Portugal by train

 Travelling Portugal without a car - this is how it works 

The train is the best option for quick and comfortable travel from city to city. The tickets are slightly more expensive than bus tickets, but traveling by train in Portugal is slightly faster and less tiring

The state railway company is called Comboios de Portugal

Online booking and timetable can be found here → 

The different types of trains in Portugal

There are four different types of trains in Portugal:

---> Alpha-Pendular: These are the fastest trains. These are the most comfortable. This type of train is the most expensive. It primarily connects the north-south axis of the country, especially the cities of Porto and Lisbon. A reserved seat will be allocated upon purchase.

---> Intercidades: This train is a little slower because it stops more often than the alpha pendular. The trains are older and they are a little less comfortable.

---> Regional (R) and Interregional (IR): These simple trains mainly run short distances. Tickets cannot be purchased in advance or online.

---> Urban (U): These trains run in larger cities such as Lisbon and Porto. Tickets are purchased at machines or counters.

For example, the Porto - Lisbon railway line is served by the Alpha Pendular.

Overview - Railway route network in Portugal

Portugal Railway network map
Portugal Railway network map
Portugal railway connection to international destinations
Portugal railway connection to international destinations

Buying a train ticket in Portugal

The Website from Comboios De Portugal  is in English and relatively easy to use. It is the easiest way to buy a train ticket in Portugal. There is also an app for iOS and Android to download. You can have the ticket sent to your cell phone via SMS or via the app and do not need to print it.

You can also buy your tickets at the train station counter, but it can sometimes be tight, especially if there is a long queue at the counter or, in the case of the alpha pendular express train (only with fixed seats), it is fully booked.

Traveling by train with luggage

Each passenger is allowed to bring one piece of luggage (such as a suitcase or backpack) plus one small bag such as a laptop bag or handbag. More than this may be considered excess baggage, but will not be strictly monitored. Luggage storage is usually done in a rack above the seats. In some trains e.g. B. On the Alpha pendular and IR long-distance trains, there is usually space for luggage at the entrance of each car or in the middle of the car.

If you plan to travel with very large suitcases, consider taking a bus instead as luggage is stored at the bottom of the bus. That's more convenient.

Discounts on train travel

There are discounts on trains in Portugal for:

  • Young people under 25 and European youth card: 25% discount
  • Group travel: travel as a group of 3 or 4 people on the Alfa Pendular or Intercidade trains and receive up to 50% discount.
  • Disabled people: up to 75% discount plus and 25% discount for the accompanying person
  • Seniors: People over 65 can sometimes receive a discount of up to 50%.
  • Half price tickets for children under 3 years old who do not occupy a seat.

Train journey from Portugal to Spain

 It is not possible to book international train tickets with Comboios de Portugal. Bookings are made via the Spanish train website Renfe.es. If you want to take an international train trip from Portugal, you may need to book train tickets for each leg. 

The alternative to taking the train in Portugal is taking the bus 

The cheapest option is traveling by bus, but it is slower compared to a train journey. The main bus company. You can check schedules and buy tickets online.

Bus types and route network:

Portugal has a fairly extensive bus network. There are " local buses" and " intercity buses". The intercity buses are usually fairly new and have working air conditioning. They usually connect the larger cities with each other. The local buses usually connect small towns and villages. It is possible to get almost anywhere in Portugal by bus, it can be a challenge if you try to get the bus in small towns, patience is required here.

With the Rede Expressos-Websitewebsite and other providers you can easily buy tickets online and receive the tickets by email. You don't need to print the tickets, but view them as a PDF on your phone. You can also book your tickets online shortly before departure.

Rede Expressos offers discounted bus tickets for the following people. Senior (65 years or older) Youth (13 to 29) Child (4 to 12 years) Baby (up to 4 years) . You must present ID if you want to travel on a discounted ticket

You can also buy international bus tickets to Spain and some destinations in France.

Another provider of bus trips in Portugal is EVA (especially in the Algarve) and Flixbus