Portugal Trains: How to get around Portugal by Train

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Last updated on June 4, 2024 | Est. Reading Time: 11 minutes

Portugal has a great train service. It’s old, and it’s a little slow in comparison to the trains in many other European countries, but it’s functional. Sometimes the air con even works as well!

There are four different types of train in Portugal:

  • Alpha-Pendular: The fastest trains in Portugal. These are usually the newest and the most comfortable, and have additional luxuries like audio channels that you can listen to and televisions. This type of train is the most expensive, but the difference between Alpha-Pendular and Intercidades is usually only a few euros. 
  • Intercidades: This train is slightly slower than the Alpha-Pendular trains as it makes more stops, but it isn’t really significantly slower. Theses trains are older, the bar is a bit more basic, and they’re a little less comfortable. 
  • Regional (R) and Interregional (IR): These trains cover much shorter distances and are much more basic again. Tickets cannot be purchased in advance or online. 
  • Urban (U): These trains are common in larger cities like Lisbon and Porto and, again, are quite simple. Tickets cannot be purchased in advance or online. 

Train routes run throughout Portugal and connect all of the major regions by rail. Not every town has a train station, but the majority of the large towns and cities do. If you can’t find a train to the town that you want to visit, it may be worth looking at taking a bus or renting a car instead. 

In fact, sometimes it’s worth looking at where the train station is before booking a train: in some towns, the train is 5 or 10 km outside of the town (meaning you’ll need to get a taxi from the train station to the town centre). Bus stations, on the other hand, are usually always fairly close to the town centre. 

portugal train map
© Cp.pt

It’s cheap (and here’s how to get it cheaper)

What’s amazing about Portugal’s train service is the cost. Here are some sample prices (accurate at the time of writing in September 2023, and for booking around two months in advance): 

  • Porto to Lisbon: €26.60 for a single
  • Faro to Lisbon: €9.50 for a single
  • Albufeira to Lisbon: €9 for a single
  • Faro to Coimbra: €19 for a single
  • Vila Real de San Antonio to Valenca (a 715km journey): €55.80 for a single.

All of those prices are for second class tickets booked more than eight days in advance to take advantage of the discounts. These are:

  • Up to 56% off if you buy your tickets at least 5 days in advance
  • Up to 65% off if you buy your tickets at least 8 days in advance

Note: Discounts aren’t available on all the tickets. The 7 am train pictured below doesn’t have any discounts available, for example. 

Discounted rates highlighted in the red box

Those are for the Intercidades (IC) and Alpha-Pendular (AP) trains. The Urban trains (which can’t be booked in advance) are often even cheaper. These trains aren’t everywhere in the country, but are especially common around Lisbon and Porto. 

portugal urban and regional trains pricing
The Urban and Regional Trains (Aveiro to Porto, in this example) are 2-3 times cheaper

As well as advanced tickets, there are also discounts for:

  • Under 25s: 25% off for those under 25.
  • Under 30s: 12-30 year olds get 25% off with a European Youth Card.
  • Group travel: Travel as a group of 3 or 4 people on the Alfa Pendular or Intercidade trains and get up to 50% off.
  • Those with special needs: Up to 75% off for you, and 25% off for your carer.
  • Senior Citizens: Over 65s get 50% off. (It’s a good idea to take ID with you as you may need to show this at the ticket office and also on the train). 
  • Under 3s: Half-price tickets for under 3s that don’t occupy a seat.

You can select any of these discounts when you’re booking online. If you have booked in advance, this is usually the best discount you can get. You can select a Senior Citizen or Under 25 discount, but this will actually be less than the advanced promo price. Unfortunately, you can’t combine discounts e.g. 5 days in advance and under 25.

Tickets can be booked through cp.pt, which is the official website for Comboios de Portugal (the Portuguese train company). You can pay with a credit or debit card or with PayPal. Some people have problems paying with a foreign credit or debit card: if that happens to you, try paying through PayPal (you don’t need a PayPal account to do this). 

Read more about discounted train travel in Portugal

1st class vs 2nd class

© Portugalist – First class seats

First class on Portuguese trains is a bit disappointing, at least in comparison to other countries like Spain and the UK where you are served a meal and drinks. It depends on the type of train, but first class on Portuguese trains could just mean more legroom and comfier seats. 

