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A Guide to Porto Airport

By: James | Last updated: November 2019*
I’ve flown to and from Porto Airport quite a few times, so thought I would put together a really comprehensive guide about Porto Airport – everything from getting into Porto City Centre, to renting a car, and sleeping at the airport. If there’s anything that’s not covered, don’t hesitate to ask.

Porto International Airport (Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport) is the regional airport for Porto, Northern Portugal, and even the best airport for parts of Northern Spain.

As well as flights to other destinations in Portugal like Faro (in the Algarve), Lisbon, Madeira, and The Azores, Porto offers international flights to many cities in Europe and, increasingly, further afield to airports in the United States, Canada, and Brazil.

It is the second largest airport in Portugal after Lisbon, but fairly small when compared to other European Airports like Madrid, Amsterdam, and Heathrow. Even compared to Lisbon, it’s still quite small: In 2017, Porto Airport saw just under 11 million passengers pass through the airport compared to almost 27 million at Lisbon Airport.

Facilities at Porto Airport

Porto Airport - Cafe

Porto Airport has all of the usual airport facilities like cafés, restaurants, and duty-free shopping. A few of the more useful facilities include:

  • Luggage storage: There are lockers on the ground floor and there’s also a left luggage facility on the 3rd floor.
  • Airport lounge: There is an airport lounge at Porto Airport (read the review here).
  • ATMs: ATMs are available, but watch out for the Euronet ATMs which will charge you. There are Santander ATMs on the 3rd floor.

Getting from Porto Airport to Porto City Centre

There are a number of ways to get from Porto Airport to the city centre including bus, metro, and taxi.

Public transport

Metro

You can take the metro from Porto Airport to Porto City Centre, and the journey from Porto Airport to Trindade (one of the most popular stations) normally takes around 25-30 minutes. From Trindade, you can easily connect to other metro stations in Porto City Centre.

  • Metro tickets can be purchased from the ticket machines or from the tourist information stand. (There are often queues for the machines, so be prepared).
  • You’ll need to purchase a Z4 (Zone 4) ticket, as Porto Airport is in zone 4.
  • You’ll also need to purchase a rechargeable card (€0.60). You’ll be able to use this on the metro for future journeys around Porto.

Porto Metro has a good website, metrodoporto.pt, where you can get timetables and plan your trip.

Airport Bus

The GetBus airport bus isn’t as frequent as the metro (normally every hour for the bus vs every 20 minutes for the metro), but it can be a better option if the timing works out. The bus stop is right outside of arrivals, and you can book tickets in advance if you want to.

  • Tickets can be purchased online or on the bus.
  • The bus goes to the bus station at Campo 24 de Agosto (map) and takes around 25 minutes.

Other buses 

Porto’s local bus service, STCP, covers many of the suburbs and areas outside of Porto City Centre. 

Taxis (and Ubers)

Taxis: There is a taxi rank outside of Arrivals.

Uber: The Uber waiting area (which is also the waiting area for other taxi apps like Kaplan) is in front of Arrivals as well, on the island in the middle of the two lane road. Uber calls this the “Kiss & Fly” carpark, which is quite confusing as there isn’t really a carpark.

Airport transfers

A number of airport transfer companies operate at Porto Airport. 

  Estimate
Welcome Pickups €24
Rideways.com €26.29
Hoppa.com €23.32
SunTransfers.com €24.95

Read more: airport transfers at Porto Airport

Car rental at Porto Airport

You’ll find a mixture of car hire companies at Porto Airport: everything from brand names like Hertz and Europcar to companies that you’ve probably never heard of before.

Rentalcars.com is the best comparison website to use. Not only does it compare all of the car rental companies at Porto Airport, but it also shows you reviews for the local branch (e.g. Avis at Porto Airport) rather than the company as a whole (e.g. Avis worldwide). 

If you want to do more comparing, Skyscanner.net has a different search engine to rentalcars.com, so it shows slightly different results.

Tip: Although some car hire companies have desks inside Porto Airport, this is only really for show: you’ll need to take a shuttle bus to the company’s “proper” desks regardless of which company you book with. 

Tip #2: The car rental desks are located on the ground floor in Arrivals.

Getting from Porto Airport to other destinations

By bus

GetBus goes from Porto Airport to Braga and Guimarães (and back again), and Coimbra has an airport shuttle that goes from Porto Airport to Coimbra (which is more expensive but faster than public transport).

For other long distance journeys, you’ll need to take the GetBus airport bus (or the metro) to the Renex Bus Station (map). From there, you’ll be able to take a bus to just about anywhere in mainland Portugal.

  • Rede Expressos is the main website for booking buses within Portugal.
  • For some national journeys but especially international journeys, Flixbus is also worth looking at as is BusBud.

By train

Porto’s main train station (for regional journeys) is Campanhã, which you can get to by metro in around 45-50 minutes. It is located south of Porto Airport, which isn’t ideal if you’re heading north. 

Alternatively, you could take a taxi or Uber and get on the train at somewhere like Travagem (around 15 minutes) and hop on there.

Train tickets can be purchased on cp.pt

By airport transfer

Airport transfer companies (like Welcome Pickups) will take you from Porto Airport to just about anywhere in mainland Portugal.

