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Transfers from Portugal’s three main airports are easy and efficient.
In Lisbon, holidaymakers can travel from Lisbon Airport (LIS) to the city centre by bus (25 minutes), metro (25 minutes) or taxi (20 minutes). The tourist office at the airport sells slightly more expensive taxi vouchers allowing you to jump the queue. Porto International Airport (OPO) is 13 kilometres (8 miles) north of the city centre. Metro Line E will drop you in the city centre in 30 minutes. Alternatively, taxis cost €20-25 and should be picked up at the authorised rank outside the terminal.
From Faro Airport (FAO), it’s 6 kilometres (3.5 miles) to the city centre. A taxi costs €13-15, while local buses (numbers 14 and 16) will deliver you there in 25 minutes for under €2. There are no transfers to the Algarve from the airport. Instead, you need to pick up the relevant service from the main bus terminal in town.
Buses in Portugal are often more reliable and cheaper than the train – they also serve almost all of Portugal’s towns and villages. Services are run by a variety of private operators, although its easiest to stick to the national network of express buses run by Rede Expressos, which offers advance online booking – a good idea in summer! Fares are great value: he Faro-Lisbon route, for example, costs €20.
Getting around Portugal by train can also be fast and affordable – not to mention pretty. Comboios de Portugal operates all trains, and its services between Porto, Lisbon and Faro are modern and high-speed.
Fares are reasonable; it’s around €30 second class for the fastest service between Lisbon and Porto. And some of Portugal’s train lines, notably in the north, are scenic attractions in their own right.