There are three types of train used in Portugal (Alpha-Pendular, Intercidades, Regional (R) and Interregional (IR), and Urban (U)) and only Alpha-Pendular and Intercidades offer a first and second class option. 

First class on Alpha-Pendular usually means you get a drink, a newspaper or magazine, and headphones. First class on Intercidades usually just means that you get larger and comfier seats and, on some seats, a plug socket (plug sockets are also available on some seats in second class). 

You can also book single seats on both Alpha-Pendular and Intercidades trains. This alone could be worth it if you’re travelling alone, and want a bit more space to yourself. The difference between first and second class is often less than 5 Euros, so it’s not a lot to spend to treat yourself to a little extra comfort. 

Do the trains have Wi-Fi?

Increasingly more and more trains in Portugal have wi-fi, especially the Alpha-Pendular routes, and sometimes it even works (but usually it’s very slow). 

Unfortunately, although some trains do have working wi-fi, it’s not a given which means you can’t rely on it if you want to work. Mobile internet connections are also pretty unreliable on the train, particularly when you’re going through more rural parts of the country, and the trains are also quite jiggly which can make you feel sick if you’re staring at a laptop screen. It’s fine for watching a movie, but not great for trying to work. 

Buying Train Tickets

The Comboios De Portugal (Portugal Trains) website is reasonably easy to use, and is one of the easiest ways to buy train tickets. There’s also an app for both iOS and Android, or you could buy your tickets at the counter in a train station.

You can get your ticket sent to your by SMS, which is much easier than having to print it off. You can also get your ticket delivered via the app.

A lot of people use Rail Europe for booking train tickets while travelling in Europe, but it’s much better to use the official website. Rail Europe doesn’t always have all the timetables, you can’t book tickets same day or next day for Portuguese trains, and you don’t get access to the discounts. Just use cp.pt instead.

Note: Regional train tickets (marked ‘R’ on the trains website) and Urban train tickets (marked ‘U’ on the trains website) aren’t normally sold in advance. You can buy them on the day from the train station or on-board if there isn’t a ticket office at the station.

If your long distance train journey includes a change onto a regional train, sometimes you can buy the whole journey in one ticket (this is the case when going from Lisbon to many places in the Algarve, for example). This isn’t always the case, though, and you may need to buy that ‘R’ ticket of your journey on the day. 

Tip: Try to avoid clicking ‘Train times’ (in English) or ‘Consultar Horários’ (in Portuguese). This section of the website feels like the section of the website where you buy tickets, but you can only look up the timetables. If you’re wondering why there’s no ‘buy now’ button, this is probably why.

Credit card problems? Try paying with PayPal instead (you’ll see the option at checkout). You don’t need to have a PayPal account to do this: you can pay with your card using PayPal. 

Ticket details for tax purposes? In Portugal, it’s common to add your personal tax number (known as a NIF) to a receipt when making a purchase. Doing so can allow you to claim some taxes back.

If you don’t have a NIF number (which you probably won’t unless you’re living in Portugal) and you don’t want to add your personal tax number from your country of residency, you can skip this section.

cp.pt section asking for NIF number

Travelling with luggage 

A lot of people have asked questions about travelling on the trains with luggage. 

Yes, you can bring a suitcase or backpack onboard the train. Every passenger is entitled to bring one piece of luggage (such as a suitcase or a backpack) and a small bag like a laptop bag or handbag. Any more than that is considered excess baggage and you should have to pay extra to bring it but it’s not monitored. 

Luggage storage is generally in a rack above the seats. The racks are wide and can easily take a backpack or a cabin-size suitcase, but may not be suitable for a very large suitcase.

On the long distance AP and IR trains, there is normally a space for extra large bags at the entrance to each carriage (and sometimes in the middle of the carriage as well) however these can fill up. 

If you’re concerned about travelling with luggage, especially large suitcases, consider taking a coach instead. Baggage is stored underneath the bus so there’s more room for wider suitcases and you don’t have to lift it above your head. 

Travelling with pets

Yes, you can travel with a pet (for free) on the trains in Portugal as long as the pet is not dangerous, is housed in a properly enclosed transportation box, and as long as they don’t smell or there isn’t any reason that other passengers might object to travelling with them. 

On some trains, it’s also possible to travel with a dog that’s not in an enclosed transportation box. The dog will need to be muzzled and on a short lead, and the owner will need to bring the dog’s vaccination card and valid licence with them. They’ll also need to buy a ticket for the dog as well. 

