What to Know About Railways in Portugal
Portugal is the motherland of the world's greatest discoverers like Vasco da Gama, therefore it's no surprise that transportation is a very developed sphere. The country boasts a broad rail network (see the map of popular Portugal train routes below), connecting major cities from north to south. Apart from local commuter trains, time-saving modern high-speed rail is among the most popular modes of travel in Portugal, for instance, the connection from city center to city center on a Lisbon to Porto train takes as little as 2 hours and 35 minutes! Below you can find out more about Portuguese trains, popular international routes in Portugal (and domestic ones), as well as some handy tips not to forget about when traveling on train in Portugal.
Overall length of Portuguese railways: 2,786 km
Types of trains in Portugal: regular & high-speed
Number of Portuguese routes sold on Rail Ninja: 10
Fastest train speed of Portugal trains: 220 km/h
Portugal Train System
Portuguese high-speed trains
The most well-known of the bullet trains in Portugal is called Alfa Pendular.
This modern tilting high-speed train is run by the state Portugal rail, called Comboios de Portugal. It connects most of the large cities and smaller towns, including such popular domestic train routes in Portugal going to Porto, Lisbon, Coimbra, Albufeira, Braga, among others.
Tips on Portugal Train Travel
How much time in advance to come to the rail station
In order to not miss your train, make sure to arrive at the station at least 20 minutes prior to departure time. You'll need time for passing the security check (similar to that in airports), for finding the platform your train departs from, for actually boarding the train and finding your seat.
Printing train tickets & needed documents
It is recommended to print out your train ticket or at least have it with you on your mobile device to pass to your train platform. Plus the train staff will check your ticket and will most likely ask you to provide your passport or ID as to check the details indicated in your ticket.
Bringing food and drinks to the train
Unlike on airplanes, it is allowed to bring your own beverages and snacks onboard the train. You can also purchase food and drinks during your train travel in Portugal from food trolleys or in the train's restaurant car.
Do Portuguese trains have WiFi?
Most routes on which run high-speed Alfa Pendular trains, including Lisbon to Porto, provide their passengers with WiFi charge-free, making Portugal train travel even more convenient.
Do I need to make seat reservations on Portuguese trains?
A seat will be assigned to you after you book your Portugal train tickets.
What are the main train stations in Portugal?
The most important Portugal train station is located in the capital city, Lisbon. It is called Lisbon Oriente and since it's the largest rail transport hub in the country, most domestic and international routes arrive there. The oldest rail station in Lisbon is called Santa Apolonia. As for others, the Campanha Station in Porto is the biggest in the northern part of Portugal, and the most iconic historical station in the country is Porto's Sao Bento, renown for its beautiful tile work.
Are there lounges at Portuguese train stations?
Large Portuguese rail stations (such as Gare do Oriente that's reminiscent of an international airport) are well-equipped and feature lounges, ticket offices, luggage storage areas, cafes, shops.