Getting Around Porto

The best way to get around Porto is by metro, by bus or on foot. Porto boasts an extensive public transportation system operated by the Sociedade de Transportes Colectivos do Porto (which includes the metro, buses and trams) that helps visitors reach the top attractions in and around the city. The metro lines are identified by different colors and letters, plus many of the lines travel above ground and offer splendid views of the city. Porto's extensive bus system can be a bit confusing, and the metro reaches most major attractions, but the bus is a nice alternative to get to some harder-to-reach places, including Foz, the Serralves Museum and Vila Nova de Gaia. Once you're in the city center, you can explore on your own two feet.

Porto's nearest airport is Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport (OPO), which is located on the northwestern edge of the city. You can get from the airport into Porto by taking the E (purple) metro line toward Estádio do Dragão; the Lapa, Trindade and Bolhão stops are nearest the city's center. The Goin' Porto shuttle also runs between the airport and the south end of Avenida dos Aliados, with one-way rides costing €5 EUR (or about $7 USD). You can also get a cab to or from the airport, but it'll cost you about €20 to €30 EUR ($28 to $42 USD); and on the weekends it may cost you nearly 20 percent more.

On foot Many of Porto's roads are narrow, cobbled and winding, making them best explored on foot. Organize your schedule ahead of time and plan to see the top attractions that are near one another if you plan to use your own two feet as a means of transportation — there are a few clusters where you can see several of the city's top sites without working your legs too hard.
Metro

Porto's metro features six lines that run from around 6 a.m. to about 1 a.m. daily and are marked by letters and colors: the A (blue), B (red), C (green), D (yellow), E (purple) and F (orange) lines. More than 80 metro stations are located around the city and they're marked by signs with a wavy blue "M." The majority of the lines reach Porto's best sights, and traveling via metro is an affordable option when you're visiting the city. Buying a Porto Card allows you unlimited transportation on the metro, buses and funiculars for a set period of time, as well as free access to some museums and discounts on other museums and restaurants. Porto Cards cost €10.50, €17.50 or €21.50 EUR (about $14.50, $24 or $30 USD) for one, two or three days, respectively.

If you don't purchase a Porto Card, you must buy a rechargeable blue ANDANTE card to use the metro. Cards cost €0.50 EUR (about $0.70 USD) and one-way fares start at €1.20 EUR (about $1.65 USD) and vary depending on how many zones you travel through. (Download the Porto system map here for more information.) You must "validate" your card when you enter a station or when transferring lines by pressing your card to the validator machine and waiting for it to light up green. Hold on to your card for the duration of your stay and continue to recharge it as you go; cards can be recharged at any metro station. ANDANTE Tour Cards are also available for €7 or €15 EUR (about $9.50 or $21 USD) for unlimited travel for 24 hours or 72 hours.

Bus

More than 75 STCP bus routes are available throughout Porto and its surrounding regions, including Vila Nova de Gaia and Vila do Conde. Buses run regularly from about 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., with limited service operation from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Porto Cards and ANDANTE passes both work on the buses, with one-way trips starting at €1.15 EUR for ANDANTE cardholders and varying in fare price by the number of zones you need to cross. You can also purchase a one-time paper ticket aboard the bus for €0.50 EUR plus the fare needed for your journey.

Tram and Funicular

STCP also operates three tram routes in Porto: Line 1, Line 18 and Line 22. Porto's trams (or cable cars) are a historic part of the city, dating back to 1872. Line 1 runs along the west coast and the Douro River from Matosinhos to Lóios. Lines 18 and 22 operate circular routes near the Hospital Geral de Santo António in southern Porto and near the São Bento Railway Station and Avenida dos Aliados in central Porto, respectively. ANDANTE cards are accepted on trams (Porto Cards are not); individual tickets on board cost €2.50 EUR (about $3.50 USD).

The single-track funicular runs up and down the hillside from Porto's Ribeira area to the higher elevated Batalha square. Tickets cost €2 EUR (about $2.75 USD) each way and hours vary depending on the season.

Car

Since Porto is small, congested roads are less than ideal to drive on, renting a car is not your best option of getting around the city. Forget the car unless you plan to do extensive traveling to other regions of Portugal or Spain. If you need to rent a vehicle, you can do so at the agencies at the airport or around town, which include Europcar, Avis and Sixt, among others. U.S. visitors can drive with a valid U.S. driver's license for up to six months.

Taxi

Taxis in Porto are relatively inexpensive compared to other European cities, but they're still not cheap. Rates typically start around €3.25 EUR (about $5 USD) and increase €0.50 EUR (about $0.60 USD) for every kilometer (a little more than half a mile) traveled. For the most part, taxi drivers are helpful and speak English, though you may want to write down the address of your destination to avoid any confusion.

Explore More of Porto

Recommended

The 5 Best Kauai Helicopter Tours

See the Garden Island's far-reaching beauty from the air.

Holly JohnsonJune 14, 2019

The 6 Best Las Vegas Helicopter Tours

Get a thrilling look at the lights and sights of Sin City and its surroundings with one of these tours.

Holly JohnsonJune 13, 2019

20 Road Trip Essentials for Your Vacation

These road trip must-haves can help you save money, travel more comfortably and ensure you stay safe on the open road.

Holly JohnsonJune 13, 2019

13 Top Charlottesville Wineries to Visit

Sip a glass of Virginia's signature viognier as the sun sets over the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Gwen PratesiJune 12, 2019

The 16 Best Seattle Tours

Explore the Emerald City's natural beauty and urban offerings with these guided excursions.

Lyn MettlerJune 12, 2019

The 24 Best London Tours

Whether it's your first time in London or you're a repeat visitor, you'll experience a side of the city you've never seen with these tours.

Kim Foley MacKinnonJune 6, 2019

The 21 Best Paris Tours

Enhance your visit to the City of Love with one of these top tours.

Claire LawtonJune 5, 2019

The 20 Best New York City Tours

These guided tours help make the most of your time in the Big Apple.

John RodwanJune 4, 2019

The 24 Best Rome Tours

Enjoy the efficiency of an organized tour led by experts who bring Rome's history to life.

Kyle McCarthyMay 31, 2019

The 8 Best Savannah Ghost Tours

Prove you're not afraid of the dark by taking one of these terrifying tours.

Gwen PratesiMay 31, 2019