Guide dogs can travel with the owner on all trains for free. 

For more information about travelling with a pet on Portuguese trains, visit CP.pt

Bringing your bike

Yes, you can bring your bike onboard any intercity train (e.g. from Lisbon to Faro). There is normally space for 1-2 bikes per carriage, and passengers are normally limited to 1 bike per passenger. 

More information about travelling with a bike can be found on CP.pt

Getting Train Timetables

If you want to see the train timetables, the easiest thing is to enter your dates and do a search. If you click the (+) button, you can see a list of all the stops on the journey.

International Tickets: Portugal to Spain, France & the rest of the world

It’s not possible to book international train tickets with CP.pt. There’s a route from Lisbon to Madrid, for example, but you need to book this through the Spain train website, Renfe.es.

Travelling further than that is even more complicated. I wanted to see if it was possible to book a train ticket from Lisbon to Barcelona or Lisbon to Paris, but neither RailEurope, GoEuro, or thetrainline.eu could do that for me. If you want to do an international trip like this, you will need to book all of the train tickets for each individual leg.

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James Cave is the founder of Portugalist and the author of the bestselling book, Moving to Portugal Made Simple. He has visited just about every part of Portugal, including Madeira and all nine islands of the Azores, and lived in several parts of Portugal including Lisbon, the Algarve, and Northern Portugal.

Spotted a mistake? Suggest a correction

There are 94 comments on this article. Join the conversation and add your own thoughts, reviews, and stories of life in Portugal. However, please remember to be civil.


  1. If you book a train ticket in advance ~eg for date X – do you also have to specify the actual train time or can you leave that open?

    IF you have to specify the train, and then are late and miss it ~is the ticket just lost or can you get it changed on the next train without having to pay the full price again ?

    • Hi Cathryn,

      I believe you take the train from Porto Campanhã to Entroncamento, and then a regional train from Entroncamento to Tomar.

  2. If you go to the “cp.pt” site, you will see that you can also leave from Porto Sao Bento, and you will find the times, prices, stops, and changes…..

  3. How long it takes to take the train from Lisbon to Lagos and is it direct from Lisbon to Lagos or is there a transfer at Albuferia? Is it a high speed train?

    What website can I visit to book tickets? Do the trains have club cars or does one have to bring their own refreshments? If I buy tickets in advance and decide to change my itinerary, can the tickets be cancelled and refunded at no charge?

    • Hi Margaret,

      The fastest train from Lisbon to Lagos takes around 3h37. The slowest is a little under 4 hours.
      You will have to change, but that change takes place at Tunes and not Albufeira. Tunes is a very small station, so you won’t have any problem finding the other train.

      As for high speed? Well, it’s the fastest one on that route but it’s not like what you’d find in other countries like France and Spain.

      I’d probably recommend bringing your own refreshments. Some of the trains (see the article above) have refreshments like soft drinks and snacks, but they’re quite basic.

      Tickets can be bought from cp.pt

      You’ll find information about refunds (in English) here: https://www.cp.pt/passageiros/en/passenger-information/Useful-information/refunds
      It depends on which train you take, but generally you will be able to get most of your money back (minus an admin charge) if you ask for the refund before the train journey.

  4. really helpful. thanks.
    ive walked so much on thebeach the last few days i have blisters so taking a trip along the algarve coast – hopefully with a bik today.

      • hi, thank you so much for all this information, it’s very helpful! i’m trying to book a ticket from Faro to Lisbon for Sep. 11th but it won’t give me the discount for the 5/8 days in advance, only full price or other discounts im not eligible to. what am i doing wrong? (im using the app). thanks again!

  5. Great website and information. So just booked a train from Lisbon – Santa Polino to Tunes in June and just realized that I have to switch trains from a regional to an IC at Oriente station to catch my train to Tunes. Couple questions 1. The connection time is only 10 minutes in Oriente is that enough time. 2. Can I just not use the first part of my ticket for the Santa Paolino – and just go straight to the Oriente staion to catch my train to Tunes.

    Thank you

    • Hi Mark,

      It should be enough time, but I can understand that this could quite stressful and it may not be something that you want hanging over you.

      I don’t know if there are any rules preventing you from doing what you’re suggesting, but I can’t see why it wouldn’t be doable. Unlike the metro, there are no ticket barriers at the train station so you won’t have any issues there.

  6. Hi-

    Thanks for the helpful site.

