Portugal is full of beautiful beaches, amazing surfing, and delicious food. It also has a great train network within the country which makes it quite affordable and easy to get between some of the most beautiful places to visit in Portugal.
With the high-speed train from Lisbon to Porto (called the Alfa Pendular), you can get between the two cities in 2 hours and 45 minutes.
When it comes to travelling around Portugal, the train is the most comfortable and scenic way to see the country and get between two places.
The train from Lisbon to Porto is actually quicker and cheaper than taking a car when you add together the cost of renting the car, buying fuel, and paying for the toll roads.
Of course, you can’t make stops along the way like you could if you rent a car but if your main goal is just to get from Lisbon to Porto then the train is the best option! So what do you need to know?
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Booking your train ticket from Lisbon to Porto
If you already know the dates you’re travelling between Lisbon and Porto, you can easily buy your train ticket in advance on Omio. We always use this app when booking trains and buses in other countries and have yet to have a bad experience with them.
The nice thing about the trains from Lisbon to Porto and back is that run quite often so it’s easy to find a departure that fits your schedule.
Note that some trains take 2 hours and 49 minutes while some take 3 hours and 13 minutes. We’ll explain a bit more about this later in the post but the main difference is the price.
You can see the difference between the prices from Lisbon to Porto and the main difference is that the faster trains are usually €6 more expensive.
To book your ticket you can either purchase it in advance here or from a ticket office at the train station. You do need to buy it in advance because in Portugal they do not sell tickets on the train.
Lisbon to Porto train route
The Alfa Pendular high-speed train is the main train that connects the cities (in order) Faro, Lisbon, Coimbra, Porto, and Braga.
All high-speed trains from Lisbon to Porto will make a stop in Coimbra where most of the time you’ll be able to stay on the same train without changing. The odd time you have to switch trains in Coimbra to Porto but it’s quite rare.
The route is the same going back from Porto to Lisbon. You’ll make a quick stop in Coimbra before continuing the journey back to Lisbon.
Keep in mind that the high-speed train does get quite busy and it’s good to book your ticket in advance. Especially during the summer months…
If you want to guarantee a seat it’s best to book before it gets full.
Lisbon train station – Santa Apolónia
Santa Apolonia is the main train station in Lisbon and it’s the station you will leave from when going to Porto. It’s the same one you’ll leave from if you also do a day trip to Sintra!
Santa Apolónia is the main hub for getting around Portugal. It’s also one of the metro line stops.
No matter where you’re staying in the city you should easily be able to get to Santa Apolónia by metro. From there you can take the high-speed train to Porto.
You’ll be able to find everything from train timetables to the ticket office for booking train tickets at Santa Apolonia.
As we mentioned before, to be safe it’s definitely better to book in advance to make sure you get a seat.
If you really want you can even prebook specific seats for a small extra surcharge to make sure you get a window seat or seats together with friends and family.
Porto train station – Campanhã
Porto has two main train stations. The one you will arrive at from Lisbon is the Campanhã train station (national railway station) which is located on the east side of Porto.
Similar to Lisbon, there is also a metro that runs from Campanhã that takes you directly to the city center of Porto if that’s where you’re going.
If or when you make the trip back to Lisbon you will come back to Campanhã Train Station and take the high-speed train back through Coimbra to Lisbon.
Questions related to taking the train from Lisbon to Porto
How expensive is the train from Lisbon to Porto?
The train from Lisbon to Porto costs between 26-32€ ($26-32) depending on the time of day you travel. Sometimes the high-speed train is 26€ and sometimes the slower train is 32€. It depends on the day and time but the price for the train between the two cities should always be between 26-32€.
How long does it take to get from Lisbon to Porto by train?
The high-speed train from Lisbon to Porto takes roughly 2 hours and 45 minutes whereas the slow train takes 3 hours and 15 minutes.
There isn’t really a big difference between them, the only difference will be the price which is usually a few dollars difference and then, of course, the time it takes.
Is the train ride from Lisbon to Porto scenic?
