Hills, bridges and the glittering expanse of the Douro River are all a part of the scenic however generally difficult backdrop of Porto. Fortunately, town has a wonderful transportation community for getting round, from a speedy metro system to old style trams, together with buses, taxis and even a funicular thrown in for good measure. 

Porto has a compact metropolis heart, making it a super place for getting round on foot, significantly within the slender lanes of the Ribeira the place transport is missing. For reaching far-flung corners of town, you’ll have loads of choices to get you there. Whereas typically environment friendly, Porto’s transportation community sometimes hits its snags, so give your self ample time to get to the place you’re going (and maybe have a Plan B in thoughts if issues go awry). 

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Journey from the center ages to the twenty first century on the metro 

Strolling up the medieval alleys of the Ribeira district, you’ll be able to hop on the metro and head as much as the Casa da Música, Rem Koolhaas’ cutting-edge 2005 architectural masterpiece. Porto’s six lettered and color-coded metro strains supply some ways you’ll be able to hop throughout centuries whereas exploring numerous corners of town. 

It’s good to familiarize your self with a few of the most helpful strains. Line E (violet) travels from the airport to town heart, line D (yellow) has the closest cease to the Ribeira (São Bento station) and travels over the Dom Luís I bridge to Vila Nova de Gaia. Line B (purple) is Porto’s longest line, working from Estadio do Dragão (dwelling to FC Porto) north to village-like settlements close to the seaside. Trains function from 6am to 1am each day.

View of Douro river at Porto, Portugal
A visit on the teleférico de Gaia is a type of must-do Porto experiences © cristovao / Shutterstock

Soak up Porto’s finest views aboard the teleférico de Gaia

It’s solely a five-minute experience, however the teleférico de Gaia provides sweeping views over the Douro and town past. The aerial cable automotive travels between the Vila Nova de Gaia waterfront and the southern finish of the Dom Luís I bridge. It makes an excellent add-on to a day of port-tasting on the wine lodges in Vila Nova de Gaia. The higher station is only a few minutes’ stroll from Jardim do Morro (above floor) metro station. The one-way fare is €6 (€9 return), and the teleférico runs from 10am to 8pm throughout the hotter months (service ends an hour or two earlier from late September to late April).  

Get a greater take a look at metropolis neighborhoods on the bus

Porto’s intensive bus community can take you nearly anyplace you need to go. You’ll additionally get to take pleasure in views of town – structure, plazas, long-legged canines and their minders – typically not accessible for those who take the metro. There are various strains which are significantly useful for sightseeing, together with No 207, which takes you to the avant-garde Serralves cultural institution, stopping close to the Soares dos Reis Museum, the Palácio de Cristal gardens, the Natural History Museum and different locations of curiosity alongside the way in which. 

Metro de Porto on the bridge over the Douro Luis II river in Porto, Portugal in the summer of 2022.
The Metro de Porto is a light-weight rail system with 81 stations © martin SC picture / Shutterstock

Decide up an Andante Card to experience the metro and buses with ease

Porto has an built-in bus and metro community, which you should utilize with ease by buying an Andante Card. There are numerous variations of the cardboard. In case you’re simply planning just a few journeys when you’re on the town, purchase an Andante Blue Card (€0.60) and cargo it with credit score. There’s additionally an Andante Tour Card – a greater choice for those who plan to do lots of touring on the community over a brief time frame: a 24-hour card prices €7 and a 3-day (72-hour) card is €15. 

You should purchase playing cards at vacationer info places of work within the airport and on the town, in addition to at numerous metro stations. Word that the tram and funicular aren’t lined by the Andante Card. 

Take a nostalgic experience on the Number one tram

Número Uno is the right digit for Porto’s cheerfully painted tram that trundles alongside the waterfront. The star of Porto’s transport community has been carrying passengers (in addition to fish, coal, and different issues) because the 1870s when it was initially pulled by mules. Although electrified these days, the tram solely strikes marginally quicker than again then, offering a captivating window into the previous. The inside is kitted out with classic wooden paneling and outsized home windows you’ll be able to carry excessive to maximise these breezy views. 

Tram No 1 runs between the Ribeira district and Passeio Alegre, which is a few 10-minute stroll from the seashores of the Foz do Douro. You should purchase tickets (€3.50/6 one-way/return) from the driving force. Two different trams flow into within the heart. In case you’re eager on driving all of them, purchase a two-day limitless tram go for €10 (€5 for kids). 

Journey the funicular for lofty bridge views 

Porto has only one inclined rail line, nevertheless it’s properly value in search of out. The Funicular dos Guindais takes you from a road close to the bottom of the Ponte Dom Luís I to Batalha-Guindais station close to the Igreja de Santa Clara. The 25-passenger funicular takes three minutes to journey the 281m (922ft) and gives wonderful views over Porto’s iconic metal bridge (designed by a pupil of Gustave Eiffel) in addition to Vila Nova de Gaia’s port wine lodges throughout the river. The funicular just isn’t a part of the Andante go (until you buy a month-to-month go), so that you’ll should pay for a experience individually (€2.50). 

Biclas & Triclas bikes out front of shops in Porto Portugal
For greener journey, there’s all the time the bike or e-bike choice © Emily McAuliffe / Lonely Planet

Go inexperienced on an electrical bike or scooter

Nonetheless within the early levels of improvement, Porto has plans to launch an electrical bike- and e-scooter sharing program. The town can have 2100 modes of transport scattered at 210 completely different websites across the metropolis. A number of apps will present entry, together with “Hen – Journey Electrical” and “Circ – Benefit from the Journey”. 

To make use of the service, obtain the app, create an account, and scan the QR code of an accessible scooter or bike, and also you’re all set. Proposed costs are €1 to unlock, then €0.15 per minute of use. A number of tips to remember: the transport isn’t accessible from 10pm to 6am, and customers should journey in bike lanes reasonably than on sidewalks. Carrying a helmet just isn’t compulsory, however is very really helpful. 

Hop in a taxi or a ride-share late at evening

You’ll discover taxi ranks all through the middle, and also you’ll additionally discover ride-share companies like Uber and Bolt. These are useful for late-night journeys when there’s restricted public transportation accessible. Rely on paying round €6 to €8 for journeys inside the heart throughout the day, with a 20% surcharge at evening.

Accessible transportation in Porto 

Vacationers with mobility points will discover Porto to have a way more user-friendly transport community than Lisbon. Almost all metro stations are totally accessible with ramps, elevators and devoted areas for wheelchair customers onboard metro trains. You will discover a map here. Elements in inexperienced are totally accessible. The vast majority of buses in Porto are additionally totally accessible with ramped entry, low-level flooring and a devoted area for one wheelchair person on board. On the bus and on the metro bulletins informing riders of the following cease are made. Sadly, the historic tram strains aren’t wheelchair accessible.  

For extra on-line sources for accessible journey, go to Lonely Planet’s Accessible Travel portal.

Why driving the tram is my favourite option to journey in Porto 

Climbing aboard the trams is like stepping right into a time machine. You go these classic handles and wheels the conductor makes use of to function the streetcar and the elegant polished wooden particulars of the inside. As soon as seated (or fairly presumably standing whereas holding onto a strap), you’ll be able to hearken to the meditative clackety clack of the wheels as you rumble by means of city. 

The gradual mode of journey and large home windows give a cinematic view of town in movement. Watch intently and also you’ll get snapshots of Porto as you go shut by cafe tables the place espresso drinkers are hunkered over newspapers or chatting with a neighbor passing by, whereas a server stands close by watching the distant boats out on the river. The very best time to journey is within the morning whenever you get an much more genuine glimpse of native life.


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