Transport in Portugal
The transport system in Portugal is well developed and the infrastructure is good with an excellent network of roads. Public transportation is cheap, easy and very efficient.
There are currently 3 major international airports in mainland Portugal located in Lisbon, Porto and Faro and with the arrival of New Lisbon Airport it will be even easier to get to Portugal from anywhere in the world. There are also a number of smaller airports throughout the country that mainly fly domestic. In all the airports you will find plenty of taxis and also buses that can take you into the city in a very short time. The national airline company is TAP Portugal.
Portugal has a great network of roads (approximately 69,000 km) and every town and village can be reached by an efficient system of roads.
In Portugal you drive on the right side of the road, and unless otherwise is indicated, all vehicles approaching from the right have priority, and the minimum driving age is 18. The speed limit on motorways is 120 km/h, the urban limit is usually 50 km/h and in rural zones normally 90 km/h. Safety-belts are compulsory both front and back in all circumstances and driving licence and vehicle documents have to be carried at all times. If you are planning to drive in Portugal, you must remember your own national driving licence, and if you want to hire a car you need to show proof of identity and a valid driving licence. There are many options if you want to rent a car; in all the bigger cities and airports there are several car rental companies, but remember that the minimum age to hire a car is 21.
Bus services in Portugal include both regional and local buses as well international coaches. There are frequent coach services between all Portuguese cities and a network of the national and several private bus companies cover most of Portugal’s main town and more local destinations. There are usually both an express and an ordinary service available and prices will vary according to distance, time and company. It is a good idea to check with the tourist information for departure points and with the bus companies for schedules and prices.
Some of the main Portuguese bus operators are: InterCentro, InterNorte and InterSul – all serving international routes to Spain, France and the UK and EVA which serves the Algarve region as well as routes to destinations in Spain.
Portugal has a good railway system consisting of a big network of regional, inter-regional and suburban trains covering the whole of the country.
The Portuguese railway company CP (Caminhos de Ferro Portuguese) covers most of the mainland and also has some international services all for a reasonable price.
The express trains Alfa Pendular offer fast and comfortable links between Lisbon and the Algarve and between different destinations in the north. There is also an intercity service The Intercidades that operates throughout the country linking many of the main towns on either 1st or 2nd class tickets.
Both Lisbon and Porto (http://www.metrodoporto.pt/) have a metro system. The Lisbon metro system has four different lines; purple, yellow, green and orange and is very efficient and easy to navigate. Tickets are cheap and can be purchased at the stations.
There are generally many taxi companies in Portugal and it is usually easy to get a taxi. In the cities they charge according to the taximeter, but for longer distances they charge per kilometre, and can charge for the return trip as well, so check beforehand and get an estimated cost for the trip. After 10 pm and until 6 am charges increase approximately 20%. It is common to tip about 10% of the fare.
Disabled passengers and Public transport:
There are reserved seats for disabled people in all public transport vehicles, and some have wheelchair spaces as well. People with visual disabilities can travel with their guide dogs; however these have to be on a leash.
If you are travelling through an airport special assistance can be provided by prior arrangement, and all Portuguese airports have wheelchairs and specially adapted toilets.