Yes, the train ride from Lisbon to Porto is scenic and it’s one of the reasons we recommend travelling through Portugal by train.
You get to see some beautiful parts of Portugal you wouldn’t if you were just driving on the highway in your car.
One of the highlights of this train trip is that you will pass through the city of Coimbra which used to be Portugal’s capital city way back in the 1100s.
On top of that, you’ll get to experience and see some of Portugal’s most beautiful countryside including the Silver Coast, vineyards, and farms!
Is it better to drive or take the train from Lisbon to Porto?
If you’re going to Porto on a day trip, then taking the train is by far the better option in our opinion. It’s comfy, affordable, runs often, and very scenic.
When we do day trips to cities, we love taking public transportation instead of driving.
This way we can relax on the train (or bus) and save our energy for the actual exploring part. Then when we take the train back, we can get some sleep or spend time going through all of the photos and videos we took that day.
On the other hand, if you want to see some more places in Portugal like Sintra, Ericeira, and Nazare, just to name a few highlights, then driving is good because you can stop at some of these wonderful places.
If you’re in for a really fun trip, then we can highly recommend exploring the west coast of Portugal by van! This is what we did when we travelled around Portugal for a few months last year!
To answer this question it totally depends on the purpose of your trip. As a day trip from Lisbon to Porto, the train is by far the best option!
Do I need to book the Lisbon to Porto train in advance?
Yes, you need to pre-book your train ticket from Lisbon to Porto in advance. It’s not that the train will book out and you can’t get a seat.
But in Portugal, you can’t buy your train ticket on the train. The ticket checker is just there to see if you purchased a ticket. If not, you will get fined.
Make sure to either purchase one in advance online (you can buy your train ticket here) or be at least 15-20 minutes early to your train so you can buy it in advance from the ticket office.
Are trains in Portugal good?
Portugal doesn’t have the shiniest or newest trains but they are reliable and get you from place to place.
It may seem a little slow compared to some other Western European countries but for the most part, the Portuguese trains are quite cozy and the routes are quite scenic.
The nice thing about Portugal is that it’s not that big of a country and you can actually take trains almost everywhere in the country which is quite nice for people who enjoy taking public transport.
What is the fastest train in Portugal?
The Alfa Pendular Train which travels between Faro-Lisboa-Coimbra-Porto-Braga is the fastest train in the country. Alfa Pendular trains are the fastest way to get around Portugal and go up to speeds of 220 km/h.
The main route for the Alfa Pendular is between Lisbon and Porto and takes roughly 2 hours and 45 minutes.
Can you go from Lisbon to Porto as a day trip?
Yes, even though we recommend spending at least a few days in Porto you can still easily go from Lisbon to Porto as a day trip.
With the convenience of the train system in Portugal, you can get between the two cities in just under 3 hours.
The trains run quite often so that you can leave Lisbon early in the morning and then leave Porto late in the evening and have a complete day exploring Porto!
You may also like…
- 1-Day in Lisbon: The Best of Lisbon in 24 Hours
- 5 of the Best Viewpoints in Lisbon
- 3 Amazing Day Trips from Lisbon You Can’t Miss
- The Most Awesome 2-Week West Coast Portugal Road Trip
- 8 Cities on Portugal’s Silver Coast You’re Going to Love
Recap of taking the train from Lisbon to Porto
Now you know about train travel in Portugal and how fast the Alfa Pendular train can go.
We love to travel by train because it’s such a relaxing way to get around a country. You don’t get stuck in any traffic jams and usually within Portugal, train tickets are quite affordable too.
Enjoy your trip from Lisbon to Porto. It’s absolutely beautiful and if you enjoy riding the train around Portugal you can also ride the Alfa Pendular (the speed train) to other parts of the country as well.
The train system in Portugal is great and it’s absolutely worth taking advantage of!
If you have any questions about travelling by train in Portugal and the train from Lisbon to Porto, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
You can DM us on Instagram @redwhiteadvnetures or leave a comment below and we’ll do our best to get back to you as soon as we can!
Have an amazing time exploring Portugal!