    Looking at cp.pt for a trip from Tomar to Coimbra. The best timing for us is to take a regional train from Tomar to Entromcomento, then an IC train from Entroncomento to Coimbra-B. The cp.pt site lists the first regional train but under the “Buy Tickets” section does not list that regional train for purchase.

    I have read that you can’t book regional trains in advance-is that true? If so, can I reasonably rely on getting on that regional first train? Would buying a ticket in Tomar the day before the train ride
    make any difference?

    Thanks for the help-much appreciated!

    • Hi Sam,

      It is true that you can’t buy regional train tickets in advance (although often it’s possible if it’s part of a longer journey like the one you’re doing). This means that you wouldn’t be able to buy them the day before either: only on the day at the train station (if there’s a ticket office) or on-board (if there isn’t a ticket office at the station).

      I don’t think you need to worry about not getting a seat but, if you are concerned, take a slightly earlier train just to be on the safe side. It looks like there are a lot of journeys on that route, so it wouldn’t add too much time onto your trip.

  7. Hi, My friend and I are going to be based in Lisbon for 6 days of travel to other towns and cities and I saw the One Country Ticket by Interrail on line which quotes Eu236 to cover the 6 days to go anywhere. It LOOKS like a really good deal having seen the prices for daily normal ticket prices, do you recommend it please?

    • Hi Carol,

      I don’t think it’s a good deal for Portugal if it’s just for one person. Maybe for other countries where train travel is more expensive, but here train travel is quite cheap.

      A single ticket from Lisbon to Porto costs around €30 (but could be as cheap as €16 if you go for the slower train and book in advance). Even at €30, and even if you travelled every day, it would still cost you less than the Interrail ticket.

      Work out your itinerary and use cp.pt to get an estimate of how much it’ll all cost, but I can’t imagine 6 days of train travel coming to more than €236 unless you were travelling extremely long distances every day.

  8. I booked an overnight train from San Sebastián to Coimbra because Renfe would not let me book into Porto (or our eventual destination Pinhao). We arrive 4:45am. I see on the CP website that there is an IR train 5:10 to Porto-Campanhã and 7:14 IR train onward to Pinhao daily but no way to purchase a ticket. Are these not able to be purchased in advance? And if not, will the ticket office be open at 4:45am when we get into Portugal?

    • Yes, some journeys can’t be booked in advance.

      I don’t know if the ticket office will be open at that time, but I’m guessing not. In that case, you’ll be able to purchase them on the train.

  9. We will be travelling from Lisbon airport to Porto (Sao Bento), and were wondering which Lisbon train station is closest to the airport? What is the best way to get from airport to train station?
    Thanks 🙂

    • Hi Karen,

      The nearest train station would be Oriente, which is in Parque das Nações. It’s about 3 stops away on the metro.

      I would either take the metro or a taxi/uber.

  10. Can you get on and off the train with one ticket from Porto to Lisbon? Or would we have to have tickets for each destination?

    • Hi Lor,

      I’m pretty sure you would need to buy multiple tickets for several smaller journeys.

      You’re reserving a seat (e.g. seat 10) for a specific time e.g. the 9 am train to from Porto to Lisbon. If you get off for an hour and get back on another train, it’s not the 9 am train anymore but the 10 am train and someone else will probably have reserved seat 10.

      If you want to hop on and hop off, you’ll either need to break the trip up into several trips or rent a car.

  11. Be aware that if you want to book Lisbon – any location in the Algrave, the connecting R train is usually the next available one to your final destination. It is not possible to choose which R train connection to select. For instance, I wanted a 3 hour connection in Faro (to eat lunch). The only option for this particular Lisbon train connection is only 11 minutes. I have to book Lisbon-Faro instead and then buy the connecting R ticket at the station.

  12. We’re traveling from Porto to Viana do Castelo on 12/09/19. I was hoping I could order the tickets 60 days in advance but September 12 is disabled on the schedule. Is this trip considered a local – buy the day of travel?
    Thanks, really excited to be going to Portugal.

    • Hi J. Bradley,

      It does look like it’s a local train and that you won’t be able to buy the tickets in advance (I tried some dates next week, and it wasn’t possible to buy tickets either).

      Where are you headed to in Portugal (apart from Viano do Castelo and Porto)?

