Portugal by Train

Information about travelling around Portugal by train…

Caminhos de Ferro Portugueses, or CP, is the Portuguese national rail service. They provide regional and intercity services connecting the major towns and cities of the country. They have a comprehensive website and App available in English. Timetables can be viewed and there is a trip planner as well as an online ticket buying service.

CP run a number of different rail services:

  • The Alfa Pendular is a high speed service linking, amongst other places, Faro, Albufeira, Lisbon, Santarém, Coimbra, Porto, and Braga. The tilting trains reach speeds of up to 220 Km per hour
  • The Intercidades are fast intercity services connecting the main cities in the country
  • The Regional and Inter-regional service complements the longer distance service providing local train services throughout the country
  • CP also offer some international services into Spain, where good connections onwards into France and the rest of Europe are possible

Taking pets on trains

A pet can be taken on trains in Portugal but it must not bother other passengers. Pet travel is free if the animal is in a box, otherwise a ticket must be purchased. If the animal is not in a box it must be kept on a short lead and properly muzzled. Animals are not allowed on the seats. The animal's vaccination booklet and licence (for a dog) must be carried. The exceptions to these rules are guide dogs.

Taking bikes and scooters on trains

Bikes and scooters are allowed on Regional train services free of charge as long as the train is not too busy. The owner is responsible for getting the bike on and off the train. Bikes can be taken on Alfa Pendular and Intercidades trains as long as the wheels are removed and the package either fits under the seats or takes up no more than the standard luggage space provided.

Travel cards

There are a number of travel cards available which offer discounted train travel. These include youth and student cards, discounted ten journey tickets, and discounted return fares.

Metro services

There are additional local train and metro services in the major cities. Both Lisbon and Porto have metro services. The Lisbon metro was the first in the country and has four lines linking stations in the city and its suburbs. There is an English language website that details the routes and timetables of the Lisbon metro.

The Porto metro was founded in 2002 and provides a light rail network that connects the city and its suburbs via a mixture of under and overground trains. There are six lines connecting stations in Porto, Gondomar, Maia, Matosinhos, Póvoa de Varzim, Vila do Conde and Vila Nova de Gaia. The metro system is run by ViaPORTO who have an English language website with timetables and route maps.