Let’s talk getting from Point A to Point B in Porto, Portugal, so you can get the most out of your visit!
Here are the main forms of transportation you can find in the city:
- Metro (https://www.metrodoporto.pt/)
- Bus (http://www.stcp.pt/en/travel/, intercity: https://www.rede-expressos.pt/en/)
- Taxi (http://taxisinvicta.com/en/inicio, http://www.raditaxis.pt/)
- Train (https://www.cp.pt/passageiros/en)
- Rental car/bicycle/scooter
Probably one of the first transportation questions you’ll have is: What’s the cheapest/fastest way to get from the airport to my lodging?
You have a few options here.
- Taxi/Uber: takes around 20-40 minutes from the airport to Trindade metro station, depending on traffic (which is no joke in Porto during rush hour), and can cost anywhere from 20-25€ for 2 people with bags (a note on tipping: tipping is largely symbolic in Portugal, but it is nice to leave the driver with a little something extra, maybe 1€ per bag/person. It is bad form to tip with the brown 0.01€ and 0.02€ coins). You should always grab a taxi from a marked taxi stand.
- Rental car: Pricing obviously depends on your ability to score a good deal. Be aware that many of the low-cost companies block a large (often several 1000€) deposit on your credit card if you decline the daily insurance, and that it’s not unusual to encounter long lines and wait times, especially during peak travel seasons. One thing they will ask you about at the rental counter is whether you want to rent a “Via Verde” device — SAY YES. It is typically less than 2€/day and capped at around 15€ for the rental period. Porto has many electronic tolls on its expressways that can only be paid for through a Via Verde device or at a local post office. If you do not pay them, the fine is 10 times the value of the tolls, or a minimum of 25€. Save yourself the headache of the post office, it’s just as irksome as it is in your country of origin. Your tolls will be charged to your credit card at the end of the rental period.
- Metro: This is the most efficient and economical way to get to the city center. From Aeroporto to Trindade metro station, the cost per person is 2€ plus a one-time fee of 0.60€ for the rechargeable metro card. You will need to make sure you purchase a ticket for the correct zone (the airport is Z4, while downtown is Z2). There will be a handy map posted near the ticket machine for you to find the correct zone for your destination. Many of the machines have slots for paying with debit card and euro notes, but I have found these to be out of order more than once, so the most reliable way to pay for your ticket will be with coins. The trip itself takes 27 minutes from Aeroporto, and service begins around 6am and ends around 1am with around 30 minutes between departures. Be sure to check the timetables on the website, and be aware that they are different for summer and winter.
- Bus: I would only consider this option if you need to get to the airport by public transportation at a time when the metro is not running, between 12:30am-5am. The trip on the 3M bus line leaves from Avenida dos Aliados and takes around 28 minutes to the airport. Tickets are 1.95€ per person.
Once you are happily settled in your hotel or holiday apartment, you might want to know how you should plan on getting around to see the sights of the Cidade Invicta.
To be continued in Part 2!