      • Hi James, we’re going to Lisbon and Evora, and some side trips to Pinhao and Aveiro. I was able to buy the tickets today to Viana, though they are two part tix. Short ride to Nine on the AP, and seats are reserved. Then change to a regional train. Seats aren’t specified, and there was no seat selection for the regional train portion of the journey. Does that mean you just take any seat that’s available on the regional?

        • Hi Janice,

          Yes, on the regional trains that I’ve been on there was no seat selection and I was able to sit anywhere.

  13. Good Afternoon,
    If we are purchasing tickets to Sintra at Oriente Station, do we have to purchase the Viva Viegem Card and if so, is it a one stop purchasing event at the ticket counter? Thanks

    • Hi Maryann,

      Most people just buy the Viva Viagem cards from the automatic machines, which you’ll find in all the metro stations around Lisbon as well as the train stations. They cost €0.50.

      You don’t buy a ticket for Sintra (or anywhere else you’re using the card), but preload it with credit. The cost of the journey is then taken off. For Sintra, I think it’s around €2.25 at the moment. You’ll also need to come back, which will cost another €2.25 (there isn’t a return ticket for this journey) so you’ll need to have at least €4.50 on the card. You can top up with €5, so you’ll pay 0.50 for the card and €5 for the credit for a total of €5.50 and there’ll be 0.50 left on the card.

      Unless Sintra is one the first day of your trip to Lisbon, I would recommend buying your card (and topping it up) in advance. Reason being that the train station will be quite busy with other people going to Sintra and, if you already have your card, you’ll be able to go straight to the train.

      It’s not a big deal, but it’ll save you a little time.

  14. Hi, I was looking into urban train ticket from Aveiro to Porto that only costs 3.35Euro from the cp.pt website. However, there’s no option to buy this ticket online. Do we need to buy this ticket at the station on the day off? Isn’t it risky in case the train is full? Please advise. Thanks

    • Hi Tracey,

      Yes, this usually means that it has to be bought on the day (and not online).

      You’ll be able to get a seat. That route also has very frequent trains, so worst case scenario you’ll need to get on the next train.

  15. Hi James,
    I’m booking tickets for my son, wife and 2 yr old daughter from Lisbon to Porto (fast AP trains both ways) and choosing first class as a treat. When I look at the “change seats” option, it’s not clear if there are tables for the passengers to sit round together, or are they just where shown as a grey block? (Only a small number in each carriage)
    Very grateful for any help

    • Hi Tony,

      Just so you know: First Class isn’t that much of a treat in Portugal if you’re coming from the UK. It’s definitely better than Second Class, but it’s not the same as First Class on many train lines in the UK (and other countries).

      As for the table, it is the grey block and, yes, there aren’t that many of them surprisingly.

  16. Hello, I am traveling with a group of 13 senior citizens from Porto to Lisbon on Aug. 17. Want to do the Alfa Pendular, but not sure how to book? Also which station in Lisbon to get off? Staying in Liberdale area. We will be arriving in Porto by boat and will take taxis to correct?, station. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • Hi Roni,

      You’ll find the largest number of options if you choose Porto – Campanha to Lisboa – Oriente.

      The metro goes to Campanha in Porto (there are also taxis of course).
      From Oriente, you can get a metro station to one of the stations nearest your accommodation (Avenida station maybe?).

      Hope that helps.

  17. Hello. Thanks for the info in the article. I have an additional question – we would like to travel from Porto (Campanha) to Aveiro. But it seems we cannot buy online ticket for many from the trains marked “U”. Does it mean, we have to buy them at the station? They are significantly cheaper than AP and IC trains, which have the possibility to buy a ticket online.

    • Hi Petr,

      Yes, thanks for pointing that out. Those tickets can only be purchased from the ticket offices on the day. They aren’t available to buy online.

  18. Thank you for the reply.
    Are the “U” and “R” trains ok?
    We would like to use them for trips Porto-Miramar (20 min), Porto-Aveiro (1 hour) and Aveiro-Coimbra (1 hour).

  19. Hello James, we are arriving to Lisbon on Aug 23rd at 17.40 and want to take a train to Porto immediately. Should I buy a ticket in advance? I dont see any discount on the cp.pt for the trains we would need. Or is it OK just to come to the station and buy tickets there? I am also not sure, if we are able to make it to the train at 18:10, or rather 19:10.

    Thanks for your advice 🙂


    • Hi Kristina,

      It’s up to you, but you can do either.