By taxi

Taxis are available outside of Porto Airport, and it’s possible to take a taxi from the airport to most nearby towns and cities. Many drivers will be happy to go further afield, but it’s probably better to pre-book a longer distance trip.

It is possible to book a trip with Uber (or any other taxi app) to destinations outside of Porto but, since Uber is only really available in Porto, you may struggle to find an Uber driver willing to venture outside of the Uber limits.

What to do if you have a layover at Porto Airport

If your layover is long enough, it’s worth heading into Porto and seeing a bit of the city.

A taxi or Uber from Porto Airport to Porto City Centre (in this case: the Clérigos Tower) takes around 25 minutes, and is the best option if you’re short on time. Alternatively, the airport bus (available from GetBus.eu) or metro takes roughly the same amount of time (although, unlike a taxi, you may have to wait for it to depart).

There are left luggage facilities at Porto Airport (lockers on the ground floor and a baggage storage facility on the 3rd floor) so you don’t have to take your bags and suitcases with you. If for whatever reason that’s not an option, you could also take your luggage into Porto and use one of the luggage storage companies there.

To make the most of your limited time in Porto, it could be a good idea to go on either a walking tour or jump on a hop-on, hop-off bus. 

Be sure to allow enough time to get back to the airport with plenty of time before your flight is due to depart.

Hotels near Porto Airport

oporto airport hotel
The pool at the Oporto Airport Hotel

Porto’s metro system doesn’t get going until 6 am, which may not be early enough for you if you have an early flight: some flights go as early as 5 am and, of course, you also need to allow time to get to be at the airport in time.

If this sounds like your situation, you may want to stay at a hotel near the airport rather than try and get a taxi first thing in the morning.

See the list of hotels near Porto Airport here.

FAQs about Porto Airport

Does Porto Airport have a smoking area?

There is no designated smoking area inside the airport. Smoking is only permitted outside of the airport.

Can I sleep at Porto Airport?

Yes, the airport is open 24 hours and you can sleep at Porto Airport. Most people sleep in the cafés: there are two on the ground floor and one on the third floor.

Most people sleep on the first floor, pulling the chairs together at Costa or Delta’s Café Central, but you can find a slightly better place to sleep (couches instead of chairs) at the café on the 3rd floor.

Do the taxis at Porto Airport have baby/child seats?

While it’s possible that some do, it’s better to book an airport transfer company as you can request a child or baby seat in advance.

The following companies all have an option to request child seats.

  • Welcome Pickups: Can request child or baby seat during the booking process (free).
  • Kwiktaxi.com: Available for a fee
  • Suntransfers.com: Available for a fee (~€7)

Cabify also offer child seats for children over 15 kg. There’s also a rental company at Porto Airport where you can rent child seats

How many terminals are there at Porto Airport?

Just one, thankfully. Even Ryanair fly from the main building.

How do I get from Porto Airport to…?

Lisbon

Either:

  • Take the metro to Campanhã train station, and then take a train from Campanhã to Lisbon (Entrecampos is closer to the city centre & train tickets available from cp.pt). 
  • Take the GetBus airport bus or the metro to the Renex Bus Station, and then take a bus from Porto to Lisbon Sete Rios (bus tickets available from Rede Expressos). 

Coimbra

Either:

  • Take the metro to Campanhã train station, and then take a train from Campanhã to Coimbra (train tickets available from cp.pt). 
  • Take the GetBus airport bus or the metro to the Renex Bus Station, and then take a bus from Porto to Coimbra (bus tickets available from Rede Expressos). 
  • Take the Coimbra Shuttle bus from Porto Airport to Coimbra. 

Aveiro

Either: 

  • Take the metro to Campanhã train station, and then take a train from Campanhã to Aveiro (train tickets available from cp.pt). 
  • Take the GetBus airport bus or the metro to the Renex Bus Station, and then take a bus from Porto to Aveiro (bus tickets available from Rede Expressos). 

Braga

The easiest option is to take the GetBus bus from Porto Airport to Braga.

Guimarães

The easiest option is to take the GetBus bus from Porto Airport to Guimarães.

Where can I work at Porto Airport?

If you need to get some work done, the easiest place to work from is probably the airport lounge. It doesn’t have desks, but it should be quieter than the main terminal. 

Before security on the ground floor, there’s a shop that contains multiple vending machines for soft drinks, coffee, and travel gadgets. The tables have plug sockets and are good for working from. 

Alternatively, consider getting a taxi or Uber to the library in Maia (map). 

Updates: Some updates are as small as a spelling correction. If you spot a mistake or want to suggest a contribution, leave a comment below.

I lived in Portugal as a child and, after many years in Ireland, the UK, and other parts of the world, I moved back as an adult. Over the past decade or so, I've been lucky to live in several parts of Portugal, including Lisbon and the Algarve, and to travel to just about every corner of it.

While in Portugal, I've always found it a struggle to get accurate, up-to-date and insightful information about Portugal. I decided to create a hub for expats and travellers that was not only informative and accurate but that helped others really get to know Portuguese life and culture. So, I started Portugalist and (amazingly) it quickly grew to be the #1 resource about Portugal.

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