Getting around by public transport in Porto is cheap and easy! How does it work? A few practical tips for your Porto city break.
Porto is the second largest city in Portugal after Lisbon and a perfect destination for a city break! Although many of the sights are within walking distance of each other, sometimes it is convenient to travel from one place to another by public transportation. This is very well organized in Porto, you just need to know how it works. That’s why in this article you will read all about traveling by public transport in Porto.
How to get to Porto?
First of all, how to get to Porto? Just as many roads lead to Rome, you can also travel to Porto in many different ways.
Travel to Porto by plane
Porto has an international airport with connections to many European cities. Check WayAway to find the best deals.
Getting to Porto by train or bus
In addition, you can also travel to Porto by train and bus. Depending on where you’re traveling from, this might take longer than flying. But you also get to see some of the beautiful Portuguese countryside. Check Omio to find your best option.
Public transport in Porto
You are in Porto and want to travel easily from one sight to another. How do you do that? Here’s how public transportation works in Porto.
The historic streetcar
An iconic old streetcar still runs in a few places in Porto. This is mostly a tourist attraction with a hefty price. One of the most beautiful rides on the old streetcar is that of Line 1. It starts in the old Ribeira neighborhood at the Infante streetcar stop. The streetcar follows the Douro River to the Foz de Doura district.
The drive takes about 25 minutes. You’ll have a beautiful view of the Douro River and at the end, you walk through a beautiful park straight to the Atlantic Ocean. A great place to unwind!
A ride on this streetcar costs €5 one way and €7 for a round trip (December 2022). You can buy a ticket on the streetcar.
The metro in Porto is a fast, cheap, and easy way to get around the city. There are six lines and the subways run both underground and above ground. There is even a metro station near the airport and it will get you into the city center within half an hour.
The Andante Azul Card
Every metro station has a ticket machine where you can buy a (paper) ticket. There are several cards to choose from, but if you only plan to take the subway once or twice a day, it is best to purchase the Andante Azul card. This card costs $0.60 (it will be deducted from your first ride) and you can reuse this Porto metro card after this.
The first thing you do is specify how many zones you want. On the machine is a list of all the metro stations and how many zones it is. Find your destination and choose that zone. Depending on the number of zones, you pay from €1.25 to €4.05. But if you stay near the city center, you rarely spend more than €2. Payment can be made with cash or your debit card.
You can specify how many rides you want to pay for each time. Personally, I always did this one at a time, because if you change your zone you lose your rides (yes, it’s a bit complicated).
Please note that the ticket machines are only in Portuguese. In itself it is not very difficult, but if you don’t quite understand what it says you can always ask someone. It gets easier every time you do it.
If you have a ride on your card, you must validate it before boarding the metro. You do this by holding your card against one of the yellow and black devices. You’ll find several in each metro station. Are you switching lines? Then you have to revalidate the card. When you get off, you don’t have to do anything.
For more information and to plan your trip, visit the Metro do Porto website.
Andante Tour Card
If you plan to travel a lot by metro and bus, the Andante Tour Card is also a good option. This card is exclusive for tourists and valid for 24 hours or 72 hours on all metros and buses (zone does not matter).
The 24-hour card costs €7 and the 72-hour card costs €15. Your time starts as soon as you validate the card at one of the machines.
Check this website for more information on the Andante Tour Card and sale points.
Although you can reach many places by metro, sometimes it is also very convenient to take the bus, which gets you to even more places! You can use your Andante Tour card for this or buy a ticket from the bus driver. A ticket costs €2. Be sure to carry cash (preferably exact change).
There are two more special modes of transportation in Porto. On the north side of the river, there is the Funicular dos Guindais, a super steep cable car. On the south side of the river, you have the Teleférico de Gaia, which is a funicular where you go through the air. Both funiculars are popular tourist attractions, and you get great views of the river and the city.
- Cost Teleférico de Gaia: €6 one way and €9 return. Tickets can be purchased on-site or on this website.
- Cost Funicular dos Guindais: €4 one way and €6 return. Tickets can be purchased on-site.
Hop on hop off bus
Are you short on time and do you want to see all the highlights of Porto? Several hop on hop off buses run through the city. You can get on and off wherever you want, and you get information about the city’s main attractions during the ride.
Porto also has a number of train stations and has good connections to all of Portugal. Tickets can be purchased through the Comboios de Portugal website or at the stations. If you plan to take a fast train (intercity, for example), you can get a great discount if you buy your train tickets at least two weeks in advance. This will save you a lot of money!
Even if you do not travel by train, it is a must to take a look at the São Bento Station, which is one of the most beautiful stations in Europe.
Do you want to make it as easy as possible for yourself? If so, you can also buy a Porto Card. This card is valid for 1, 2, 3, or 4 days and allows you to use public transportation (bus, metro, and local trains) for free. You can also visit several museums for free or at a discount. Check this website for more information about the Porto Card.
Read more about Porto and Portugal
Now you know exactly how public transportation works in Porto. Want to read more about Porto and Portugal? These are fine travel guides full of tips:
In addition, you can also read a lot about a vacation in Portugal on this website. Check out one of these articles:
- 32 Best Things to do in Porto Portugal
- The top things to do in Lisbon
- What to do in the Algarve? 26 tips!
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