      If there aren’t any discounts available, the only reason to buy in advance would be to make sure you get a seat (especially together as you said “we” rather than “I”).

      I probably would buy in advance just in case tickets sell out for some reason. It’s up to you, though.

  20. On 20 October 2019, my wife and I (both over 60), leave a cruise at Porto.
    We want to go by train to Faro.
    1. Which station do we leave from?
    2. When will tickets be available?
    3. Can we get concessions?

    • Hi Stanley,

      All trains go through Porto Campanhã, so that would be the one to aim for (esp if you’re getting public transport to the train station). However, I think the cruise port is a little bit outside of Porto so you could get a taxi to a train station like Ermesinde and start your journey just outside of Porto.

      Tickets are available around 60 days in advance, so you should be able to buy tickets for October 20th in the next few days. There are often discounts for buying in advance, so it’s worth doing this.

      Concessions are available, yes (both online and in person).

  21. Hi, I plan to go by train from Monte Gordo to Lisbon, starting with a regional train with no possibility to buy a ticket at the station. Can I buy on board a ticket to Lisbon or only to Faro? Buying a ticket in Faro for the rest of the trip is impossible beccause there are only 7 minutes to change the train

    • Hi Iris,

      As far as I know you can buy the Monte Gordo to Lisbon ticket online from cp.pt. Surely that’s the easiest option?

      If that’s not possible, you could buy the Faro to Lisbon section online and just buy the local Monte Gordo to Faro ticket on the train.

      Unfortunately, I don’t know whether you can buy a ticket all the way to Lisbon on the train or whether it’s just regional tickets.

    • You can get a metro at Lisbon Airport.

      The nearest train station is Oriente. Otherwise, look at Entrecampos. Both of them have metro stations.

  22. We are planning to use the train system in Portugal quite expensively in late Sept for a month, entering from the north west of Spain.

    For some of the smaller stations, we are assuming that there are no machines that issue tickets, so hopefully there is a ticket office.

    We are assuming that this would require having cash, rather than card?

    As well, is it expected that a ticket be bought at the station, rather than on the train (assuming that you can buy a ticket from the train conductor?

    Do tickets need to be validated before boarding the train? We got caught out with a fine for not doing so in Italy

    • Hi John,

      I imagine the ticket offices will have card payment machines, even in the smaller stations, but I would still carry cash with me as these card machines often don’t like non-Portuguese bank cards. You will also be able to buy some tickets online, which is also worth doing.

      As for ticket validation machines, you might find them on the urban trains around Portugal and Lisbon but I don’t think this is common in the rest of Portugal – particularly rural parts of Portugal. It’s also not a thing on the longer distance trains, as the tickets are checked onboard.

  23. hi, thank you so much for all this information, it’s very helpful! i’m trying to book a ticket from Faro to Lisbon for Sep. 11th but it won’t give me the discount for the 5/8 days in advance, only full price or other discounts im not eligible to. what am i doing wrong? (im using the app). thanks again!

    • Yes, it’s quite common.

      I don’t think everyone that gets on the trains has a reserved seat. People who get on at smaller towns, for example, often have to buy their ticket onboard, so they just sit in the nearest empty seat. Often that’s a seat that’s empty then but reserved for another leg of the journey.

      I wish they would put a sign on the seats that are reserved e.g. this seat is reserved from Lisbon to Coimbra. Would make life a lot easier for everyone.

  24. I am currently on AP first class to Porto right now. Curious if the free drinks offer still on? My dad and I just got charged for the coffee and the staff doesn’t seem to respond to my question. Try to look up their website and can’t find info. 🙁

  25. Thank your for all the information. My husband and I will be traveling around Portugal almost exclusively by train over the course of 10 days. I have purchased the trains through the CP site. So if I have a trip that has a short regional leg then and IC portion, I still have to pay for the regional ticket although I have the purchased tickets through the CP phone app?

    Also, we are each traveling with a standard rolling suitcase and a small back pack. Is there plenty of room for these near the seats? Thanks!

    • Hi Carol,

      There are some cases where you can buy the long distance + the regional train together online, but generally you can’t buy urban or regional train tickets online or advance. So, if you haven’t been able to buy it in advance, you’ll need to buy that section separately. If you’ve already bought it, there’s no need to buy it twice.

      As for the luggage, there are racks above the seats and also usually some racks at waist-height when you enter the carriage. They are wide enough to take a small suitcase.

    • Yes, of course.

