Getting From Lisbon to Porto by Train, Bus, Car or Plane

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Fora Author Fora

The Modern Travel Agency


    Need to get from Lisbon to Porto during your vacation to Portugal? We’re covering all the best options, plus the pros and cons of each method.

    Better yet, connect with Fora to plan and book your vacation with expert suggestions, one-on-one support and access to A+ travel perks. We’ll take all the hassle out of travel planning, from booking to logistics, ensuring you get the most out of your trip. 

    First, how far apart are Lisbon and Porto?

    The two cities are about 195 miles apart if you travel by the most direct route. More importantly, it takes roughly three hours to get from Lisbon to Porto regardless of your method of travel (more below).

    Is a day trip from Lisbon to Porto, or vice versa, worth it? (Hint: not exactly…)

    While Lisbon and Porto both make a strong case for being the best place to visit in Portugal — and a great vacation will take you to both cities — the distance is prohibitive. 

    Per the strict definition of a “day trip,” visiting Porto from Lisbon and then making the return trip on the same day is going to block out at least six hours. It’s doable, but it’s not exactly efficient. 

    Lisbon and Porto both deserve more than a few hours of exploration

    Porto is a really cool city worthy of a longer visit. Our recommendation: split your time between Porto and Lisbon. We can hook you up with accommodations at the best hotels in Lisbon and the top hotels in Porto, so you can enjoy both cities without crazy time constraints (also see our guides to things to do in Lisbon and things to do in Porto, Portugal).

    At the same time, this is your trip. If you have to make this a day trip, we can also help you plan the most efficient route, saving you as much time as possible. All you have to do? Connect with Fora.

    (BTW: traveling from Lisbon to the Algarve takes about the same amount of time. But you can always extend your visit by staying at one of the best hotels in the Algarve, Portugal.)

    Traveling from Lisbon to Porto by train: the overall best option

    Taking a train from Lisbon to Porto is generally the best mode of travel. High-speed options usually take about two hours and 45 minutes, while standard options may take closer to three hours. It’s also worth noting that train stations are optimally placed in both cities, which can dramatically cut down on secondary travel times and expenses (like catching a cab from the airport, etc.).

    Prices vary wildly depending on your time of booking, the season and so on. But generally, you can expect to pay at least €20–$35, and potentially much more during holiday seasons and other peak travel periods. Cost is the only real downside to taking the train from Lisbon to Porto, but if you plan ahead (like with Fora), you can certainly mitigate the total. 

    Perhaps best of all, the route is gorgeous and a great way to see a stretch of the Portuguese countryside.

    Traveling from Lisbon to Porto by bus: a more affordable alternative (usually)

    Bus travel from Lisbon to Porto is a decent alternative to taking a train, but there are clear drawbacks. 

    Usually, bus tickets are more affordable than train tickets. But this isn’t a concrete rule, and in some cases, you could actually pay more for a less comfortable and scenic ride. Bus stations in Lisbon and Porto aren’t as conveniently located as the cities’ train stations, either, so you could lose whatever you’re saving on bus tickets to secondary travel costs. 

    Finally, bus travel generally adds around 15–30 minutes to the total travel time. 

    Traveling from Lisbon to Porto by car: ideal for road trips

    The best reason to take a car from Lisbon to Porto is for the privacy and freedom to travel at your own pace. There are a lot of cool little towns between the two cities, such as Coimbra, Nazare and Obidos, not to mention the countryside, so a Portugal road trip can be a blast. 

    There may also be instances where traveling by car offers greater flexibility than a train or bus ride, which have set schedules. However, the latter two options do run throughout the day, so this isn’t especially likely. 

    As for price, traveling from Lisbon to Porto by car may be the most expensive option after you factor in costs for a rental, gas and any other auxiliary expenses (parking, etc.). 

    Can’t decide which mode of travel makes the most sense for your vacation? Book and plan your trip with Fora: we’ll hook you up with all the intel you need to make the right decision (and book it for you).

    Traveling from Lisbon to Porto by flight: generally not ideal

    Air travel between Lisbon and Porto is, like most short-distance flights, hit or miss in terms of pricing and speed. 

    Technically, this is the fastest way to get from Lisbon to Porto, at only 55 minutes. But then you have to factor in security and baggage lines, flight delays (or even cancellations) and secondary travel times. In the end, the total time you save may be negligible — or you may end up spending more time in an airport than you would’ve if you had taken a train or bus.

    Need help planning your trip from Lisbon to Porto? Connect with Fora

    Need help beyond deciding how to get from Lisbon to Porto? Whether you’re looking for the best areas to stay in Lisbon or the best time to visit Portugal, we can help. 

    Connect with Fora to plan and book your trip. 

    Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out these Portugal travel guides, as well:

    This article has been fact checked by Juli Hall, a member of Fora X and expert on travel to Portugal.

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