincente)
Morocco (Casablanca, Fes, Marrakech Menara)
Poland (Warsaw, Wroclaw)
United Arab Emirates
United States (Miami, New York)
Porto is the jewel airport of the North which brings you closer to The Minho, Beira Litoral, Tras-os-montes, Beira Alta, the Douro valley and of course, the Porto city itself. You can fly direct from these locations:
France (Paris, Ajaccio, Bordeaux, Lorient, Lyon, Marseille, Nantes, Nice, Toulouse, Tours)
UK (London, Edinburgh, Bristol, Manchester, Liverpool)
Switzerland (Geneva, Zurich, Basel, Sion)
Italy (Milan, Bologna, Cagliari, Rome)
Germany (Frankfurt, Berlin, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Memmingen, Munich, Nuremberg)
Holland (Amsterdam, Eindhoven)
Spain (Barcelona, Madrid, Seville)
Faro is probably the airport you’re most familiar with if you’re a lover of the Algarve! It brings you great access to the Algarve and the southernmost parts of the Alentejo. These are the locations where you can get direct flights to Faro:
France (Lille, Toulouse, Paris)
Germany (Frankfurt, Munich)
Holland (Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Rotterdam)
UK (Belfast, Bournemouth, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle)
The Best Ways to Get Around in Portugal
I wouldn’t recommend flying in Portugal because it’s so much more expensive than it needs to be. To get around the public transport can be a bit hit and miss depending on where you are and where you’re trying to get to. In a wedding context, most wedding venues tend to be in the countryside of central towns and cities which means that there may be taxis and coaches to arrange. The venues and your destination wedding planner can help you with that. However, you have to get to the nearest town or city in the first place so that’s what this section is all about.
Buses are my favourite way to get around in and between major cities and towns. Rede Expressos are a fabulous service which serves most of the country. Expressos are clean, comfortable, well air conditioned and relatively cheap. You can go from Lisbon to Evora in 1hr 30mins for less than 15€, Lisbon to Faro in 4hours for less than 20€ and Lisbon to Porto in 3hours for less than 20€.
Top tip with the buses is to always head to your nearest bus station and ask for a printed timetable to the destinations you want to go too. Do not trust the online timetables or the turismos information points as these don’t tend to have accurate information in my experience.
I have used very few trains in Portugal in my lifetime but I hear the network is quite extensive. You can use the suburban trains out of Lisbon to get to Sintra, Cascais and Sétubal, and the ones out of Porto to get to Guimarães, Braga and Aveiro. Trains are inexpensive and quite fast so definitely a good option.
For inner city travelling, Porto and Lisbon have their own metro systems which are fast and easy to navigate. You can buy a travelcard that you top up to travel to different zones of the city. Most metro stations have great attendants who really do help you if you’re stuck on how to get somewhere or renew your ticket.
Taxis are of course more expensive and you’ll need to have your wits about you so you don’t get fleeced. Uber, love them or hate them, is also very reliable in Porto and Lisbon if you are more of an Uber user.
Hiring a car if an option if you are comfortable driving on the right side of the road and it will enable you to reach rural towns and wedding locations with more ease. However, the Portuguese notoriously drive quite fast and dangerously so proceed with caution. Many of the motorways are quite quiet, even in the summer, but you do need to be cautious in any case.
For more information, check out the links below:
Next we’ll be talking about how to get married in Porto!
Ta ta for now,