      According to the trains website, a person can take one piece of luggage + a small bag like a handbag or laptop bag.

  26. Hi there,
    I have traveled throughout Europe (and Australia!) via train and subway and I am a little confused for Portugal. By the way, really enjoyed your commentary above, it was mostly clear!!
    A gal pal and I are travelling to Lisbon then train-ing it to Lisbon on Saturday June 6th for 2 nights and wanted to know if it is important to actually book our tickets before we leave USA? As a planner and wanting things done prior to arriving, what do you suggest? I did go to the cp website but wouldn’t allow tickets to be purchased 6 months in advanced. We definitely want to have seats, not necessarily together, and would like to have eyes on our luggage.

    What are your thoughts to how we do this the best way? I so appreciate your answer! (And I guess we need to figure out what station our air bnb is located in Lisbon as well as our place in Porto for accurate ticketing?)

    Thank you very much!!
    Patty Adler

    • Hi Patty,

      If you already know the dates of travel, I would book the tickets. It’s not so much that they run out of seats (although that does occasionally happen) but more that you want to get a seat next to your friend and you *might* get the tickets cheaper if you book in advance (see the section on discounted tickets above).

      Six months is too far in advance, though. Put a note in your diary and come back to the site around 2 months beforehand.

      Note: Some tickets can’t be booked in advance e.g. for Urban trains (see the article) and it’ll be pretty obvious as the website won’t have an option for buying them. You also can’t buy metro tickets in advance but this isn’t necessary.

      As for the luggage, there’s normally a compartment above the seats which is the best place to put it (assuming it fits).

      Please let me know if anything else wasn’t clear in the article, and I’ll try and improve it.

  27. James,
    I have a Lisboa card and understand this covers my fare from the Rossio train station in Lisbon to Sintra and back. Do I need to precook a seat for this 40 minute train ride and if so where do I do that using the Lisboa card?
    Who do I show my Lisboa card to get on the train or once I’m on the train?

    • Hi David,

      I don’t think you can prebook seats on the train to Sintra as it’s a commuter train.

      The Lisboa Card works in a similar way to the metro card. It’s electronic, so you scan it to get through the gate and onto the train platform. Someone might check it on the train, and they’ll use a card reader to scan it.

      I don’t quite know how it works, but presumably they can see where you scanned it and boarded the train.

  28. Hello,

    thanks for all the helpful information! Do you have any advice on travelling with babies or small children? Is it possible to take (and store) a stroller or baby pram during the ride?

    Thanks and best regards,

  29. Hi, Great site. I will be arriving in Lisbon Int’l Airport and was told to follow the signs to the metro and go to Oriente where I can then connect to the train network. My end destination is Estarreja. Can I buy a ticket that goes from Oriente to Aveiro to Estarreja? I was also told that there are 2 trains one make local stops and the other makes only 2 to Aveiro.

    Any info would be great.

    • Hi Ernie,

      If you put the starting point and the destination into cp.pt it will show you the timetable. Under the column marked ‘detail’ there is a plus sign and you can expand it to see which stations the train stops at.

      I imagine the local train you’re referring to is the Urbano (U) train. It looks like most of the journeys involve the U train, so I think you’ll probably end up taking it. It’s not a huge number of stops, though, and it only takes around 13 minutes. I don’t think it’ll be a problem.

      Yes, you can buy a ticket to Estarreja. Depending on the route, you might need to buy the ticket on the day. Try putting in your trip to see if you can currently buy the ticket for the journey you want.

  30. Thank you so much for the information. It has been very educational. We are planning a trip to Portugal in September and I had yet to do any research on train travel. We’ll only be considering it for transport from Porto to Lisbon so this site has been very helpful!

  31. On the map of train service on this site and then further along in the informative texts I see Albufeira mentioned with a fare to Lisboa but not illustrated on the map of the cities serviced by train! ‘ I need to be in Lisboa on the 18th of March .I am presently staying in Agadir Morocco.Years ago I spent two weeks at the HAPIMAG in Albufeira flying to the Algarve airport in Faro I believe.I am curious about living in the future perhaps in the Alentejo so the train trip from the Algarve to the north seems an ideal introduction.Incidentally, what is one of the train stations in the Alentejo? My’homework’ now is to see how I will travel from Morocco to southern Portugal where I can travel on the Alpha-Pendular to Lisboa.I am older than 65 …nice to see how ‘social’ and fair the train fares are !

    • Hi Christopher,

      Albufeira’s train station isn’t actually in Albufeira. It’s Albufeira-Ferreiras, which is about 5 km outside.

      The trainline only covers part of the Alentejo, but there are plenty of buses as well. These long distance buses are all quite new and good quality, and very easy to get around on.

      As for getting to the Algarve from Morocco, there are a few ways I think. One option would be to take the ferry over to Spain and then travel across by public transport. There are often flights to Seville, and there may also be flights to Faro.

      There has been talk of connecting the Algarve with Morocco by ferry for many years, but it has yet to happen.

  32. Hi James
    Thank you for such great info. I’m travelling to Portugal in September. Landing in Porto, hoping to hire a car to Lisbon, train down to Faro and then over to Spain. What is the best way to get to Seville from Faro?

  33. Hi James, can you please tell me how to change the ticket time if you have to go later. Is that what revalidation means? If so, how do you do that? Is it possible to change the ticket time on the website or can it only be done at the station? Thanks for all the good info!

  34. Hello, I will be in Portugal the entire month of April, 2022. When I look at the CP train time tables it notes what appears to be train changes from a urbano to an Intercidades with only 8 minutes between them. Are the trains close enough together to make these types of connections? Thank you so much!

      • James, I am wondering the same thing Gigi is. I’m going from Porto to Regua and it has a transfer in marco de canaveses and it’s only 4 mins. They are all 4-8 mins for the day we are going. Any thoughts on whether this is doable? I’m guessing they wouldn’t schedule all of them like that if it was an issue but I’m worried because we are taking the last train out on the way back.

        • Hi Gaby,

          I’ve never changed here so can’t say for sure, but it looks like this is a regular occurrence and I imagine one train will wait for the other to arrive if it’s late (this is the norm at small stations where changes happen).

  35. This is really helpful. I am looking forward to touring Lisbon and Porto in May.
    Just wondering if you recommend https://thetrainline.com to purchase the round trip train tickets from Lisboa to Porto in advance since the ticket prices on this website are substantially cheaper than cp.pt. The ticket prices are doubled in cp.pt. Any thoughts?

    Thanks so much for your help.

  36. If you book a train from Lisbon (Santa Apolonia) to Porto and the train stops at Oriente, can you get on the train at Oriente instead of Santa Apolonia?

    • I’m not sure what the official rules are with regards to this, but you won’t go through ticket gates so you can get on the train at any stop. I don’t think tickets are normally checked until you leave Lisbon.

  37. Hello
    trying to train book tickets from UK and the register site won’t accept my postcode, comes up with invalid box, any ideas to solve this? Thanks

    • For some reason the new registration system won’t accept any letters. This means it’s fine if your postcode is 90210 but not CM23 3WE.

      You could try registering with 00000 in the postal code area. When you go to buy a ticket, the payment section doesn’t take your postal code from your account so you’ll be able to enter your postcode. Failing that, there is the option to purchase through PayPal.

      The only downside I can see to this is that if you need an invoice it may not say your postcode. Most people don’t need this though.

    • Depends on the particular ticket you have. Most are direct but it looks like others (one that combines R and IC trains) involves a change at Entroncamento. Use the cp.pt website to see what your particular journey involves.

  38. I am planning to buy Portugal Rail Pass (7 day Validity)

    However, I just had a question as to if the train is AP or IC, will I have to pay any reservation fee if I already have purchased the portugal rail pass? If there is a reservation fee, please let me know the cost and whether it is a one time fee for all the trains or do I have to pay each time I take the train.

    I would highly appreciate if you would please let me know.

    • Hi B.Z.

      The trains website doesn’t mention a reservation fee, but it does say that you need to go to the ticket office each time in order to get your ticket.

      “Before each journey, you have to ask get your ticket from a ticket office or, exceptionally, from the ticket inspector on the train by presenting your card.”

  39. Hello,
    I was wondering if we can get off and back on the next train with the same ticket? For exemple, if I buy a ticket from Porto to Pinhao, it is possible to get off the final destination (Pinhao), visit Regua and get back on the next train with the same ticket.

    Thank you

    • Hi Nathalie,

      Like a hop on, hop off? I’m not sure, but I don’t think so. I think you would have paid for your seat at that particular time. But you could book a train from Porto to Pinhao and then another one from Pinhão to wherever on the next train.


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